The Aubade is an old poetic form dating back to as early as the 12th century.  According to Edward Hirsch, an aubade is “A dawn song expressing the regret of parting lovers at daybreak…It remembers the ecstasy of union.  But it also describes a parting at dawn.”


by J. P. Dancing Bear

A parting at dawn

I awake unwilling to admit the time
or distance myself from your warmth.
The room is nothing more than the rise
and fall of your breathing.  I slip out
of sheets into a cold hour, ready
Myself to the traffic of my commute.
For long moments, I watch and am lost,
as if I had never before seen  you
sleeping, dreaming.


An excerpt from an interview by Kathryn Wagner with poet, J. P. Dancing Bear

“When you write poetry is there any one so-called technique that works for you?
I get a line or two that comes to me. Sometimes I know what the content of the poem will be — other times, I just have words burning in me, seeking a release. In either case, I hold them in my head for as long as I can.  I let them pool and become somewhat of a chant or a rhythm — something I can build from. Finally the dam breaks, they are ready to be written down, the other lines flow out. Then I do the business of cleaning up after the flood.
How has your writing evolved as you’ve grown as a poet?
I think the most significant thing for me is that I’ve slowed down. I take my time and therefore I don’t dash out five poems on the same subject, but one poem that stews on it.  I also think that I spend more time with the images and the metaphors — I explore them.”
 Poet and author, J.P. DANCING BEAR is the author of various chapbooks, including What Language, which won the 2002 Slipstream Poetry prize, and Blue Hand. He is the Editor-in-Chief of DMQ Review and the owner of Dream Horse Press, a publishing company.
Writing Prompt:
One thing about poetic forms is that you can usually find one to hold almost any feeling.  Write your own aubade.  Make it personal to you.


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