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Testimony to a friend

by writer_in_motion 

Posted: 09 February 2009
Word Count: 116

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Its been said we're fallen angels.
The tender who tend tend to fall from an uproar
In the den under the floor lie bunks and shisha pipes
sprawled lions and ivy, mosiac compadre.
Then a surge something chokes the scene is revoked, the angel has fallen but the sky isnt mourning.
Please hand me my crutches to walk to the doorway.
Ahhh smite on me now deliver my lightning an angel I was
but now life is just frightening.
A crack and a winch of a dawn and a kiss.
A crisp sunrise cry
Oh Compadre of mine
Embedded in me
Whom I long to see
Says to me "See through your demise"
( Sighs )

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James Graham at 16:21 on 21 February 2009  Report this post
I’ve spent some time reading your poems, especially ‘Testimony to a Friend’. It takes time because, though some lines and phrases are very striking, it’s not easy to grasp the poem as a whole. What I say now is my own take on the poem, and you may not even recognise it.

As I understand it, this is about a life event which can be described as a ‘fall’ - a personal catastrophe which leaves one disoriented, frightened and uncertain. What has happened could be almost anything, but seems more than anything else to be a separation of the two friends. (Even the death of the one addressed?) I think you use ‘compadre’ to signal an intimate friendship; the compadre is ‘embedded in me’ and seems to say ‘See through your demise’ - one of the most striking phrases, something like but not quite the same as ‘ride out the storm’. This seems to be, or have been, a same-sex relationship. Whatever has happened has left the poem’s speaker ‘in pieces’.

A life event such as this can justify a poem that contains objects and images which are disparate, things that don’t seem to connect by any association of ideas. But sometimes these apparently unrelated things are hard to understand; it’s hard to attach significance to them. In the ‘den under the floor’ bunks and shisha pipes seem to go together quite well, but lions and ivy are odd choices. Is this an actual place, a basement, or is it a metaphor for a private world shared by the two friends? I tend to think it’s the latter. If so, lions and ivy must have special significance for them, but it’s hard for a reader of the poem to see what that is. ‘A crack and a winch’ also puzzles me; placed alongside ‘a dawn and a kiss’ it’s even more obscure.

I have to say, though, that the more I consider the poem the less obscure it seems. There’s nothing in the poet’s manual to say that the reader shouldn’t be expected to put some work into reading. I think there are one or two places where you don’t give the reader much of a chance, and you may need to be more aware of whether a stranger who doesn’t know you at all, or know any of the things that gave rise to this poem, could be expected to understand what you mean by some details. Not everyone can do this, but if you can it’s very helpful: leave the poem aside for a time, then try to read it as if someone else had written it and given it to you to read. What lies or deails in the poem would you question? What would make you say, ‘I don’t know what you mean, you’ll have to explain’?

Your use of language is very adventurous. As I said, many lines are very striking, and it was this aspect that encouraged me to work at the poem.

I hope this will be helpful.



Necessary corrections - lines of course, not lies. And 'details'.

writer_in_motion at 22:27 on 27 February 2009  Report this post
To be slightly more coherent (which is hard because poetry is the medium I choose to express it with)
This could of been called sleeping lions.
The tender who tend tend to fall from an uproar
Then "sprawled lions"
The "scene" is an undercurrent a subconciousness, mosiacs being
DNA "embedded in me" I tried to make some potency in this scene with the shisha pipes which could be what is choked upon.
The ivy maybe being overgrown poison perhaps.

Then the scene is revoked.

"The angel has fallen but the sky isnt mourning"

Pantheism I guess

"Deliver my lightning"

A fallen angel still posessing powers wants them taken or "delivered" <<<<< which I used as a clue.

The doorway symbolises escaping the body. Under the floor is the subconcious.

and yes you were right. This was written after a breakup.

A Crack and a winch and a dawn and a kiss.

This could be waking up from nightmares.

This poem was very subconcious and are often derived from very lucid dreams.
But yeah Pantheism.
Mythical things as entitys.

I hope this helped

Please tell me what u ment by this Necessary corrections - lines of course, not lies. And 'details'.


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