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Poetry Magnum Opus

Ariel [R]


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Being dead doesn't bother me, it's the dying part,

she said of a sudden straight from the heart

and I replied all free and easy,

light, ironic, breezy,

Darling, can I help you along?


'S'alright, love, I can manage myself,

I can perch, resigned, at the back of the shelf

and care for the children, let you go your way,

and let you fuck your latest little tart.

I frowned. There was little I could say.


On a bone-cold freezing winter day

she placed milk and biscuits on a tray,

brought them to the kids in the room above;

and without a word of reproach, nor even of love,

she placed a cloth in the oven and her head upon it


and died.


I have tried, tried so many many times

to discover some sense of meaning

in this careful act of cold finality:


Did she hate me? or was she a lone fatality

of a self-scourging sense of futility,

seeking recompense, hovering, leaning

over the blank utility of the grave?


I have lived since then, huddled down in the nave

of a shattered cathedral, her own and mine,

and nothing I have written, however fine,

can recover any lightness in my soul.


Even my innocent children survive on a dole

of pained and measured kindness. Her poems,

published and praised, still carry a sting

that assails me now, waking and sleeping.


I can ignore the amazonic american hordes

who excavate this incident, this ... this thing,

women who hold me strenuously to account:

at the fount of non-knowledge, there is only weeping.

Drown your sorrows in drink, by all means, but the real sorrows can swim

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Hi Brendan, It may sound a bit strange but I liked this poem. I liked the rhythm and especially liked the way you employed rhyme. The linking rhyme between several of the stanzas seemed to pull me on even though the theme of the poem was not the most pleasant of subjects. In that regard I also liked the way the story developed and then took a turn inward. You are never boring nor cliche.



~~ © ~~ Poems by Judi Van Gorder ~~

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

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I like how you treated death as part of the story in a matter-of-fact way. I just wondered whether the f- word was consistent with the diction of the poem.

"Words are not things, and yet they are not non-things either." - Ann Lauterbach

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Your reflective point-of-view piece commemorating the Plath tragedy gives the reader pause:


I have tried, tried so many many times

to discover some sense of meaning

in this careful act of cold finality ...

I have, too. I have, too ...


Artfully delivered, Brendan.



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

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