Thursday, October 11, 2018

What's in a name?

The Poetics prompt at dversepoets this week is to write about our name.  From the Greek "Aikaterinë", to the French "Catherine", to the Gaelic "Caitlin", one can see how it was Anglicized again to Kathleen by the IrishEngish.  Yeats penned a legend - a young Countess Cathleen offered her soul during a famine, in exchange for food for the starving, proving her courage.


Borne of the Middle Ages -

Kathleen is an Irish lass,
idealistic, intuitive,
and a bit feisty,
stubborn, alas,
Melancholy brown hair 
bears tints of auburn
in the sun..
...common freckles sprout
within fair rosey cheeks
where tears frequently run.
Sometimes clairvoyant,
she converses with 
Her name translates to
unsullied purity and 
innocence...and yet, 
she can be pushed only so far.

She walks stone paths -

across green hills and valleys
by day...
through soft rainbows and
disappearing pots of gold 
She waits for arms to hold her
by the fire at night.
Her world is an Irish stew -
she can be happy...
and sad at the same time...if
only she could recognize
... either she is successful
or, quite miserable.

A pioneer of sorts, 
learned early a smooth sea 
never makes a skillful sailer...
Her heart is as slippery
as a bar of soap, 
her armour made of
sacrificial linen and lace.
With an inner desire to inspire
others in a higher cause, 
she likes to share views on 
spiritual matters.
Opera music 
is carried out her frosted,
snowflaked window...and 
from her garden magic light 
from daffodils shines 
back onto her welcoming 
hearth...where she dreams of 
white cliffs and castles 
by the sea.


  1. This is beautiful, Kathy! I like how you wove your name into your personality and how you show the same courage as your namesake by steering the ship toward the spiritual. The oceanic theme goes well with the wistful and energetic patterns of yourself and the ending is perfect, "where she dreams of castles of the sea." I read eternity. Nice one!

  2. I love how you used those contradictions... being timid and feisty at the same time, complicated as an Irish Stew.. this is a really good way to describe a person.

  3. Good observation that a smooth sea does not make a skillful sailor. I especially liked the clairvoyant characteristic.

  4. She sounds like a melting pot of wonderful things. I love the contrasts.

  5. We can be filled with contradictions! Love specially your line - Her world is an Irish stew- An interesting read of your many meanings of your name Kathy.

  6. While I am not called Kathleen, I also dream of castles by the sea. I like your poem!!!

  7. I love how you own your name, Kathleen is such a regal and pure name to me.


All comments, constructive and otherwise, are welcome and appreciated here. Thank you to those who show an interest in my quirky style of writing, photography, painting, and presenting a feeling or thought and for stopping by A Dwelling by the Sea..