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Old 07-30-2018, 11:26 AM
Bill Dyes Bill Dyes is offline
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Default The Myth of Seasons

The Myth of Seasons


Your loneliness listens for early spring.
You hear his words, distant as melting ice.
Oh how water, how air whispers in him.
In summer he arrives tall and calm and
only for you. He speaks the sun to you.
But soon the breezes rush past and grow huge
until few sounds are louder than the trees.
His green voice cools. His colors fall away.
Now he never calls your name. Nothing hurts
you more than a tree past autumn and his
warmth is the withering leaves beneath snow.
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Old 07-30-2018, 12:18 PM
John Isbell John Isbell is offline
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Hi Bill,

I think your choice to leave he unexplained is a two-edged sword. It leaves me in a state of mild confusion which I don't find poetic. That said, there's lots to like here.

Cheers,
John
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Old 07-30-2018, 01:04 PM
Andrew Szilvasy Andrew Szilvasy is offline
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John,

I think the "he" is the seasons themselves, or the sun. Perhaps we are meant to read "Myth" as "fable" rather than "lie"?
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Old 07-31-2018, 08:25 AM
John Riley John Riley is offline
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I'm not sure this works as a myth even though you've personalized spring. There isn't enough of a story told, imo. It's nice what you have. I just don't think it adds up to a myth and the title should be changed.
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Old 08-03-2018, 06:03 PM
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Mary Meriam Mary Meriam is offline
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Hi Bill, I think it's risky to have "loneliness" and "whispers" in the same poem. "Whispers" always seems like such a risk. But I like your poem, and understand it. I see it's got ten syllables/line. I feel it could be fuller, somehow - longer, or more developed.
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Old 08-04-2018, 11:00 AM
Andrew Frisardi Andrew Frisardi is offline
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I agree that the title doesn’t work, Bill, though I didn’t read the word “myth” as “make-believe” or “falsehood”—I almost never read that word in that sense. I get it, I think, that you intend it as what’s constant about seasons, their essential story. But that’s a lot to take on in such a short poem, so I think the title should reflect more the modest scale here.

I do get messed up with “his,” because “seasons” is plural. So if the title were changed to something like “The Traveler of Seasons,” what passes through them, I’d get the “he” more immediately.

Then you could drop line 1, with the vague-sounding “your loneliness.” A stronger opening, imo, would be something like “You hear his words in spring, melting like ice.”

In line 3, I’d drop “Oh” (which btw should be the vocative “O”), since it’s too melodramatic especially early in the poem. And I agree with Mary that “whispers” is cringe-worthy there.

But more to the point, the images in the poem’s first half are not very striking or fresh: spring represented by melting ice, water and air: summer by the spoken sun. You hit your stride image-wise with lines 6 through 9:

But soon the breezes rush past and grow huge
until few sounds are louder than the trees.
His green voice cools. His colors fall away.
Now he never calls your name.


I think this is beautiful. The sentence after this is less convincing: does nothing hurt “you” more than a tree past autumn? I doubt it. But I do like “his / warmth is the withering leaves beneath the snow”—again, an image that digs deeper.

In short, I think the poem would be stronger by cutting line 1 and making the imagery in lines 2-5 more memorable/essential, up to the level of the lines I mention.

I do like the idea of the personification of a traveler or constant that passes through the seasons and change.

Andrew
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