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Poetry Magnum Opus

Mortality


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Winter through the eyes of spring, summer through
autumn's eyes I would like to paint to warn me
of the faint swing of death' scythe-the debut
of his aura thrives amongst those ready to be
born in heaven's birthing pools. The ghost train
arrives in this rest home to pick up the
newly deceased,in my eyes in the panes
I see death painting me seasonally,
he shuffles the seasons from glass to glass,
he passes through a dream to breathe and blow
guiding flakes of snow through four seasons across
to the threshold of an artist's window.
Before my brushes forever dry I will find
my signature snow flake in winter's wind.

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This will raise different points for different people. The "faint swing of death's scythe" reminds me of an old schoolmaster of mine who patrolled the aisles of pupils from behind; sensing his proximity, the hairs on the back of my neck would stand up in anticipation of a clout. But the recipient always seemed random..... Rather like the lottery of life ...and death. Que sera sera. B

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Wait for the reward.

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Seeing as you ask..... It's a matter of taste: and bleak references to death and heaven are not to my particular taste; although death is 'universal' and poetry can provide a conduit for the curious and spiritual side of human nature . Your poem is packed with nuances which made it difficult for me to assimilate without several passes. "The ghost train arrives in this rest home to pick up the newly deceased, in my eyes in the panes etc." suggests someone (a patient or visitor perhaps) daydreaming, and pontificating demise. That said, we all have our own interpretations of how the mind perceives things. Usually from what has been fed by circumstance into it. Indeed, mankind over the ages, has built up a strata of belief systems and mythology that is far easier to opt into, rather than out of, for one reason or another. But death is still inevitable.

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;)

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Perhaps I am too naïve, but I see no value in writing poetry for competition. When I post something here, my purpose is to share and get intellectual feedback from other writers, not to compete with them. Thanks to Tony and others, this poetry Opus has not become a competitive site. IMO, art should never be judged in value vs. any other work, only on its merits or lack thereof. Value of written works, to me, is in the enjoyment, and even astonishment of the creative genius of others. Perhaps we at Opus could vote blue ribbons for the work of the week. I hope not. Brendan would likely be covered with medals. The self-absorbed bastard would likely go on parade. (Just kidding, St. Lyons.)

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True.

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David W. Parsley

Hi Barry, I find this "contest" poem to fall in line with your after-life poems. And for me it is thematically tighter than the similarly titled, "Mortal." The first seven lines and ending couplet rival your very best work, though "forever dry" could be improved (a bit melodramatic, anachronistic, and feels over-used). Rhyme words in the third quatrain enhance the poetic experience, justifying the use of fixed form; find-wind of the couplet is okay; the other rhymes do not excite.

 

My biggest complaint lies with the interesting narrative of Death's activities in the narrator's hall of mirrors (presumably co-existent with, or actually is, the rest home): it is damaged by the sentence construction, the successive 'he's and 'season's, and incompatible (or incomprehensible) imagery that has me wondering if Death is on the rest home platform or the train itself moving through 'a dream' or....? I recommend taking lines 8 to 12 through a few attempted revisions, then go away for a while to let them simmer, before coming back to see what works.

 

Please do not dismiss this as a "contest" effort, even if it started that way. Potentially a legacy quality piece.

 

One person's opinion

- Dave

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Thank you for sharing your extensive analysis, Dave. Your words are above my pay grade, so to speak, but I think I got the gist of your knowledge. Your valuable time and efforts are valued.

Franklin

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