Beside You

October 8, 2008 at 7:19 pm | Posted in poetry, writing | 21 Comments
Tags: ,

When the last tear was shed and there was only breath
and the white cotton dress was
forgotten again
and you were brushing your hair in the mirror

When guitars existed only in paintings
and blank verse had purpose that was
not prophecy
when real winter was mere imagination

I heard Oscar Peterson playing
Eartha Kitt singing My Heart Belongs
To Daddy
and wished Sylvia Plath had never existed


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  1. Beautiful sad sounds that make this so sweet before the slight aside at the end. I think I’ve told you before that one poet I know reckons that too many ‘and’s create a cliché of flow in verse but, as I said to him at the time, I know someone who has mastered it ‘and’ it adds to the feeling within his (your) work greatly. This is wonderful.

  2. Gloomy yet soft…

    Why Sylvia? If not too private…

  3. Beautiful, sweet sadness of which to partake. I drink in your poetry every morning with my coffee!

  4. The aside at the end, as Mary P called it, is perfect, I think, regardless of why it’s there.

    Invoking Plath is often enough of a “why” in itself, though I must admit, like hayat, I’m curious as well.

    This is a lovely moody poem on this lovely moody morning.

  5. “Où sont les neiges d’antan?”, is this nostalgic or am I just imaging it?

    why Sylvia Plath – is she the prophetess of blank verse?

  6. god thats a beautiful haunting melody
    the notes span eleven octaves and at least three decades
    weaving burlap knots and threads into a silk
    score a scarf sylvia plath wore

  7. pretty sweet sighs

  8. It’s about the last tear, so there is hope still. It’s a lovely piece with music. Thank you.

  9. quite a poignant literary as well as a musical elegy…

  10. ohhhh those momentios perfectas …

    no issues just the zen … no anxst just the harmony …

    but like winter there’s an anticipation .. and there are always things we wish we didn’t know … expect .. *sigh ..

    i may have this all misguided, Paul, and i’m ignorant musically too … but maelinat is onto something mentioning hope as he does … maybe?

    i love how the intimate detail of the first stanza escalates, with quiet internal drama, into pushing aside whatever might come next ….

    and i’m rambling, hey?

    beautiful, Paul

  11. well structured, smooth rhythm, haunting, mysterious, beautiful

    i need to relisten to that song

  12. Thanks everybody. One of Sylvia Plath’s most famous poems, often held up as a high achievement in blank verse is “Daddy” which you can read here. It is horrible and shrieking and ends

    “There’s a stake in your fat black heart
    And the villagers never liked you.
    They are dancing and stamping on you.
    They always knew it was you.
    Daddy, daddy, you bastard, I’m through.”

    Eartha Kitt singing “My Heart Belongs To Daddy” is one of the cutest sexiest things I’ve ever heard.

    The two references balance each other round the relationship.

  13. thanks for including the links for us; i’d never seen that video and it’d been awhile since i’d paid attention to the song. i know the sylvia plath poem, and thought it might be connected to the previous poem (burning bridges). the most famous guitars painted to me are cubist but i hadn’t put it all together. it is all there, waiting for the puzzling out.

  14. Beautiful & haunting. Thanks for the link to Sylvias work. She is one of my favorites. I relate to her work so well. Here is an interesting article I thought you might enjoy..

  15. You know I know the Poem “Daddy”. And I am not too proud to admit I got a little choked up reading this. It has a very nice, sad tone to it. Well Done.

  16. while I quite like Sylvia, I must admit I’m rather fond of this – like two icecream varieties to the tongue. This is taught, disciplined, and moving. As if walking through a painting, at times.

  17. i really enjoyed the links here paul. thank you for this post, absolutely fascinating. i especially enjoyed the posts’ winterness.

  18. deep thoughts Paul..deep thoughts.

  19. […] Beside you and By a Rushing Stream a Soldier Knelt, by Paul at Gingatao […]

  20. How I wish I could write this again.

  21. why?

    you can you know

    you can do what you want on your blog

    delete it or write it anew with a new post; link it or not

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