Monday, September 29, 2008

Changing Leaves

Colder nights and foggy dawns; the sun grows
hazy during days that shrink like squeezed
accordions. The chickadees in hedgerows
nod and chirp in smoky autumn breezes,
gossip of last winter's killing freezes.
Inky water seeps through gravel shallows
not yet frozen. Too-brief summer breezed
gazelle-like through the tall-grass prairie meadows.

Labor Day has come and gone. September's
easing out the door, its last good-bye
a scarlet banner in a charcoal sky.
Vermilion snowdrifts under every tree
erase the green from arbor heraldry.
Soon winter's flags will fly above red embers.

Miss Rumphius suggested an acrostic with an autumn theme for this week's poetry stretch. It turned out mostly trochaic. I think it's because it was easier for me to think of a word that started with the correct letter if that syllable was stressed-- eg. "gossip" was easy, but coming up with "gazelle" was harder. On the other hand, common words like "it" and "a" are usually not stressed at the beginning of a line-- but I didn't have very many lines starting with those letters.

In effect, making an acrostic sonnet introduces a third level of control: you have to make the line make sense, make the first syllable take the correct stress level, and make the first word start with the letter you want.

Collection available! Knocking from Inside

3 comments:

Cloudscome said...

WOW Tiel that is fabulous! I am so impressed with what you did with this. Lovely!

Lisa Chellman said...

This is so beautiful-- awesome in every sense! And it's actually making me excited for fall. (I love fall... not so crazy about what comes after.) This line's my favorite:

September's
easing out the door, its last good-bye
a scarlet banner in a charcoal sky.

Yat-Yee said...

Acrostics or trochaic, it's a wonderful poem. Thanks for sharing.