Aglaea

September 6, 2011

I place a mirror up against beauty and I see truth…

Her beauty lies below her skin
flows in her marrow
in her becoming
her being
her.

His beauty lies below his vellum
flows in his art
his Heraclitean canvas
his whole
him.

Her truth is spoken in
quiet sighs of omorphia
her esoteric essence
in visible
her.

His truth is read in
smooth syllable-veined rock
his exoteric expression
in constant
him.

(post scriptum: this is a series of four non-traditional meter tanka exploring two of my pet pursuits – beauty and truth. The first tanka was inspired by remarks made by Kerry-ann Mansford (http://velvetinapurrs.wordpress.com) about internal vs. external beauty. She writes beautifully and truthfully – please visit her. I wrote the subsequent three tanka on the back of the first.)

(part of Open Link Night week 8 – http://dversepoets.com )

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28 Responses to “Aglaea”

  1. andthedawn said

    One of your best I think. No wonder you enjoy writing about truth and beauty when you do it so beautifully.

  2. brian said

    ah, each adds a layer but the ones on truth ring for me…mmm…much to ponder in these…

  3. Your poem is a gorgeous and fitting tribute to the poet that inspired you and the archetype of Aglaea. You have imbued the tankas with lyric caresses. Again I will return to silence to appreciate your art.

  4. claudia said

    ..I place a mirror up against beauty and I see truth…..a lot of beauty lies beneath the skin and we need eyes to see it…seems you have…enjoyed your tankas and velvetina is fantastic..

  5. Any poem that reads like vellum, as did this — silky yet rough and pleasing, is a winner to me.

  6. I really, really love this, every line, every word. I am not very learned in form, but this is incredible.

  7. Oh yes, I certainly like this one of yours – here’s mine: http://www.image-verse.com/clown

  8. marousia said

    This is Beauty. I love the play of words.

  9. Tankas are new to me, not very eastern influenced I think..,. Haiku is the only one I really know or have attempted. Tankas look challenging. Yours is very nice…….

  10. hobgoblin2011 said

    Really enjoyed this work. Each works well with the others, really nice alternating between each. Thanks

  11. Gene said

    As Keats wrote, “Beauty is truth, truth beauty”. I loved this collection of tankas. The feel of the antique, the timeless, inlaid within. Beautiful.

  12. Heaven said

    Love the non-traditional meter tankas …. the her and his perspectives are nice contrasts yet complimenting each other.

    Fine writing ~

  13. To use a word already used…’beautiful’. I particularly adore your use of ‘constant’ at the end – one of my favourite words.

  14. Well..Peter..small beginnings with the first tanka, leading to a beautiful work of art, delicately but powerfully crafted..you have given us Aglaea & Heraclitus!!..and the innovative inclusion of Greek…’Omorphia’ what a great word! Within a surface simplicity, oceans of truth and beauty reflect light, and this reflective and reflecting structure, expressed by the contrasting, but ultimately complimenting ‘essense’ of the her and him, creates interlapping and over lapping currents..the little touches, such as, the ambiguity, the play on ‘in visible’ (her) and ‘in constant’ (him) in the truth stanzas, just adds further depth and resonance…I am impressed…

  15. Joe Hesch said

    That first verse/tanka just knocked me out, Peter. Stopped me dead for a minute. You maintained that spirit throughout. Beautiful and thoughtful piece.

  16. Kim Nelson said

    The concise precision of the piece lends a aura of scholar, of study. The compare and contrast sensation that arises from the male and female analysis takes that sensation to the scientific. You have masterfully combined art and science. Oh… wait a minute… are art and science merely reflections in a mirror? And so it goes…

  17. kez said

    beautiful and each verse flows with the next ….thank you x

  18. chris said

    Great choice of beautiful words and form for a poem on beauty. Her truth spoken in beauty, his truth read in beauty. Love this.

  19. Simple, serene, lovely. Interesting poetic form, getting to essence in one word.

  20. lori said

    This just washed over me. Really lovely, and I always appreciate good use of word play 🙂

  21. enjoyed this form and loved the depth to your words

  22. excellent piece and I love the form

  23. Her beauty lies below her skin…..gorgeous, as is the entire piece. I enjoyed the rhythm and it was like a lovely, woven architecture for me.
    -Eva

  24. siubhan said

    there is a simple yet thought-provoking beauty to these, especially the first. taken as a whole, they are as much philosophy as poetry.

  25. Neha said

    beautiful tankas – as pretty as they are simple.

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