This Poem was Submitted By: Mell W. Morris On Date: 2005-02-09 12:27:49 . . . Click Here To Mail this Poem to a Friend!

To Listen to Music While Reading this Poem, just Click Here!

Click Here To add this poem to your "Voting Possibilities" list!

The Problem With Angles

I am a thin, defined woman with sharp edges and I know who I am and where I am going. Since there are starting parts to each life, I like to envision mine with a canny duende at the door and a smiling angel perched on a lampshade. God made me of Himself, another work of art like many found on common ground, in fens or pocosins, near grasslands, high and low lands, or lone as a wife on a widow's walk, looking out to sea. God completes molding His last angel of the day and places her on the ledges near the nacreous gates. He tells her to play her harp for the one who knew she was coming here and whose halo fits squarely. Since the day of my birth, for the first time, I feel free. Now no one seems to stare at me since I lost my sharp edges.

Copyright © February 2005 Mell W. Morris

This Poem was Critiqued By: Troy D Skroch On Date: 2005-05-01 20:31:12
Critiquer Rating During Critique: 9.86364
Mell, I've been busy trying to catch up on critiques and after I read your post in the forum, I'm positively ashamed of myself for not commenting on this poem. Let's get something straight first so that there will be no misunderstandings between us as we start this journey. As a person who has basically walked out of the woods after ten years of building businesses, family and taking care of a few tragic events, there is nothing I can say to improve your writing or grammar. And my thoughts tend to appear disjointed and my leave you puzzled as to whether I should even be hanging around the site. LOL! Hopefully, I can make you smile once in awhile. I can't tell you how many times I read this poem just admiring how you get away with using some of the words you do without losing the flow or balance of the work itself. That gives me a clue as to how internalized rather than manufactured this work really is. Writing like this has to come from feeling, emotion and vision of experience. In other words, it's not a fake. LOL! Not that many poets fake a poem, but I've read a lot of poetry about really big or important moments that were born more out of fantasy than heart felt experience and observations. In this case you are writing in the first person. So you ask how could you fake a poem about yourself? Well, by not knowing yourself, or letting things like ego, agenda, denial etc... write the poem for you. It happens all the time. There is a huge disconnect going on in the world. Ok, I'm rambling again and stating the obvious, I only say these things because It's the first thing I look for in writing - honesty. This you have in your outlook of the world and self. Honesty: A+ HEHE! The second thing I look for, is if I can hear your voice. It's difficult and sometimes takes several reads before I think I can hear the poet reading the lines back to me. Sounds weird, but I know you know what I'm talking about. If you lay the words of a poem out in the pattern of a wheel horizontally, then run a line through it's center vertically, so the wheel itself is centered on the line. Now it looks like a top. Spin it. LOL! Magnificent! The poem swirls into your likeness and I see you writing the lines almost as I'm looking over your shoulder, but amazingly enough you feel the audience and say "yes I will read this to you. Please quit peeking and take a seat." LOL! Having done this so many times, I don't even think about it. Everybody does this in some form or other. Well, maybe not. LOL! Ok, so what the hell am I trying to say. Well, your voice is amazing in it's (I mean its) clarity. Voice: A+ Ok, so now that I can hear you in your sincerity, I look for balance. I won't expound, but you could take this poem and set it on a high wire without fear of falling. Balance: A+ I'm afraid that I'm starting to loose balance here and turning this into some sort of text book analysis of poetry for crazy self taught mooks like me. LOL! I've been learning from you though. Let's just get off the subject for awhile and share a poem that I've been reading. The visualizations for me are wonderful (you'll have to teach me a new word for wonderful). The poem is called, "First Rule" by Maurice Kenny. First Rule stones must form a circle first not a wall open so that it may expand to take in new grass and hills tall pines and a river expand as sun on weeds, an elm, robins; the prime importance is to circle stones where footsteps are erased by the winds assured old men and wolves sleep where children play games catch snow flakes if they wish; words cannot be spoken first as summer turns spring caterpillars into butterflies new stones will be found for the circle; it will ripple out a pool grown from the touch of a water-spider's wing; words cannot be spoken first that is the way to start with stones forming a wide circle marsh marigolds in bloom hawks hunting mice boys climbing hills to sit under the sun to dream of eagle wings and antelope words cannot be spoken first I've been reading an anthology of Native American poetry and this just jumped out at me. The poet stays so focused on images inclusive to that ever expanding circle. And "words cannot be spoken first". You must look not speak. I love it. And now that I'm vision is primed we must look at the first stanza of, "The Problem With Angles". We'll talk about the title later on. Note: I copy and paste so I can see what I'm doing, not just to fill space. LOL! I am a thin, defined woman with sharp edges and I know who I am and where I am going. Since there are starting parts to each life, I like to envision mine with a canny duende at the door You start in the first line with confidence in your description, "defined" and "sharp". It is such a strong intro that it automatically pulls me into the poem. It makes me sit up straighter. The voice is clear almost commanding of self. I love the self assurance of, "I know who I am and where I am going." Yes, you've got my attention and I know this poem is going somewhere. Let's see if you can back up the statement. Wow, we are going to start at life's door. You describe or envision yours with a "canny duende". I see you having a thoughtful, humorous charm and I smile. Now I go back in this stanza and hold this up as a transparency against your confidence and "sharp edges". This makes me smile for two reasons. One, you've balanced the strength of your intro with that canny charm and I don't continue reading thinking that it is possible that you're describing yourself as a bitch. I threw that in for shock value. LOL! Two, you set it up to transition fluently into the second stanza and pull it off still smiling, because you see me sitting here trying to pronounce "duende". LOL! Actually, it is a nice word. After I get my brain functioning again I will be able to run with you. I bet you're a hell of a scrabble player! and a smiling angel perched on a lampshade. God made me of Himself, another work of art like many found on common ground, in fens or pocosins, near grasslands, high and low lands, Transitioning smoothly into the second stanza I'm greeted by a "smiling angel". I've actually seen finials depicting angels, but I see this angel more as your guardian angel or welcoming angel. Don't be to hasty to meet your welcoming angel. LOL! You still have things to teach me and are over qualified. In the next two lines of this stanza you say "another work of art like many found on common ground." In some ways I think of this as meaning that the best people come from humble places, but I believe that you are saying that your experience is a shared experience found everywhere. This "common ground" experience, I believe, I've been looking at in the case of my parents and will remain happily in denial. or lone as a wife on a widow's walk, looking out to sea. God completes molding His last angel of the day and places her on the ledges near the nacreous gates. He tells her to play The first line of the third stanza chills me. It's just so sad. Wait a second. Are we opening the door to a new life in this poem. Just a minute. Are you starting the next life the way you want to be, without angles?. This angel the same angel in the beginning and in the end. This description of loneliness, because that is how it has to be? Opening the door back into life? I have to stop this. Just let me continue not knowing. I can think about things until I get loopy. Perhaps, that is why I've only published 4 poems in the last 4 years. God completes molding His last angel of the day and places her on the ledges near the nacreous gates. He tells her to play her harp for the one who knew she was coming here and whose halo fits squarely---------------------Amazing. You tie together angles and angels and yourself the synthesis of these two. The halo that fits squarely. Oh, Mell that is genius. Wow! This is the point when I start feeling that this poem is alive. Ok, Mell, one more try. Forget everything I was feeling or thought I knew. I just think this is amazing writing and expression. As you open the door to life, on that day you are welcomed by an angel that keeps you in the world. On the same day that you open life's door, God is casting the angel that will greet you as you come through death's door, the molding of this angel you meet in your new life takes a life time to make. The third angel, yourself, since you are made from a part of God, is described or related to people from everywhere, since the experience is not exclusive, only the experience of starting that new life. And that can be viewed as being lonely or like a dream, which is still done alone. You pull all of this off describing yourself and the experience of living and at the same time overlaying this poem with the timing of the creation and appearance of these angels. And not excluding yourself from this status, but telling us that the problem with angles is that the halo doesn't fit. Unbelievable! LOL! You said you had a canny charm about yourself- well there it is. I feel that I've completed my time with you this evening. This poem makes me feel better. I see you not opening doors right now, for you've opened so many, but sitting in a room of pure glass looking in every direction. Mell, you've given me something to think about for the rest of my life. I will never forget this poem. I can't. It's almost as if you've restated a fundamental truth for me. Thank you. Best, Always, Troy

This Poem was Critiqued By: Rebecca B. Whited On Date: 2005-03-07 16:40:06
Critiquer Rating During Critique: 9.00000
Hi Mell! Waht a joy to find you on my list! I like this one about angles! No more sharp edges, huh? "I am a thin, defined woman with sharp edges and I know who I am and where I am going."...such a display of confidence in your opening... "I like to envision mine with a canny duende [cleverly sly with a magnetic charm...don't we all think of ourselves this way, if the truth be told!]at the door"..."and a smiling angel perched on a lampshade." [yes, we all need our angels to watch over us, don't we, to keep our lives in tact, protect us from evil, even if sometimes it is of our own making]..."God made me of Himself, another work of art" [you got it girl!] "like many found on common ground, in fens or pocosins, near grasslands, high and low lands," [Mel, I think you have covered your bases well here! As only you can do, you have managed to describe the 'highs and lows' in such a descriptive manner...I like the use of the word 'fen' a lowland partially covered' and 'pocosins', upland swamps...sure adds interest to 'high and low'!..."or lone as a wife on a widow's walk," [great imagery created here, I can envision her now...great aliteration used as well...she the lonely soul but alas, still searching the sea!] "God completes molding His last angel of the day" [this line, for me, initiates a higher plane, and allows us to see that someone of a greater measure than we is at work here] "and places her on the ledges near the nacreous gates." [ah, the pearly gates! I can just envision Him lovingly placing her there nad telling her to play her harp for you] "halo fits squarely." [they describes a good many of us, doesn't it? Thus, the problem with angles!] I feel we all would be better off if we lost our sharp edges.! As usual, Mel, your work is filled with many poetic devices which allow the reader to place him/herself in your work and come out all the better for it. Well written and such a joy to read. Beck
This Poem was Critiqued By: Claire H. Currier On Date: 2005-03-02 05:54:40
Critiquer Rating During Critique: 9.75000
This is really a beauty poet....I so love angels and have written about then quite often.....I feel when we are born an angel comes with us and remains by our side during our entire life and is there when we return to where we began......God's Heaven Garden of have painted a picture of a thin, defined woman with sharp edges......and I am certain you have felt those edges being filed away during your lifetime, if they were indeed there to begin with, until there you stand today, with all sharp edges melted away......your angel by your side of course.......and I pray you know the road you just travelled in life is the road that has taken away those sharp edges.......good structure, word flow, images, all of it fits so well poet....thank you for posting and sharing.....God Bless, Claire
This Poem was Critiqued By: arnie s WACHMAN On Date: 2005-03-01 19:30:23
Critiquer Rating During Critique: 9.65385
Well I for one don't believe in angels. Although I'm from Canada you might say that I'm from Missouri in that respect. I love it when a poet gives me new language, i.e.: pocosin which I have yet to find but I assume it's a plant;nacreous is that pearly? I am glad you lost your sharp edges...don't we all in time? Thank you.
This Poem was Critiqued By: Turner Lee Williams On Date: 2005-02-14 11:13:52
Critiquer Rating During Critique: 9.91667
Mell–-Although inviting, the title alone isn’t what attracted me to the poem-it’s a Mell signature and that worked for me. Now, to do it justice from a review stand- point is a challenge-smile. Protagonist admittedly not perfect, but is a self-con- fident person with added help from an assigned spirit/watcher/protector (as we all have?). And, futhermore,is revering in the wonder of being created in The Almighty’s image not unlike the whole of mankind. Inference made to Creator’s last chore before resting which also entailed the special assignment of signaling ones pre-selected for entry to heaven (Angel of Death?). Great twist/turn/reversal ending: protagonist is the one who has finally reached a required zenith and thus, The Trouble with Angels; “Since the day of my birth, for the first time, I feel free. Now no one seems to stare at me since I lost my sharp edges.” Would not be surprised if I’ve once again missed the boat. However, I did enjoy the attempt to get to the dock on time-smile. TLW
This Poem was Critiqued By: Jennifer j Hill On Date: 2005-02-13 17:03:22
Critiquer Rating During Critique: 10.00000
Dear Mell, You haven't lost your touch. It's been a while since I critiqued enough to get one of your poems to top out on my list. But, Hooray, today is the day. You, the master of titles, have done it again with, "The Problem With Angles". When first I spyed this poem on my list and clicked on it, for one short second I thought you had a typo in your title, since I saw "angels" within the text. But soon enough I was pulled into this meaningful piece and realized the angles referred to are like uncut diamonds the Creator starts with, before the edges are smoothed and shaped to perfection. All of our faults/sins are sharp enough to cut glass. But He has a way of giving us what we need to shape us perfectly and humble us along the way. We all have blessings and trials that polish our sharp edges while we journey through life. Your life "starting part", and I do love that phrase, was (like most babies) a bit self- absorbed yet charming. *smile*. That about sums up most of the "new starters" I know. And didn't all us baby girls have lamps with angels on them in our nursuries? This is a unique wording, which I find charming. Hope I didn't miss the mark. Your reference to "many found on common ground, fens or pocosins, near grasslands, high and low lands" represents to me the fact that no matter our station in life, in Gods eyes, we have the same chances of being shaped to perfection. He loves us all the same and creates us for the sole purpose of shining His Glory. The euphony in these lines is created to show the harmony of all of God's creations, I believe, and does so quite well. The breathy, fricative reference to feeling free for the first time since birth is cause for celebration, since we find freedom from the bondage of sharp edges in Him. I love the reference to "her halo fitting squarely" or firmly, because of the new shaping. And the last line sums it all up beautifully:"Now no one seems to stare at me since I lost my sharp edges." Very nice(and clever) writing. A truly enjoyable read! Brava! and blessings, Jennifer
This Poem was Critiqued By: marilyn terwilleger On Date: 2005-02-12 12:53:48
Critiquer Rating During Critique: 10.00000
Hi Mell, I love this melancholy piece with its wonderful words...'with a canny duende at the door' only you could have written this phrase...beautiful...'and a smiling angel perched on a lampshade' what a unique place for an angel to perch...but they can be everywhere so it would not be unusal to find one there. I always pray for God to give my children and grandchildren angels and there have been times when I know He has done so. ...God made me of Himself'...yes he did...another work of are all His creations. I know we should never worry because He is taking care of us and even tho we think He is not doing it like we would have Him do we can take solace in knowing He knows what we need.....'God completes molding His last angel of the day and places her on the ledges near the nacreous gates'...I wish I had the words to tell you how beautiful this is...every word is stunning and amazing.....'Since the day of my birth, for the first time, I feel free. Now no one seems to stare at me...since I lost my sharp edges.' Only a loving person could have written these words and if you ever had sharp edges you must have lost them before I knew you. I feel sorrow and surrender here but I also feel acceptance and feelings of peace, as well. My eyes become misty every time I read this but I can't stop re-reading it again and again. I am not sure if it is because it is compelling or if it is because I know you from afar and know what you are going through right now. This one erupted from your soul, my friend, and it has fractured mine. Don't give up, dear heart, He is watching over you every step of the way...He will guide your way and if He does what I keep asking Him to do you will begin to gather strength little by little everyday. May God bless you...Marilyn
This Poem was Critiqued By: Paul R Lindenmeyer On Date: 2005-02-10 23:58:27
Critiquer Rating During Critique: 1.00000
Mello, wonderful piece about becoming invisible to all, while feeling all encompassing in the knowledge of a compassionate creation that indeed does care for and look kindly on each soul. I loved your usage of "canny duende at the door and a smiling angel perched on a lampshade.", wonderful vignette. The alliterations used throughout, "in fens or pocosins, near grasslands , high and low lands.", "wife on a widow's walk," all add to the magic of the piece. To learn the lesson of losing the sharp edges in life, is long and sometimes arduous for some. You seemed to have acquired and assimilated it's essence with this psuedo "born again of the spirit" witness to the creator. It's honesty is pointed, it's verbiage clear, and the picture is complete to this reader. Always a pleasure to comment on your verse. Thanks for the read, Peace, Paul
This Poem was Critiqued By: Wanda S. Thibodeaux On Date: 2005-02-09 23:55:56
Critiquer Rating During Critique: 1.00000
Dear Mell-o, "I am a thin, defined woman with sharp edges and I know who I am and where I am going." This statement tells us you are strong, resilient, sure of where you are in life. BTW-I loved your picture on the forum, you are so pretty- and you have lovely dark hair. Of course, I envisioned you differently so I was glad you posted it. I think this poem gives us some delightful insight into the poet's personality. Her uncanny wizardry with writing poetry and I'm sure anything else she chooses to write is evident in this piece. Her "canny doo enda" at the door works well. I love the way duende slips off the tongue. "God made me of Himself, another work of art like many found on common ground, in fens or pocosins, near grasslands, high and low lands, or lone as a wife on a widow's walk, looking out to sea." I would like to be one of those works of art down here in the swamplands. A great visual, "God completes molding his last angel of the day and places her on the ledges near the pearly gates." You are given a square halo (a wonderfully unique idea) to soften your sharp edges. I could use one of those too. Because of your cerebral title, I think perhaps your "angle" here was not entirely about preparing for your final freedom but allowing it to be said that you have sharp edges, incorporating a sensitive and loving resolution as in a square halo, God's gift to the gifted. You have many splendid poems to write and friends to keep up with. This site is a better place because of the excellence of your work. I truly enjoyed this, although I may have read it differently than others, I can only say you said it all beautifully. Take good care. Luv and best wishes, Wanda
This Poem was Critiqued By: Joanne M Uppendahl On Date: 2005-02-09 19:29:30
Critiquer Rating During Critique: 1.00000
Mell-O: I live in wait for an event like this, a new poem of yours! I feel as awkward as I do sometimes greeting a new bride and groom in the reception line, or seeing a new baby for the first time, wanting just the right words for so momentous an occasion. This is like that, for though I've been reading your poetry since you came here, each one is a completely new experience. This isn't the 'same poem' being written again and again, as sometimes happens with poets, or at least as it often happens to me. Given, it is full of wordplay and enchanting images, and your trademark poetry-crafting is sublime, as always. This one contains a lot to consider which I will take away with me after the reading, which will enter my dreams and unconsciousness. Beginning with the titular "Angles" and the introduction of an angel in S2, the poem piques my interest in things metaphysical and messages which cannot be viewed straight-on left-brainwise. This reminds me of those 3-D images which become clear if viewed with eyes slightly unfocused; otherwise they remain invisible. I want to trust my first vision, but then realize it is better to let go of preconceptions and let the poem speak to me as I know it is going to do for long after the reading. The surprising first line amazed me. My mental image of the speaker is composed of soft lines, of things like violets and Della Robbia blue jumpers, well-loved sweaters. L2 seems familiar, as if it is the speaker I think I know. L3 gave me a bit of alarm -- as it seems a foreshadowing. If the speaker addresses the "starting part to each life" she may be preparing the reader to think of the ending part of a specific life. But leaving that aside, I am happy to consider the "canny duende" and "smiling angel" which welcome the speaker envisions. I especially love S2's L3, with the speaker's identification that "God made me of Himself" as another creative masterpiece, but found "on common ground" in swampy areas. Lustrous, playful wording abounds in this poem, as in "fens/pocosins/grasslands" but there are melancholy notes -- poignant as "high and low lands" and "lone as a wife on a widow's walk." I can hear John Coltrane playing "Psalm" here. Though I was fairly thunderstruck at the poem's beginning, it was only a mild preparation for the impact of the closing stanzas. The vivid sense that the speaker is preparing the listener/reader for her departure is unmistakable. But, I told myself, we all prepare for our final freedom. Still, it was hard to read "Since the day of my birth" since I sensed that the natural antonym for birth here is death. It is reassuring to have God watching over her and instructing the "angel of the day" to play her harp "for the one who knew she was coming here" and "whose halo fits squarely." The speaker prepares the reader and herself for the moment of meeting this gentle angel. The oxymoron (?) of a halo which "fits squarely" adds whimsy -- the eccentric or maverick, perhaps. The saying 'fitting a square peg into a round hole' comes to mind. Since beginning this poem, I have gone away from the computer to prepare and serve dinner, to wash up, and to have a talk with myself. The poem is a vehicle of expression, of tender care of self and others. We may prepare in a thousand ways for the departure of those we love -- whether they are leaving our home after a visit, or expecting to leave the earth in the wake of a long illness. We use the words "good bye" without noticing what is really being said. "God Be With You." It is good practice to set aside denial of what must be faced by all eventually. But there isn't any way to see it, even with eyes unfocused, without being gripped by extreme sadness. As much as I rejoice with the one who speaks in this poem for feeling free "for the first time" since birth, I cannot. There is another message here, I think, and that is that since it is painful to accept that a friend or other loved one is preparing to leave, those close to them may cease to connect with them on as 'sharp' a level as previously. Is it truly that the connection is less vivid as perceived by the speaker? "Now no one seems to stare at me" could also illuminate the thought that both the speaker and the one(s) to whom the poem is addressed draw back. The ending seems ambiguous to me: "since I lost my sharp edges." Is the speaker saying, "People are making me feel invisible" since she lost her "sharp edges"? The bottom line is that I cannot critique this poem as I would like to do, but am reacting on an emotional level. I don't want your edges to fade even if it is to meet the specially-made angel with the harp. I'm choosing to see this poem, for now, as preparation, as a statement of faith, and as finding a bit of comfort in detachment (loss of sharp edges) while illness is at its zenith. Let me be one of the earth angels who continues to love and pray for you. So difficult not to be able to hug you. :( Feeling a little bit loopy ... With love, Your LL Em
This Poem was Critiqued By: Dellena Rovito On Date: 2005-02-09 18:19:41
Critiquer Rating During Critique: 8.00000
I am a thin, defined woman with sharp edges and I know who I am and where I am going. Since there are starting parts to each life, I like ['starting parts' is wonderful] to envision mine with a canny duende at the door [Duende-The ability to attract others through personal magnetism and charm.] [as you probably did!] and a smiling angel perched on a lampshade. God made me of Himself, another work of art [You are proud to be the person God molded you to be.] ]like many found on common ground, in fens [swamp-lands] [yet you are humble] or pocosins, near grasslands, high and low lands, or lone as a wife on a widow's walk, looking out to sea. God completes molding His last angel of the day and places her on the ledges near the nacreous/[mother of pearl like/pearly] gates. He tells her to play her harp for the one who knew she was coming here and whose halo fits squarely. Since [squarely-means goodly] the day of my birth, for the first time, I feel free. Now no one seems to stare at me since I lost my sharp edges. [I'm not sure if I can do this justice but I'll try........ The sharp edges could be your imperfections as a human being. As you've matured you've learned of this inner beauty and thus your edges are not sharp anymore] A great lesson we all can learn. I admire your unsharpness] Blessings, Dellena
This Poem was Critiqued By: Joanne Duval Morgan On Date: 2005-02-09 18:07:59
Critiquer Rating During Critique: 10.00000
Wow! We are creatures ordained to lie our fate, and evidently you have been able to define a stage that only you can identify. The closest I came come to related in words is simple, Angels we are, at birth born alone, escvept for that Guardian Angel, to live the fate decreed to walk the mortal path, embracing all the rudiments of what man/woman consider normal fate, the final stage, that Angel that guided us through the middle stage, is replaced by a final Angel that will see us on our final trip, and then we too hoint the host of Angels. Mell there is a melconaly air to this poem, and a reality accepted, and appreciated by me, for I also am in that final stage so I can identify easily. The timber, and cadence of the proclaimation is strong, the reality accepted. Your use of linguistics blows my mind, oh I understand the termalogy, just the phrasing is apt, and well applied. My Angel tells me that this isn't an easy time for you, but being the strong woman you are you will suceed in completeing your fate. Look it's apparent in every word this poem states. Love it of course, and so relieved to see the poem, for that says so much in itsself. God Bless Friend/Girl, know we don't speak often, but I think of you all the time. The way the winds blows my fate is ordained, and in this poem you sound it so well. Love Jo (We are born alone, surrounding by people we can still be alone, and God knows we die alone. Amen
Poetry Contests Online at The Poetic Link

Click HERE to return to Database Page!