Paul Hartal


Triumphal Arch


Many years ago
I built a triumphal arch.

At first
it was just a humble
creative idea,
a set of neurons firing up
in the right hemisphere
of the brain, hovering
in the arena of the mind.

Later it assumed
actual form on paper,
rising as a two dimensional
conceptual sculpture
constructed out of
repetitive letters
in multiple acrostics.

Shaped as a pattern poem,
construed from
periodic motifs
In translational symmetry,
I designed
the concrete verse
to look like
the architecture
of a stylized arch of triumph.

I created it,
from lines of letters,
repeating characters
when needed:
t-s, r-s, i-s, u-s, m-s,
p-s, h-s, a-s, l-s, a-s, r-s,
c-s and h-s,
with spaces and
gaps between them.

And
the letters evolved
into
a geometrical construct
of literary fractals,
simultaneously
typographical
and visual metaphors,
printed on the white paper
of a colorful
poetry book.

But the poem
was dwelling alone
and aloof,
hiding from the limelight
and unbeknownst
to the marble or granite
triumphal arches
erected
through history
to exalt violent victories,

to celebrate
propagandized glory
in Rome and Paris,
in Moscow or Pyongyang.

Submitted: Tuesday, February 12, 2013
Edited: Sunday, February 24, 2013

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Poet's Notes about The Poem

This poem is about a visual poem of mine, also titled, 'Triumphal Arch'. As a pattern verse, the original image was published in the literary journal 'Atelier Hongrois', Paris, Vienna, Budapest, No.78, December 20,1990, p.38.

It was republished in Paul Hartal, 'Rain Drop', a collection of poetry; New York: Ward Nasse Gallery, and Montreal: Center for Art, Science and Technology,1994, p.12

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