zinfandel, the crackers, and the Brie
Were carefully arranged between the two.
He studied at the University.
The hostess taught and lectured on Cixous.
The table turned, more food was brought to him.
A fifteen year advantage went to her,
Discounting her endearing smile, her trim
Physique, the hazel eyes and chestnut hair.
“So witty and intelligent!” he mused.
She grinned and thought, “So much potential, there.”
Her looks, the zinfandel — his mind confused,
He felt a radiance; her mind was clear.
They finished off the zinfandel and Brie
And covered lessons from the Odyssey
basic incarnation of “Circe” was written during
a holiday in January 2001. It took all day to
pen the lines and smooth out the kinks. The portion
of the poem that seemed to consume the most time
was the final couplet. I was trying to conclude
the poem with something not too subtle and yet
not too cliché. So I went through several
words (e.g., biology, pyrotechny, chemistry, anatomy)
before settling on an allusion to the Odyssey.
The inspiration for the poem came from a piece
I wrote for a creative writing course back in
college. In the original piece, however, the professor
was a man. The poem was not well received in class,
so I put it aside. Years passed before I decided
to make anything out of it. When I wrote “Circe,”
the lines of the original poem were abandoned,
but the basic theme was used with some modifications
(viz., the professor was changed to a woman, and
the poem took on sexual overtones).
must confess that “Circe” was written as a workshop
experiment. Prior to penning it, I wrote a poem
in blank verse and plain diction for review at
the Eratosphere online workshop. That poem was
deceptively straightforward, aiming at a type
of minimalism with ironic elements, double-entendres,
and literary allusions. Unfortunately, it didn’t
connect with my readers. So, I determined to then
write something more accessible in a more poetic
diction. It was my suspicion that a poem written
in this manner with an obvious “punch line” at
the end would garner a favorable reaction from
my readers. So I wrote “Circe” and my assumption
turned out to be correct. I am still quite surprised,
however, at how well the poem has been received.
any rate, I am honored and grateful to Timothy
Steele, Alex Pepple, and others responsible for
the Eratosphere Poet contest. I congratulate Jim
Hayes and the other winners for their excellent
work. Finally, I thank other Eratosphere participants
that gave me candid feedback, encouragement, etc.
The workshop has been both challenging and rewarding.
Needless to say, I look forward to more interaction
with fellow writers at Eratosphere in the near
here to visit
Terence Sheridan's start page.
little thing is slightly out of place,
It's something that I haven't seen before;
this wrinkle that I notice in your face.
thread my fingers delicately trace;
a laughter line?- It could be nothing more:
some little thing is slightly out of place.
I, with one small wish, somehow erase
this mark of ageing that I can’t ignore—
a wrinkle that I notice in your face?
I would like to make a carapace
protecting you, so it was I that bore
this little thing, that’s slightly out of place.
I imagine you will age with grace;
perhaps I am being selfish to deplore
this wrinkle, that I notice in your face.
my belovèd, lie in my embrace;
I'll school myself to study and adore
each wrinkle, that I notice in your face.
Some little things are always out of place.
interest in poetry stems, like most devotees,
from childhood, however my poetry writing is of
much more recent vintage. In a life during which
I spent a great many years travelling internationally,
creative writing time was at a premium with little
opportunity to engage with the muse, consequently,
it was only some three years ago that I began
to take writing seriously.
Living where I do, in the beautiful medieval town
of Kilkenny in south-east Ireland, there is no
facility to workshop or otherwise communicate
with other formalist poets, consequently the advent
of on-line forums where one could post for critique
and dialogue with other poets of like interest,
has proven to be an immeasurable boon, not alone
in advancing my technical competence, but in giving
me exposure to poets of great ability and artistry,
beyond any such I could hope to encounter otherwise.
Significant to the benefit of on-line workshopping
is the immediacy of response, amounting practically
to real-time dialogue. Material — in concept and
form, can be experimented in with no untoward
loss of time or creative energy.
My poem is a very good case in point. It is a
tribute to my wife Una, to whom I will be married
thirty years next October. When I first workshopped
it on Eratosphere I was very close to trudging
back to Parnassus for another assignment, when
the response in terms of encouragement and suggestions
and some particularly good advice received from
three moderators persuaded me to continue to develop
It always amazes, how so many excellent and erudite
writers continue to give so selflessly of their
talent to assist and educate.
I will not cease to be grateful
to visit Jim Hayes' start page.
title >> next