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When Timmy died


goldenlangur

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goldenlangur

When Timmy died

his wife did not cry.

 

She giggled, clapped and danced.

She's mad, you see

and she visits me in dreams.

goldenlangur

 

 

Even a single enemy is too many and a thousand friends too few - Bhutanese saying.

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This intriguing work imparts a sense of dissociation. As if the wife's madness itself isn't distressing enough, the effect is amplified by the fact that she visits the speaker in her dreams. Ultimately, the poem leaves the reader with ghostly, unsettled feelings. I love it, Goldenlangur.

 

Tony

Here is a link to an index of my works on this site: tonyv's Member Archive topic

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This has a tanka feel to me, golden. The sorrow is expressed through the widow's abnormal behavior, which makes the poem even more poignant.

I have to say your poems always arouse associations in the Chinese culture. By saying so, I mean this one reminds me of Zhuangzi (Taoist), when his wife died, this is what happened:

 

When Zhuangzi's wife died and Hui Shi came to convey his condolences, he found Zhuangzi squatting with his knees out, drumming on a pan and singing ''You lived with her she raised your children, and you grew old together, Hui Shi said "Not weeping when she died would have been bad enough. Aren't you going too far by drurnming on a pan and singing ?'

 

"No," Zhuangzi said, "when she first died how could I have escaped feeling the loss? Then I looked back to the beginning before she had life Not only before she had life but before she had form. Not only before she had form, but before she had vital energy. In this confused amorphous realm, something changed and vital energy appeared,- when the vital energy was changed, form appeared; with changes in form, life began. Now there is another change bringingdeath This is like the progression of the four seasons of spring and fall, winter and summer. Here she was lying down to sleep in a huge room and I followed her sobbing and wailing. When I realized my actions showed I hadn't understood destiny, I stopped."

 

 

 

His words are of kind of pain relief, but not easy for people to think that way.

 

Regards.

Lake

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goldenlangur

I'm delighted Tony that this piece intrigues.

 

I like how you've read it:

 

... As if the wife's madness itself isn't distressing enough, the effect is amplified by the fact that she visits the speaker in her dreams. Ultimately, the poem leaves the reader with ghostly, unsettled feeling.

 

 

Thank you.

goldenlangur

 

 

Even a single enemy is too many and a thousand friends too few - Bhutanese saying.

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goldenlangur

Hi Lake,

 

Thank you for the exquisite Taoist account of the transience of life as brought out in death and grieving. It is something to bookmark and read again.

 

I must confess that my intent here was not quite as lofty but you're spot on about madness and grief and how the contrariness of behavior actually emphasizes the poignancy of feeling and thought, in other words, all is not what it seems.

 

 

The main thing behind this is a kind of play on local traditions about how what we perceive in others might well be the flaw or the case with oneself. Is the wife mad or is it the perception of the narrator? Is the narrator an unreliable one? Grief brings out different aspects of ourselves and we cope differently.

 

 

You've given this piece a resonance beyond what I dared to hope. Thank you so much.

 

 

Regards.

goldenlangur

 

 

Even a single enemy is too many and a thousand friends too few - Bhutanese saying.

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Hi GL, I was haunted by the image of the wife because I related to her madness in grief. As I age and watch as more and more family and freinds die, I have also become more aware of how I grieve and wonder if I may not always appear quite appropriate. I don't think one need be crazy to respond differently than others expect of us. The madness comes in letting others see it. INtriguing piece that will inspire many reactions.

 

~~Tink

~~ © ~~ Poems by Judi Van Gorder ~~

For permission to use this work you can write to Tinker1111@icloud.com

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goldenlangur

Hi Tink,

 

 

How lovely to hear from you! :)

 

I was haunted by the image of the wife because I related to her madness in grief. As I age and watch as more and more family and freinds die, I have also become more aware of how I grieve and wonder if I may not always appear quite appropriate. I don't think one need be crazy to respond differently than others expect of us. The madness comes in letting others see it.

 

~~Tink

 

 

Thank you for sharing your own thoughts on death and grieving. It is very moving. There is a particular poignancy when we mourn friends of our own age and also our family.

 

We have a tradition of divine madness which eschews platitudes of social and religious orthodoxy and encourages us to look at others and ourselves closely and without bias.

 

 

Appreciate your stopping by.

goldenlangur

 

 

Even a single enemy is too many and a thousand friends too few - Bhutanese saying.

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When Timmy died

his wife did not cry.

 

She giggled, clapped and danced.

She's mad, you see

and she visits me in dreams.

 

 

Unexpected feeling in this poem, goldenlangur. That fact, makes this poem even better.

I liked the way how this poem is written, the free and direct style.

 

Well done.

 

Aleksandra

The poet is a liar who always speaks the truth - Jean Cocteau

History of Macedonia

 

 

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