This Poem was Submitted By: Rick Barnes On Date: 2004-04-10 18:58:11 . . . Click Here To Mail this Poem to a Friend!

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I Took You With Me

You have never known That you alone have been beside me Through so many travails. Image among images You glow beyond the pale Incandescent spill. You cast dark contrasting pools With sharp shadow lines That  define the juncture Between where you are And where you are not.  Let there be no confusion, This is not mere illusion Nor a remodeled memory Of what could have been. I have no patience for the past And the last time I saw the my future It was on a spending spree Squandering what little was left of me. No, this is nothing more And nothing less Than all that I have left After I’ve discarded the debris. This is you in me.

Copyright © April 2004 Rick Barnes

This Poem was Critiqued By: Erzahl Leo M. Espino On Date: 2004-05-05 22:39:04
Critiquer Rating During Critique: 9.34483
Hi Rick, How could I miss a poem like this! Again, my favorite “romantic” writer wrote such heart-quenching lyrics. In simple words, in honest language…again you have poured the “real” you. Always the passionate writer, full of ballad, serenading readers like me… “I Took You With Me” --- As always, from the title itself, you already let your readers “taste” a sample of your delicacy. You are one of those poets (one is Joanne Uppendahl) that I observed that is very good in establishing titles. I can feel that you even spend an amount of time for this. And for me, it had paid off for you. Readers like me are attracted to it and very much inspired to try! “You have never known That you alone have been beside me Through so many travails.” --- I really like the word “travails”. This is new to me! You could use the word “trials” (which is so overused) but I’m glad you decided on “travails”. I appreciate the effort of deciding the right words. Great flow! “Image among images” --- Great! I find this super poetic! “You glow beyond the pale Incandescent spill.” --- I like how you combine “nature” with “feelings”! It’s so panoramic! “You cast dark contrasting pools With sharp shadow lines That define the juncture Between where you are And where you are not.” --- Unforgettable language! Your write these beauties effortlessly! “Let there be no confusion, This is not mere illusion Nor a remodeled memory Of what could have been.” --- Magnificent! Mild…comforting…lyrical! These are like lover’s psalms! “I have no patience for the past And the last time I saw the my future It was on a spending spree Squandering what little was left of me.” --- Though the “the” on the second line is a bit off, it didn’t affect the continuous outstanding lyrics. You excel in every line, in every sentence. I like how you explain the relevance of “time”. Yes, “time” and “love” goes hand in hand. Love is perfect timing! “No, this is nothing more And nothing less Than all that I have left After I’ve discarded the debris. This is you in me.” --- Wow, perfect ending! You have handled the whole poem delicately. I like the words “discarded the debris”. Aside from great alliteration, this is also new to me but works very well! Again, I’m amazed by the totality of your poem. Again, another masterpiece! Simple and short but inescapable! You hit our hearts again. Only a true “lover” can write these words. My only regret is that I should have commented this earlier…to let you and others know from the beginning…how beautiful this is. I’m glad that it lately climbed up for it deserves on the top spots. Don’t you ever get tired submitting your splendid entries…you have a fan here! As always, Erzahl :)

This Poem was Critiqued By: Jordan Brendez Bandojo On Date: 2004-04-30 18:03:29
Critiquer Rating During Critique: 9.65714
What a sweet piece, Hi Rick! I have read Marcia's lovely piece and I should continue the lovely thoughts to flare in my heart and mind as I read this. The title alone says everything that draws a woman's heart! LOL! And your first input is more than inspiring: "You have never known That you alone have been beside me Through so many travails." Straight from the heart.... And the last time I saw the my future -- (I think the article "the" is unwanted here.) And the lines continue to be lovely until the end of your poem. Simple words but striking and powerful to gain a woman's heart! I will consider this putting in a card and send it to the one I love! Thanks for sharing the lovely lines, more of it, Rick! Jordan
This Poem was Critiqued By: Wayne R. Leach On Date: 2004-04-24 21:04:48
Critiquer Rating During Critique: 9.62857
Rick, nice easy read, an enjoyable love poem, but with much said <between> the lines, too (IMO). Some nice consonance and many types of rhyme, too. And the last time I saw (the) my future - [delete?] Powerful closing lines, as well. Thanks for posting. Peace. Wayne
This Poem was Critiqued By: Lynda G Smith On Date: 2004-04-12 23:26:19
Critiquer Rating During Critique: 9.50000
Aaaah my dear Breighter, This is music, the lyrics of a soul, bound up in mystery and sensuous imagery. The words 'pale incandescent spill' are only outstripped by the journeys I took as I considered the possibilities; beyond the light of memory, beyond the light given off by others, beyond the light of your daily existence, beyond time, there lies the mystery of who we are and what defines us as a person. To glow beyond the light implies a source of internal power. I know a few people who shine like this... Travails is anchored by pale with such delicacy, your muse must have smiled. I could almost imagine this as an homage to your muse. With silhouettes to simplify, to clearly define, in your own mind, you lay before us a metaphore that is layered with potential. People are often plagued by indecision and loss of place, so that to read these 'sure' words that declare the home that this 'one' has within you, offers incredible comfort. The brevity of the phrasing helps to focus thought. Your internal rhymes are effortless and natural, especially when they continue into phrases that compliment the metre, in a poetic balance. This is a distillation, a soul stripped of dross... were you surprised by these thoughts?? Sometimes poems help me to understand aspects of my being that were "behind a glass darkly' and through this amazing process there is illumination, sometimes for self, hopefully for some who read them. This is such a poem, at least for me. Lynda
This Poem was Critiqued By: Joanne M Uppendahl On Date: 2004-04-12 14:26:49
Critiquer Rating During Critique: 10.00000
Rick: It's difficult, no -- impossible -- for me to respond to this poem in any kind of coherent way which even approaches the effect it has on me. I read it two days ago, and it took me that long to allow the shimmering, shaping effect it had on my consciousness to subside enough to read it again and respond. How on earth (in heaven?) do you do this? Change perception with words, which are abstract symbols? How do you, with language, set ideas in motion which are like eddying pools of star-forming nebulae? I am responding 'as if' the "you" addressed is me. It may be that the speaker's soul addresses the self, or Self. It may be that the speaker addresses an other, or an Other. In any case, I can't respond any other way. The opening lines affect me as if spoken to me. They seem to erase that sense of separateness which is perhaps the greatest suffering possible. That there is a 'you' and a 'me' is the source of more anguish than all of the combined agonies of all lifetimes, you suggest, at least to me. That "you alone" that speaker says, "have been beside me" suggests that the 'others' or the not-self are not in the picture, at least for the consideration of this poem. Not-selves do not exist. And blindly, "I" have "never known" that I "alone have been beside" the speaker "through so many travails." How does the speaker realize that I have "never known" unless the speaker also shares my consciousness? The speaker's infinite compassion for my alone-ness completely dissolves the barrier between us. How does the speaker encompass such knowledge? With the words "so many travails" -- come many associations-- --strenuous and often painful or exhausting work; moil, toil, drudgery, slavery, effort labor, task, grind, exertion, trouble, sorrow, or suffering; anguish, hardship, distress, worry, stress, torture, strain, pain, despair, misery, torment, adversity, angst, grief, trouble, agony, effort and pain of childbirth. Image among images You glow beyond the pale Incandescent spill. "Image among images" seems to define a specific image that becomes visible, distinct among others. "Seeing" happens when our consciousness is focused upon a single image, perhaps. The behavior of sub-atomic particles seems dependent upon the observer. Again, the concept of star-forming nurseries illumines this work for me in "You glow beyond the pale" and the imagery becomes even brighter (almost unbearably bright) with "Incandescent spill." Heat or fire expands outward - "incandescence" implies radiant visibility. And what is the mind or eye which perceives this radiance but another radiance itself? The dark matter of space, of no-thing, offers brilliant chiaroscuro juxtaposed with "incandescent spill." Perhaps it was here - or earlier - when I began to lose my sense of separate self, to become disoriented. Thinking of the "juncture//Between where you are and where you are not" left me wandering unmoored. Let there be no confusion, This is not mere illusion Nor a remodeled memory Of what could have been. So close to -- on the point of -- almost there. To dispense with "confusion/illusion" would be the greatest joy imaginable. You remind us that we DO struggle with "remodeled memory" of things that have never existed! Mastery of the "could have been" must be the greatest travail. But you release us from that. All mental constructs may be, at last, surrendered. And you lighten the burden of remembering "past" failures with light-filled humor: I have no patience for the past And the last time I saw the my future It was on a spending spree Squandering what little was left of me. --- WONDERFUL! Is the "little" that was left of the speaker the last of his/her conviction of ego-separateness? Or was it the little selves multiplying infinitely into dramas which will flash and pop in a non-existent future? No, this is nothing more And nothing less Than all that I have left After I’ve discarded the debris. --incredible What freedom is suggested. What purification. What luminous trails open before the 'we' of us. This is you in me. I am utterly at a loss for words here. Probably the most powerful, compelling, terrifying last line I have ever read, taken literally. To miss this moment (that moment) is to miss it all entirely. I will come back again and again to try to comprehend what this poem is saying to me personally (impersonally) --a call which must be answered but which is unanswerable. In the "you in me" and the "I in you" we live - without it, we perish. But not irredeemably. "This IS you in me" is imperishable. The world falls away before a poem like this. In awe, Joanne
This Poem was Critiqued By: Thomas Edward Wright On Date: 2004-04-12 05:46:47
Critiquer Rating During Critique: 9.28000
One could find an "other" at work here, or take this as an image of self-discovery, finding a part of yourself that you had ignored or "reasoned" away. I suspect the former from you, so it's probably the latter you intended. the language is classic Barnes, sparse and to the point. Whatever that is. Scheffer told me not to talk about the point. So there. I didn't. tom
This Poem was Critiqued By: Irene E Fraley On Date: 2004-04-11 11:26:23
Critiquer Rating During Critique: 9.50000
Hi Rick, This is a poem of love to me. Whether you are speaking to a mother, father, lover, child, this is a poem of love. The imagery in this poem is beautifuly spare, setting a tone of angles, sharpness and contrast. It reminds me of a pen and ink sketch. The depth of love is shown by all that is discarded, pared, to reach the essential of what the individual has meant to you, and has influenced you. I liked this poem very much, particularly, "You cast dark contrasting pools With sharp shadow lines That define the juncture Between where you are And where you are not." To me this is the center of the poem. No suggestions for change, Rene
This Poem was Critiqued By: Mell W. Morris On Date: 2004-04-10 20:00:55
Critiquer Rating During Critique: 10.00000
Rick: I feel that these days, for whatever reasons, you don't much care what anyone thinks of your work as you seem to have transcended (?) to a different place. But I will take the time to tell you that you have delivered a whiff of spring and sunbeams to me on a rainy Saturday afternoon in Dallas. For me, this is not a mere romantic poem from a man to a lover but a deeper encomium to a mentor, teacher, grandmother. I'm usually wrong in my interpretations of your poetry but you use words herein in a quite special way. Shall I tell you the fifteen L sounds are magical, particularly in the first eight lines? That your end and internal rhymes are harmonious? That your use of assonance and alliteration shines through as never before? The title is beautiful as are these lines: "You have never known That you alone have been beside me Through so many travails. Image among images You glow beyond the pale Incandescent spill." Your next five lines are lovely and refreshing with the casting of shadows to limn or not her/his presence. Your linguistics is brighter than I've seen in prior poems. There is a soothing feel of tranquility here, a serenading tribute to someone who brings out the very best in your choice of words. "Let there be no confusion, This is not mere illusion..." I wish I'd written those two lines, perfectly rhymed and metered. You continue that you are lacking "patience for the past" and the last time you thought of the future, you were on a "spending spree." Not merely nice alliteration but an epiphany about the poet's character. Your squandering is emotional as well as financial until all you have left of your being is the gift of the other person: "After I've discarded the debris, This is you in me." Ah, beautiful! I'm not going to belabor the point and delineate other poetics or truisms. This poem is the Rick I remember, taking a risk, turning a phrase. Surely high on the winners' list altho I know you care not. I will say a deep-felt Bravo! and watch the rain. Best wishes always, Mell
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