This Poem was Submitted By: Mark Andrew Hislop On Date: 2005-08-29 12:18:56 . . . Click Here To Mail this Poem to a Friend!

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Self-portrait of someone else

It’s not the thin feeling Of your fountain pen you fear, Nor the infinite potential Of a fresh white page. No, Not even the black torrent Of your words that cascade Over themselves to reveal the waterfall Where your naked children bathe. Maybe it’s those other people All your words go out to face, All those others in you. Is it hard, Poseidon, at once To be your ocean and your diver Jointly and severally? Do your depths drive you mad, Do your roaring hurricanes and tides Never relieve your ancient pain?  My God, does it hurt so much To expand into who You are? You are everywhere and everything And eternity wakes in you The fear of eternity  Every mortal morning.

Copyright © August 2005 Mark Andrew Hislop

This Poem was Critiqued By: Rachel F. Spinoza On Date: 2005-09-06 07:09:53
Critiquer Rating During Critique: 9.97059
Indeed - you have captured the terror and the power of creativity in this rich. powerful, poem. " ...To expand into who You are?" Never has a capital letter served so wonderouly to expand the meaning of a poem. Marvelous piece, Mark peace to you and yours in these terrible times, Rachel

This Poem was Critiqued By: Turner Lee Williams On Date: 2005-08-31 14:07:42
Critiquer Rating During Critique: 9.90244
Mark–IMO, this is an oxymoronic and personative titled piece. Moreover, scribe as personator sardonically challenge/question all writers heart (including self) for their craft or poet-hood (is this word covered by poetic license?). The ending aptly/ poignantly serves as crux/coda for ‘everyman’ and poets plight according to theme/tone. Your post is deep, heady and intricately penned. Sorry if I’ve misstated your purpose. TLW
This Poem was Critiqued By: Mark Steven Scheffer On Date: 2005-08-30 13:29:09
Critiquer Rating During Critique: 9.54545
MAH, This is that, to quote Shakespeare, Which like a iewell ( hunge in gaſtly night ) Makes blacke night beautious,and her old face new. Yes, every, every mortal morning. Friggin' great ending. MSS
This Poem was Critiqued By: arnie s WACHMAN On Date: 2005-08-30 09:55:15
Critiquer Rating During Critique: 9.23077
I fear (well not really), that this is about somebody's writing that is critiqued. Black torrent of words cascading indeed. That's a good line which led me to believe...well what I'm writing. The ocean and the diver...the writer/critiquer per se. Yep, self portrait...not me I hope! thanks for the posting Mark.
This Poem was Critiqued By: Latorial D. Faison On Date: 2005-08-30 01:36:17
Critiquer Rating During Critique: 9.96667
You certainly captivate a poet's dilemma in this poem Mark. IT's indeed a portrait, a self-portrait for us all. This poem left me reconciling with myself all of the intentions that I have when I write, but sometimes I feel that the need is so great and the words fall on so few ears, and often not enough ears to make a difference, and you speak of this great dilemma in every line of your poem. It becomes a question that we ask ourselves, and we continually question our worth, our greatness, etc. only to bow at the praise of those like us because there's a comraderie, an honesty alwayws, in the words. It’s not the thin feeling Of your fountain pen you fear, (I like how you speak to the audience/the reader and not yourself; this is what makes the title a jewel) Maybe it’s those other people All your words go out to face, All those others in you. (this line reminds me of all of the people who really live inside our heads, and you're right; there are so many; too many to listen to or write to . . . ) Is it hard, Poseidon, at once To be your ocean and your diver Jointly and severally? (Yes, it's often very hard to be everything to everybody or to be all to something or someone is great need) Do your depths drive you mad, (sometimes . . . this is what we're known for, us poets) My God, does it hurt so much To expand into who You are? (Sometimes I think writers are more fearful of the aftermath than fearful of the pain that expansion and growth causes; Then again, it often hurts to venture into thoughts that bring back painful memories, but writing heals; it can bring safety, recovery, clarity and purity. It's why we keep on keeping on.) You are everywhere and everything (so true . . . and we must continue to live and to write) And eternity wakes in you This is a nice poem that gives us a wonderful introspection into our own hearts, minds and souls. It's deep thought for a good cause. Thanks for sharing sucb an intriguing and provoking piece. I truly enjoyed it It read with such passion and flow. Latorial
This Poem was Critiqued By: Lora Silvey On Date: 2005-08-29 21:53:47
Critiquer Rating During Critique: 9.79592
Mark, I'm probably way off on this one but here goes. To me this speaks of one who is not self assurded, always questioning their own decissions, their own brain storms, strengths and creativity. It gives me the feeling that the person annalyzes everything to death instead of just letting it be. Your verbiage conveys deep conflicting emotions for me, and in the end I come away with "business as usual" nothing settled. You have presented a well crafted read with which although has an easy flow the depth of the meanings here require some astute pondering. Thank you for this offering. Lora
This Poem was Critiqued By: Elaine Marie Phalen On Date: 2005-08-29 20:30:09
Critiquer Rating During Critique: 10.00000
What a fine, terrifying exploration of the art of creation! Your title implies that it is the wroter's job to enter into another persona as speaker/narrator, and that this entity is separate from the author him- or herself. The poet, as a god, must shape and solidify an entire new world through his or her words, then unleash that alien thing and hope someone else will comprehend it. The segue to Poseidon, sea-god and symbol, is apropos and pleasantly surprising. The creator and created can become one and the same, for what is one without the other? "At once ... your ocean and your diver", yes -- the explorer, and that which is being explored, must coexist here. In poetry, the theme and s/he who examines this theme canot survive independently. It's the old singer-or-song conundrum. Do your roaring hurricanes and tides Never relieve your ancient pain? From the above lines to those immediately following, we progress from lower-case "you" to upper-case "You", a fine distinction, I think. Poseidon the ancient god-among-many, becomes Yaweh, the modern and monotheistic God. The latter then is inextricably juxtaposed with His created beings, including poets and all other mad and agonized creatures. If God is within us, then He also is probably learning more than He expected to discover! Not all of it is reassuring. Even emotional release can't cure what ails Him (or us). My God, does it hurt so much To expand into who You are? This seems paradoxical, of course; it also fitly describes the act of poetic inspiration, the birth of glory through pain. It seems that contented and happy poets don't often write much of power. We tend to judge poetic worth by the angst its speaker possesses. You are everywhere and everything And eternity wakes in you The fear of eternity Every mortal morning. Now the "you" is both God, Muse and man. That "fear of eternity" equates to the writer's fear of committing his words to paper, conferring upon himself a form of immortality. Will it be a good remembrance or a bad one? Will all those "others" truly care? Will the poet-God prove worthy of reverence, or merit only disrespect? Each attempt at translating desire into reality, imagination into fact, is fraught with dangers. The incompetent writer will fail and fade, but what of the incompetent deity? Is there such a Being? Does He fear what He might bring to birth? (After all, events in Eden probably provided a rather nasty wake-up call). Your poetry is so intelligently crafted! I'm enjoying it very much. Brenda
This Poem was Critiqued By: DeniMari Z. On Date: 2005-08-29 15:25:52
Critiquer Rating During Critique: 9.75000
So, Mark, I was here, eating sunflower seeds, sipping coffee, in a comfortable place - and bang... the world tipped, and rocked as I read this deeply profound poem, on being. You have some beautiful lines in this piece: ie. Over themselves to reveal the waterfall - Terrific visual Where your naked children bathe. My God, does it hurt so much - Very very deep statement - which actually made me catch my breath. To expand into who You are? Your last verse, as poetic as the first, a true mind opening experience. Great job with this one. Sincerely, DeniMari
This Poem was Critiqued By: Dellena Rovito On Date: 2005-08-29 13:21:15
Critiquer Rating During Critique: 9.78947
Hi Mark, I love the potential in this. My God, does it hurt so much To expand into who You are? You are everywhere and everything And eternity wakes in you If we dared to act as such, the world could be so differant. There's something about keeping things close and in your control which is very limiting. Opening up to whatever comes/and welcoming it, is a really big idea. Eternity is! I love the big thinking. Thanks Mark, anything is possible. Even opening 'more' is a step forward. Original and fascinating concept! Dellena
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