JOY AND SORROW MERGE

How strange it seems
that joy and sorrow merge!
Here I stand;
suspended in momentary bliss,
behold: my curious sunshine child.
And then,
bewildered:
a chilly breeze of premonition;
(begone, unwelcome Zephyr!)
inevitable: she will be hurt;
rites of passage I can’t prevent.
I hide the dread away,
beneath a heap of mothballed quilts
and turn again towards the now.

©Cindy Taylor 2009

CRIT FROM DE WAAL VENTER, MY POETRY TUTOR:

This is not a full crit, just my reaction as you requested. Short answer: no, it’s not too sentimental.

Longer answer: the poem deals with the well-worn theme of a mother who is worried about how life is going to treat her daughter. Well-worn it may be, but that doesn’t take away one iota of its relevance.

The poem has a freshness and simplicity that is attractive. The phrase “curious sunshine child” is not the most original in the world, but it works in this context.

I was stopped by the curious 19th century phrase “(begone, unwelcome Zephyr!)”. But then I thought it could be functional – it evokes a type of brooding Victorian emotionality that somehow helps to deepen N’s sorrow about her daughter’s future pain.

The phrase “beneath a heap of mothballed quilts” is quite original and vivid. This makes the poem. It paints the scene of N anxiously turning away from the possible terrors of the future and seeking solace in the everyday reality of “now”.

One small nit: “I shut the dread away,”

The word “shut” doesn’t feel quite right here. One doesn’t really “shut away” something beneath a quilt. Wouldn’t word like “hide” or “push” or something be a better choice?

A poem worth keeping 🙂

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8 Comments Add yours

  1. deepercolors says:

    Again. I love it. Where did you find your critique person? In a writing group?
    Thanks.

    1. theonlycin says:

      I found him through blogging dc; he offers an online course that teaches both writing and reading poetry.
      Here is the link:

      http://blogs.news24.com/Poems/a-new-poetry-course

  2. granny1947 says:

    I haven’t seen this one before…I love it…every mother’s fear.

    1. theonlycin says:

      It never goes away, does it?

  3. Satyakam says:

    Hey Cindy…
    Read about ur daughter’s illness… I can hardly imagine how a mother would be feeling but I hope and pray that she regain her original self sooner…
    GET WELL SOON…DEAR KID 🙂

    1. theonlycin says:

      Thanks Satyakam, I will pass on the message.

  4. suzicate says:

    You captured the deep emotion of the relationship quite vividly. A poetry tutor? I am both impressed and envious!

  5. nrhatch says:

    I agree with your tutor: a poem worth keeping. : )

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