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A Poet’s Two Voices

I lay in bed and think of this:
A poet has two voices.
The one he writes with gravitas,
the other of his muse.
The one expressed in syntax text,
with surface structures clear,
subject and predicate defined.
The parts of speech are known,
phrases and clauses understood,
tenses and aspects drawn,
indicative mood expressed.
With temperament in lines expressed,
a state of mind construed—
The poet with his witty quill,
need not be ever rude.
His task is simply to express
what surfaces the mind—

Not so the poet’s other voice,
the voice governed by muse.
The former voice is masculine,
with animation made.
It is the voice of Animus
A cocky voice of tongue!
This other voice, this second voice,
this softer, second voice,
is clearly Anima,
reflecting secrets of the soul,
compassionately expressed.
This second voice is feminine,
the voice of prophecy.
With first voice made in syntax lines,
this second voice is deeper,
emerging from semantic well,
of deeper structures born.

Hers is the voice that gives meaning
to surface utterances.
A sotto voce of the muse.
Hers is that quiet, inner voice,
diplomatically covert—
Not so that masculine overt voice,
blasting a symphony,
with trumpets and with clarinets,
to make attention sharp.
In contrast is this second voice,
a meditating voice,
emptying the mind with softer chords,
harmoniously expressed.

Her Psalter is a curative balm,
It heals the hurt, it heals all pain,
inviting souls to prayer.
Together these two voices blend,
the masculine and the feminine,
to give a priestly chorus.
Inspiring schools of ancient prophets
to render their cantorial verdict:
Whether these two voices in suit,
can truly, truly blend —
The masculine and feminine,
with Mishnah of new learning,
to give life a new meaning.

About this poem

At age eighty six, I find my muse, as a Delphi oracle, urging me to listen to her, as she pleads to give council to those who have eyes to see and ears to hear. I am listening to that ancient, quiet inner voice. Will you listen along with me? She is asking us all to listen.

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Written on November 18, 2021

Submitted by karlcfolkes on November 18, 2021

1:45 min read

Quick analysis:

Closest metre Iambic tetrameter
Characters 1,780
Words 350
Stanzas 4
Stanza Lengths 17, 17, 13, 13

Karl Constantine FOLKES

Retired educator of Jamaican ancestry with a lifelong interest in composing poetry dealing particularly with the metaphysics of self-reflection; completed a dissertation in Children’s Literature in 1995 at New York University entitled: An Analysis of Wilhelm Grimm’s “Dear Mili” Employing Von Franzian Methodological Processes. The subject of the dissertation concerned the process of Individuation. more…

All Karl Constantine FOLKES poems | Karl Constantine FOLKES Books

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Discuss this Karl Constantine FOLKES poem with the community:

  • Dougla$Irishman
    A lot of words here, it's like a fairy tale, nice but make believe !
    Let reality sink in to your poetry - truth is a better teacher than the best of fiction !
    I always take criticism in the good light it was sent ! 
    LikeReplyReport1 year ago
  • Adventurer2022#
    Deeply insightful. Maybe it takes a while to disccover one's authentic muse.
    what do you think?
    LikeReplyReport 11 year ago
    • Soulwriter
      I agree - each poem I write reveals more waiting to be expressed
      LikeReplyReport1 year ago
  • Soulwriter
    Wow. A truly beautiful piece.
    LikeReplyReport1 year ago


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"A Poet’s Two Voices" Poetry.com. STANDS4 LLC, 2023. Web. 31 Jan. 2023. <https://www.poetry.com/poem/114232/a-poet%E2%80%99s-two-voices>.

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What is the term for the continuation of a sentence without a pause beyond the end of a line, couplet, or stanza.
  • A. A turn
  • B. Line break
  • C. Dithyramb
  • D. Enjambment