Saturday, July 07, 2007

Lucifer in Starlight

I thought this poem, Lucifer at the Starlight, by Kim Addonizio, was terrific. I like the clever rhythms and the way it slips in and out of straight iambic pentameter (especially the foot short on "stumbling" at line 13), and those final sinister, mysterious and politically-charged images.

I didn’t know the George Meredith poem it’s “after”, but I managed to find it. It’s interesting in itself, and I’ve pasted it below. Interesting too, how KA has used and altered some of the imagery of the original poem.

Lucifer in Starlight
by George Meredith

On a starred night Prince Lucifer uprose.
Tired of his dark dominion swung the fiend
Above the rolling ball in cloud part screened,
Where sinners hugged their spectre of repose.
Poor prey to his hot fit of pride were those.
And now upon his western wing he leaned,
Now his huge bulk o'er Afric's sands careened,
Now the black planet shadowed Arctic snows.
Soaring through wider zones that pricked his scars
With memory of the old revolt from Awe,
He reached a middle height, and at the stars,
Which are the brain of heaven, he looked, and sank.
Around the ancient track marched, rank on rank,
The army of unalterable law.

2 comments:

Cailleach said...

I like both very much - I'm very taken with the sonnet recently, having stumbled into how to make them properly recently. Well, when I say properly, I mean better than I used to!

apprentice said...

Addonizio's poem certainly captures the spirit of the times.
The shorter foot makes your ear stumble, which unscores the very use of the word, clever stuff.

Welcome back , I hope you feel rested. The pool incident is a great wee insight into some people's ideas on parenthood.