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Free Verse: 'Across the Universe': based on The Beatles' title; a Response to a Challenge

Updated on July 27, 2017
annart profile image

Ann loves to write stories & poems & is always eager to meet challenges issued by other hubbers, to improve by exceeding her comfort zone.

What Can Change My World?

Looking out Across the Universe (my little girl)
Looking out Across the Universe (my little girl) | Source

A Challenge

Billybuc challenged us to write a free verse based on music, specifically the Beatles’ ‘Across the Universe’. Great idea! I love a challenge and I love mulling over the possibilities of approach, mood, style and effect.

Basing writing on some kind of spur, be it photo, music or electric cattle prod, makes the imagination flow eventually, gives us a basis on which to build. It’s a great way to avoid floundering.

This universe of ours is a wondrous, ever-changing place that, even now, we know so little about. Can you imagine flying through the cosmos, looking down on Earth, seeing other planets, our minds filled with the enormity of it all? I started thinking about that.

Then, having overcome the flounder of not realising which song it was (here speaks the greatest Beatles fan of all time!), I had a good look at the words and from my feelings as I read came forth this offering.

Words & Images

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Words of PainWords evoke ImagesDrifting, shimmering rainColours of the Rainbow
Words of Pain
Words of Pain | Source
Words evoke Images
Words evoke Images | Source
Drifting, shimmering rain
Drifting, shimmering rain | Source
Colours of the Rainbow
Colours of the Rainbow | Source

'Words are Flowing like Endless Rain'

Words fly from the radio, from screen and pound into my brain until the cells whirl in confusion, grist to mill, end up floating round the cortex till they form a different entity, then exit to the page.

Words that tear, the tears flow on. Words that anger, pen scratches page. Words, that lift the soul to fly, leave a letter stamped to cry an idea which finds its own landing and twists sounds into its own story. Words that stab your pulses, bubble the veins, run until no breath remains.

Endless rain shimmers before the sun, exits as tumbling colours, colours of words which brighten, spread, infuse the joy or blacken hearts to storms of woe.

What explanation do we have? The divine controls it all.

Nothing can change my world, nothing unless I let it.

Images of Wonder

Above the World
Above the World | Source
Amazing Glow-Worm
Amazing Glow-Worm | Source
Wondrous Nature
Wondrous Nature | Source

'Call me On and On Across the Universe'

A thousand images flash at me, reality or dreams of mind? Visions thrown down at my feet, tempting me beyond these shores, taunting me to grasp their shape, turn them into great creations. They scrutinise my thoughts as they snag on my mind in passing, planting a trail of clues, to where?

Do I know what’s best or worst? Do I know where this path leads? Pick and choose the weak and strong, weave them round to make the cloth. I choose the brightest, deepest, fondest. I stab at will my random pin. Is this illusion? Will I aim true? Does choosing turn me from my path? How can I know until I make that step beyond the world I see?

I step and float and whirl and sing. I travel far, I watch and fling my net across the universe. What will I catch, what will it bring? Will I watch stars burst forth to nova? Will I implode when meteors strike? Will I catch the shooting star, the one where wishes can catch me out? Where will I end?

Across the universe? Will I grasp those clues and understand the story?

The divine controls it all.

Nothing will change my world, nothing unless I want it.

Laughter, Life, the Universe & Everything

Fun & Laughter
Fun & Laughter | Source
Sea & Sunsets
Sea & Sunsets | Source
Seeing the World
Seeing the World | Source

'Sounds of Laughter, Shades of Life'

Laughter fills my head, my soul, surrounds me with a warmth I absorb with each pulsing pore. The children smile, jump, sing with joy, pervading my being and sending me floating to the clouds. The love they give, the love they imbibe, rays of hope, of joy, imparting sheer exhilaration, giving me life, telling me I can sail high and through this wondrous universe.

I can see the world, I can see the stars, I can see the galaxies, I can see heaven itself. Therefore I can create whatever I choose. I can travel through murk, through gas, through air, beyond the bonds of reality, travel surpassing all human parameters. I am part of the universe, part of its vast continuum.

All those words, those images, those people who wish to bend my path, who will deter, depress me; they are of nothing, they don’t exist. I wipe them off, they are a puff of smoke, they evaporate before me into oblivion, across the universe.

The divine controls it all.

Nothing will change my world, nothing unless I need it.

'Across the Universe'

I am called to follow that path which goes to the heavens. I am called to use my words, my images, my emotions. Nothing can change that, I won’t let it. I will look for the explanation. I will understand the story.

The divine controls it all.

Nothing’s gonna change the world; the world I see in my dreams, in my words, in my loved ones, in my life. There is wonder, glory and astounding beauty across the universe.

How do you Regard this Universe?

Do you see this universe of ours as....

See results

© 2014 Ann Carr


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    • Dolores Monet profile image

      Dolores Monet 3 months ago from East Coast, United States

      Hi Ann - I love that song and really enjoy listening to the David Bowie version. Songs can mean so much to us, how we interpret them usually depends on where we were when we heard them, or what's going on in our lives. I loved your take on this wonderful song. It runs through my mind in bad times when I need to remind myself to keep up the faith, and not to allow negative emotions to cloud my soul. Thanks for your trip through Across the Universe.

    • annart profile image

      Ann Carr 3 years ago from SW England

      Thanks, Vellur, for your visit and your kind comments.


    • Vellur profile image

      Nithya Venkat 3 years ago from Dubai

      Beautifully penned, the beauty of the universe truly reflected in your words. Divine controls it all, how true. Voted up.

    • annart profile image

      Ann Carr 3 years ago from SW England

      Thank you, Nell. I'm so glad you liked it.

      I like to have a base to work with, so picking up bits of each of the original verses suited me well for this. Then my imagination just went mad!

      I probably enjoyed writing this hub more than any others yet.

      I appreciate your visit and your kind words.


    • Nell Rose profile image

      Nell Rose 3 years ago from England

      Hi Ann, this was amazing! I love your free flow of words, and the way you put it together with the song, which, I hate to admit I have never heard of before, lol! nice one!

    • annart profile image

      Ann Carr 3 years ago from SW England

      Thank you, Colleen. I'm glad you enjoyed it. I'm lucky to have a load of photos to plunge into - some taken by me but also many by my partner and a huge archive from my father's passion for photography (hence the baby pics of me!).

      I appreciate you visiting and commenting.


    • Colleen Swan profile image

      Colleen Swan 3 years ago from County Durham

      A lovely read and nicely presented. I love the photos you find.

    • annart profile image

      Ann Carr 3 years ago from SW England

      Thank you, Jamie, for your kind words. I'm glad you enjoyed it; I certainly had a ball writing it!


    • jhamann profile image

      Jamie Lee Hamann 3 years ago from Reno NV

      Beautifully expressive and a joy to read. Jamie

    • annart profile image

      Ann Carr 3 years ago from SW England

      Well, thank you, Nadine! I'm so glad you liked this and your comment is really kind. Thanks too for the votes. I greatly appreciate your visit.


    • annart profile image

      Ann Carr 3 years ago from SW England

      Thank you so much, R.Q. Praise indeed. I'm so glad you liked it. I loved the challenge and had fun writing it.

      Great to see you as always. All the best,


    • Romeos Quill profile image

      Romeos Quill 3 years ago from Lincolnshire, England

      What a trip Ann! Great free-forming at its best and my favourite interpretation, for it reflects the woman behind the words in the universe which you see. Beautiful.

      Best Wishes;


    • annart profile image

      Ann Carr 3 years ago from SW England

      Thank you, Cynthia. I love your comment. Yes it did transport me rather and left me breathless!


    • annart profile image

      Ann Carr 3 years ago from SW England

      Thank you, MsDora. 'The Divine controls it all' is a lose translation of the words in the chorus which are in one of the Indian languages I believe; it's open to interpretation so that one fitted my feelings the best.

      I'm glad you enjoyed it and I appreciate your lovely comment.

      Wishing you a great weekend!


    • techygran profile image

      Cynthia 3 years ago from Vancouver Island, Canada

      Wow Ann, are you shaking just a little from that experience? What an unleashing of wordy energy and divine flow! Love it! ~Cynthia

    • MsDora profile image

      Dora Weithers 3 years ago from The Caribbean

      I love how all your questions, all your beautiful images, all your reflections dovetail into the magnificent theme: "The divine controls it all." Beautiful poetry!

    • annart profile image

      Ann Carr 3 years ago from SW England

      Shyron: thanks for your visit and for the votes. I didn't recognise the title but when I looked it up I realised I knew the song!

      Looking forward to your interpretation of a song.


    • annart profile image

      Ann Carr 3 years ago from SW England

      DDE: I'm glad you enjoyed this and thank you so much for your comments.


    • Shyron E Shenko profile image

      Shyron E Shenko 3 years ago from Texas

      Ann, I like John (Jodah), just read of Bill's challenge a couple of minutes ago, actually in your hub. I don't know the Beetle's song, I thought I knew them all.

      Voted up, UABI, and shared.

    • DDE profile image

      Devika Primić 3 years ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

      Hi Ann you are so good to have accomplished this hub in such a short period. I love the photos and you certainly did a fine job here.

    • annart profile image

      Ann Carr 3 years ago from SW England

      Thank you so much teaches. I'm glad you liked this and it's great to see you today. You're very kind.


    • annart profile image

      Ann Carr 3 years ago from SW England

      carrie Lee Night: Thank you for reading and commenting. I'm so glad you enjoyed it. Ann

    • teaches12345 profile image

      Dianna Mendez 3 years ago

      You did an amazing write on this challenge. Your poetry is beautiful and inspires beauty.

    • carrie Lee Night profile image

      Carrie Lee Night 3 years ago from Northeast United States

      Interesting :). Great work. Enjoyed the read :)

    • annart profile image

      Ann Carr 3 years ago from SW England

      Thank you, Rachael. I'm honoured that you think so. I'm sure you could pull it off too, your writing is certainly good enough. Thanks for the votes. Lovely to see you this morning!


    • RachaelOhalloran profile image

      Rachael O'Halloran 3 years ago from United States

      Ann, you certainly rose to the challenge and pulled it off splendidly. This is free form at its best, an art I am not able to accomplish and so few can with such aplomb as you did. This is excellent. Voted up, awesome and beautiful!

    • annart profile image

      Ann Carr 3 years ago from SW England

      Thank you, John. Good to see you this morning Glad you liked this and thanks for the vote. I'm looking forward to reading your interpretation. Hope you're having a good week


    • annart profile image

      Ann Carr 3 years ago from SW England

      Thank you, Frank. All these people whizzing around the universe; what an awesome image!! I'm so glad you liked it and thank you for the votes.

      I'll let you into a secret - the baby photos are of little 'ol me. I was cute once!

      Cheers! Ann

    • annart profile image

      Ann Carr 3 years ago from SW England

      Thank you for such a compliment, Faith. I love it that you were swept across the universe! I'm on such a high at the moment as my last two hubs have been received so well. Trouble is, now I have to keep that standard all the time - scary!

      Great to see you here this morning and I'm so grateful for your support and your votes.

      Have a wonderful Wednesday and a super week!


    • annart profile image

      Ann Carr 3 years ago from SW England

      Audrey, thank you for reading and commenting. It's amazing how many different emotions come from something like this; varied interpretations from each individual. It's exciting for me to see the response.

      Good to see you today!


    • annart profile image

      Ann Carr 3 years ago from SW England

      always exploring: It's great to know that you were transported along the journey. I appreciate your visit and thank you for your support.


    • annart profile image

      Ann Carr 3 years ago from SW England

      Iris: Good morning! Thank you for your lovely comment. I thoroughly enjoyed responding to this fun challenge and I'm so glad you enjoyed it.


    • Jodah profile image

      John Hansen 3 years ago from Queensland Australia

      Wow Ann, amazing! I only just read of Bill's challenge a couple of hours ago. I could never have written a poem like this so quickly. I still have to check out the Beetle's song so I can appreciate this fully, so I'm off to do that now. Voted up.

    • Frank Atanacio profile image

      Frank Atanacio 3 years ago from Shelton

      Ann.. fantastic..i feel my spirit stretched across the universe..LOL i love the baby photos.. dreams..reality.. it just wraps around me voted awesome

    • Faith Reaper profile image

      Faith Reaper 3 years ago from southern USA

      My goodness, dear Ann! This is such an exhilarating read and I do feel as though I have been swept across the universe. Your words evoke all of the five senses. You should write free-form style more often. You have exceeded the challenge in my book.

      Up +++ and away

      Thank you for this wonderful ride this night.


    • AudreyHowitt profile image

      Audrey Howitt 3 years ago from California

      There is a real sense of poignancy here for me--beautifully done!

    • always exploring profile image

      Ruby Jean Richert 3 years ago from Southern Illinois

      You write with such beauty I felt the universe as you took me on your journey. Wonderful!

    • Iris Draak profile image

      Cristen Iris 3 years ago from Boise, Idaho

      Ann, so lovely. I found myself swept away on gentle waves like your first picture after being dashed on rocks by your second set and the strength of your prose. It was powerful and poignant. Bill really set the bar high but you met the challenge.

    • annart profile image

      Ann Carr 3 years ago from SW England

      tobusiness: Thank you so much for your kind words. I'm so privileged to have so many lovely friends here. All my best to you.


    • annart profile image

      Ann Carr 3 years ago from SW England

      Thank you, manatita. I'm glad you like it. I enjoyed writing it.


    • tobusiness profile image

      Jo Alexis-Hagues 3 years ago from Lincolnshire, U.K

      Wow...impressive indeed! This is spectacular poetry, beautifully done. I have to agree with Mr Bill, you are so darn good! :)

    • manatita44 profile image

      manatita44 3 years ago from london

      I agree, Bill. Quick and yet written extremely beautifully. Great Hub Ann. Peace.

    • annart profile image

      Ann Carr 3 years ago from SW England

      I'm overwhelmed by that response. Thank you, bill.

      I read the original words and what inspired them, then just went with the feelings it inspired in me. I don't usually write anything anywhere near that quickly. It came out of nowhere so I just let it go. The power of The Beatles I guess! I did enjoy the process.

      Five stars from the teach, eh? They'll look good in my book.

      Thank you a million for sharing it too. You're too kind and I'm so lucky to have a supportive friend like you.

      All the best to you and Bev. Hope you have a great Tuesday evening, bill.


    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Wow! Ann, you wrote this quickly, and it is so damned good. I am seriously impressed with this, and I mean that sincerely. How did you do this so quickly? This is stunningly beautiful my friend. Sharing it across Facebook and the is that good.

      In fact, I would call this five-star splendid.

      You outdid yourself here. I think free-form verse is your true calling.



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