This Poem was Submitted By: Jane A Day On Date: 2005-01-29 20:22:14 . . . Click Here To Mail this Poem to a Friend!

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Tree and Leaf

Tree and Leaf Does the liquid amber pity its leaves— the birdshit and wind, the caterpillar and nesting ever singing birds. Does it pity the fall—the new dying-- even as it envies the colors blinding the sun for the reddest red   and the yellow that will stay curled in a child’s hand,  a crumpled  and still fragment of earth. Does the amber sway more than the evergreen in winter? Do its branches hum out a lullaby?  Do its roots offer comfort to the leaves as they tumble, stutter and swirl to the street and make boats in the gutter— to become some old man’s clutter? The skin of this poem grows thin between me and the tree  or is it me and the leaves. The leaves and I? The tree and I?

Copyright © January 2005 Jane A Day

This Poem was Critiqued By: Sandee L McMullan On Date: 2005-02-05 02:29:09
Critiquer Rating During Critique: 9.66667
Title: Tree and Leaf ~ The title is appealing and invitational to the reader. Its simplicity forms an image and is clear. First line I suggest drop "the", as it is specifies a certain liquid which is not described here, so it confuses. "Does liquid amber pity its leaves". (Does tree's/sun's liquid amber pity the leaves) There is always a risk when using "it/its", as the reference to what it is must be close so clarity is given. I would think "its" is the tree leaves? but not sure. I think a connection word after leaves would help the flow into the second line. Perhaps "with/as". The em-dash here may not act in the best interest of the connection. "Does [the] liquid amber pity its leaves (with) birdshit and wind, the caterpillar and nesting" The rest of the first stanza is filled with delightful images, unique in wording. Perhaps present tense for will stay will help give some instant drama to the child's hand. The word "still" to me is fluff imo. > "a crumpled fragment of earth" brings this to an emote instantly. "Do [its] branches hum out a lullaby? "Do branches hum out a lullaby?" its, is understood here, not needed. Again with "Do [its] roots ... "amber sway" is a little stumble in reading. The place for a question is a good one. However, a tad abstract is amber, and this goes back to what is meant in the beginning line of this piece. The image of boats in the gutter comes alive. good one. However, not sure if the rhyme with clutter works as no other end rhymes are in this piece. If I may suggest moving the clutter within the line rather than at the end; I think the poem for me ends with this line as a summation. A shift in the last stanza moves away in another direction addressing the poem and the Me or I. This seems more like a bit of a ponder within, imo, does not add to the rest of the imagery or content, rather a distraction; this last stanza is the weakest part. I like being left with the image of the old man and his clutter, as this character is a live on the mind screen and I can settle with a feeling of being satisfied with a dramatic finish to the poem, and the summation hitting the title "trees and leaf" at this point. Overall, a good read, I enjoyed. . . . regards

This Poem was Critiqued By: arnie s WACHMAN On Date: 2005-01-31 18:56:41
Critiquer Rating During Critique: 9.68421
The whole poem is a mystery because it leaves me fallen...just kidding...just a play on your words here. I guess the answer to your last question would be "onion skin"? Okay. I'm getting tired. Oh if only trees could talk. I wonder what it says as I chop my wood. Anyway, it is an interesting piece. Kind of rhetorical and waiting for spring I guess. Thank you for posting.
This Poem was Critiqued By: Joanne M Uppendahl On Date: 2005-01-31 16:25:57
Critiquer Rating During Critique: 10.00000
Jane: This poem offers a wealth of imagery. I think you offer a view of the life of this tree and leaf as a unit, perhaps as well as that of the tree and speaker. Perhaps another view is that of life and death as part of the same unitive experience. My favorite lines: "The skin of this poem grown thin" and "Do its roots offer comfort to [the] leaves" I couldn't help but read this without 'the' and like resulting pared-down effect. See what you think ... "Does [the] liquid amber pity its leaves— [the] birdshit and wind, [the] caterpillar and nesting" There is an unsettled, 'becoming' tone in the piece, as if the speaker really reaches into the reader's consciousness to ask these questions from within. Another thought: The exquisite falls colors of the liquid amber tree could be a metaphor for mortality. Ought we to pity the dying (and ourselves) as the experiences of transformation may be more to be 'envied' than the seeming sameness of the (immortal) evergreen. I love this poem. Thank you for another chance to contemplate trees, leaves and one of your poems. Best, Joanne
This Poem was Critiqued By: Claire H. Currier On Date: 2005-01-30 16:08:57
Critiquer Rating During Critique: 9.80392
Poet this is structured well, nice word flow... "tumble, stutter and swirl"... offers and projects images created with the flare of your pen......."make boats in the gutter" and for those of us who have no gutter to find the boats in the streams passing by.......or in the middle of a puddle after a heavy rain......lots of food here is like that as well, we take a path, perhaps we tumble and fall but we try to get back up and continue on learning from the experience of the swirl felt..... thank you for posting and sharing with us, God Bless, Claire
This Poem was Critiqued By: Tony P Spicuglia On Date: 2005-01-30 12:17:10
Critiquer Rating During Critique: 9.97436
Jane, this piece carries a biting, cynical view of the natural world, or a metaphor of humanity. It is often difficult, without crib notes from an author to decide the motivation for a piece. This seems directed, and I am unsure of the audience, it could be I am part of it. Certainly, this piece is not the sole principal of tree and leaf. Tree and Leaf – You have set the stage, and now, we are all ready to climb and see!! Does the liquid amber pity its leaves— the birdshit and wind, the caterpillar and nesting – (birdshit, that was a powerful editorial) ever singing birds. Does it pity the fall—the new dying-- even as it envies the colors blinding the sun for the reddest red and the yellow that will stay curled in a child’s hand, a crumpled and still fragment of earth. – We are observing the world through the eyes of “amber”, and how that tree sap would view the living/passing of its associated namesake. Amber, being the lifeblood, and the resiliency of a trees death, if so endowed, would be the perfect observer to consider your questions. To pity amber must consider death a more permanent event, rather than a cyclical response. The colors of the tree leaves are directly responsive to the level of cold, and how soon/much, the vessels in the leaves close down to forbid the passing of sap. I guess, since the prohibition of amber would be like shunning the leaves, to save the tree, there might be a certain bitterness. In the end, it is mankind, a child, that “crumples” what was once natural and alive. (A metaphor?) Does the amber sway more than the evergreen in winter? Do its branches hum out a lullaby? – I wondered at this stanza, of “amber swaying”, the producer of amber has been extinct for some time, but I assume you are using “poetic license” and that amber is the sap of any tree. The question would be does the pine sway more than the evergreen, and it’s branches hum a lullaby. I believe the virtue is in contrast to the first stanza, and thus asks, is there “celebration” at the loss of summers life to winters demise. Again, a retort of death rather than cycles, of personal rather than macro. Do its roots offer comfort to the leaves as they tumble, stutter and swirl to the street and make boats in the gutter— to become some old man’s clutter? – Here we have a concrete prediction, that the sap remains “alive” within the tree as the leaves die, and does it care that it is directly responsible for that loss. And then again, we see man, taking the final “judgment” on the natural world, and it is not a flattering look. (Metaphor?) The skin of this poem grows thin between me and the tree or is it me and the leaves. The leaves and I? The tree and I? – A rhetorical stanza, to end an introspective analysis. “The skin of this poem”, and as we know, sap is exposed through breaks in the skin of a tree. The moniker of self and tree, mankind and the natural world, or mankind and the passing of the natural world? I take on with you the question of leaves or tree. For me the metaphor is strangely divergent, and as what was in mankind is no longer, I feel the tree has turned the corner. Amber, worn around the neck, a tribute, if you will. Jane, I may have missed completely your point, but I feel I found a treasure of “pointedness” in your craft.
This Poem was Critiqued By: Rachel F. Spinoza On Date: 2005-01-30 11:36:03
Critiquer Rating During Critique: 8.87500
Does the liquid amber pity its leaves— oooohhh ye yes for a scond i thought the amber was the gurggly substance with not the tree- but that is probably just just Balic me. the birdshit and wind,[great little set] the caterpillar and nesting ever singing birds. Does it pity the fall—the new dying--[cooool] even as it envies the colors blinding the sun for the reddest red lovely and lovlier said the voice of the turtle and the yellow that will stay curled in a child’s hand, a crumpled and still fragment of earth. the best line ever yet - what a hellova haiku that would make - or ]for that matter any combination of any above thought would sing as haiku Does the amber sway more than the evergreen in winter? dunno Do its branches hum out a lullaby? hmmm - this is tettering dangerously close to maudlin Do its roots offer comfort to the leaves [nice] as they tumble, stutter and swirl [great] to the street and make boats in the gutter— [a la Mr Chang and the unemploiyed rabbi?] to become some old man’s clutter? this orphan rhyme puzzles me - and do old men collect leaves? The skin of this poem grows thin between me and the tree [ahhhh there's my janie!} or is it me and the leaves. The leaves and I? The tree and I? It's the leaves and me - but what a great great ending! kiss kiss Ronet
This Poem was Critiqued By: Kelly Denise LaBeff On Date: 2005-01-30 03:04:22
Critiquer Rating During Critique: 9.95455
Poet Jane A Day, Greetings! First off, let me say, so I won't forget to comment on it afterwards, before I even finish your verse that this line, "tumble, stutter and swirl"... offers an active alliteration and quite an image of vision as well, loved it! Okay, now, let me go back up and read the rest......I just had to do that because so often after I hit "submit" I go, "OH! I didn't go back and comment on this or that...this time, I wanted to make sure I got in everything I wanted to say!" You made this part of your 3rd stanza's 3rd line, "make boats in the gutter" fun and alive by giving the leaf a lasting personality of life: a leaf growing weak on its limb, better said on its last limb was carried by the spirit of nature, a soft blowing wind, to its resting place of death - not yet a final resting place, but rather on earth ---- "the street's gutter" where normally would be other things of clutter and like debris {{this leaf}},,,after falling from its mother, the tree]! Just as importantly, you point out [or] at least I chose to take it from your 1st stanza's last two lines: "the yellow .....a crumpled and still fragment of earth," the leaf was old and golden - golden with age like golden oldie, nevertheless gold is a perfect hue for this creation made anew: the poet's BOAT! This is the most lovely line, such a sweet and beautiful sentiment! I love it and its imagery, I can see it, floating....I'll never look at another leaf floating in ditches or gutters, in water without remembering your verse! WOW! Lastly, your verse's summation: it poses a good question! I think your first response, but vice-versa as "between the tree and me" suits this verse best, agree? Otherwise as for posing questions in your first through third stanzas...that aspect really gives one a lot to think about, which should be the intent of every great poet. I especially like pondering this one, "branches hum out a lullaby?" You did a FABO job creating spoken and unspoken visuals to stimulate the picture for and the imagination of your readers! Overall a great great read. Thanks for sharing, Kelly
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