Audibly Swimming in Summer

Odilon Redon, “Ophelia”

So I thought it was too hot today to write a new poem, even for the lovely prompt above posted by Tess Kincaid  of MagPie Tales and that I would re-post an older poem with (ta-da!)  my first internet audio recording.  Needless to say, the recording has required far more time (and maybe even heat) then expected, and is still very much in the trial and error phase.

But , if you’ve got a moment on this hot day – give it a listen.  (It’s a bit slow at the beginning but speeds up very quickly.)   More importantly, it illustrates  punctuation at work!  (As a tool against line and stanza breaks.)   To listen, just click.

“Swimming in Summer” (Karin Gustafson)

Swimming in Summer

Our palms grew pale as paws in northern climes
as water soaked right through our outer skin.
In summers past, how brightly water shines,

its surface sparked by countless solar mimes,
an aurora only fragmented by limb.
Our palms grew pale as paws in northern climes

as we played hide and seek with sunken dimes,
diving beneath the waves of echoed din;
in summers past, how brightly water shines.

My mother sat at poolside with the Times’
Sunday magazine; I swam by her shin,
my palms as pale as paws in northern climes,

sculpting her ivory leg, the only signs
of life the hair strands barely there, so prim
in summers past.  How brightly water shines

in that lost pool; and all that filled our minds
frozen now, the glimmer petrified within
palms, grown pale as paws in northern climes.
In summers past, how brightly water shines.


The poem, btw, is in my book of poetry,  Going on Somewhere.  Check it out or also  Children’s counting book 1 Mississippi -for lovers of rivers, light and pachyderms,  or  Nose Dive, a very fun novel that is perfect for a pool or beachside escape.

Explore posts in the same categories: poetry, Uncategorized, villanelle

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28 Comments on “Audibly Swimming in Summer”

  1. Helen Says:

    Amazing how incredibly alive your poem became as I listened to you read it aloud … wonderful!!

    • ManicDdaily Says:

      Thanks. It is a poem that is much better read aloud because of the music of the villanelle form. It gets kind of repetitive on paper – ha, it is repetitive – but very different to the ear. k.

  2. I totally agree with you about punctuation – ooooh, the hours I’ve spent fiddling happily with commas…

  3. A great feeling of cycling and re-cycling through memories, each with its own aura of smiling vision until the sad feeling that the moment is remote!

  4. rosemary mint Says:

    This is my favorite:

    “its surface sparked by countless solar mimes,
    an aurora only fragmented by limb”

  5. hedgewitch Says:

    I seem to remember this villanelle–and liking it a lot–the summer mood, the feel of childhood, the paws–and enjoyed the audio file as well, putting a voice with it. (I still had to read along visually, but I do get your emphatic views on punctuation a bit better now.) Your work was not in vain–turned out nicely I think, k.

  6. Karin Wiberg Says:

    Karin G. – That is great! Brings back memories of diving for coins in the pool Lovely. Thank you for sharing the audio. Recently I have been thinking about exploring that possibility but have not quite ventured there yet. I am inspired now! Stay cool, Karin W.

  7. janehewey Says:

    It is great fun to hear you read this. The poem sure does take on a different feel when audible. The pale palms and shining water make me incredibly happy, as if I myself had just lingered in a summer swim. very nice.

  8. brian miller Says:

    very nice…i really enjoyed your reading….and great use of repetition in this as well….i migh tplay with the pacing a bit in it when performed but def a nice one k…

    • ManicDdaily Says:

      Yes – I agree re pacing. I did a few but with various apps, and I’m not sure this was best but the one that I somehow got uploaded! I was thinking of another Villanelle for the 4th which definitely would/will need a much more dramatic reading so will maybe experiment. It’s one of those poems that is far better read than on the page – the one I might try as the villanelle form can be a bit stilted on the page. We’ll see. At any rate, thanks so much, Bri. Hope you are a bit cooler now. k.

  9. brenda w Says:

    Congrats on your reading. It’s on my short list of to-dos.

  10. jinksy Says:

    Great to listen to your mp3 – how I wish I knew how to get one of mine on my blog! What’s the secret of your success?! 🙂

    • ManicDdaily Says:

      Hi Jinksy, I still haven’t totally figured it out frankly. But one key is getting a space upgrade. You need extra space on WordPress anyway, in order for it to take an mp3. I think this was actually an m4a or something like that.
      Also there’s very software for recording – I don’t have a mike so used something on the iPhone. k.

      • jinksy Says:

        I do have a pretty good quality mic, and can record to my computer easily – it’s transferring it to the blog that I can’t figure out! But as I don’t have any desire to change to WordPress, I guess I shall have to stay at the mercy of blogger!

      • ManicDdaily Says:

        I think blogger is about the same – maybe easier. Try soundcloud or garage band. You may need more space. I’m sure you can do it! k.

  11. Berowne Says:

    Well written; enjoyable…

  12. I found it a pleasant experience indeed!

  13. Sue Anderson Says:

    I always enjoy this form, both writing and reading.


  14. Tess Kincaid Says:

    What a lovely treat!

  15. hypercryptical Says:

    Love all of this and especially “its surface sparked by countless solar mimes,”

    Anna :o]

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