"I am hearing poetry when awake, dreaming poetry when asleep, breathing poetry with each breath, I am living in a poem."

Sunday, March 29, 2015

A Day of Stones

Virginia didn’t know today would be a day of stones
until she felt darkness resurrect her demons,
and knew history was walking across her spirit
to the clanging bell of madness.

Her love had once endured the madness
of a mind so bleak it robbed her spirit,
tore joy from its stem and lay stones
of morbid thought to house demons.

Didn’t war have enough demons
without the weight of insanity’s stones
crushing her thoughts into cloying madness
where there could be no shelter for her spirit?

If only she could accept the willingness of her husband’s spirit
to sacrifice his days to carry her through her madness,
but she couldn’t see him once again suffering her demons
when his freedom could be secured by the weight of stones.

With her coat pockets filled with stones
she let the River Ouse drown her demons.

©Susie Clevenger 2015

On March 28,1941 Virginia Woolf committed suicide by filling her coat pockets with rocks and walking into the River Ouse. 

At Real Toads Bjorn Rudberg challenged us to write his adaption of a sestina. I am not good with poetry forms, but I gave it my best effort. 


Björn Rudberg said...

I really like your effort. The form is far from easy and you managed very well. The envoi is slightly adapted but I like those variations... To me you made life difficult with your choice of words, but you carried it through very well. The destiny of Virginia Wolf (and for all with Mental illness) who disn't trust that they could cope. Thank you Susie ;-)

Grace said...

You painted her insane and depressed spirit very well Susie ~ That ending couplet, with the envoi leaves me with powerful images of her suicide, yikes ~

I know what you mean about the challenge of poetry forms~ To me its like solving a crossword puzzle, ha ~

Sumana Roy said...

"weight of insanity’s stones"...this expression is so poignant as well as chilling pointing to her unfortunate destiny...nicely done with the form...

Outlawyer said...

The close is particularly strong , Susie, and you actually give a great deal of detail here of this sad history. Thanks. K. Manicddaily

Kerry O'Connor said...

You chose a tortured soul as the subject of this poem. I felt the weight of stones and demons long before I reached the envoy.

ccchampagne said...

As someone who lives with mental illness I can feel what I assume to be a special bond with poems like these. Set the form aside (which I believe Björn made up just to mess with us mere mortals even if you have done it very well), the message of this is important. Beautiful, and strong!

Jim said...

I didn't pick up on Virginia Wolfe right away though I should have. You did well, with her and with the form.
Per the poem, I feel the husband was haunted forever by the demons' reminders of how she died, for him.

Mary said...

You did something very difficult with the form, Susie. You told a real story, which (I think) makes the form even more of a challenge. Amazingly the many details of her life in a fine way.

Susan said...

Excellent! ANd exactly! The world keeps seeing her suicide as an act of madness when it was a choice--an act of clarity within madness. Still, if she were mine, her choice would destroy me. I cannot explain why.

Sherry Blue Sky said...

A sad story well told. I cannot for the life of me figure out this form, and am so admiring of what you did with it.

R.K. Garon said...

I'm impressed how you funneled this style into a very nice piece... :-)

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