Acquainted with the dawn



This month Catherine Flynn posed a bold challenge for our group: Write a terza rima. A terza what? I honestly had no idea what that meant and I had to educate myself. It’s been a process!

Let me tell you, this form is not easy. It’s been an interesting and engaging challenge, but be sure to put the emphasis on challenge.  Eek! The structure is so interwoven that any change sent ripples throughout the entire poem. At various times in the process, I ended up with repeated rhymes (Oops!), messed up rhyme schemes (Ugh!), and/or little meaning (Ouch!). At this point, it really needs to marinate a bit and go through another critique session, but the timer has gone off, and it’s time to post.

Acquainted with the dawn
(inspired by Robert Frost’s Acquainted with the Night)

I have been one acquainted with the dawn
who wanders through the trailing hours of night
compelled as if a thread through needle drawn

to marvel at the seeping glow of light,
bold skies batiked with streaks of reds and blues,
brocaded clouds, bird shadows stitched in flight.

Night’s worries dim as morning light debuts
and Nature’s peace suffuses, bringing ease.
I walk, admiring the changing views.

Webs, dew-bedecked, bedazzle in the breeze
and sun, with Midas touch, turns light to gold,
embroiders veils of diamonds in the trees.

Dark whipstitched boughs help earth to heaven hold,
create a living frieze where eagles fly,
and every day unfolds as if foretold.

Yet even as the sun climbs through the sky,
reflected in the river’s satin glow,
discarded trash lies ‘neath the brush nearby.

Within the water, plastics swirl and flow.
And changing seasons come with prickling fears.
How long can Nature brave each wielded blow?

My solace and my comfort through the years
is jeopardized with every passing day.
I listen to the news through veils of tears.

How long can Nature hold the tide at bay?
What can I do to shield this world I love?
What can we do to mend a world so frayed?

For now I hold it close and journey on.
I have been one acquainted with the dawn.

Molly Hogan ©2020 (draft)

This week’s Poetry Friday Roundup is hosted by the vivacious and prolific Laura Purdie Salas at her blog, Writing the World for Kids. Also, be sure to check out what my fellow Swaggers did with this terza rima challenge:

Linda Mitchell
Catherine Flynn
Margaret Simon
Heidi Mordhorst

36 thoughts on “Acquainted with the dawn

  1. […] Hogan at Nix the Comfort Zone Linda Mitchell at A Word Edgewise Heidi Mordhorst at My Juicy Little Universe Margaret Simon at […]


  2. margaretsmn says:

    Wow! Molly, your poem has grown in words, images, and meaning. Your imagery is such that I can see what you see…”Webs, dew-bedecked, bedazzle in the breeze” Then I follow you to this heartbreak “How long can Nature brave each wielded blow?” You’ve woven a masterpiece.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Molly, I adore those first two stanzas especially. All that needlework and fabric art imagery, yet it paints a picture of dawn so beautifully. I am an early bird, and this totally resonated with me.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I felt deeply sad reading this. All that is threatened in then natural world. You really captured the beaty and the losses that may lie ahead. Lovely work.

    Liked by 1 person

    • mbhmaine says:

      It’s so strange (can’t think of the word I want here…) to turn to nature for respite when so many of my concerns center around what we’re doing to our natural world.


  5. janicescully says:

    You did a beautiful job on this, certainly eliciting emotion in this reader. This definitely resonated with me. Thanks for sharing this.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. lindabaie says:

    Wow, Molly, a deeply poignant poem that showed such beauty for all of us to feel grateful for. That 2nd verse, awesome! Then the sad turning and questioning: “How long can Nature hold the tide at bay?” You may have thought this structure was a big challenge, but you mastered it beautifully!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Kay Mcgriff says:

    This is beautiful, Molly. This form does look like quite a challenge, but your poem flows with beauty as I read it

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Wow, Molly. This form is NOT for the faint-hearted, but you took it on like a pro! I am impressed, and you, m’dear, should be proud.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Well done, Molly! The added stanzas add so much depth to this poem. I also love all the needlework/fabric imagery. And the way you bring it all together in the final tercet with this line: “What can we do to mend a world so frayed?” Perfect. These questions are on my mind as well.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Linda Mitchell says:

    Oh, wow! You worked on this poem more and look at it now…it’s beautiful. There are so many precious lines. But, you also have incredible meaning! I’m so in love with “whipstitched boughs”….and now too, “mend a world so frayed?” The sewing imagery is perfect. Well done.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. katswhiskers says:

    Very impressed with this, Molly. The rhyme scheme of the terza rima highlights the contemplative despair of the writing. Yet captures their beauty so well. Especially with all the precise needlework throughout. Still disappointed I didn’t get to see your dawn… xx

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Tabatha says:

    Well done, Molly! Some of my favorite bits are “bird shadows stitched in flight,” the rhymes in the following stanza, and the ending. I believe you that the form is a challenge– I’m intimidated!

    Liked by 1 person

    • mbhmaine says:

      I enjoyed the puzzle aspect of it, Tabatha, but it’s so interwoven, that changing one part creates a big ripple effect. Unfortunately, I didn’t always notice all the ripples! lol


  13. haitiruth says:

    Ooh, I love this! I, too, am acquainted with the dawn… Ruth,

    Liked by 1 person

  14. You ladies certainly outdid yourselves with this one. Wow! I love the stitchery that weaves its way through yours from top to bottom. Amazing!

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Brava for taking this challenge to fruition! A strong message lies in your poem that needs to be heard by many more, thank you for it.

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Wow–you’ve stitched a gorgeous poem to go with a gorgeous photo. This seems like such a challenging form, and yours just flows. I particularly love this line: bold skies batiked with streaks of reds and blues

    Liked by 1 person

    • mbhmaine says:

      Thanks, Buffy. The sunrises are always inspiring over the river and I treasure my time there. I’ve wiled away many hours watching the sky patterns shift at dawn 🙂


  17. Tara Smith says:

    Wow! the imagery in this poem is just stunning, Molly.

    Liked by 1 person

  18. kareneastlund4898 says:

    Molly: The first stanzas grabbed me also. The batik and the brocade… quite lovely! Thanks for sharing this challenge. Your skills are rising with the sun.

    Liked by 1 person

  19. cvarsalona says:

    Molly, I read your post with the amazing poem that has such a beautiful visual within these lines: I have been one acquainted with the dawn
    who wanders through the trailing hours of night
    compelled as if a thread through needle drawn
    Your new word coddiwomple came into my mind.
    Great work with this format.

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s