A Thousand Years -- James D. Spears

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A Thousand Years -- James D. Spears

Postby lorin_23 » Tue Dec 28, 2004 5:47 am

A thousand years with great élan
you stood silently in the ground
Your gnarled branches like giant hands
and you never made a sound

A thousand years you fought the snow
and wind though it does not look so
You stood there quietly and didn’t move
and into the ground your roots drove

A thousand years have passed you by
though time is unmarked by you
And under your trunk my lover lies
he’s laid there since you first grew

A thousand years have worn your bark
and among your soil the expired lie
Forever this place I will mark
as the place he long ago came to die

A thousand years the creek has run
next to the ground you stand on
And upon your trunk the set of sun
Passing among your fragrant lawn

A thousand years my tears fell
upon your soil where a rose grew
and now I await my inevitable passing
though death doesn’t await the everlasting

A thousand years, through much toil
the sun baked your rich soil
And you sat upon your hill alone
and took in everything that was shown

A thousand years upon this ridge
you sat with those you said you loved
You alone have seen it all
Through a thousand years of wind and snow

A thousand years in this forest you slept
among the willows, among the elms
And when the wood lark wept and wept
you began to weave your tales

A thousand years they clave your trunk
to warm their families in the cold months
So deeper and deeper your roots sunk
so the axe on your trunk was nothing

A thousand years you began to feign
that the kings and queens – who have reigned –
power over this realm has began to wane
to the ending of your poet’s bane

A thousand years days bleed into days
and your heart became unsettled
All the poets who have praised this day
have become vagabonds, unsettled

A thousand years your hands rose high
from sapling to oak in so many years
And now it looks like you’re touching the sky
as though you wish to catch its tears

A thousand years they fought and died
in the valley your perch overlooks
As you watched their spirits fly
the sky cried itself brooks

A thousand years ago he died
while sleeping placidly in your shade
As I watched his soul let fly
a wail my throat made

A thousand years, I always return
to the place my love took final rest
And when the flowers bloom I burn
for my lover’s touch upon my chest

A thousand years your weathered hand
I have wished would beat me down
and though I truly love this land
it, I will never claim to own

A thousand years you’ve remained untamed
though many will try to change you
I will always return to the same
and drink in this cool, cool dew

A Poem by James D. Spears
"Heavy is the head that wears the crown"
-- William Shakespeare
lorin_23
 
Posts: 9
Joined: Tue Dec 28, 2004 12:40 am
Location: El Paso, Texas

Postby Saturn » Tue Dec 28, 2004 7:04 pm

Wonderful - that refrain is very evocative "A thousand years"

Nature is immortal - frail humanity thinks it can control it, but Sunday's disaster puts our essential helplessness into perspective.
"Oh what a misery it is to have an intellect in splints".
Saturn
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Joined: Mon Apr 12, 2004 10:16 am

This Poem

Postby lorin_23 » Tue Dec 28, 2004 8:51 pm

A brief explaination on this poem:

When writing "A Thousand Years" I had grown tired of freeverse - don't get me wrong, freeverse is still my favorite style of writing, however it grows quite old after a while. This is not in iambic meter, nor is there any discernable rhyme scheme, there is a simple refrain, something that never before have I used in a poem. I used this refrain to evoke the feeling that nature was here first, that we are insignificant compared to a simple sapling, because it will be here long after we are a distant memory.

Thank you for your kind words,

James D. Spears
"Heavy is the head that wears the crown"
-- William Shakespeare
lorin_23
 
Posts: 9
Joined: Tue Dec 28, 2004 12:40 am
Location: El Paso, Texas

Postby Saturn » Wed Dec 29, 2004 11:45 am

Welcome to the Keats forum on behalf of the regulars.

Hope to read more of your poetry on here in future - it really is great stuff.

Just a few questions - how long have you been writing poetry?

I've been writing for about six years now and couldn't come up with anything as good as you have.
You can find some of my poems all over the place on this site - I'd love to know what you think of mine - you clearly have a real grasp of poetry, which I, despite voluminous reading for many years, am still unable to incorporate into my own work.
Last edited by Saturn on Thu Dec 30, 2004 11:25 am, edited 1 time in total.
"Oh what a misery it is to have an intellect in splints".
Saturn
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Posts: 3939
Joined: Mon Apr 12, 2004 10:16 am

My poetry

Postby lorin_23 » Wed Dec 29, 2004 11:38 pm

I've been writing poetry since I've been ABLE to write. In the beginning it was just little rhyming couplets that I'd write in the corners of school papers and such things, you know, nursery rhyme type things. By the time I was ten I was writing page long poems, and my first (and only, thus far) epic poem was written between my thirteenth and fourteenth years. It was entitled Ariel and was about a woman who was driven insane by the loss of her husband. Kind of a Mad Lady of Shallot with a Poe-type twist at the end. That poem is still a work in progress; it currently spans in the order of ninety pages and has about fifty stanzas.

And by the way, I've read some (not all) of your poetry on this message board, and while I believe it is quite good, I have a singular suggestion. That is to make your subject clearer. For example, if you're writing about love, sit down and think of what love means to you. Think of any experiences you've had with love and reach into the poet inside of you and let it take control. Sometimes I write my best poetry when I simply impulsively sit down and begin writing. Actually, The Cross of My Smile was written as a response to a short story my mother once read me, with the same evocative images and such, but with my own perspective on it. Phobosopsis was written in part about me losing my partner, and also about a friend of mine who lost their grandfather in World War II.

Think of what a certain image makes you FEEL. Whenever I look out on the sea (though in El Paso, Texas, one does not see much of the sea) I think of it as an angry thing. Whenever I look at a tree I think of immortality. Whenever I think about Winter, I think about death, and whenever I think about Spring I think of rebirth. Poetry is your feelings placed on a page in a higher thought process than one is generally accustomed to. Thus poetry is a personal thing. Your poetry is your personal belief about a personal event. That's why Emily Dickenson never published but a handful of her poems when she was still alive: her poetry was personal!

So, other peoples' opinions of your poetry should not be your concern. YOUR opinion of your poetry is the only concern you should have. Remember, it is nice when other people approve, but when YOU approve that is the most important thing.

Alright, my spiel is done.

-- James D. Spears
"Heavy is the head that wears the crown"
-- William Shakespeare
lorin_23
 
Posts: 9
Joined: Tue Dec 28, 2004 12:40 am
Location: El Paso, Texas

Postby Saturn » Thu Dec 30, 2004 11:31 am

Thanks for the advice, but I've become very disillusioned with poetry recently.
I can't seem to write at all anymore. Some experiences you have in life just have to be lived, and not over analysed in writing - I find that now in my life there are too many experiences, good and bad that I just can't describe in words, too many feelings that are too powerful and overwhelming that words are a poor substitue, and even the greatest of poets can never successfully capture what something really feels like.
"Oh what a misery it is to have an intellect in splints".
Saturn
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Posts: 3939
Joined: Mon Apr 12, 2004 10:16 am


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