Treasure Island

douglas scotney

(boomer / Toowoomba, Queensland, Australia. Resides in Adelaide)

B: XXX: Refuge


Baudelaire,
in Harmonie du Soir,
XLVII in Les Fleurs du Mal
uses the pantoumic formula:
1,2,3,4 2,5,4,6 5,7,6,8 7,9,8,10
and by judicious repetition
turns a 10-line poem into a 16-liner.

I did the same with my 10-liner:

Refuge
...holds
all who have toiled, regretted, been bewildered,
the never-warm, the indecently-fed,
and the unloving.
The first three
return to it on a nightly basis
for some time.
The others
remain free of it
for life.

the 16-liner:

Refuge
...holds
all who have toiled, regretted, been bewildered,
the never-warm, the indecently-fed,
and the unloving.

All who have toiled, regretted, been bewildered,
the first three,
and the unloving,
return to it on a nightly basis.

The first three,
for some time,
return to it on a nightly basis.
The others,

for some time,
remain free of it,
the others,
for life.

A little overwrought, regretted, bewildering,
but warm, well-fed, full of the mystery of love,
and therefore qualifying the poet
for a good night's sleep.

But is the 10-liner
so cold, starved and loveless
that it warrants
a restless life?

Submitted: Friday, January 25, 2013

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