When I’m Writing in My Night-Mind

October 4, 2023

When I’m Writing in My Night-Mind


I found the dVerse Poet’s Pub last week and got a huge dose of inspiration. This post – and poem – are in response to the prompt you can find here: dVerse Dead Poets’ Society. The challenge from Kim, who was hosting the “gathering”, was to read three poems and respond to one in our own way. I chose Siegfried Sassoon’s When I’m Among a Blaze of Lights and stuck mostly to the format, and somewhat to the sense of regret and wistfulness. And maybe I added in a little touch of the whimsy.

When I’m Writing in My Night-Mind

when i’m writing in my night-mind
the words sparkle and dance like stars
feathery-soft or razor-sharp
singing truths in stanzas and bars
sometimes I harmonize their lights
imagining rhythym guitars

verses spring forth, repeat, rotate
satisfaction with structure grows
these kindly thoughts have held me late
sleep is coming, part of me knows
“i’ll pen this wisdom tomorrow”
(of thoughts like this, i’ll never learn)
morning will bring abject sorrow
dreams stole my poem; it won’t return

Here’s the poem from Siegfried Sassoon, so you can see what inspired me. I borrowed a couple of his lines and turned then around a bit.

When I’m Among a Blaze of Lights

When I’m among a blaze of lights,
With tawdry music and cigars
And women dawdling through delights,
And officers in cocktail bars,
Sometimes I think of garden nights
And elm trees nodding at the stars.

I dream of a small firelit room
With yellow candles burning straight,
And glowing pictures in the gloom,
And kindly books that hold me late.
Of things like these I choose to think
When I can never be alone:
Then someone says ‘Another drink?’
And turns my living heart to stone.

I really, really like Sassoon’s poem. It beautifully captures the need to be alone, and the feeling of being trapped when you’re in a crowd and don’t want to be.

If you are a poetry lover, whether you read it, write it or do a little of both, I encourage you to head on over to dVerse for some poetic inspiration. Be sure to click on the little green “Mr. Linky” to read the poems.

© 2023, Glover Gardens

6 thoughts on “When I’m Writing in My Night-Mind”

  • Firstly, welcome to the Poets Pub, Kim! I was off last week visiting family, which is when I got Covid, but was back in time to host Poetics. I’m so glad another Kim has joined the gang and that we inspired you.

    I love the way you kept the format and the sense of regret and wistfulness. I agree with you that the original captures the need to be alone, as well as feeling of being trapped in a crowd. What I enjoyed very much about your poem is the zinginess of the language, especially in the first stanza, with the words that ‘sparkle and dance like stars / feathery-soft or razor-sharp’ and my favourite line in that stanza is ‘singing truths in stanzas and bars’ – great wordplay. The second stanza reminds me of the times I have woken from a dream with words, phrases, lines – and sometimes a whole poem in my head – which I just have to write down, otherwise ‘dreams stole my poem; it won’t return’.

  • Sassoon would have understood how the silence of night time is so precious, and also how human frailty puts off too much until tomorrow, then regrets it

  • tragedies we share, never ending
    was it the wrong prayer we kept sending?
    to fail once more when your whispers cried
    didn’t answer the door, to confess how I lied

    seeds of loss and fear have been sown
    praying for mercy and joy when grown
    empty, empty time I have known
    Lord, help me walk the road You’ve shown

    a father fell, didn’t hear her cries
    a private hell of tears and sighs
    sleepless nights, eyes are swollen
    both gone now, you were stolen

    for Kim, Noemi, Mel, Joey, Connie
    Erin, Shawn, Linda, Jimmy, Richard,
    Tom, Deb, Pat. I pray this finds you

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