Wordsworth wrote an endless poem in blank verse on” the growth of a poet’s mind.” I shall attempt a more modest feat for a more distracted age: a blog, “Things which a Lifetime of Trying to Be a Poet has Taught Me.”
I am, as those who follow this blog can tell, committed to playing tennis with a net. I am devoted to meter and rhyme and to bringing traditional form back to life. Nevertheless, I write one free-verse poem a decade, just to prove that I can. On rare occasions, that is, free verse is the form (if you will pardon the expression) that is called for. It is simply what the buzzards below asked of me.
The buzzards circled silently,
Hardly needing to move their wings at all.
There were four of them,
And I stood stone still in their midst.
They were intent on something,
And their circle narrowed;
And I stood stone still,
Hardly daring to breathe
As their many-fingered wings floated motionless,
Not even twenty feet from my face.
And the circle narrowed,
And I stood stone still.
And I was glad
To have beheld their gaunt, ungainly grace
As their circle narrowed
And I stood stone still;
And I rejoiced
To find myself alive and still
Somewhat removed from their center.
And I remembered
How the ancient theologians defined God as a circle
Whose center was everywhere and whose circumference
And I understood
That if a man can find his center there,
He need not then concern himself thereafter
With his relationship to any other circle.
And their circle narrowed,
And I stood . . .
Stone . . .
Remember: for more poetry like this, go to https://lanternhollow.wordpress.com/store/ and order Stars Through the Clouds! Also look for Inklings of Reality and Reflections from Plato’s Cave, Williams’ newest books from Lantern Hollow Press: Evangelical essays in pursuit of Truth, Goodness, and Beauty. And look for Williams’ very latest book, Deeper Magic: The Theology behind the Writings of C. S. Lewis, from Square Halo Books!
Donald T. Williams, PhD