AUSTRALIA ~ The Antipodes

AUSTRALIA ~ The Antipodes
I love a sunburnt country / A land of sweeping plains / Of ragged mountain ranges / Of droughts and flooding rains / I love her far horizons / I love her jewel-sea / Her beauty and her terror / The wide brown land for me / ~ Dorothea Mackellar (1885-1968)


Friday, August 17, 2012

My Wall

Scratchy network of discordant shadows
Like yesterday's bones bathing in new lights
Nature's stark mural of fleshless hollows
Reaching for semblance of credible heights
My patchy tangles from cold listless nights
Like echoing moans churning in some sea
Of desert wasteland flung far from your sites
While I pale on walls of eternity

NOTE - This is my second attempt at a huitain.
(My first attempt was A Monk's Tale for Real Toads.)
It is a poem in a single Ballade stanza.
The verse form was most popular in the 16th century and was often used for epigrams in the 18th century. One source suggests the huitain may have begun in Spain.
The basic layout is:
Line length: 8 (French) or 10 (English) syllables
Rhyme scheme: ababbcbc
Number of lines: 8

**No websites seem to explore the association with death as an "undertow" theme in the huitain,  even though I have observed that many old examples of huitain seem to do this!
I have not noted this as a feature on my dVerse post, but I have acknowledged this theme's presence in both my huitain by suggesting the death of some old life.

Linking to:
 FormForAll - Huitain - Gemma Wiseman - My post on dVerse
Shadow Shot Sunday 2


Brian Miller said...

thank you for a great article at dverse...this was a very fun form to play with...enjoyed both of yours...really neat way to the look at the shadow play in this one & the trees....

Mimi Foxmorton said...

Simply beautiful!

Collage Pirate

kaykuala said...

It's fun to try new forms. All the more interesting when only 8 lines are required. Thanks for dropping by Gemma! Wonderful write!


Esther Garvi said...

Beautiful emotional sky!!
Hugs from West Africa!

hyperCRYPTICal said...

Thanks for your inspiration Gemma. Not one to regularly write to form I obtained much pleasure from the huitain.

Love yours!

Anna :o]

John (@bookdreamer) said...

Nice sound when reading aloud and evocative imagery

Anonymous said...

Very well done article and great job with the form. I especially like the "yesterday's bones in new lights." It's a deceptively difficult form, which you handled really well. k.

Anonymous said...

I love the way you used this form. I struggled a bit. If you did, it doesn't show at all.

Claudia said...

Gemma, first of all..thanks so much for hosting over at dVerse - really a wonderful article you wrote up for us..enjoyed your poem as well..such an intriguing form as due to the shortness you have to choose the words really wisely...

Anonymous said...

Very difficult prompt on dVerse, but well worth it! I love your view and the imagery!

Bodhirose said...

I love worked with the form beautifully and thank you for bringing it to our attention over at dVerse. I had fun giving it a try.

Namaste, Gemma...


Uneven Stephen said...

I really enjoy the imagery and words you conjure here. I especially like "Like yesterday's bones bathing in new lights" and that last line. Thanks for teaching me a new form at dVerse!

Beachanny said...

Thank you Gemma - this form and your fine article prompted some of the best form poems I've read on formforall. It was very gracious of you to do it and I appreciate it so much!

Loved this poem satisfying the requirements of the poem while exploring a beautiful metaphor in a personal way. Exceptional work.
Thank you!

Unknown said...

Thanks for posting the article and it is quite an interesting and rather fun form to work within. Really enjoyed the balance you used here, first three lines are dominated by adj/noun relationship imagery, four, five and six, are dominated by adv/verb relationship imagery and the final two are a nice combination of both style of line. Great job. Thanks again.

Sherry Blue Sky said...

I LOVE this huitain, perhaps my fave so far of your writing. Wonderful accompaniment to the photo.

PattiKen said...

Beautiful, Gemma. Despair not. Summer is just around the corner. Thanks for the huitain lesson. I had fun with it.

hedgewitch said...

Very vivid, sharp picture, with that undertone of loss and change--thank you Gemma--I love this form.

Cressida de Nova said...

Thank you for introducing us to this form. I can feel the mournful winter sea in your poem. Beautiful.
Great pic.

Anonymous said...

I loved the mood, it was eerily beautiful. It reminds me so much of the mangroves here, where the bush meets the bay. Just beautiful imagery!

Anonymous said...

Huitain, thanks for the lesson. It's never too late to learn new things...
Your wall looks like a painting of a...tree! :)
Happy Sunday!

Patti said...

Interesting writing form ~ I had never heard of it before. Thanks for the lesson.

Quite a feeling of loneliness you convey with your words. What you have written is indeed beautiful.

The Summer Kitchen Girls said...

Hi Gemma! We love your huitain! You always put such beautiful feeling into your words to compliment your pictures!!

Magical Mystical Teacher said...

This concatenation of words--"yesterday's bones bathing"--conjures up delightful skeletal images in my mind! I think I'll dance with that image--and the bones--for a while!

Ralph said...

This is a wonderful shadow - the full summer foliage shadow is not so well defined. The leafless shadow is well noted, the huge tree more delicate when it is branches alone. Very nice!

Parsing the nuance of the Queen's English is so cool - most of us do not experiment with structure as you have in this poem. A wonderful discovery in your poem!

LV said...

Never saw a wall of shadows, but they look very nice. You always find such good shadows to share.

Lighthousegal said...

Wow! Powerful words along with an awesome photo. Love the mix of clouds and shadows. Well Done!!

robin. said...

very, very cool gemma. love this post.



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Archive of Blog Quotes

  • A perfect summer day is when the sun is shining, the breeze is blowing, the birds are singing, and the lawn mower is broken. ~James Dent
  • Autumn is an introspective season when stray thoughts of the mind dive into the mystique of the soul - Gemma Wiseman
  • Autumn is the bridesmaid of Summer and the flowergirl of Winter ~ Gemma Wiseman
  • Autumn whispers the tones of yesterday in a minor key ~ Gemma Wiseman
  • Love is born / With a dark and troubled face, / When hope is dead / And in the most unlikely place; / Love is born, / Love is always born. - Michael Leunig's Christmas Song Cycle "Southern Star"
  • Spring paints the stars of heaven in Earth colours ~ Gemma Wiseman
  • Summer sizzles with a sibilant hush / Broken by dreams of / Clinking ice ~ Gemma Wiseman
  • The object of a new year is not that we should have a new year. It is that we should have a new soul. - G.K. Chesterton
  • Winter is an etching, spring a watercolor, summer an oil painting and autumn a mosaic of them all. - Stanley Horowitz
  • Winter is the fire, simmering lonely in the soul ~ Gemma Wiseman
  • Winter is the shadow, the etching of the seasons in the mist ~ Gemma Wiseman

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