Vincent’s Vagaries

lightning rod

madness in his hand

wheeling stars

round the moon

brush strokes burning into dawn

a conflagration


© Kim M. Russell, 2016


My response to Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie B&P’s Shadorma and Beyond: Robert Fagles – September 17, 2016

This week Paloma has asked us to continue to follow Candy’s lead by reinterpreting an existing poem as a shadorma, which is written with a syllable count of 3/5/3/3/7/5. It can be one stanza or several – so long as each stanza follows 3/5/3/3/7/5.

Today’s poem is “The Starry Night” by Robert Fagles:

The Starry Night

…Long as I paint
…I feel myself
…less mad
…the brush in my hand
…a lightning rod to madness

But never ground that madness
execute it ride the lightning up
from these benighted streets and steeple up
with the cypress look its black is burning green

I am that I am it cries
it lifts me up the nightfall…..up
the cloudrack coiling like a dragon’s flanks
a third of the stars in heaven wheeling in its wake
wheels in wheels around the moon that cradles round the sun

and if I can only trail these whirling eternal stars
with one sweep of the brush like Michael’s sword if I can
cut the life out of the beast – safeguard the mother and the son
all heaven will hymn in conflagration blazing down
……..the night the mountain ranges down
the claustrophobic valleys of the mad

…… what I have instead of heaven
……..God deliver me – help me now deliver
……..all this frenzy back into your hands
……..our brushstrokes burning clearer into dawn.

— Robert Fagles


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