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At Four


Lake
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At Four

 

In this one I am sitting on my dad’s lap,

my little brother on my mom’s –

an annual event for the whole family.

 

Dressed in a woolen coat (a rare gift

at the time when most live on ration cards).

Hair in one pigtail on the right side. Face,

 

a pout of jealousy. A silent voice cries:

let me sit with mom, or between mom and dad.

I squirm slightly toward the center.

 

I don’t know yet that I will run away

from their arms, live on a foreign land

across the Pacific Ocean, learn English.

 

Now I see that sulking look smile,

calling me over. I squeeze myself in.

Sound of the shutter.

 

 

(Not so sure with this. Let me know how it can be improved. Thanks.)

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Fantastic, Lake! The way it starts out ("In this one ...") gives it a dream-like quality. The way you show the future (actually the present) from the present (actually the past) and how you end the poem with a "snapshot" image reminds me of one of my favorite poems, 1926 , by Weldon Kees. Very well done.

 

Tony

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

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Aleksandra
At Four

 

In this one I am sitting on my dad's lap,

my little brother on my mom's –

an annual event for the whole family.

 

Dressed in a woolen coat (a rare gift

at the time when most live on ration cards).

Hair in one pigtail on the right side. Face,

 

a pout of jealousy. A silent voice cries:

let me sit with mom, or between mom and dad.

I squirm slightly toward the center.

 

I don't know yet that I will run away

from their arms, live on a foreign land

across the Pacific Ocean, learn English.

 

Now I see that sulking look smile,

calling me over. I squeeze myself in.

Sound of the shutter.

 

 

(Not so sure with this. Let me know how it can be improved. Thanks.)

 

Dear Lake. I enjoyed your poem a lot. This one made me sad. It captures with the feelings inside, the nostalgia, the loneliness. It hurts to be far away from home.

Really I don't know what to say here, I am impressed by the feelings what provokes this poem.

I think this is my favorite by you.

I read it over and over. Well done. Amazing poem.

 

Thank you for sharing.

 

Aleksandra

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

History of Macedonia

 

 

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Larsen M. Callirhoe

i couldnt even tell english was a second or third language by you. you must be very smart. i have read most of your postings and never once did i not think you were not an american native. the poem khan's threw me off course big time. that is a college community. but now that you mention it that poem does show some parts where you conflict with american lifestyle. i love this poem but khan's is still my favorite by you. this is a close second. alek's captured everything i felt about this one.

 

cheers my beloved friend.

victor aka larsen m. callirhoe

 

 

ps. larsen m. callirhoe is a pen name dear if you didnt already know.

Larsen M. Callirhoe

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Fantastic, Lake! The way it starts out ("In this one ...") gives it a dream-like quality. The way you show the future (actually the present) from the present (actually the past) and how you end the poem with a "snapshot" image reminds me of one of my favorite poems, 1926, by Weldon Kees. Very well done.

 

Tony

 

Hi Tony,

 

I'm thrilled reading your comments. The past, present, future is what I worry the most. You've read me very well. Thanks for "1926", very enjoyable read.

 

Thank you kindly.

 

Lake

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Aleksandra,

 

Thank you as always for your kind words. Glad you captured the feeling.

 

Much appreciated.

 

Lake

 

BTW: how does that "Multi-Quote" work?

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VICtor,

 

Now that you know I'm a non-native English speaker, feel free to criticize my works. I always want to show my works to native English speakers to see if there's anything that doesn't sound right to them.

 

Many thanks for the read and comment.

 

Lake

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Lake wrote:

 

BTW: how does that "Multi-Quote" work?

It works on a select/deselect basis. If you want to write a reply that contains quotes from several replies, just click once on the multi-quote button in each reply you would like to quote. The multi-quote button will change color slightly for each reply in which you select it. (If you click it again, you will de-selected the particular quote, the color will change back, and that quote will not appear.) After you select each one which you would like to quote, go to the top left of the topic and click "Post Reply" like you normally would to make a reply. Your reply window should open and be ready for you to type with all the quotes already pasted within it. If this is still confusing, let me know, and I will try to be more clear or even make a JPEG.

 

Tony icon_smile.gif

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

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Wow! Lake, talk about an easy flow of words, this is terrific! The opening was exactly how I can imagine you sitting with a photo album in your hands, pointing at a particular photo. The fluidity of your lines is superior to many native English speakers.

 

Lake wrote:

 

Hair in one pigtail on the right side. Face,

 

a pout of jealousy. A silent voice cries:

 

These lines have such a smooth transition, clearly you are not only talented you also have developed your craft. I love the tercets giving the poem a quiet formality without being stuffy.

 

The content was touching, I thoroughly enjoyed reading this poem, I feel like it was me sitting next to you as you share this image of your family. Thank you.

 

~~Tink

~~ © ~~ Poems by Judi Van Gorder ~~

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

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Lake, one of the best I ever read from you.

 

The development and the twist reinforced the atmosphere of the poem.

 

The last stanza with the word 'squeeze' tied it well with stanza 3.

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

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Hi,

This is a grand work, both in content and presentation. You have grabbed a moment in time and filled it with memories, innocence and charm. Easly readable, concluded perfectly.

 

May I ask- what is you native tongue? I would never have guessed that it was not english.

 

rg

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Lake,

 

For some reason, I resisted commenting on this piece- probably because I am a bit scattered and it deserved the engagement of my full attention- It is a curious and masterful mixing of points of view, the temporal dislocation always in potential in the present- is memorably captured- I enjoy the audio clues- The sound of a shutter, which is the internal referential to the end of memory or rather the integration in the now of it all- Really a perfect piece of work....

 

BTW- I have found those who are ESL and fluent in its uses are often better poets- having to approach the language from the 'other side,' which after all is part of the poetry game;-)

 

DC

thegateless.org Come on over and check out my poetry substack y'all;-) Or if your bored, head to the Zazzle store: https://www.zazzle.com/store/gateless. If you buy anything I lose a bet, so consider that before you violate the digital rules.

 

Gate(less.png

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Wow, I'm overwhelmed by the interest in this poem. Sorry for coming late to this.

 

Thanks Tony for explaining "Multi-Quote". It's so cool. I've not seen this feature on other forums. Great job!

 

Thanks,

 

Lake

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Hi Tinker,

 

Thank you for your compliment. icon_redface.gif

I'm glad this one touched you. You read it so well. I'm still trying hard in poetry writing and will never forget the haikus and the villanelle we worked together, and all the helpful comments I've received from this forum.

 

Many thanks.

 

Lake

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Joel,

 

Glad you liked it and the "squeeze" at the end. Frankly, I'm not very happy with the last line in the first stanza, felt a bit telly. Any other suggestions?

 

Thanks for your encouragement.

 

Rhyme,

 

Thanks for reading and commenting. My native tongue is Mandarin. I often find it hard to express myself well in English.

 

Thanks for the kind words.

 

dr_con,

 

mixing of points of view, the temporal dislocation always in potential in the present- is memorably captured- I enjoy the audio clues- The sound of a shutter, which is the internal referential to the end of memory or rather the integration in the now of it all

 

I think you interpreted much more clear than what I wanted to convey in the poem.

 

I have found those who are ESL and fluent in its uses are often better poets- having to approach the language from the 'other side,' which after all is part of the poetry game

 

There's also a risk here - some usage or expression I find interesting in English has already become over used or cliché. That's because I've not read enough.

 

Thanks again everyone. Much appreciation.

 

Lake

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goldenlangur

Hi Lake,

 

Certainly one of your best works to date icon_smile.gif How well you capture that moment of looking at a childhood photograph and trying to piece together one's life - a kind of divining the present from the past. You've caught a scenario here in all its intensity with which many can readily identify but of course your words render it a thing of beauty!

 

 

goldenlangur

goldenlangur

 

 

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

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