For the first time I ignore the wind
whistling a haunting incidental
down the chimney:
Change the tune.
You don’t scare me. I am
shielded more by word and rhyme
the more you blow at me
to fear you.
And the wind,
this time, drops and leaves
an almost silence.
Kim M. Russell, 2018
My response to dVerse Poets Pub Meeting the Bar: Guest Prompt
Jill is our guest host this week and she tells us that she has recently been rereading How to Read a Poem and Fall in Love with Poetry by Edward Hirsch. She says that, in the first chapter, Hirsch talks about the relationship between the poet (writer) and the reader and refers to it as being a form of communication between two strangers, often across time, space and cultures.
Jill remembers a moment in a literature class when she first read Christopher Marlowe’s famous The Passionate Shepherd to His Love and the response, A Nymph’s Reply to the Shepherd, written by Sir Walter Raleigh a few years later. These two poems take the communication between writer and reader a step further because Raleigh’s poem is in direct reply to Marlowe’s poem.
Our challenge is to write a poem that is a direct reply to another poem. While Raleigh kept Marlowe’s form and meter, it would certainly not be necessary to do that. However, Jill would like us to test our poetic limits by mirroring the form of the original poem.
I received a book for Christmas, entitled A Poem for Every Day of the Year, edited by Allie Esiri, and the poem for 18th January is ‘January’ by William Carlos Williams:
Again I reply to the triple winds
running chromatic fifths of derision
outside my window:
You will not succeed. I am
bound more to my sentences
the more you batter at me
to follow you.
And the wind,
as before, fingers perfectly
its derisive music.