Beauty Love Poems Poetry

‘On Seeing You Upon Waking’ by Martin Rizley

“Cymon and Iphigenia” by Sir Frederic Leighton

I woke this present day from napping, and I noticed you lying there,
Across the room, upon a couch, asleep with no care.
The golden beams of twilight streaming by way of the windowpane,
Shone wondrously upon you want a rainbow within the rain.

By means of shifting timber, the filtered daylight fell upon your face
In such a means as to imbue your forehead with heavenly grace,
Erasing every line that marked the passage of the years,
And bringing out your magnificence in a method that drew forth tears

From my delighted eyes to have your charms to me thus shown,
Like some celestial vision sent to bless my eyes alone.
A delicate, supernal glow suffused your flowing locks of hair,
And kissed the petals of your eyelids, closed as if in prayer.

The radiant beams of eventide that brushed your tender forehead
Appeared to share the deep affection I really feel even now
Once I consider your loveliness, and in my thoughts draw close to
To lovingly caress your face so treasured and so pricey.

Thus did these beams appear to the touch your visage, not with lust,
However with a holy love uniting reverent awe and trust,
As one may touch with love and awe an angel by the arm
Whom heaven had sent down to save lots of a popular soul from hurt.

With such a way of loving awe and gratitude did I
Look spellbound in your face as I used to be privileged to espy
Your magnificence in full blossom in the dying mild of day—
A sight emblazoned in my heart, ceaselessly there to remain.

Martin Rizley grew up in Oklahoma and in Texas, and has served in pastoral ministry both in the USA and in Europe. He is presently serving because the pastor of a small evangelical church within the metropolis of Málaga on the southern coast of Spain, where he lives together with his wife and daughter. Martin has enjoyed writing and reading poetry as a pastime since his early youth.


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17 Responses

  1. Joseph S. Salemi Might 11, 2019

    The poem exhibits a strong command of method and craft, and one can’t fault its metrical precision. There is a specific amount of over-the-top sentimentality in its topic and expression, but that is the reputable selection of the poet, and I gained’t debate the difficulty.

    Let me say a couple of issues about iambic heptameter verse (referred to as “fourteeners” in the Renaissance period). They are often hazardous. In some instances Elizabethan poets used them to approximate the quantitative dactylic hexameter line of Latin epic, at a time when many critics have been still satisfied that English poetry should comply with the instance of classical Latin verse. However all of these quantitative English imitations ultimately died out, as they were not suited to the natural genius of our tongue. They sounded awkward and tub-thumping. That is the issue with “fourteeners.”

    There were exceptions, in fact. The Catholic martyr Robert Southwell’s magnificent “The Burning Babe” is a chief example; it’s probably the most highly effective spiritual poems in English. However most poets have steered clear of the iambic heptameter because of sure built-in pitfalls.

    First, by its very nature the measure does not lend itself to substitutions easily, and for that cause can fall into a monotonous sing-song pattern. Second, it tends to be helpful in prolonged narrative relatively than in shorter items, which signifies that such a poem will are typically lengthy, and size only accentuates the repetitive monotony.

    Moreover, the measure virtually compels the poet to end with a masculine rhyme relatively than a female one, and that masculine rhyme will are typically a monosyllable (the case with a lot of the strains in Rizley’s poem). Once again, this provides to the heavy monotony of the measure.

    I’m not saying that iambic heptameter should not be used — far from it. If you can also make it work nicely, more energy to you. But in the arms of an inexperienced poet it could produce the other of what the writer intends — just because the jog-trot rhythm of the strains can evoke a sort of laughter, adopted by a way of bathos.

    Reply

    • Martin Rizley Might 11, 2019

      Thanks on your reflections on using iambic heptameter, and the pitfalls it presents. I’m wondering what you mean by the term “substitutions” if you say “the measure does not lend itself to substitutions easily”?

      Reply

      • Joseph S. Salemi Might 11, 2019

        A “substitution” is a variation within the “ideal” or paradigmatic sample of a metrical line. In iambic pentameter, the perfect pattern is

        da-DUM, da-DUM, da-DUM, da-DUM, da-DUM

        but if one wrote in that ideally suited pattern for each single line, your poem can be insupportable. Substitutions permit the poet to differ the pattern by using a unique combination of ft, as long as the five-stress line is preserved. In iambic pentameter, some of the widespread substitutions is to begin the line with a choriambic foot (DUM-da-da-DUM) as an alternative of the normally anticipated two iambs. For instance, take a look at Shakespeare’s Sonnet 97:

        How like a winter hath my absence been

        (DUM-da-da-DUM-da-DUM-da-DUM-da-DUM)

        Or take a look at Sonnet 27, which has the same scansion:

        Weary with toil, I haste me to my bed

        There are several other varieties of substitutions that you need to use in an iambic line, or in another metrical line, as long as you keep to the right number of stresses that the “ideal” line requires.

        In fact, substitutions have to be used judiciously and sparingly. If they are used recklessly, your poem simply turns into one other piece of free-verse garbage. One of many worst misconceptions among so-called “formalist” poets right now is that each one you need to do is to rely syllables, and that in case your line has ten syllables it’s an iambic pentameter line. This is like considering that in case your automotive has three wheels, it’s a tricycle.

        In regard to iambic heptameter, the character of the road could be very “in your face,” so to talk. It intrudes itself upon the reader, and sucks him in, like the meter of an excellent limerick. There’s nothing fallacious with that, however it does put a really robust brake on the potential of substitutions. Just consider the easiest limerick that you recognize, and try to differ the stresses in it. The thing will dissolve into something terrible.

    • C.B. Anderson Might 11, 2019

      Wonderful evaluation, Joe. You have saved me an extended reply which might have coated a few of the factors you have got already made. To get back to the poem itself, Rizley’s contribution appears, to me, to avoid the pitfalls potential when writing in heptameter. I’m principally glad that, for a change, an writer has undertaken the duty of writing in strict meter. In case you are W.B. Yeats or Robert Frost, then you’ll be able to improvise in regard to meter any method you would like, however in case you are a mortal, as I’m, it’s greatest to stick to pro forma conventions. Once you’ve mastered that, then, and solely then, will you’ve gotten earned the license to improvise.

      Reply

    • C.B. Anderson Might 11, 2019

      And, David, that is the very concept I had hoped to convey.

      Reply

  2. Martin Rizley Might 11, 2019

    Because of all your on your suggestions and considerate critiques!

    Reply

  3. James A. Tweedie Might 11, 2019

    I wish to honor the poem for flirting with sensuality without crossing the road into sexuality. The central qualities of affection, affection, beauty, admiration and devotion are stored in clear focus throughout and the context of a long-term, dedicated relationship avoids the hint of voyeurism which may in any other case have crept into a state of affairs the place a person is intently analyzing and admiring a sleeping lady. I might say that Martin is a lucky man to take pleasure in such a tender and affectionate relationship together with his wife and that his wife is a lucky lady to be married to a person who loves her as much as this poem suggests.

    Reply

  4. B. S. Eliud Acrewe Might 11, 2019

    1. Mr. Rizley was adept in his substitutions in his iambic heptametres, as in L6 and L14.

    2. The iambic heptametre works nicely briefly groupings, as in the four-lined groupings Ms. Might utilized in her translation of part of Vergil’s “Eclogue 8”, or as within the six four-lined stanzas of Mr. Rizley.

    3. The quantitative experiments of the Elizabethans and the Victorians exhibits that, though the syllable has not attained the place writers, like Spenser and Tennyson, envisioned for it, still it refuses to go away. In English literature’s moments of heightened power, it reappears in probably the most intrepid of writers. Nonetheless, the accent reigns supreme, even in free verse and prose, and should achieve this for a really long time. Apparently, it’s in mathematics the place the language is undertaking some of its most extraordinary of verbal pyrotechnics.

    four. As for the iambic heptameter, “Who chooseth me must give and hazard all he hath.”

    5. Masculine rhyme endings have been strongest within the Elizabethans, for instance, Spenser and Shakespeare in their sonnets. Once I read the Shakepearean line “How like a winter hath my absence been…” I learn it as a precise iambic pentametre. I may also read it as Mr. Salemi reads it, however as such, it’s much less satisfying for me.

    6. Yeats and Frost have been mortals, and more cautious than Pound or Eliot. Nonetheless, nary a month goes by that I don’t stumble upon them, in addition to other Modernists, who strove to “resuscitate” Poetry. It must be the obligation and mission @ SCP to do so as properly, even whereas we grasp on firmly to the good classical custom.

    Reply

  5. Dave Whippman Might 12, 2019

    A skilfully written homage to the endurance of love.

    Reply

  6. Mark Stone Might 12, 2019

    Martin,

    1. My five favourite strains, when it comes to sonics, are 4, 9, 11, 20 & 23. Of these, my two favorites are:

    A mushy, supernal glow suffused your flowing locks of hair,

    Whom heaven had sent down to save lots of a popular soul from hurt.

    2. It took me a while to figure out these two strains:

    Once I consider your loveliness, and in my thoughts draw near
    To lovingly caress your face so treasured and so pricey.

    First, it took me a while to comprehend that “I” is the topic for the verb “draw near.” The comma after “loveliness” brought about me to not look for the topic previous to that word. Then I assumed it must be “draw near to caressing your face” (draw close to within the sense of time, not area), moderately than “draw near to caress your face.” Then I noticed that you simply mean “draw near to her” (in the sense of area) with a purpose to caress her face. On the off-chance that anyone else skilled such confusion, one option to handle it might be to place a comma after “near” (and use a choriambic foot to deal with the cut up infinitive). For example:

    Once I consider your loveliness and in my thoughts draw near,
    Lovingly to caress your face so treasured and so pricey.

    And even within the absence of confusion, one may make use of the choriambic foot merely to vary up the meter, as Professor Salemi suggests.

    3. It’s a fantastic poem.

    Reply

  7. David Watt Might 12, 2019

    The well-considered evaluation given to this poem demonstrates, to my mind, that its technical talent and aesthetic impression warrants such consideration.

    Reply

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