She listened to their words,
A choir of hungry birds
That pecked at her heart,
Pullng it apart
To build a nest
Within her breast.

Emotions hatched,
Bright eggs that cracked
And split, still-birthed
And trodden into earth.

Kim M. Russell, 2017

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My response to Imaginary Garden with Real Toads Literary Excursions with Kerry

After a little break, I have come back to the garden to find that Kerry is planning to give more focus to the skill of using literary devices, with particular interest in those developed during the modern and post-modern time-frame. She has also focused on one of my favourite German poets, Rainer Maria Rilke (1875 – 1929) who, she tells us, was unique in his efforts to expand the realm of poetry through new uses of syntax and imagery and in the philosophy that his poems explored. Rilke expressed ideas with “physical rather than intellectual symbols. While Shakespeare, for example, thought of the non-human world in terms of the human, Rilke thinks of the human in terms of the non-human, of what he calls Things (Dinge).” She also included two extracts from his work by way of example:

from I Am Much Too Alone In This World, Yet Not Alone

I want my conscience to be
true before you;
want to describe myself like a picture I observed
for a long time, one close up,
like a new word I learned and embraced,
like the everday jug,
like my mother’s face,
like a ship that carried me along
through the deadliest storm.

and from Archaic Torso of Apollo

We cannot know his legendary head
with eyes like ripening fruit. And yet his torso
is still suffused with brilliance from inside,
like a lamp, in which his gaze, now turned to low,
gleams in all its power.

The challenge is to write a poem on a subject of our choice, not to emulate the writing style of Rilke, but to include diction and imagery which portrays humans in terms of the non-human within the style of our own work.

18 thoughts on “Betrayal

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