Sharing the Craft

Since I've been slaving away at it all semester, I guess I'll share one of the poems that I've been working on. It's no Tennyson or Eliot or Cummings or any other master, but have a taste.

To Be Human
by Ivor Lee

I am not a wandering king trapped
by duties’ responsibility,
unable to travel or seek the isles
of the happy or to conquer the
scudding drifts of the sea. I am not a
herculean giant, invincible;
a warrior of glory bowing to
no gods on battle’s ringing plains. I
am not the blinded poet calling to
the epic tapestries’ fiber to spin.
It has not been my mantle to write lines
of heroic script, for this is not my gift.
I have not wandered realms of man looking
for meaning in the rise and fall of crimson
suns that shade the earth in world devouring
light. I do not know the dealings of the gods,
for I am no prophet, with no gift to
peer into the churning tide of future
forbidden and I have not seen the dawn
of time where gods and goddesses began.

I am but a man—called to do the things
unnoticed by the tomes of history,
Though through their raging of heroes ego’s
I have heard the voices in the leaves speak
its secret language without listening
to the autumn crush or the winter moonlight
—feeling their truths and so finding no fame
because fame denies its sense for power.
I long to understand their speech and join
them in their whispering on the summer breeze,
far beyond the bounds of all my limits.
I am locked by pleasant care, looking to
those beside me, that I love and would not
leave for Ilium’s glory, for comfort
and rest when my heart echoes the siren song
of journey far into the unknown depths
that always sings the clearness of the deep.
What I am, I am. No strength to lift the
mountains or cause all armies to quiver.
No sophistry in my bones or preaching
to the crawling masses starved for knowledge.
I am just a man, ordinary in
manner and likeness to all His peoples.
I am a weak thing of the earth. Like
a sparrow in the hand of providence,
to fall and fly and not to fight the will
I rely on—the power greater than
my own, my God and find my rest in Him.


Emily Poteet said...

I'm glad I know gifted writers...and to think, I was your mentor. Your talent must have come from me.

This is beautiful. I'll be honest, I didn't think I'd like it because something in my brain always tells me that poetry isn't worth reading since I never understand it. But this was beautiful. Post more.

Chan said...

I really like the last few lines, especially, "Like/ a sparrow in the hand of providence,/ to fall and fly and not to fight the will/ I rely on." I like both the sound and the idea. Good job, Ivor.