There are as many ways of writing as there are writers – and this week we have a reflection by one of our writers on how she mindfully plunged into the task of writing on the prompt for the week.
The 10 minute writing exercise at SSOA was set by the convenor Aviva Lowy, who offered the classic poem ‘Yonder See the Morning Blink’* by A E Housman as the inspiration for our writers.
Helen Ameisen’s response was a remarkably thoughtful and well-constructed poem:
And so it is, the nature of our days
To work, to toil but balance this with rest.
A time to ponder inward with the mind,
Away from all the clatter of a thousand things.
And with this daily inward wave,
Unbounded and untethered from all judgements’ glare
I gain the tranquil feather’s touch
To stride ahead, engage in battle with the day.
A gentler battle now, perhaps a dance
To grow, explore and understand anew
These daily mundane chores.
Afterwards Helena explained what thoughts were going through her mind as she tackled the task of writing something of value in the 10 minutes allowed her.
‘The ‘thousand things ‘ is a reference to ‘The 81 Verses of the Tao Te Ching’; the ‘tranquil feather ‘ refers to Sai Baba’s peacock feather that set TM siddhas into spontaneous flying in front of my eyes (bouncing up and down on the spot) and the mundane things were somehow prompted by T.S. Eliot’s ‘Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock’ … Just some things that popped into my head as I wrote it!’
*(See E A Housman’s original poem in full here.)
‘Yonder See the Morning Blink’ by A E Housman
Yonder see the morning blink:
The sun is up, and up must I,
To wash and dress and eat and drink
And look at things and talk and think
And work, and God knows why.
Oh often have I washed and dressed
And what’s to show for all my pain?
Let me lie abed and rest:
Ten thousand times I’ve done my best
And all’s to do again.
Alfred Edward Housman (1859 – 1936) was an English poet best known for a collective work called ‘A Shropshire Lad’, in print since it was first published in 1896. A renowned scholar of the classics, Housman was, for many years, a professor of Latin at Trinity College in Cambridge, where he is said to have never bothered to remember his students’ names. Understandably …
Pictures cvwilliams and public domain.