This Poem was Submitted By: Thomas Edward Wright On Date: 2006-01-20 08:30:54 . . . Click Here To Mail this Poem to a Friend!
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Copyright © January 2006 Thomas Edward Wright
Soon, a Year
tall tales and coffee settle us into an ease.
the trees we'd planted thirty years ago too.
and the gray grit that shingles shed sits in.
the rickety deck strains to contain us.
laughter rumbles; now there's beer, wine,
and lubricated minds empty their souls.
no one mentions the oak's interest;
no one climbs her knee, grabs her waist,
hugs her thick, barky trunk tight,
nor eyes the tears coursing down her face.
the grandkids huddle around the fire,
shifting beneath her wide arms
that seem to shudder above us.
how great - how little - difference
a dozen moons make; or should.
how we measure that difference
seems a mystical math, or myth.
one's inch another's mile, a smile wide;
or a bottle, or a belt-notch bigger; a wrinkle,
a clumsy hello, a firmer shake, a harder hug.
it's not a year, or a day, or a minute -
it's walk to the top of the hill
and from there the sunset seems
more than life should offer,
more than death could take away.
This Poem was Critiqued By: Thomas H. Smihula On Date: 2006-02-07 07:30:31
Critiquer Rating During Critique: 9.60526
This is my favorite of yours for the month. It has flow, it has presentation, its has a complete thought, it has life within it. I can get my teeth into this very easily. Well done nothing more needs to be said. Thank you so much for sharing.
This Poem was Critiqued By: Dellena Rovito On Date: 2006-02-03 19:40:15
Critiquer Rating During Critique: 9.20000
and from there the sunset seems, more than life should offer, more than death could take away.
yes, in fact it is!
This sounds like someone you love died a year ago, and you miss her deeply.
you feel her presence in everything.....[yes].
And so you write........
This Poem was Critiqued By: James C. Horak On Date: 2006-02-02 16:42:02
Critiquer Rating During Critique: 9.96154
Poets have long thought the expanse of a tree's life
made good context for reaching beyond the limitations
of our own durations. So many marks in life's progression
can be tied to events harbored near or under that
wonderful spreading oak in the backyard or the elm that
skirts the curb of the street. Hardly any family event is
remiss in having snapshots that include an interceeding
bough or strong gridded trunk included.
This "mystical math", how we measure that, "difference a
dozen moons make;" can find, "more than death could take
away". Obtaining this, you progress the measure of life's
progress in its own enduring qualities, paralleling the
stoic existence of a tree with the unended event the
memory can make of those, now, timeless moments...wherein
"one's inch" becomes not only, perhaps, "another's mile",
possibly even an etermity.
Soon, a Year, like Everyman's identity, and Whitman's
woods, never an end.
By the way, Thomas, I am thoroughly disgusted that
people here would presume to address critiques and yet
ignore the superiority of your, A Woman Combing, in order
to play games. There isn't any excuse for this.
This Poem was Critiqued By: Sean Donaghy On Date: 2006-01-27 01:20:40
Critiquer Rating During Critique: 1.00000
TEH - Oh, my! This is lovely, lovely! So often anniversary tributes melt into sappy syrup,
not fit for a cold griddle-cake. But, here, the memories of one who is missing are tangible,
touchable and a clear picture of the joy that was in the making of them. I love this poem.
It has a feel to it!
This Poem was Critiqued By: Gerard Andrew Geiger On Date: 2006-01-26 09:28:22
Critiquer Rating During Critique: 1.00000
A wonderful,thoughtful, poignant work on the
passing of the years....reminisced as you ponder
the aged oak around which you raised your family...
I like this work....it has all the feeling and understanding
of a life well spent, and well thought. without going
into all the petty details. I come away refreshed
with the rightness of this wholesome work...
Thanks for sharing,
This Poem was Critiqued By: Mark Andrew Hislop On Date: 2006-01-22 23:10:25
Critiquer Rating During Critique: 10.00000
Funny world, the poetic one. After discovering that I was the sole dissenting voice respoding to "A Woman Combing", I come to this and I see a work far superior to "Combing".
There is far more life and beauty here than in the other. This is a function of the more effortless, less laboured imagery, and the thread of narrative that runs unbroken through the poem's length. Likewise the vision is simultaneously more expansive and more accessible than the other. There is a deeper and more profound beauty and meaning in "it's not a year, or a day, or a minute -/it's [a] walk to the top of the hill/and from there the sunset seems/more than life should offer,/more than death could take away" here than in the entirety of "Combing."
Likewise, "how great - how little - difference/a dozen moons make; or should./how we measure that difference/seems a mystical math, or myth" is so thought-provoking, so arousing of the reader's own interiority, that Wallace should have been invoked here rather than elsewhere. I can see the chest of this stanza rising and falling as it lives and breathes: "the grandkids huddle around the fire,shifting beneath her wide arms/that seem to shudder above us."
The whole strength here lies in the immediacy of language, the lived experience it conveys. Sorry if you're getting tired of my comparing this to "Combing", but here it seems as if you have physically inhabited the images, and thus they inhabit you and this poem, whereas in "Combing" they are intellectualised to a stultifying degree.
Dunno why, but I get the feeling this poem will end up a "sleeper" this month.
Which would be a shame, because I think it's the pick of your offerings for January.
This Poem was Critiqued By: arnie s WACHMAN On Date: 2006-01-20 16:45:43
Critiquer Rating During Critique: 9.42857
I settled into an ease from your first lines. There are many trees to climb in this rain forest, but alack I am too old and my grand-kids too far away. Brought back memories of the oak tree I used to climb, most of the time scared to death! I even found it hard to climb that damn rope in the gymnasium! I like the human like description you have of this tree. Very original. And the bottle and belt notcher indeed. Guess I'm in the latter catagory hahaha. The last passage is very whimsical. Good title. I enjoyed it.
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