Sunday, May 27, 2007

Poetry Train Monday - 3 - Skewed Landscapes

I thought this one was in keeping with the American Memorial Day weekend. Though I found myself wondering, why does the US have Memorial Day when they also celebrate Remembrance Day on Nov. 11th?

At any rate, here is a poem I wrote in 1994 while I was in university.


Skewed Landscapes


As Darwin's hairy men
Turned and strode from
Adam's gentle brow
Begloved matrons
Swooned in their seats
Overcome by Stravinsky's dissonance

A democracy of junk
Ripened into collaged provinces
Turner's spectral train
Retreated to Romantic gloom

Europe turned to mud
Its watery trenches
Inheriting the fallen

Big Bertha spewed hard death
At the Somme
Gallant bayonets faltered
As noxious clouds robbed the
Divisions of their glory

Braque's Portuguese man
Disintegrated
While Picasso's Harlequin
Shouldered his sliced violin
Digressing into the angular fragments
Of a modern age

Copyright 1994 - Julia Smith

14 comments:

Isabella Snow said...

That's very good. I forgot all about Memorial Day weekend - Memorial Day varies over here and is celebrated depending on which day the war ended, here it was the 8th, I think.

Course, that was the end of one and the beginning of something just as bad.

Nice poem, though!

Miss Frou Frou said...

Julia, I liked this a lot. Here in Australia we have Anzac Day, April 25th, which is a public holiday in memory of the fallen during the war. We also remember on Remembrance Day, November 11th, but it's not a holiday, we buy poppies, a symbol of the poppies planted over the graves of the dead, and we stop for a minutes silence at the 11th hour on the 11th day, of the 11th month... except the minutes silence isn't as common now as it used to be.

Akelamalu said...

I like your poem! :)

Christine said...

Great poem, Julia. I love:

As Darwin's hairy men
Turned and strode from
Adam's gentle brow
Begloved matrons
Swooned in their seats
Overcome by Stravinsky's dissonance

Great image. :)

julia said...

Miss Frou Frou, I have a special love for Nov. 11th, as it is my birthday. I've always felt connected to the warrior's spirit - probably no accident I was born on the day symbolizing the signing of the armistice. Although I resonate to my inner warrior, inside I am a dove. Words not fists are my motto.

Rhian / Crowwoman said...

wonderful Julia! and of course (so predictable) i LOVE LOVE LOVE:
"While Picasso's Harlequin
Shouldered his sliced violin
Digressing into the angular fragments
Of a modern age"

Robin L. Rotham said...

I'm with Rhian -- the line about Picasso's Harlequin is incredible. A thoughtful and thought-provoking poem, Julia!

Lillian Feisty said...

I loved this poem. I agree that the Picasso line is especially amazing; the whole thing is brilliant.

Amy Ruttan said...

Very cool! Great depiction of the time.

I totally didn't know what the US's long weekend was called until this past year. (how bad am I?) I just knew our May weekend.

Great poem!

RED GARNIER said...

Beautiful poem, Julia!!! And yey for that honest-to-God submission, I'm cheering you on from here! =)

Ann said...

Memorial Day started after the Civil War (in memory of all the fallen- but only in the northern states), and after WWI was expanded to become a memorial for all who fell in war.
Great poem.

Christine said...

While Picasso's Harlequin
Shouldered his sliced violin
Digressing into the angular fragments
Of a modern age

Oooh, such juicy language. Totally got all the artistic/musical/scientific reference. Very neat.

Joy Renee said...

awesome. the way this takes you, in the space of a few lines, on a walk through the century that took our culture's sensibilities from 'Adam's gentle brow' to the 'dissonance' and 'angular fragments of a modern age'

this especially resonates with me because I personaly made that trek in the space of less than four years between 1992 and 1996. That image of 'shouldering a sliced violin' perfectly captures the way this transition made me feel.

The first version of the poem I posted for my first Poetry Train ride was written during this time:
http://joystory.blogspot.com/2007/05/monday-poetry-train-1.html

Anna J. Evans said...

There's so much in that poem, I know I'd have to read it at least 10 more times to really gather it all in.

So many wonderful images, it made my brain tickle in the best way.

Really, really great julia.

Anna J. Evans