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Reviews from
Holy Week Monday

A reflection on the end of a life.

  2 total reviews 
Comment by
Debbie Noland
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I like this poem a lot, as the narrator contemplates three ways to encode an appropriate end-of-life message: poem, script, and song. The poem would confirm man's imminent mortality, and the script would offer the opportunity for a last conversation. But it is the song alone that dares to look beyond this physical life to embrace the possibility of that "something more" that we all so fervently hope for but cannot know absolutely with our finite minds.

Or anyway, that's what I am seeing here. It is a wonderful piece that invites the reader to contemplate not only the hope in an afterlife but also the subtle differences among the various vehicles of message. It seems simple, but says and suggests so much.

The only thing that kind of stopped me, Richard, was the period in the first stanza. I wondered why that wasn't a comma instead, since the complete thought doesn't really end until the end of the stanza.

I could read poems like this all day long. Thank you for sharing this one.

 Comment Written 23-Mar-2015

reply by the author on 23-Mar-2015

    Thanks Debbie.

    Thanks for your great support!

    To clarify something.

    The period after ' life' in line 3 is poetic licence.

    In prose I would say: ' I have one life, and it's up to me to make the most of it. '

    But in a poem I would say:

    I have one life.
    And it's up to me to make the most of it.

    The full stop is like showing a dagger at the start of a film.

    You are tense, as you know it is going to be used at some point.
    Which will be the end point, the full stop, for somebody.

    The full stop makes the reader stop.
    And reflect.
    On life.

    To add to that, a story is like when you make a meal for someone else to enjoy.

    But in a poem, you are asking the other person to wrestle with you.
    Or wrestle with something.
    Or do something.

    The poet, like the artist, like the playright, is issuing a challenge.

    As you walk away from hearing the poem, you are still meant to be grappling with the issue,
    because the issue has not been settled.

    That's why I like the parables in the bible.
    Equally challenging.
    Equally unresolved.

    Maybe I should write a story based on a parable.
    But the parable will have become invisible.
    Except to perceptive folk like you.

reply by Debbie Noland on 23-Mar-2015
    I am an ardent supporter of poetic license. So I say, "Go for it!" It is your poem, and I think it is great.

    I understand what you are saying about the stopping and thinking. But I notice that, in the passage where you are explaining poetic license in your reply above, you do not do so using the word "If" as the poem itself does.

    To me the "If" makes the difference in whether or not the period in question works. For me, it works differently than "And." "And" simply connects, whereas "If" expresses a condition that makes the structure incomplete in thought. To me, the "If" structure sounds unfinished when followed by a period, while the "And" one does not.

    Those are my thoughts and my explanation for them. But here is the bottom line: your poem is wonderful.

Comment by
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Life is a journey between two points. When we speculate outside we get it wrong all the time. I hope for a new beginning, best served by doing all the right things all the time while here. Always like writing that make us wonder.

 Comment Written 23-Mar-2015

reply by the author on 23-Mar-2015
    Thanks for your comment.

    It's interesting but humans back to the ancient Egyptians,
    and possibly before,
    were interested in the afterlife.

    We are really no nearer now.

    But what is unclear, or a mystery,
    or is a part-hidden secret
    is a great topic for a writer.
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