The Poetry Place

The Stranger

Monday, 15 October 2018 16:56:35

Monday, 15 October 2018 16:56:35

Complete. So - what is the strory behind this - and what will happen next?

 

Half hidden in a graveyard

In the blackness of a yew

Where never living creature stirs

Nor sunbeam pierces through,

 

Is a tomb, lichened and crooked –

Its faded legend gone –

With but one rain-worn cherub’s head

Of mouldering stone.

 

There, when dusk is falling

A figure oft appears

Though home fires may be calling

As dark night nears.

 

But the stranger in the fading light

Is far away from home

And is careless of oncoming night,

Relishes the gloom.

 

It approaches the old gravestone,

Pauses, bends to read.

The place is overgrown

And framed with grass and weed.

 

A hat removed, a collar turned,

A female face revealed;

A torch switched on: what can be learned

From that which time has sealed?

 

She bends towards the grave. She kneels

Her fingers brush the stone

And the carven characters reveal

The name that she has known.

 

The proof is here. It’s carved in stone.

Her eyes are bright with tears

But there will be a reckoning

After all these years…



The Stranger

Tuesday, 9 October 2018 15:45:39

Tuesday, 9 October 2018 15:45:39

This is the final stanza. It leaves the reader questioning - and with an opportunity to create an explanation.

The proof is here. It’s carved in stone.

Her eyes are bright with tears

But there will be a reckoning

After all these years.

                           Now some tidying up to do.



The Stranger

Saturday, 6 October 2018 11:53:13

Saturday, 6 October 2018 11:53:13

She bends towards the stone / grave. She kneels
She strokes her fungers on the  / Her fingers brush the stone
And the carven characters reveal
The name that she has known.

It's OK to be unsure, I think.  Better to get the idea on paper (or equivalent) and come back to problem areas later.  What you write later may help you to decide between alternatives when you revisit lines you have wondered about earlier. 



Monday, 1 October 2018 14:45:43

Monday, 1 October 2018 14:45:43

It approaches the ….... gravestone,

Pauses, bends to read.

The site(?) is overgrown

And framed with grass and weed.

 

A hat removed, a collar turned,

A female face revealed;

A torch switched on: what can be learned

From that which time has sealed?

 

A few issues unresolved. Not happy with 'site' and need a descriptor for the grave.  Would 'old' be sufficient?

Fairly happy with the following stanza.

 



The Stranger

Sunday, 23 September 2018 17:23:29

Sunday, 23 September 2018 17:23:29

The next lines came to me fairly quickly, though I'm not sure about 'oft'. Is it in keeping with the age of the original poem (though that was nevertheless 20th century) or should I go for 'often'? It's just that 'often' sounds banal and 'oft' sounds deliberately poetic.

There, when dusk is falling

A figure oft appears

Though home fires may be calling

As dark night nears.

But the stranger in the fading light

Is far away from home

And is careless of oncoming night,

Relishes the gloom.



The Stranger

Monday, 17 September 2018 12:17:03

Monday, 17 September 2018 12:17:03

There is a poem by Walter de la Mare called ‘The Stranger’, which begins

Half hidden in a graveyard

In the blackness of a yew

Where never living creature stirs

Nor sunbeam pierces through,

 

Is a tomb, lichened and crooked –

Its faded legend gone –

With but one rain-worn cherub’s head

Of mouldering stone.

 

There, when dusk is falling……

 

Very Gothic.  I thought it would be a nice challenge to continue the poem along different lines and see where the story might go.  Writing a narrative, you need to have a rough idea (not too precise) of the plot. To know where you’re heading but without the need to know how long it will take to get there or quite what the route will be.



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