Saturday, December 17, 2005

Song of a Reformed Headhunter

The bags and boys are packing.
The boats wait for rowing.
White Rajah of Sabah,
where are you going?

The blowpipes are lisping
where the trees are leaning
and the bones talking
without meaning.

The cave pronounces echoes,
darkness in my hearing.
The birds, doused with feathers,
are disappearing.

Come back up the river.
Come back to Sabah
or row me home with you,
White Rajah.


I hope to post at least one new poem a week on this blog. "Song of a Reformed Headhunter" is the title, and the first poem, of a chapbook manuscript I have submitted for the Poetry Society of America Chapbook Fellowship Contest. I'd be glad to hear your comments on the poems since they are, always, works-in-progress.


Larry said...

Hi Jee, and thanks for providing us fans with a place to visit your poetry.

The first poem is lovely - mysterious, lyrical; it seems like a snatch from an epic story, and has the strangeness and certain impenetrable quality that old songs and nursery rhymes sometimes have.

Taking a closer look at the alliteration I noticed something I'm sure you didn't plan: a progression from Bs to Cs to Ds in the first 3 strophs. Just a note for future historians to mull over.

It's intersting that the multiple gerunds here actually work very well and give the poem that mythical feeling of endless present time, as well as adding depth to the rhymes.

There is one word that I have reservations about: "doused"; it calls attention to itself without justification. To a lesser degree, I'm doubtful about "pronounces" which feels a bit technical and flat, and does not scan as nicely as a trochee would.

But nits aside, it is a fine poem. How about adding a few lines about the background for the sake of lazy visitors?


I'll certainly be back for more.


Messalina said...

Hi Jee,

Delighted to see you've joined the blogging world!

'Song of a Reformed Headhunter' has lovely evocative phrasing in S2 and S3 and a magical atmosphere overall, whilst keeping your language clean and simple. The caves and rivers alongside the eastern sounding names made me think for a moment of Coleridge's 'Kubla Khan'.

Saeen said...

I loved it!! Poignant piece. I would like your feed back on some of my work if you don't mind. thanks