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No more goodbye

by Brian Aird 

Posted: 03 January 2006
Word Count: 31

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a rose
petal by petal
no more

a song
verse by verse
without voice

sip by sip

tear by tear

word by word
in my hands

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Comments by other Members

joanie at 12:02 on 03 January 2006  Report this post
Hi Brian. I really like this, particularly the form. I love repetitions and sparce language; both work well here, I think, and add to the feeling of resignation and poignancy. I also like the lack of capitals and punctuation.

I have read several times and enjoyed it!


hailfabio at 13:47 on 03 January 2006  Report this post
Very nice tight piece.


James Graham at 11:53 on 04 January 2006  Report this post
Maybe it's the time of year, but my first reading sent me off in an odd direction. What kind of rose? What's the most poetic rose name? Felicite Perpetue, Golden Showers, or New Dawn? Probably not Sexy Rexy. It soon passed. It would be natural, though, for a poem in this style to set off trains of thought or associations in any reader's mind. The verses are little kernels - the few words are enough to allow the reader to build on them. The key words, e.g. rose, song, love, alone, grief, are already loaded with associations and overtones for everybody. Each verse then creates a small context, so that the rose for example isn't floating in a total limbo - nothing more than an abstract rose - but is losing its petals, or having them pulled off, one by one. It's particularised a little, but it's meaning is still very open for the reader to supply. The gardener's reaction aside, we might think of 'She loves me, she loves me not', or the end of summer, or the transience of beauty, or the transience of happiness.

The various verses didn't work equally well for me, but that's maybe due to the way a minimalist poem like this works. I couldn't, for example, make very much of the song without voice - repeated day by day? A love song, most likely. Not an actual song, but the essence of feeling that the song would express? This verse doesn't get through to me so well - but it might to someone else.

The purest of these verses for me is

tear by tear

Is there anyone, anywhere, who couldn't respond to this? We write our own story around this image. I like the last verse too, with its flicker, in the very last line, of recovery which is in our own power to bring about.


Brian Aird at 15:32 on 04 January 2006  Report this post
Thanks Joanie, Stephen, Graham. I'm glad most of the verses worked and that they are capable of wide 'interpretation' or at least a divergent reaction occurred rather than a convergent, 'obvious meaning', which might disappoint. If I have learnt anything here (at ww) it is not to lead the reader too much, but leave a little bit of a puzzle. In that sense this poem has been influenced by a recent reading of some Haiku; I have NOT attempted to write Haiku here I stress.

I've changed the 2nd verse.

The poem itself is intended as a kind of remembrance of, or at least a way to come to terms with, what has been lost, as hinted in the last verse. So itís a circular device; coming back to the poem itself, which also has a life of its own.


James Graham at 18:44 on 04 January 2006  Report this post
The second verse seems more at one with the other verses now. First thoughts - What's sung can't be unsung, just as what's said can't be unsaid...or can it? That enigma seems quite intriguing, and satisfying. And yet...look at this verse again another day, from another angle?


hailfabio at 11:27 on 05 January 2006  Report this post
I agree the second verse is the weakest. May I suggest some alternatives to 'Song', for me 'Truth' or 'Feelings' might work better.

So you could have:

the truth
lie by lie


touch by touch

maybe they don't go, I'm no expert.


Brian Aird at 11:55 on 05 January 2006  Report this post
Thanks Stephen. I see you've got into the swing of the 'style' used. I like both ideas. I need to come clean and say that I'm trying to write about a death (my mother; a singer in her day) without saying as much and leave it 'deducable' (if you had been there you'd know kind of thing), so your 2nd idea is closest.

But actually your first idea I like most in general poetic terms. I thought of song verse by verse without words - does that clash with my last verse or does it counterpoint with it though?

My real task is to come up with something that ryhmes in solid meter to suit all at the funeral though. What I post here tends to suit how I feel, and not cater for cousins, nephews, sister, brother, etc...


hailfabio at 12:17 on 05 January 2006  Report this post
Oh I see, it might be the 3rd verse that led me to my way of thinking. I'm sorry for your loss.

Unsung works better than without voice.

Maybe you could take a different dirrection with something like:

verse by verse

it might not fit with the other verses.


Brian Aird at 12:28 on 05 January 2006  Report this post
Good idea, now all I have to do is rearrange into a well known poem style and get it all rhymed for the masses...


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