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    poetry


    dots Submission Name: Threepenny Operadots
    --------------------------------------------------------





    Author: Silverdog
    Elite Ratio:    7.21 - 2085/1512/140
    Words: 1576
    Class/Type: Poetry/Serious
    Total Views: 2855
    Average Vote:    4.8000
    Bytes: 11232



    Description:
       For Linda Ellen Bland 1947-1977

    Background to this is in my journal today. It's long, -- by comparison to a life, and that may be sad or sweet, depending on your perspective.




    The photo by Zandro Tiitso was found at www.treklens.com

    It is of a Black Swan taken in an early morning rain. I liked this because you don't see the eyes, and that makes it compelling somehow.


    Make the font bigger!! Double Spacing Back to recent posts.

    dotsThreepenny Operadots
    -------------------------------------------


    You were fourteen, the summer of '61,
        in Stratford Ontario, just a leggy Arian dreamer
        little sister, reading your poems at the Black Swan;
        a smoking , toking, cappuchino-sipping Capulet,
           while at the Dairy Queen I made Dilly Bars
           with perfect curliqued belly buttons (outies,you called them)
          chocolate coated in uniformity, then tucked into designer ™w®appers.
    You were a black swan, for God's sake
        with emerald eyes masked in kohl, inscrutable smile,
             an irridescent hank of expresso-colored hair
             like a sheet of satin streaming down your back.

    We were flowers, -plucked from Mother's
    funeral wreathes, re-arranged and estranged ,
    both seeking the simple solace of souls,
       gliding like orphaned cygnets on the Avon,
         but in different directions.
            I bore the gold crucifix from her coffin ,and you
            wore her perfume,-      "Tabu"

    I left for college,promising to return and "help" you,
    how you laughed at that altruistic concept; meanwhile you
       called yourself Dove, snuck out late at night, indulged all appetite
       and instinct as if there would be no tomorrow.

           The Sisters of St.Joseph prayed for you,- the black sheep,
           as you scattered summer flowers like lovely mad Ophelia.

    You, furtive Bohemian runaway, surfaced
    in Hamilton, Valentine's Day, 1963.
        You delighted in aliases and costumes, ever afraid of detection and
        certain extradition back to Bland conformity, and so you were
        Betty Pringle, Jenny Dove, Katy Kumquat,-whatever,
        you were 16, reciting your poems at The Purple Onion,
            and so utterly God-damned beautiful,
            a statuesque candle,your face aglow with soulful radiance
            your black shift shimmering , words flowing like molten wax
            carving light and shadow from the darkness-
                 with your heart.

    I worried about you, said you were going to Hell, but
    you laughed and said you'd just been there and that it wasn't all that bad.
       You tossed me a pomegranate-
                   It went right over my head.


    Summer of '64
       I found you in Yorkville,
            writing poems in The Lothian Mews.
           I remember your poems-
    No!       I only wish that-
                I really remembered your poems.
                   They made sense then ,
                   in an imperfect world, they were perfection.

    You lived in a brownstone walk-up
     redolent with patchouli and sandalwood
     with that artist boy, where terra cotta pots
             of pot basked on sagging windowsills.
    We gnoshed on foods strange to my vanilla palette,
        Spanakopita, couscous, artichokes , guavas and oysters,
             fat black olives and kosher pickles fished from barrels at the market.
    In the Beaujolais afternoons splashed with childhood's stains,
             the sins of our parents spillled all over the carpet
                revisited over turkish coffee,
                   black hash,      and blue tears.

    You unbound my hair, brushed it loose and lined my eyes with kohl;
    we sat gazing into one another's reflection and my ice-cream world melted away
    with the warm salve of your familiar,     forgotten,      touch.


    We went to the Royal Alex,  The Threepenny Opera,– we
     played dress-up as little girls do, costumed as Macheath's ladies,
            Low-Dive Jenny and Polly Peachum
            sultry and sexy, under swish of second-hand silk,
           sequined black décolleté,   clutching beaded evening bags
            oblivious to anything but our youth, freedom, and  the power of love;
            like resplendent cowries in satin pools of nightsky's lazuli shores,
                 crystal spindrift settling in our wake.

    You drove me to the train station,
            I had a one-way ticket to Golden B.C., the Rockies
            a teaching position, a man with a silver voice and a golden ring.
           no-return from my Great Canadian Dream


    You packed a hamper, grapes, figs, cheese,  bagels,
         a Beaujolais (Bouchard Ainé et Fils 1961)
         and odd, -a piece of a broken rosary,
         ruby-red beads that you said looked like
            pomegranate seeds dangling from a tarnished silver crucifix....
               [ Our Father, three Hail Mary's and a Glory Be.]
    You said I was going to hell, and I would need it.
        I laughed, and in that moment on the platform
        I felt the steel embrace of ascendant wings
                as a feathered finger tip wiped a tear from my cheek.
                   we kissed, waved ,   and
                       I never saw you again.


    December 1977, Our father finally found you–
    Lady Jane Doe, three month resident at the Toronto morgue.
    Anonymity and silence preserved forever by your own device
           No possessions, photos, journals, no poems,- left to speak to me,
           to answer poignant questions, to fill in dull grey blanks,
           to complain, to rebuke,–to scream or whimper of dying alone
               your last thoughts and words writ on midnight mists,
               your whole life erased, evaporated like morning's dewy tears.
                  You are a black swan gliding regal through the obsidian night.
    They mailed me your empty shoulder-bag,
        a broken turquoise set in cheap silver,-
            a small laquered stash box cradling a section of an old rosary.
                 [10 ruby-red Hail Mary's , blue quartz Our Father,–   no Glory Be ]

    Now nothing remains of you but memory's soft haze
         like wispy tendrils of sweetgrass smoke, curling skyward
          circling saffron dreams of bygone years.
            that,   and the immutable pain of unanswered prayers.
    We couldn't know that decades are but copper coins
        in a three penny opera.
           if only sister,
              if only we could reckon with that savior on horseback.

                   if only---





                                Sally Bland ©
                                    February 21, 2005




    Submitted on 2005-02-23 17:41:55     Terms of Service / Copyright Rules
    Submissions: [ Previous ] [ Next ]

    Rate This Submission

    1: >_<
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    3: meh!
    4: Pretty cool
    5: Wow!




    ||| Comments |||
      All of the below, I cried, and was reminded of my own sister, As many of these commentors were.

    the strange bond between sisters.

    Beautiful.
    Utterly Beautiful.
    | Posted on 2009-01-03 00:00:00 | by dismal_s child | [ Reply to This ]
      holy frijoles...this made me cry ( i never cry at things i read...never, almost never, except in this and some of those ones my daughter has written...how that child can break my heart with her hope and her faith in me...i am forever terrified of failing her and her siblings, and when i do, they shrug and forgive with such knee-jerk grace, it floors me.)

    ummm...where was i?
    oh, yes.

    it could have been written by my sister, if my sister and i have been close and if i had been more tragic. my family always thought of me as the Bohemian One, before i left my beautiful Chaos (a succession of wild lovers, with no sense of order or logic) for Perfect Serenity ( my first love who found me after twenty years. a calm and rational and gentle loving man...who i once rejected out of boredom). and my sister, eminently practical, just watched my antics and the dreadful bumps and bruises i aquired from those antics and clucked her tongue.

    now, i am almost afraid to read the background of this piece.

    i want it to be fictional.


    | Posted on 2008-12-13 00:00:00 | by ruejacobs | [ Reply to This ]
      This is by far the most amazing piece of pure and heartfelt literature that I have read on this or any other poetry sharing site. Your word choices were not only exquisite but theor usage made this piece come to life and mad the reader feel as a participant rather than a voyeur. After reading this piece of wonderment I am purely ashamed to have ever attempted to call myself a poet. I congratualte you and bow down to you Sally Bland.
    | Posted on 2007-08-18 00:00:00 | by ErgoIgo | [ Reply to This ]
      I, like the rest of the people here who have read this beautiful work of art, was left feeling absolutely overwhelmed. I was left spellbound, and the second time I read it, I was crying by halfway through. Your poem has aroused so many emotions for me. First, I think of two young girls losing their mother at a crucial turning point in their lives. I am reminded of two particular girls; one of whom tried to copy everything I did (her mother died of cancer when she was 12). I think she was looking for someone to identify with and attach herself to. The second was my best friend. When we were 16, her mother died, and I was at a loss for what to do or say. That is a story in itself.
    Secondly, I am reminded of myself and my own sister, except I would be your sister and my sister would be you. I am left wondering a few things. My sister and I have never communicated much, we never had much in common. I was aware at times that she was jealous of me. But I didn't always understand why, because in my eyes, the path I chose was not easy. When we were older, I said I would trade her places if she was so jealous of my life. I wonder if she has felt some of the same sentiments you did. I am also left feeling blessed and grateful for having been so lucky. Although on the outside I may have looked like a carefree bohemian, the inside was wrought with turmoil. Of course there were times I had a lot of fun (it wouldn't be addictive if it was not), my excesses eventually led me down a very slippery slope. I could very easily have died, too, but my life has been spared. I have now been clean for 3 years, and I feel blessed to be alive. I could have very easily ended up where your sister did.
    I am very sorry your sister had to go in such a lonely and untimely way. I felt sharply your pain, that you conveyed so well. I wish I could have met your sister, because I'm sure we would have gotten along very well.
    I find it ironic how now you are the poet. Your sister passed to you her love of poetry, and now you carry her legacy to us, and that is beautiful. I'm absolutely certain your sister would be proud.
    Perhaps in the future, I can get to know you better, and we can exchange poetry and stories. You have given us, the readers, the gift of allowing us in to this very personal part of your life and history. I thank you dearly for sharing it with me.
    With love from
    Soul-Hugger
    | Posted on 2006-12-06 00:00:00 | by Soul-Hugger | [ Reply to This ]
      I loved this poem.

    Its reminds me of me and my sister whos in boarding skool right now.



    I liked how u ended with if only


    | Posted on 2006-12-03 00:00:00 | by WD-40 | [ Reply to This ]
      That was remarkable. I sensed absolutely every bejeweled word of this piece. I don't even know where to start my praise.
    Your words are creatively descriptive and extremely evocactive. Beautiful choices. The parts about you are written more plainly... they impact how you felt so normal and plain next to your sister (the bohemian princess so wild and free) and fittingly the words you use to describe her are more flashy and rich. I could really picture the whole story, and I felt it. I felt that admiration I had for my sister who seemed so foriegn and brave.... especially in the part about the pomegranite. Simple words making a powerful statement.
    And the entire stanza that began as you girls being flowers plucked from your mother's funeral wreathes really stood out to me. Girls in the wake of loss dealing with a motherless future totally differently, and that you use these items... the crucifix and Tabu to describe the paths you each took... simply brilliant.
    My goodness.
    Your descriptions of your sister/memories/sisterhood leave me speechless.
    And then when we come to the devastating end, you have a very original way of conveying that pain. You've spent all these words building us a model of this exceptionally interesting human you grew up admiring and the last two stanzas show in physical and metaphorical descriptions the shattering loss. This is honestly one of the most original pieces of its kind I've read...
    you inspire me.
    Jessica
    | Posted on 2006-07-06 00:00:00 | by parabola | [ Reply to This ]
      Seriously, this is one of the best pieces I have ever EVER read in my life.

    It's so tragic and pure and just wow. I know I always have completely useless comments for you Sally, all gushing praise and nothing else... but truly, if someone wrote a eulogy like this for my death, I'd be honoured-- even though I wouldn't know it. Although, maybe I would-- it's been said that deeply felt emotions can be picked up by loved ones on the other side.

    Detail makes a poem, and this has it in spades. A truly epic feast that deserves to grace the world with publication. So, have you submitted this? Because you should. This is the sort of poetry that kids in school should be made to read-- to appreciate it with new-found vigour, instead of the boring crapola they get subjected to (at least I did).

    If I could make this my number one fave, I would. In my mind, it already is.

    Just wonderful... and so freakin' eloquent.
    Peace,

    Jase
    | Posted on 2006-06-15 00:00:00 | by alteredlife | [ Reply to This ]
      This, this, this- I don't know what to say to this. This is the most enjoyable poem I have ever read on this site- possibly, in my life. And I never have nothing to say, so this must be never.
    | Posted on 2006-07-12 00:00:00 | by lukewarm | [ Reply to This ]
      "Id rather laugh with the sinners than cry with the saints.
    The sinners are much more fun.
    Only the good die young."

    I was definitely reminded of that song when I read this.

    It's so poignant, elaborated, and in short utterly beautiful.

    I just identify with your sister so much.

    I loved the parts about pomegranates because they are my favorite fruit and I write about them a lot in my poetry.

    You take the reader on an exciting journey through a young woman who lived for the moment and was never at loss for an adventure. Someone the reader almost wished he or she could be.

    Then there is the tragic poet's end.

    Because of this poem I will never forget your sister. And I haven't even met her!

    This was just amazing. I loved the allusions, the metaphors, the imagery. I've read it about four times now to catch all the nuances.

    Peace,
    Astarael
    | Posted on 2005-10-30 00:00:00 | by Astarael | [ Reply to This ]
      The White Swan is most commonly known as a Mute Swan. All Mute Swans in the UK are property of the Crown, as of 1482, when the official 'Act Of Swans' came into force. All property of Her Majesty The Queen....

    The Black Swans are free.

    Your sister had voice and freedom and beauty - and continues to do so, though your voice, your memories and your prayers....


    "Life is eternal and love is immortal; And death is only a horizon, And a horizon is nothing save the limit of our sight."
    ~R. W. Raymond


    Katia
    | Posted on 2005-05-09 00:00:00 | by Katia | [ Reply to This ]
      Sometimes when I read a really good poem (the type that leaves me in complete awe) I wish I were friends with the author, or at the very least, call them up and let them know how their work touched my life. I'm fortunate to do the latter. :)

    Reading this poem for me was not thinking of ways I could respond. I was completely drawn into it, I almost felt as though I were you, and as I also have younger sisters who I am fond of, by the end of it, I was left almost in tears.

    Tears of both sadness and happiness. That such a beautiful, witty young woman such as your sister passed on so young, and happiness, that she is loved and remembered, not only by her sister, but by people who had never met her.

    After all, arent strangers just family we haven't yet met? (Mitch Albom)

    This poem is going to be an absolute favourite of mine, I think forever. You are up there amongst the ranks of Bishop, Plath, Whitman and all the classic poets I love and admire.

    Your sister was a very lucky woman, if I were to ever receive a eulogy like this, I would be beyond damn pride.

    You must have published a book. If not, this is publication material. You must simply publish, because I want to rush out and get it. And pass on to all my friends.

    Thanks for giving me the chance to read such a beautifully written, poignant piece of poetry.
    | Posted on 2005-05-08 00:00:00 | by pennyroyal tea | [ Reply to This ]
      Sally.. i'm sure you know there is no critique needed here. and it is not only for the sake of treading lightly.. or for the sake that this is such an intensely personal poem.. all of that counts.. but the point is that this is a masterpiece.
    your writing continues to astound me..
    ...
    and having just read the journal entry that accompanied this poem.. i know what i can do with this comment that will be of more use to you than the open-mouthed, gaping awe that i was about to launch into (although i know i won't be able to resist that in the end..)

    in the journal you ask about an understanding of what she might have been like.. a lot of the things that you mention in your journal come through very strongly .. the free spirited, rebellious nature are impossible to miss.. there is a sense of a 'luxurious' way of life... and not luxurious in the sense of wealth.. but more in the sense of.. (i'm having the hardest time finding the right way to phrase this..) the phsyical or tangible pleasures.. revelling in all that the senses have to offer.. i can only find one word to get the idea across.. bohemian.. and even that word doesnt seem to do the concept justice.

    there is so much love and history and honesty in this... and it just makes me admire you as a writer and as a person all the more having read it.

    and i could go on and on here but it will probably be nonsensical rambling and it wont come close to describing how it felt to read this poem.
    | Posted on 2005-03-21 00:00:00 | by girlinthephoto | [ Reply to This ]
      Sally, the big shame about eulogies is that the departed don't get to hear them. This is the finest of eulogies. Have you read the books by Orson Scott Card, starting with "Ender's Game" and finishing with "Speaker for the Dead". That is what you are for your sister. You have spoken her life for us. Whatever her poems were like, they were not altogether as good as this one poem. In Shakespeare's words "This lives on and this gives life to you".Arohanui, Arthur.
    | Posted on 2005-03-23 00:00:00 | by hanuman | [ Reply to This ]
      Jikes. This poem deserves a doctoral dissertation, but how does one do that and remain sensible? So, I'll just bow low and acknowledge superior work for what it is. Brilliant. I would like to see you recheck for the few inconsequential errors (expresso?). The ending is real enough, but seems to grind to a slow halt. However, I have said that it is seldom possible to say our goodbeyes without the grind. I am in awe here, and not sure that I can even express my admiration. I know for sure that I cannot come close to writing such beautiful poetry.
    | Posted on 2005-03-17 00:00:00 | by Lelik | [ Reply to This ]
      Rarely have I ever actually felt another's pain, but in your words I did. I felt the fleeting grasp we have on time, on life, on our family...just leave. I was there with you..with her... I heard a sound as I was reading, felt an unfamiliar moisture on my cheek..and realized that the sound was a hushed sob, the moisture a tear. I am absolutely astonished at the raw emotion, the amount of power you put into your words...the clarity of perception. I wish there was more that I could say, and mayhap there is, but for now I'm going to read it again, experience your memories one more time.
    | Posted on 2005-03-12 00:00:00 | by deepinthought | [ Reply to This ]
      omg sally. this is the most beautiful poem I have ever read. puts my poem about my sister to shame. I don't know why I have put off reading more of your work for all this time-and I wish I hadn't now. I will be sure to read them all.
    | Posted on 2005-03-09 00:00:00 | by sierramuse8 | [ Reply to This ]
      I've read this several times now (and it seems I am not the only one), trying to muster something intelligent to say, but it seems that I am unable to. I think what I like most about this is that even though it is essentially about Linda's death, you talk only about her life. And it is bereft of the cursing of fate (which I find a bit hard to relate to). I guess the passage of time and your own maturity has allowed you to write like this. At first I was put off by its length, but as I read it I wasn't at all concerned by that. It is so readable. I know that I am sometimes afraid to use simply language out of fear of boring the reader to death. Maybe I will take courage from your writing and follow in your footsteps one day.
    | Posted on 2005-03-15 00:00:00 | by kanu | [ Reply to This ]
      No words to describe this one sally...they would all sound too corny. I would say she would be proud of you for this piece, but again...

    I can't imagine a better tribute...this is so alive throughout...so descriptive and real...such detail...

    sorry. speechless...shouldn't even submit this but I will anyway

    brilliant, but you always are
    | Posted on 2005-02-23 00:00:00 | by deadndreaming | [ Reply to This ]
      im not trying to say what has already been saidd, but (in all honesty) this was very nice work. The structure absolutely demolished the idea of length to the poem; it wasn't an option, it didn't distract me from reading to the heart of the poem, and that's just wonderful.

    it made me feel like i knew the sister in the poem; while reading, i got a very intimate feeling, a very close feeling.

    the only problem i had was with some of the words... sorry, i never learned what 'décolleté' was, what w/ american public school systems. This isn't even a complaint; this is a detour into sophisticate poetry that I chose to take, and if I wanted to avoid unknown words, then I wouldn't even look at poetry, and literature.

    it was beautiful

    ~be easy
    | Posted on 2005-02-23 00:00:00 | by Alize | [ Reply to This ]
      my god.

    if i could write like that, just once - just like this, and i were to have died shortly thereafter, it would not have been a wasted or unfinished life. it's the most heartbreaking, poignant, autobiographical thing i have definitely ever read. i wonder if there is time enough in the world to explore it's every nuance, and i despair that not everyone in that world will read this and appreciate the raw beauty in a few broken rosary beads and the somewhat cruel benevolence of kohl rimmed eyes visiting a poet in her dreams.

    i liked the formatting and the incessant commas. were it anyone else or another piece, i would have said chuck a few, spare us all, but you establish immediately the need for such slight pauses in a narrative that might not come at all if there were many long pauses. the word choice is exquisite and un-ordinary, making the story of two sisters unique and fresh again.

    i went ahead and read your journal entry first to get a feel for it so this especially touched me:

    We were flowers, -plucked from Mother's
    funeral wreaths, re-arranged and estranged ,
    both seeking the simple solace of souls,
    gliding like orphaned cygnets on the Thames,
    but in different directions.
    I bore the gold crucifix from her coffin ,and you
    wore her perfume,- "Tabu"

    and that's when i began to cry. for you, for your Black Swan, for the sparkling souls that are too precious to be for this world for very long.

    sally, i wouldn't change a dot in a letter of this. this deserves to be published, to be seen and felt by others. brava. so a fave.

    i feel i should say something personal to you - but when are words ever enough? you were blessed to have had her in your life. *hug*

    grace
    | Posted on 2005-02-23 00:00:00 | by blueorchids | [ Reply to This ]
      Yeah I agree with the above, I would like to read this again so I can add to my favs.

    heeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee
    | Posted on 2005-02-24 00:00:00 | by screams | [ Reply to This ]
      An incredibly powerful poem. You portray the lost images of your sister so vividly that it feels as if I can see her in front of me... I can fix my eyes on her radiant beauty and reach out to grasp a string of her flowing hair just before she disappears around the corner in a cloud of perfume and rustling shimmering dress. Your need to protect and be part of her life comes across very strongly and also the fact that you were complete opposites yet internally woven from the same fabric... you seem to share a love for poetry and more than likely the talent as well and it's heartbreaking to know that it's lost to you now. Hauntingly beautiful and perfectly executed!
    | Posted on 2005-02-24 00:00:00 | by Beulah | [ Reply to This ]
      what is there that you can actually say to this?
    this must have been like therapy and checking yourself in at the local clinic all at the same time.
    you have obviously unpicked every detail that you can remember and taken yourself down a road that probably never ends.
    i have no words of critique.

    you have portrayed exactly how it was and injected so much of your own feeling that it is all there for us to see and so we need say nothing.
    but i think it is enough for us to stop and to say that we have read it and we see what you wanted us to see.
    so i answered question 1.
    and the rest is down to you and everyone else.

    you have your memories.
    you have your dreams.
    you have your poem.
    and no one can touch those.

    take care.
    on1eday.co.uk
    | Posted on 2005-02-24 00:00:00 | by on1eday.co.uk | [ Reply to This ]
      oh my word... you have painted a most beautiful and tragic picture here with your words and your memories of your sister. i read your earlier journal about your dream, and i can imagine that brought up so much for you, unanswered questions and a grief that it is hard to wrap your mind around, even after all these years. i cried and i laughed while i read this. stunning.
    | Posted on 2005-02-24 00:00:00 | by magnicat | [ Reply to This ]
      ...and when I compare this to some other love letters and poems writ here and in other places, I prefer to sit down with this. For a while at least.
    Well because it's just a sister telling her madly paddling black swan that it was all of it good and there are no harsh retributions here. Well that is of remark I think: there is no anger expressed here, just an ongoing love affair, between two souls joined at the lip that death has not managed to diminish.
    I do daresay she will be somewhere nearby right now anyway, because there's more to life than death and pomegranates. Yes, gone but not really. Still around and at your memory's beck and call. And really, that's not such a bad thing at all.
    I have a pomegranate tree at my place in Spain. I like them because they are full of jewels that shine for just long enough...
    Hasta,
    K
    | Posted on 2005-02-24 00:00:00 | by Awkward | [ Reply to This ]
      WOW! This hits home with anyone who has ever had a sibling or other loved one that wandered...and haven't we all? You watch knowing that they are slipping away, and then they are gone. You forever wish you could have done more, but that was impossible. So, we live on, keeping them alive in our hearts and our dreams. Once in a while, a truly gifted person sits and writes a poem such as this, and we are all grateful. We read it and our missing parts come back again. I thank you for that.

    This is so good it must be made a FAV. It will be called up every once in a while to heighten the memory.

    Thanks ever so much for posting this.

    Phil
    | Posted on 2005-02-25 00:00:00 | by phil askew | [ Reply to This ]
      Oh wow, this is so beautiful and shattering. It's so sad. Honestly it makes me want to weep. I like how you kept the images going throughout: the beaujolais, the pomegranates, the rosary, the black swan, the kohl, The Three Penny Opera, etc. I like how this seems to suggest a repetition of history. The images and the deaths suggest that.

    It's strange how you seem to have been so different, but you both have poetry in common. I feel tugged both ways with this one. I'm a good girl, but I'm as boho as you can be and still be a "good girl" (whatever that means).

    I like how you admired her beauty and freedom (like a swan). It sounds so silly to say, but normally dark or black things are portrayed as bad. There are few fairy tales that have a brunette as a heroine (Snow White is an exception).

    The sweet memories make then ending so much more tragic. This is beautiful. I could write about it forever, but I won't trouble you any more.
    | Posted on 2005-02-25 00:00:00 | by cuddledumplin | [ Reply to This ]
      What is there to say except that I am so sorry. It is not better to die young and beautiful. It is better to grow old and beautiful. I cannot imagine life without my sister, and you have had to go all these years without yours. This poem cuts me to the heart. Love, Lynn
    | Posted on 2005-02-27 00:00:00 | by greensnake | [ Reply to This ]
      Hey there my dearest. Whoa. Whoa. And more Whoa. This is just mindblowing to me. Although I tend to lose my attention span with more lengthy pieces, I couldn't help but keep going with this one. The flow was perfectly smooth. I love the use of allusions (especially to Shakespeare) and the comparison to a black swan. I went to Disneyworld's Animal Kingdom back in January and saw my first black swan. I couldn't take my eyes off it. It's just one of the most majestic and beautiful creatures I've ever seen.

    I'm not sure I can muster up any corrections or suggestions for this piece. It's just one of those rarities in the world of poetry. There are poems that you read and say "okay that was nice" and then there are the poems that you read that you never forget them or the ideas and/or feelings that they brought out when you read them.

    Anyhoo...beautiful work here. This is wonderful. :-)
    | Posted on 2005-02-26 00:00:00 | by Juliets_dagger | [ Reply to This ]
      When I read a poem, there is always a feeling I can grasp, and it usually suggests a particular emotion. This one is layered, it stings like tears that didn't get to cry, it feels resolved as though you knew in your heart exactly who she was, and loved her in every way for her uniqueness. Those are the top and bottom layers- in between, Silver, I cannot know, my deepest compassion for the way you and your family have suffered. Not knowing, having nothing, I can't imagine what it's been like. Everyone has commented on the obvious, but I loved her reply to being warned of going to hell that it "wasn't so bad". The way she wiped a tear from your eye with a "feathered fingertip" on your last seeing her. And the description of the unstrung rosary with "Glory Be" missing. Very poignant and beautiful, maybe the sum of poets here at elite can serve as some connection to the artist you remember as her. Lots of hugs, and love,

    Nan
    | Posted on 2005-03-01 00:00:00 | by nansofast | [ Reply to This ]
      I am not speechless, I am in awe of your love for your sister and how you mange to make this the most poetic tribrute piece I have ever read. You wrote every emotion one could have in a sad situation, though you made it so beautiful,whichs why I am giving you a standing ovation for honoring youe black swan of a sister. Your devoted love, never failed her even when she was imperfect as we are all at times,bravo

    Your poem was vivid,touching,classy,loving and honest.

    I am sorry to hear about the your lost and its a shame I never got to meet your sister. Though in your poem, I did get to visulize her a bit,this I ty for.

    I am adding this to my fav, because it is truly the greatest tribrute poem I have ever read.
    | Posted on 2005-03-02 00:00:00 | by edthepoet | [ Reply to This ]
      goddamn. ummmm... whoo. color me floored. this is... a tremendous tribute to everything that is sisterhood. immensely touching, and flagrantly raw... the pain- your pain- from losing your sister... is so vividly clear- and i know that's redundant- that it's like the poem has a bleeding heart in itself... bleeding heart in the literal, not the popular expression. wow. no- wow does not cover it. speechless covers it. i am struggling to find words... this makes me want to cry- if she could see this poem, she would cry- i can tell you that much... wonderful job of making a poem of this length be so magnetic and pulsating... reminiscing- felt like i was there, throughout each year... blessed be, dear, and thank you for this read. *md*
    | Posted on 2005-03-07 00:00:00 | by MerryDeath | [ Reply to This ]
      That was amazing. Usually when I read works on this site it's difficult to pay attention; "potential," that awful word, seem to be everywhere, but nothing screams out brilliance.
    This screams brilliance. It screams to be heard, to be read aloud, voice soaring with emotion rapidly rushing to soft conclusions. I adore the descriptions, the alliteration and especially the sibilance, the rich sounds and words that flow together and roll off the tongue. I was dead tired a moment ago but now I feel too alive to sleep, because even though she is dead her life was lived more fully than most, certainly more than mine has been and may ever be. She is really alive because her memory is too strong to forget, her will to live keeps her forever in existence. Despite the sadness in the poem, I cannot feel sorry for her; the images of her life you evoked made her too beautiful to pity-I think she would scorn my pity; she had the life she wanted, and isn't that enough.
    I go back to read a second time to see the details.
    I love the "cappuchino-sipping Capulet." The "summer of '64" stanza seems to read awkwardly; I think that some of the punctuation is off.
    The second read through I see more sadness. her life was rich, wild, fast and furious, but she was alone. By her own device, perhaps, but in her magnificent life I see that see was forever the runaway. She had a better glimpse into what the world was about, as you point out you saw in her poems, or as illustrated by the pomegranate. However, it also seems like she was looking for something just beyond her grasp, something unattainable, that she was always running to-or maybe she was just running from, running from her mother's funeral wreath, running from convention, from society, from expectations, afraid that if she slowed down she would be lost, or caught. Was the flight worth it, at the end of her three decades spent like precious pennies. She wanted to be mysterious to be someone else-she kept changing her name, trying to create a new self. Did she ever really understand her own self, or was her true identity more shrouded than that of any Jane Doe?
    Well, you asked for thoughts, and I certainly have a lot, much more than I expected to have tonight. What else can I say-this was beautiful, exquisite, enchanting, captivating, magical, an escape for me as well.
    | Posted on 2005-03-07 00:00:00 | by dreamexandra | [ Reply to This ]


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