Tuesday, 3 July 2007

Killing the Dead--Terza Rima

I was reading a work of fiction set in 62 AD when Britannia is at war. My pen started to flow and I wrote this. This terza rima is about a Roman slave and her Icenic master....

Killing the Dead

Driving the knife deep, turn it side to side
blood won’t be spilled, tears won’t be shed
to gloat over, to claim as victory of mind.

Numbness has set in as weighty as lead.
Tatters of heart lay on the feet, ignoring
it- go your way. How can one kill the dead

again? Why sense of loss is so foreboding
that it ceases to impinge on. Departs present,
future does not exist, neither past affecting.

cadavers cannot feel, however they resent
mutilation of the spirit. Exposed raw pores
refuse to singe, feeding revulsion- extent

of which not to be quantified. Spurting sores
promise damage, creating extensive mayhem,
however eating away discretely at the spores

well guarded by you. Yet sanity stops bedlam
she recoils, pausing demise, leaving out sham.

Update: I posted a review of The Bafut Beagles by Gerald Durrell on my Reading Room. A must read book if you have not done so by now. It is not easily available though. I got a collecters piece!

I will post soon the review of "Defy the Eagles by Lynn Bartlett"- a historical romance, from which this post was inspired. Keep checking this space!!


  1. Good how you have adapted the story to poetry. Wizard with words.

  2. Neat poem, Gautami! Michele sent me over; I'm impressed.

    What's the name of the book you're reading? If it inspired this, it might be worth a read.

  3. Stopping by to say hello....

    You obviously have a gift for weaving strong and intense imagery throughout a poem.

    A terza reia is a very difficult form to use, yet it does appear to just flow from your pen. Very impressive.

    Sanity will indeed stop bedlam, how sad that sanity remains allusive to so many in the name of war.

    Thank you for sharing your talent.

  4. I bow to your prowess
    I, who's words like the wings of Icarus fail me in vanity
    look up to see your writing
    and know I am in my place

  5. Steve, trinitystar, susan, michele and oz, thanks for your comments.

    This poem took a toll. It made me depressed.

  6. oh... that's a hard one to swallow.
    but so well done - you really excel at structured poetry.

  7. hi Gautami,

    The sonorous pulse of the terza rima works so well for this subject! Thanks for sharing.

    I especially like the enjambment of how can one kill the dead/again - the slight pause makes it even more effective.

  8. the vivid imagery chills my spine. but it is true. one can kill the dead... in many a different sense. their memory for one...

  9. ur imagination soars above heavens!


  10. I envy the ability to write poetry!

    "...cadavers cannot feel, however they resent
    mutilation of the spirit."

    That line reminds me of the first time I saw an autopsy.

    Michele sent me today!

  11. I loved the line how can one kill the dead again...

  12. Gautami, you are good with structured poetry! the images you painted are very vivid.

  13. I'm envious of your ability to write in form. My muse refuses to take the bit and follow rules.

  14. //cadavers cannot feel, however they resent
    mutilation of the spirit.//

    What if the opposite is true...