This Poem was Submitted By: Rick Barnes On Date: 2004-08-11 22:09:03 . . . Click Here To Mail this Poem to a Friend!

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The Great Divide

Standing slightly lop-sided,  looking at the slope of the hill beyond the crevasse where water’s flow will run down to fill the long ignored and deeply weathered cavity,   I’ve already decided that I need to alter my view; looking first at the mass, giving angles their due; calculate you and constant force of your gravity, then either cross the divide or stay on this side of loving and living with you. 

Copyright © August 2004 Rick Barnes

This Poem was Critiqued By: Rachel F. Spinoza On Date: 2004-08-31 18:01:42
Critiquer Rating During Critique: 10.00000
Standing slightly lop-sided, looking at the slope of the hill I like the way both the narrator and the hill echo each other in being sloped. beyond the crevasse [this is one of my ten favorite words] where water’s flow will run down to fill [nice orphan rhyme] the long ignored and deeply weathered cavity, I’ve already decided that I need to alter my view; looking first at the mass, giving angles their due; great great theological pun here with the plays on mass and the hint of angels/angels! This is sophisticated writing! calculate you and constant force of your gravity, ah yes – that pulling and yet another pun then either cross the divide or stay on this side of loving and living with you neat ending which brings it all home. Really fine poem, Rick! You amaze me

This Poem was Critiqued By: James Edward Schanne On Date: 2004-08-27 15:06:31
Critiquer Rating During Critique: 9.17857
On the edge of decision sounding like its boiled down to a mathmatical problem, Does it add up or multiply your problems, Theres an infinty of answers out there thanks for letting me read your poem.
This Poem was Critiqued By: Mell W. Morris On Date: 2004-08-26 15:36:08
Critiquer Rating During Critique: 10.00000
Rick-o: I will e-mail soon about my abundance of lilacs. I had to go to All Users to find your poem. Hope this cantankerous site will not digest this review before you see it. Wonderful title which is perfect for your poem. The words herein slip and slide and ease and please but as always, you leave me with queries and the need to probe my own psyche to comprehend what you've penned. Your pace is ever lilting and especially slippery in this piece wherein the L sound is sharply contrasted with the heavy force of the D. A dsivision in sounds, if you will, like the division about which you write. Erect albeit alop, the poet sees the slope of the hill where water's flow will run down to fill the long ignored and deep cavity. I keep saying slippery like when I reach for your word, it slides away. Your rhymes bring such music to the reader but then, your poems are often akin to lyrics as I've told you in every critique, I think. This feels like a decision about a division: "I've already decided that I need to alter my view"...and to do so, you rely on your ever-present mathematics to arrive at the correct solution to the equation. "Looking first at the mass, giving angles their due; calculate you and constant force of your gravity..." you need "constant"?... While gravity is of itself constant, it somehow makes me feel there's too much force being applied from the other side. Beauteous ending: "Then either cross the divide or stay on this side of loving and living with you." We as readers want to know your decision but using the great divide as metaphor for your poem, for your feelings, and since you "need a change of view", I have my own answer. How eccentric that it is either/or because you know I would build a bridge and ergo, the decision has more dimensions. Just thinking aloud and musing, which your poetry always brings to me, the stimulation of the gray matter and the sensory, intuitive part of my reasoning. I would not change a comma, a close to perfect as digital Rick-o has produced. Lovely. On my list. There's nil else to say as you have said it all. Exquisitely executed. Best wishes from your friend, Mell-o
This Poem was Critiqued By: Joanne M Uppendahl On Date: 2004-08-21 17:46:43
Critiquer Rating During Critique: 10.00000
Rick: I will try not to read into this what you may not have intended for a reader to read. "Try" as I wrote to Len, is an 'optimistically ambivalent word' because I know I *will* inevitably inhabit a space with your words that'll bring out thoughts and glimmers other than the creative ones you've bestowed here. That's part of the best fun to be had in life. The word 'impeccable' ought to have been invented for your poetry. But that's too small a word. It lilts with l's "slightly/lop-sided/looking/slope/hill/flow/will" and more. It magnetically sweeps me in with its watery motion, with "water's flow" to deep, deep places "beyond the crevasse" and makes me remember "The Abyss." Then there is the dry, vacuumed of life, "long ignored" and "deeply weathered" cavity (evokes a sense of painful dental work, and empty caves) which is like a dry tooth extraction. Or a dry birth. Only the opposite of birth, or is it? I’ve already decided that I need to alter my view; looking first at the mass, giving angles their due; calculate you and constant force of your gravity, OK, I'm in that space I told you I'd try not to get into. It's as if (to me) you are speaking to the Architect of the Universe or one of his representatives. I read it as "altar my view" (see, there I go, completely forgetting my promise to 'try' not to read things in that you did not put) and "giving the *angels* their due" insists, insists on its way with me. What an adventure, to "calculate you/and constant force of your gravity" as it seems you could be addressing the planet itself rather than its Creator. Perhaps she is the mother/lover/beloved/earth to which the speaker addresses his remarks. I sense that 'she' is a real, living, breathing photographable person whom I would easily recognize as a woman. Underneath or perhaps above the narration, I hear the passionate love that exists for living and the somewhat reluctant decision to continue to "stay on this side" for the sake of "loving and living" with this person/force/earth. I can't allow myself to contemplate the "cross the divide" part because it is unacceptable to me, though I know inevitable for us all. Something darker, scarier occurs to me, which I can only set aside for now. My denial is what keeps me functioning. When life (living in a body) is hard, there is usually someone or some thing which keeps the resident spirit anchored and often that someone is part of a complex relationship. The connections forged in life go on into infinity -- or is it infinity that reaches into relationships and grabs us by the collars? As all you poetry, this one frightens & enlightens me, tho I know I haven't got half of it. In admiration, (and, much more) Joanne
This Poem was Critiqued By: Joanne Duval Morgan On Date: 2004-08-12 23:28:57
Critiquer Rating During Critique: 9.83333
Hi Rick, Lovely, deciding, using the surface , the contours, the rivlet that will fill, emotions to be able to look at a life that needs a soulmate, to decide ultimately what the course of action that needs to be taken, to realize one needs a soulmate, I can't help but admire the tones you set in this poem (so much sensation), wow, impressive to be able to use modified terms that set the stage, wonderful, moving, convincing, a people poem of a higher degree, your use of surfaces and the actions is grand.A well phrased poem that allows the reader a shared experience dealing in comittment. A huge decision, for it means adjustment of concepts that will change because of the commitment. I'm really sorry Rick I can't think of appropriate poetry terms, but it doesn't matter the poem speaks for itself. I think it speaks to those that are honorable, and don't look for instant gratification, but a decison deep, made not in haste, the ultimate gesture to a woman, and what total commitment demands for a successful relationship. What more could a person ask for, there isn't a woman that doesn't pray for a relationship that will build a foundation, regardless of challenges. I sincerely hope my evaluation is correct, for that's what the poem says to me...very personal look, oh it would be wonderful to have that once again, but when a soulmate passes on like my husband, well it brings back, the fondestest most lobving matter what we went into it together, it's nice that someone like you can write such an applicable poem that speaks to me, and I'll bet others. The foundation of the best commited relationship, that will endure all. My best Rick, loved the poem, and admire your effort, I knew you were a deep man, this poem speaks to your character. My best regards always, Jo Morgan
This Poem was Critiqued By: Dellena Rovito On Date: 2004-08-12 15:38:24
Critiquer Rating During Critique: 1.00000
Hi Rick, Being of your opinion from your previous life, you stand a bit lop-sided when looking at your relationship. [the slope of the hill/your women and you] Your heart is the long ignored and deeply weathered cavity, where your love/water can fill. Reviewing all you've come to the moment of decision. Cross the divide.....does that mean leave her? or stay with her on the side your at? If I think for days I may figure it out but spare me the anguish! I immensely enjoy your work. I like your sharp mind. Thank you Dellena
This Poem was Critiqued By: Turner Lee Williams On Date: 2004-08-12 15:06:47
Critiquer Rating During Critique: 10.00000
Rick--Upon reading this one (which I did several times), I finally decided it could be taken both literally (especially the first seven lines) and figuratively: the literal sense of this could simply be a poetic rendering of a contractor's quandry of actually seeking how to go about placing a structure on a surface with a "slope" and "cavity" or (I went w/drama) a metaphoric extrapolation of emotional affairs that has reach a point of great concern; "I've already decided that I need to alter my view;looking first at..., giving angles...; calcuate you... force of your gravity,...cross the divide or stay on this side of loving and living with you. This is thoughtfully written with fresh and imaginative verbiage that create vivid imagery of a reslationship at the crossroads for a decision. A terse piece with an excellent combo of rimes (fill/will/hill; gravity/cavity; view/due/you; decided/divide/side) and allits standing slightly; where water's) produces a sing song ebb and flow. Sorry if I misstated your intentions. However, I did enjoy what I took from the piece. TLW
This Poem was Critiqued By: Lynda G Smith On Date: 2004-08-12 10:59:14
Critiquer Rating During Critique: 10.00000
Thought you had moved to Iceland at last!!!!*grin* So good to see this posting! Sounds like much water under the bridge Rick, or is it that it is time perhaps to build one?!? 'Standing slightly lop-sided' (being tall amplifies this image) lends to the metaphore of balance, you finding yourself needing to work at keeping your feet under you, just the other side of comfort, as you regard what might once have been a molehill. The rhymes are used so effectively, and the assonance of the l's flow the words into a natural reservoir in 'cavity. The speed of my mental reading gentles over 'deeply weathered cavity' as if the water running down the hill drops into a 'cenote' deep and ancient, kept hidden from the prying eyes of tourists. The engineer in you weighs every consideration... but 'I've already decided' says you have layed out the tools for drawing up the plans - you are allowing a flexibility into the mix that was not there before. The next few lines are analytical in extremis and the calculations are careful indeed. This is an ordered mind, working out the equations in the project. Now it seems there is but the decision as to whether you will accept the contract! I was pulled in by 'force of your gravity'. That it is 'constant' speaks to the ongoing presence of this 'mass' in your life and the struggle within as you offer up an equal pull in the opposite direction... - one from self preservation to keep from falling into the crevasse perhaps. But crevasses are so wonderful to explore, getting dirty in the divide as it were. And then the poem opens up in the last line, 'of loving and living with you', and it is these words of quiet statement that offer up the hope of conquering that crevasse - loving was placed first, a priori consideration, but not separated from 'living with'. It is always amazing what that deeply weathered cavity can hold and that one can make one's way through the crevasse if one lights the way. Wonderful as usual, Rick. Lynda
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