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Winter Moments

by hailfabio 

Posted: 07 December 2006
Word Count: 105
Summary: Think I could improve this.

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You can tell
at this time of year,
the sun is moving further away.
Even the sun's shines are cold
to the touch,
and I don't feel young
so much.

Something still burns though,
as I pretend I can breathe fire
with freezing smoke coming from my
hamstrung lungs,
dispite this ice blue picture I'm
set in.
All that's missing is the stream crossing bridge,
and you,
but you aren't missing - I know where you are.

The brave winter birds are
bubbling along,
singing their troubles in a song,
little dragons
with flames that warm me.
I know
I will be with you shortly.

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Comments by other Members

Jordan789 at 12:20 on 09 December 2006  Report this post
Hey. There's quite a bit I liked about this poem. I liked how the first stanza describes the changing in temperature, how the sun is moving further away. It's a very seperated way to phrase the way winter onsets, how we learn it really happens way back in 6th grade science, but rarely do we think about it in such an expanded perspective. Some of the language could be tidied up though. For example, the rhyme at the end of it, with touch/much, seems a bit forced. The content also seems forced, how it drags the speaker into it, and he seems almost forced into laying himself out on the lines like that.

The second stanza has this lovely image of the speaker pretending to breath fire. I would drop the introductory line, "something still burns," and get right into the "I pretend I can breathe fire," cause that is such a delightful line. And the sentence/image is empowering enough to allow the reader to feel that there is a bit of life still left in this character.

I don't really like where this paragraph turns to with directing it towards an outside party. I can't say why exactly, but I don't think their introduction is needed or helps. It seems to drag the poem into a sort of sentimentalism, but I'm not sure what to say about that. I mean, if the poem should include the lacking presense of this person, I would only suggest toning it down some. Making them more of an afterthought, further hidden in other images and only briefly coming out in a more subtle way.

I really like the lyric quality of the last stanza. It sounds almost out of a Led Zeppelin song. I like the lighthearted comparison to the birds who are simply "bubbling" along. Great, fun word.

Sometimes it's a struggle to
get on,

This line, however, needs to go. It's another place where the poem becomes sentimental and too forward and direct. We know the speaker is struggling already, so there's no need to repeat it. Plus you can keep your rhyme because three come in a row.


James Graham at 14:29 on 09 December 2006  Report this post
Very evocative. The opening lines remind me of some Chinese poetry, which seems to state the obvious ('It is winter, and snow is on the mountain' sort of thing) but somehow makes the 'obvious' seem no longer so obvious.

'The sun's shines are cold' isn't perfectly correct English, but 'the sunshine is cold' would lose the suggestion of fitful spells of sunshine. If you want to keep the English 'correct', something like 'Even the sun's moments are cold' might work, and it would pick up the idea from your title as well. But for myself, I'd be quite happy to have the line stay as it is.

I like everything in the second section. In an odd sort of way it seems quite a long journey from 'Something still burns' to 'I know where you are'. There are several leaps, from the smoke to the 'ice-blue picture' to the missing bridge to 'you'. There's an effect of surprise in the way this stanza moves from one thing to another, yet there's no sense of it being disconnected. 'Something still burns though' is a nice change of mood in itself - at least as soon as we discover the 'something' is a cigarette. (Is it? Could be wrong about that, but smoke and 'hamstrung lungs' do suggest it.) That this is the only fire, the only warmth, is ironic and a wry comment.

The little sketch of an 'ice-blue picture' with a missing bridge reminds me of willow pattern. I like the way you juxtapose the bridge being missing with 'you' being something much more subtle - not actually there but at the same time not missing.

The last section is a little weaker. I don't think the repetition of 'along' at two line endings works very well, and 'Sometimes it's a struggle to/ get on' seems rather flat and obvious - as Jordan says, we sense a struggle without having to be told. Even the last two lines are a bit flat too, though it could be something to do with 'along'. You could, I suppose, be very drastic and omit all of this section.

...and you,
but you aren't missing - I know where you are

is a terrific ending. The poem would survive with just that ending.

Here's a possible alternative, though:

The brave winter birds are
with me,
singing their troubles in a song.
The sun will come back around
a few months along.

Let me know what you think.


hailfabio at 20:21 on 09 December 2006  Report this post
Good feedback, much welcomed and will ponder more.

Funny that even though the second stanza is possibly the best, I added it late to this. The lines that inspired me to write this were:

the sun is moving further away.


singing their troubles in a song.

I agree the last stanza is weak, please let me know what you think of it now.

James - yes a cigarette well spotted.


James Graham at 15:27 on 10 December 2006  Report this post
What are the 'little dragons'? Are you calling the birds that, and their songs 'flames'? If so, change the punctuation:

The brave winter birds are
bubbling along,
singing their troubles in a song,
little dragons
with flames that warm me.
I know
I will be with you shortly.

The last stanza is much better, even if the 'little dragons' aren't what I think they are. I think I would want the birds and dragons to be the same - dragons a metaphor for the birds.

I also like the way 'you' now appears at the end as well as in the middle of the poem.


hailfabio at 11:19 on 12 December 2006  Report this post
Yes, your right James, i meant dragons to be a metaphor for birds, kind of to go with the hot/cold theme and the fairytale setting.

The 'you' interests me, origionally I thought it could be a lover or someone the speaker is fond of, but equally it could be someone one who's past away, even just someone on the speakers mind. Certainly gives the poem some depth.

I might use this for my xmas cards, what do you think?


James Graham at 17:41 on 13 December 2006  Report this post
This has turned out well - a successful revision of the last stanza. The indeterminate 'you' can be very effective. Seems a good choice for Christmas cards...or Winter Solstice cards?


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