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The Playwrights Forum > The Art & Craft of Writing > Poet's Corner : Critique my Poem > In there

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In there  Rate Topic 
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 Posted: Tue Dec 12th, 2006 05:54 pm
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timmy
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Location: Oz, Minnesota USA
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for forty-seven years of marriage
mother kept candles, white solid


paraffin, like little wax children  

she loved to light them during storms,
to hold them in the darkness, smiling
at the flickers, created shadows on the wall

a lit candle has fingerprints, she said
each lit candle has its own flame,
its own wick, tearing the darkness,


forcing it to surrender a part of itself

a candle aches for darkness,


to be used when cold winds scream,

and loneliness, while not fatal,

is wrapped away in the poverty

of its unused self

she told me all this


when expecting storms,
while waiting to light her candles,


kept above the stove, in there,
just in case, she said

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 Posted: Wed Dec 13th, 2006 02:33 am
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in media res
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timmy,

Thanks again for a wonderful poem. Such a simple thing, a canlde. and you capture its depth, beauty, utilitarianism and its relationship to the whole.

I know the feelings you write of well. My candles are ready, too. Along with the batteries for the radio and a self-generating wind-up flashlight!!

Re: poetry. You must see the movie, "The History Boys."

best,

in media res

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 Posted: Wed Dec 13th, 2006 10:20 pm
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timmy
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In there (re-write)

for forty-seven years of marriage
mother kept candles, white solid paraffin,
like little wax children, in case of bad
weather, she said, just in case

she loved to light them during storms,
to hold them in the darkness, smiling
at flickers, created shadows on the wall

a lit candle has fingerprints, she said,
its own wick, tearing the darkness,
forcing it to surrender a part of itself

a candle aches for darkness,
to be used when cold winds
scream, and loneliness,
while not fatal, is wrapped away
in the poverty of its unused self

she told me all this while waiting
to light her candles, kept above
the stove in case of bad
weather, she said, just in case

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 Posted: Thu Dec 14th, 2006 06:16 pm
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scenedreamer
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I liked the original, but I like the rewrite even more.  What a great way to suck the emotion from a common object.  I never before considered the significance of candles. 

Good work.

sd

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 Posted: Fri Dec 15th, 2006 06:07 pm
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in media res
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timmy,

I like the first one better.

I think it flows better on the eye and to the ear. For instance, at the end

"in there,
just in case, she said"

I can hear her actually saying that.

Whereas

"she told me all this while waiting
to light her candles, kept above
the stove in case of bad
weather, she said, just in case"

This is too literal. We know what the candles are for in your poem already. Your images are so clear I saw what a candle can do without you telling me so specifically. Your poetry usually lights little candles of imagination in us anyway with the essential use of "spared imagery" rather than cooling it with a waterfall gush of imagery. I wrote one time in a critique of edd's play something like "too much writing makes the reall writing less powerful." (He liked it that is why I mention it here. I think it is true.)

But, basically I have absolutely no reason why except, as I have a character say in a play at one point, "Because it is just better."

Re-writing is like re-arranging a room you just now it looks better.


"A candle aches for darkness." Great line.

It is your call.

best,

in media res

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