Thursday, August 4, 2022

like the spiral of lark into the light

A poet is not a jukebox for someone to shove a quarter in his ear
and get the tune they want to hear
-Dudley Randall

Happy Poetry Friday! A beautiful poem by Dudley Randall (1914-2000) today:

The Ascent
by Dudley Randall

Into the air like dandelion seed
Or like the spiral of lark into the light
Or fountain into sun. All former sight
From hill or mountain was a mere hint of this.
We gain a new dimension. What had been
Our prison, where we crawled and clung like ants,
We spurn, and vision lying far beneath us...

read the rest here


I kind of wished I could present "The Ascent" as couplets...I felt like I would enjoy extra white space in this airy poem. But I didn't have the nerve to play with his format.

Nix the Comfort Zone has the Poetry Friday round-up. Thanks, Molly!


Irene Latham said...

Tab, I would appreciate the extra space in the poem as well! Meanwhile, I LOVE the jukebox quote. :) Reminds me of years ago being in a poetry workshop with a friend, and when we were supposed to be writing to a particular prompt, she wrote simply: "I cannot write on command." (Obviously) I've never forgotten it (though I have learned that one absolutely CAN write on command! Thinking we can't is just another form of resistance...). xo

Patricia Franz said...

Beautiful poem! I feel the float up and the dreamy look back. Thank you.

laurasalas said...

Oh, I like the second stanza even better than the first! Gorgeous imagery.

Janice Scully said...

So much to think about in this poem, a reminder that we are flying through space as we go about our little lives and what does that mean? unlike a juke box where you get a song you want to play, this poem challenged me. "Our prison, where we crawled and clung . . . " is in the past tense so I wonder about the "I" of the poem. It seems written from the perspective after life.

author amok said...

This poem travels so beautifully from the small dandelion seed to the whole expanse of earth turning in space.

Denise Krebs said...

Thank you, Tabatha, for sharing. I love the idea of the earth "level and aloof" spinning among the stars and that the earth "turns with slow grace of a dancer" I always read new poems here! Thanks.

mbhmaine said...

Wow! What a gorgeous poem! I love the phrase you chose for your title and so, so many others. Such lush imagery! The quote about the jukebox reminded me of Naomi Shihab Nye's "You can’t order a poem like you order a taco." Thanks for sharing this today, Tabatha!

Linda Mitchell said...

That phrase, "naked shape of earth!" It's wonderful...and what I love to look for from a plane window. Such a lovely perspective. AND, I spy a star in this poem. Thank you!

Michelle Kogan said...

Ooo it's gorgeous, quite an "Ascent" and I love the closing two lines–I've been suspended "in air" momentarily. Thanks for taking us there Tabatha!

Mary Lee said...

Important to lift ourselves away from the here and now and remember the bigger picture! Great poem!

Rose Cappelli said...

What a lovely poem and perspective. Thanks for sharing it here, Tabatha.

Heidi Mordhorst said...

Thank you, Dudley, for commemorating the moonshot? Lovely language from a poet I'm sad to say I did not know.