This Poem was Submitted By: Lennard J. McIntosh On Date: 2005-01-20 17:16:39 . . . Click Here To Mail this Poem to a Friend!

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After The Wind Speaks

It still is heard              beyond the roar That rails over ocean wave towers  And brings back a chiseled image  Onto the page of memory Like the howl that twists A tornado’s untamed heart In that single southern terror  That swaths its summer storms Quite equal to the feral charge Through Northern spruce that leans Heavily to file the definitive protest, Yet lingers regal, in the character That root            among ancient boreal rock Or, the tempestuous rage Of a mid-November night When sleet rain is dashed  In vertical sheets, like sand  blown from arctic deserts Then, to gush over conifer groves  As they make ready a gentle cover  Housed in each yawning snow drift, To hunker under, when their backs Are peppered by frost and fury   That issue         from the gust and gale canons That later tire, and rest in silence Like the souls              of those absent in death, Like lips deprived of human speech, Like mighty men relieved of power. 

Copyright © January 2005 Lennard J. McIntosh

This Poem was Critiqued By: Troy D Skroch On Date: 2005-02-06 03:16:58
Critiquer Rating During Critique: 9.33333
Lennard, Wow, such strong writing. I can appreciate the fury of a good winter storm being that I live in Wisconsin, but I don't think I could have captured the feeling of a harsh cold blow coupled with the silence that follows in a form so defined and driven as you have. The first stanza is great. To me it says "behold I am the wind and am mighty. You will not forget me.!" Going on to say "I am the terror of the tornado, the charge through spruce, the rage of November, remember me even when I'm as still as a corpse." Great use of words and phrases to associate like "ancient boreal rock", "single southern terror", "tempestuous", "and from the gust and gale cannons". Good stuff for this reader. I feel like I'm in Middle Earth all of a sudden trying to cross the mountains. LOL Or strapped to the wheel of a ship. Strong, hard fighting feelings. Maybe I'm just violent. Comes from living up North. LOL Great ending. Strong lines exemplifying the silence that follows. And it quiets the poem down like a dying wind. Good use of poetic device. A real strong piece of writing. Bravo. I enjoyed the quality of your work. Thank you, Troy

This Poem was Critiqued By: Paul R Lindenmeyer On Date: 2005-02-01 22:43:15
Critiquer Rating During Critique: 9.45455
Lennard, wonderful personification of the breath and respiration of nature across creations' landscape. Love the interaction and alliterations presented. "single southern terror that swaths its southern storms", "frost and fury", "gust and gale", from tempest and terror to" rest in silence", the piece reverberates, much like the subject itself, living, breathing, at rest or howling and twisting. I love observations of natures' power and submissiveness, always existing with reason and method when viewed from a poetic viewpoint. Well done overview, that flows easily and puts the reader on the wings of the wind. Thanks for the refreshing post. Peace, Paul
This Poem was Critiqued By: Claire H. Currier On Date: 2005-01-25 08:35:06
Critiquer Rating During Critique: 9.82143
Wow, poet, this one is so the emotions it brings forth, the feelings of power with the winds that rock the country, different ways, different times, different places but still does the same for that can associate wind in many forms and manners as well and it seems you have touched them all.......I was once in a small tornado here in Massachusetts, where tornadoes do not form often, thank God, and it will be etched in my memory forever.....the beauty of the day covered within minutes by the deep darkness of night as the sound of a train is heard roaring down the road.....the roof of the workplace begins to lift, a flower pot spins in the big front window as it readies for flight.....the crashing sound around us as one large elm falls against another then onto cars in parking lot.......and then its gone, qiet as the time before, five minutes is all it took and the destruction has a way of doing what the wind does to you if you let it run away......thanks for the post poet, the thoughts and images safe, God Bless, Claire
This Poem was Critiqued By: Tony P Spicuglia On Date: 2005-01-22 13:19:36
Critiquer Rating During Critique: 9.95238
Lennard, what a pleasure to read this piece. On a personal note, aside from scent, the sound of wind and the ocean bring back the most strident of all my memories, and if I wasn’t so in love with the ocean, the wind would be my chosen paramour. An excellent adventure you give rise to in this verse!! After The Wind Speaks – A great title, it tells us the subject, but also prepares us for the anthem, a “fore-mention” of things to come that have already passed!! What a splendid juxtaposition. It still is heard beyond the roar That rails over ocean wave towers And brings back a chiseled image Onto the page of memory – In this stanza you let me know, that the memory that is passed, is still living, that what was, is, and that the memory is only a partial to the entire story. I particularly liked “rails” a very underused verb that connotes a tertiary meaning of “rage” “travel by train (a metaphor for transiting, in this piece)”, and “to enclose or barricade” which although not directly imaged in this piece, the use of “towers” adds the image of “forbidding” which enhances the third derivation of “rails”. I particularly liked your use of “a chiseled image”, for those images, most pronounce, (at least for me) were often the images less intrusive in my life. Like the howl that twists A tornado’s untamed heart In (Is?) that single southern terror That swaths its summer storms – I can recall, as a child, my aunt grabbing us children from the lake, putting us in the car, and driving fast. We asked why, and at first she wouldn’t tell us, but then I saw, off to the left, the twister. We avoided a catastrophe, but it will forever remain with me. Your use of “untamed heart” and “swath” does a great job of reinforcing the means of your vision in this stanza. As one who has seen the “extreme humidity and quiet” of a storm system about to spawn tornados, “summer storms” makes a great mark of imagery. Quite equal to the feral charge Through Northern spruce that leans Heavily to file the definitive protest, Yet lingers regal, in the character That root among ancient boreal rock – I have always wanted to spend an extended time northward, in Canada, and Alaska, to see the Borealis, and know the untamed (if you will) wildlife and forests they host. I have known several who have spent time in those areas, and they have spoken of the “winds” that characterize the “normalcy” of living north. “Feral” is an apt description of what they have shared with me, and the hearty spruce (is there a heartier tree?, I don’t think so), protesting the wind, while maintaining it’s “regal” nature in the face of it. Great descriptive stanza. Or, the tempestuous rage Of a mid-November night When sleet rain is dashed In vertical sheets, like sand blown from arctic deserts – Although even the lower 48 know well that “artic” breath when it is blown, I can imagine the impact farther north. Because of the “jet streams” my friends have told me that often, when we are coldest in Minnesota, there is a warm spell in Alaska because the wind-stream gathers over Canada, and due to the jet stream, it isolates in relative “calmness” the mid-coastal area of Alaska. I know this, I have been found in your “sleet rain” “dashing” and the cold is bone chilling due to the rising of humidity. Then, to gush over conifer groves As they make ready a gentle cover Housed in each yawning snow drift, To hunker under, when their backs Are peppered by frost and fury That issue from the gust and gale canons That later tire, and rest in silence – The “yawning”, “hunkering”, “peppered”, “canons” all bring alive the methodology and properties of the wind, and set us up for your “coup d'grace”, the silence. And when we get there, even reading a poem, it is welcome because we are expired!! Like the souls of those absent in death, Like lips deprived of human speech, Like mighty men relieved of power. – I don’t know if your “seasonal” poem was also “current events”, but the final metaphoric comparison of the wind calming, the soldiers dying, stolen (silenced) lips “of freedoms stolen?”, and mighty men deposed is shrill as the winds of the north. I sense a motion of protest in it, but a protest of candor and care, which is oft missing in these days, and nobody know “where the wind will blow”, but I hope for man, that the liberty sought brings solace. Thanks Lennard, a wonderful piece.
This Poem was Critiqued By: Mell W. Morris On Date: 2005-01-21 14:31:57
Critiquer Rating During Critique: 10.00000
Len: So nice to have one of your poems on my list, a rare occasion. Great title which suggests a nature poem. Wind is your main metaphor with others along the way and it is impossible in one short review to note and do justice to all your poetics here. Be aware they are duly noted whether alliteration, personification and such. It seems the wind yet speaks to you after it has passed and you give us six or seven similes to make your points. I am also intrigued by most of your verbs which are perfect for your depiction of "After the Wind." If I may: Rail, howl, twist, swaths, dashed, peppered, blown, gush over, hunker under, and so on. You first compare the wind to a tornado...most fittingly....howl, twist with its untamed heart. (Great). Nice to the ears are the euphonious single/southern,swaths/ summer/storms. Allits like those do not ring my doorbell often. All I'm doing now is an exegesis but I see nothing to change except that if you punctuate in places, you punctuate in entirety. None or all, the Mellism of the day. "Feral charge" is an example of Len linguistry as is "ancient boreal rock". At this point, I would be thinking, Okay, okay, you never left because you work your charm and grace in vertical sheets of sleet. This I have experienced, frost and frury, gust and gale. And finally silence. Souls resting in death, lips deprived of speech, mighty men relieved of power. Simply and intricately exquisite. I feel a full blast here not merely a summation of what the wind can do. In other words, your use of symbolism is equal to Frost's (at times) and is much more obvious than his. I have a sense of your reining yourself in, playing your cards close to the chest. There is emotion here, a plethora of emotion, but it's not found in exact words...more at the feeling state on my part. I greatly enjoyed your poem and it will go on my list. (Do not get excited, I usually have about 17 pts max). I'd like to see you submit it to one of the lit mags that want nature- related work. Last but not least, I've received one crit from you since you've been here, if memory is accurate and I recall its depth of observation. Soooooooooo, if you're just hanging out, no beer in the fridge, TV out of order, you've called everyone you know and they are busy, then take a look-see at "Aleutian Getaway", my poem this month. I will be properly appreciative. Bravo! for this poem. Mell Morris
This Poem was Critiqued By: Kelly Denise LaBeff On Date: 2005-01-21 04:02:42
Critiquer Rating During Critique: 9.85714
Hi Mr. Lennard, Okay, let's tackle this verse. [smile] For my opening line I guess I'll say that your use of descriptive language gives exuberance to each stanza’s suggested imagery or portrayed innate form of being throughout your verse. You were able to provoke this reader’s senses whether it be that of sight or sound and often evoking fear and awe with the vividness of your details from beginning to end. Your choice of alliteration using ‘’r’s’’, ‘’g’s’’, ‘’s’s’’, ‘’h’s’’, and ‘’t’s’’ gives an animated voice that actually speaks for the wind as your title suggests that was actually in sync with the imagery aiding each stanza...great exercise of talent! Secondly, you definitely know the soul of a tornado except what only takes a “single southern terror” in truth seems to last forever and nothing is single about it when it‘s happening...but, you’re right with single as was written. It’s strange like that because a tornado comes so quickly, but it really does seem to outlast a lifetime. Going on, you demonstrated terrific metaphoric use within each stanza comparing a variety of aspects from natural splendor to demise to other sites equal in stature. Lastly, the summation of your verse : [[Like the souls of those absent in death, Like lips deprived of human speech, Like mighty men relieved of power.]] Quite frankly sums it up to a T or literally speaking as did your pen deprives it to a T in some shape, form or fashion - can’t tie it with a pretty ribbon though because like you said, in so many words - the memory of something that once was, but through some sort of peril, be it by chance or menace, perished or lost its luster nonetheless - isn’t pretty, but rather it’s devastating! To you, however, an accolade of poetic merit is given. That’s for sharing,, Kelly
This Poem was Critiqued By: Joanne M Uppendahl On Date: 2005-01-20 17:45:30
Critiquer Rating During Critique: 10.00000
Lennard: The effect of this poem on me is as if I had spent time alone near Northern spruce, listening to the aftermath of wind and storms with "feral charge" -- to something which I have not considered in a very long time (if ever): deafening silence. This is a sensory image that is extremely striking. The poem is one of the finest I have read on this site -- and in my humble opinion, deserves much wider publication. The 'sonics' are incredible - yet I have the feeling that I ought to 'simmer down' as my father would have said to me when I was young. There is such an immensity to this piece that it inspires my reverence as well as enthusiasm. Other readers, I'm certain, will be stunned by its impact. "Like the howl that twists A tornado’s untamed heart" -- compelling personification here In that single southern terror That swaths its summer storms (original and powerful use of sibilants) Quite equal to the feral charge Through Northern spruce that leans Heavily to file the definitive protest, Yet lingers regal, in the character(s?) That root among ancient boreal rock --chill-making, extraordinary phrase here "When sleet rain is dashed In vertical sheets, like sand blown from arctic deserts" These lines above are evocative for this reader of awe - the awe felt when observing the power of the natural elements, and humanity's inability to mimic or forestall same. "Housed in each yawning snow drift, To hunker under, when their backs Are peppered by frost and fury" ----WONDERFUL! "hunker under" and "frost and fury" are extremely puissant phrases. I feel a bit like a paleontologist having discovered a fossil bed. Thrilled and at a loss for words, other than 'wow' which isn't nearly what I want to say! That issue from the gust and gale canons --marvelously eloquent use of hard 'g' That later tire, and rest in silence Now -- the best lines in the poem (which is saying a lot) for this reader: (Like the souls of those absent in death,) -- reverence is palpable here, along with sorrow Like lips deprived of human speech, Like mighty men relieved of power. These similes are especially effective because they do not pretend to do other than suggest what the silence "is" -- it is 'like' something indescribable. But your description in these lines has made me imagine what it would be like to experience this vacuum. How can the absence of something be such a strong presence? The poet LJM convinces me that it is nearly unknowable, and that if I silence my own racing thoughts sufficiently, I might experience more of this overwhelming silence which comes "after the wind speaks." Bravo! Congratulations on this fine achievement. My best, Joanne
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