Tired But Thankful

You woke me up
in the early hours
with your persistence
and your words.

Now I’m up
before the birds,
brain whirring,
fingers tapping,

slave to the emphatic vatic.

I’m tired but thankful,
but an image would be useful,
something ekphrastic
to brighten up my dreams.

Kim M. Russell, 29th September 2020

Paul Cézanne, Le rêve du poète, image found on Wikimedia commons

My response to dVerse Poets Pub Poetics: The Vatic Voice

Lisa is our host this Tuesday and she has brought us a word that is new to me: vatic. Lisa has researched the word for us and given us various definitions and explanations, as well as examples. I personally like her explanation: ‘How many times have you felt like someone or something else wrote your poem and you were merely the transmitter?  I think this is what is meant by vatic.’

I’ve often been woken by a phrase, a line and even whole poems, which send me scrabbling out of bed to jot down. More often than not, I then venture into my study in the wee hours to work on whatever I’ve been handed in my dreams. 

Lisa’s recap is also helpful in understanding vatic. She says ‘the vatic voice of a poet is one that is infused with spirit that comes from another place.  That voice has been regarded by some as a sign of divine transmission and by others as a sign of madness.’

The challenge is to write a poem in any form about the vatic voice: wrote a quadrille.

36 thoughts on “Tired But Thankful

  1. I often lie awake thinking over a line and where it’s leading, but I fond that poems, like dream stories, sound brilliant when I’m asleep but less good when I wake. No worth getting up and disturbing the dog for anyway 🙂

    Liked by 4 people

  2. I love “slave to the emphatic vatic” and the image you chose. I like them in dreams and when found walking along the path. I also like reading about how songwriters find those lines that take a song from ordinary to extraordinary.

    Liked by 3 people

  3. Love these lines:

    “I’m tired but thankful,
    but an image would be useful,
    something ekphrastic
    to brighten up my dreams.”

    It’s amazing the inspiration we get from dreams, and you describe this so brilliantly! I can’t say that a dream has been the source of inspiration or lines for me, but often, I ponder before bed as words/phrases float around in my mind. Sometimes, I jot them down. Others, I make a mental note to use the word or phrase in the future. Not quite dreaming when I’m still somewhat lucid. Hahaha.

    Beautifully written piece, as always. I enjoy reading your work. ❤

    Liked by 4 people

  4. What is this ‘sleep’ thing, of which you speak? Poems wake you from sleep? Mine either forbid me from falling asleep or cause me to doze and nod.

    Not yours though; yours rocks my waking world. Thanks

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Dreams are the door between upper and lower worlds for me, so the conversation there is always precious … and there’s no point in arguing with a dream! Which is, I think, good instruction when channeling a vatic sooth. I’m just the guy holding the pen. Thanks – Brendan

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Almost every poem has a touch of the vatic voice in it. My dream poems seldom survive the 3am jotting.
    But we joke about Muses, and appreciate creativity and imagination, yet those words, that voice blossoms in each of us .

    Liked by 2 people

  7. I love the image you’ve used here and how you’ve tied it to your words. ‘slave to the emphatic vatic’ – how wonderful to be woken up by lines of poetry! The image reminds me of Blake, a little: I think he saw angels everywhere, and I think they spoke to and/or through him. What sounds like madness often makes for the best poetry!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Ingrid. Yes, writing poetry is a bit like hearing voices or communicating with invisible forces, which some people might think of as mad., It is something over which I sometimes have no control.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. My dream scribbles, like Jane’s, make no sense in the morning. But I find fatigue at any time of the day to be a good channel for the vatic voice. I love your illustration, too (she did send one after all!) (K)

    Liked by 1 person

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