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Tuesday, 4 December 2007

Of Grief in Dusty Corners

With slow and steady patterning we grew
into each other's thinking. When the blade
tore bluntly through us twain, we fell askew
in senseless silence, feeling but the shade,
the phantom limb of conversations played,
remembrances continuously rent
in echoes that interminably fade.
Although both hope and agony are spent
for always and for ever, still the scent
of grief in dusty corners can surprise
my desecrating entrance, innocent
on murmured thoughts where yet a memory lies.


1. It's not as good as Penelope. That's going to be true of pretty well every poem I write for a while now. Sigh.

2. It's almost a Spenserian sonnet (thank you, Exterminator, for the link to a whole lot of sonnet forms which sent me along that line). I left off the final couplet, though, because it would have been absurdly extraneous. Instead, we just have twelve lines, deeply interlaced. I like that, at least for this poem.

3. The backstory is my post here. If you want to know.


L.L. Barkat said...

This is not a comment on the poem's quality. Just a reassurance. I was reading Gardner the other day and he makes the point that we often think of talented people as always producing amazing work, but they also produce a good deal of "failures". I felt comforted by that.

On another note, my favorite line in the poem... "still the scent of grief in dusty corners can surprise..."

the chaplain said...

This line,"With slow and steady patterning we grew
into each other's thinking,"
immediately made me think of my current situation with my husband. It turns out that our views re: religion have been developing very similarly in ways that we hadn't realized until I came out to him a couple of nights ago.

John Evo said...

I'd love to pretend to actually KNOW whether it's good or not, Lynet. That said, I enjoyed it.

But what I really liked (and think I can comment on) was the incredibly personal and revealing story behind it and would encourage other readers to check it out (when you have a few minutes - it's not short).

Lynet said...

Ah, yes, LL, I think you've put your finger on something there. You see, that line was all I had, to start with -- that line and a form I wanted to try. But none of the other lines measure up to that one.

I've also used the form quite badly in that I haven't respected the quatrain structure at all. I think the Spenserian really needs some sotr of break between each quatrain, since you're about to repeat a line. If I did that, I think the poem would seem less dense. Unfortunately I didn't consider that aspect while writing at all. I guess that means this form is still on my list of forms that I'd like to try to get the hang of.

Thank you for the feedback and encouraging words, all of you.

The Exterminator said...

Lynet, you said: It's not as good as Penelope. That's going to be true of pretty well every poem I write for a while now. Sigh.

I think artists can fall into a trap of competing against themselves. You may not like this poem as much as the other, but it's an irrelevant comparison to make. I believe that, to be effective, the only comparison an artist should make is of the specific work under contemplation with what that very work might still be. If you think this particular poem could be better, figure out why, and fix it. If you think it's as good as it can be for what it is, then set it free.

And go on to your next.

Lynet said...

Good advice. Thanks. As a matter of fact, I rewrote this poem completely yesterday. I like the new version better, but I'm still not completely happy with it . . .