Saturday, March 8, 2008

The Essence of a Poem


It should be a woman
opening her eyes
after long hours of sleep,

the silhouette of a taut muscle
after it has hammered
a threepenny nail into yellow pine.

It should be the sound
of rain rushing through a gutter spout
to fertilize the ground with sky,

the music heard by a deaf girl
at her first symphony
as half notes fall from the staff.

Picture: Public Domain

25 comments:

Commonly Cheap said...

Stumbled in and just wanted to say hi. Lovely work.


I would like to invite you to leave a comment on my blog. At my blog I ask people to tell me about their day in seven words or less. Just leave me a comment with your seven words, you can do it anonymously. If you'd rather not, then have a nice day.

http://todayinseven.blogspot.com

lluvia said...

after years of reading and writing (speaking little) in english it is still difficult for me to grasp the whole in a poem but I can feel these very soon and deep...:)

Billy said...

Commonly and illuvia--thank you -:)

Jane Poe (aka Deborah) said...

There's something anticipatory about this poem ... definitely leaves me wanting more, which of course, may have been the intention. Peace, JP/deb

Jo said...

Hey Billy, the third stanza is beautiful, really blew me away......and I like the rest very much too :)

Charles Gramlich said...

Nice. I think the first stanza was my favorite.

qualcosa di bello said...

i am having the best time reading your poetry (& other posts too). every verse is so rich & vivid. like jo, the 3rd stanza really draws me in...i can hear the rushing water in those words.

thank you for visiting my blog & i would consider it an honor to exchange links.

SandyCarlson said...

Well, Billy, I'll weigh in on the second stanza. The ripping of a tree with a nail, the ooze and odor from the wound...all of that is poetry to me.

I like all of it--because good poems go beyond their words mysteriously, magically, as you beautifully demonstrate.

Scott from Oregon said...

Would that be a three penny common, shank or finish? Galvy or a shiner?

I like the third stanza the best too...

I never thought of the sky being tied to the ground so dependantly before...

Janice Thomson said...

You have captured the essence beautifully and vividly. What is not said here but hinted at is the most powerful of all.
Excellent William.

Billy said...

deb, yeah, you're right. I intentionally cut this short, ending with the deaf girl interpreting the music in her own way, which is what we must do with written poetry I think. It's silent and waiting to be interpreted. Thanks for stopping by again. I'll be checking out your site again in a few. -:)

Jo, the third stanza seems to have won LOL. Thanks for the lovely comment. I made this one intentionally very simple and straightforward.

Charles, the first stanza was my favorite as well. I got the very simple image in my mind, and the rest of the poem grew out of it.

qualcosa, thank you for taking the time to read my blog and this poem in particular. I'll be adding your link today. And yes--I love the sound of rushing water anywhere I hear it, even in a spout.

Sandy, I'm partial to this one because the images are so plain and yet when I wrote it I thought they had an evocative quality and, like you said, went beyond the words. Glad you liked it :)

Scott, I'd have to vote galvanized on the nail LOL. And yes, there's a dependency between the sky and ground in the 3rd stanza. Dependency--that's a good way to put it.

Janice, I love your comment. I think the essence of every poem is what is left out, so that the reader has to be drawn into speculation. (Just like all your taiga/haiga, for example. I still have the image of the paper/envelope in that tree. It brings to mind so many possibilities.)

Crafty Green Poet said...

I love the last stanza last, though I'm only choosing a stanza at all because everyone is... I really enjoyed the whole poem

SandyCarlson said...

Thanks for sharing your thoughts on my blog, Billy. Welcome, as ever!

I hope you'll stop by One Single Impression and have a go at this week's prompt!

paisley said...

and when it is... nothing can take the place of that feeling...

excellent descriptive choices... just excellent....

Lana Gramlich said...

Very nice, although at first glace the title appeared to be "The Essence of Porn!" *LOL*

Julie at Virtual Voyage said...

The music heard by a deaf girl clicked...

Lane said...

A woman opening her eyes after many hours sleep is not always a poetic sight:-)

Seriously - you have an integral lyricism in your poems Billy.
I enjoyed this very much.

Billy said...

Juliet, I'm glad *somebody* voted for the last stanza, which I thought was the best way to end the poem -:)

Sandy, I will certainly stop by again at one single impression. I left one last week. Great site!

paisley, thank you so much ... and thanks for coming by. I added you to my links (hope that's okay). Your site is truly remarkable.

Lana, I guess that's another poem altogether. I'll send an email to my psuedonym LOL. (BTW, I forgot to answer your question about the lake pic. Was just a stock shot that was in public domain.)

Julie, thanks. There are many classes to help the deaf appreciate music. Who knows--maybe they can appreciate it at a deeper level than most. Beethoven certainly did.

Lane, you're right LOL I did kinda idealize someone waking up and opening her peepers! But I'm glad you liked it--thanks!

jason evans said...

Oh wow!

Beautifully done.

Marja said...

I so loved the third stanza Beautiful poem again. Thank you Billy

Billy said...

Jason, thanks. I (usually) strive for simple syntax without being simplistic.

Marja, # 3 still seems to be people's favorites. Thanks as always for your kind comments -:)

cargwaps said...

"It should be a woman
fluttering her lids
in the midst of REM sleep

the release of a tense muscle
from the touch of a warm
lover's hands in mid-massage

the sound of soft rain
drumming a tin roof
on afternoons when the bed has held you captive

the tone heard by a deaf girl
as she touches the piano's key
and stares at the music sheet"

- my tribute to your beautiful beautiful poem billy.
it's been too long since i have felt the urge to write. reading your words stirs passions within me, passions i thought i'd lost. :) thank you.

lissa said...

how wonderful just to read these.

thanks for the visit.

Cynthia said...

Beautiful, with a touch of
melancholy at her hem.

Billy said...

lissa, ypu're welcome, and thanks for stopping by!

Cynthia, thanks--yes, a little melancholy at the end. An apt description. :)