Ruba’i – Image


February 16, 2019 by petrujviljoen

Just then the moon beamed through what was her star.
There was no voice which spoke but the nightjar,
caged, awoke with a reservoir of song.
It was real. The Light left – its door ajar

Following is the edited version:

Just then the moon shone through her reddened star.
A trill but so filled; the hidden nightjar,
once caged, flew up with reservoirs of song.
The Light was real, it left the door ajar.

Bhubezi giraffe and Time copy (284x457)

Digital Collage Copyright Petru J Viljoen

Linked to Dverse Poets where Jilly asks us to consider imagery in the Rubaiyat. I know Helen Martins relied on the Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam in generating some of the works for her sculpture garden, now called The Owl House in Nieu Bethesda, South Africa. I thought I sufficiently dealt with Helen Martins in previous poetry but it seems there is more to be said. It may be surprising I didn’t bring in an owl into this ruba’i but I know she’d be pleased with the nightjar. She loved all birds as do I.

I do hope I created an image people can visualize. Please give strong constructive criticism. I’m sure I haven’t managed the iambic pentameter here, but stayed with ten syllables per line.


37 thoughts on “Ruba’i – Image

  1. Grace says:

    Amazing work on the edited version. Thank you.

  2. memadtwo says:

    The light leaving the door ajar is such a vivid image. I like the second version.
    but really how can you go wrong with moons and birds?
    And wonderfully evocative image as well. I like the transparency. (K)

  3. I like this! The first line sets the beat and the rest follows.

  4. Frank Hubeny says:

    Nice edited revision. I like how the light left the door open for the nightjar.

  5. Just Barry says:

    I loved the first at first, then scoffed at your revision before reading it.

    Then I read the revision, and I changed my mind. I like the revision better. I can see the colors within it.

    (I’m pretty fickle.)

    True story: I have no idea how to count the stressors on any metered poetry. I just count the beats in my head and if it feels good, I go with it. I fear that if I learn true metered poetry, I’ll get stuck in my own head and it won’t flow anymore.

    But based on my “expert” analysis, I think you did well!

  6. huzaifazoom says:

    the moon shot through her star
    no voice ‘cept the nightjar
    uncaged now, overflow of song
    the light real, the door ajar

  7. Alexander De says:

    Great to see the edits and I think you improved it.

  8. merrildsmith says:

    I like the edited version–I think it flows better than the previous version above, and also it seems more full of action and nuance, such as the reddened star and the hidden nightjar. I also like how this opened, “just then,” as if someone is telling part of a story.

  9. V.J. Knutson says:

    The edited version is so much more efficient – a solid piece.

  10. Gina says:

    the introduction of red gave the rubai more depth

  11. I like the mysterious night feeling in this poem. A small space in a big universe is what you depict and it feels safe. Then I look at that wonderful collage and my mind goes another way. Maybe things are more sinister than the bird wants to reveal? I love the layers here in both poem and art.

  12. jillys2016 says:

    The imagery is beautiful and made more so with the artwork. The sound of the night jar echoes in the lines. I like the suddenness of your opening words – just then – very effective in setting the pace.

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