by Jay O'Toole
To grow as a writer it's a good practice to examine the writing of the greats of long ago.
William Butler Yeats stretches me in regard to the style of writing poetry. My own poetry tends to be packaged in quatrains of A-B-A-B rhyme with the lines being in a regular pattern of iambic tetrameter & iambic trimeter. Yeats, on the other hand, follows a much more complex verse of at times 21 & 23 lines with what appears to be the inclusion of some variety of four or five of my smaller verses. However, he seems to like the iambic tetrameter, which is a commonality for us.
Today's poem looks more fully into his often complex working patterns.
William Butler Yeats seems to be just like his writing style, complex and challenging to crystallize.
I think it would be an oversimplification to say that Yeats' verses are each like expanded sonnets,
but that image does help me to comprehend his style a bit more.
I chose this poem to use as a model for a new one of my own.
I have followed this poem stride-for-stride in rhythm
as well as point-for-point in the richness of his rhyme scheme.
Knowing of his penchant for being "boxed up, afraid and fearful"
to use Gabriella's quote, I looked for a hopeful title and married that
with one of my favorite quotes by Robert Browning.
"'Grow old along with me! The best is yet to be,
The last of life, for which the first was made:
Our times are in His hand Who saith,
'A whole I planned, Youth shows but half;
trust God: see all, nor be afraid!'" (Robert Browning)
It's amazing how sobering the realization,
that one's parents were married 60 years ago,
according to this year, can make one's outlook on life.
I'm not as young as I used to be with regard to the physical body.
However, there is still a much younger man,
who still lives inside of this "house."
Therefore, I must always seek to redefine the advancing years of life.
1. I may not be able to set a world record in the marathon,
but I can still walk miles and I can learn ballet movements for exercise.
2. I may not be able to do some of the old things I could do,
but I am learning to do new things, that I would never have attempted years ago.
Thank you for reading my out-loud processing.
I am quite sure that there are many, who are wiser than I in these regards,
but I think I'm making progress since I am still learning.
"If you go out on the football field on Sunday (or any other endeavor in life,)
and you leave every fiber of what you have on that field,
when the game finally ends, then you've won,
and to me, that tells a lot more than the final score.
And I never made that clear."
(Vince Lombardi, according to Jerry Izenberg, Newark Star-Ledger)
I want the rest of my years on Earth to be more successful
than the ones I've left behind.
"Little is much, when God is in it."
The Lasting Hope
The Day of lasting hope I see
beyond this Earthsuit's pain-ed crust.
My Master waits o'er there for me
and bids me always on Him trust,
abiding in His Presence be.
'Mid raspy throat and weary bones
this Earthbound pilgrim follows hard,
awaking often with some groans
such agony creates a bard.
Bright sunlight shines upon the day,
and rainclouds soak the parch-ed ground.
The good and bad do meet in fray,
while humans oft endure the sound.
The days of color, ebb and flowing,
stand in contrast with the Last.
Hopeful hearts to brim are glowing
to see the Day of Shadow past.
The man of loam on dusty road
lives with the truth that life is death.
A moment and the life in breath
rises again from what was sowed.
A-living here the Earthbound way
doth seem the only way that's real,
but Truth be more than senses feel.
This daily we must plainly say.
The turning clock becomes a wheel
as days spill o'er to sprinting years.
The Earthsuit flags enduring jeers
as painful steps out-drown the truth,
that best of life's not wasted youth.
The aging years lose not appeal.
A child now lives in weary shell
with hopeful mem'ries still to tell.
What's left to make is very real!
That Robert Browning long ago
quoth wondrous truth to lift the heart
the way t'ward Home we swift will start
when speaking courage that we know.
"The last of life 'tis made for thee
from youthful learning clear we see
"The story writ by God I feel
accelerates us t'ward His House."
What blessed thought, eternal Spouse,
is living here our way to heal.
My Earthsuit balks when test is drawn.
It loves to sit and stretch and yawn.
But lasting work of artist shared
is made when nothing stops his brush.
He presses through to show he cares,
that inspirations never crush
with spirit-muscle fully bared.
The brooding heart of Poet Yates
may share great words, that feel like weights,
but just like Browning's glowing thought,
his purpose shows a lasting truth,
that when we serve as always taught
our latter end will fill with youth.
by Jay O'Toole
on December 16th, 2018