Sunday, April 7, 2013

Ghost In The Machine



Man Leaning On A Parapet~Georges Seurat
Ghost In The Machine

 “The best portion of a good man's life: his little, nameless unremembered acts of kindness and love.”
~William Wordsworth






When the morning is a veil of grey
and the gold is still a closed fist
over the fields the sighing comes
spilled in a tickling mist
from a silver pail of silence
before the anxious birds
begin their nervy chorus,
before the softshell world
uncracks itself before us.

That's when you seem to turn
the breath of lilacs panting
just behind my shoulder,
in whispers hot as ranting;
all you were and weren't
a music changed to noise,
all your fading fragrance
feeding till it cloys.

So, shade, take coffee with me here
where the night and light collide
and tell me what became of
the man who could be kind.



~April 2013





posted for   real toads
Challenge: A Birthday in April~Wordsworth
Kerry asks us to take one of three quotes from poet William Wordsworth as our jumping off point today. My choice introduces the poem.





Image: Man leaning on a parapet, by Georges Seurat
Public domain via wikipaintings.org

25 comments:

  1. wonderful opening...the rhyme scheme in this is soothing making it rather enchanting...the breath of lilacs panting
    just behind my shoulder...interesting bit of intimacy in this stanza....wicked close on this as well hedge...the man who could be kind...

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  2. I love your end rhymes in the opening stanza, but more than that, I love your descriptors, and the "silver pail of silence".

    When someone changes, it is so hard to come to terms with that. One wonders, "What happened to the person I knew? I still miss them! I didn't even get to say goodbye!" In their stead, this stranger, with whom we have nothing of the same connection, though the name and the face may be, so confusingly, the same.

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  3. I especially am struck by "the sighhing comes....from a silver pail of silence." This poem has an elegaic feel to it, and the ending is profound......beautiful work, Hedge.

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  4. Such a beautiful poem. I love the measured pace with which you lead the reader deeper into the experience. The imagery is striking: the silver pail of silence, I love and the softshell world uncracking itself. The second stanza takes us to the uncomfortable place (the toad in the garden, so to speak) that is the onus of poetry so often. And you described the discord with subtlety in hot rantings, music become noise and fragrance that cloys. The tight nature of your final stanza drives the point home: What become of the man who could be kind. Ouch! I felt it.

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  5. Wonderful poem, another new favorite. From beginning to end. Yes, the silver pail of silence is terrific but even before that - the golden fist is so strong and the lilacs especially terrible to be turned. Very strong close. I am not going to bother trying to sign on my regular account, as too tired to do comment repeatedly. K.

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  6. I really enjoyed the way you put the words together here in this ultimately sad poem.

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  7. before the softshell world
    uncracks itself before us.

    This poem I have bookmarked. It is so personal, so endearing, you've captured the moment of introspection perfectly and the perfect painting to go with it. Beautiful!

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    Replies
    1. Thank you, Margaret. Hope your son is better.

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    2. ...true to Murphy's Law, he was better the first full day home.

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  8. I love how your night and light collide!
    Wondrous details aligned~

    Gorgeous and one of my fav of yours :D

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    1. Ella, Thank you--I tried to read your poem--was able to read the article, but my vision is not good, and the tiny print of the poem defeated me. :C

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  9. Beautiful Hedge specially the first verse ~ You are the master of details ~

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  10. I love how you've chosen the painting by Seurat to illustrate your poem, and "the ghost in the machine" for the duality (or not) of the person in it.
    But most of all I love "take coffee with me here where the night and light collide" — the coffee addict in me is saying, "Oh, yes, please, that would be wonderful, what a delightful line."
    I know, coffee addicts make lousy philosophers: we're so easily misled by the trivial.
    K

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    1. Trivial? The elixir of life??? I think not. Thanks, Kay.

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  11. I love this, all your descriptions. Beautiful!

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  12. The rhyme in this is so befitting and I just love the opening of gold as a closed fist!! It SO looks like that and in your close the collide...the delivery of this portion becomes the beginning of what I feel in my depths as an amazing tale to be told...whispered to us by nature...excellent...I was taken in with every image and thought. Thank you, Hedge!!

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  13. Kindness is golden. Your closure is sublime;this is poetry. It urges me to loosen my shoulder blades and sigh, while taking in the deeper question.

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  14. Killer closing lines! I just love your poetry.

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  15. Hedge, this is one of the most beautiful of your poems. "Before the anxious birds begin their nervy chorus," oh yes! I am tortured in the AM by those guys, even though I know I've encroached on their world. Then comes the aroma section, and I'm feeling the scent (know what I mean? sensory memory) of "the breath of lilacs," which hold special meaning for me... then that closing, which turns the whole serenity of this poem into an ironic comment. Really, brill. Peace, Amy

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  16. So glad I took the time to read one more poem before I start my day or before the "night and light collide"! I love the line "All you were and weren't"

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  17. So many good things in this, so much enjoyment.

    before the softshell world
    uncracks itself before us.

    This couplet just took my breath away. Superb -- as was both the opening and the closure.

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  18. Yes, this is very beautiful - sad, and beautiful. With it's superb rhythm it's a pleasure to read aloud.

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  19. "...a music turned to noise... What a way to describe disillusion. This work has such a great understated pace, a complement to the quiet, reflective sadness. The last stanza is just great. This is a fine work--mastery of form and of ideas.

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  20. So, shade, take coffee with me here where the night and light collide and tell me what became of the man who could be kind. Love that. Perhaps I should check the shrew in me before ti pollutes the beauty of a new day. Wonderful work!!

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'Poetry is an echo asking a shadow to dance' ~Carl Sandburg