Poem in Response to Wordle #47 at The Sunday Whirl

11 Mar

Hello everyone! I am glad to be back amongst you. Bren, thank you for the words which entertained me on my flight home. ViV, almost, sort of, two Italian sonnets! They need work.

My first go at the words was turning hokey, so I left them and came back. I looked at the allusive properties of several of the words and that started me. This topic is hard to do and sound fresh, but I had fun in two directions. I have used all the wordle words in their original form, and I have used them all a second time in whatever form I needed. I also tried to work a double sonnet, as I have long promised ViV I would one day try the form again. I managed the fourteen lines and I am close to the eight and four division of an Italian sonnet. The poems are not iambic except here and there and there is no rhyme scheme. I do have the syllables running between nine and ten. I will keep working at it.

Happy Hour on the Red Planet

Martini, on the rocks:

The room was charged with anger. She saw
an aura, red like Mars, settle on her
husband’s shoulders. Her face mirrored her
confused thoughts. The accident at the toll
booth had been nothing she couldn’t handle.
The driver of the sedan wasn’t looking
for trouble, agreed they should settle,
did not ask for more than seemed fair for
a dented bumper. She did not understand
her husband’s anger, this time, watched from
her seat, as he poured bourbon over ice,
as the muscles of his face tightened,
heard his words buzz in her ears: me… ask…
trouble… sacrificed plenty — heard nothing.

Stirred, not shaken:

After he charged from the room, she moved
to the bar and poured a finger of scotch —
What had they called it when they courted?
A libation. She looked it up once: a drink
poured in sacrifice to the gods. She found
out soon enough, but not in time, that these
libations invoked in him one god. Once,
his temper had been nothing she couldn’t
handle. She knew how to settle troubled
Mars with Venus, but the years exacted
a toll. Asking little, she had sacrificed
plenty. Her confusion lay in whether
she felt ready to walk out the door. If
she could, let him whistle for her.

A nod to Gwendolyn Brooks whose sonnet on this topic, I love, and whose last line I adapted. Come on over to The Sunday Whirl and read how others used the words charged, trouble, accident, mars, libation, sacrificed, toll, confused, plenty, handle, ask, settle.


Posted by on 11/03/2012 in exercises, poetry, writing


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37 responses to “Poem in Response to Wordle #47 at The Sunday Whirl

  1. annell

    11/03/2012 at 10:53 am

    I love them both. Now I have a question, in a wordle, are the words supposed to be used in the original form? I have wondered, but allowed myself to used whatever form I needed?

    • margo roby

      11/03/2012 at 11:06 am

      Thank you, annell! When I began writing wordles I used the words in whatever form, but learned that for the real challenge, the words should be used exactly as they come. I balked at first, but now find it great fun to use them unaltered. However, more important is that you have fun, so it depends, in the end, on that.

  2. Annette

    11/03/2012 at 12:47 pm

    You’re back! I missed you– I like the emotion in this piece and I especially like that the emotion in the husband is unclear — she doesn’t understand why and neither do we.

    • margo roby

      11/03/2012 at 1:39 pm

      I missed you too! I may have to rethink taking a whole week away from the computer. Thank you for your comments πŸ™‚

  3. Mary

    11/03/2012 at 1:54 pm

    Excellent. Interesting that you and I both wrote about an accident which involved a toll booth and both involved a man who drank to excess. you described the dynamics of this marriage so well I felt I knew this couple. Clever mention of Mars and Venus; and the ending was a great choice!

    • margo roby

      11/03/2012 at 4:22 pm

      Thank you, Mary.

      As fun as it is to see the different paths poems take, I also enjoy seeing the ones that run the same, or similar, paths.

  4. ansuyo

    11/03/2012 at 1:59 pm

    Nice! Angie

  5. vivinfrance

    11/03/2012 at 2:08 pm

    Wonderful to see you back with us – I’m betting you had a mind-bendingly fabulous time. Two fabulous poems, dramatic and atmospheric. But please don’t think you can get away with calling them sonnets, even if you stretch the definition as a ‘modern’ sonnet. Fourteen lines do not a sonnet make nor four lines a volta. It is absolutely NO use counting syllables. You must count only the stresses, otherwise the rhythm simply doesn’t work,.

    English being a stressed language, unlike eg the Japanese of haiku May I commend to you The Ode Less Travelled by Stephen Fry for masterly lessons in metre.

    • pmwanken

      11/03/2012 at 3:04 pm

      ah…the ode less travelled…I do need to pick that book up again…thanks for the round-about-reminder ViV… πŸ™‚

    • margo roby

      11/03/2012 at 4:16 pm

      *weep* I didn’t think I would get away with it, ViV. I can do iambic pentameter, but it involves a lot of swearing. I might try beer… I have had Fry’s book in my sights and shall order it before Joseph starts throwing metre I can’t fluff, at us.

  6. tmhHoover

    11/03/2012 at 2:37 pm

    Ah alcohol and accidents… both pieces capture the fallout. I must confess I missed the bit about them being two separate pieces, ( no, I was not drinking anything but water)- and read them as one- they almost worked that way too.

    • margo roby

      11/03/2012 at 4:17 pm

      They are one, as a poem, but two in the sense of how I used the wordle words. I need tighter connections.

  7. pmwanken

    11/03/2012 at 3:08 pm

    When I first read the words I thought I would do the Mars/Venus thing…but then, as per my usual, a picture was painted and I needed to write it.

    I love the whole thing in its entirety, margo…as someone who grew up in a home where alcohol was prevalent, you captured the “emotional charge” that it creates.

    • margo roby

      11/03/2012 at 4:19 pm

      After our talk about the way you see story, I ‘saw’ this one! I like the way libations as a word sound harmless, yet involves sacrifice.

      • pmwanken

        11/03/2012 at 4:38 pm

        Cool! πŸ™‚ My story was a quick flash in my mind…it wasn’t until I started writing that I realized the woman was “remembering” instead of watching for the first time. Can’t really explain it — it just was. πŸ™‚

        • margo roby

          11/03/2012 at 4:41 pm

          That one I understand. My poems often inform me of things I didn’t know, especially when I am moving them from writing to print.

          • pmwanken

            11/03/2012 at 5:05 pm

            BTW…glad for your comment to Pamela re: it being one poem. I saw it as such and was thinking I was lost in a cloud. (…which, btw, there are none today. Clouds, that is. GORGEOUS weather.)

            • margo roby

              12/03/2012 at 7:52 am

              I am so glad, Paula. I thought I was going nuts until I went back and read my notes, lol!

              We have all your clouds πŸ™‚

  8. JulesPaige

    11/03/2012 at 4:09 pm

    I guess growing up with that charged air – I was never one much to imbibe myself. I can see these emotions clearly. I wrote my wordle yesterday – a different direction – the different use of the wordles take us to the places we’ve been, witnessed, places we’ll never go and even some are just plain made up! πŸ™‚

    • margo roby

      11/03/2012 at 4:20 pm

      Sounds about right, Jules.

      I may have one, even two, photos to send your way πŸ™‚

  9. wordsandthoughtspjs

    11/03/2012 at 4:28 pm

    Wow! Two very impressive poems, Margo. Interesting how you centered this around how alcohol can change the environment.
    I am so happy to see you back with us! You have been missed. I hope you had a fabulous time πŸ™‚

    • margo roby

      11/03/2012 at 4:33 pm

      Thank you, Pamela! Although, it’s one poem, two scenes, if you will. I think I confused people when I explained that I used the wordle words in two ways.

      It is good to be back. I would see people’s names go by on my phone email, but never can remember my password to respond to comments.

      I did have a fabulous time. I had forgotten that other than their cuteness, babies are uninteresting creatures at this time, but it was fun to see my son holding his baby. A natural!


  10. irene

    11/03/2012 at 7:47 pm

    Nice to have you back Margo. I read them as one, and it’s about anger, and Mars is supposed to be quite martial. It’s an intimate portrait of marriage & anger.

  11. brenda w

    12/03/2012 at 10:13 am

    Bravo! Margo, this is an excellent contribution to the week. I understand the idea of libations waking one god. Strong write, and in form. Impressive work, poet. πŸ™‚

    • margo roby

      12/03/2012 at 10:50 am

      Why, thank you, ma’am! Couldn’t do it without your words to corral my thoughts, Brenda.

  12. Sharp Little Pencil

    12/03/2012 at 2:06 pm

    Best was the mention of what they called the drink “while they courted.” A nod to days gone by, as well as a potent reminder of where she now sits in their relationship. Or rather, where she walks – away… Excellent, Margo. Peace, Amy (here’s mine)

    • margo roby

      13/03/2012 at 7:19 am

      Thank you, Amy. I may try to adopt Brooks’ tone when I revise. I love her sonnet on the topic of uneven relationships.

      I’ll be over to read yours once today’s blog is out.


  13. Sharp Little Pencil

    12/03/2012 at 2:06 pm

    PS I’m subscribing to your blog now. It’s too good to miss! Amy

    • margo roby

      13/03/2012 at 7:20 am

      This made me smile, Amy. A lovely way to start my Thursday. Thank you.

  14. whimsygizmo

    13/03/2012 at 11:52 am

    Love this, Margo! πŸ™‚ I especially loved “Stirred, and shaken:”
    Mine slipped easily into silliness this week, but perhaps that’s exactly what was needed. πŸ˜‰

    Hope you had a terrific time with that gorgeous grandbaby. Happy you’re back.

    • margo roby

      13/03/2012 at 11:55 am

      Thanks, de! I enjoy it when I can find frames for a poem πŸ™‚
      I think silliness is not only needed occasionally, but necessary for health!

      The week was wonderful. I found it odd to watch our son holding his baby. He told me it was still strange for him, too πŸ˜€

      • whimsygizmo

        13/03/2012 at 12:00 pm

        Sorry, obviously I meant “Stirred, NOT shaken” which is exactly what I liked about the line. Brain no workee yet this morning…more coffee…
        It’s still strange for me sometimes when my children do something so independent I realize they truly are their own little creatures. I can only imagine how magnified that gets. πŸ˜‰

        • margo roby

          13/03/2012 at 12:03 pm

          I knew what you meant, de :-), but more coffee is good.

  15. Mr. Walker

    18/03/2012 at 1:10 am

    Margo, I think they’re lovely sonnets. (But I’m just an American, so my opinion doesn’t count). I especially like the different ways you used “settle” and the allusions to Mars and Venus in the second was most effective. The theme of anger comes through in both; they do complement each other quite well.


    • margo roby

      19/03/2012 at 7:45 am

      It is useful sometimes, being an American, Richard. Thank you for your comments. Since the discussion, I enjoy comments even more.


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