Mock That Muse

Is poetry blogging dead? Are we scratching the final poems on its virtual tombstone? Or has it always been this way, a few flashes of lightning, the occasional rumble of thunder, but essentially dense, opaque late-monsoon sky? Or perhaps an unequal firmament, bright in parts – by intelligent design?

And yet, we are in the glorious renaissance of poetry (they say). More books are being sold (they say) and more people are writing than ever before (they say). Maybe they take poetic licence with those facts. Or with that which they label ‘poetry’.

RIP long form. RIP the garrulous rambler. RIP poems that cannot swipe themselves into recognition. RIP mystery and metaphor. RIP magic. What is the Instagram version of The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock?

 

But it is that kind of morning, the air
unsure if it wears the scent of rain
or the yellow odour of a sun-drenched
day. The kind of morning when teacups
are bottomless and poems long and
winding, running their hands down your
spine, over your lips, lifting your face so
you can look the light in the eye and ask
yourself if you dare to undress the words,
further, touch the soft skin, the run of bone,
feel the blood pausing at the end of the line,
waiting for you to draw breath. If you dare.
It is that kind of morning. Let the cursor
blink on the blog. Let the spaces gather. Let
the eloquent poets of old watch over your
empty page. Deny the pond for the river. Deny
the river for the sea. Deny the sea for the
deluge that is to come. The muse sits on a
branch, passing the universe like a rubber
ball from hand to hand, the stars like dew in
her hair. The first word has been spoken.
The first word has been written. The
primordial sound echoes inside your
consciousness. Mock that muse. Gather
infinity in your fingertips. Your poem
wants to fill the void between worlds.
It is that kind of morning. If you dare.

36 thoughts on “Mock That Muse

  1. Poetry blogging is not dead, but the energy has definitely slowed. Hopefully we faithful bloggers will slog along and keep it happening. Smiles. If only so I can continue to read poems like this one, with its glorious lines about poems being long and winding. Wow! I am gob-smacked by how glorious this poem is, from first line to last. I want to feature it, but, alas, my features are nearly over. Gorgeous work, Rajani. This poem will re-vitalize blogging all by itself.

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    1. Sherry – I do feel that dissipation of energy – probably the other platforms are more accessible and engaging. Poetry will adapt to the newer tech, but I hope it retains some of its old magic and the older forms get a spark from the new. Your features will be sorely missed on PU. I do hope there will be more collaborative poetry groups springing up and goading us into inspired action!

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  2. Just the kind of inspiration I needed on a morning like this :’)

    The muse sits on a
    branch, passing the universe like a rubber
    ball from hand to hand, the stars like dew in
    her hair.

    Gather
    infinity in your fingertips.

    Oh yes I will.

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  3. Reading your notes, I was just thinking,’Well, if anyone can write an Instagram version of Prufrock, you can’ – and then you immediately demonstrate. 🙂 (You might have to write it out in longhand and take a photo of it, though … or a couple of photos.)

    Liked by 2 people

      1. True. And one picture would not be adequate. As well as view of him walking the beach with his trousers rolled, one would need another of the coffee spoons … and so on and so on. As someone once remarked to me, ‘ “A picture is worth a thousand words” – but try saying that in pictures!’

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        1. LOL at the coffee spoons!!!!! Am totally stealing that quote – so perfect! Instagram is the parallel utopian universe – this generation’s answer to faerie tales that were quite enough to feed our childhood fantasies! But tech will keep moving on and we keep playing catch up!

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  4. I like ” Your poem
    wants to fill the void between worlds.
    It is that kind of morning. If you dare. ” Those words resonate with me. And for so many years, it seems, that poetry did fill the void between worlds as connections were made. As for whether poetry blogging is dead, hmmmmm. One thing I noticed is that in the days when the poetry blogosphere was young many, many new poets would appear with that kind of yearning to connect (which I had as well). Today it seems that there are not so many new ones, and a lot of the ‘older’ ones are dropping away. Probably a cycle of life….things change. As for instagram, I think instagram is good for short things – for quick writes rather than serious writes. When I personally go to instagram, I scroll through things quickly rather than savor them. To me, it is not a format for poetry, but I know many people feel differently. I always enjoy your thoughtful poems and words!!

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    1. Cycle of life- of technology platforms-of likes and attention spans! Poetry may find ways to evolve and survive in different formats but poets can only write what they are inspired to – perhaps self-publishing platforms bridge that gap? It’s very interesting to see how this all plays out. Am glad I can have poetry books and read long classical poems out to no one in particular! Thank you for your perspective, Mary.

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  5. I wonder too… there was definitely more energy a few years ago, but I see new poets joining as well… so maybe we will see revival. Maybe the problem is that there is lack of reading, the patience for long poems seems to be dwindling.

    Sometimes I feel that we need to get some fiction and fantasy into our writing… I would love to see more sci-fi or fantasy… as well as narratives. Maybe even detective stories….

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    1. Lack of reading – perhaps you hit the nail on its head! Should poetry bloggers write prose – am not sure – I can’t write a story to save my life, so that’s something to think about, for me! I would love to know how many people read poetry who aren’t themselves poets. Is poetry read outside of the poets’ circle? Perhaps that is the problem, do you think?

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      1. I think it is… and there is prose read only by scholars… so at least we have to think about how to engage readers a bit more… poetry performed is another genre, so maybe youtube is a better platform than reading.., not really sure actually

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        1. I totally agree – reader engagement is a big concern, especially with social media occupying a lot of space and with very different forms of poetry. A poet shouldn’t worry about reader engagement, of course. Yet, we all blog because we like to share our work. Am thinking that instead of sharing only on poetry groups we should work with one another to make our blogs more meaningful, across blogger and wordpress – do more collaborations perhaps. I’m open to ideas!

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  6. Oh, WOW! Rajani! This is spectacular. “Deny the sea for the deluge that is to come.” Thank you, true poet, for throwing down the gauntlet and daring unswipable mystery, metaphor and magic. I could not agree more with your assessment. Love this!

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  7. I sincerely hope poetry blogging continues to prosper for the sake of those who enjoy writing .. ❤️ a most beautiful poem, Rajani!

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  8. Your poem in a testament that poetry is alive and breathing. My personal opinion is we are a society of instant gratification. People want instant comments yet, they don’t comment on others. Have we become so lazy we don’t want to read longer poems? I was at the bookstore yesterday and there are still lovely books of poetry on the shelves and from new poets. Inter-active this and that doesn’t create a stronger community. It comes down to sharing and caring. Open mic is alive and well here there are packed houses often. Not one person complains about a long share.

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    1. I love what you say about real life (not virtual) poetry communities that keep poetry alive – readings, bookstores, sharing and caring! I would hope for that in every little town and suburb. Perhaps that’s the only answer.

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        1. I think poetry groups do pretty well. But outside of that, the level of engagement is inconsistent. I’m sure poets have different experiences but I encounter very few readers who are not themselves poets. I think maybe people active on social media have better engagement with readers. Not sure.

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  9. I enjoyed this impassioned piece … a fascinating read about that which, I confess, I really hadn’t given much thought to … but will not. You have sparked my attention to have our medium is evolving.

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  10. Oops: when will I learn … hit ‘post’ in haste … repent at leisure. . I once emailed an editor that her decision to publish my poem was ‘awful’ when, clearly, it was ‘awesome’. Obviously, I meant to type ‘but will now’ AND ‘You have sparked my attention to how our medium is evolving.

    Supper was just called, and I’m starved … so I extend my mea culpa with a lame excuse. So sorry about that.

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    1. Ha ha no worries, I read it exactly like you intended to write it! That poor editor, though!!!! 🙂 🙂 I think between supper and comments, supper has to be the clear winner!!!

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