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The Playwrights Forum > The Art & Craft of Writing > Poet's Corner : Critique my Poem > Why We Die

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 Posted: Mon Jun 11th, 2007 03:12 pm
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timmy
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Joined: Fri Jun 9th, 2006
Location: Oz, Minnesota USA
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Mana: 
we die in pieces
one minute one day one
second at a time
my son used to mumble words
eating oatmeal now he hates
oatmeal and he still mumbles

time is a water snake twisted
around my finger, a dead
branch in a favorite tree

we die in pieces,
first a hair in your nose,
a picked scab on the back of your ear,
soon your whole head mutinies
like thin pirates in search of silver trinkets

we die in pieces,
numbers on a cell phone
deleted by nimble fingers eager for fresh
dialing, fresh numbers
we die because our hands no longer work

we die in pieces,
and music dies in pieces: one note, one rest,
three rests then ten
soon we tire of rests

i smell flowers
i do not smell flowers
flowers come in pieces
we die in pieces
we die every time lover’s flowers are discarded

when all is cried over and questions
persist like fever symptoms, a dying man
will have no more answers
than the pieces of time he has lived with

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 Posted: Tue Jun 12th, 2007 12:45 pm
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Alan
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Mana: 
Nice.  I like this quite a lot.  I relate quite a lot as well, being in my 40's.  Interesting thought:  I'm an English teacher, AP is my specialty, and so as I was reading your poem I had my critical voices in my head and all the time I'm thinking, "This is not a professional poet" (presumptuous of me, I realize--I don't know if you are or not) but regardless this is not a poem in an anthology or even in The New Yorker or something like that.  So I'm looking at it as a draft out there for response, but I wondered, after reading it and liking it, what would my response have been if it had been in an anthology or in the New Yorker or in some other publication that validated it before I had a chance to make my personal decision about it?  Would I have liked it more, even loved it, have shared it with my students because I was not trying to prove my worth as a critic?  I'm rambling.  But it's the end of the school year and all.  Regardless, all this is just to say (isn't that the opening to a William Carlos Williams' poem?) that I did appreciate your poem, liked the imagery and the truth of it and the effective line breaks that kept challenging my logical sense...liked it.  I wonder just a tad about that pirates part--a bit forced, contrived?  Anyway, good work.  I could easily imagine it being in an anthology but probably not in The New Yorker because it's not obscure enough.

 

 

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 Posted: Tue Jun 12th, 2007 04:50 pm
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timmy
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Mana: 
Alan:

thanks for the critique. As for your rambling on...I can relate. I also teach but have already concluded my rambling as I am out for the summer.

hmmmm "professional poet?"...not really. Not any more than I would consider myself a "professional playwright" although I've been "paid" for both...

I can relate to the poem b/c I recently turned 50 (yikes)...

yes, this is a draft. my postings here are always first draft...

no, I won't be submitting this to the New Yorker...maybe someday. The fact you "like it quite a lot" is good enough for me.

And thanks for being a teacher.

timmy

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