first light


The Matins bell sounds honey-clear
across still valley air. It chimes
outside my window where
a carillon of grapes calls
to the rising sun.


The photo is actually from the year we moved to the village – the previous owner was assiduous in his use of pesticides and chemicals, so the fruit that autum was far more photogenic than what we produce.

The words are not recent, either, but I’m hoping that now the summer is effectively over, and I am ready to settle down at my desk with fewer distractions, visits and visitors, I may be able to find space again for poetry.

Author: don't confuse the narrator

Exploring the boundary between writer and narrator through first person poetry, prose and opinion

3 thoughts on “first light”

  1. “a carillon of grapes calls”

    I’m not comfortable with the proximity of two conflicting images – one visual (grapes that look like bells) and the other auditory (bells that seem, like those of Bredon, to call).

    How do you pronounce “carillon”? SOED (an old edition) suggests that the LL should be pronounced, but I think it’s wrong. I’d say “car-ee-yõ”, not “car-eel-yõ”.

    Very good line breaks in this one, but I don’t find it satisfying, and I think it’s the almost-mixed metaphor in the middle that’s to blame.


    1. Interesting question.
      I think I pronounce it /ka’rilon/ here. I.e., stress on first syllable, short -i- sound as in ‘sit’, and secondrary stress on last syllable so it is almost a full -o- as in ‘dog’ and not a schwa. The Spanish carillón is stressed on the last syllable, but I hadn’t questioned the sound of the ‘ll’ until I read your comment. I was going to say I don’t think I try and make a -ly- sound, but I have an idea I checked to see if the spelling was ‘-ion’, so maybe I do.

      Sadly, your suggested “car-ee-yõ” has made me wonder whether there ever was a ‘Carry-on campanology’, presumaby with all sorts of vulgar non-pc puns about stroking and dodging, lots of running in and running out, and starring Bernard Breslaw as the bell tower.

      I’m glad – though marginally surprised -that I managed to avoid including a ‘peal of grapes’. For completeness, maybe I should mention that the setting is the same as the piece I posted as Alarm.


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