He sings the song, he knows so well, “American Pie” resounds,
A story “a long long time ago” the lyrics found,
On the lips of those passing by,
Throwing coins for memories sighed,
Thinking of “the day the music —
Died,” a plane crash in history mused.
Brought into the present, the “music [that] makes [him] smile.”
Singing talent innate: “Bye, Bye Miss American pie.”
He sings of the “good old boys . . . drinking whiskey and rye,”
Of the day they thought “this would be the day that” they’d up and die,
He breathes life into Rock and Roll,
Thinks music can save “mortal” souls.
His sonourous voice knows he has —
No luck; but he’ll sing for for the past.
For “Miss American pie;” she drives her “Chevy” to the dry —
Levy;” all passing, know the lyrics “the day the music died.”
He’s a hit, his voice similar to Don McLean of past,
He drives home the point, as if it were shards of sharp glass.
As history occurred, passed,
“Dirges in the dark” that collapse.
Of forgotten heros, music lost,
Of times forgotten, with cost.
Singing for the “kings” and “queens” who walk on by, listening,
He sings the song he knows so well “Bye Bye . . . American pie.”
Don McLean – “American Pie”
Wrapped Refrain (Form No. 2), created by Jan Turner, carries some similar aspects as her Wrapped Refrain form, with further advanced techniques. It consists of 2 or more stanzas of 8 lines each, with the following set rules:
“Wow, Dad. Look at that space suit. I want to wear it,” William said to Ben.
“Uh, no. Not happening.”
“This is major Tom to ground control / I’m stepping through the door/ [and] I’m floating in the most peculiar way.”
“Take the headphones from your ears and listen to your son,” Violet chided.
“I’m listening to William. He wants to wear the space suit and I said he can’t. What else can I say?” Ben asked.
“Just stop listening to your iPhone and be present,” Violet said rolling her eyes.
“But I have to finish this song. It’s a classic –the theme song to this museum moment.”
“What song Dad?” William asked curious.
“David Bowie’s ‘Space Oddity.”
“Oh, I love that song, turn it up. Take the headphones out,” Violet said. William nodded in agreement.
They chuckled before singing out loud: “For here am I sitting in a tin can / [far] above the world / [planet] earth is blue / [and] there’s nothing I can do . . .” until they reached the end of the song.
When they had finished the three of them looked up surprised to have everyone present at the museum’s space exhibit applauding their singing.
Kyria had been warned since she was a small child, beyond the veil was dangerous. Her older siblings had told her monsters lived there, that there were witches waiting to eat a young child.
What the adults said wasn’t much better. Her Grandma Iris said she’d lose her soul if she was caught in the veil beyond. She talked about shape shifters and immortal creatures of the dark such as vampires and werewolves.
One day hanging the laundry on the line at her grandmothers, Kyria gazed at the veil nearby. She hadn’t thought of it for a long time and she wasn’t sure why it called to her now. She’d never admit she could hear the whispers of the creatures which lived their. They were tempting her and she knew it.
Did everyone in the village see the veil as she did? Kyria believed they had no idea where it physically was, that to them it was was only folklore for children and not a real thing; it was extremely real to Kyria and she knew for her grandmother as well.
Kyria was twenty-four and long past the age of adulthood. Her parents lived together and her siblings with their families. She hadn’t found a suitable man to marry so her father decided she should move in with her ailing Grandmother and care for her. He thought she needed to be of use somewhere since she hadn’t married quickly as her sisters did.
The more Kyria thought about the veil and the mist shrouding it, the more she thought about how she’d never put herself out there in life. She’d always done what she was told and when others failed she was the one who took their place, who filled in so everything went smoothly.
It was how she made up for her so-called “selfishness,” still being single and not having children for her family and village. She wondered why she had never pushed her boundaries and was tired of being ruled by her father’s and her grandmother’s whims.
Kyria loved her Grandma Iris the most because she understood Kyria better than anyone. But her grandma still cautioned her to never cross the veil daily. But grandma was inside sleeping and Kyria heard the whispers from veil more and more these days. They were a sirens call to her.
She ignored all she had been told by her grandma, her family, and her friends as a child. She decided today she would cross the shrouded veil into the other world. Dropping the laundry Kyria walked towards the veil and into the mist surrounding it. The veil shimmered as she came closer and sonorous voice could be heard singing on the other side.
When she reached the line where the spiritual and natural worlds met Kyria stopped for a moment and stood. She smiled and with both hands raised in front of her she was able to feel the mystical energy she was about to pass through.
She stepped into the shimmering fog and breathed deeply. Her long blond hair flew out behind her and it was the last thing her grandmother saw as she watched her granddaughter cross into the other world.
Grandma Iris sighed in frustration but she knew as it had been with her, the veil had been too much of a temptation for Kyria. She knew that adventure and discovery awaited her sheltered granddaughter. As it had been with Iris, the veil and it’s magic was in Kyria’s blood. Grandma Iris was the only one besides Kyria who actually could see the veil, she had made herself guardian of the gateway and hoped Kyria would take over for her one day.
But as the last of Kyria’s blond hair slipped through veil and disappeared, Iris couldn’t help being thrilled for her granddaughter. What awaited Kyria would shape and change her. It would motivate and hurt her, it would be an experience far beyond the scope anyone in the village would ever experience.
Iris blew a kiss towards the veil and whispered a blessing for Kyria. The feelings of excitement in Iris were so intense it was as if it were fifty-years-ago and she herself was crossing the veil.
How should we serve tea? Keep house, give birth, turn —
On those not good enough? Not with us ranking.
For learning’s life’s opportunities earned.
Should our daughters be haughty and learn —
Their goal (as ours), to marry well praying,
Teach us teacher, we’re ready to learn.
Are we moralcenters? Ignoring sperns,
Spouse with many beds, mistresses stringing.
For learning’s life’s opportunities earned.
Our value, our husband, children, in turn —
Their children, their marriages bliss bringing?
Teach us teacher, we’re ready to learn,
For learning’s life’s opportunities earned.
“A Villanelle is a nineteen-line poem consisting of a very specific rhyming scheme: aba aba aba aba aba abaa.
The first and the third lines in the first stanza are repeated in alternating order throughout the poem, and appear together in the last couplet (last two lines).”
“Think left and think right and think low and think high. Oh, the thinks/things you can think up if only you try!”
― Dr. Seuss
Alice was growing older and she hadn’t been to Wonderland in years. Yet, she had not forgotten the lessons she learned there.
She was an imaginative girl, so much so her mother could not figure out where Alice came up with her fanciful ideas.
But Alice’s mother adored her daughter so she let her creativity run free, including playing outside and having tea with her imaginary friends.
While having tea, Alice talked to the Mad Hatter, the White Rabbit, the Door Mouse, and March Hair. Often, she talked to a smoking Catipillar, whom her mother naturally disapproved of. But Alice only laughed at her mother saying:
” Why the Caterpillar needs the medicine he smokes. He’s in a great deal of pain becoming a butterfly.”
Alice’s mother had been making ice tea in a pitcher as it was summer. Alice didn’t know what to do at first, her friends enjoyed hot tea. But she determined after a while, they would have to make do with ice tea. She poured the cold tea into her prized teapot.
She brought the tea to the marigolds and dandilions in the field by her house and poured the cold tea at the base of all her flower friends. She even brought them a few cookies, which she crumbled around their stems.
Sometimes Alice liked to sit out in the field and read. She brought out a fancy white cushioned chair from the parlour to a field of grass and flowers. She sat there considering life and paging through a novel. She was wearing a hat her grandma had given her to keep the sun from her face.
Alice fell asleep outside in the chair and dreamed she was in Wonderland. She dreamt she had eaten bread to make her big and tall.
She found herself next to a curious house with the appearance of a giant 🍐 pear ; it had a small red door with steps going down to the grass below.
There was a handsome Raven sitting on the house, opposite of where Alice stood. She placed her ear against the house, trying to hear if anyone was inside.
“You won’t find anyone in there,” the Raven told Alice.
“But why wouldn’t they be at home?” Alice asked. “Its Wonderland, creatures here don’t go to work even if they’re adults. Besides, wouldn’t a mother or wife be at home?”
“I wouldn’t quite call them adults and it’s presumptuous to think all women should stay at home.”
“If they’re not adults, how come they have a house?” Alice wondered. She looked back to the Raven, “I only thought the wife or mother might be home because she could be like my mother who stays home.”
Alice sat down, reaching towards the small red doorway of the pear 🍐 house; it was locked up tight. “Why is the door locked? Who would break into their home here? My father never locks our door.”
The Raven chuckled in the weird way birds do, “I think they are avoiding unwanted guests of giant proportions.”
“Also, I think you’re forgetting everyone needs something to do in the day, work or otherwise. We all have tasks, seasons of life to experience, even in Wonderland.”
“Seasons of life?” Alice asked confused. “Well, what season am I in? I don’t feel young, but I’m certainly not old. I’m only nine. But since coming to Wonderland years ago, I think of things adults don’t even consider.”
The Raven squawked, continuing to chuckle.
“Hmmm,” Alice said, “It only occurred to me, no one ever told me why a Raven is like a writing desk?”
The Raven ignored Alice but began to whistle a discordant tune.
“That’s awful,” Alice said but he continued his song.
When he stopped he peered with little black eyes at Alice, “See everyone has a song to sing. Not everyone thinks their neighbour’s song is pretty, but it’s theirsong and so they must sing it.”
“It is the same with the creatures in this pear 🍐 house. They are off singing their life song, doing what they feel they are meant to do in life, in this season.”
“Each part of life has a song,” the Raven said. “I hear you singing your song when you’re out in the fields having tea with your Wonderland friends, using your imagination. You’re in the spring of life and your song is lovely and new.”
“But,” continued the Raven, “I am in the Winter of my life. I’ve had many children and I am old, but I sing mysong anyways. Even when we are old, we have a purpose and must sing our own song.”
Alice thought a long while about the seasons, singing, and what the Raven told her. Then she smiled, ” I understand what you mean now. But do you think you and the owners of this pear 🍐 house would mind joining my other Wonderland friends and myself for tea?”
The Raven cawed laughing at Alice. He nodded his little black head and flew away.
The next moment, Alice awoke and found herself sleeping in her mother’s plush parlour chair out in the grassy field. Her mother looked down on her gently and smoothed Alice’s hair:
“Alice there you are. Oh, my good chair. It’s white and you’ve got dirt and grass all over it,” mother said sternly.
Alice sleepily smiled and said,” I was in Wonderland and talking to a Raven about the songs we each sing in life in different seasons. I’m sorry about the chair Mama.”
Her mother shook her head sighing and ruffled Alice’s hair, “Oh you and Wonderland. Will you ever grow out if it? Little girls will be attending school again in Fall.”
Alice sighed and helped her mother bring the chair back into the house to be cleaned. She decided to visit the roses in the backyard later.
Aluce had told her mother many strange stories about red roses. So much so, Alice’s mother gave her the job of watering and caring for the roses in the garden; she babied her roses. She didn’t want anyone to think she’d been painting her roses and that they weren’t truly red — that always led to problems.
She wondered about what season of life the roses and all the flowers in the field were in? What was their purpose except to be beautiful? Alice began to hum the particular song of the flowers, watering her roses and caring for them.
Suddenly, she remembered it was her birthday in a week. She would be ten-years-old; how could she forget? She must go inside the house and remind her mother she needed more bowls to match her tea set.
For a moment Alice sighed thinking about school beginning soon. Children at school didn’t understand her much. Often, they knew less about things than many adults. Girls at school sang their own songs and Alice as usual, sang a unique tune.
1. “All my bags are packed, I’m ready to go. . .” Da da da da da da da da, “So kiss me and smile for me, tell me that you’ll wait for me, hold me like you’ll never let me go; cause I’m leaving on a jet plane, don’t know when I’ll be back again. . .” Lydia kept singing the same parts of the popular song she knew; she was mad at her husband Dan because she had wanted to fly to their destination; Lydia was unimpressed when Dan announced they’d be travelling hours and hours by train; well since Dan didn’t ask her if she agreed with travelling by train, she was going to sing what she knew of “Leaving On A Jet Plane,” until Dan’s ears hurt, her throat was soar, and Dan remembered the message.
2. Trains, planes, and automobiles, you chose the train; and I think it’s lovely we get to see the lush foil age of the countryside; trees every now and then with budding green leaves, deer and bison grazing in the wilderness; then, it began to pour and rain, the rain was loud as it hit the roof of the train car, it poured and dripped down the windows and sightseeing along the way to Vancouver became a washed out greyish-green window; I could follow the tracks of raindrops on the window and every time a drop stopped I sighed; this game was boring and I wanted to be in Vancouver already, flying was actually cheaper; I didn’t mind that there was no view, the view would come walking through the streets of the city, green everywhere and flowers and fruit blooming.
3. “When I’m gone, when I’m gone, you’re gonna miss me when I’m gone; you’re gonna miss my by my hair, you’re gonna miss me everywhere, oh you’re going to miss me when I’m gone . ..” Darren sang the Johnny Cash tune as he stepped onto the train; adventure awaited and he could take his bike with him; he was excited, and enjoying travelling across Europe; Darren was young, barely twenty-years-old, but seeing all he’d seen, he never regretted not for one moment, dropping everything and flying to Europe, where Darren rode the train everywhere he went; in every city and country he could explore and absorb into his youthful mind.
And now our prompt (still optional!) Because we’ve spent our month looking at poets in English translation, today I’d like you to try your hand at a translation of your own. If you know a foreign language, you could take a crack at translating a poem by a poet writing in that language. If you don’t know a foreign language, or are up for a different kind of challenge, you could try a homophonic translation. Simply find a poem (or other text) in a language you don’t know, and then “translate” it based on the look or sound of the words. Stuck for a poem to translate? Why not try this one by Nobel Laureate Wislawa Szymborska? Or here’s one by another Laureate, Tomas Transtromer. Happy writing!
Please see NaPoWriMo for more information. This is the final day. Thank you all who have followed my poems in this month long journey. Also, I apologize for my awful French language skills.
Yesterday, we wrote portraits of families. Today, let’s turn our vision outward, and write fan letters. I challenge you to write a poem in the form of a fanletter to a celebrity. Now, this could be a celebrity from long ago, and needn’t be an actor or singer (though it could be). You could write to George Washington or Dorothy Dandridge, Marie Curie or The Weeknd. Happy writing!