The Silent Song

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The Silent Song

Post  Dewell H. Byrd on Tue Jan 26, 2016 5:01 pm

Is there enough connective tissue to hold this poem together?  I love the line about flooded fields but it may fit better in another (Karen's) poem.  Can you see this old man or should I say more about him?  Does the poem end early?  Dewell

The Silent Song

On his knees beside her stone
He traces etchings...

Her life summed between two dates
Carved in marble

Christened with salt and water
From weary eyes

Blank as flooded fields...
He reaches across her breast,

Places a gnarled hand on an
Uncarved stone,

Lifts his face to a pewter sky,
Sings his silent song.

   Dewell H. Byrd

Dewell H. Byrd

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Re: The Silent Song

Post  Karen on Thu Jan 28, 2016 5:35 am

Dewell, the poem holds together fine for me in this brief form.  The picture is clear. 

I told Pat I was prejudiced against dashes, and I fear I have an aversion to ellipses as well.  I would be well-satisfied with a period in both the spots you use an ellipsis.

I hope I don't develop a distaste for other punctuation.  I've been on the out with quotation marks lately, too.
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Laughing at Karen's issue with dashes, quotes, ellipses. . . .

Post  Pat on Thu Jan 28, 2016 11:44 am

Hilarious to me.  But then, I love punctuation.   : )  I have no issue with how it is held together.  I can follow it easily, and that's important to me as a reader.  He traces etchings:   with what, hand, finger, pencil and paper? The ellipses:  I took it to mean that time passes?  The second ellipses?  I agree with Karen:  I do not need them.  A period works.  Last line:  I played with it in my head:   maybe Singing a silent song.  Is it his song?  Title is The Silent Song.  All of it seems a song to me.  The touching, the lifting, etc.  Nice job.

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Punctuation

Post  tsukany on Thu Jan 28, 2016 3:14 pm

I am reading a book by WS Merwin who avoids punctuation more than Lucille Clifton.  At least she offered extra spaces.  Smile

I was struck on my first read by two things:  the poem felt a bit sentimental (telling me how the persona felt) and second, that the poem didn't push "outside the frame" of the details of the poem.  

I have been processing the latter and have concluded that "outside the frame" is my preference in poems (as I like short poems and compression).  My preferences don't make or help your poem.

I think I wanted more from the "uncarved stone."  It took me to the Jewish practice of stones of remembrance.
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Late getting to these poems, no wait, it ain't Friday yet.

Post  Dennis 20 on Thu Jan 28, 2016 10:44 pm

Dewell,  Great poem. The picture is definitely here. I would only offer this for thought--change the last line to read "silence, his song."  That would have a deeper meaning.  Anyway, great poem.

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