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A SONNET FOR NETTE - Cyndi MacMillan's Blog

About Cyndi MacMillan
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Cyndi MacMillan's current projects include three children's book series. Her "life as a writer' blogs can be read at  https://cyndimacmillan.wordpress.com/  Three of her poems have been published in Room magazine, issue 49.4, This Body's Maps, https://roommagazine.com/issues/bodys-map  Two poems have been published in the Prairie Journal ( Issue 67)http://www.prairiejournal.org/subscribe.html   Other poems can be found in Fieldstone Review, Issue 2015 http://www.fieldstonereview.usask.ca/article.php?article=167, Grain Magazine, issue 42.4, Summer 2015, Passed Signs/New Fields http://www.grainmagazine.ca/424  , The Steel Chisel, April 2016, http://www.thesteelchisel.ca/april2016_07.html.  The Centrifugal Eye, Spring 2016, the Unformed issue  http://www.centrifugaleye.com/ . She participated in the 20 Poem Challenge at The Ekphrastic Review: Writing and Art on Art and Writing, and twelve of her poems have been published by the journal.http://www.ekphrastic.net/apps/search?q=Cyndi+MacMillan.

Her fiction has appeared in local newspapers and has won contests. Her short story, Missed Steps, is forthcoming in the Windsor Review. She enjoys reading literary journals, and she is actively pursuing further publication within their glossy covers while writing chapter books and early middle readers.

Poetry soup is a friendly forum which enables people from around the world to share their writing. It has some great resources and provides a nice space for people to connect.

Cyndi lives in a small town in Ontario with her husband, young daughter and far too many books.

.


A SONNET FOR NETTE


Blog Posted:1/27/2014 11:21:00 PM

 

 

 

2007 Cast

 

 

 

Oh, how your opal aura would have warmed

 

that hollow seat beside mine at the Registry

 

Theatre. This playhouse holds subtle charms,

 

contradictions mingle here so comfortably.

 

It is intimate, this communion between stage

 

and audience, somewhat confessional,

 

love freely expressed in each line, as ageless

 

as sisterhood, poetry, all things natural.

 

There is soul, an emotional cast to Falling:

 

A Wake. The actors project a thousand stars.

 

Seen, misted eyes, for what was lost is calling,

 

a celestial trail of hope climbing each stair

 

of dark. Heard, a heart's voice, unrehearsed,

 

resounding like ovations for purest verse.

 

 

2010 cast

 

 

About the Registry Theatre/ Falling: A Wake by Gary Kirkham

 

 

Built in the 1930s, the theatre originally served as the Waterloo County Registry for close to forty years. It is an art deco building, heritage designated. The inside of the theatre is quite tight, seating is simple and the audience's knees usually touch. The performances there seem to resonate, perhaps because of this intimacy. Everything is painted black, the walls, floors, ceiling... full focus is on what is happening on the stage.

 

 

 

The Lost and Found Theatre Group performs at the Registry. The plays they choose to perform are layered and the audience knows they can expect to laugh through tears.

 

The premise of Falling: A Wake is that one starry night a couple, living on a farm, hears a horrific sound. They go outside to investigate and discover the body of young man, still strapped into his airplane seat on their property. Elsie, the wife, refuses to leave the man, chooses to keep a vigil of sorts as they wait for someone to retrieve the victim of the crash.

 

Piece by piece, Harold, the husband, moves their home outdoors, chairs and lamps, things of comfort. We learn that they had lost a son... are still grieving and that they moved to this farm to escape the pain of the loss. They feel for the parents of this man... and are acting as stand in parents. The play, despite its theme, is a tragicomedy for it is not only moving, but truly funny at times. The play is also a love story, the love between man and wife, parents and child, and even the love the best of us give to total strangers

 

I am still haunted by some scenes, the texture of this tale...The play is a success, has been produced far from home

 

The airplane seat is turned away from the audience. Never once do we see the crash victim's face... only the back of the seat. The effect is startling.

 

The entire play is done under an array of 'twinkling stars.' The peaceful scene contradicts with the anguish that this couple has refused to face, to accept, the loss of a child.

 

About Nette

 

Nette is one of those people who is grounded, able to share the most painful of memories in seamless verse. She can be lighthearted, fun and boisterous, too. There seems to be a thousand sides to her, each dimension of her is poetry itself.

 

Senses so often come to play in her work. Movement is a favourite theme.

 

Her voice is distinct. I remember my first reading of her; I remember a sense of falling into lines, becoming completely spellbound. Her language had me rereading lines repeatedly. Her intent is clear. Her language, though figurative and intricately woven, does not obstruct clarity. Metaphor is rich, detailed. Modifiers are as they should be, not too few, not too many.

 

Much of what Nette writes is set outside, in the natural world..(hey, don't get ahead of me! LOL!)

 

About the Sonnet

 

I know that Nette would love this play, so I took her there. The central theme of love, the psychology of the human spirit, the power of release, the healing of closure... all these things I knew she'd like.

 

Now, lol, her liking the theatre was another thing. It's dark. Tight. Not a single embellishment. No chandelier, no velvet seat, no jazz nor symphonic delights. Just a black box theatre. Yet, Nette is a poet who appreciates contraction, sharp contrasts and subtle ironies.

 

A play that is set entirely in a wide open space staged in a small enclosed space.

 

As far as writing the poem, I wanted to ensure that there was a fair amount of figurative language. Metaphor would be predominant and the word choice had to feel 'Netted'

 

I aimed for fresh.

 

When I wrote this I was very aware of where I wanted certain lines, Many of the end words in lines I associate with Nette.

 

Line 1: opals are jewels that shimmer with hidden depths. Opal aura: euphony.

 

Line 4: I have long loved how Nette uses contradiction in her verses

 

Line 5: intimate and communion. Words to describe her distinct voice.

 

Line 6: confessional. Many of her poems lay it all on the table, tell of her most personal and painful experiences. I am a fan of confessional poems, beat poetry. Truth or bust!!!

 

Line 7: I see this as a constant in her work, a central theme.

 

Line 8: There is nothing pretencious or overworked about a Nette poem. All feels natural, despite the way words appear unexpectedly, side by side, and you see something in a brand new way.

 

Line 9: 'There is soul, an emotional cast to Falling:' This line is my most worked, most crafted. Nette is my soul-sister. Her writing is emotional. I am emotional reading it. I feel great emotion for her.

 

Now the word CAST I specifically chose for its many meanings. A 'net' is cast, to collect bounty. Metal is cast, becomes something strong and enduring. Shadows are cast, sometimes for effect. Then, we are speaking of a PLAY. Plays have a CAST. Also, the play is about loss, old and new. We 'cast about' looking for something. When something is too hard to bear, shatters our minds, we 'cast it aside'(the couple retreat from reality for a while)... so, I chose one word very very intentionally.

 

About the break in the play's title... Falling.... A: Wake..... and then the last word on the following line is stars... so it is an eye trick, Falling, stars. All intentional. Falling, again, has a great deal of personal meaning. Don't all poets fall into poetry, fall for our favourite poets? Fall into writing, that mindful surrender that almost feels like possession? AND the play is about, literally, someone falling. The victim fell to the earth. This is THE play I wish I COULD see with Nette.

 

Line 10 : Wakes are a celebration of life for someone who has passed away, and I have read poems of Nette's that are truly wakes.. tributes for those she has lost.

 

Line 12: Celestial is something I associate with nette, as is hope. The play focuses quite a bit on the nature of hope and stars are the backdrop of the play.

 

Lines 13 and 14: again I use ambiguity. Now, if you've read this far, I'm touched, thankyouthankyou, and I expect you know exactly what I'm getting at with my summary. Heart and verse YUPPERS

 

I ponder where to 'take' my soup friends. In a dream, I DID bring Nette to the Registry, return to a few hours in time that were deeply moving for me.

 

Love to my Soul-Sister always.

 

Tomorrow I will be bloggin' about Linda Marie's Sonnet.

 

http://www.therecord.com/whatson-story/4053706-be-sure-to-take-some-tissues-to-blyth-festival-s-falling-a-wake/

 

http://www.huronnewsnow.ca/2013/08/30/review-to-watch-falling-a-wake-was-to-be-part-of-something-very-special/

 

Please Login
Date: 1/29/2014 12:07:00 PM
ohhh,cyn.. this seems to be the opening night or premiere... i don;t like this sonnet; i love it... honestly, i can see myself in your beautiful sonnet, the connection that binds one to another ( whether this be man and nature, man to man,etc) in a most intimate level where somehow, vulnerabity becomes an offering... and what an offering this is; you have a deep soul that can look into a person's aura and feel it with pure instinct!... i will surely watch ' falling' with you,, soul sisters always find a way to commune, even in the astral level... yes, i will print this and use it for my book--- a leaf of eternity!.. thanks so much and huggs,.. love ya, sis!
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Date: 1/29/2014 1:49:00 AM
Nette's '"world is a stage". I have this feeling she carries a magic potion which drives me to partake of her journeys--- mystical, spontaneous, chaotic or passionate--through her language of metaphor. Though she is somewhere far from an audience,her ability to move me is , well, just there, and I get affected by how she turns me around. Your depiction of her is exact and insightful, bridging your own own world to meet hers. And here lies your instinctive ability to convey to me , others what you are, Cindy. A significant blog showing the generosity and artistry of your " distinct voice."
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Date: 1/28/2014 3:38:00 PM
I'm just beginning to see the wonder and feel the soul of Nette, being new here. There's something I can't explain about her poetry, her total being, as if she transports me to a different plane where I find something more than what I could discoverer. You are right, Cindy. She is dimensionless as the moon, night, she speaks of. The theater is a microscosm of her cosmic terrain--- encompassing glitters of light, movement flow, speech. Your sonnet mirrors her mystery. I cannot pin this woman down, lol. She inspired me to write again when I read some of her works. You must know her deeply not only as a poetess but also a close friend. You are both gifts to each other! Thank you!
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Date: 1/28/2014 12:37:00 PM
Celestial is something I associate with Nettie too, dear Cyndi..Nette is one of my favourite poets here..She touched my heart in so many ways through her poetry..Your sonnet reflects so elegantly..the amazing soul of our dear friend.
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Date: 1/28/2014 10:42:00 AM
Just a wonderful tribute how lucky we all are to have you and to have each other - makes me want to be a Supreme and sing Soul Sisters! I love the peek at your town too. BBL
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Date: 1/28/2014 10:06:00 AM
Thank you, Cyndi, for taking us for a theater night out to see this amazing play. And yes, I can see the reason you chose this story, as a comparison to poetry of one of the best poets, our own Nette. Somehow, one word is a stand out in my mind to describe her gift..."celestial".....is in essence, a perfect word to use.. There is so much to absorb in every poem. I envy her use of metaphorical wings, which helps us fly to the moon!
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My Past Blog Posts

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