LOC Catalog Card #: 86-071489
ISBN #: 0-934218-36-6
103 pages, illustrated
VERIFIED BY PAYPAL
Posy of a Ring
If you like your poetic expression served with a generous helping of technical tour de force, then you are sure to find more than a few of the poems in this book to your liking. Take a look inside.
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About the Book
Written by the Webmaster of this site and published in 1986 by Dragon's Teeth Press, Posy of a Ring is a collection of 40 original poems (with illustrations by noted Boston artist Kate Sullivan).
While each piece in the book can stand by itself, taken as a whole the poetry has the narrative flow of a novel. In this volume, the influence of Joyce (and Yeats, among others) on the artistic sensibility of the author is readily apparent in the style and language used. The poems run the gamut from simple to complex, traditional to experimental, and they range in length from ten to hundreds of lines.
Five complete poems from the book are reproduced below.
Excerpts from Posy of a Ring
His church, your church,
Their church, our church,
Far church, near church,
Cheap church, dear church,
Old church, new church,
Sham church, true church,
High church, low church,
Where babes are not merry
Is worth a baneberry.
Flame fell onto the sea,
Gray foam flew up:
Wind blew the black swell
To a monstrous shape:
Beaches were battered
By martial waves:
Grim legions of stars
Leaped up from their graves.
From the dead earth's core
The red streams burst:
The heather shook loose
Iron shackles of frost:
Hounds gnawed at the tethers
That held them fast:
And the dragon exulted —
Free at last.
Oratorio for Three Fools
...e lucemi dallato
il calavrese abate Giovacchino
di spirito profetico dotato.
— Dante, Paradiso XII
How fill your empty bed, how undo what is done,
but I reflesh all bone? Must unheir every heir
of the legacy interdict? And all this — their war
and rapine — out of one small mischance: doomed son,
dead brother, all kinships poisoned from the crib,
all cursed when Adam reeling cracked his rib.
I cannot. And what if the workmanship were flawed?
You prosper, you triumph! in sorrow: the shattered spoke
spilled man, but set a woman on her feet,
the One-Eyed Wheelwright to the Widow spoke,
he staggering in the middle of the cobbled road.
Half-blind lunatic! Pathetic in defeat,
drunk, stumbling, still protesting: who should know
I measured him a shroudsheet long ago,
swearing by my hunch and these twisted feet
to conjure vengeance out of Robespierre's decay
and Bakunin's pride: incite Jacquerie,
prod into revolt a peasantry of the mind,
let mutinous vox clamantis throttle talk —
and thus pound theorist and theory into one,
the crippled Tailor to a Poor Man spoke,
he threading a needle in the wind.
Who will bury these carcasses? Someone
skilled with metal to fashion hasp and nails
for coffinbuilding: whose flesh the forge anneals,
heart tempers: one who can dance in sheer disdain
of pain, jeers and spears: and dancing his rude
jig over the graves of all the outraged dead,
turns to the indifferent measure no man has heard,
whirling to music of nightmare and lightningstroke
while Fra Joachim venerably looks on,
the half-mad Smithy to wild Street Urchins spoke,
he drawing fire from his hands and beard.
Lady Walking in the Snow
After a Woodblock Print by Eizan Kikukawa
Small things transform me. Changed, changed
utterly from what I was
to what I am now — and what now
may change again — thankful always
am I for those small things that arranged
and arrange my life: thankful for
some small triumph or small defeat
that made or unmade me; thankful for
the small despair or ecstasy
that unblinds me; but especially
thankful for the day I met
a lady walking in the snow.
Alone, unconscious of my gaze,
The lady stepped, stepped prettily
along the garden path to look
upon her buried flowers: forsook
the snowless promenade and let
snow brush her feet. A memory
of spring, some youthful spring when she
was happier — remembrance of
wise gardens and a foolish heart,
of music from some palace dance
that once provoked her into love,
all that dishevelment of youth! —
seemed to play across her face.
She knew me not, and yet we both
were joined in sad remembrance
of promise and a broken heart.
Cold shook her and I watched her go,
changed by the day: that day I met
a lady walking in the snow.
Joglar a Midons
Come into the garden, love, away from the rude
noises of the common street and bland stares
of strangers, and for a brief space reside
with me in quietude and shed your cares —
come, shield your hand in mine: and here will I
a tale tell of cloudwhite peaks, an Arabian fair,
the remote strand where ocean meets the sky,
of haunted caves and castles in the air —
mix true and untrue, and weave to your wondering eyes
with golden strands a tapestry to show
strange lands of ice and fire: and in this wise
pace with you whole continents across, though
we stir not from our idleness; but side
by side reposing, voyage far and wide.
© 2004 by Frank Weaver