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Post  Dewell H. Byrd on Fri Apr 24, 2015 11:45 am

Does this poem wander too much?  Should I delete the fibers on the carding board part?  The last phrase of the poem feels like an after thought.  Is it helpful?  HELP!  I am surrounded by people who are aging in place as am I at 84.  Dewell


There was a blue bird at my window sill today.
It seemed unsure, maybe confused by its
Reflection or the secrets brought by linen wind.

Or was it yesterday; a robin playing a grimy
Game of tug-of-war with a night crawler?
Or the mailman bringing notice of rent,
Credit card, deaf debt thrown against the wall?

My memory has become an emigrant
Wandering through the grayness of a spring
That will not come.  I look everywhere for
Something or nothing and find only fog.

Am I an old regret, a placebo person, a wild
Dream forgotten like lingering fibers on
The carding board of Grandma's wheel
Or dust on the pedals of the church organ?

Maybe with the wings of night I'll fly
Free of the spiderless web that binds
Me on this night that wears a long coat.

     -Dewell H. Byrd

Dewell H. Byrd

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A pea coat would have been enough

Post  dennis20 on Fri Apr 24, 2015 3:25 pm

Dewell,  I would like the poem better if it were briefer. (I had to look that word up because it looked odd.)  I see the next to last strophe (Am I an...) as fluff.  It changes the direction of the poem.  In fact, if you left that strophe out and put the first two lines of the last strophe after "find only fog" I think the picture is complete.  You could leave the last line, but I don't think the poem needs the long coat so I would drop it.  Also, why did you capitalize the first word in each line?  It is written as prose, but that almost stops me when I read it.  Nice poem.


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Post  Karen on Fri Apr 24, 2015 4:32 pm

Strong images.  I agree with Dennis on brevity.  The poem would still grab me hard if it ended after "find only fog."  That leaves me a little bothered by a first stanza of 3 lines followed by 4-liners, but it could be remedied by dividing lines a bit differently, asymmetrically.

Good stuff in the part I propose cutting.  Maybe a starter for a companion piece.  I don't like the feelings you've written about, but I know them.  Your rendering is true.


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Fog would be a fine ending. . . .

Post  Pat on Sat Apr 25, 2015 8:49 pm

Dewell, I am fine with the subject matter, but I think it needs to be tightened.  For example,
the first line might read:  Today, a bluebird came to my window sill. . . I think you are showing us doubts and confusion and fogginess.  I'd just stay with that.  That's enough.  I'd drop the last two stanzas.  I know that will change your title, but. . . .  Dewell, I'd reread the first 3 stanzas.  I think your title will jump out at you when you ask yourself, what am I saying?  I think the afterthoughts are in the last two stanzas.  I'd totally stay away from the I.  Just say what you see.  The feelings of the persona will come through.  I'd say "Stay in 3rd person."  Great images here and there.  I'd let this poem go cold for 3 days and relook at it.  (It helps me to do this.)  A lot of fodder here worth saying.


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My two cents

Post  tsukany on Mon Apr 27, 2015 5:10 am


I think the third stanza is the first one, then the reader would know the dramatic context.  Do all memories have the "wings" promised by the title?  I like to cut all "There was/It is" type subjects . . . especially in prose.

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