we lived on earth as humble bards
all scribbled lines and wine glass shards
bitter taste, tattoos and scars
of long-lost poems we used to write
the ones that kept us up all night
and never seemed to turn out right


we fumbled and began untying
knots of words, and gave up trying
to count syllables and rhyming
we set them free and now they’re flying
on their own; it’s terrifying
to let them go, but edifying

Kim M. Russell, 6th May 2021

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My response to dVerse Poets Pub Meeting the Bar: Palinode

Grace is back this Thursday with the palinode, or palinody, an ode or song that retracts or recants a view or sentiment to what the poet wrote in a previous poem.

Grace has given us a brief history of the palinode, with examples from Gelett Burgess, Ogden Nash and Monica Youn.

Our challenge is to write a palinode, which can be in relation to poems we have written before, or as part of poem. I took part of a poem written in May 2106 and rewrote it as a palinode.

Here’s a link to the original poem ‘Tied to Words’. 

51 thoughts on “Untying

  1. This is absolutely gorgeous and so very profound, Kim! I love the untying .. a glimpse, a contemplation of perhaps knowing what it feels like to be tied to words “Metaphors orange and yellow rolling down like lava flow,” .. the way you set them free here is awe-inspiring! Shine on 💝💝

    Liked by 2 people

  2. I love the contrast from tying to words, to untying and setting them to be free. The whole second stanza spoke to me, it can be terrifying but edifying. Enjoyed the rhyming verses too Kim!

    Liked by 2 people

  3. I love how you freed the words here Kim! I agree that sometimes it’s best to just go with the flow and let them out. We’re tied to words, but thankfully they’re not tied to us 🙂

    Liked by 3 people

    1. As much as I love sonnets, I would hate to be a one-trick pony, and writing in different forms does help liberate us and our poetry.


  4. We all, in the d’Verse community, walk the tightrope between structure and free verse. Over the years, and umpteen structure prompts, I find my style stays in flux, open to some change, eager to expand the scope of our poetic universe. You picked a perfect theme to compliment the prompt; smile.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. This blew me away as it is, Kim; but then I clicked on the original/trigger piece and…BLAMMO!!! Mind-numbingly good stuff!! You rocked this one, Sister. Congrats.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Kim,
    I’m not sure why but the two parts juxtaposed made me think of hands untying love letters tied up in a bow, too long buried in secret and according to convention, now spilling open in the light of day. The magic of the imagery of both poems is exquisite, “untying/knots of words,” now “free”, now “flying”! I love it.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. A poem locked down/locked up contrasted with the wrds flying free. Glorious! I love:
    “scars of long-lost poems we used to write
    the ones that kept us up all night”

    I have those scars, one poem is currenlty fighting bakc!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Maybe because I started off on the other pole of versifying — free, with abandon — that I’ve become more measured in my age. But the liberation her is wonderful, finding a scary freedom to treat the basic material in a turvy way. Well done palinode Kim.

    Liked by 1 person

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