{p7 ring in the new year on pf}

Poetry Peeps! Thank you for poetry-ing along with us in 2021. You’re invited to our revels in the new year! Here’s the scoop for January: We’re stickybeaks and earwigs. We’re listening in, and overhearing. This month, we’re writing the poetry of Eavesdropped & Overheard. In tribute to the overheard poetry of longtime Poetry Friday maven Susan Thomsen @Chicken Spaghetti, we’re taking what we hear and using it…somehow. Are you in? Good! You’ve got a month to craft your creation(s), then share your offering with the rest of us on January 28 in a post and/or on social media with the tag #PoetryPals.

Vallejo 111

It’s new year’s eve… evening, after dark, and I’m just now posting. In my defense, I attended a memorial service yesterday, and it somehow wiped my entire brain. A few of us are beginning the new year in a more thoughtful frame of mind than we expected, but though I am late, I hope you still didn’t miss Sara’s ringing out the year poem. Kelly’s bell poem is here, and Laura’s jingles along here. Tricia’s is here, and Cousin Mary Lee’s poem (sadly not a rage acrostic) is here. Poetry Friday is ably hosted at Carol’s Corner and we’re all keeping Carol in our thoughts as she opens her home to her neighbors. More Poetry Peeps are ringing in – Michelle K and Carol V. are all sleigh bells and sound waves. My newest relative, Heidi, is blitzing in, along with Janice. More Poetry Peeps may yet be ringing in, so stay tuned.

One of the questions I asked whilst trying to compose a poem this month was why. Why bells? What are they for? What do they do? Why am I one of those people who has to stop, turn, triangulate and figure out where they’re coming from? (Granted, I do that with particularly loud birds, too, but stay with me here.) One of the other poetry sisters mentioned that she lives near an historical carillon that she has often heard, but never paid much attention to – which is bewildering to me. How could she not know every little thing about the bells in her neck of the woods? We determined that in her historic town, there are bells everywhere. Here on the decidedly late-to-American-history West Coast…? Not so much.

And yet, this has been a season of bells. Tiny silver ones were played on Christmas Eve. At the memorial service yesterday, the carillon played through the keyboard of the organ. The Boy’s chimes are bells of a sort, made of titanium rods. Why do I love bells? Because to me, they sing.

sounding joy

silver made sound
stills commonplace clamor
burnishes the fleeting moment
and sings

I had so many reasons I like bells that Mary Lee suggested I write a list poem. Whenever I think of joy in poetic form, I always go back to Christopher Smart’s “Jubilate Agno”, which is to me the most joyous list poem in the world. So, with a nod to my favorite Christoper and Jeoffry, I will consider bells.

canticum campanarum

for I will consider the ring of bells
for they are both legion and legend
for they denote both curve and clarity,
for they peal out times and seasons,
for they bless unions and get us started,
for they resound alarms and herald change
for they knell a death, and muffled, toll of absence
for their tongues herald both law and declaration,
for they symbolize a liberty both damaged, yet resilient,
for when your bell is rung, you are done,
for they apocryphally ring on angel’s wings
for they arrive with us, on us

for in their peal is laughter
for they cry pax

Alarms, warnings, joys, sorrows, meeting, parting – all voiced in song of bells. They’re kind of neat, when you think about it.

So, that’s it from me for 2021 – which feels so weird to write, because the last twelve months seem like some bizarre fever dream. It’s been a joy to write with you. Happy Hogmanay, and health, joy, and hearth wishes to you.

11 Replies to “{p7 ring in the new year on pf}”

  1. You could have stopped at “silver made sound” and my swoon would have been no less. But then you gave us a Latin title, a joyous list, and this couplet: “for in their peal is laughter / for they cry pax.” Brilliant.

  2. Tanita, thank you againg for mentioning me in your introduction. I am honored to take partin the Poetry Sisters’ challenge. Mary Lee was right that a list poem would be a great format for you. “Sounding Joy” is uplifting and the line I adore from your 2nd poem is “for they apocryphally ring on angel’s wings”. Love the connection of the ringing of the bells and their location. Bells Sing-Yes, indeed! Have a wonderful week following New Year!

  3. “For in their peal is laughter”…I love this line and everything about this poem. The anaphora of “for they” works so well to express the joy of bells. Happy New Year!

  4. “burnishes the fleeting moment”; “for they cry pax”–dearest kithnkin Tanita, your Canticum Campanarum is pure peal and joy indeed. And as always, your prelude of why is just as engaging as your poems. Thank you, I am sad to hear of your loss, and I wish you as much peace as possible in 2022. <3

  5. Now that’s the way to use a mentor poem–just enough borrowed to hear the echo, so much fresh that it rings…or sings…. Just a lovely, lovely list. Happy New Year, and I hope this year finds you with more peace and more joy.

  6. I have never heard of “Canticum Camapanarum” but I agree with several others, what a beautiful list poem! I am definitely saving this one. I love your connection between bells and joy. Seems like so often they are placed in a more ominous light! Thank you!

  7. I too, was amazed when I though deeply about bells, how much they are a part of all our lives. So many voices. Love the repetition in your list poem, like a bell ringing.

  8. First, I aim to participate in Poetry Pals in 2022. I love this challenge. And, working in a middle school gives me far too many things to overhear. Thanks for this prompt. Next, what a brilliant poem. It’s a list poem…but so much more with the repetition and arrangement of thought on your page. I’m sorry that you had to attend a memorial service and that it wiped you out. There’s been too much of that lately.
    Cheers to you in 22. I hope to be able to write with you too.

  9. I like equating bells with singing too! And after reading your poem twice the third time I sang it, and isn’t that what minstrels did with poetry a long time ago, they’d sing it, and it reminds me of being in a sacred space too, and (another and) you can never have enough song! I like your “peal is laughter, angel wings, and resilience. “Sounding joy” truly sings.
    What a trip Christopher Smart’s poem is, thanks for sharing it and your jubilant filled post,
    Cheers! And Happiest of New Year Greetings to you Tanita! ^-^

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