Poetry is the spontaneous overflow of powerful feelings:
it takes its origin from emotion recollected in tranquillity.
It starts with a gentle flow,
Like leaves dancing in the breeze.
Pleasant, slow movements that please
Awaken emotions. You know,
It starts with a gentle flow.
Body and mind are at ease.
Breath relaxed. Slow down, please.
Feel the rush of letting go.
It starts with a gentle flow.
Yogi listen, bend your knees,
Down dog pose leads to heartsease.
Breathe in, breathe out, joy will grow.
It starts with a gentle flow.
©CVarsalona, Fall 2022, Virginia
Yesterday, while in the yoga studio, I listened intently to my teacher. She led us through a series of gentle flows. This practice allowed me to relax while pushing myself beyond my comfort zone and reminded me of autumn's gentle flow. Yoga and nature's movements set the stage to write alongside the Poetry Sisters who challenged us this month to compose a dansa poem. Since I have never heard of a dansa poem, I really needed to pay attention to the format and start the process by using a simple refrain. The poem opens with a quintrain of 5 lines and an AbbaA rhyme scheme. Quatrains of 4 lines with a bbaA rhyme scheme follow. The A repeats because it is the opening line of the first stanza and the final line of every stanza, including the first.
Do you know what belsnickeling is? It is a Christmas practice, inspired by early 20th-century German Americans, in which costumed groups would visit neighbors' houses, offer a short performance, and then, were rewarded with food if the neighbors couldn't guess their identities. My granddaughters and I enjoyed a variation of belsnickeling last weekend when we walked around the neighborhood with baskets of homemade cookies. My oldest granddaughter wore dentures to make the neighbors laugh.
Little creatures march aroundWith toothy grins and small treats,Delivering gooey sweets.For all the neighbors earthbound,Little creatures march around.Stomp, stomp they walk up and down.See that pumpkin who overeats.Down the dark and lonely streets,Little creatures walk around.They skip, sway, and eat a piece.Head home when cookies decrease-Belsnickeling fun found.Little creatures walk around.©CVarsalona, 2022, dansa poem, digital art & Pumpkin photo by Margaret Simon for This Photo Needs To Be A Poem🍁🍃🍂It is time for the Poetry Friday Roundup.Join me at Jone MacCullock's blog here to find out what our Oregon poet/photgrapher/librarian has as a sweet surprise. It will sure to be filled with poetic goodness and maybe a nature photo or collage.
Wow, Carol! No one would guess this was a new form for you. Both of these are so well crafted. I love the gentle yoga flow that led to your gentle and calming poem. Then belsnickeling? fun! You invited us along in your second dansa. What a wonderful, rich post!ReplyDelete
Margaret, I worked so hard on these poems so your comment makes me feel so good! Yoga and grandgirls were such great topics for me. Thank you for stopping by and commenting.Delete
Both your poems show such love of life, Carol, beautifully following the dansa form yet in the first, your word choice brings us quiet, a chance, through your word choices, to savor the idea of slowing down; and the second becomes a lively jaunt of "bellsnickeling" with those grand-girls. No, I've never heard of it. What a delight it must have been together. Thanks for sharing all!ReplyDelete
Linda, I hope your weekend has been a great one. We won't have trick or treaters in our community so we will go to my daughter's house for a walk around the neighborhood with the grandgirls. Last night we had a fabulous Halloween party at the community's clubhouse. It was fun dressing up. Tomorrow, will be another dress-in-costume day. Happy Halloween to you and your girls.Delete
Thank you for the introduction to the dansa form, Carol. Both of your poems are great mentor texts! I'm off to 'ease my heart' with a little downward dog. Thank you for the relaxing smiles today. :)ReplyDelete
Bridget, I like how you ease your heart with Smidgey. Thanks for your Poetry Palooza. I enjoy the read on each participant. Happy Halloween. If Smidgey dresses in costume, you must share that!Delete
You had me at the first stanza. It felt like yoga…and the I get to the last stanza and ah ha! It is supposed to feel like yoga. Well done. Write more of these gentle flows please. Linda M.ReplyDelete
When I am in the meditative zone at yoga, I sense a peaceful flow, Linda. I should get back to writing poems about yoga. Thanks for the suggestion. Happy Halloween.Delete
I love poem that repeat and seemed so right for this unique event. I've never heard of this tradition but now I have. What fun your granddaughters must have had besnickeling with their grandmother.ReplyDelete
I had never heard of belsnickeling either and I don't know how I found the information during the research process. It stayed with me and thought I could turn it into a topic, Janice. The girls and I had a wonderful time.Delete
Your poem captures the beautiful flow of a practice that gently goes deeper and deeper until you find yourself in that calm center. Nicely done! Love your intro to a new tradition with neighbors, too---we lived in Germany, but I hadn't heard of it.ReplyDelete
That was me...I don't know why Google doesn't keep me signed in.Delete
Enjoyed both poems, Carol. Both the dansa form and belsnickeling are new to me so this was a special treat. I really got into the breathing and calmness of your yoga poem. The gentle flow of autumn -- lovely!! ~ JamaReplyDelete
Thanks for joining me here, Jama, and enjoying the topics I chose for my dansas. Even when it is cool outside like today, I can sense the gentle flow of autumn.Delete
Wonderful poems, Carol! I guessed the first was about yoga, too. Makes me want to return to a class!ReplyDelete
You guessed right, Susan. I am going to show my yoga teacher.Delete
Belsnickeling is the BEST word. What a fun concept. You did such a great job with this form! I had to really keep reading the rules at first, but then it just danced along. ☺ReplyDelete
I love finding new words to play with, Tanita. I was unsure that I could write a dansa poem with the amount of rules but now, I love the format.Delete
Carol, What wonderful poems you've created here! I especially love the first one! I think the simple refrain is so beautiful! Thank you for sharing your neighborhood travels, too! I like this German tradition - something new I learned today from you! Thanks! Happy Halloween!ReplyDelete
Thanks for your comment, Carol. Stay tuned for more Halloween fun over the weekend. I am sharing digital art with ghouly delight.Delete
Carol, thanks for this great intro to dansa. Another form to try. I like learning about the belsnickeling tradition. I think Scandinavians do something similar. Also, you re reminding me that I need to get back to yoga. Much good here. Thanks again, and enjoy your holiday with the grand girls.ReplyDelete
Karen, I am not only ready to enjoy the spirit of Halloween with my grandgirls but also my neighbors. We have a Halloween party at the clubhouse tonight and I am looking forward to all the creativity of costumed characters and dancing. Happy Halloween Weekend!Delete
Thanks for both of these dansas, Carol. I love the yoga one and would love to do a yoga flow right now. I'm so congested I can't bend over, though. Your poem gave me a bit of the peace of it, though. AND I'd never heard of belsnickeling. What fun! I adore that you take your wonderful adventures with your grands and turn them into poems. I think it must be a little like reliving the love all over again as you write the poem?ReplyDelete
Laura, I am so sorry that you are still congested and ill. I know what that feels like.I use saline spray to open my nostrils when stuffed up. Of course you cannot do a down dog or flow when you are ill so rest. Thanks for the commenting on my poems. I can't wait for Halloween. Tonight is the community party and the clubhouse looks spooktacular.Delete
Carol, first - the photo of an autumn tree: I am reading/writing this weekend from a friend's cabin in the mountains and looking out their panoramic window at THAT TREE :) -- and then just the flow of your poem was like a cradle. How beautiful that the dansa form matched your words so nicely. Thank you!ReplyDelete
The photo was taken last weekend on my walk with the little grands. We were in awe of the colors and curious why the trail ended. Thank you, Patricia, for stopping by. Happy Halloween.Delete
Carol your opening poem flows like a gentle stream. It is embued with a serenity. The repetition ties each stanza effortlessly together. I thank you for interoducing me to a brand new, old word, belsnickeling. Sounds like a tradition worthy of preservation.ReplyDelete
I really want to continue my granddaughters walk with me prior to Halloween. Thanks for noting that, Alan. Happy Halloween.Delete
Your poem flows like yoga. The dansa was a good form for this poem.ReplyDelete
Now that I started to get the pattern of the dansa, I want to read more, Jone. Thanks for hosting. Would you like to offer an image poem for my Finding Fall 2020 at https://padlet.com/cvarsalona/awz68cfim4nac1rp?Delete
Your dansa is beautiful and soothing, Carol, and truly induces a feeling of gentle flow. So lovely. I first heard of Belsnickel on The Office. Dwight, of course. :)ReplyDelete
Thank you, Karen. I just looked up on the internet the Belsnickel skit. It was funny and weird at the same time but that skit fits the character of Dwight.Delete
Your dansas are such a contrast to mine! I love the gentleness and the flow of your first one, and thank you for teaching me a new word!ReplyDelete
Mary Lee, Karen Edmisten just let me know about the You Tube video on Belsnickel skit from the Office. I learned something new too. Happy Halloween!Delete
Carol, I love your poems! You make the dansa poems look so easy. In Tranquill Thoughts, your first two lines "It starts with a gentle flow,ReplyDelete
Like leaves dancing in the breeze." hooked me. As I continued reading it, I relaxed and thought I miss doing Yoga. Belsnickeling seems like fun and a great idea! I can see your granddaughters and you enjoying your Belsnickeling. What a great word. Carol, can I put both of your dansa poems in my notebooks for mentor poems? I will put a copyright sign by your name.
Gail, I am honored that you would like to place my poems in your notebook as mentor texts. Please do and when you write one, please share it with me and Poetry Friday. I am so glad to be your winter poem swap partner.Delete