Today is World Poetry Day, and since much of the East Coast is housebound from the snow storm, what better excuse to light the candles, pour some tea (or cognac) and enjoy some rhyming verse by Ivy Style’s founder Christian Chensvold and special correspondent G. Bruce Boyer. Both men studied English in college (Boyer even taught it) and began writing poetry around that time.
While at school Chensvold recited poetry (in shirt and tie) at his local cafe, self-published a volume upon graduation entitled “Photos of My Brain,” and had a piece published in Poet Magazine circa 1995. The sonnet below was composed last November, his first composition in two decades (well, save for the Ivy Style photo shoot), and was received with cold indifference by the woman who inspired it.
Boyer’s work has appeared in The Rake. “I don’t write poetry regularly,” he says, “only when I experience something that strikes me as insightful, usually in a psychological way. I tend to agree with Robert Motherwell when he wrote, ‘It may be that the deep necessity of art is the examination of self-deception.'” The following poem, entitled “Old Children,” is published here for the first time.
* * *
By G. Bruce Boyer
“The tragedy is not that we grow old, but that we don’t.” — Oscar Wilde
Sometimes it seems life’s fated results
Are we never really end up adults.
From childhood to age in one fleet clip,
The years between a blurry trip.
Age has its comforts they say with a smile,
The spirit still strong, though the body turns vile.
We wouldn’t go back, they hasten to say,
Full knowing the choice has been taken away.
But sadder than those are the ones who still know
They haven’t grown old, even clutched in death’s throe.
Wilde got it right, as he so often did,
We just go to the grave with our children well hid.
* * *
By Christian Chensvold
In the darkest year of my life, the end
of a long-tossing inner tempest,
of stumbling along through crook and bend
without a star to guide me from the forest,
I thought these sullen woods would ever be
my mournful home, full of dragons wise
in torment, but which I came with time to see
were mirages glimpsed through half-shut eyes.
And then lo there shone in the heavens an astral aide
to guide me from gloom with glorious beam,
and I came upon a church, where inside was a maid
whom I’d seen before as if in a dream,
with moonwashed skin and hair to blanket sorrow,
who spoke her name to me, and in doing so,
became real, though still like some damsel of yore,
and in my heart I felt open a long-closed door.