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ChangingMinds Blog! > Blog Archive > 25-Apr-07


Wednesday 25-April-07

Poetic release

When I was fifteen or thereabouts I won a poetry competition. It was not a great poem and the only prize was to have it published in the school magazine. The strangest accolade was the grilling I got from the editor who thought I had copied it from somewhere. After the shock of accusation I felt quite flattered and went on to write more schoolboy rhyme, the pinnacle of which was a poem that won a national prize of being a guest at the investiture of Prince Charles as the Prince of Wales. Swallowing nationalistic Welsh pride, I had a great time.

Since then, I have had occasional poetic bursts but mostly stick to more prosaic writing. Poetry appears when I am feeling emotional about something and lets me release something of the pent-up feelings. I wrote a lot when courting my wife and wrote brief verses of grief when my sister and father died. In the annals of poetry it is not great verse and I do not seek recognition for it. It is just a way I find of saying what cannot be said otherwise.

It is now, at the time of writing this, 2:12 am and I am awake, worrying again about my son. His academic attention and schoolwork are fading yet again and, after hope that he would see the light I fear now he will bomb exams again, which will mean he will be kicked out of school and it will be the end of his state education.

Here's two short poems I wrote just now:

I will weep for you

I will weep for you.
Not here,
But in the small spaces
Where I can let go.

What will become?
I know not,
But fear the worst
For you.

Though you deserve it not,
And want it not,
And want me not,
I will weep for you.


Eulogy to childhood

Farewell sweet youth,
Who gave me succour
All the days of the past.

Farewell play and lazy days,
Where worries were not mine
And time was my slave.

Hello bending toil,
Where I am the slave
And time is unending
To the end of days.


At this moment perhaps this will release my turmoil into sleep. In May my son takes the exams and gets the results in August. Perhaps I will need the release of verse then. I hope the emotion will be pride.

Your comments

 I enjoyed your poetry, "I Will Weep for You" and "Eulogy to Childhood." Often the simplest words are the ones that reach the deepest recesses and last the longest.

Here is a poem I wrote decades ago. When I presented the diddy to its source of inspiration, the recipient was not visibly impressed or moved. She did not comprehend that my love was and is eternal. Often poetry writes itself.

Lilacs in the spring
Make my heart sing
Of another day in May
When she would stay
And rock me by the sea.

Well, better get back to my management class. (I'm the student)

-- chris p.

Dave replies:
Thanks, Chris. I do like your poem. Simple and heartfelt. Poetry difficult stuff to explain, mostly because the meaning is in the feeling it creates, which can be different in different people. I also agree that good poetry, like good songs, very often appears with little effort and editing. Those pieces you endlessly tinker with are never as good. Well, at least for me!

Here is the my release, or How to look at release:

Pour Your Heart Out
on a piece of paper
and see what you find
Does it seep out
over the edges
or is it painfully confined
within the margins
within the lines

And the Contents
are they varied
Are the contents the same
as you neighbors
as your lovers
as the dog's without a name

Can you look at it
with eyes
Must you squint at it
to see

the vague textures
the details
and the spaces in between

Do the contents move you
do they swell you
do they shrink you down to size

Have they warmed you
Have they chilled you
have they made you more the wise

Are you Willing
not to hasten
But to chasten
But to see
That the contents
can be modified
can be squandered
-or let be-
can be grown
can be shrunk
can be vastly underseen
-but are yours-
and intention
is the only way to glean
if it matters
if the pages

-- Gloria

Dave replies:
Lovely, Gloria. I also like the tapering towards the end which reflect a common mode of thinking as, exhausted, our energies peter out.



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