An Imitation of Wordsworth

An imitation of William Wordsworth: “Left upon a seat in a yew-tree, which stands near the Lake of Esthwaite” (from the Lyrical Ballads 1802 Volume One):

Left upon a pine tree in South Sacramento 

 — Nay, Wanderer! Chill. This fresh, wise pine tree stands

amidst a community, amongst all human dwelling;

what if here

no reflecting bodies of water

no lakes and canals to spread green grass or

fresh water to reflect the moonlight each Full Moon

what if here

there was no

sunflowers for the bees to Love

or no bees to inhabit Mother Earth we share;

—-

a child of God

finding paradise on Earth, from nothing and everything

to be nothing and everything

the Light in my mind’s eye,

an awakening to see clearly

to see that Life is the real Dream,

your dreams in the astral realm hold

secrets to your soul’s codes;

Mother Earth is alive, God never died

Spirit alive through the trees, the roses and the Sun too.

Your ancestors pull themselves closer

Through the wind,

A chill down your spine

On the windiest days

Winds of change and winds of warnings.

Warnings of Massive Change.

Enough change to shake up the collective human consciousness,

a burst, propelling Force; moving us Forward —

Spirit in the gravity too.

 

———- Who She was. She

started a fire, and danced with the aging trees

Now Free, to bend arms and hips,

to twist her hair, chant and dance under the moonlight.

She started a fire. I well remember. – She was one who

owned an ancient soul, an uncommon soul.

A beckon of Light that belonged to God; Christ-like; She too

sent to the Darkest places; to heal the lost and the helpless.

 

a young child; trauma tossed and turned; a paranoid, bipolar and psycho

or a perfectly insane genius.

mysterious brown eyes to fill secrets; reflect a dreaming glare

to play the role she signed her Soul to.

Lioness moves forward; Pure in the Heart.

A Blade for a Spirit.

The world is cold,

cycles of greed and violence,

cycles repeated, karmic debt on a loop,

karma dismissed and karma ignored,

Spirit is All Knowing

Mother Earth is Alive.

And the Light was reborn

Through bursts of DNA,

The Light now deadly too.

Spiritual warfare,

we’ve been fighting since the beginning of Time

 

her Soul relearning mindfulness,

through her avatar’s conscious meditation.

In solitude. – Stranger! These gloomy clouds

Hold messages and codes for her; Here she loves to sit,

She has many visitors.

She loves Earth so Earth loves her.

A hummingbird, a black cat, a lizard,

a dog, a horse, a baby scorpion, and a snake –

She has many visitors.

Living an unfruitful life, she made the conscious decision

to start again, so she burned herself, her home and

everything she has ever known.

 

She gave herself back to God,

Her Spirit was reborn to assist the Light.

A near-death experience, a blessing or a fated destiny.

Lifting up her head, she would gaze again

at the fresh, green forest scenery.

To see that Life is the real Dream.

Silence in the trees and in the wind.

A Calmness that brings her back,

to see all that Just Is.

Nature is healing, Nature is Godly.

Admiring Mother Earth and all her features.

Our Creator’s creation, that provides us

with water, fresh air and all the tools to survive on this planet.

 

Healing trauma, rewriting DNA

Restoring imagination to child-like purity.

An Artist like how She used to be –

In God’s kingdom. We are all Artists.

Wordsworth commanding the reader

to understand,

true knowledge leads to love,

true dignity with Her alone,

in the silence of heavy thought,

Can still suspect, and still revere herself,

In Free Spirit, In Pure Full Heart. B.B. 22.

  • Brianna Barajas 

Review: 

In this literary piece, I provide a modern day imitation of William Wordsworth “Left upon a seat in a yew-tree” from the Lyrical Ballads 1802 Volume One. I focus on Wordsworth’s style of writing as a romantic poet who heavily stresses on Nature. This style of writing honors Nature and perceives Nature as a sacred space. In this imitation, I connect nature to ancient indigenous traditions of experiencing God through Nature. I describe spiritual philosophy through imagery and mysticism, as I ponder on the same stillness and silence that Wordsworth finds in Nature through his poetry. While writing this poem, I realized I could not write it indoors. Through this creative writing project, I realized romantic poetry written correctly – must be done outdoors in Nature. Romantic poetry also requires mindfulness and meditation. As a reader and as a writer, there is an urgency of meditation in the mind that requires concentration and focus. The romantic poet teaches us how to familiarize ourselves with the mind element of our overall mind, body and spirit connection. In holistic healing practices, mindfulness is a key quality to recovering from trauma and addictions. And through this experience, I realized the romantic poets were trying to connect the collective human consciousness back to their spirits. Considering all the greed and violence occurring in the world at the time Romantic poetry came to life–  I realize the Romantic Poets were fulfilling their individual Soul purpose. We all have our own soul, and many may wander lost without knowing it. Romantic poetry was so influential and it remains difficult to imitate. I am a poet and a shaman so I was able to mediate and practice mindfulness before and during my writing process. I meditated and fasted to attempt a similar outcome as Wordsworth and many other Romantic Poets as I created this imitation piece.

 

 

 

REJECT

A man from the stalking brown hills once told me;

“Rides the river an ocean of distance

‘Tween two banks in the grove that is a grotto

Down from the path’s turn at the path’s end.

Slight slant to the earth rushes clear ink

In a clean stream, cleaves erosion and carves motion

Into the rock. Sun’s shimmer on the surging surface,

Life’s breathes in the whistle of the wind

As it whispers through the grasses along the banks.

In profile; a long visage set in sediment

Sits, watches the water, weathers it’s wails

With ears waxed wet lichen and eyes winnowed hollow

Under a furrowed brow tousled porous

And knotted by bloodless cool contempt.

Nose upturned; stratification’s projection.

Lips folded in union, their earthen sculptor

With marred hands marked melancholy’s wrinkle

Within time’s vista. Given life, binds vise

Around the boulder, and like a boulder

It gets older, never moving and ever never aging.

Stale tears of pale moss down flat cheeks defaced

By splinters and supplication, by tears

And by tears,” claimed he, “And on the bank opposite;

Mirrored in despair in the deadened river;

Wreathed in kin; a tree. A most crooked tree!

Leering twisted, a bark-bitten beauty

Whose bole, long ago, was bisected.

A pair of arms hang, over the edge,

Across the jumping span, over pellucidity

And above the brow of the immobile stone;

Like fluttering fingers flicking mockingly,

Like frigid spume from the turgid maelstrom below,

Like licentious lover’s lilt, that last lifting touch,     

Like dancing askance afore the fires over the hills;

Branches in broken precision, draping all light,

Brokered into the skein of a scattered weave.

Slits revealed through the net; the skin of the sun                 

Scintillating, burning bright as the days as the days drag on.”

But another man, from the same green grass hills, told me thus;

“You see I saw with these eyes of mine;

Some little stream in the seam of the earth,

Inside this side of a broken bride’s dream,

Down where the path leaves the path’s end.

Earth’s shivering wine ever flows a-shimmer, a fluid feast flush

With silver flower-buds forever unblossomed

And undulating under water unburdened

As unbroken water under un-needed bridges.

A valley extended to mortal arm’s full extension,
Where one foot afore another’s affectations

Quickly effect’s end of the vista’s affections.

From my vantage – during the cricket sung-adage

Of day’s repose, when shadow spreads as a shawl,

And the moon casts pale glares through sun’s glaring death-mask –

I did see a tree. A most bereaved tree!

Bowing to boughs full-leaved and leaning,

Bole trunkless, breastless, and pair-armed,

Bare as the cloudless night, white as a beech bleached lunar

On the grass-stalked banked beach. Verdant dawn far off

But not forgotten – Nothing, at all, forgotten

By the lover of the tree; the rock.

A stolid fellow despite his cocked, concave eye.

As solid as a spine yet spineless despite height,

Relenting on a whim to what he had given

To win the heart of his heartless mirror;

His sight and his everything, across the river

And over his brow – where, writ in the land,

She stands, touching that brow upon it’s furrow

With naught but a single breadthless branch

To breach the breathless breath between them –

And a single sliver of pale bark falls between them,

Landing upon the feast’s silver plate reflected there. Between them.

And between them…how much cheese they had!”

The Ole’ U.S. of A., 2019

In the chair of our home

Sits the man deemed as unworthy.

And down a narrow road,

One only finds no mercy.

For our home has fallen

Into the grasp of another

Controlled and utilized

For a purpose unworthy.

Aye, the road ahead

Shows a slight glow’a hope,

From the cries of the innocent

Who seek justice for those who don’t.

Yet as the nights grow longer

And the years as well,

Our home lies in shreds,

From the man who still dwells.

(This sucks as a poem, I am so sorry your eyes were cursed to read this. I just can’t write poetry.)

-Jody Omlin

It’s a Mad World

In “The Mad Mother” by Wordsworth, the poem depicts a mother who is admittedly on the brink of insanity. Her only saving grace is the purity and love of her baby. Her husband is not attentive, if present at all, and she is considered mad by all those around her. The poem reads with a heavy air of isolation and depression, though every statement about her sun is like a little light of hope. Joseph William Turner’s “Buttermere Lake: A Shower” uses dark and muted colors for most of his painting. The dark theme is not eerie but rather dreary. There is a lone figure in the lake and in one of the further focal points of the piece, the artist utilizes light and depth with a soft arc ascending from around the lake’s bend. I think this painting is a good visual representation for the woman’s dark mentality. I would go as far as to say that the woman may have suffered mental illnesses in this piece. Depression, PTSD, or perhaps schizophrenia (when she speaks of the “wicked faces” and “fire once in [her] brain”) may be involved in her life.The way she speaks about how she was happy once, scorned at other times and has lost much joy by the time her son is born speaks volumes about potential depressive episodes she may have encountered through her life. The discord she suffers through is recurring, enough to have her labeled as mad and inconvenient enough to push others away. The romanticism, I think, is found in the way that this baby is enough to cease the madness, if only for a while. As mental illnesses are still not fully understood to this day, the era in which this was written would have been a strong romanticism thing. Clearly, she is an outcast but the romance theme of it all is strength in solitude, strength as a woman, and the love and emotions of a mother and her child.

-Asia Reyna

The Travels of an Old Man


This painting, titled Evening: landscape With an Aqueduct by the artist Theodore Gericault, provides a very accurate visual representation of the Poem “Old Man Traveling: Tranquility and Decay. A Sketch” by William Wordsworth.

The poem relates the posture and apparent attitude of the old man in his journey to see his son (a mariner) who resides in hospital. The man is described as “insensibly subdued” and possessing “mild composure” given by “long patience”.

The painting depicts not just the physical form of the narrator speaking to an old man (as it is described in the poem itself), but also possesses the calm, almost lackadaisically determined demeanor of the old man; the bright and bold yet unobtrusive and warm color pallet of the painting perfectly captures the description of the old man’s reserved bravery. Moreover, the subject of the painting, the river and bridge, brings to mind a journey, or a place one is only meant to pass through – Much like the suggestion within the poem that the old man has traveled from a far away place, roaming the hills and rivers of his own land in order to reach his son.

Overall, both the poema nd the painting possess a spirit of travel, and a sense of quiet determination masking the wisdom of age.

-Shawn Pintor-Day

A Visual Portrayal of Grief

The second image titled “The Abbey in the Oakwood” by Caspar David Friedrich is a painting that bears resemblance to the words of the poem “We Are Seven” by William Wordsworth. In the painting, amongst the somber ruins of the church and the eerie illustration of fog (or perhaps morning dew), gravestones can be seen. It is clear that the abbey in the painting has been abandoned or it is broken down, and the state of the yard is unsettling. The gravestones reflect the two buried siblings of the little Maid mentioned in the poem. When the author asks the child about her siblings, she states that there are seven of them. The little Maid states,

“Two of us in the church-yard lie,

‘Beneath the church-yard tree”.

The painting includes many different graves, but it can be implied that two of the graves that are next to each other belong to the two deceased children. The subject of death is not a particularly happy subject, and the cold sentiment reflected in the poem enhances the feeling of loss that the mother must have gone through. The painting also includes many trees and a tree is mentioned by the child. When reading the poem, one can visualize the setting and the image by Friedrich adds a somber tone to the interpretation of the writing. When the author continues his conversation with the child, he tries to argue that there are only five siblings since two are deceased, but the child still considers them to be a pack of seven. Wordsworth writes,

“‘But they are dead; those two are dead!

‘Their spirits are in heaven!’

‘Twas throwing words away; for still

‘The little Maid would have her will,

And said, ‘Nay, we are seven!’”

The painting may be a reflection of an adult’s view of death and grief. The child in the poem is adamant on stating that there are seven siblings, as if the two deceased siblings were still alive. The author – being an adult – continues his argument with the child and he expresses his understanding of death. The little Maid represents a child’s innocence and how it is easier for them to recover from certain losses because they don’t quite fully understand the severity of the situation. On the other hand, the painting and it’s sorrowful, empty feel may be a representation of how an adult may grieve and how they have to deal with the consequences of loss to a bigger extent than a child. Children may be more accepting of death while adults often have a hard time letting people go. The sorrow, grief, and depression that arises within an adult after a great loss can be felt through the painting’s visualization. Therefore, the painting reflects Romanticism’s ability to trigger a memory within the reader/viewer and may lead them to contemplate the meaning of their own life. The painting is a possible reflection of what may go through an individual’s mind when they come across a poem that mentions a particular subject such as death in Wordsworth’s “We Are Seven”.

-Maria G. Perez

Caspar David Friedrich (1774-1840), The Abby in the Oakwood, 1808-1810

A Different Man

Iron Maiden’s heavy metal version of Samuel Taylor Coleridge’s “The Rime of the Ancient Mariner” is like Romantic poetry. One of the characteristics of Romanticism is defined as “A predilection for the exotic, the remote, the mysterious, the weird, the occult, the monstrous, the diseased, and even the satanic.” In the poem, the other sailors became angry with the Mariner for killing the albatross. Apparently, seeing an albatross meant good luck. However, the fact that the Mariner killed the albatross implies the he doesn’t believe in luck. The Mariner was shamed for doing something different and not believing in the norm. In other words, he was shamed for being different. When the fog cleared, though, the other sailors changed their mind and claimed that the albatross was actually bad luck and forgave the Mariner. Unfortunately, when the men had no water to drink, they again became angry with the Mariner.

Iron Maiden’s musical version of the poem reminds me of those who are unique because rock music is typically tied with opposing the norm. Iron Maiden praises the Mariner for being different. What truly makes something good luck? The Mariner clearly has thoughts of his own and doesn’t easily believe everything he sees. The Mariner forces us to question what we have painted as our reality. For example, is something really as bad as we make it out to be? Though we are entitled to our own opinions, sometimes we need to question the way we look at things.

Charise Cating

Metal/Rock Bands: Our Current Day Romantics

Music is a way of bringing stories back to life and breathing new life into them. Rock and heavy metal music works especially well as a medium for this type of revival because of how diverse the sounds can be within the discography of one band. Iron Maiden’s take on “The Rime of the Ancient Mariner” is a great example of bringing to life a poem with the diverse range of sound that only a metal band could bring. The way that the poem begins is very attention grabbing and each stanza contains at least one set of rhyming lines. Those rhymes help establish the pattern and general rhythm for the rest of the poem. Iron Maiden manages to capture that element and rework it into the instrumental that they play beneath the lyrics. The beat is a constant repetition in the background that helps ground the listener in the rhythm of the lyrics.

The different instruments combined together manage to create not only a hard fast-paced beat at the beginning of the song but as it goes on they also manage to create a smooth ballad towards the middle. This ability to turn the tide of the song helps the audience visualize first the wedding and then the actual story being told within the story of the Mariner. Then as we approach the end of the song it picks up the pace once more as if to remind the listener that we aren’t actually experiencing everything in real time with the Mariner, but instead at the wedding listening to a tale.

The poem itself does this back and forth but it is far more subtle than its song counterpart because the story transitions easily as the poem itself is divided into 7 different parts. The reader sees the divides and is aware of the difference in story if they are reading carefully. The song clearly breaks apart the different elements of the story. The reader hears the sounds and knows they’re at the wedding, they’re on the sea, etc.

The music brings an element of drama to the poem that didn’t exist before. It makes easier for the listener to understand the poem and to get lost in the story. This song works similarly like the soundtrack of a movie or a television show in the sense that the instrumentals themselves are able to help the listener distinguish which part of the story they are currently at.

Who knew the Romantics and their larger than life poetry continues to exist in our rock and metal bands today?

By Diana Lara

Not Romanticizing the Maiden

Iron Maiden’s “The Rime of the Ancient Mariner” is but a rendition of Coleridge’s poem of the same name. The Romantic essence presented in the original poem is convoluted, if not lost completely, in the heavy metal rendition. Iron Maiden tells the story of the mariner using their characteristic metal music, full of the sounds of electric guitars and screaming. These additions to the story of the mariner take great liberties with Coleridge’s poem. When looking at art of the Romantic era, particularly poems such as those found in the Lyrical Ballads, Romanticism is presented in a relaxing form of phrases and images. Though the subjects may be quite Gothic and macabre indeed, truly terrifying images like those found in the demons presented in the music video for this song are not seen. The connection with nature found in Romantic poetry and art brings a much more realistic and peaceful articulation of tragedy than Iron Maiden does with this piece. Looking at Coleridge’s poem, the reader is brought back from the mariner’s story at multiple points to the present scene with the wedding guest. This generally happens when the wedding guest confesses fear of the mariner in response to each terrifying image he adds to his story. It was not the goal of the Romantics or this poem to tell a tale of terror, rather, Romanticism is a way to bring one back to themselves. At the end of the poem, the reader witnesses the wedding guest’s change in outlook on life; it is this that Romantic poetry strives to create. Iron Maiden, on the other hand, appear to revel in the ideas of Death, Life in Death, a dead crew, and a cursed mariner. The entire song focuses on the macabre and terror. Using pictures made on a computer, detached from nature far more than paintings, and instruments that do nothing to recall the sounds heard in times of peaceful reflection, Iron Maiden is extremely different from what one would expect from an artist inspired by the Romantic period. In only one respect “The Rime of the Ancient Mariner” resembles Romantic poetry, and that is in its lyrics. The goal of the poet, according to Wordsworth, is to do away with the verse and unusable language of poetry used before him. Iron Maiden’s rendition of Coleridge’s poem does not use the unclear and stuffy language favored by the author. Instead, they summarize the poem with more modern words in the way of Wordsworth.

-Meredith Leonardo

Dark Expressions

I feel like rock has been used by music artists to express their anger and discontent of the world around them. Romantic Poetry was also used in a similar way to express the emotions that flowed through someone during this time of their life. Romantic Poetry was used to go against what once was. And thus, this reminds me of rock and how in Iron Maiden’s version “The Rime of the Ancient Mariner” is not what you expect, and it goes against any set ideas or enclosed box that most people want to place “Rock Music” into. The poem by Samuel Taylor Coleridge “The Rime of the Ancient Mariner” has a dark tone to it. The poem talks about a Mariner who after arriving safely somewhere he kills a bird in which the crew thought was a good omen. The crew isn’t happy, and they express their anger towards the mariner, but it doesn’t matter because they start dropping dead one by one. The Mariner is punished and cursed to live and be alone. The Mariner prays, and god forgives, and he always feels compelled to tell and retell the story. The imagery in the poem and the lyrics are so ugly and dark because the poem is about death and curses. Both the poem and the song are alike because they have a similar rhythm and tone and because the lyrics from the song are inspired from the poem itself.  

Karla Nichols