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. First up, you need to know I’m not a poet in any way, shape or form, but if you want feedback, there was one thing that grabbed me:

    Now back pain stabs her; then, black eyes from mirror
    Bitter winds rake her eyes now; then, words stabbed like a knife.

    It’s the repetition of stab-stabbed; how would it retain the shape and form if the second stabbed changed to cut?

    As I say, I don’t know nuthin, so you can ignore with complete confidence!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Oh how accurately you describe a dysfunctional relationship! This was a really moving poem Lisa. I particularly love the last stanza, and this line in particular …”Brutish workhorse bending minds to his will?” Congratulations on some great writing 🙂💕

    Liked by 1 person

  3. You’ve captured that browbeaten, cowed feeling that the abused have, Jade, especially in the lines:
    ‘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’.
    Life is a little easier without the brute who bent minds to his will.

    There’s one small grammatical thing in the first line of the final stanza:
    ‘Each year that pass, as final sleep comes nearer’, should be ‘Each year that passes…’ so you’d have to adjust that line to achieve the right number of syllables, perhaps: ‘As each year passes, final sleep comes nearer…’

    Liked by 1 person

  4. You intro made the poem a bit clearer. I do enjoy when poems don’t need that, though. But if abstract, unclear and fuzzy, I like the explanations. Truly a dark history and laborious life was painted, even if choice exists, still painful.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. A strong and personal poem, wise beyond your years. It took me 40 years and three wives to find the good fit and piece of mind, and peace of soul I enjoy now. Kim is excellent with her grammatical corrections; has helped me several times.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Glenn, your comments are very much appreciated. It took me 1 marriage and 1 long term relationship to get to here. You are blessed to have found your true “soul mate”. You never know what the future will bring for me, but if it is not to be then I’m ok with it, as the alternative was not tolerable anymore.

      Like

  6. This is excellent Jade! Wonderfully crafted using the 10-syllable lines. I enjoyed this. I got inspired by this rubaiyat thing and posted two – one dark, one light. Both of mine follow Frost’s 8-syllable lines.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Rob, thank you so much 🙂 I saw one of yours (the dark one) last night. Need to go back and read yours and any others missed. I’m tweaking a few lines and correcting grammaticals and then will re-link mine. The next one will be with the 8 syllable lines I think, and I’m using Frost as my template. We’ll see how it goes.

      Like

  7. Much feeling within this poem. Thank you for the preceding note of explanation…and for sharing. In terms of the form, the enjambment from the first to the second stanza is perfect and very powerful. An excellent write.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. the soul is strong in this poem Jade, much to endure in this lifetime, your narrative at the start touched my heart, i find it hard to be open about the tough subjects, you have used the form to its finest, forlorn longing, excellent

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Petru (guessing on your name), you and VJ are so right about catharsis through poetry and writing in general. It’s the best drug I know. And I know exactly what you are talking about with avoiding the pattern by staying single. Am tweaking the poem zealously and thing I’m making progress, including the grammar.

      Like

        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

    1. Thank you very much for your feedback, Bjorn. While tweaking it, I’ve changed it from 3rd person to 1st person. It’s sounding a lot more smoother than it was. Hoping I don’t sand it down too much. Please let me know what you think once I link the revised version up, ok?

      Like

  9. 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

  10. 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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