This Poem was Submitted By: Mick Fraser On Date: 2004-01-10 22:21:14 . . . Click Here To Mail this Poem to a Friend!

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Under my Mukluks

Ironic I could hear the dripping of the melting winter snow on this coldest day of the year Sun shining, warm rays reflecting off nearby white-ice walls Trapped in corners, the furnace-like warmth inspires thoughts of frozen victims  While wind-whipped clouds of blowing remnants of the previous nights delivery promotes the fallacy that all events have a purpose  The tapping sound beating in time to the habitual dance steps of Aurora's hidden lights This moment of contrast and my personal response to the deep hard frost between us Bear striking similarities with warm flowing tears and puddles under my mukluks If you were here sweetness I would show you my iceflows  Frozen pieces of the past intermingled with renewed hope, chunks of me washed away

Copyright © January 2004 Mick Fraser

Additional Notes:
Inspired by the frigid temps outside and warm friends.

This Poem was Critiqued By: Mell W. Morris On Date: 2004-02-07 15:16:12
Critiquer Rating During Critique: 9.95455
Mick: I congratulate you on the writing of this poem; I found it extremely evocative and moving. What follows are my thoughts and reactions both to individual parts of this work as well as my interpretation of the poem's overall meaning to one reader. First, I am impressed by the structure of the two stanzas. The first portrays the "outward" or "physical" observations of the speaker about a harsh, snow-covered landscape and the irony of its being melted by the warmth of the sun despite the freezing temperatures ("the coldest day of the year"). I found the "nearby white-ice walls" interesting because they could represent several things: the speaker could be looking at the walls of a nearby dwelling, a hill covered with snow, or even igloos (suggested by the diction in words such as "muklaks" and the allusion to the "Aurora Borealis," intimating that the speaker is far enough north both to see the Northern Lights clearly and to be near such structures). I was intrigued by the "frozen victims" as well. Literally, these could be others in the cold who do not have the good fortune of the speaker to be warm and able to contemplate objectively the ramifications of the "wind-whipped clouds"; but I found the "victims" to be representative of the two people in the poem, the speaker and the loved one from whom he is parted. This impression is reinforced by the speaker addressing in the second stanza (through apostrophe) the loved one: "If you were here sweetness"). I also found an interesting contrast between the image of "frozen" or motionless "victims" and the "wind-whipped clouds," suggesting motion and change. From this I intuited the speaker to be suggesting that the dynamic action of the wind upon the snow, while appearing to have some type of discernable pattern, is nonetheless random, unpredictable, and ultimately without purpose. I sensed that the speaker is drawing a subtle parallel between this "fallacy" and the idea that there is an understandable reason for the separation from the loved one ("This moment of contrast and my personal response to the deep hard frost between us"). I have two minor suggestions about the mechanics of the first stanza. First, though the piece seems to deliberately eschew some "clarifying" punctuation, I think "nights" might be changed to "night's" since it is obviously a possessive in context ("The previous night's delivery"). Second, I believe "promotes" might be changed to "promote" since the subject of the "poetic sentence" is "clouds," a plural noun, separated from the verb "promotes" by two prepositional phrases ("of blowing remnants" and "of the previous night's delivery"). Thus the syntax boils down to "clouds promote." I was really struck by several lines in the second stanza. I think you achieve here what many successful poets do by engaging the reader with several wonderful images while simultaneously giving greater meaning to the first stanza. I love the image of "the habitual dance steps of Aurora's hidden lights"; the juxtaposition of the expected visual sensation with an auditory response is quite striking and frankly beautiful. I was also impressed by how the poem's many images seemed to coalesce with these lines: "This moment of contrast (the speaker versus the environment and the dichotomy of the sun's warmth melting the snow) and my personal response to the deep hard frost between us (here a suggestion of who the victims alluded to earlier may be)/Bear striking similarities with warm flowing tears and puddles under my muklaks." Suddenly, the snow's melting is transformed in the speaker's mind (and in this reader's mind) into the melting of his heart and his wish to share previously hidden or unexpressed emotion (presumably love mixed with sadness and regret) with the absent loved one. I enjoyed how the final images of "iceflows" and "frozen pieces of the past" tie the outward, physical landscape to the inner, emotional landscape of the speaker's longing. The speaker knows the past is unchangeable and thus frozen as is the environment he is describing, but he hopes for the chance to "intermingle" the unhapiness of the past with a revelation to the beloved of how he feels in the present. I wondered if "the chunks of me washed away" represented the parts of the speaker that he must inevitably lose as he flows through life and thus changes, or if they suggested painful memories and the tears shed over them. My personal response was to "see" both, and as such I think the line is a poignant, unifying close to a very impressive piece. Bravo. Mell Morris

This Poem was Critiqued By: Jennifer j Hill On Date: 2004-02-02 09:41:40
Critiquer Rating During Critique: 9.90476
Mick, for all the ice in this piece, it's funny how it warms my heart. You have a way with words, there's no doubt of that. I am enjoying this more with every read. Right away I can relate to what you are saying and find it delightful with all the alliteration-- sun/shining, rays/reflecting, While/wind/whipped, striking/similarities, with/warm. You also employ assonance as if you invented the term. And theres just something about that word mukluks. It adds a definate northern flavor to this piece along with Aurora's hidden lights and other phrases. I think maybe there's a coma missing in line 9? Thanks for such an enjoyable read, Mick. Blessings, Jennifer
This Poem was Critiqued By: Regis L Chapman On Date: 2004-01-21 00:36:51
Critiquer Rating During Critique: 8.73333
This is a great contrasting poem. It's written in an unconventional style, with long lines and the soft mixed with the hard. I like that variety of contrasts given to the imagery of the poem and the finish is super. It's a lot of poem for a few lines. Well done. Thanks, REEG!
This Poem was Critiqued By: Debbie L Fischer On Date: 2004-01-17 23:06:07
Critiquer Rating During Critique: 1.00000
Hi Mick.. This poem is very descriptive. I especially liked white-ice walls,furnace like warmth and wind whipped clouds. The chill of the present combined with the warmth of a bright future flows nicely and the ending speaks of hope and desire of a brighter, warmer future. Well done. I truly enjoy these poems that relate to life. Deb:)
This Poem was Critiqued By: marilyn terwilleger On Date: 2004-01-13 15:19:22
Critiquer Rating During Critique: 9.33333
Hi Mick, I haven't seen any of your work in a long time...glad to see you are writing and creating again! I just did a crit on another poem about the effects of winter...guess we are all ready for spring! You have some wonderful alliterations in this piece...snow/sun/shining..while/wind/ whipped...striking/similarities...especially when read aloud. My favorite line is..."the tapping sound beating in time to the habitual dance steps to Aurora's hidden lights" I think I would have made two lines out of it without sacrificing the impact of the words..but that is just me. Underneath the words or between the lines (which ever) there is a tone of sadness..."warm flowing tears"..."if you were here"..."frozen pieces of the past intermingled with renewed hope, chunks of me washed away"...I would like to know if your loved one (sweetness) is gone forever such as in death or failure of a relationship. "chunks of me washed away" is a line full of pathos so I feel that you are really grieving for some reason. I like the poem a lot justs needs a little tweeking here and there and you have a winner! Peace...Marilyn
This Poem was Critiqued By: Claire H. Currier On Date: 2004-01-11 13:57:32
Critiquer Rating During Critique: 9.25000
Hi Poet....perhaps you might want to take in the sides a bit of the structure to keep the words on the screen in sight of the reader so they won't have such a hard find reading this........other then that the word flow is really good, the images you project with the flare of your pen stand out and the thoughts of others out in the cold night air in those freezing temps brought to my own mind thoughts of last night when I was driving home with my husband from a dinner party.......I thought how horrible it must be to be a homeless person but how painfully horrid it must be to be out in tonights cold night air with tems well below zero and the wind chill even making it the more cold......I shivered and wanted to find some just to bring them home.....if I am reading you right I then enjoyed the reference to ice chunks and the melting of one's heart and soul from past experiences and the warmth which has been replaced by good friends..... The following sticks out for me........good show my friend..... If you were here sweetness I would show you my iceflows Frozen pieces of the past intermingled with renewed hope, chunks of me washed away Thank you for posting and sharing this with safe and God Bless, Claire
This Poem was Critiqued By: Turner Lee Williams On Date: 2004-01-11 02:29:37
Critiquer Rating During Critique: 9.71429
Mick--At a glance, several alliterations jump out (snow on sun shining/rays reflecting/while wind- whipped/striking similarities/with warm), which is a good start. I see excellent potential in this offering, but also some syntax problems. The format is in some disarray and very hard to follow. Your effort needs a bit of work to sort out its poetics. Please revise and re-post. TLW
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