Thursday, August 28, 2014

Finally a Winner - A Poem about an Iconic Structure

The January Challenge (you can see it in more detail in the archive section of this blog) was a poem about an iconic structure. The judges determined that no poem submitted by the deadline was a winner, so the challenge was left open for several months. Several weeks ago, I sent Jim Lambert, one of the original judges, the additional poems that have been submitted and Richard C. Green was declared the winner.

Richard had commented in his email, “Here is my poem based on the iconic churches of St. Denis and Chartres, a suggestion of the inspiration for Gothic architecture, with its opening up of space and light, replacing Romanesque.” Here is his poem:

The Abbot in Autumn
Abbot Suger surely stood
Beneath an aisle of ancient trees
And marveled at its height,
Its rise and great limbs arching
Upward to a light-filled vault.
Green, yellow, red, orange,
Bright blue between,
Traceried with twigs
Dissolving in the
Mystical light.
Let us have
No more tunnels,
Catacombs shutting
Out the sky, stone dark.
Sursum Corda!
Let in the forest lights
Above naves of trunks,
Groves of trunks in piers,
Slender trunks in colonettes
Lifting leafy capitals, ribs, liernes
Into that vibrant spectrum

~ Richard C. Green

The Basilica of St. Denis near Paris is named for the man legend says was the first bishop of Paris. The site occupied by the church was originally selected for the tomb of Bishop Denis. It was a simple structure, nothing like the large basilica found at that location today.

Sometime before 637, a Benedictine Monastery was built there. Dagobert I, King of the Franks from 628-637, built an Abbey on the site. Suger, mentioned in the poem, was Abbot in the 1200s. He is responsible for the construction of the Gothic structure celebrated in the poem. St. Denis was the burial place of numerous French kings and queens. It became a pilgrimage site in the 5th century. You can read more of the history of the Basilica of St. Denis and see photos of it at,, and other places on the Internet. For information on Chartres Cathedral, see

Richard C. Green taught art and art history and is now painting and writing poetry. He maintains copyright on his poem.

Check on September 1 for the September Poetry Challenge. Good reading!


©  Wilda Morris

Saturday, August 23, 2014

August 2014 Poetry Challenge Winner

Deetje J. Wildes, winner of the August, 2014, challenge (pictured above with her “own true love") says her poem is only partly true.

Ode to My Sweetheart

Happy, we were, with little care
Together at work and together at play;
“You and I are quite a pair”
We’d often say.

Our days just slid by, ten thousand or so,
As we often rejoiced to be happily wed.
“It still seems our life has scarcely a woe”
We often said.

But now, in your own little world you stay,
Not knowing that I am your own true love.
We shall meet again on that glorious Day
In heaven above.

~ Deetje J. Wildes

Deetje J. Wildes is a caregiver for the man she married over 54 years ago. She writes poetry when she has the time and energy to do so. She maintains copyright to this poem.
Watch for the results of the January challenge which was left open for several months, and the September challenge.
© Wilda Morris


Friday, August 1, 2014

August 2015 Poetry Challenge

Alexander Pope (1688-1744), began writing poetry at age 12. He was refused admission to public school and university because he was a Roman Catholic at a time when Catholics were persecuted in England, so he was largely self-taught.
            When he was twelve, he suffered the onset of a serious bone deformity. It is believed that he had Pott’s Disease, a form of tuberculosis which results in a hunched back and breathing difficulties such as asthma. The disease left him frail and made him the butt of jokes. The same year, he wrote “Ode to Solitude,” his earliest surviving poem.
            I don’t know if Pope already was suffering from the effects of the disease when he wrote it, but if so, it might help explain why a twelve-year-old thought solitude a source of happiness.
Ode to Solitude
Happy the man, whose wish and care
A few paternal acres bound,
Content to breathe his native air
              In his own ground.

Whose herds with milk, whose fields with bread,
Whose flocks supply him with attire;
Whose trees in summer yield him shade,
              In winter, fire.

Blest, who can unconcernedly find
Hours, days, and years slide soft away
In health of body, peace of mind;
              Quiet by day.

Sound sleep by night; study and ease
Together mixed, sweet recreation,
And innocence, which most does please
              With meditation.

Thus let me live, unseen, unknown;
Thus unlamented let me die,
Steal from the world, and not a stone
              Tell where I lie.
~ Alexander Pope
This poem is in the public domain.
August 2014 Poetry Challenge:
            Begin with a gender-free version of line one (“Happy the one. . . .” or “Happy those . . .,” etc.) unless the happiness you describe is gender specific. Or you could begin with “Happy am I . . . .”
            Or maybe you would rather not write about happiness – pick another adjective about a state of mind such as “Lonely the one who. . . .” “Miserable are those who . . . .” or “Amazed am I . . . .” Follow the pattern for starting the poem, but use your creativity.
            Write your version of what you think makes people (or men, or women, children, yourself, or some category of people, such as doctors, nurses, teachers) happy, lonely, miserable (or whatever). Note how Pope's takes a turn at the end - he applied it to himself. What turn will make your poem more interesting?
You can use Pope’s form, a different form, or free verse.
Submit only one poem. The deadline is August 15. Poems submitted after the August 15 deadline will not be considered. There is no charge to enter, so there are no monetary rewards; however winners are published on this blog. Please use “family-friendly” language.
Copyright on each poem is retained by the poet.
Poems published in books or on the Internet (including Facebook and other on-line social networks) are not eligible. If you poem has been published in a periodical, you may submit it if you retain copyright, but please include publication data.
How to Submit Your Poem:

Send one poem only to wildamorris[at]ameritech[dot]net (substitute the @ sign for “at” and a . for “dot”). Be sure to provide your e-mail address. Include a brief bio which can be printed with your poem, if you are a winner this month.
Submission of a poem gives permission for the poem to be posted on the blog if it is a winner, so be sure that you put your name (exactly as you would like it to appear if you do win) at the end of the poem. Poems may be pasted into an email or sent as an attachment. Please do not indent the poem or center it on the page. It helps if you submit the poem in the format used on the blog (Title and poem left-justified; title in bold (not all in capital letters); your name at the bottom of the poem). Also, please do not use spaces instead of commas in the middle of lines. I have no problem with poets using that technique; I sometimes do it myself. However I have difficulty getting the blog to accept and maintain extra spaces.
© Wilda Morris