My Erewhon

Somewhere
there is a world of poetry,
music and stories,
a concert of words
playing together.

This world
has turned:
the coconut scent of gorse
that burned
in the haze of a summer morning

has become
frosty mist that creeps
across fields
and dims the glow
of crimson berries.

I am learning
to live in a dying
world and finding
my Erewhon.

Kim M. Russell, 6th November 2018

Glowing.JPG

My response to dVerse Poets Pub Poetics: Utopia also linked to Imaginary Garden with Real Toads Tuesday Platform

Amaya is back behind the dVerse bar and she says that she’s been thinking a lot about her own version of utopia, the sort of place where animals can run free and be at peace with squirrels and small children. She asks us whether childlike imagination and natural altruism are missing from our world’s societies, and shares an excerpt from Lauren Groff’s novel, Arcadia, the poem ‘Toward Utopia’ by Louis Gilmore, and a trailer for a utopian film, ‘La Belle Verte’. I’m intrigued by the film trailer and will definitely be watching it soon.

Amaya would like us to cheer her up with poems about our personal paradises.

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31 thoughts on “My Erewhon

  1. in the haze of a summer morning
    frosty mist that creeps
    across fields
    and dims the glow
    of crimson berries.

    I am learning
    to live in a dying
    world and finding
    my Erewhon.

    I find thse lines haunting….that haze (obscurity); to a frosty mist (a cold that causes death in the most delicate plants) …. to the dimming of crimson berries. Death surrounds….but a learning to live within the dying.
    I’m reminded of my dear dear friend who finally succombed to death last year, after a 2 year fight/war with cancer. She NEVER gave up. She truly LIVED and LOVED with the dying — so much so that she would not make funeral arrangements and would not let doctors tell her there was no more treatment. She LIVED with the dying and fought until there was no breath. She learned to live in a dying world.
    Ah — you’ve brought so many memories to me here. And that, my friend, is the mark of a good writer. When youre words can be leapt from — by the reader. Connected to.
    A very good write!

    Liked by 2 people

  2. I was thinking of Utopia gone upside down. Very dismal reading, when the gorse is gone hope generally goes with it. Escape may be your poet’s only choice, if that is possible. Imagine Nazi take over Europe during WWII, I would hate to have been there. Brave Britain maintained it’s unity, though it was hard, hard.
    ..

    Liked by 1 person

  3. This makes me think of (don’t laugh, I’m serious) psychotropics like “magic mushrooms” used as palliative care for the terminally ill, and how they’re finally able to see their life all come together in music and stories and words flying around in their beautiful minds and giving them peace and joy in leaving this realm. They find there Erewhon. Is this name meant to be an anagram of ‘nowhere’?

    Liked by 2 people

    1. There is a book by Samuel Butler entitled Erewhon, a satire on Victorian society published in 1872. The title is the name of a fictional country, supposedly discovered by the protagonist, but it is not revealed where Erewhon is. Butler meant the title to be understood as the word ‘nowhere’ backwards even though the letters ‘h’ and ‘w’ are transposed. I love the idea of seeing my life come together in music, stories and words – a peaceful way to leave.

      Liked by 2 people

  4. The final stanza reminds us that Erewhon is an attitude and not a place, is literary not literal (the lavish descriptions sure make this reader long for it). I would like to see more of how such a utopian transformation in a dying world is accomplished. Tending it within is necessary, but its also narcissistic. I guess its what I don’t like about utopia — as reality’s wishful alternate, it’s not of much good use in living amid damage … Anyway, well constructed with exquisite details. I look forward to more about that earlier point.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. kaykuala

    I am learning
    to live in a dying world

    It is a perennial question waiting for an answer. It all goes to show what a disturbing time we find the current situation in the world now!

    Hank

    Liked by 1 person

  6. it’s been noted here, already, in the comments, the stanzas about the coconut scent of gorse, turning to the frosted crimson berries … these stanzas really took my breath away! the specifics for the visual details, the heat of life pulsing in those words, are superb – and so well placed within this poem – just the right spices for the ingredients, to scent and flavour this scene – this “poetic” “life-lived” utopia …. and the fine-tuning is so subtle Kim, so elegant …. this poem speaks with a dreaminess, a wishful hope and longing, and yet is so grounded in wisdom, for acceptance of “create where we are” and it “is” —-

    I really am enamored with this poem, (sat with it since yesterday) … and I love the complimentary image too … works a charm to the word magic!

    Liked by 1 person

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