I speak to you (who came before us),
Not by name selective,
I speak to you (and your same chorus),
The common man’s collective.
To those of you who bore a child,
Gave birth to inspiration,
Still we have not reconciled,
The gap in generation.
To those of you who laboured hard,
Who life-long sought a quest,
Still we treat with disregard,
Your well-earned day of rest.
. Still it is our destiny, so to be ignored,
. Later rediscovered, then to be restored.
© Tim Grace, 8 February 2011
To the reader: The wisdom of past customs is lost over time. As relics they become quaintly revered. So the day of rest. Past generations recall Sundays spent in contemplation ‘of God’s good work’. All semblance of labour’s toil replaced by a more sombre duty; heaven’s dedication. Not such a bad idea, the notion of dropping tools and turning our attention to the more spiritual side of existence. Come a day, someone will resurrect the day of rest; rest assured.
To the poet: The speech, in this case a contemplative monologue, needs particular thought given to phrasing. It’s the natural respiration of familiar tones that resonate with the listener’s ears. Give thought to lilt, the rise and fall of intonation. Take care not to force the natural gate into a contrived trot. The neat structure of a sonnet delivers a compact form well suited to delivery. A spoken delivery requires practice; first readings are rarely the best.