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132nd Virtual Poetry Circle

Welcome to the 132nd Virtual Poetry Circle!

Remember, this is just for fun and is not meant to be stressful.

Keep in mind what Molly Peacock’s books suggested. Look at a line, a stanza, sentences, and images; describe what you like or don’t like; and offer an opinion. If you missed my review of her book, check it out here.

Also, sign up for the 2012 Fearless Poetry Reading Challenge because its simple; you only need to read 1 book of poetry. Please visit the stops on the National Poetry Month Blog Tour from April 2011 and beginning again in April 2012.

Today’s poems is from Eavan Boland:

 Atlantis -- A Lost Sonnet

How on earth did it happen, I used to wonder
that a whole city—arches, pillars, colonnades,
not to mention vehicles and animals—had all
one fine day gone under?

I mean, I said to myself, the world was small then.
Surely a great city must have been missed?
I miss our old city —

white pepper, white pudding, you and I meeting
under fanlights and low skies to go home in it. Maybe
what really happened is 

this: the old fable-makers searched hard for a word
to convey that what is gone is gone forever and
never found it. And so, in the best traditions of 

where we come from, they gave their sorrow a name
and drowned it.

What do you think?

  • I like the “fanlights and low skies.” That really gives me (especially as a tall person) the feeling that you’re almost crouching, because you know a blow is about to fall. Also, it’s apt for this time of year. Where I live, there’s almost always a cloud ceiling, and it hangs low, low, low in January.

  • I love the last stanza, the heaviness of it that changes the lightness at the beginning of the poem.

  • I love the turn of phrase that drops this poem on its ear. Its fantastic how easily it changes the poems meaning.

  • I *love* Eavan Boland! So much is fantastic about this poem — I love the mythical note of the poem — Atlantis — and it reminds me of the work of one of my favorite poets, H.D., who did a lot of Imagist stuff about Greek mythology and mythology.

    What was the real gut kick for me, tho, was her last two lines: “they gave their sorrow a name/and drowned it.” WOW — going from simply musing or daydreaming about mythology, she’s turned this into something deeper. Love it.

  • What I like about this poem is the melancholy in it, the saudade! It truly gives me that sad, lost feeling. My favorite line:
    “the old fable-makers searched hard for a word
    to convey that what is gone is gone forever and
    never found it”
    What is gone is gone forever: lovely!
    Thanks for sharing! It helps me on my journey to learn more about poetry!