NaPoWriMo Day 3: Sleep, my baby, sleep

NaPoWriMo Day 3: Sleep, my baby, sleep

Today’s prompt is to write a Spanish form called a “glosa” – literally a poem that glosses, or explains, or in some way responds to another poem. The idea is to take a quatrain from a poem that you like, and then write a four-stanza poem that explains or responds to each line of the quatrain, with each of the quatrain’s four lines in turn forming the last line of each stanza. Each stanza is supposed to have 10 lines.

I absolutely loved writing this form. I chose the quatrain from Simon Armitage’s poem, ‘Out of the Blue’ (I’ve provided the link below my poem for those who wish to read it). The quatrain I used was

I am trying and trying.
The heat behind me is bullying, driving,
But the white of surrender s not yet flying,
I am not at the point of leaving,diving.

The poem is written as a tribute to the pregnant mother and baby who lost their lives in the war in Ukraine. The picture is not meant to hurt anybody’s sensitivity but was shared as it is the truth- the reality.

Note: I added an extra stanza which is a Ukranian lullaby to the glosa.

My stomach hurts
My shirt's
it's not sweat
My hand's red
Is my baby dead?
My blood's warm, it's oozing out
"Save my child," I shout
"Stay calm," you tell me."Keep breathing."
I am trying and trying

I can smell burning
I see walls crumbling
Like a pack of cards
I see them flying
Save my baby, I think I'm dying
Is it smoke that I see
Or is it dust, tell me!
It's hazy, my eyes are blurring
The heat behind me is bullying, driving,

"You're going to be fine," you say
staggering over the rubble, on the way 
How? I want to ask
My voice is stuck; it feels like a task
The sound of bombing shatters the air
Shakes my stretcher, I feel a tear
My baby, help! My water just broke
I feel myself choke
"You will wake up to free Ukraine," you're saying 
But the white of surrender is not flying

A bitter smell, I'm delirious
"We need to cut her open." They can't be serious.
My eyes, I can't open them
"The baby- it's not breathing."
I'm sure it's a bad dream. I'm hallucinating
This can't be. We waited so long
My baby, sleep. Let me sing you a song
Take a look inside my heart
Baby, can you hear your Mamma singing
I am not at the point of leaving, diving

Take a look right inside my heart
Stop the winter
Make the cold depart
Winds are blowing
but the warmth you bring
Make me feel like it's early Spring
Ask the clouds in the sky
To bring us dreams
When they pass by
We will follow leaving night
To the world of magic light

P.C- From the news

14 responses to “NaPoWriMo Day 3: Sleep, my baby, sleep”

  1. The way the original lines end each verse is very effective Smitha. You’ve used them in a very compelling way to build up the story of the unknown woman. It is shocking and sad, but that is what it should be.

    • Thank you so much, Andrea for writing back. I’m relieved after reading your comment on the poem. I wasn’t sure also about adding the image . I hope it’s fine. And like you said, it is sad but that’s what it was. Thank you again. XXX

  2. I came back for some inspiration. Just couldn’t get my head around this prompt. Made a very feeble attempt. I’m going back sensitized and richer.

    • Oh, Vands, thank you so much for reading the poem and telling me it touched you…although painfully. Thank you for appreciating the poem. It means so much to me. 💛

  3. Very sad and this is war and what harm it does to the poor humans but we who are alive can only watch our fellowmen dying but cannot do anything. A beautiful poem and post, Smitha.

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