Saturday, August 5, 2006

Ringing of the Bards

So it's time again to Ring in the Bards, and I have the honor of doing the deed. The past hosts have done such a fantastic job with all the creative montages they've posted. I just hope that I can do The Ringing justice. So let's just jump in here!

Daniel of Naked and Ashamed, who has one of my favorite blog titles ever (reminds me of Natalie Umbruglia!) writes
...It was an imperfect circle
scribbled where seams meet...
in Imperfect. I think you'll all appreciate the beauty of his imperfection.

Katy at Something Katy tells us about a flee market affair. The imagery here,
...the mildewed bottoms of folding tables
sagged with humidity and his figure shown
through the t shirt he wore...
without resorting to flowery language, is simply beautiful. Thanks for this Katy, it brings back memories of when I was a kid.

Bob the Average Poet, who has the most inappropriate name, writes Dash of Humanity
the odium
and run a race worth joining.
The brevity makes his point that much sharper. If only the right folks would heed his message.

Pearl of Poetry Springs Boing, Curl, Sproing gives us after crack of thunder
...a downpour leaves no part of me untouched,
it turn me over as it releases the shoulders
works a diagonal across legs, shifts, soaks,
every inch tapped, eyelid or midback equal...
The sensuality in this piece is tangible, and utterly gorgeous. Being a fan of thunderstorms, I fell in love with this piece.

Nadia at It's Clever, But Is It Art? gives us personal impressions and introspections about war in This Side of Death
...I wait for kings
who do not come,
no clash of armour,
ringing of swords.
Battlefields now
have more dimensions...
In it's entirety, I find this piece to be a rather poignant study on the Middle East conflict, without being blatantly political. I enjoyed this very much, and sympathize with the mood.

Daniel of Talking to Myself takes a more direct approach with Weep, Like a Cedar in Lebanon, yet, he still shuns the political multiplicity and embraces the individuals so torn by the war.
...And so I stand, weeping,
crying for my lost children,
the Sunni, the Shi'ite, the Christian, the Jew,
as I witness my roots failing -
my branches breaking -
my green needles wilting -
and my trunk rotting.
I weep, like a cedar in Lebanon,
and pray for the coming of spring.
This piece demanded to be read more than once, and etched itself into my chest.

Leigh at Sleight of Mind sent me Synesthetic Time and had me right from the title. Synesthesia has long been a fascination of mine. It was not what I expected as I began to read:
...Time takes on
the momentum of a surf wave
with decades morphing
into the turquoise depths
of a thousand centuries...
It was, in fact, much more.
I haven't (yet) been able to quite grasp the string theory but this piece illustrated it rather vividly, and offered more than just dots, and lines, and curves. Thanks Leigh, this piece is truly beautiful.

Shirley of House Mouse writes a rather sad piece titled Grandpa's Barn
...But I can't help recall the stalls
all filled, in Grandpa's day.
And lofty beams from which we'd fall
into the new-mown hay.
If progress has its pitfalls
it's the loss of yesterday.
It isn't often any more that I come across a sonnet. It is one of my favorite forms, mostly because I'm completely incapable of writing a proper example. This piece does exactly what I cannot, remains true to form, and doesn't lose the message or mood in the rhyme and meter. Impressive.

Russel at Yuckelbel's Canon sent in Odyssey between afternoon classes is such a wonderful retrospective piece. The texture of this piece:
...We were naked children on a deserted beach.
You turned me into a pig
And I followed you everywhere, making noises,
Teaching you to smile
Discovering you were sunlight and motion...
is completely nostalgic, and I'm still finding bits of it between my toes.

Billy the Blogging Poet gives us A PERFECT WORLD/Kill All The Children (poem for two voices.) and they are two distinct voices indeed. Two speakers who give an undeniable view of the sentiments in the Middle East conflict.
I wish I lived in a perfect world where little girls never got their hearts broke, and little boys were never the last ones picked to be on the team. Where everyone always loved me no matter the color of my skin, and the sun shined bright everyday. Where flowers bloomed and safe was every street. I wish I lived in a perfect world...

Kill all the children
if that's what you must do!
Kill them all before they grow,
perhaps to offend you!
Kill all the children!
Cut off their little heads!
Kill them while they're in the womb
and kill them in their beds...
Billy doesn't hide behind anything with this piece, but rather, bares it all, making it a rather striking contrast, not only between the voices in the poem, but between the poem and the subversive tactics of present day media and political propaganda.

And last but in no way least is Ashraf (aka arch.memory) who writes Looking Through Your Eyes
...remember seeing it through your eyes,
my country,
as for the first time.

The tight colorless street
where I grew up
choking with people,
_____ now covered with a dust
_____sinful as only humanity is...
I have never seen anything more evocative nor have I read more striking imagery. This is the sort of poem, with its truth and honesty and bare emotion, that a reader cannot deny and retain their humanity. This is more of an experience than it is a piece to be read - a perfect encapsulation of what it is to see your country be torn apart, knocked down, both physically and figuratively. I am so moved by these images and the sadness of this poem, I ache with it.

Dan of Naked And Ashamed will be hosting next, so keep that in mind during the next week, and after that will be Katy again but the weeks after that are host-less, so if you'd like to host, please visit The Ringing of the Bards to view available dates, and email Billy at idleblogs (AT) to volunteer.


  1. can i just say, erin, how much i like the sections of each of these poems you chose? they really are the moments in each of the poems that sum it up, and that make your mouth water before getting to read the entire poem!

  2. Great presentation Erin! Thanks for your efforts on our behalf.

  3. You whet my apetite too with your choice of lines from each poem, thank you :) Leigh

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  5. Hey Erin, nicely done, thanks for taking the time to do this, I really appreciate it. Some very interesting poems and you set them up well. Take it easy,


  6. Did I tell you what a really great job you did with this? Well in case I didn't, here goes: GREAT JOB!

    By the way, why were you nervous-- I wasn't.

  7. Thanks guys, glad you all enjoyed it. And yes Billy, I was nervous because everyone has been SO creative with their presentations! I drew a complete blank, and stared at an empty screen till 3 am! haha, well...

    I'm REALLY looking forward to next week! Awesome idea going on there!

  8. Good job Erin, sorry I didn't contribute to this one but was snowed under.
    Take care