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Unread 04-12-2021, 11:40 PM
Golias Golias is offline
Join Date: Sep 2000
Location: Lewisburg, PA, USA
Posts: 1,514
Default Sunlight

He wakes in gloom and canít recall his name,
in whose bed he lies, nor whence he came.
Daylight glimmers through a window curtain.
Before a bathroom mirror heís uncertain
whom he sees; itís surely not himself.
He takes a wallet from a bedside shelf
and finds a name he thinks may be his own.
Confused, he cannot find a ringing phone.
Next he opens the door to someone, but to whom?
His daughter brings his life into his sunlit room.
Unread 04-13-2021, 06:42 AM
R. Nemo Hill's Avatar
R. Nemo Hill R. Nemo Hill is offline
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Halcott, New York
Posts: 9,354

Wiley, I think the form, not just the poetic form, but the rules of sentence structure and punctuation, are getting in the way of the enveloping confusion here. They bring too much predictable order to the portrait. I would try scrambling the format more, to reflect the state of mind. Something like this (done hastily) . . .


he wakes in gloom he canít
recall his name
in just whose bed
he lies from where he came
daylight glimmers
through a windowís curtain
before a bathroom mirror
heís uncertain
whom he sees itís surely
not himself
he takes a wallet from
a bedside shelf
and finds a name he thinks
may be his own
confused he cannot find
a ringing phone
and opens the door to someone
but to whom
his daughter brings his life
to his sunlit room.

Unread 04-13-2021, 09:31 AM
Golias Golias is offline
Join Date: Sep 2000
Location: Lewisburg, PA, USA
Posts: 1,514

I like your idea of conforming, in this case, form to subject. How about restoring the last line where confusion ends and sunlight is brought to subject and room? I think the confusion of form might be made even greater than your example, but not so great as to be unintelligible to the reader, or even to be considered ridiculous... Shall we's wait to see what some others think?

On the other hand, what if the form is an attribute of the omniscient observer? Should we not expect good form from the narrator
Gracias, Nemo

Last edited by Golias; 04-13-2021 at 11:12 AM.
Unread 04-13-2021, 03:38 PM
Gena Gruz Gena Gruz is offline
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Join Date: Dec 2020
Location: NYC
Posts: 20

I love how the hallow man get combined into longer lines. And you keep inner words and substitute the outliers. Or the ones on the curb. You compress and stretch it out. Very nice. I love a poem changes meaning based on a meter. And length.
Thank you. G
Unread 04-13-2021, 06:16 PM
Susan McLean Susan McLean is offline
Join Date: Jul 2001
Location: Iowa City, IA, USA
Posts: 8,966

Wiley, I agree that the rhymed couplets are a particularly tidy and predictable form, and therefore maybe not the best fit for this subject. One possibility would be to separate the rhymes more, or even make the rhyme pattern unpredictable. Another possibility would be to make the length of the lines more varied (if you keep the rhymes perfect) or to make the rhymes slant if you keep the length the same. I once experimented with using rhymed couplets that were eye rhymes, but pronounced differently, like "bone/one" or "cough/though." It is a great way to keep the reader off balance and therefore identifying with the confusion of the central figure.

Unread 04-14-2021, 12:23 PM
RCL's Avatar
RCL RCL is offline
Join Date: Oct 2000
Location: Los Angeles, CA
Posts: 5,863

I favor the tension between N and the subject, form and content, the concordia discors.

Last edited by RCL; 04-14-2021 at 12:27 PM.
Unread 04-14-2021, 02:39 PM
Bill Marsh Bill Marsh is offline
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Join Date: Nov 2020
Location: Toronto, Canada
Posts: 38

I think this poem is finished and perfect as is. I read it a couple of times just asking if a word or image was out of place. The form of the poem - the rimed couplets - are appropriate to what is a well-formed presentation of a complete situation: a man with dementia whose contact with reality now depends on the support of loved-ones. It is moving.
Unread 04-14-2021, 03:22 PM
Golias Golias is offline
Join Date: Sep 2000
Location: Lewisburg, PA, USA
Posts: 1,514

Thankss, Bill. After hard study I find the poem is almost exactly as I want it and as you see it also. My daughter agrees, too, with tears, poor girl. It stays as is. I have several more problematical poems on hand now that I am trying to produce one per day. Thanks to each of you for your comments, Susan, Gena, RCL and especially Nemo. Susan, you have done magical things with rhymed couplets; I shall always, while I live, treasure your Finisterre.

Wiley (Golias)
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