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Pride and Prejudice: an etheree

This month, my poetry sisters and I are tackling etherees, an American form poem named after its creator, Etheree Taylor Armstrong. Similar to a cinquain, the etheree is based on syllable counts: it's typically a 10-line form that begins with a single syllable on the first line and adds a syllable per line until it hits the concluding line. It can also be reversed, counting down from ten syllables to one.

I wrote one about autumn, which I didn't love. And then another about true love that didn't really sing for me the way I'd intended. So here is my take on Mr. Darcy's first proposal in Pride & Prejudice, which I am re-reading for the second time this year and have watched thrice in the past month (once for the 2005 movie, and twice for the full BBC series starring Colin Firth and Jennifer Ehle).

Pride & Prejudice

walk in,
so sure of
your welcome, so
confident that I
would jump at your offer.
As if I could. As if your
attitude did not matter, your
prior actions did not signify.
Sorry, Mr. Darcy, I must decline.

It never occurred to me that you might
decline my proposal, or that my
recitation of my concerns
might be inappropriate.
I thought that you were on
the same page as me.
I can’t believe
that I may
have lost

Tanita's etherees can be found at fiction, instead of lies

Laura's etheree is at Writing the World for Kids, which has a shiny new format.

Andi's etheree can be found at A Wrung Sponge

Sara's is at Read Write Believe

Liz's etherees are at her blog

Trisha's is at The Miss Rumphius Effect.

You can find lots of other Poetry Friday posts by clicking the box below:

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( 27 comments — Leave a comment )
Sara Lewis Holmes
Oct. 2nd, 2015 12:48 am (UTC)
I wish I could join you for the re-watching! I love how you've ended the first etheree with the word "decline" and then the second one does, indeed, decline, both in syllables and in tone, at least as I hear it, with him whispering to himself at the end: I can't believe that I may have lost you. Very nice. (For the record, I liked your others, too.)
TS Davis
Oct. 2nd, 2015 01:58 pm (UTC)
*YES!* Reuse of the word "decline" is more than clever - we're tied together here because of the title and the story we all know, but that was a smart move. This is a hard form, for some reason, to MAKE sing, but I think you got there.
Oct. 2nd, 2015 11:01 pm (UTC)
I was glad when this poem announced itself to me - I was left feeling pretty flat by my other attempts.
Oct. 2nd, 2015 10:59 pm (UTC)
Thanks for your kind words on all three poems, Sara. I'm so glad you liked this one particular. You are a wonderful friend - and are welcome to come watch P&P with me any time you'd like!
Diane Mayr
Oct. 2nd, 2015 01:35 am (UTC)
I haven't read the book in a while, but I have watched the different DVDs on many occasions. I like the way you've captured the proposal in the mirrored etherees.
Oct. 2nd, 2015 11:01 pm (UTC)
Thank you, Diane!
Linda Baie
Oct. 2nd, 2015 03:34 am (UTC)
I read Laura's double etheree earlier, and liked those opposing views, and you've written one, too. One could feel sorry for Mr. Darcy, but I prefer to celebrate Jane instead, "As if I could." Terrific. And I love Ms. Etheree's picture, or is it?
Oct. 2nd, 2015 11:02 pm (UTC)
Re: controversy?
The user pic is actually Jennifer Ehle as Elizabeth Bennet in the 1995 BBC production of Pride & Prejudice. I'm glad that you enjoyed the poem!
Liz Garton Scanlon
Oct. 2nd, 2015 02:16 pm (UTC)
I am wowed by these doubles that you did, and Andi, and Tricia. So so clever. And this one, oh the confidence of men. It's amusing :)
Oct. 2nd, 2015 11:02 pm (UTC)
Thank you, Liz!
Oct. 2nd, 2015 02:46 pm (UTC)
"I thought you were on/ the same page as me."
Ha! Very nice!
Oct. 2nd, 2015 11:03 pm (UTC)
Thanks, Barb
Iphigene Daradar
Oct. 2nd, 2015 04:01 pm (UTC)
I love Jane Austen
I'm an Austen fan and have read all her books more than once (ok more than twice) and watched every single film out there. I love the poem and how you capture that confession. I can, for some reason, hear Colin Firth saying those lines. It's my first time to here of etheree, such an interesting form. thanks
Oct. 2nd, 2015 11:04 pm (UTC)
Re: I love Jane Austen
Until early last month, I'd never heard of an etheree either, but the group I do monthly challenges with picked it as our form, so I had to figure it out. Thank you very much for the compliment - I'd really love to hear Colin Firth speak those lines. Or, for that matter, read the phone book!
Andi Sibley
Oct. 2nd, 2015 05:32 pm (UTC)
I love how you've paired these so that she gains in volume and conviction with more to say, While he fades away to silence. Just so. Nicely done.
(Deleted comment)
Oct. 2nd, 2015 11:05 pm (UTC)
Thanks, Jenn!
Oct. 2nd, 2015 11:05 pm (UTC)
Well, if that isn't the sweetest analysis - thanks, Andi!
Oct. 2nd, 2015 05:40 pm (UTC)
Poetry Friday Blog Post
Bravo. Two wonderful perspectives on one proposal.
Oct. 2nd, 2015 11:05 pm (UTC)
Re: Poetry Friday Blog Post
Thank you!
Mary Lee Hahn
Oct. 3rd, 2015 09:53 am (UTC)
I immediately loved the pair of voices, and I agree with Andi about the power behind her voice growing and his fading away. Declining. Bravo!
Oct. 3rd, 2015 02:16 pm (UTC)
Thanks, Mary Lee!
Oct. 3rd, 2015 10:48 am (UTC)
I love how these poems have such restraint and yet so much emotion just below the surface that's hinted at through your words. And the subtle humor, too! "As if I could." My favorite bit!
Oct. 3rd, 2015 02:16 pm (UTC)
Oct. 3rd, 2015 12:37 pm (UTC)
simple yet powerful
Kindly forgive your host’s lateness: converging appointments including a rather loud 13yo boys birthday party interfered!

I love it when it's time for the Poetry Seven to post their joint projects. I always learn something important, like when you go to a wine tasting and sample many flavors in a row...each distinctive perfume becomes more pronounced in comparison with the others. Pride and Prejudice just never loses its flavor, does it?
Oct. 3rd, 2015 02:17 pm (UTC)
Re: simple yet powerful
My condolences on the loud party - I remember those well from when my girls were that age!

And thanks for your kind words. I am a HUGE Austen fan, and P&P is among my favorites.
Tricia Stohr-Hunt
Oct. 3rd, 2015 05:06 pm (UTC)
I used to re-read P&P at the beginning of every summer. Last year I began reading it at the, sort of a last gift to myself before the academic year begins. So, I've just recently finished this year's reading, and your poem really brings home the message of how very dense Darcy was. Or was he? Could he have been that clueless? You've beautifully captured the pair in these poems.
Oct. 5th, 2015 02:08 pm (UTC)
I re-read it mid-summer, then started it again in September, which is an unusual choice for me, but there you have it. I suspect that we are so blinded by Elizabeth Bennet's prejudice that it's hard to recognize just how deep Darcy's feelings run - and he obviously had no idea that he hadn't made his affections clear, although Lizzie deliberately refused to see it. Which is what occurred to me only as I was writing this poem, despite lots of re-reads.
( 27 comments — Leave a comment )

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