Knelt down, or: Stood red tulips

My 2nd Copla Real


All has become quiet in Moscow.

Count L. N. Tolstoy (1828 – 1910), ‘The Cossacks’, 1878
Their fearful faces told him more
than what they were too scared to say;
he looked from them towards the door,
from where she'd been taken away
for the crime of uttering, "War."

Across the way, FSB thugs
chatted coolly, impassive mugs.
Knees shaking, he knelt down, bereft;
stood red tulips in nearby jug
upon her step; then, briskly left.

Copla Real?

  • a decastich (10 line poem) made up of 2 Quintillas (Spanish 8 syllable line quintains turned on only 2 rhymes of any combination other than never ending with a rhymed couplet);
  • syllabic: all lines are 8 syllables;
  • rhymed: rhyme schemes include ababa, abbab, abaab, aabab, and aabba. The one no-no is it should never end in a rhyming couplet.

d’Verse poetics: Opening Sentences of Famous Novels

At d’Verse, poets were prompted to compose poems inspired by one of the following opening lines of a famous novel:

  1. ‘I am going to get into a lot of trouble.’ – Raymond Radiguet, Possessed by the Devil, Grasset 1923
  2. ‘You all know the wild grief that besets us when we remember times of happiness.’– Ernst Junger, On the Marble Cliffs, John Lehmann, 1947
  3. ‘All has become quiet in Moscow.’– Count L N Tolstoy, The Cossacks, Sampson Low, Morton, Searle & Rivington, 1878
  4. ‘For a long time I used to go to bed early.’– Marcel Proust, Swann’s Way (Remembrance of Things Past), Penguin, 1957
  5. ‘No bondage is worse than the hope of happiness.’– Carlos Fuentes, Diana: The Goddess Who Hunts Alone, Bloomsbury, 1995
  6. ‘It was the summer that men first walked on the moon.’– Paul Auster, Moon Palace, Faber and Faber 1989
  7. ‘The sea is high again today, with a thrilling flush of wind.’– Lawrence Durrell, Justine (Alexandria Quartet) Faber, 1961
  8. ‘The studio was filled with the rich odour of roses, and when the light summer wind stirred amidst the trees of the garden, there came through the open door the heavy scent of the lilac, or the more delicate perfume of the pink-flowering thorn.’- Oscar Wilde, The Picture of Dorian Gray, Dent Dutton, 1955
  9. ‘I am in my mother’s room.’– Samuel Beckett, Molloy, Grove Press Inc, 1976
  10. ‘It is easy to forget that in the main we die only seven times more slowly than our dogs.’– Jim Harrison, The Road Home, Picador, 1999
  11. ‘Long after their usual time, the wild boar were still coming to drink at the deserted pool.’– Roger Nimier,The Sad Children, Gallimard, 1951
  12. ‘The winter sun, poor ghost of itself, hung milky and wan behind layers of cloud above the huddled roofs of the town.’– Thomas Mann, Tonio Kroger, Penguin, 1955

‘What do you see’ Prompt #127

For Sadje’s weekly #WDYS prompt, she offered the photo below (taken by Yana Hurskaya) as inspiration for writers to produce art.

Image credit: Yana Hurskaya @ Unsplash

Let’s write poetry together!

When it comes to partnership, some humans can make their lives alone – it’s possible. But creatively, it’s more like painting: you can’t just use the same colours in every painting. It’s just not an option. You can’t take the same photograph every time and live with art forms with no differences.

Ben Harper (b. 1969)

Would you like to create poetry with me and have a completed poem of yours featured here at the Skeptic’s Kaddish? I am very excited to have launched the ‘Poetry Partners’ initiative and am looking forward to meeting and creating with you… Check it out!

46 thoughts on “Knelt down, or: Stood red tulips”

  1. A fascinating little form for a serious and sad subject. We will probably never know how many are being taken away, how many have stood against the tyrant now in power, but they are heroes all, nonetheless.

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