Monday, 6 April 2015

E is for Eminent...and Exceptional...and Eliot

Welcome to the second week of the A-Z Challenge 2015, which is running Every weekday in April; and welcome back to those who have been reading last week. For this A-Z, my theme is Response Poems, and for each letter prompt I am introducing a poet I like, and using his/her poetry to come up with my own to post here, all in less than 400 words. Poetry's useful like that, it can say a lot in small wordcounts.  Though I personally have nothing against long, Elaborate posts, hey I like reading! I'll read whatever grabs my interest and holds it, long or short. Now, letter E -

is for Eliot, T.S. (1888-1965)

A famous American poet, and a major force in contemporary literature. Many consider his The Wasteland to be the single most influential poetic work of the last century.  

Responding here to his The Journey of the Magi

A December trip

It was not momentous, no-one like the Magi
undertook that trip, and no winter hardships
though it was December, yes, but the red eye
in the sun burnt mild, beyond unravelling strips

of cirrus clouds.  Unexpected events yanked us three
high into the skies, scooped away from our routine -
the earning of bread and learning by rote, housewifery,
the desolation of the savannah turning from green

to a mean yellow slow-blended with desert winds
that cut perpendicular to pressurised comfort
in the cabin, amply leg-roomed, cool, oxygenned,
the pilots suave, the cabin crew smart, expert,

served the meal trays somewhere over Lebanon
or maybe mountainous Iran, the dim origin
of the Kings, land of histories, epic connections
and scriptural sweep, only I didn’t know it then;

neither marked that exact moment my world fractured
a little, happened beyond my ken - the whole string
of those random events.  My father rendered
wordless, my mother in confused low-key mourning.

We flew East and landed, the cloaks and blankets,
the floor rugs felt comfortless, slightly threadbare.
Not a birth, we had journeyed for an out-of-turn death
and nothing had shattered, nothing major anywhere.

Do Elaborate posts put you off? What is the golden word limit - 100, 400, 1000?

Posted for the A-Z Challenge 2015


  1. Sounds like the haunting memories of war.
    For the Challenge, shorter posts are good. On a normal day, I admit I will hesitate when faced with over a thousand words though. I'm just such a slow reader....

  2. I think Arlee suggested 100-300 words, but that's one of my paragraphs ..

  3. What a great theme for your A-Z challenge! I am just getting into poetry and into understanding it, so thank you for your efforts to bring a wide range to the blog-sphere for me to read :) Best wishes, Pam at Mushy Cloud

  4. Hi Nila. I love the action verbs -- Unexpected events yanked us three
    high into the skies, scooped away from our routine...

    Maybe drop the intro now to cut down words as per Alex's suggestion. Get straight into it.

    Denise :-)

  5. Beautiful imagery - I've never been a big reader of poetry, but I think that stems from being made to read some really awful poems at school :). I think there is no golden length for posts, but in the AtoZ on the shorter side is easier and more likely to be read - somewhere under 500ish.
    Tasha's Thinkings | Wittegen Press | FB3X (AC)

  6. Hi Nila - I'm hopeless re words ... I try and keep the posts short - but fail ... there's too much to say ...

    Love the poem and the rather horrific idea of being plucked into the sky ... and then the 'out of turn' death - desperate times ...

    TS Eliot's work is incredible and I really should read more of his books and poems .. cheers Hilary

  7. I don't care for word limits, as long as something is well composed :) And this one is great!

    @TarkabarkaHolgy from
    Multicolored Diary - Epics from A to Z
    MopDog - 26 Ways to Die in Medieval Hungary

  8. Sure sounds like memories that stick with a person. As for length, write away and come what may

  9. Wonderfully written poem. I like the 400 limit. It's the sweet spot for posts. 1000 is just too much to read.

  10. I'll have to read Eliot. :)

    For bloghops, definitely 100-400.

  11. Your poems are beautiful and moving. I wish you wouldn't worry about word counts and would just keep them coming.

  12. Lovely post! I do like Eliot and thanks for the poem.

    As for size of blog posts, if they're interesting - who cares! A reader will stick with good posts, regardless of size.

    Thanks! Glad you're in the A-to-Z!


  13. You are on my list to check if you are being part of the A to Z Challenge.
    THANK YOU for being up to the letter "E"...
    Jeremy [Retro]
    AtoZ Challenge Co-Host [2015]

    There's no earthly way of knowing.
    Which direction we are going!

    Come Visit: You know you want to know if me or Hollywood... is Nuts?

  14. Love the poem you wrote (very powerful), and the use of Eliot's work as inspiration. <3 him! I'm teaching my EN102 students (freshman in college) a bit about poetry. So far, they seem interested. I hope it stays that way!

  15. Well done. I'm so sorry for the loss this portrayed. Did you lose your father then? Thank you for sharing... Lisa, co-host AtoZ 2015, @

  16. T.S. Eliot was brilliant!

    For the A to Z and other blog hops, I prefer shorter posts. If it's long, I may skip around with the reading.

    -Chrys Fey
    Tremp’s Troops - A to Z Co-co-host
    Write with Fey


Comment moderation is on. Anonymous comments will be deleted forthwith. Nonymous comments always welcome :) Thank you for your patience!