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The Way Grief Goes

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  • The Way Grief Goes

    The Way Grief Goes



    The last time that I walked these steps
    you were alive and breathing
    in pain-wracked body, stoic borne,
    (recalled from out my grieving).

    I stopped, aback, at sudden thought
    which gripped me in this knowing.

    A gasp, bare took, escaped my lips
    beneath composure showing.

    I wanted then, another chance,
    to better hold as treasure
    the gift you were, I never knew,
    nor told, in fact or measure.

    How could I wish you back to that,
    self-centered as I wandered?

    New tears then watered memory’s trail
    as all these things I ponder.

    No right nor wrong to sit upon
    just hope of better spending
    each breath He graces in my breast
    ’til my earth-chapter’s ending.






    Not at all sure I'm happy with this. It describes what happened, but I think the rhyme detracts from the absolute intensity of the moment. And though people are right in saying you can't live in the past, it seems impossible not to revisit it on brief (and in this case unanticipated) occasions.

  • #2
    My first reaction was that I loved the rhyme: they stood out, pleasantly. And I knew by its closing this was of the same spirit in which you've been immersed for some time, and I just have to say that this is so well constructed. From the structure to the rhyme scheme, and the rhythm, even, too ... except I think what you're "not sure" about might be the "voice" of the poem itself.

    It speaks of such a reminiscence, and I'm not sure how to say it -- Perhaps it's "pathos" that the writing seems to be missing, something to really drive me along, compel me. Though the poem was enoyable, and I would argue complete, beautiful as is.

    Some pieces come from the mind and others from the heart. But I'm not sure how close I am to being "correct" in my suppositions.

    ---Perhaps you're trying out different techniques, or ways, so that you're still tinkering with ... what you mean by what it appears as.

    Hope some of that helped! peace

    Comment


    • RhymeLovingWriter
      RhymeLovingWriter commented
      Editing a comment
      What insightful commentary - thank you. In this case I believe it's a combination of mind/heart. The words are cerebral (and almost can't help but rhyme given the way I think) but the unexpected intensity of feeling which compelled them were from the heart.

      I had to go back to the office of my father's physician to request some paperwork. That day, before I ran this errand, had been progressing smoothly. I stepped foot in the door and it hit me (I now understand better the meaning of the saying 'like a ton of bricks') that the last time I was there, my father had been alive. I'm emotional, but not often overwhelmed or blindsided - but that did it for me.

      Again, thank you for engaging with this and offering words which help me understand better.

  • #3
    Overall, i don't think you have anything to feel unhappy about this write. I really love it.
    If anything, it may be the oft use of the infinite tense (-ing) that feels a bit awkward.

    As far as living in the past vs. sudden bouts of grief, I have written and believe grief is like an underwater river that is created within us. While it is certainly a bad idea to jump fully into it, there is often nothing to be done about the spaces it carves into us or the unexpected times it bubbles to the surface then to just allow it to run its course.

    Comment


    • RhymeLovingWriter
      RhymeLovingWriter commented
      Editing a comment
      Thank you so much BJ. I love your explanation of 'river of grief'. I'm doing OK with not wading in - but this was like a tsunami that covered me 'on shore' as it were. Intense - in a way I'd never felt before. I recovered rather quickly, but the occasion still prompted a need to write.

      I may revisit it yet - to see how time affects the feeling/memory.

      Thank you for the encouraging words! Much appreciated.

  • #4
    I think of it as crying itself. Sometimes it can be done decorously, face can be covered, sobs can be controlled, it can be brief. The rhyme should obey the emotions, but once in a while whatever grief is inside just has to be let out however it can.

    Comment


    • RhymeLovingWriter
      RhymeLovingWriter commented
      Editing a comment
      Well, I'm emoting all over the place these days. This particular sob didn't last long - but the feeling that preceded it was a new intensity of emotion for me and the impetus for this piece. I agree with you - sometimes it just needs release. I'm so thankful there are so many words to work around into poetry and rhymes.

      Thank you LG for taking time to comment and confirming what I'm feeling.

  • #5
    You can trust your instinct about the rhyme's effect on the intensity, Rhymist. This is an accomplished work, no doubt; and therein lies its flaw. I cannot get beyond the *achieve* of it to the raw feeling it seeks to express. It stops me at the locked entrance of mourning, and presents me with the ingenious dark tracery of the gate, but I remain outside, without a key.

    Comment


    • RhymeLovingWriter
      RhymeLovingWriter commented
      Editing a comment
      Thank you Grant. That's an eloquent and spot on way to express my frustration with the piece. The real question now is, will I, or when will I, be ready to revisit it to grant access to a place I'd rather not go again?

  • #6
    RhymeLovingWriter If you think the rhyme detracts from the absolute intensity of the moment. It is probably because you are preoccupied with making it rhyme instead of just saying what you want to say first. I always say what I want to say first then find a way to make it rhyme later, This way no loss of intensity occurs. I really liked this rhyme:

    I wanted then, another chance,
    to better hold as treasure
    the gift you were, I never knew,
    nor told, in fact or measure.

    But I feel you got a little 'lost in the rhyme', starting with: "I never knew,
    nor told, in fact or measure."

    The rhyme is good but I feel that it doesn't communicate what you intended. This piece has the making of a masterpiece if you work on it some more . . . so you were right not to be completely satisfied with it. Either way it is still a nice poem!

    Comment


    • RhymeLovingWriter
      RhymeLovingWriter commented
      Editing a comment
      I so appreciate these comments RB, because they too, get behind what I was feeling. Phrases just rhyme themselves up in my head and I plop them down, rearrange them for better flow or rhythm, but I don't want a flow in this piece. I want to capture the full-stop, gasp & tear inducing effect of the moment. My tendency to 'wrap things up in a package and put a bow on it' took me too far down the rhyming path.

      A bit of irony, the stanza you quoted was one of my favorite parts - but it was an 'after-the-fact' reflection - not as much part of the feeling I was trying to capture of that moment.

      Thank you for taking time to engage with this.

  • #7
    It takes time to heal and sometimes it’s just managing our pain And loss. It takes as long as it takes but we keep putting one foot in front of another. I think you did a great job and it came from the heart.

    Comment


    • RhymeLovingWriter
      RhymeLovingWriter commented
      Editing a comment
      Thank you so much Alex. You're exactly right. And some of those steps are more daunting than others, particularly if they represent a steeper part of the journey. It's so good to see your comments again. Hope all is well with you.

  • #8
    When I read this on Saturday
    I ran out of time to say emotions
    aren't just words to play like cards.
    They live below the level of language
    The indescribable is indescribable.

    Comment


    • RhymeLovingWriter
      RhymeLovingWriter commented
      Editing a comment
      You're right, of course, about some things being beyond the level of words. And yet...I keep trying. How's that for an exercise in futility?
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