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Poem in Response to Wordle #49

24 Mar

Happy weekend!

I am a trifle early posting my response to Brenda’s wordle for the week, but it occurs to me occasionally, that it doesn’t matter when I post a poem response; it only matters that I link it when the host blog is up and running.

Process: Part of my process is always the way I copy the words down, that is, their order. I start herding and separating. Once my columns were in place, this time, I zeroed in on joy, jotted the word requires, and acid, jotted the word grief. Often, that is all that is required to be off to the races. This time, I played for a while with joy, wrote a series of questions for myself, looked up joy’s meaning and etymology, copied several quotes down… then, I was off to the races.

Psychology

A chemist’s acumen gauges grief’s
acid juices, sprinkled with a measured
hand, for it can strip away all
knowledge of joy.

Joy is a supple, subtle craft, requiring
an alchemist’s tender touch, for its
warm oil can sweep away all
knowledge of grief.

We must be touched by acid
grief to know the balm of joy.

I will see you over at The Sunday Whirl [the wordle won't be up for a few hours yet]. Reading poetry is a nice way to spend a Sunday.

 
49 Comments

Posted by on 24/03/2012 in exercises, poetry, writing

 

Tags: , , ,

49 responses to “Poem in Response to Wordle #49

  1. Hannah Gosselin

    24/03/2012 at 12:26 pm

    Ooo, last two lines with drastic contrast, punchy and powerful, Margo. Also, I enjoy reading your process, learning new way. Thank you!

     
  2. margo roby

    24/03/2012 at 12:29 pm

    Thank you, Hannah. You would laugh if you could have seen me sitting here reversing and rereversing the order of the two stanzas and the order of the two lines.

     
  3. anl4

    24/03/2012 at 12:42 pm

    Thank you so much for sharing your process. You are very orderly. I would like to give it a try?
    I did mine early, too.

     
  4. vivinfrance

    24/03/2012 at 12:48 pm

    I love it, Margo – your wordleplaying was joyful and the result gives us joy.

    Someone in my online quilting forum wants a collective noun for a group of stitchers. Wordsmith that you are, I thought you might be the one to come up with something pithy.

     
    • margo roby

      24/03/2012 at 12:52 pm

      I’m working on it, as I write… what a nifty way to avoid doing anything, Viv!

       
    • margo roby

      24/03/2012 at 1:02 pm

      This was such fun, ViV. Some of the following words work with stitchers, some with quilters, some with both. With your poetry and quilting background, you’ll know why some less obvious ones are in there.

      ring, square, chain, batting, stitch, binding, design, gather, patchwork, and seam.

      If none of those are quite on the the spot, let me know and I shall keep collecting.

       
      • vivinfrance

        24/03/2012 at 5:34 pm

        Great thinking, Margo. There have been some good suggestions this evening, but I like yours very much. They will go on to the forum.

         
        • margo roby

          24/03/2012 at 5:39 pm

          I look forward to hearing the final decision, ViV. I love collective nouns. I need to dig out my copy of ‘An Exaltation of Larks’.

           
      • vivinfrance

        25/03/2012 at 9:09 am

        The concensus, culled from your selection, is a gather of stitchers – or rather, a gathering of stitchers, given that we do tend to congregate in groups and chatter, with the double meaning of fabric and thread and the meeting of stitchers. There’s a bit of stitchery in my wordle today.

         
        • margo roby

          25/03/2012 at 9:30 am

          Very nice. I considered gathering, but knew if you liked gather, that version of the word would be considered. I love the word and it makes a great collective noun for stitchers.

           
  5. margo roby

    24/03/2012 at 12:51 pm

    I enjoy the herding and separating process, annell. I think it gives my brain a chance to assimilate the words, while also playing with possibilities I might not have thought of.

    Now, I will visit you.

     
  6. Mary

    24/03/2012 at 1:43 pm

    Margo, this is the third time I am writing my response, and it’s a long one. WordPress is being unkind to me and has refused twice to post my comment. I don’t think that the warm oil of joy can sweep away knowledge of grief, nor would the one grieving wish it to. Perhaps it could help someone escape for a time or perhaps forget for a time. But not sweep it away. Also, though many times I have heard that one must know “acid” grief to know joy, I think about young children and how most probably do not know grief, but the joy of young children is among the purest and truest and infectious that I know. My granddaughter’s joy, for example. (I am only writing this as you have let it be known you have no ego in regard to your poetry…so I thought I would share my thoughts. Hope you don’t mind.) This time I am copying my words before pressing the post button.

     
    • margo roby

      24/03/2012 at 5:06 pm

      I wish I could solve the WordPress problem, Mary. I wonder if they are going through some kind of security update.

      Indeed, I welcome all suggestions. Let me tell you how my thoughts were working. Using ‘sweep away’ in this context, I thought of the tide, which can and does sweep things away for a while, but later returns them, changed in some measure. However, given a non-wordle context, I would not have chosen that word, I don’t think.

      As for joy, I agree with what you say, but I don’t think anyone knows, or understands, a thing as completely as when they also know its opposite. Children are joyous, but do they appreciate, or understand the joy as fully as the person who experiences grief and then finds joy again?

      I do the copying of comments always, now. I have lost too many thought out comments! I appreciate your views, Mary. Keep giving them to me.

       
      • Mary

        24/03/2012 at 6:13 pm

        In the way you expressed it, looking at the sweeping of the tide, it works for me. I was thinking of the sweeping of a broom where the aim is to rid of something forever. I am in the middle of my own grief process where the ‘broom sweep’ would not work for me, in fact would aggravate me. I agree that as adults we do not understand things as well unless we know its opposite. Until we know sadness we really do not appreciate happiness, etc. I agree that children undoubtedly do not appreciate joy, but they live it. Oh that we all could live this joy as children. My granddaughter is such a joy-filled person. Does she appreciate it? Probably not. It is her life…JOY. I wish her joy to last forever. It won’t. But I won’t tell her that. As for myself as an adult, I do know that I appreciate in retrospect my times of extreme joy because of my times of extreme sorrow. However, if my whole life was joy (as is my 4-year-old granddaughter’s at the moment) I would still be smiling. I don’t know if my words make sense, but they are my thoughts.

         
        • margo roby

          25/03/2012 at 9:28 am

          Hello, Mary. I am glad you continued the conversation. I looked up ‘sweep’ before using it, but there is always the problem, for a poet, of connotation, and I hesitated before using ‘sweep’. I understand what you say about the process. It is necessary for us to go through it and it should not be shortened or shirked. I know, from things you have said in comments on your own poetry, that you are going through the process, now. I have had, and do have, my griefs.

          I have been looking back at them, since you wrote, at the processes I went through, at the similarities and differences. They do not go away, but at the moments in my life when I have experienced joy [I looked it up too :-), complex little emotion], it has overwhelmed everything. Joy is harder to hang onto, so I wonder if the concentration on remaining joyous, adds to its seeming to wipe other emotions out, for a time.

          It’s a paradox and an ironic one, that children are joy-filled because they lack knowledge, but in this world the focus is on instilling knowledge and with that comes all the things not joy. May your grand-daughter and mine remain in ignorance and joy, for a long time.

           
          • Mary

            25/03/2012 at 5:41 pm

            Yes, Margo! The kind of ignorance that does not know extreme grief is to be savored while it exists. This has been a complex, but meaningful, discussion. Thank you.

             
            • tmhHoover

              25/03/2012 at 7:07 pm

              I hope you don’t mind- (it feels a bit like eaves dropping) but I enjoyed this conversation very,very much. My wordle’s main focus was getting to joy. Something I am not sure I ever had-my mother insists I was a sombre child. And honestly, I do not remember being joyful, just mostly afraid. For me I allow myself moments of great gratitude- stopping just short of joy. Even a glimpse of joy, leaves me giddy, usually reducing me to tears. Tempted to delete -but will leave it, if only to have these thoughts be in one more place than in my writing folder. Thanks so much for letting me pop in- teri

              Also all my problems with wordpress disappeared once I succumbed to WordPress’s desire/requirement for me to have an account-. I see that Mary has a blogger blog like I do.It really was not very nice of WordPress to make me get an account to be able to comment. I am hopefull it is just me being technically challenged- but they did not make it easy or understandable unless I had an account. That really bugged me.

               
          • tmhHoover

            25/03/2012 at 7:13 pm

            I hope you don’t mind- (it feels a bit like eaves dropping) but I enjoyed this conversation very,very much. My wordle’s main focus was getting to joy. Something I am not sure I ever had-my mother insists I was a sombre child. And honestly, I do not remember being joyful, just mostly afraid. For me I allow myself moments of great gratitude- stopping just short of joy. Even a glimpse of joy, leaves me giddy, usually reducing me to tears. Tempted to delete -but will leave it, if only to have these thoughts be in one more place than in my writing folder. Thanks so much for letting me pop in- teri

            Also all my problems with wordpress seemed to have lessened (until tonight.) once I succumbed to WordPress’s desire/requirement for me to have an account-. I see that Mary has a blogger blog like I do.It really was not very nice of WordPress to make me get an account to be able to comment. I am hopefull it is just me being technically challenged- but they did not make it easy or understandable unless I had an account. That really bugged me. AND this time is my third try- So this time I signed in with wordpress- fingers crossed.

             
  7. JulesPaige

    24/03/2012 at 1:51 pm

    I was going to wait, honest I was. But when I saw you had posted something… I took another look at the words and *Poof* …OK just a little tweaking for the shape, which started out as one thing but conveniently transformed into another…

    http://julesgemsandstuff.blogspot.com/2012/03/balance.html

    I didn’t read your piece before I wrote mine. I enjoyed your wordle, can’t have a shadow without light.

    .

     
  8. Mary

    24/03/2012 at 8:40 pm

    OK, mine is up too…..will be linked tomorrow morning sometime

    :http://inthecornerofmyeye.blogspot.com/2012/03/alchemist.html

     
  9. cloudfactor5

    24/03/2012 at 9:22 pm

    “Joy is a supple, subtle craft, requiring
    an alchemist’s tender touch,” I love this however I wonder if
    “its warm oil can sweep away all
    knowledge of grief.’
    I’m enjoying the controversy of this poem!

     
    • margo roby

      25/03/2012 at 9:00 am

      Hello, cloudfactor5 [love your handle] — The comments have been interesting, as I have sat and looked back at my griefs, past and present, and asked myself that.

      For me, yes, joy is so overwhelming in its arrival, that, for the moment it can sweep all knowledge of grief away. That doesn’t mean the grief stays away; it certainly doesn’t go away. But, the ‘joy can be the entire emotion while it is present. I am finding it easier to hold onto the joy and distance the grief, but that might take age to do.

      I appreciate your comments!

       
      • cloudfactor5

        25/03/2012 at 9:07 am

        hold onto the joy and distance the grief, seems to be a great plan!!

         
  10. irene

    25/03/2012 at 4:53 am

    What a lovely meditation of joy, Margo. That it takes away knowledge of grief is a very fine interpretation.

     
    • margo roby

      25/03/2012 at 9:01 am

      Thank you, Irene. And, thank goodness it does, or we’d all throw ourselves off cliffs!

       
      • irene

        25/03/2012 at 6:57 pm

        You’re such a nice drama queen! :)

         
        • margo roby

          26/03/2012 at 7:59 am

          laughing, Irene, laughing… I’m such a staid person. I shall swan around the rest of the week thinking of myself as Drama Queen :D

           
  11. booguloo

    25/03/2012 at 9:28 am

    You won this race easily. Always enjoy what you write.

     
  12. magicalmysticalteacher

    25/03/2012 at 11:00 am

    Touched by acid grief? Burned, I’d say! Seared and scarred! And then the joy! :)

    Whirling Haiku

     
    • margo roby

      25/03/2012 at 11:10 am

      As you say: and then the joy, so much more so because of the scarring, I think.

       
  13. Mr. Walker

    25/03/2012 at 1:11 pm

    Margo, wonderful. Concise and yet so dense with meaning. I really like that first stanza – how acid can “strip away”. And structured so well – thesis, antithesis, then synthesis.

    Richard

     
    • margo roby

      25/03/2012 at 4:55 pm

      It’s fun discovering things about one’s poems from others, Richard. I raced back up to look and darned if you aren’t right about the structure. You’ve given me something to think about.
      margo

       
  14. wordsandthoughtspjs

    25/03/2012 at 1:38 pm

    Margo, I love your use of the word “joy” in this poem. The last two stanzas are beautiful. You have given me much to think about with this. I love when that happens. Happy Sunday to you!

    Pamela

     
    • margo roby

      25/03/2012 at 4:51 pm

      Thank you, Pamela. I love that too. I have Richard Walker’s to think about this week.

       
    • margo roby

      25/03/2012 at 4:51 pm

      Where is my mind? Happy Sunday to you, Pamela.

      margo

       
  15. markwindham

    25/03/2012 at 2:50 pm

    looks like we are similar in theme. I like the repetition, ‘griefs acid”acid grief’. works well. ‘supple, subtle craft’ has a nice ring as well.

     
    • margo roby

      25/03/2012 at 4:50 pm

      I liked ‘supple, subtle’ so much I almost took it out!

       
  16. Laurie Kolp

    25/03/2012 at 3:24 pm

    I agree in that I have experienced grief from losing someone and to get through it to the other side and come to the realization that life does go on is a tremendous joy. Great wordle!

     
    • margo roby

      25/03/2012 at 4:49 pm

      Thank you, Laurie. That is the grief of all griefs and how wonderful that we may still experience joy.

       
  17. brenda w

    25/03/2012 at 5:25 pm

    Oh Margo, I love the ending and in complete agreement. Beautiful deeply felt write. Thank you.

     
    • margo roby

      26/03/2012 at 8:00 am

      Thank you, Brenda, as always. Keep sending us our inspirations!

       
  18. tmhHoover

    25/03/2012 at 7:16 pm

    This is my 5th attempt to leave a comment… I tried to place it in the reply section- under your conversation with Mary….

    I hope you don’t mind- (it feels a bit like eaves dropping) but I enjoyed this conversation very,very much. My wordle’s main focus was getting to joy. Something I am not sure I ever had-my mother insists I was a sombre child. And honestly, I do not remember being joyful, just mostly afraid. For me I allow myself moments of great gratitude- stopping just short of joy. Even a glimpse of joy, leaves me giddy, usually reducing me to tears. Tempted to delete -but will leave it, if only to have these thoughts be in one more place than in my writing folder. Thanks so much for letting me pop in- teri

    Also all my problems with wordpress disappeared (until tonight) once I succumbed to WordPress’s desire/requirement for me to have an account-. I see that Mary has a blogger blog like I do.It really was not very nice of WordPress to make me get an account to be able to comment. I am hopeful it is just me being technically challenged- but they did not make it easy or understandable unless I had an account. That really bugged me.

     
    • margo roby

      26/03/2012 at 8:11 am

      I know what you mean by the eaves-dropping, but I think of the comments as an open forum for discussion. I am so glad you joined in and even more glad for the thought that stayed you from deleting. For something as complex as our emotional selves, I think getting it down on paper is important and sharing allows us the knowledge that whoever we are, it’s okay. It lessens our load in some way. I haven’t figured out how, I just know how I feel when I open up something I would normally keep to myself.

      I have always had joyous moments when I see things of great beauty and wonder. My joy has been in these things. I am only now content enough with myself to know joy with my life and myself. Writing helps me because it is part of my joy.

      I am going to try and contact WordPress. I don’t want my friends frustrated. We’ll see what they say.

       
  19. tmhHoover

    25/03/2012 at 7:39 pm

    Oh dear – and I forgot to mention… Margo your piece really spoke to me. The idea of your warm oil soothed my ability to step tentatively toward joy. Your insight -that it might be ok when joy sweeps away the memory of grief- is really a freeing thought for me. thank you…

     
    • margo roby

      26/03/2012 at 8:14 am

      Not only okay, Teri, but deserved. It takes practice to look away from grief and to tell yourself it’s okay to allow it to live within you, but not let it be you. Allow the joy.

       
  20. pmwanken

    25/03/2012 at 8:16 pm

    I loved the poem…and then I read the discussion(s) following…and loved it even more. I had a similar thought to Mary’s re: children and the joy they know…and then I re-read the poem…and honed in on the “balm of joy” at the end. We most certainly CAN know joy without having had to experience the acidity of grief…but to know joy as a “balm”?? That truly comes from having known grief.

    *hugs*

     
    • margo roby

      26/03/2012 at 8:16 am

      I have loved this discussion, Paula. It seems to me too many of us labour under grief’s acidic touch. As necessary as it is, in order to have the knowledge and to retain balance, we need to learn to strive more for the balm.

       
  21. purplepeninportland

    26/03/2012 at 6:38 pm

    Margo, wonderful poem. I love that yo included the process you went through.

     
    • margo roby

      27/03/2012 at 7:59 am

      Thank you, Sarah. I am enjoying learning to figure out what I did :-)

       

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