Wednesday, October 27, 2004

old poem needs new tricks

so i had a very recent poem i was hoping to post on here soon... and then i stumbled upon this and i need help. i wrote it a few years ago, but workshopped it for the first time this week. after some minor revision, i thought i'd bring it to the table (or bar, as it may be more appropriate for this group). i'll let you all read it first, and list my specific questions at the end of the post. it's a very dear poem to me, and any feedback you all can give me would be so appreciated. i value each and every one of your opinions so much...

Love, Mom

June—you watch lavender gowns
sway down rose petal aisles,
dream of the five who will wear them
when someday you follow
wearing white, carrying my love
in diamond studs, his
love in rings.

That June, he will know every inch
of you, but never know me beyond
your diamond ears he kisses,
lace he unbuttons revealing
a garter strung to match
lavender dresses I chose
for your maids when

it was January. You were fifteen
in my hospital room,
bouquets of flowers, glass
vases on frosted windowsill, your hand
in mine, fingers traced cold
lavender veins up and down my
arms as I wrote out last words,
wedding plans, love,
breath.



questions: is the chronology confusing? i just like the poem so much as is, but it goes present, future, past. does that work? can i do something to make it work better? is the use of June, June, January effective? i just added January, does it help? hinder? is it doing anything? gosh, i don't know... where do i need clarity, to add, to subtract... i don't know where to go with it, help me...

5 Comments:

Blogger ziegenhagen said...

KTB that poem is beautiful...I don't even know what to say or where to start.

I have never been good at giving advice on how to make poems better, either by adding or subtracting...so I don't have any advice that would be helpful I am sure.

But I can say this...it is powerful. Heartbreaking, and uplifting at the same time. There is a tension of love that runs through the poem...it is wonderfully done because you can feel true love the way it should feel. There is a good display of multiple forms of love, which is important, but at the same time, it shows how love is beautiful and wonderful, and at the same time horrible and hard. It shows how love can bring us ultimate joy, but with that comes the risk, and often inevitability of pain. It's necessary, the poem I mean, you know that. Thank you for sharing it...I wish I could be there to hear you read it to me out loud...and let you watch my stunned face fall in love with it and then give you a huge hug cause huggin is good. So is this poem. Love you.

3:11 AM | Permalink  
Blogger *k maria** said...

ktb...what will just said - i couldn't have said it better myself. i fell in love with this poem the first time i heard it, and i love it even more now. for some reason it reminds me of my old house, of growing up, of that first moment when i was old enough to realize that my siblings were missing their mother. it makes me want to cry - in the way that tears can sometimes put you back together, heal the missing pieces... love you, heaps and heaps.

9:18 PM | Permalink  
Blogger KTB said...

god i love you guys. willie, save that hug for me. i miss ya kid.

1:20 AM | Permalink  
Blogger toddie said...

wow ktb....you are incredible in your strength. i think this poem is not only beautiful because it displays the strength you have to peice it together, it also drips with love and incredible emotions that somehow you have weaved into language. i have to go with willie on this one i want to give you a hug.....
...i think i may have seen this poem before, anyhow i love january. dont you touch it. it is incredible it leaves you breathless....the frosted windowsill the breath that hangs in the end...the glass vasses..i like these things they are all slightly tangible, slightly not...i feel as though this relays the poem so well, the emotion is so strong, love, hurt...loss...you can almost touch it. either way you feel it and to me it feels like those images in the end. i think maybe the only thing i would play around with is the beginning....i love the images...but maybe there is where the order is a bit unclear. i dunno...i love it. so if you wanted to toy around with anything i would say the first part...but whatever you do, make sure that it remains the way that is closest to you. it is too much a poem that is in you, dont let that get lost. i love you girl.......

11:31 AM | Permalink  
Blogger KTB said...

and toddie... oh how i love you too. you've convinced me to keep the january. and you have seen it before, it's in my last chapbook (you know, the one i never made myself a copy of). i wrote it in vienna after the wedding in augustiner kirche. and my wonderful writing group (sid, phil, audrey) helped me add the 3rd stanza last year. but i changed some wording, some tense, added in january and some more cold imagery at the end there. i love and hate this poem all at the same time. love it for evoking all these encouraging and loving comments. hate it for never seeming quite right, never seeming to do the whole thing justice.

sorry for the little rant there. anyhow, thanks toddie. and p.s. i have a real cute picture of us from the brewery. perhaps after my midterms i'll get ambitious and scan it to ya. love you girl...

12:34 AM | Permalink  

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