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Roy Jerden's Blog

About Roy Jerden
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I starting writing poetry again in 2012 after a 50 year hiatus.

Born and raised in West Texas, I lived all over the area as a child until my mother remarried, as my father was in the oil drilling business, which required constant moving. I grew up in San Angelo, home of Fort Concho and the Buffalo Soldiers, but spent quite a few summers working on my grandpa's farm in the Texas Hill Country.

I met my wife Toni while I was stationed at Aviano AFB, Italy. I learned to speak Italian fluently and we still speak it at home interchangeably with English. My three sons, all born in Italy after I got out of the USAF, also speak Italian.

We moved back to the USA in 1972 and settled in Missouri, where I went back to school.

We moved to Atlanta in 1988, when Toni relocated here with AT&T. I got a job with McKesson (then HBOC) working with medical information systems, which started my career in this field. I had a natural talent for application design and parlayed this talent into a great R&D management position with an internet startup.

We are now retired. We spend time traveling the world and visiting our grandchildren in CA and NC. We also spend some time in Italy almost every year visiting and traveling with friends in Europe as we have a small apartment there in Sacile near Aviano, not far from Venice.

My other passions are mushroom hunting (the edible kind), gourmet cooking and bread baking.


A peek under the kimono


Blog Posted:1/13/2014 7:33:00 PM

Did you ever wonder what a poet meant by a particular phrase, descriptive term, or line?
Why the poet organized the poem in a certain way or chose a particular form?
What effects or feelings the poet was trying to evoke?
Why the words in certain lines had a different rhythm?

Sometimes you can get these explanations at a poetry reading, or if the poet is famous, their works may have been written about and analyzed. In Shakespeare’s case of course, the analysis exceeds his body of work.

So here, I'm going to deconstruct a poem of mine, at least partially. I invite you to do the same. I think it will be a learning experience.

Kiss of the Eagle

Many eons passed on Earth, who only saw your face 
Untouched your virgin body, floating there in space 
Waxing, waning, gibbous, crescent, quarter, full and new 
Selene the Greeks would call you; Diana, Caesar knew 

Who would brave the ether, who would cross the void 
To agitate the tranquil sea you had so long enjoyed, 
To softly kiss your ravaged face and return to tell the tale 
Of Luna's hidden secrets beneath her powdered veil? 

Three heroes took the final quest aboard their fiery steed 
In Apollo's silver chariot proceeding with godspeed 
Three days and nights they voyaged to their opalescent goal 
On Earth they watched and worried in the halls of ground control
 
One held the craft outside the reach of Luna's jealous grip 
While Eagle's talons cradled two who risked the final trip 
They timidly approached her through the shadowy abyss 
Luna waited patiently and received the Eagle's kiss 

Nations watched and cheered on Terra's distant shore 
As one man finally took a step no one ever took before 
In our hearts and in our minds his words will be enshrined 
"That's one small step for a man, one giant leap for mankind."

Deconstruction and comments:

This poem was one of the first I ever posted. It was inspired by Neil Armstrong's death a few months prior. The moon landing itself is metaphorically depicted as a romantic kiss.

There are also some astronomical/space metaphors:

In the first line "who only saw your face" refers to the fact that the moon always shows the same face to the earth because its rotational period is equal to its orbital period, i.e. it is "locked", typical to many moons and small planets like Mercury.
All the Moon's phases are listed in the 3rd line. Interestingly, listed this way, they are almost perfect iambic feet.
Selene and Diana are moon goddesses.
"Ether" is the "fifth" Greek element, representing space, used here to stay within the classical theme.
The "tranquil sea" in the second stanza is a metaphor for undisturbed space, but it also refers to the actual landing site, the Sea of Tranquility.
The "ravaged face" in the next line refers to the many meteor craters on the moon's surface.
The "powdered veil" in the next line refers to the layer of moon dust covering the moon's surface.
“Apollo's silver chariot” refers to the spacecraft itself, of course, and the Apollo mission. The god Apollo had a gold one.
"Godspeed" actually means "Good Speed" but also refers to an expression of good wishes to a person starting a journey."Godspeed" was also used as an Apollo pun.
"Luna's jealous grip" refers to the Moon's gravitational field.
“Eagle's talons” refers to the lunar module's life support system. The verb “cradle” was used to re-enforce the idea of a mother's protection.
The "kiss" is the soft landing itself, naturally.
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  1. Date: 1/15/2014 2:24:00 PM
    Now, let's see if hot brings in another reader.... I still say change the title of this blog to WHO WANTS TO TAKE A PEEK? Roy, this deserves to be read by more than me, the blog-hog. Good stuff. I liked how you shared your thinking and allowed us to look deeper into a poem. I will put up mine, but I swear I might title it FREE BEER HERE, LOL! Smiles from Cyndi-

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    Jerden Avatar Roy Jerden Date: 1/15/2014 3:02:00 PM Block poet from commenting on your poetry

    Done. Let's see if the bait is better.
  1. Date: 1/15/2014 2:21:00 PM
    BLASTOFF!

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  1. Date: 1/15/2014 2:20:00 PM
    7.....6.....5

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  1. Date: 1/15/2014 2:20:00 PM
    4...3...2....1

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  1. Date: 1/15/2014 2:19:00 PM
    C'mon people this is an awesome poem and one cool blog.WE NEED MORE OF THESE

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  1. Date: 1/15/2014 2:19:00 PM
    10....9....8.....

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  1. Date: 1/15/2014 2:18:00 PM
    and a three

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  1. Date: 1/15/2014 2:18:00 PM
    Maybe you should change the title to Naked Pictures. LOL

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  1. Date: 1/15/2014 2:17:00 PM
    Sad that I am the only one who commented here/hear. Hmmm... Roy, I'm going to be silly. I watched Nikko do this once, bless her heart. Laugh or swat me, either way, I'm making this hot. LOL!

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  1. Date: 1/15/2014 2:17:00 PM
    and a two

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  1. Date: 1/13/2014 7:57:00 PM
    Awesome poem, awesome blog! It took me 'til the third stanza to get the title, but then I'm tired. I wasn't sure what I was reading until I got to the third line. I LIKE when a poem feels slightly mysterious, for a line or two. I don't want it all spelled out, TOO clear. I got many of these references (my given name is Cynthia, another moon goddess name) One question. What made you think of using ether? Thanks for posting this, I've done this, too in a blog ... oh, ages ago. Can I try to repost it? My computer is acting hinky and I can't seem to blog anything without odd characters appearing, my colour no longer works, centering, ANY-thing. Still, I'm willing to go for it... should I?

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    Jerden Avatar Roy Jerden Date: 1/14/2014 7:01:00 AM Block poet from commenting on your poetry

    Thanks, Cyndi. Go for it! BTW, I will update my deconstruction a bit. I used "ether", the fifth Greek element, as the word for space to stay within the classical theme.

My Past Blog Posts

 
Clean and Clever Limerick Contest Update
Date Posted: 11/17/2014 7:51:00 AM
My First Short Story - Accepted for publication
Date Posted: 11/2/2014 6:46:00 PM
Happy Halloween
Date Posted: 10/31/2014 7:18:00 AM
Non-Christian Poetry Contest Update
Date Posted: 10/19/2014 9:05:00 AM
New Contest - Religious Poetry: Non-Christian
Date Posted: 10/5/2014 6:40:00 AM
"AT SEVENTEEN"
Date Posted: 9/30/2014 10:57:00 AM
The Pedicure Virgin
Date Posted: 9/11/2014 8:19:00 PM
How to make an image out of a long poem
Date Posted: 9/3/2014 12:58:00 PM
How to do a scansion of your poem to verify the meter
Date Posted: 8/19/2014 6:03:00 PM
Too Subtle?
Date Posted: 8/15/2014 1:39:00 PM
New Feature -Poet's Notes About the Poem
Date Posted: 8/2/2014 12:31:00 PM
Free Verse: Start here or finish here
Date Posted: 7/21/2014 7:04:00 PM
Bogus Entries in Contests
Date Posted: 7/19/2014 6:46:00 AM
Punctuation and Capitalization in Poetry
Date Posted: 7/18/2014 6:35:00 PM
About Poem/Poem Notes/Inspiration, etc.
Date Posted: 7/18/2014 8:17:00 AM
Bawdy Limericks II Judged
Date Posted: 7/6/2014 2:48:00 PM
To Footnote or Not to Footnote?
Date Posted: 7/3/2014 8:47:00 PM
User trying to set a password
Date Posted: 6/24/2014 10:01:00 PM
Centering, Bolding, and Italicizing in a Poem
Date Posted: 6/9/2014 9:51:00 PM
Bawdy Limerick Contest Complete
Date Posted: 6/7/2014 4:38:00 PM
Limerick Contest Update - Last chance
Date Posted: 5/27/2014 5:31:00 PM
Bonnie Parker's Poetry
Date Posted: 5/24/2014 2:48:00 PM
Limerick Contest Update
Date Posted: 5/22/2014 2:48:00 PM
Kudos on the Miltonic Sonnet Contest
Date Posted: 5/13/2014 4:06:00 PM
Limerick Contest
Date Posted: 5/4/2014 7:56:00 PM

My Recent Poems

Date PostedPoemTitleFormCategories
11/14/2014 One Tolkien Over the Line Rhymetribute,
11/5/2014 Message of the Moth Quatrainangst,longing,
10/30/2014 Just Another Routine Day Monorhymedeath,
10/28/2014 Drool Burger Epulaeryufood,
10/25/2014 Pi Day Rhymehumor,
10/25/2014 Go For It Carpe Dieminspirational,
10/15/2014 Halloween on the Dark Side of Town Rhymeholiday,satire,
9/22/2014 Andrea Dietrich Clerihewtribute,
9/15/2014 The Empty Quarter Alliterationearth,nature,stars,
8/31/2014 Bad Goldilocks Abecedarianhumorous,
8/25/2014 Pussy Riot Chastushkahumor,
8/23/2014 Matryoshkan Multiverse Haibunhumor,
8/18/2014 A Roll of Duct Tape - Footle Footlehumor,
8/10/2014 The New One Blank versedark,
8/5/2014 Little Superheroes Quatrainchild,children,
7/22/2014 A Brush of Wings Versebird,
7/16/2014 Great A'Tuin - the Giant Star Turtle Haibundeath,journey,stars,
7/13/2014 Blood on the Saddle Limerickfunny,vacation,
7/8/2014 Willow: A Fable Rhymechildren,death,dream,fant
6/30/2014 Ragnarok: The Storm Epyllionweather,
6/28/2014 Dante's Path Quatrainspiritual,
6/11/2014 Bill's Drill Limerickhumorous,
5/26/2014 Albert Einstein Clerihewhumorous,science,
5/22/2014 John Cougar Mellencamp Clerihewbio,humorous,
5/19/2014 Same Old Soup Quatrainpoetry,satire,
5/14/2014 Into the Sunlight Haikunature,
5/12/2014 Rainier Haikunature,
5/9/2014 Januaries Haikunature,
5/7/2014 Jonah Falcon He's Not Limerickfunny,
5/6/2014 The Well Traveled Linguist Limerickhumorous,
5/5/2014 Raise the Mast Limerickhumorous,
5/4/2014 Are you glad to see me or is that just a wrinkle Limerickage,funny,
5/2/2014 The Devil Can Cite Scripture For His Purpose Rhymehate,religion,slam,
5/1/2014 On Conspiracy Theories Sonnetphilosophy,
4/28/2014 Florida Gold Limerickfunny,
4/28/2014 Tongue Oil Limerickfunny,
4/28/2014 Red Moon Limerickfunny,
4/28/2014 Fochs Gnus Rhymeslam,
4/24/2014 Concerning Human Understanding Blank versephilosophy,
4/1/2014 The Thunderous Wonderous Electric Toy Train Rhymechristmas,nostalgia,
3/18/2014 Ignominious Exit Rhymehumorous,
3/11/2014 Premature Exoneration Limerickholiday,humor,
2/28/2014 Going Gigging Rhymefishing,
2/10/2014 A Series of Unfortunate Darwin Awards Limerickdeath,humorous,silly,
2/7/2014 What Can I Do Sonnetabsence,death,fear,
1/29/2014 The Earth Abides Quatrainnatural disasters,nature,
1/23/2014 Ancient Dance Sonnetlove,
1/21/2014 Happy Hour Iambic Pentameterdrink,relationship,satire
1/7/2014 San Saba Springtime Sonnetnature,spring,
12/28/2013 The Whittlers Cowboygrowing up,nostalgia,
12/19/2013 Redneck Santa Rhymechristmas,
12/17/2013 The Tale of the China Poblana Epichistory,
6/13/2013 Ode on a Japanese Commode Rhymehumorous,
5/24/2013 The Fruits of their Labors Free versepolitical,
5/23/2013 Damaged Goods Quatrainabuse,
5/21/2013 White Trash Nostalgia Quatraingrowing up,
5/15/2013 The Conceit of Poetry Coupletphilosophy,
4/26/2013 Empyreal Ecstasy Quatrainnature,night,stars,
4/24/2013 Bordeaux Rouge Limerickhumorous,
4/18/2013 head typist Quatrainhumorous,writing,
4/14/2013 The Roughneck Song Rhymeday,drink,red,song,work,
3/23/2013 Tiger's Wood Limericksports,
3/20/2013 A Couple for the Ages Sonnethumorous,
3/17/2013 Bambino, Bambina Limerickbaby,
3/11/2013 The Treachery of Images Ekphrasis (Ecphrasis)art,image,me,
3/8/2013 Pearl of La Paz Sonnetdeath,grief,
2/17/2013 All Hat and No Cattle Cowboycowboy,humorous,old,time,
2/10/2013 Dark Temptress Rhymefood,humorous,passion,
2/10/2013 Three Pills Sonnetlife,me,philosophy,truth,
1/30/2013 Icebox Days Rhymechildhood,growing up,humo
1/26/2013 The Angel Inside Rhymeallegory,angel,art,beauti
1/22/2013 Call Me Tex Cowboycowboy-western,humorous,s
1/10/2013 Bobcat Moon Rhymeautumn,friendship,loss,mo
12/9/2012 Six Man Dance Rhymeautumn,football,nostalgia
11/18/2012 La Bejarena Rhymeangel,beauty,death,histor
8/27/2012 Kiss of the Eagle Rhymeadventure,space,travel,
8/23/2012 Delicacy of Leaves Rhymehappiness,nature,time,
8/10/2012 Keep It Turnin' to the Right Rhymeday,earth,funny,life,love
8/10/2012 Cruising the Drag Rhymecar,funny,growing up,high

My Photos


Fav Poems

PoemTitleFormCategories
Amazement Free verseplaces,voice,life,voice,
Pearl Diving Quatrainlove,
Slow Movin Tights Balladme,red,women,
That Night We Kissed Rondeauromanceheart,night,heart,
A Voice In The Wind Rhymeimagination,nature,
Stay Sonnetlife,self,self,
Within a Storm Sonnetinspirational,
Sailing the Seas In A Pecan Tree Rhymeadventure,old,
Soul of the Poet Quatrainfarewell,poems,poetess,
Generations Epicbirth,death,hope,life,
Muse Free versewords,writing,
Falling upward Rhymeanger,angst,bereavement,b
Words Rhymelove,words,song,song,
No Longer Mourn for Me When I Am Dead Lyricdeath,faith,religious,
Ashen Snow Villanellesad,september,

Fav Poets

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