Saturday, January 12, 2019

Month of Poetry: Emulation Challenge

Today's challenge task in my Month of Poetry group was to write a poem in the style of / emulating a poet whose work you admire.

I toyed with doing an Emily Dickinson piece, but her style is so distant from mine that I felt sure I'd muck it up magnificently. And I wanted to do a 19th or 20th century poet rather than a contemporary - not sure why, but I often write better in more structured forms, so maybe that's it.

I ended up instead writing something in the style of one of the greatest of all twentieth century poets, and in my personal opinion, the greatest Irish poet of the modern era - WB Yeats.

I love most of Yeats' poetry, but my poem today is particularly inspired by one of my absolute favourites: When You Are Old.

As well as keeping the structure and metre of Yeats' poem, I have tried for the wistfulness. Yeats' poem is a to a woman he loved who did not love him back; mine is to the children who will, so soon, be grown and gone.


In years to come, when you are grown and gone
Walking the earth in sunshine and in snow
Or flying between worlds; I hope you know
there is one here who you can call upon;

When days are dark, as dark they must become
For every noon the sun-slip shadows fall,
And no human life can all griefs forestall
So when it hurts, or when you just feel numb;

The door is open - so too is my heart
To hold you close, who once I held inside
Love is not proud, yet you are all my pride
My joy, my care, together or apart.

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