This week: Robert FrancisEdited by: Stormy Lady
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This is poetry from the minds and the hearts of poets on Writing.Com. The poems I am going to be exposing throughout this newsletter are ones that I have found to be, very visual, mood setting and uniquely done. Stormy Lady
Glass by Robert Francis
Words of a poem should be glass
But glass so simple-subtle its shape
Is nothing but the shape of what it holds.
A glass spun for itself is empty,
Brittle, at best Venetian trinket.
Embossed glass hides the poem of its absence.
Words should be looked through, should be windows.
The best word were invisible.
The poem is the thing the poet thinks.
If the impossible were not,
And if the glass, only the glass,
Could be removed, the poem would remain.
Blue Winter by Robert Francis
Winter uses all the blues there are.
One shade of blue for water, one for ice,
Another blue for shadows over snow.
The clear or cloudy sky uses blue twice-
Both different blues. And hills row after row
Are colored blue according to how for.
You know the bluejay's double-blur device
Shows best when there are no green leaves to show.
And Sirius is a winterbluegreen star.
Robert Francis was born on August 12 1901, in Upland, Pennsylvania. Robert was a very intelligent boy and excelled in his school work. His grades in school earned him a place at Harvard University. Upon graduating from Harvard in 1923, Francis moved to Amherst Massachusetts. He taught high school for one year then quit to focus solely on his writing. His first book of poetry "Stand With Me Here" was published in 1936.
In 1940 Francis had a house built just outside of town, keeping all the ledgers to show how frugal he could be. He proudly shared those experiences in detail in his autobiography, "The Trouble With Francis." Published in 1071. He lived in that two room house for forty-seven years. He named it "Fort Juniper." In Francis's honor the University of Massachusetts Press named their poetry award the Juniper Prize.
During his career Francis served as university lecturer, both in America and abroad. He spent many years traveling to Europe. Lecturing at colleges like American University in Beirut, Lebanon. He also served as Phi Beta Kappa poet at Tufts and Harvard universities Then in 1957 received the Rome Prize Fellowship given by the American Academy of Art and Letters. The publication of, ''Stand With Me Here,'' brought him an invitation to be a fellow at the Bread Loaf Writers Conference In 1938 he received the Shelly Memorial Prize. He published Valhalla and Other Poems in 1938 and had little to no writings published in the 1940's or 50's. The Face Against the Glass was published in 1950. In 1957, he received the Rome Prize of the American Academy of Arts and Letters. The Orb Weaver was published in 1960. At sixty-seven Francis wrote Late Fire, Late Snow, it would take nineteen years for his last collection of poems to make it to print.
In a 1981 interview with The Daily Hampshire Gazette Francis said ''My speciality has been not to earn much but to spend little." Robert Francis died on the 13th July, 1987, aged 85.
Encounter by Robert Francis
Those who have touched it or been touched by it
Or brushed by something that the vine has brushed,
Or burning it, have stood where the sly smoke
Has touched them-Know the meaning of its name.
The leaf is smooth. Its green is innocence.
A clean, unblemished leaf, glossy when young.
A leaf the unobserving might overlook
And the observing find too prosperous.
I've seen a vine of it so old and crooked
It held a hen-coop in its grip, the stalk
Thick as a man's wrist. There it had grown,
Half out of sight, permitted, undisturbed.
Strangers to it, who on a autumn road
Have found a vine that swept a tree like fire
And gathered it barehanded and brought it home
For color, seldom gathered it again.
Some are immune and some have thought they were
And some, ever so cautiously with gloves,
Finding that it grew to near their homes,
Have tried to root it out and have succeeded
Except that something from the vine fastened
Upon their flesh and burned, and in a year
Or two the vine itself was there again,
Glossy and green and smooth and innocent.
My neighbor's cow grazing beside the road
Munches with joy (and almost with a smile)
The salad of its leaves, transmuting them
Into sweet milk that I will drink tomorrow.
Thank you all!
The winner of "Stormy's poetry newsletter & contest" [ASR] is:
Where I Belong
By: Elfin Dragon; aka Lisa
February 15, 2021
I stand at the edge of a sea,
where no water greets me.
'Tis a plain of wild daisies
as far as the eye can see.
I walk through white flowers,
the soft scent permeates me.
In the distance I see
A circle of green pine trees
Rising up from the daisies.
When I reach the pines,
A new scent assails me.
The sweet and bitter scents
Of red roses and pine.
Within the circle of pines
Were a circle of red roses.
And in the center of all,
Was planted a grey stone.
I looked upon the stone
And stood in shock.
For upon the stone was etched
My name and date of death.
Was this, then, my life?
This peaceful setting?
How I was perceived by others?
Or how I perceived myself?
I lay upon the stone and pondered
How my life had brought me here.
And as I slowly fell asleep,
I felt my body sinking.
And as my body sank
My soul rose high
For I knew where I belonged.
These are the rules:
1) You must use the words I give in a poem or prose with no limits on length.
2) The words can be in any order and anywhere throughout the poem and can be any form of the word.
3) All entries must be posted in your portfolio and you must post the link in this forum, "Stormy's poetry newsletter & contest" [ASR] by March 19, 2021.
4) The winner will get 3000 gift points and the poem will be displayed in this section of the newsletter the next time it is my turn to post (March 24, 2021)
The words are:
sway transcend time dance bridge lock key river
Good luck to all
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