...Do Us Part

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mae
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...Do Us Part

Postby mae » Mon Jun 28, 2010 5:16 am

He wakes slowly,
thinking nothing amiss.
Looking over at her pillow
he remembers.
He lies there,
finding it hard to breathe,
blinking back stinging tears.

Her pillow is empty
and bears no impression.
From now on,
it will always be empty.
The days and nights
of asking why have passed.
There is no answer,
no answer to satisfy.

He tries to think of his day,
where he will go,
who he will see,
but all his brain will hear
is that she's gone.
And finally a sob escapes,
exploding from his lips,
opening the way for more.

Smiling through his tears
he remembers how beautiful she was,
even when she lost her hair.
There was just something about her.
There had always been something
special about her.
She laughed – all the time.
Her smile was huge,
encompassing everyone she saw.

Then the word came – terminal.
He'd felt it like a sledge hammer.
They held each other and cried
and then she smiled at him
and he knew what she would do.
She would love and encourage.
She would laugh and bless
just like she'd always done.

And she did.
Sitting on the side of the bed,
he looks out the window,
wishing he could see her just once more,
hold her close, smell her hair
and tell her how much he'd loved her,
how much he'd always loved her -

how much he loves her still.
Last edited by mae on Tue Jun 29, 2010 6:07 pm, edited 3 times in total.
My heart beats in poetry. I think in rhythm and dream in rhyme.

Give me a crit! I can take it!

CELTIC QUEEN, an Epic Poem, Cynthia M. Bateman, amazon.com, barnesandnoble.com, http://www.tatepublishing.com/bookstore ... +Epic+Poem at Tate Publishing
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TheMudge
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Postby TheMudge » Mon Jun 28, 2010 11:10 am

Nice poem, Mae ... actually probably a nice COUPLE of poems ...

Seriously: you had me until about the 4th verse, when you start explaining what happened to her. Because up to that point, I didn't really CARE about "her" ... I cared about him, and was seeing Her through His eyes. That, to me, is the strength of the poem: relating to HIM, as relates to Her. And if you focus on that, then about half the poem becomes excess baggage (although fairly well WRITTEN excess baggage ... hence the idea of a second poem.)

Just a thought.

Other thing is, you some VERY evocative imagery here ... and some, "meh" images, as well:
"Her pillow is empty" is a little "so what", to me ... but "bears no impression.
From now on,
it will always be empty. " ... hell, that's practically a whole story, just in those three lines. And enough is said that by the time we get to "He misses her so. ", that line is sort of useless and redundant, if that makes sense.

$.02 contributed.
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mae
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Postby mae » Mon Jun 28, 2010 4:52 pm

Your $.02, mudge, is worth at least $.50! I completely get what you said about "He misses her so," being useless and redundant. It is GONE! I'll need to think a bit on the rest of it. The poem was written FOR the man, so I'm not sure it would be appropriate to focus only on him when I know he's focusing on her (which is why I wrote the poem), but I can understand your point. It's a totally different story to look at her (and much harder to write); and his is the ongoing story. This is about as much as I can write and not be presuming. I've never lost a spouse to cancer; I don't know how he feels, really.

Question: Do you think I need to put in anything about what she died from? If I just skipped the stanza about losing her hair and her fabulous smile, going into "The word came...terminal" and on with the rest of the poem, would that be better? Would that be enough?
My heart beats in poetry. I think in rhythm and dream in rhyme.



Give me a crit! I can take it!



CELTIC QUEEN, an Epic Poem, Cynthia M. Bateman, amazon.com, barnesandnoble.com, http://www.tatepublishing.com/bookstore ... +Epic+Poem at Tate Publishing
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Postby pengwenn » Tue Jun 29, 2010 5:40 pm

I think choping that stanza is a great idea but the transition from the one before to "the word came" sounds a little abrupt. I thought that "beautiful" stanza was a little "bumpy" for me, especially the lines:

There was just something about her.
There had always been something
special about her.


They seem repetitive and vague.

On second thought I like the lines before and after those so how about:

She was beautiful,
even when she lost her hair.
She laughed – all the time.
Her smile was huge,
encompassing everyone she saw.

Then the word came – terminal.


You've already mentioned she was losing her hair, which implies treatment for cancer but it sounds like there's still hope. It sounds like that all changed when things were labeled "terminal"

(I hope you don't mind me fiddling with your stuff.)
Is this my reality or yours?
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mae
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Postby mae » Tue Jun 29, 2010 5:52 pm

I don't mind you fiddling with my "stuff" at all Gwenn. I'll take all the help I can give.

What did you think of Mudge's thought about the poem focusing on the husband until that stanza about her being beautiful and that kind of muddying up the focus? That's why I took it out. Do you think it messed things up, too?

mae
My heart beats in poetry. I think in rhythm and dream in rhyme.



Give me a crit! I can take it!



CELTIC QUEEN, an Epic Poem, Cynthia M. Bateman, amazon.com, barnesandnoble.com, http://www.tatepublishing.com/bookstore ... +Epic+Poem at Tate Publishing
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Postby pengwenn » Tue Jun 29, 2010 5:55 pm

Well, even though it is about her it's from his perspective, how he say her.
Is this my reality or yours?
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mae
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Postby mae » Tue Jun 29, 2010 5:58 pm

Maybe I can make that clearer. I'll work on it.

Thanks

mae
My heart beats in poetry. I think in rhythm and dream in rhyme.



Give me a crit! I can take it!



CELTIC QUEEN, an Epic Poem, Cynthia M. Bateman, amazon.com, barnesandnoble.com, http://www.tatepublishing.com/bookstore ... +Epic+Poem at Tate Publishing
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mae
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Postby mae » Tue Jun 29, 2010 6:09 pm

Okay, Gwenn, how's that? Mudge, if you're around, I'd like your opinion, too. And mlou. and mslover. and Lilacwine. and JT. :D
mae
My heart beats in poetry. I think in rhythm and dream in rhyme.



Give me a crit! I can take it!



CELTIC QUEEN, an Epic Poem, Cynthia M. Bateman, amazon.com, barnesandnoble.com, http://www.tatepublishing.com/bookstore ... +Epic+Poem at Tate Publishing
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Postby Mlou » Tue Jun 29, 2010 9:15 pm

Well, I didn't see the original version so I don't know what you have removed or changed. I tend to agree that he and his thoughts/feelings are/should be the focus.
Knowing me, you know that I'll say it still needs tightening. You spell it out a lot, with a bit of repetition. You want it to be somewhat terse and tense as he is.
For ex..to me, you don't need "Looking over at her pillow" because in a minute you describe the pillow anyway and the reader "knows" he is looking at it.
He wakes slowly,
thinking nothing amiss...
until he remembers.

Her pillow bears no impression.
From now on, it will always be empty.
The time of asking why has passed.
There is no answer
that satisfies.

He tries to plan his day
but all his brain repeats
is that she is gone.
And the tears come.

He remembered
how beautiful she was

I know you like repetition for emphasis. I think in his situation much of his sorrow is internalized and should be shown in understated ways. But then you know I'm always saying less is more.

I believe your line "And she did." belongs as the closure of the previous paragraph.
nothing is ever simply Yes or No. There's always a But...


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mae
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Postby mae » Tue Jun 29, 2010 10:41 pm

Sorry, mlou, but this time I can't agree with you. Normally, I do, but you have pretty much stripped the poetry out of the poem - at least my poetry. I don't need emphasis in this one; I need poignancy. I can see how a word or two - and perhaps your comment about looking at the pillow is right on - taken out might be an improvement, but not nearly as much of a change as you've given here.

I will look at it again with tightening in mind, but, honestly, I'm just about done with it. I thank you for your comments. I do value them.

mae
My heart beats in poetry. I think in rhythm and dream in rhyme.



Give me a crit! I can take it!



CELTIC QUEEN, an Epic Poem, Cynthia M. Bateman, amazon.com, barnesandnoble.com, http://www.tatepublishing.com/bookstore ... +Epic+Poem at Tate Publishing
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mae
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Postby mae » Tue Jun 29, 2010 11:01 pm

Okay, mlou, here's the "tightened" version - not as tight as you had asked for, but tighter than it was. I think I took out quite a bit, but still left in my poetry. And unless somebody has something profound to add, I think I'm finished with it.

Okay, last time. This is it!

He wakes slowly,
thinking nothing amiss.
Turning, he sees her empty pillow
and he remembers.
It bears no impression.
From now on,
it will always be empty
Finding it hard to breathe,
he lies there,
blinking back stinging tears.
The days and nights
of asking why have passed.
There is no answer,
no answer to satisfy.

He tries to think of his day,
where he will go,
who he will see,
but his brain can only hear
that she's gone.
Finally, a sob escapes,
exploding from his lips,
opening the way for more.

Through the fog of tears he recalls
how beautiful she was,
even when she lost her hair.
There had always been something
special about her that drew him,
that drew everyone to her.
She smiled – all the time - .
her huge smile,
and he lived in its warmth.

Then the word came – terminal.
He'd felt it like a sledge hammer.
They held each other and cried.
Then she smiled at him
and he knew what she would do.
She would love and encourage.
She would laugh and bless
just like she'd always done.

Sitting on the side of the bed,
he looks out the window,
wishing he could see her just once more,
hold her hand, smell her hair
and tell her how much he'd loved her,
how much he'd always loved her -

how much he loves her still.



mae
Last edited by mae on Wed Jun 30, 2010 12:32 am, edited 1 time in total.
My heart beats in poetry. I think in rhythm and dream in rhyme.



Give me a crit! I can take it!



CELTIC QUEEN, an Epic Poem, Cynthia M. Bateman, amazon.com, barnesandnoble.com, http://www.tatepublishing.com/bookstore ... +Epic+Poem at Tate Publishing
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Mlou
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Postby Mlou » Tue Jun 29, 2010 11:05 pm

My comments certainly weren't meant to be a "final version", mae..only about cutting a little verbiage, if possible.
I didn't address all of the verses obviously, just referred to certain sections of your poem and I didn't mean you should stop at "how beautiful she was"! Much of what follows illustrates why he loved her.
And I know you'll hit me..again :)..but smiling through tears, while it paints a picture...might you think it's a phrase that's been overused? Is there some other way to express that same moment? It's hard, I know, because we reach for the tried and true expressions...but mull it over a little, okay?
nothing is ever simply Yes or No. There's always a But...





GINGERBREAD MAN by Mary Lou Healy at Amazon.com http://www.publishamerica.com/shopping/ ... ogid=16658 at Publish America
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Mlou
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Postby Mlou » Tue Jun 29, 2010 11:07 pm

Oops! We crossed notes. I'll go back now and read.
nothing is ever simply Yes or No. There's always a But...





GINGERBREAD MAN by Mary Lou Healy at Amazon.com http://www.publishamerica.com/shopping/ ... ogid=16658 at Publish America
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Postby Mlou » Tue Jun 29, 2010 11:22 pm

Yes, I see you've shortened it by 3 lines. And you'd already changed smiling throught his tears. Sooo..., in the final accounting. it's your poem and if you're happy with it, that's what matters. :)
nothing is ever simply Yes or No. There's always a But...





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mae
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Postby mae » Wed Jun 30, 2010 12:04 am

Almost any mention of tears is old hat and that's my least favorite part of the poem. I'd like to think of something else. Or at least some better way of mentioning tears.

I didn't mean to shut you down, mlou. Your suggestions just really hit me strongly - I had put such love into this poem and it seemed to be all gone. I want others to be happy with my poem when they read it - not just me.

mae
My heart beats in poetry. I think in rhythm and dream in rhyme.



Give me a crit! I can take it!



CELTIC QUEEN, an Epic Poem, Cynthia M. Bateman, amazon.com, barnesandnoble.com, http://www.tatepublishing.com/bookstore ... +Epic+Poem at Tate Publishing
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mae
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Postby mae » Wed Jun 30, 2010 12:38 am

Well, I've made one last change to the tears. I think that's it - unless someone brings me something great.

mae
My heart beats in poetry. I think in rhythm and dream in rhyme.



Give me a crit! I can take it!



CELTIC QUEEN, an Epic Poem, Cynthia M. Bateman, amazon.com, barnesandnoble.com, http://www.tatepublishing.com/bookstore ... +Epic+Poem at Tate Publishing
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Postby Mlou » Wed Jun 30, 2010 10:07 am

I know you did, mae, put much thought and love into what you wanted to say. It's plain to see. And sometimes we're too close to it and are still feeling the raw edges. Didn't a famous poet say, "Poetry is emotion remembered in tranquility"?
But I will dare to make a couple of further comments.
1.You said you'd like to get rid of 'tears' but keep the idea/feeling. How about something like ...he held grief at bay behind tightly closed eyelids...or on that idea. One pictures tears held back without actually mentioning them.
2. And I don't know why the brain "hearing" that she's gone bothers me. Isn't the brain the active one who is reminding him of his loss? Hence the idea of it "repeating".
3. Is sitting on the side of the bed looking out the window adding anything vital to the poem? Is it necessary? Would you get the same effect with a brief...he stared unseeing, wishing he...
Okay, I'll put away my little hatchet now before you overpower me, take it away and use it on me. :-D I know I can be very blunt at times but it's not through wanting to put someone down; only through wanting them to realize their full potential for freshness and unique voice. I need good friends to do that for me too, don't forget.
nothing is ever simply Yes or No. There's always a But...





GINGERBREAD MAN by Mary Lou Healy at Amazon.com http://www.publishamerica.com/shopping/ ... ogid=16658 at Publish America
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mae
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Postby mae » Wed Jun 30, 2010 10:42 am

Oh, this is so much more work than I thought it would be!!! But I want to give this to the man who is grieving, so it needs to be right.

1. I would like to get rid of the word tears, but it can't be because he's held grief at bay - because he hasn't; and he's just let a sob escape that opened the way for more. So I'll have to think of something else to get the idea of his grief across without using tears - if possible.

2. The brain hearing that she's gone bothered me, too, in all honesty. I don't like repeating because it's so ordinary, but I understand now why you changed it. I'll think on that.

3. Sitting on the side of the bed gives the feeling of pause. He had been lying in bed, now he's sitting up looking out the window and seeing her in his mind's eye. He's not getting on about his day. I think it does contribute to the poem's overall feeling. If I left out any mention of his posture, we'd normally picture him standing at the window, fully dressed. That isn't what I want to convey. I think that one will stay.

I'll work on the other two. I hope this is worth it!! Thanks for hanging in there with me, mlou.

mae
My heart beats in poetry. I think in rhythm and dream in rhyme.



Give me a crit! I can take it!



CELTIC QUEEN, an Epic Poem, Cynthia M. Bateman, amazon.com, barnesandnoble.com, http://www.tatepublishing.com/bookstore ... +Epic+Poem at Tate Publishing
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mae
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Postby mae » Wed Jun 30, 2010 11:01 am

I know I've said this before, so I'll qualify it a little - I THINK this is it!

. . . Do Us Part


He wakes slowly,
thinking nothing amiss.
Turning, he sees her empty pillow
and he remembers.
The pillow bears no impression.
From now on,
it will always be empty
Finding it hard to breathe,
he lies there,
blinking back stinging tears.
The days and nights
of asking why have passed.
There is no answer,
no answer to satisfy.

He tries to think of his day,
where he will go,
who he will see,
but his brain only knows
that she's gone.
Finally, a sob escapes,
exploding from his lips,
opening the way for more.

Through his sorrow he recalls
how beautiful she was,
even when she lost her hair.
There had always been something
special about her that drew him,
that drew everyone to her.
She smiled – all the time --
her huge smile,
and he lived in its warmth.

Then the word came – terminal.
He'd felt it like a sledge hammer.
They held each other and cried.
When she smiled at him
he knew what she would do.
She would love and encourage.
She would laugh and bless
just like she'd always done.

Sitting on the side of the bed,
he looks out the window,
wishing he could see her just once more,
hold her hand, smell her hair
and tell her how much he'd loved her,
how much he'd always loved her -

how much he loves her still.

mae
My heart beats in poetry. I think in rhythm and dream in rhyme.



Give me a crit! I can take it!



CELTIC QUEEN, an Epic Poem, Cynthia M. Bateman, amazon.com, barnesandnoble.com, http://www.tatepublishing.com/bookstore ... +Epic+Poem at Tate Publishing
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Mlou
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Postby Mlou » Wed Jun 30, 2010 1:32 pm

Okay, mae...never argue with the author. It's her/his baby! :) And I'm sure the recipient will be touched by the thought and caring you invested in it.
nothing is ever simply Yes or No. There's always a But...





GINGERBREAD MAN by Mary Lou Healy at Amazon.com http://www.publishamerica.com/shopping/ ... ogid=16658 at Publish America

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