Friday, December 12, 2008

Blind Review Friday

Blind Review Friday.

The author shall remain anonymous (unless they chose to divulge themselves in the comments.)

Those commenting are also welcome to remain anonymous if they wish.

Incendiary comments will be removed.

If you would like your piece thrown to the wolves send it to with "Workshop the hell out of this poem" as the subject line.

Last week's poem "Keeping Things Whole" was written by Mark Strand - former US poet laureate from his collection "Sleeping With One Eye Open" published in 1964

This week's selection is a Clevelandpoetics - the Blog reader's submission:

The Gilded Window

The moonless night was dark as sin
The wind wailed high and low
The trees screeched in exotic pain
The old man at his bed lay thin

By his side sat his loyal wife
She had served him well and good
They loved so as only the old could
It was the end of a well lived life

They looked outside the gilded window
That together they loved very much
In their own ways: he loved her face aglow
Whenever she looked out in the snow

It recalled the steel his youth was made of
For he gilded it in Chinese calligraphy:
It was her wish quite plebeian
In days when they hadn't enough

The Chinese, which she did not get
Which all these years 'Love' she read
She asked him at his death-bed; said:
"Do tell me now, I haven't figured it yet."

With aching effort, he looked out in the glen
In his baritone spoke to her one last time:
"Dorothy, I don't remember the meaning
For after a point in time, all was overwritten

In the chest of my heart where
I have locked away many a thing
Must give it wings now; outside the window
It can fly on the wings of the winter air

In the spring of youth, it meant, 'liaison'
And have mused and sung different meaning
In different seasons of our life
Now, in this winter weaning
It's call is compelling, evermore;
It says loud and clear: 'Defenestration'".


Geoffrey A. Landis said...

It's got some good lines, but still needs some work. In some places clarity is sacrificed to meter, which hurts the poem.

In the opening stanza--
Is sin actually dark? How dark, exactly, is sin? Does sin have an actual color, or does just "dark" completely describe it?

How can you "lay thin"? (I think that the adjective thin was intended to apply to the man, not to the verb "lay," which is an action that can't really be done thinly.)

Anonymous said...

i think one can lay thinly
rather than heavy on the pillow
or thickly atop the blanket
to lay thinly one could be wan
and drifting in thots ailing flighty in the head awake or listless--as in barley there or in and out out if. i like lay thinly.

but i do not like the insinuated allegory angle this poem takes..
it is missing wit angle or insight .

Anonymous said...

i know who this is...

have no problems with 'lay thin'

but, how is the tree pain 'exotic'. Is it a forced twisting of adjectives...or may be the poet can illuminate here (the hard to get pun is slightly intended ...)?

the use of the word gilded twice in stanza 2 and 3 is a mistake...

whose life is ending... in the first stanza it is the old man' the later ones it is the old lady... if they are in it together, the romanticism of the togetherness was lost as the poet himself goes into a trap of explaining the storm more than the relation (or the situation)

I love the last three stanzas... really well written...

The ending leaves one puzzled in the first reading, which I guess was intentional from the poet!!


Mohit Parikh said...

good effort!

Anonymous said...

I agree that parts of this are sacrificed to the form.

In several of the lines, the rhythm just doesn't fit, which distracts the reader's attention from what is being said.

But I do like this piece and the imagery. Maybe rewrite the poem without regard for the structural rules and allow the images to fully express themselves?

Anonymous said...

T.M. said what I wanted to say better than I would have said it. If the author does decide to rewrite this piece, I look forward to reading the revision. I like a lot of this poem - I'd just like to see the poet let go a bit. Sometimes poems need the discipline of rules, and other times they need to cast the rules aside and be free. I believe this poem fits into the latter category.

Anonymous said...

Then again, I'm second-guessing my comment, like I often second guess my own poetry and most everyone else's... ha! This is the wonderful world of poetry - and it's no wonder French poet Paul Valéry said "A poem is never finished; it is only abandoned.:


The poet doesn't invent. He listens. ~Jean Cocteau