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Goretti Publications

Poetry

In an effort to publish more frequently, Goretti Publications is offering poetry on a more regular basis here. Published primarily in HTML (though we may eventually publish a pdf and print version, when there's enough material), we hope this will provide a source of good poetry in a world which does not have enough.

Published Wednesdays.

Index of First Lines

The Hero's Tale

Donald P. Goodman III

A heavily symbolic examination of a hero's voyage from his natural, fallen state to the possession of virtue and, eventually, truth. Written as a series of dozzets, I'm very excited about it. It is lengthy, basically a mini-epic; as a result, we will be publishing it in parts. The first part was published today, ; the most recent publication dates will be shown below. Each part's publication will be noted in the usual places. The Hero's Tale

Pursue the Sun

Donald P. Goodman III

Attempting again to use the red-green-white symbolism to good effect, this poem also mixes in some Marian imagery. Pursue the Sun

On Motherhood

Donald P. Goodman III

Obviously inspired by William Ross Wallace's "The Hand that Rocks the Cradle Rules the World," this poem explores the huge influence a mother has on her child, and the deep relationship between them. On Motherhood

Wisdom's Mother Tongue

Donald P. Goodman III

A bit more prosaic (insofar as that makes sense in a poetical context) than most of our posts have been of late, this dozzet-plus-couplet explores the great treasury of knowledge that Christians (and specifically Catholics) have built up over the centuries, and how, as we gradually abandon our mother tongue, we're losing access to our own glorious heritage, a heritage which belongs to the Church and to all mankind. Wisdom's Mother Tongue

On Virtue

Donald P. Goodman III

Though still sort of a dozzet, this poem is a bit different structurally than the others. Each quatrain is grouped as a separate verse, and the first and third lines of each are divided into two rhyming half-lines, with the second and fourth rhyming each other at the end and their accompanying half-lines halfway through. It's simpler to read than to describe; think of it as an alexandrine version of The Raven's structure. Using traditional color imagery, this poem briefly contemplates the virtues. Enjoy. On Virtue

On the Great American Eclipse

Donald P. Goodman III

On 19 August 1201, the United States was host to a solar eclipse that was visible nowhere but in its territory, lending it the name "the Great American Eclipse". This was a full solar eclipse; and though many of us only were able to see a partial eclipse, the experience of even so much (I last saw one some two dozen years ago or so) was moving, and inspired this piece. On the Great American Eclipse

I See the Spinning Stars

Donald P. Goodman III

Another dozzet, this one focusing on the heavens, which have traditionally been viewed as a symbol of Divine Providence (in contradiction of the silliness that is astrology). I See the Spinning Stars

To Delve into the Water

Donald P. Goodman III

A dozzet which is (clearly, I hope) about baptism, and the freedom and peace that it offers us, even though it does not necessarily offer us an easy journey there. There's a great deal of alliteration as well as the standard dozzet meter and rhyme here; I hope that it achieves its aim. To Delve into the Water

Life to Live

Donald P. Goodman III

A dozzet again in a generally happy vein, discussing the vicissitudes of time, but also the amazing gift of it. It again shows some experimentation with some deliberate alliteration along with rhyme. Life to Live

Two Hearts

Donald P. Goodman III

This dozzet is a love poem, again focusing on the very important distinction between love and feeling. Everyone is joyful on their wedding day ("[w]hen two are join'd to one"), but eventually that enthusiasm will wear off, and something much deeper than mere emotional or physical attraction will be required. Only love can sustain the two then. Rather than wrapping up the dozzet in twelve lines, an envoi couplet sews the threads together. Two Hearts

Born to Sorrow

Donald P. Goodman III

Back to sonnets, at least for now. This one quite simply contemplates suffering and its role in love and happiness in our lives. Born to Sorrow

The Moment Now

Donald P. Goodman III

A dozzet doing the nearly stereotypical comparison between time and a river, with the usual statements about never stepping in the same river twice, and so forth. However, it ends with a couplet that concludes something different from the usual time-river ruminations. I think that this is interesting different from most such poems. The Moment Now

Rest in Peace

Donald P. Goodman III

A series of four dozzets which explore the utter meaninglessness of life and death in the absence of some spiritual reality, and the greatness of both when a deeper significance is understood. Much less bleak that Our Only Certainty, which ends without any hint of redeeming joy, this poem starts out very bleak but ends with real hope and joy. Rest in Peace

Our Only Certainty

Donald P. Goodman III

Another of the new poetical form (which I'm ridiculously referring to internally as the "dozzet"), along the lines of The Dandelion, this poem focuses relentlessly on the more depressing aspects of our world; specifically, on the fact that everything in it will eventually end, and that this ending is really the only certainty we have about it. Our Only Certainty

The Dandelion

Donald P. Goodman III

I have often thought the dandelion to be one of the prettiest of all flowers; yet it is commonly derided as merely a useless weed. That's a real shame. This poem is an ode to the dandelion. It's also a bit of an experiment with a new poetical form, which when crafting this piece I found truly powerful. It is twelve lines of twelve iambic feet each; but each line is not limited to the alexandrine, but can be divided however the syllables work best. I hope the reader enjoys reading the form as much as I enjoyed writing it. The Dandelion

Death Has Been Cheated Once

Donald P. Goodman III

This poem, quite like The Raven in its meter and rhyme scheme, provides some more thoughts on life and death, and how we ought to face both; and further, it reminds us that some have already done so, and that we should look to them for example. Death Has Been Cheated Once

The Fire Which Does Not Consume

Donald P. Goodman III

A shorter poem (two dozen lines) with a shorter message, taking some symbolism from Dante in the last stanza. Iambic tetrameter in lines 1-2 and 4-5, but iambic hexadecameter in lines 3 and 6, of each sestet. Interesting in its symbolism of the flame and the stars, and also interesting in providing an iambic form of Poe's trochaic meter in The Raven. The Fire Which Does Not Consume

The Question

Donald P. Goodman III

A longish narrative-type poem, this piece explores the subject of death and how it has perplexed mankind throughout the ages. It's the first significant piece I've written in blank verse, and it's also my most overtly Christian poem so far published. It points out that Christianity doesn't make suffering hurt less; it just gives meaning to the suffering that we all must endure. The Question

The Tholing Child

Donald P. Goodman III

Sporting an unusual rhyme scheme (tercets with rhyming first two lines, followed by a third line which matches the first two lines of the following tercet), this poem not only uses the excellent word "thole," but also explores interesting themes relating to Providence. The Tholing Child

The Ant

Donald P. Goodman III

This poem continues our theme of exploring various elements of nature and what they can teach us about life and what lies beyond. Here, we consider the ant, and the single-minded purpose of his narrow world, and how that compares to we ourselves. Structurally, it's interesting, as well; its four-line stanzas are rhymed in lines 1, 2, and 4, with line 3 rhyming with lines 1, 2, and 4 of the following stanza. The Ant

The Oak

Donald P. Goodman III

This poem, at 22 (twenty-six) lines, is a rumination on age, development, wisdom, and tradition. A bit of an oddball, as it consists of four-line stanzas rhymed at the second and fourth lines, but ends with a rhymed couplet. I think it's interesting. The Oak

The Tulip Grows

Donald P. Goodman III

Not a sonnet! This poem, still relatively short at 30 (thirty-six) lines, uses only two rhymes. A meditation on the relationship between suffering and love. Just as the tulip blooms in the spring, but loses its bloom in summer and must endure tremendous hardship in the fall and winter in order to bloom again, so love is at first nothing but color and joy, but eventually becomes difficult and hard. But without these hardships, love just isn't love. The Tulip Grows

As Rain and Field

Donald P. Goodman III

Another sonnet; but in a bit of change of pace, a love poem. We contemplate a few of the many analogies that poets have used for the lover pursuing his beloved---the thirsty seeking water, the bee seeking flowers, the plant seeking light---and observe that our love for our beloved is of a very different, and much more mutual, kind. It's also pretty unique in that it uses only three rhymes in 12 (decimal fourteen) lines, hopefully helping to give the lie to the notion that rhyming poetry somehow "doesn't work" in English. As Rain and Field

The Woman in the Meadow

Donald P. Goodman III

A longer poem (though still short, only 24 (that's twenty-eight) lines), this piece is written in anapestic heptameter, while nearly all my metered work is simple iambic pentameter. A meditation on the limits of earthly justice and deep in symbolism, I hope that the reader will find it enlightening, or at least enjoyable. The Woman in the Meadow

The Cave

Donald P. Goodman III

This little sonnet is essentially a meditation on Plato's famous allegory of the cave. Another Petrarchan sonnet (though modified in the sestet), like The Seed of Sorrow, The Cave is particularly interesting for its use of enjambment (informally called "run-on lines"), where the meaning carries over multiple lines, especially in lines 3--5. The Cave

The Seed of Sorrow

Donald P. Goodman III

The sonnet is an unfortunately much-neglected form these days, and yet one of my favorites. Some of the best poetry in the history of the modern English language has been composed in this simple, unqua-two (fourteen) line format. The Seed of Sorrow is Petrarchan in rhyme scheme, and composed in the traditional iambic pentameter. Enjoy. The Seed of Sorrow

The Red Disc

Donald P. Goodman III

Fans of (or at least readers of) Stephen Crane may remember the imagery of the red disc of the sun in The Red Badge of Courage. I've always found this to be a powerful image, but sorely misused in that work. This poem describes a personal journey (not my personal journey, merely that of some person) where the red disc may still mean a wound, but not a wound of some war between feuding factions; and which has meaning far beyond such a small conflict. The Red Disc

Thanatopsis: A Reply to William Cullen Bryant

Donald P. Goodman III

William Cullen Bryant's classic poem Thanatopsis ("view of death") is still read in most American schools as an example of early nineteenth-century American poetry, and it is a fine example of that. Prior to Whitman, Bryant was likely the most famous of American poets. However, Thanatopsis provides what Christians would likely believe to be a very simplistic and depressing view of death. This poem tries to follow Bryant's lead while still giving a more enlightening view of its topic. Thanatopsis: An Answer to William Cullen Bryant