…”And now for our (optional) prompt. This one is a bit complex, so I saved it for a Sunday. It’s a Spanish form called a “glosa” – literally a poem that glosses, or explains, or in some way responds to another poem. The idea is to take a quatrain from a poem that you like, and then write a four-stanza poem that explains or responds to each line of the quatrain, with each of the quatrain’s four lines in turn forming the last line of each stanza. Traditionally, each stanza has ten lines, but don’t feel obligated to hold yourself to that! Here’s a nice summary of the glosa form to help you get started.”
For my poem, I used an alternate description of the glosa here https://www.johnwheway.com/?p=4:
and the first stanza of a poem by Vita Sackville-West, found here:
|from “The Land”|
That was a spring of storms. They prowled the night;
Low level lightning flickered in the east
Continuous. The white pear-blossom gleamed
Motionless in the flashes; birds were still;
April. A bitter night we drove along the coast,
Lake Huron, a white-capped dark sea,
as a distant beacon flashed its dire message, solitary eye
keeping the watch. You turned to the window,
mile upon mile, a prisoner in your own silence,
a lonely world bereft of light.
There’s a sadness when shared space yields no warmth,
where two people sit, together but alone, where
there’s nothing to say, try as you might.
That was a spring of storms. They prowled the night.
The road shone wet, swept by a blur of wind, rain,
and branches torn from newly-budding trees.
Soggy foxes trotted across our path, in search
of shelter from the wet. I kept an eye out
for sudden deer looking to cross to the other side.
You took no notice, not in the least.
Was this a punishment for things not said, or
words not held back? Too difficult to tell.
Outside the pounding rain had ceased,
though low-level lightning flickered in the east.
I wondered if that night would ever end:
your accusing silence over there, the storm still hovering
to the left, and animals that roam at night just off stage.
I felt a quiet sense of rage at helplessness
to bring this drama to its final scene. Or was it me
that was the drama queen, swimming in some extreme
pantomime? Just in time, the rain began again.
Time to concentrate on getting home,
leave behind this thunder dome to play its ominous theme,
continuous. The white pear-blossom gleamed
just beside the door as we arrived at home. White petals
scattered across the grass, and up the front steps, formed
a welcome mat put out for us by the storm.
I might have smiled. Would have if the drive had been
less fraught, even so it dissipated the chill
I’d felt from the other side of the car, the storm outside
fighting with the inner storm you carried with you,
like that cartoon character under a cloud.
In the last of the lightning, no cry of whip-poor-will
motionless in the flashes; birds were still.
Carol A. Stephen
April 3, 2022