How’s the poeming coming along, folks? I hope everyone’s had a productive week! I’ve been keeping up, though yesterday’s was a close call (I only got around to it late at night, at around 11:30 p.m.!). Days like those really make the challenge a challenge! In contrast, I churned out today’s poem right in the morning, fresh out of bed 🙂
Here’s your weekly Reflections post to give you some more to think about and some more to write about!
Today’s prompt: Parting
“Parting is all we know of heaven,
And all we need of hell.”
We’ve all experienced some form of parting or the other; it may not necessarily be the same as the one Ms. Dickinson has spoken about – it may be something not so final as death, it may be just a “see you tomorrow” casually muttered to a friend at the end of a school day. It could be death, also.
For some reason, though, the word “parting”, or even “goodbye” or “farewell” seems to ring the bell of tragedy, for me. Maybe it’s my fault, maybe I shouldn’t have committed Ms. Dickinson’s poem to memory! I’d once took the very phrase, “see you tomorrow”, and scribbled a tragedy out of it. One could guess, the characters didn’t get to see each other “tomorrow”. Or, well, maybe they did, in afterlife?
Another phrase from a poem I am reminded of is from Thomas Gray’s famous Elegy: “…knell of parting day”.
You could consider “parting” as an ending, as I did for that short story. In my case, it was an abrupt, unexpected ending. You could talk about “goodbye” in general – consider the various circumstances in which people say these phrases that are used in place of it:
I see potential for a list-poem 🙂
Try digging into the etymologies for these commonplace phrases and situations may play through in your mind – entire narratives, perhaps – of people going different ways forever, people expressing the hope of meeting again, people saying “hasta la vista, baby,” in the most nonchalant way possible… Or maybe they’re completely serious, and with knitted eyebrows and longing eyes, say, “Until we meet again…”
“Sayonara” – if it is to be that way…
Every language seems to have various ways of saying “goodbye”, and the history behind each is very interesting (I find it reveals a lot about the culture and the people). Goodbye, for instance, is a contraction of God be with ye.
“Sayonara”, of Japanese origin (now used rather commonly in English the way Hasta la vista is), is one of my personal favorites. It translates directly to, “If it is to be that way…” and comes from more complete phrases, such as one translating to, “If it is to be that way, I will be leaving.” I’ve always felt like this hints at a reluctance to leave. One does not really wish to leave, does not really wish to part, but it must be so, and therefore, one leaves. (Which reminds me of this lovely piece of music.)
I also love some of these French phrases: au revoir (which literally translates to to the seeing again), à demain (until tomorrow) and à bientôt (see you soon).
Farewell and godspeed, on the other hand, seem to suggest a journey of some sort, perhaps one that is long and arduous, or a mission that someone must rush to complete.
Cheerio, then! (here’s a music-prompt)
I hope that gives you something to write about tonight 🙂
I’ll add one more music-prompt here before I sign off:
This Étude, by the great poet of the piano, Frédéric Chopin, was one which the composer himself believed to be his most beautiful. Though he never gave it any title, it has also been identified as “Tristesse” (Sadness), “Farewell”/”L’Adieu” and in Japan as “Wakare no Kyoku” (Song of Parting).
Dig deep, my fellow writers. All the best for the rest of NaPoWriMo, my fellow poets – we’re nearly at the half-way point! Happy writing!