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May 11, 2011
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The funeral was quiet, and at first
it was not too hard.

But later, in the quiet of her home
when the guests had left
their condolences and flowers still fresh
in her memory, she noticed -
A misspelling, on a wreath.

Soon
numbers lost their meaning +
dates seemed to come at random.
She could not speak, her teeth
became a sieve
to scramble syllables and meaning.
When the bills came
for his casket and for the food,
the letters bleached and blurred
into the bone-white
scraps of paper, which crumbled
senselessly, in her hand.
A poem about things falling apart. I worked on this, and am very curious about what you think. I can't decide about the + and the &, is it out of place?
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:iconcogongrass:
I like this--there's a certain dismissiveness in your tone in the first and second stanza that hooked me, a kind of distancing from the grief. It's an interesting move.

I go back and forth on the use of symbols in place of words. My first thought was a no, but, rereading it, their presence makes sense--the same way that "numbers los[e] their meaning", the symbols put distance between themselves and what they're supposed to stand for. Ultimately, I like their being there.

"when the guests had left / their condolences and flowers still fresh" struck me really well--I liked the way the lines bleed into one another, both in terms of the specific effects of these two lines and the way that this works in terms of the poem in general. Again, there are some nice tie-ins to the point you seem to be driving at--a falling apart of structure, emotional or otherwise, and the ways in which grief denies structures of all sorts, ultimately finding them imposing. Cool. And clever.
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:iconrober2:
rober2 May 21, 2011  Professional Writer
Thank you! That is very much what I needed to hear, and what I was trying to do. It is exceedingly nice to be understood!
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:iconnumbskulled00:
numbskulled00 May 11, 2011  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
this is short..ha ha it is a good one. i like the symboles cause it makes it more unusual and actuallly gives it more meaning.especially if you've ever been in this situation.
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:iconrober2:
rober2 May 12, 2011  Professional Writer
Thank you, how did you think it added meaning? I was trying to capture how people who have lost important people in their lives often fall apart - they can't think, things lose their meaning, etc.
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:iconnumbskulled00:
numbskulled00 May 12, 2011  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
the symboles put emphasis on the words you used them for. i just lost my Grandfather and completely understand the meaning,but i also felt it could be taken in another aspect-devorce is alot like losing someone dear in your life,to death.you go thru the same emotions.
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:iconrober2:
rober2 May 12, 2011  Professional Writer
*nod* that's right. I'm minoring in psychology, and the process is mostly the same.

Also, my condolences.
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:iconnumbskulled00:
numbskulled00 May 12, 2011  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
now why hadn't i figured that out?!ha ha i'm sorry,but i can't help but mess with you.maybe your appealing in that aspect,not that you don't have other redeeming qualities-ofcourse...thanks,that is greatly appreciated.
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:iconsilverfleckedlullaby:
silverfleckedlullaby May 11, 2011  Hobbyist Writer
This is an interesting poem, with a lot of potential. :clap:

-First of all, yes the + and the & are definitely out of place and superfluous

-The poem ends inconclusively. The last stanza has a bit of imagery and is therefore the most stylistically (or aesthetically) well-written part of the poem, however, the poem seems incomplete. There's no conclusion...it's just left hanging. This might be the effect you were trying to achieve, but I feel it affects the poem adversely on the whole.

-I love the concept of this piece, especially the "misspelling on the wreath." The little things make a great deal of difference.

-I think the imagery you've used in the last stanza (bleached and blurred, bone-white scraps of paper) is highly effective: it adds style to the piece without drawing attention away from the content. It would be nice if the first stanza had some too, and if the second stanza could have a bit more figurative language added to it.

-On the whole, I think this piece is beautiful in its simplicity. However, simplicity does not necessarily mean absence of rhetoric and figurative language. The piece comes alive at the places where you've used imagery and diction to create an effect--perhaps the whole poem could come alive if such devices were used consistently throughout the piece :)
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