For The Sunday Whirl poetry prompt: Wordle #159
blackbird, night, broken, wings, life, moment
arise, eyes, free, light, see, dead
Resurrecting Harmony and Invention
Knew a man who found a crow
in wings of a blackbird. Said
in that moment he invented
Some see night in color of a crow,
eyes finally free to see true meaning
of light and life defined by broken
In darkness of sleep, dream of both
living and dead. When dawn arises,
know I have discovered thirteen ways
of seeing myself invent this poem.
Elizabeth Crawford 5/4/14
Although I love the song from which these words were taken, the first word on the list was blackbird and the first stanza of this piece came full-blown into my head. I wrote it down, but had no sense of where to go after that. So, went and did other things, only to return later in the evening to find the second verse by simply playing with the words themselves. Had used all but two of the words, arise and dead, which only spoke to me of resurrection. Went to bed and dreamed of several things and people. Arose when sunlight in my window awakened me (its been absent for several days). Came on my computer and found that once again, Microsoft had updated, then closed my puter and reopened it again. That meant whatever I had written was gone, lost when the puter had been shut down. Went looking through the documents file and found it labeled under untitled document. Can you say resurrection? And with that, knew where I wanted to go with the piece. The phrase living and dead, reminded me of Sharon Olds (her second book of poems is titled The Living and The Dead). Dr. Kummings introduced me to Olds when I told him I could not understand poetry and thought I might never do so. That was the beginning of my love affair with the entire subject. Dr. Kummings was my teacher, adviser, mentor, and friend. This present poem is just another tribute to the man. Its title is derived from a poem he wrote (The Contest Between Harmony and Invention) that was published in a book representing good, modern, American poetry. In it, he writes about how he invented Wallace Stevens. It may be found here:
I owe a great deal to Dr. Kummings. He transformed my life from that of a confused, stumbling around, middle-aged woman, to that of a red-winged blackbird in full and glorious flight. The image is a mandala manipulated, by a friend, from a photo I had taken.
And of course, the song:
After setting up this post, I listened again to the song from which these words were taken. As I listened, this began running through my head.
I am the blackbird in flight
branded with a crimson slash
and another of gold on my
Sometimes in night of dead ashes
an ember still burns, only waiting
for small breath that will renew life,
bringing light where darkness reigned.
In one moment, broken dreams
are finally free to be seen, releasing
once caged creature into flight,
a soul arising with creative fire.
Elizabeth Crawford 5/4/14
Notes: This has never happened before. The image is a photo I took about two years ago. It flew into my mind as I was listening to the song and the poem immediately followed it. Thank you, Brenda.