My poem for Day 30, the final poem of poem-a-day challenge, reflects a retraction of my position on disappointment in love put forward in many poems, including “Hyena,” (day 5); “Sonnet on Love,” (day 9); “Affairs of the Heart: Claims & Warnings,” (Day 16); and “somewhere i travelled beyond good sense,” (Day 25). As I retract my position on love, instead of bitterness and disappointment, I will reverse some of the lines from these poems. Why am I doing changing my tune? I am responding to the prompt below and writing a “palinode.”
Maureen’s prompt: “write a palinode – a poem in which you retract a view or sentiment expressed in an earlier poem. For example, you might pick a poem you drafted earlier in the month and write a poem that contradicts or troubles it. This could be an interesting way to start working on a series of related poems. Alternatively, you could play around with the idea of a palinode by writing a poem in which the speaker says something like “I take it back” or otherwise abandons a prior position within the single poem.”
The Return of Love: a palinode
I waved goodbye from the closed car window,
laughing like a hyena, louder than the wheels
humming on the highway. Then,
the highway turns toward home & you.
Words don’t fit like a puzzle, but
drop like a stone & your once warm
embrace turns chill until sun slips from
behind the cloud & it’s all bright gold.
I asked a fortune teller if I should
continue this time. She predicted
an affair of endless love.
I must retract my earlier bitter words!
My sword-pierced heart flip flops. So, i
send him these words that e.e. shared
“your slightest look easily will unclose me
though I have closed myself as fingers.”
I whisper “rose is a rose is a rose” & shout
“How do I love thee, let me count the ways?”
Jacquelyn Markham (4/30/2023)