Minor key


Today’s thoughts
arrive in minor key –
laments, quiet songs,
a prayer.
Clogged by
atmosphere
Sultry thunder
beats my ears.
I’m stalked by
nameless fear.
Oppressive air
heavy, still –
asthmatic breath
asphyxiates.
Pollen hang glides
mini-thermals,
tightening lungs
jam up.
Resignation,
inhalation –
Finally
I catch
reluctant breath.

This is a real mix I think – I am no longer sure what is trochee and what isn’t….help please!

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About SallyJ

I am a writer and a poet.
This entry was posted in asthma, natural world, One Stop Poetry, poet, thunder and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to Minor key

  1. brian says:

    i’ll let gay play with your form…but and eloquent way of describing allergies…the pollen hang gliding….and the ‘asthmatic breaths asphyxiate’ rolls off the tongue….

  2. Gay Cannon says:

    Your poem perfectly captured where I am this last week. Had a very bad asthma attack and am now suffering with everything opening up and pouring out of my 20 pound head.
    Your poem was elegant and really captured this lack of breath and inability to breathe.

    I’ll do my best to scan it, (although as I pointed out in the article…trying to sustain this inverted rhythm is difficult and can be absolutely ridiculous) so it’s just important to know what your feet are.
    L1 Today’s thoughts = (for me) monometer anapestic i.e. one foot line that is anapest
    the strongest stress falling on thoughts. You might argue that it’s an iamb with an extra hard syllable…but I think when you say thoughts after day you hit it a little harder.

    L2 – arrive|in mi| nor key – this is trimeter in iambic with the stress on rive, mi, and key.

    L3 – laments| quiet|songs?? – “laments” is iambic by the dictionary the stress falls on the second syllable. Then “quiet” itself is a trochee by the dictionary, the stress falling on the first syllable. That leaves “songs”. We don’t have a three syllable foot with two stressed at the end..so that’s just an extra hard beat..an added masculine ending to the line which as it’s English “feels right”. Now to tell you why this begins to work for your poem. You’re writing about health that isn’t working. Your line doesn’t scan because your subject is telling you that you want that to feel different, in other words it’s right to be wrong. It doesn’t matter that it doesn’t scan regularly, it works in the poem and that’s what is ultimately important.
    L4 – a prayer| that’s one foot (monometer) iambic (unstressed/stressed)
    L5 – Clogged by| again one foot but this time trochee (stressed/unstressed)
    (note your own cacophony…abutting the iamb with the trochee even though on separate lines).
    L6 – atmosphere – which is in itself a dactyl! and again a single foot
    L7 – sultry| thunder| – dimeter (two feet) both trochees\\

    I could go on, but I think you have the information. Just check your dictionary. I think I’ve given you the basic format and the logic for why it works in your poem. But if you have other questions, just let me know. I’ll be glad to answer any other questions you have. Feel satisfied though that the form you “found” for this particular poem perfectly suits the subject. Well done.
    Gay

    • SallyJ says:

      Gay, thanks for taking so much time again. When you point it out it seems logical – when I sound it for myself, I tie myself in knots.
      I really have to get to grips with these basic tools if I am to call myself a poet.
      Hope the allergies have settled down for you!

  3. jay2 says:

    Trochees – I’m not sure – but moody yes.

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