NaPoWriMo DAY FOURTEEN 14 April 2020
IN INSPIRATION’S THROES
Oh inspiration, wherefrom?
In school, early on,
I fell in love with Hoelderlin,
his lyrics captured sublime beauty,
thrilling Greek myths,
sweet teacher Sister Gerardis
relentlessly rooted for him.
Hyperion was fun, no pawn,
one of the poet’s favorites,
none less than a Titan,
he fathered Helios (Sun),
Selene (Moon) and Eos (Dawn),
Hyperion’s Song of Destiny began:
“Holy spirits, you walk up there
in the light, on soft earth.
Shining god-like breezes
touch upon you gently”:
easy to be a fan.
Lost on me was the ending, where
decline and blindly fall…
like water thrown
from cliff to cliff…
down into the Unknown.”
Until the day I stumbled, bad luck,
across Hoelderlin’s life story,
struck me like a knife, ice cold
we’d not been told
he’d gone mad at 36
spent the next 36 years of a life
as if hexed, in a room, that’s all,
in a tower in an old city wall.
This secret knowledge I dared
mention to no one weighed heavy,
poetry had turned into a lethal power.
Sister Gerardis could not comprehend
I let her down, the school didn’t win
the prize for poetry she’d expected,
the chosen subject rejected,
the new theme politics, not Hoelderlin.
But I’ve become brave by now
take risks, there’s much at stake
sent in a poem for Offshoots 15
poetry group’s collective publication,
this morning news on my screen:
“Pelican Perfection” part of the show:
reason for celebration.
Tonight I’m less sure, just found
Hoelderlin’s first name Friedrich,
as he’s always called, is his third,
the two preceding, his true firsts,
“Johann Christian” of all names,
sound eerily familiar, grounds
to feel disturbed.
So, inspiration comes and goes,
has its highs, has its lows,
sigh, breathe deep, and back
you dive into life’s throes,
whatever, smile, you’ll thrive,
you count on the surprise rain check.