Oh, just when you thought she was done writing forever, here comes JM with another work of art for the Passions crowd! So she can still write after all. Had me worried there for a while, JM... and I was still skeptical reading this, usually when we come back from a long patch of no-writing, it's usually not right back into our highest quality work. I have to say though, this is quite impressive, and easily lives up to your standard.
The title brought me back to Forever September, which I went back and read over again, just to get me in the mood for your work. Sometimes it's nice to warm yourself up, before reading something new... heh. You really must have a thing for blue. No wonder you're such a fan of piptalk.
I have a few general comments. Things that bothered me, not necessarily things that were wrong with this at all, was the concentration of questions early in the poem. You obviously did that on purpose, so I'm not sure whether to critique it, but I personally think the questions could have done with a bit of explanation surrounding them. Maybe, they could have been broken up a little bit more, like you start to do gradually as you work yourself into the poem.
How do I redirect adoration and devotion?
How do I cancel commitment and constance?
Will I be able to breathe when oxygen is denied?
Will I still feel the fire if the flame is extinguished?
Where will inspiration come from if not intensity of emotion?
These are all great questions, but they came at me in kind of a close sequence. I had to pause at the end of each line in order to get a taste of the question fully, before moving onto the next line. I think you could have given that a bit more flow...
Okay, my criticism is over... structure aside, the questions themselves are brilliant and thought-provoking. They seem to first challenge, and later examine the concept of moving on, old lovers to new, old commitments to new. It gave me a personal reaction, which is a really hard thing to do for me. Rhetoric is an excellent tool for bringing the reader into your world, because the reader's mind has an automatic urge to somehow respond. This is also a great way to start a poem, because it makes that reader-poem link early on, which strengthens the entire poem's message from that point onward.
I was never given the empowerment of this knowledge,
this kind of confidence is beyond my capabilities.
This emotional deliverance seems as improbable
as my turning off the sunrise or silencing the wind.
I lack the strength required to reverse the rain,
to move a mountain aside, to turn away the tides.
I possess no secrets of how to sequester the seasons.
There you go with the nature imagery. Are you one of those poets who sits on her roof at night and writes about the stars? Heh.
Love the mix of metaphor here, the nature theme really gives your situation an element of the sublime, as something unmoving, constant and overpowering. You cannot reverse the rain, because you cannot change gravity. You do not have the secrets of the seasons, so it is foolish of you to try and sway your devotion and admiration. Lovely stanza, very well put forth.
What would become of the sky if denied the clouds?
What if the stars were stolen from the moon ...
would midnight still retain it's magic?
What if the tides were taken from the shore,
if the waves were denied their constance?
If the day was denied dawn, the night denied dusk ...
would time stand still, would the seasons still change?
I think that your organization of questions here is preferable to your first stanza. It's a lot more engaging and involving, and there's a lot more leading up to the questions themselves. "Would" is a great word to use when thinking of a way to enhance the effectiveness of questions.
I see here, that you are continuing with your metaphor of the natural. Even if you could remove these natural elements from yourself, what would become of you then? A beautiful articulation of the feeling of unsureness associated with moving on. First, you feel that you are not nearly powerful enough to change what is unchangable. Second, even if you did possess the power, you would remain unsure of the consequences for acting upon it... in this way, you not only lack the power, you lack the will to change at all. It's sad how logical total apathy can be.
Who holds these secrets, who is the keeper of the keys?
For what feels like forever, I have believed it was you ...
for so long now, you've been my axis, my gravitational pull.
All this time you've been the one who turned the calendar pages,
the one who promised the blue and the deliverance of the waves.
Only your voice could ever compete with their calming constance.
Not even the summer solstice captivated me as much as you in
perpetual motion, leaving me as awestruck as I was by the ocean.
Here's the answer to my curiousity. I love the time you took to work up to this point, very much worth it. This stanza itself could have been the beginning of the poem, but you built up to it so nicely that by now, it's something I am completely absorbed in. So kind you are when feeding my curiousity.
I also have to say, you've done a great thing by keeping the nature imagery constant throughout. You might have devoted this poem entirely to the literal state of things, but instead you ran it through with oceans and waves. Just beautiful, a real treat for the eyes.
No ... I don't begin to comprehend how to resist such brilliance,
nor do I understand how to exist without such promised presence.
I've no grasp beyond gratuity, no such securities of self preservation.
Like shooting stars and the sustaining rain ... I only know how to fall.
The last line of this stanza strikes me as the most important line in the poem, and I also feel it's the most brilliant. These are the kinds of lines that make history of a poet. Expect to be quoted on that in classrooms a few hundred years from now.
Yes ... I confess, I've fallen for the tides and all they told true ...
as well as for the vulnerability of your horizon's endless view.
This time I fell the farthest for the beauty of the ocean's blue ...
most of all, I took the fall for the brilliant blues hidden in the hues of you.
Like the contrary echo of "No" to start this stanza off. I'm not 100% sure of its function, but I think it was important to show your transition from uncertainty to conclusion/acceptance. I like how you alter the nature imagery in meaning a little bit (from the sublime, unshakable and awe-inspiring to the beautiful, understood and admirable). This stanza is a bit of a shift, I feel, because it talks less of the remedy for your love, and more for the cause of it. It's a wonderful way to end, as it kind of takes us back to before the beginning of this poem, back to the positive in the past. In this sense it's a bit nostalgic, really.
Just loved reading this, JM. You are so full of insight, I just love reading from you... write more, write often, and I'm still going to be here replying, like it or not.
Your Friendly Neighbourhood Parasite
"Faith" means the will to avoid knowing what is true.
~ Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche