Oh Janet... you have no idea how I just shuddered when I finished reading this. Fresh off the high of reading Martie's poem in Open, I come into Sanctuary to notice a post from you with four replies which I figured must have been something old brought up. But somehow, three other people did actually see you post before I did. Well now I just feel silly. I should have my eye on here all the time, shouldn't I?
Well, my paragraph didn't have much to do with the first sentence, did it? This poem of yours, JM, is absolutely fantastic... so professionally written, the scene is vivid and clear, the emotions tied in with the images, just splendid and utterly breathtaking... I suppose I'm somewhat biased because I constantly related this to one of my own experiences... revisiting the scenery and emotional impressions left... I have the same relationship with the Red river. Hey, I wrote something about it too... remember? Heh.
Looking back in memoired reflect ...
paused in photographed and poetic retrospect,
trying to find that infinite moment in time when you
became a part of me. Attempting to define when
your voice became my destination, the same way
your constance became my inspiration.
Oh oh oh.... you never suck at openings, either. Sometimes when I'm writing I wish I had your phone number or something so I could ring you up and ask you for a line to get me started...
I'm reading this for the second time but even the first time around, I smiled immediately at your rhymes, your consonance, your utter technique and the beauty of your craft. This is splendid... you always do this neat thing with words, I've noticed, like "memoired reflect," "blued brilliance..." Verbed noun... and it's one of the things that makes your craft stand out. Like at the antique roadshow... ever seen that show? That's how an expert would point out the craftsmanship of a JM piece... well, one way, at least.
The last two lines... oh, I LOVE that... the voice your destination, constance your inspiration... how long did it take you to come up with that? You're a sophisticated thinker, milady...
You've painted my landscape with promises kept.
My perspective now swept with blue waved reverie ...
and autumn crowned mountains majesty.
But long before we walked side by side in the tides,
long before we stood shoulder to shoulder sharing a valley's view,
you had already given me endless horizons and built bridges of
commitment across the distance of the too many miles divide.
Here we see another cameo by the colour blue... you just love that one, don't you, JM? It's a nice colour, of course... it always seems to stand out, no matter where you are. It works so nicely as a running theme through your work, I'd love to have the chance to just read a lot of your stuff all at the same time so that the relationship between your poems would be more apparent... maybe see the evolution of blue, how you use it... but this is piptalk, and that would take a lot of clicking. Get the hint? Hurry up and publish your complete works...
It's something beautiful that you describe, of course... love spanning miles and miles over the planet's surface... and it's something I remember dabbling in myself, for a brief year of my life... something that pained me greatly with the distance, with the incapability to hold or to touch, or be touched... it's terribly harmful to the being and I found I couldn't begin to write poetry about it. You... you're optimistic on the subject matter, and that's so uplifting and deeply touching... that your memory, your moments spent are so fresh in your mind, and you continue to be inspired by them even after a year's lingering... it's talent, my girl... you have it... you are a true poet.
It's nearly impossible for me to conceive that it has only been
a year since we first met for a week of friendship's reprieve.
Your quiet resolve proved true when I saw your eyes smile
as we elatedly embraced, dissolving those miles. I knew in
that instant you were the worth that outweighed the wait,
and I wanted to be beside you for more than just awhile.
By definition, that was the first time I held you in my arms ...
though my heart has held you close for much longer.
Oh my goodness... everything I said above, just drawn right out. This is memory but it's so present and real to you, you write of something in retrospect as though it's directly before you, so tangible, but still only reflection and something you've had, and something you still hold, if not in your arms then in your memory, in your heart.
Heh... I tend to get off my compliments for structure and into my personal response the further I reply into your poem, and for that I apologize, I really should continue to try and see it from all angles. Your technique is so dazzling here that it's almost hidden, it's almost whispering with enhanced clarity the message it wishes to convey... a week of friendship's reprieve... the worth that outweighed the wait... you, JM, constantly renew my faith in the english language.
Spring is now ushered in again, bursting with brilliant bloomed
expectation and petaled promise of the earth in Easter's rebirth.
As I return to a gifted garden still warm with your presence ...
I realize even seasons in change cant compete with the anticipation
I felt with your arrival. Not even butterflies under glass could distract me
from the attraction and connection I felt when watching you in motion.
This anniversary serves to remind of all that's been discovered since we
shared "show me state" landmarks and St. Louis sunsets.
bloomed expectation, petaled promise... what was that thing I said about the antique road show? I hope my observing it doesn't take away from the magic at all, or make you too terribly wary of this trademark in your style... because I'd hate to see it lost or shamefully tucked away just because I happened to bring it up. It's very cool, especially how you almost always adhere alliteration...
Again, you enhance that sense of nostalgia so powerfully by comparing the past to the present... all that's been discovered since, all the time that has passed, and how despite it all you still have trouble being impressed by the display of butterflies... it's just another part of the scene that brings back the images you recall, the watching of this person in motion... oh, I know exactly what you're referring to there... it's something truly spectacular to simply watch someone in motion... watch them breathing... ever watch someone sleep? Ok, now I sound creepy, but seriously... wake up earlier than your bedside companion and just watch for a while... it's really something.
And only curious... by your return, do you mean your remembering? Or did you make an actual return?
Now I walk again where we once walked as curious tourists in my
own town and I miss you as much as the ocean tides you gave me.
I see the beauty that surrounds me, but you in my view is what truly
astounds me. Your presence left an impression that winter's treason
couldn't reason away. Your absence leaves me lacking expression,
but I want you to know, there are still two arches bending with the
same awed admiration and adoration of you that I always will.
What you got against winter's treason, hm? I wouldn't mind you going a bit easier on it... I know you're a spring girl, but come up and look at downtown Winnipeg in the winter sometime... and then, honestly tell me that what you've seen isn't an absolutely stunning image of beauty... none of this "treason" you speak of. Winter is more than the "treason" of warmer seasons, my dear Janet... it's an entity all its own.
OK, pardon the digression... I have to comment on this last stanza especially, as there are two things I love about it... the first line, the walking as tourists in one's own town... I know exactly what you mean by that and it conjured up many a memory for me, of wandering about with a sudden interest in everything that's so familiar, for the fact that it's the first time looking at it in the company of a loved one... things become so different when you're not the only one who is able to look at them.
Mine and I were waiting at a bus stop the other day and she told me to look at the clouds... those same clouds that I walk under every day. How the light was shining through them like a painting... in straight, distinct rays that made it look almost like a church ceiling. Of course I'd seen it before but had never seen it at the request of a pair of eyes fascinated... and of course she'd seen it before but, never been able to share it with someone... just like two tourists in their hometown, gazing for the first time at something long familiar but long unappreciated...
I think your closing is probably the strongest I've seen in your poetry thus far. And that is, the description of the arches, and the way you use them to describe your devotion, your constant and undying interest... your awed admiration and adoration (awed admiration... ahem...), I think that's just spectacular. And for the first time, the image actually helped me understand what you were referring to. But I still despise visual enhancements, don't get me wrong. Overall I'd rank this among your best work, I'll put it in my private library where I can keep my eye on it in the future.
JM... you're an amazing woman. Your poetry, your craftsmanship and style... the impact of your experiences... all of this strikes me as something worthy of recognition that I hope you someday have... in your life, or beyond it. I hope your poetry is kept alive for centuries, because between all the alliterations and autobiography, there's wisdom, there's beauty and truth... and there's much to be learned.
Poets are the unacknowledged legislators of the world.
~Percy Bysshe Shelley