Dawn

 Bigtent asked us to look at an old poem and re-write, revise or turn it inside out.

This poem, which started as a sonnet, was written at the start of my poeming in 2007, and contained far too many unnecessary words – thes and ofs.  I have not totally re-written the poem, but simply tidied it.  The poem relives the sensations – unforgettable – of a dawn visit to this lovely bay on the other side of the island from where we lived in Seychelles. 

I couldn’t find a photo taken at this special time of day, so this is the nearest approximation.

photo courtesy of Google

Dawn in Anse à la Mouche (The bay of the fly)

Layers of mist streak rounded hills,
outstretched arms of horseshoe bay.
An old Japanese  print
breathes  frangipane and seaweed rot.
Watercolour smears of floating rainforest
above shallows of shells.
Inner aching punishes my dumb inability
to digest so much sensation.
I mourn as humdrum normality
supersedes the memory.

About https://vivinfrance.wordpress.com

All poetry, prose and pictures posted here, except where otherwise stated, is my own, and may only be used elsewhere with my expressed permission. Please don't be inhibited from correcting my bloopers and making suggestions: Most of what I post here is instant, ill-considered and off-the-cuff, in serious need of editing.
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43 Responses to Dawn

  1. kaykuala says:

    Can we be faulted for not giving in as much to reality? Yes, sometimes we are and we may be set back on our emotions. Nicely written ,Viv!

    Hank

    Like

  2. “my dumb inability
    to digest so much sensation.”

    but you have conveyed so much sensation to the rest of us. beautiful imagery

    Like

  3. Mohana says:

    ahhh…beautiful!!! love watercolor smears, and frangipani…everything!!!

    Like

  4. markwindham says:

    it is sad that ‘back to normal’ replaces those memories so quickly

    Like

  5. “Inner aching punishes my dumb inability
    to digest so much sensation.
    I mourn as humdrum normality
    supersedes the memory.”

    It would be so nice to file away memories and pull them out as wanted or needed. Love the way you phrased the ache here. Well done.

    Like

  6. Humdrum normality supersedes the memory…. awww A lovely write Viv

    Like

  7. brian miller says:

    really lovely imagery through the first part…i can def relate to the numbing of normalcy…it is like a rut we fall into and the beauty goes unnoticed…at least for me…

    Like

  8. poemsofhateandhope says:

    you’ve really captured something here…i know this feeling well… and certainly in those last few lines ‘I mourn as humdrum normality supersedes the memory’…you know- i’ve been away from work for two weeks….seen some amazing countries….yet i know come Monday- precisely what you said will happen- will happen- and that in itself is beautifully sad….very precise, emotive and melancholic piece hightend by your great descriptives

    Like

  9. Susan says:

    Ah, I’m with you. You may have to revisit the place, the image. I cringed at the word “dumb”–it reminded me of my feeling of hitting a ceiling when I try to understand. cf: http://susan60.blogspot.com/2012/06/on-my-61st-birthday.html

    Like

  10. Cathy says:

    Wonderful poem, sorta puts me in the mood of Monet’s water lilies painting

    Like

  11. Kelly says:

    Wonderful imagery – your love of this place shines through.

    Like

  12. nan says:

    This is lovely. The images are descriptive, and bring me to your very memory. Beautiful.

    Like

  13. Henry Clemmons says:

    I don’t know why I am having difficulty posting to formats like this. BUT I loved your piece. Memories are always more poetic. Great line structure/placement/spacing/breaks, word choices, images. A great read. I am going to try to leave my website off from above. I’ll try to post it here.

    Like

    • vivinfrance says:

      Have retrieved your replies from spam and waiting for approval files and just left the one above. Thank you so much, Henry, for your persistence, and kind comments.

      Like

  14. Mr. Walker says:

    Viv, the imagery in this is delightful. I like “Watercolour smears…” – and those next two lines – that it’s so beautiful that all your senses can’t take it in, as if the body is too limited – and then the punch of the last two lines, when the reality seems less because it lacks the transforming element of memory.

    Richard

    Like

  15. Tumblewords says:

    Wonderful memory! You’ve chosen perfect words for the fragrances that inhabit water areas. It does seem sad when the mundane takes over again. 🙂

    Like

  16. I like this poem just as it is too…and I love the way you described that feeling of not being able to bring back the actual sensations of memories. It seems like the harder you try, the more it becomes the memory of a memory…

    Like

  17. pamelasayers says:

    Those last two lines are superb, Viv. Nothing is worse, than humdrum normality.

    Pamela

    Like

  18. Beautiful poem. Better than the picture! (This was your early poetry? Did you do other kinds of writing before poetry? It’s so – complete!)

    Like

    • vivinfrance says:

      Thank you Marian. I agree that the picture doesn’t do the place justice. There seems to have been a fair bit of development siince we were there in the early nineties. I wrote the original poem during my creative writing studies, and apart from journalistic stuff I had written little of anything at that stage.

      Like

  19. versebender says:

    Goodness…this is fantastic! Please do not do another thing to it. To me it expresses perfectly the frustrating inability to hold on to the sensation part of our memories. It’s like trying to grab a handful of fog. Again, fantastic! Vb

    Like

  20. Linda says:

    I love the line about your inability to process…
    Grand poem.

    So many particulars give a vibrancy to this poem.

    Like

  21. Holy cats. Utterly beautiful. I would’ve been interested to see what the sonnet was like, but trimming did it good I suppose.

    Like

    • vivinfrance says:

      I am somewhat overwhelmed by all the praise for this little poem. Thank you, everyone. I wondered about changing the second line to “outstretched arms of horseshoe bay,” to avoid repeating the name. What do others think?

      Like

      • Deb Scott says:

        I’d give that a try, yes.

        It’s a lovely poem. The last two lines are wonderful, and let the reader make comparison with their own forgetting.

        Like

  22. Kim Nelson says:

    I don’t even want to see the real thing, Vivienne, since the word-picture you’ve painted is so beautifully illustrative.

    Like

  23. Susannah says:

    That is beautiful! 🙂

    Like

  24. 1sojournal says:

    There is an intensity in the photo that is echoed in your poem with an awareness of place, color, even smell. And I perfectly understand that line about dumb inability. Well said and written,

    Elizabeth

    Like

  25. Elizabeth J says:

    Breathtaking piece of poetry, to compliment a surely breathtaking scenery!

    Like

  26. Kat Mortensen says:

    I love the sensual frangipane and seaweed. The last lines are sad for me.

    Like

  27. I haven’t been able to come for a while? And I’m not sure my comment registered?
    But I loved this piece!

    Like

  28. Laurie Kolp says:

    Mysterious, beautiful piece… love the last two lines!

    Like

  29. Dick says:

    An atmospheric sense of place, tinged with melancholy. Clearly you started off in great style, Viv!

    Like

  30. Excellent words setting the scene perfectly.

    Like

  31. “An old Japanese print/breathes frangipane…” Wow, Viv, this is delightful imagery. I know what you mean about how “real life” overwhelms the rich tapestry of memorable moments… this was great writing, hon. Amy
    http://sharplittlepencil.wordpress.com/2011/05/06/no-limit-to-tears/

    Like

  32. Renee says:

    This is beautiful, Viv, and I am so glad you brought it back to post here. You words are so descriptive I can see the serenity there. Thanks!

    Like

  33. brenda w says:

    This is a delightful piece, Viv. If this is one of your first, I can see why you kept writing. I love the phrase “my dumb inability to digest so much sensation.”
    ~Brenda

    Like

  34. Beautiful! Both words and image!!

    Like

  35. Mary says:

    Just beautiful, Viv. I don’t know what the original was like, but I really like:

    Watercolour smears of floating rainforest
    above shallows of shells.

    Like

  36. ladynimue says:

    Nothing like forgetting the exact feelings you have from the beauty around you at fortunate moments !

    Like

  37. earlybird says:

    love this:
    An old Japanese print
    breathes frangipane and seaweed rot.
    Watercolour smears of floating rainforest
    above shallows of shells.

    Like

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