dverse · mental health · poetry · relationships · rubaiyat

dVerse Rubaiyat: The Beauty of a Fork in the Road

womancarryingwood

John Sloane, “North Country Christmas”

UPDATE ON 2/10/19:  I have been working on on the rubaiyat after receiving excellent feedback.  To all who have contributed feedback thank you very much, especially Nora.  I decided to change the title for one.  For another  I added another stanza, which meant some lines had to be switched around.  It seems to flow better and be clearer.  Feedback welcomed!

SECOND REVISION

The Beauty of a Fork in the Road
*
Regarding chores as needy friends each morn,
with two minds and my wrinkled eyes forlorn
Weigh yet if better now than when I was a wife.
My work, I will it with a mind that’s worn

*
Like stone on paths, well-trod but sound, through life.
My hair, now white; form bent to daily strife
My pain nags now as clinging shroud, each day
Fists hurt before — and words, they cut like knives.

*
The moment came to face a choice to stay,
my soul to wilt, no help to come from pray —
Or step upon a path, with mists of fear for
the turns and twists of what’s in a new way.

*
As each year passes, final sleep comes nearer
Answers deep on which to rest seem clearer
The brutish workhorse bending minds to will?
My life of toil — and soul at ease — is dearer.

*

A note about this poem: it is based on real-life, not pulled from a well of fiction. When one is raised in an extremely dysfunctional household, the examples watched are not healthy. When you grow up and commence having relationships with others who have been raised in similarly dysfunctional relationships — and maybe even drawn to those individuals because of the familiarity of the dysfunction — your mutual navigation of the union becomes an exercise in emotional and physical dysregulation. The title of the poem is meant to convey the idea that one is not fated to contort infinitely within the dysregulation and may choose another path – even if there is a price to pay (and there usually is.) Look at the hero’s journey that Joseph Campbell talks about.

The syllables run from 10-12 per line and an attempt was to have the stresses of the words alternate (e.g. 5 stresses in 10 syllables) and think I succeeded.

 

Frank is the host of dVerse tonight, and he has set the challenge for a new form, that of the ruba’i (single quatrain) or rubaiyat (more than one quatrain). We will have a month to write and polish these offerings. Some will be chosen to go into the “basics” book as examples of the various forms we will be working on over the months. Frank also asks that we write a short note about our creation, if we wish, to add interest to it. Frank also wants us to let it be known if we would like constructive feedback. My answer to last thing is 100% would welcome any constructive feedback on my poems.

Update on 2/2/19:  I have revised the poem and think it sounds much better.  Thank you to everyone who gave feedback.  It helped so much when revising.  Please let me know what you think.  I’ve left the original at the bottom for comparison purposes.  I will retain the note that goes with it (see above) as-is.

REVISED VERSION:

The Beauty of a Fork

Regarding them, as needy friends each morn,

the daily chores, with wrinkled eyes, forlorn.

My hair, now white; form bent to daily strife

from toil; I will it with a mind that’s worn.

*
Like stones on paths with grooves infused with life,

ponder yet if better now than when I was a wife.

Pain nags now as constant shroud, cruel jeerer.

Before it hurt with fists — and words that cut like knives.

*
As each year passes, final sleep comes nearer

Answers deep on which to rest seem clearer

The brutish workhorse bending minds to will?

Nay. My life of toil — and soul at ease — is dearer.

ORIGINAL VERSION:

*
The Beauty of a Fork

*

She looks at them as needy friends each morn

her hair, now white; her wrinkle-wreathed eyes; forlorn,

she goes about her chores of daily strife.

With purpose, she continues with a mind that’s worn

*

like stone on paths, mossy, but sound, steeped with life,

ponders yet if better now than when she was a wife.

Now back pain stabs her; then, black eyes from mirror

Bitter winds rake her eyes now; then, words stabbed like a knife.

*

Each year that pass, as final sleep comes nearer

Answers deep on which to rest seem clearer

Brutish workhorse bending minds to his will?

Her life of toil — and soul at ease — is dearer.

 

67 thoughts on “dVerse Rubaiyat: The Beauty of a Fork in the Road

  1. Yes it is frustrating for me. I keep reading my lines thumping with my fingers but after so many times not sure. I wish there was a program that could be developed where you could plug the lines in and it would show what it was…

    Liked by 1 person

  2. The last line carries a beautiful emotional release, and the lines and rhyme flow well. My thoughts on revising – I think the first two lines of the second stanza can reference and help clarify the title more. If I had not read the preface, I would have wondered if the fork was a utensil, and that forks were the needy friends each morn (especially since knives are later used.) This is lovely.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Hmm..I actually like the original version, though both convey well the effects of dysfunctionand abuse. So glad you came out the other side intact. I do think the best poetry is born from the pains of our past.

    Liked by 1 person

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