100-Day Project 58-61
Let us go in and dance once more
On the dream’s glimmering floor,
Beneath the balcony festooned with roses.
Let us go in and dance once more.
–Conrad Aiken, from “Nocturne Of Remembered Spring”
American poet and novelist Conrad Aiken was forever marked by the murder-suicide deaths of his mother and father when he was 11. He later attempted suicide himself, and was very interested the psychology of identity. Mentored by his teacher, poet and philosopher George Santayana (“Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it”), he was also influenced by the French Symbolists, Freud, Poe, Whitman, and the forms and sounds of music. He is largely responsible for establishing Emily Dickenson’s reputation as a major American poet; he edited her “Selected Poems”. He also served as Poet Laureate of the United States.
Aiken’s poems seem like long meditative dreams to me; they are full of music and beautiful images. He has a reputation as a “difficult” poet, but I think maybe we just lack the patience for long verse. I found sections of several of his poems that seemed a good fit for these pink/neutral grids, but finally settled on the roses-dream-dance image.
You can read the entire poem here: http://www.poetrysoup.com/famous/poem/2315/nocturne_of_remembered_spring
You can see all the 100-day project posts here: https://methodtwomadness.wordpress.com/category/100-day-project/