Poem with an explanation: hidden away

Four years passed
purposefully hidden

  away.

The sight
not using it

    with darkness filling.

  Today
passing by

    the vault.

Stay.

 

This poem is about coping with death.  In the poem, a person in a family has died.  The family, after the death, kept the person’s room just as it was when they were alive.  They have kept the room closed and do not open it.

In the poem, the person has been dead for four years (Four years passed).  During that time, the person’s family has kept the person’s room closed (hidden away).  This was done with intention (purposefully).

The family had a fear, that if they looked at the room, that it would somehow change.  This change was perceived to mean that something of the person would be lost.  There was the idea that if they looked at the room (The sight), that it would somehow use the sight of the room up and that the memory of the person would be lost (with darkness filling).

This idea is almost like the notion that taking something fragile out of a protected case causes it to deteriorate some.  It can only be looked at so many times before it is gone.

Another analogy might be the idea that smelling a scent somehow uses up the scent.  The thing can only be smelled so many times before the scent of it will be gone.

In the poem, the family sometimes has times when they pass the room (Today passing by) which is sealed like a vault (the vault).

When they pass by, they have the overwhelming sense that the room needs to stay the way it is (Stay).  Again is the idea, that if the room changes, the person will be lost.

In terms of form, this poem used the Experimental Poetry Form: Twenty Words.

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Poem with an explanation: drifting after the storm

in darkness the storm
the leviathan thunders
drifting out to sea

 

This poem is a haiku.  It is written in the 5-7-5 format.

This poem about the first signs of a serious illness.  In the poem, a person wakes up in bed, covered in sweat.  At this point, the person feels that something is physically wrong, but is not aware of the seriousness of it.

The poem uses idea of the sea as a metaphor.

The first line says, “in the darkness the storm”.  This alludes to a few things.  “the darkness” refers to the night as well as to the idea of the negativity of the illness.  It also refers to the idea that the person is “in the dark” in regards to the condition they have.  “the storm” refers to the person sweating, and again to the negativity of their condition.

The second line says, “the leviathan thunders”.  A leviathan is a mythical sea monster.  It is representative of the illness the person has.  The thunder the person metaphorically hears is not natural thunder, as a storm might suggest, rather it is the sound of the leviathan.  The idea here is that the person thinks what is happening is normal, like thunder during a storm would be, but what is happening is not normal.  The person is seriously ill but thinks they are just having a temporary condition.

The third line says, “drifting out to sea”.  This line changes the tone of the first two.  The first line had a storm and the second line had something thundering.  This line has something that sounds calm – the idea of a person in a boat drifting out to sea.

The idea is to reflect that the person is going on an unknown journey where they lack control.  The person is about to be faced with an illness they know nothing about and over which they have no ability to control.  Something is happening to them.

While this may be something that could be described as abrupt, for example with the line “over waterfalls”, in this situation that is not what is happening.

The person is about to go on the journey of their illness.  This journey has not really started though.  The person has not had the moment of diagnosis.  They have not had the “waterfall moment” of finding out they have a disease.  At this point, the person is in the dark and in some way slowly moving toward their journey.

As the person lays in bed, they have the abrupt moment of waking up covered in sweat, but this moment subsides as the person thinks they are just not feeling right.  They believe that the feeling will pass and they will return to normal soon.  They do not know what is really happening to them.

Poem with an explanation: the day monster

Within the night of the day dream,
where things are lie but do not seem,
the monster’s teeth both shine and gleam,
and in the dark the mind does scream.

The flames do roar at strike of match,
and chains do bind and locks do latch,
the monster’s close and soon will catch,
its claws do reach to grab and snatch.

And in the world there seems a fight,
within the dream of day not night,
the struggle moves both left and right,
and all is fought without the sight.

And then the time when dams do break,
does come and with the quickness make,
a soul to fall and form to shake,
and in the world a soul to wake.

The eyes do gleam but with a start,
and in the form there is a heart,
that seems pierced through like with a dart,
as from the dream the soul does part.

The lights do shine and fogs do clear,
the monster’s roar is far not near,
and though the heart does feel the fear,
the sound of it it does not hear.

And in the world the mind does know,
that flames that roar do seem to sow,
the dreams of day all filled with woe,
where monster teeth both shine and glow.

 

This poem is about a dream a person has during the day when they are ill and have a fever.  When a person is ill and has a fever, sometimes they can have dreams that feel very bad but are incoherent.  When they awake, they can have a realization of what was happening.

In the poem, the person is sleeping during the day.  This is because they are ill.  They are also having a bad dream.  This is described in the first line of the first stanza.

The first line says, “Within the night of the day dream”.  The person is asleep, and they are dreaming.  It is day time, but they are not having a daydream.  It is metaphorically night because the person is having a bad dream.

The person feels that what they are dreaming is real.  This is shown in the second line which says, “where things are lie but do not seem”.

The third line describes the badness of the dream as a monster with teeth that “shine and gleam”.

The fourth line shows the person’s fear (and in the dark the mind does scream).

The second stanza starts off by describing the fever the person has.  Because of the dream and their illness the person feels like they can’t move (and chains do bind and locks do latch).  The next two lines describe the feeling of the bad dream.

The third stanza moves from the dream world to reality.  As the person sleeps, they move and seem to struggle.  This is because of their illness and their bad dream.  The physical struggle of the person is described in this stanza.

In the fourth stanza, the person’s fever breaks and they start to sweat.  This is described in the first line, “And then the time when dams do break”.  This causes the person to wake up and in that process they feel like they are falling and shaking (a soul to fall and form to shake).  At the end of the sensation, the person wakes up (and in the world a soul to wake).

As the person wakes up they do so with a start (The eyes do gleam but with a start).  Their heart is beating fast (and in the form there is a heart, that seems pierced through like with a dart).  In the process the person leaves the dream world they were in (as from the dream the soul does part).

The person becomes more aware of reality in the next stanza (The lights do shine and fogs do clear).  They start to feel removed from the bad dream (the monster’s roar is far not near).  They still feel afraid (and though the heart does feel the fear), though they are more removed from its source (the sound of it it does not hear).

In the last stanza, the person realizes what happened (And in the world the mind does know).  They understand that the fever caused the bad dream.

In terms of form, each stanza follows the same format.  All stanzas are four lines written in iambic tetrameter.  All lines in a stanza rhyme.  Incorrect grammar was used in some places for sound and to fit the form.

Poem with an explanation: wheeling forward

There’s a time of hindrance wheeling forward in the chair,
the rugs, carpet and doorways rise from the earth,
like a hand was waved and stones obeyed,
like the whole house was of quicksand,
like mountains fled beyond all sight.
Then there is the moment,
when forgetfulness creeps in,
and eyes clinch,
silently loud,
crying.
Lying,
once proud,
moving an inch,
and there’s the din,
that from pain was sent,
and all time seems a blight,
and humility does join the stage band,
and a song of simple need is played,
and notes call out to alleviate an unthought-of dearth,
and to the whiteness of the clouds eyes do stare.

 

In terms of form, this poem uses the experimental poetry form: two triangles from the March 9, 2018 post on this blog.  Check the post for information about the form.

This poem is about a person who has broken their leg and is in a wheelchair.  It looks at the initial time of their experience.

The first sentence looks at the experience as the person first starts to wheel about their house.  They experience the fact that their house is not set up for a person in a wheelchair.  They encounter rugs and carpets that are difficult to roll over and doorways that are too narrow.  They move slowly through everything they do because it is difficult to get about and things they want seem like they have moved far away.

In the second sentence, the person is lying in bed.  They have just awoken and they start to roll out of bed, like they did before their injury, because in that moment they have forgotten they are hurt.  As they move, they feel pain and they clinch their eyes and grimace.

In the third sentence, the person finds they need help for even simple things.

The poem looks at the initial time of a person in a wheelchair.  It looks at the initial experience and the start of the transition from walking to having to roll in the chair.  It looks at the difficulty of that time period.

 

P. S. There will be no new post on M. Sakran’s blog of and about poetry and poetry related things on Friday April 6, 2018. The next new post will be on Monday April 9, 2018. It will be a milestone post.

Poem with an explanation: The rain will come

The rain will come,
  weeds will grow,
  hairstyles will be ruined,
  clothes will be damaged,
  workers will be late,
  events will be cancelled,
  people will catch colds,
  roads will deteriorate,
  homes will have damage,
  cars will have accidents,
  homeless people will suffer.

 

The rain will come,
  plants will grow,
  animals will drink,
  things will look better,
  homes will be cleaned,
  allergens will decrease,
  air will be cooler,
  farmers will benefit,
  people will feel calmer,
  pollution will go down,
  people will have water.

 

This poem is symbolic of political discussions.  In the poem there is an issue: the rain will come.  This issue symbolizes political and social issues in society.

In the poem, there are two sides: those who think the rain coming will be bad and those who think the rain coming will be good.  The first stanza presents the side that thinks the rain will be bad, and the second stanza presents the side that thinks the rain will be good.

Each side presents ten points to support their view.  Essentially, each side is making truthful statements, however, they are speaking in certainties (will) rather than possibilities (may).

Generally speaking, each side presents stronger statements as they go.  For those against the rain and for the rain, the statements they make, generally, are more significant as they present their side.

Additionally, neither side makes any reference or acknowledgement of the other side or their view.  Each side presents its case unilaterally.

The poem has the general form that each side says something will get better or worse.  They present their views in very similar styles.

This poem expresses the feel that can sometimes come in political debates.  Each side in the poem speaks in certainties, is consistent in their view, does not acknowledge the opposing view, speaks to persuade, and speaks in a consistent style.

The poem symbolizes the idea that in political and social issue discussions, each side examines the same idea and yet sees it completely differently.  It also expresses faults that can happen when issues are discussed.

Poem with an explanation: the frame of steel

The artist’s frame,
there made of steel,
did walk about,
on clouds of snow.

It moved with ease,
and flew with wind,
its eyes were closed,
but it could see.

But steel was not,
what it did seem,
its core was clay,
that was not seen.

And there with sound,
a reed did swing,
and struck the frame,
there made of steel.

The steel did crack,
as did the clay,
and eyes closed tight,
and could not see.

And from the clouds,
the frame did fall,
and hit the stone,
that was below.

And it could see,
all that it was,
as with its eyes,
it say the clay.

And there with pain,
it crawled along,
its eyes could see,
the stone around.

And years did pass,
as it did move,
to the far pool,
that was so near.

And there it laid,
and caught its breath,
and hoped the time,
would heal the steel.

And suns did come,
and moons did go,
as it looked up,
to stars above.

And then it came,
out from the pool,
with open eyes,
it saw the land.

And it did walk,
upon the stone,
and with each step,
thought not of clouds.

And then the day,
did come with steps,
when it could fly,
as it once did.

It took a step,
and in the air,
it went up to,
the clouds above.

But now it walked,
with careful steps,
with eyes that saw,
the land below.

It saw the steel,
but knew the clay,
it flew in clouds,
but knew the stone.

 

This poem is about a person losing a sense of invincibility.  It the poem, the person feels physically invincible.  They then break their leg.  This shows them their fragility and brings them humility.

In terms of form, the poem is made of stanzas that have four lines each.  Each line has four syllables.

In the first stanza, the person is describe as an artist’s frame that’s made of steel.  The frame alludes to the person’s skeletal structure of bones and is an allusion to a frame an artist might use to make a clay model.  It is made of steel, which symbolizes the person’s perceived strength.

At this stage, the person moves effortlessly.  They move about without a care for their movement.  This is described as did walk about, on clouds of snow.

In the second stanza, this notion is continued.  The person is moving with ease and they move as though they flew with wind.  The person is carefree in their movement.  This is described by the fact that their eyes were closed.  The person moves though, as almost in a dream.  Though their eyes are closed, they can see themselves flying through the clouds.

The third stanza starts the moment of reality.  Although the person thought they were strong, they did not realize their physical weakness.  The steel the person thought they were made of, had a core of clay.

In the fourth stanza, the person has an injury.  To highlight the person’s vulnerability, the thing that hurts the person is a reed.  They were not hurt by a hammer or stone or iron, but rather by a plant that bends.  This symbolizes the idea that sometimes something small can cause a bone to break.

In the fifth stanza, the person’s bone breaks.  The steel cracks and so does the clay.  Before, the person’s eyes were closed because they were carefree.  Now the person’s eyes are closed in pain.

In the sixth stanza, the injury causes the person to fall from their carefree place and back to earth.  Rather than being in clouds, they are on stone.

In the seventh stanza, the person realizes their internal weakness.  They realize they are made of clay.

In the eight stanza, the person moves like a person with a broken bone.  They are in pain and they crawl.  They have a new understand of the ground as they are closer to it in their movements.

In the ninth stanza, the person struggles to find relief.  It takes them, metaphorically, years to get to a nearby pool where they can find respite.

In the tenth stanza, the person finds this place of respite.  They rest and hope that with time they will be healed.

In the eleventh stanza, time passes (as described by the sun and moon moving).  The person is aware of time as they heal and they look up to the sky to see it pass.

In the twelfth stanza, the person feels better enough to start moving again.  The person now is more grounded (in multiple metaphorical ways).  They see the land around them and are aware of where they are.

In the thirteenth stanza, the person is in a humbled place and although they are healed, they can’t move yet like they did before.  The person is grounded where they are and they don’t think of moving in a carefree way.

In the fourteenth stanza, the person finally feels totally better.  They can move like they once did.

In the fifteenth stanza, the person physically gets back to where they were before their injury.

In the sixteenth stanza, although the person is physically as they were before, they are not emotionally.  They are humbled.  They now move carefully and realize where they had been.

In the last stanza, the person realizes they have some physically strength, but they understand that it only goes so far.  While they have a strong ability to move, they don’t forget what it was like not to be able to.  They have come to understand their own weakness.

 

P. S. Hopefully you liked the poem with an explanation above. If you did, you might check out M. Sakran’s eBook Understanding: poems with explanations.  It is available for a price of $0.99 (plus tax where applicable) and contains twenty poems with explanations.  Currently, you can read the forward, introduction, the first poem, the first explanation, the second poem and part of the second explanation from the site where the link goes.  If you like what you read, please consider purchasing a copy.

Poetry essay: Explaining poetry: the author, the reader, or someone else

If you’ve read this blog before, you’ve probably noticed a recurring category is poems with explanations.  These are poems written and explained by M. Sakran.  There are over one hundred on this blog.  M. Sakran also has a self-published eBook available for purchase called Understanding: poems with explanations.

Having explained poems raises an interesting thought: What’s the difference between who explains a poem?  What’s the difference between an author explaining their poem, the reader of a poem thinking about what it means or a reader reading someone else’s explanation of a poem?

This idea sometimes comes up with art.  Does an artwork mean what the artist says it means?  Does it mean what each viewer thinks it means?  Does it mean what some third party says it means?

Each of these points of view has pros and cons in terms of explaining poetry, but each has value in explaining.

The author

Obviously, from the abundance of explained poems on this blog and the eBook of them, M. Sakran sees value in an author explaining their own work for readers.  There are a number of reasons for this.

First, the reader actually learns what the author meant.  While readers can come up with their own ideas and while they might hear the ideas of others, there is a sense that they never know if they are really right.  No matter how rational or thought out the explanations are, there is still always a bit of uncertainty involved without knowing what the author really meant.

This issue is solved when an author explains their own work.  Readers know exactly what the author meant.  The symbolism, metaphor, form elements and so forth are all explained.  A reader can truly understand what a particular poem meant.

Second, having the author explain their own work can be a great learning tool.  A reader can read a poem and think of what they think it means.  While this has value by itself, it has more value when the reader has something they can check it against.  A reader can find out how well they really understood a poem.

Third, when an author explains their own work, it means the true meaning of the work comes through.  With poetry, art, music and other creative endeavors there is the problem that can sometimes occur that readers, viewers or listeners don’t understand the work as the author intended.  They miss the message that was sent and may see messages that aren’t there.  While there is value in personal interpretation, it can cause an issue if an author had something specific they wanted to get across.  It can be frustrating to an author to feel like they are saying one thing, but consumers of their work are hearing another.  When an author explains their own work though, this issue is solved.

Despite the benefits of an author explaining their own work, there are some downsides.

First, it can take away from a central component of poetry – the idea that each person sees something different in a poem.  While each reader can form their own interpretation, when they find out what the author really meant, that aspect is gone.  The idea of creative thinking is stopped.  An aspect of discussion is gone.  It’s almost like when a magician explains a trick – the idea of trying to figure out how it was done disappears.

Second, while an author can explain their own work, they might not always do so completely.  There can often be subconscious elements in poetry.  An author may have included things that have symbolism and meaning and may not have even realized it.  Having someone else explain a poem though, can point these things out.

The reader

Interpreting poetry is something that can be central to reading poems.  While some poems are overt and clear in their meaning, other poems have more subtly and obscurity.  Even seemingly simple poems can have layers of meaning hidden within them.

Interpreting poetry might be an exercise you do in a class.  The class reads a number of poems and then goes line by line trying to understand what the poems truly mean.  They may include outside information such as historical information, information about the life of the authors or information about word meaning.  The idea is in some way to expound upon the symbolism.  It might be similar to when a clause in a contract is explained in plain language.  A one sentence clause might take five sentences to explain what it means.

There is a lot of value in a reader explaining poetry they read to themselves.

First, as mentioned above, having readers get their own meaning from poetry is a big part of the idea of poetry.  It’s like art in a way.  In some regard it is supposed to be different for each person.  This idea can be enhanced when a reader explains a poem for themselves.  They can get a better understanding of what they think a poem means and get more out of the reading experience.

Second, when a reader explains a poem to themselves, it can be a good learning exercise.  A reader learns to look into a poem.  They learn to see symbolism and metaphor.  They get experience seeing form elements.  They learn how the different pieces of a poem fit together.  This experience can improve a person’s ability to read poetry and also improve their ability to write it.

While there is value in a reader explaining poetry for themselves, there are some downsides.

First, as mentioned, a reader, without information from the author, will not ever know if they were correct in their interpretation.  It can be like taking a test, but not getting a grade.

While some may argue that being “correct” in interpreting poetry isn’t the idea of poetry, there is value in it if a reader wants to understand an author’s intention.  If a reader wants to understand what a poem “really means”, at least from the author’s perspective, then explaining it themselves can leave this unfulfilled.

Second, when a reader explains a poem for themselves they bring their own history and perspective to it.  What symbolism a reader sees in a poem, and how they see it, is influenced by the life of the reader.  Readers will see different things and see them differently depending on their history, where they live, their education, their age and so forth.

While this may be seen as a good thing in terms of the idea of each reader seeing a poem differently, it could also be seen as something that distorts the meaning of a poem.  In a sense, a reader is bringing bias into their explanation of a poem.  Their view in some sense is clouded.

Someone else

Readers of poetry sometimes can read explanations of poems written by someone other than the authors of the poems.  Some examples of this might be things like:

  Reading a review of a poetry book where the reviewer writes about the meaning of certain poems in the book.

  Reading a book that explains the poetry of a poet.  This might be seen with older or more well-known poetry.

  Reading or hearing an explanation of a poem from a peer, like in a classroom setting where the meaning of a poem is being discussed.

Getting these perspectives can have value for a reader when they try to understand what a poem means.

First, a reader gets an outside perspective.  They can read an explanation of a poem from someone else’s point of view.  Through this, they might discover symbolism and meaning that they might not have found or thought about on their own.

Second, if the reader is reading an explanation of a poem from someone with a good deal of experience writing about poetry, such as a poetry reviewer might have, they can not only get a different perspective on the meaning of the poem, they might get a more skilled one.  If a person regularly writes about poetry, they might develop skills in its interpretation.  A reader can benefit from this, in addition to the outside perspective.

Third, an explanation from someone else might help a reader enhance their own explanation of a poem.  A reader can take what others say about a poem, combine it with what they may have thought on their own, and develop a fuller explanation of a poem.  A reader can also combine multiple outside explanations of a poem for this same benefit.

While outside perspectives on poetry can be beneficial, they have some downsides.

First, they can influence how a reader reads a poem.  When a reader reads an explanation of a poem, they might have trouble reading and understanding the poem “cleanly”.  They might have trouble seeing and interpreting the poem without the explanation they read in the back of their mind.  They might have trouble seeing it without that perspective influencing what they think.

Second, reading an outside perspective of a poem might influence a reader not to explain the poem for themselves.  They might feel that since they read an explanation, there isn’t as much reason to think of the poem’s meaning on their own.  This can mean that a reader misses out on the experience that comes from thinking about what a poem means.

 

When it comes to understanding poetry, there are a number of perspectives.  A reader can read an author’s explanation, someone else’s or develop their own.  All of the perspectives have benefits and downsides.

If a reader wants to get the most from understanding poetry, they might be best served by combining the perspectives.

A reader could read a poem and think about what it means for themselves.  After that, if available, they could read an explanation of the poem from someone else.  This might exist already for more well-known poetry.  If there isn’t an explanation available, a reader could find a peer to read the poem and give their perspective.  Finally, again if available, a reader could read the author’s perspective on the poem.  Obviously this exists for many of the poems on this blog, as well as those in M. Sakran’s eBook.  It might also exists for other poems depending on what the authors did.  A reader might be able to find a book where an author explains their poetry, they might find some explanation of poems on things like blogs, or they might find explanations of poems in author interviews.

If a reader combines their own perspective, outside perspectives and author perspectives on poetry they can learn more about poetry interpretation, how to read poetry and how to write it.  When they put the perspectives together they can see poems in a way that they may not have with just one perspective.  In a way the perspectives can be more together than they were apart.

If a reader combines perspectives on poetry meaning, they can come to a fuller understanding of poetry and a better appreciation for it.

Poem with an explanation: Pound ounce

Pound ounce,
pound ounce,
the eyes close,
in silence.

Pound ounce,
pound ounce,
the statue changes,
its expression.

With the chain,
around the leg,
the rock nearby,
seems like the moon.

In the shoes,
for the grain of sand,
the hands are held,
and eyes open.

Pound ounce,
pound ounce,
waiting for the day,
without pound ounce.

 

This poem is about a person who hurt their foot.  They hit their foot on something and are in considerable pain days later.  They have not sought medical attention, and, despite the pain, they believe their foot is not broken.  They try to go about their day as best they can.

When the person walks, they step heavily with their good leg in attempt to move themselves forward and support their weight.  They step lightly with their hurt foot because of the pain.  The heavy step is symbolized with the weight “pound” (which also symbolizes the pounding of the step into the ground) and the light step is symbolized with the weight “ounce”.  Each “pound ounce” set (except for the last) refers to the person taking a step forward.

In the first stanza, the person takes two steps.  They feel pain and close their eyes as they cringe.  They don’t make a noise, as holding the sound in, in some way, holds the pain in.

In the second stanza, the person takes two more steps.  The person, being relatively immobile, is described as a statue.  Their facial expression changes because of the pain.

In the third stanza, the idea of relative distance is examined.  The person has trouble walking.  This is symbolized as them having a chain around their leg.  Because of this, something that is nearby seems as though it is far away.  This is symbolized by the idea of the moon.  The moon looks nearby when it is bright and full, almost as if it were a few hundred feet or a few miles away.  In reality, this is an illusion, and the moon is very far away.  It looks close, but is at a considerable distance.  This relates to the object the person wants, that is in reality close, but because of their ailment is as if it is a considerable distance away.

The person’s condition has taught them empathy.  The person, so to speak, is “walking in the shoes” of someone who is disabled.  They are experience what having a disability is like, even if only for a brief time (for the grain of sand – as in one grain of sand falling in an hour glass, which represents a very small amount of time).  This causes them to feel a connection to the disabled (the hands are held) and they open their eyes (metaphorically) to their situation.

In the last stanza, the person takes two more steps, and in their pain, they feel like they are waiting for the day when the pain is gone and they can walk normally.

Poem with an explanation: the bird and the berry tree

The flock of birds,
did land in the tree,
and all were chirping,
and dancing about.

The berries were red,
and bright and shined,
and all the birds,
did eat past full.

They stumbled about,
and fell from the tree,
and flew in wide circles,
and into the limbs.

As the morning did dawn,
the birds did sleep,
and some did stagger,
from all the berries.

And they did wait,
for night to fall,
and the berries to shine,
in the light of the moon.

And there was a bird,
who ate the bright berries,
and danced on the tree,
and waited for the moon.

It danced as it ate,
and flew about,
and chirped a loud song,
and was friend to all.

But there was a day,
as the sun did shine,
that the tree seemed dull,
in its bright light.

And the thought did grow,
with the passing nights,
and more and more,
the tree grew dark.

The bird did think,
of all there was,
that was so far,
from the berry tree.

And then for nights,
it came to the tree,
but did not dance,
and did not eat.

The other birds,
singing aloud,
looked at their friend,
and questioned its change.

The bird then spoke,
of the dull tree,
and all that was bright,
in the day’s sun.

But the other birds,
eating of berries,
did not understand,
what it had said.

Some asked questions,
some did debate,
many did push,
and try to change its ways.

But the bird did resolve,
to eat no berries,
but said it would,
still visit the tree.

The others though,
did shun the bird,
who did not eat,
or dance about.

They did speak ill,
and make loud jokes,
and taunt the bird,
who did not eat.

And in the sun,
with sorrowful eyes,
the bird did leave,
the berry tree.

And when all knew,
they did laugh loud,
and ate more berries,
and danced about.

And the bird flew,
far from the tree,
and over a mountain,
and to a glen.

The air was clear,
a river did flow,
there were seeds of grass,
and a bright sun.

And as it sat,
and felt the warmth,
it heard a sound,
it did not know.

There in the grass,
where it couldn’t see,
were other birds,
who sang each day.

They sang a song,
of sun and warmth,
that the one bird,
did not know.

And it sang back,
and found new friends,
who sang of sun,
in the warm glen.

And days did shine,
upon the bird,
who found a home,
in the tall grass.

 

This poem is about drinking.  In the poem there is a person who drinks with friends regularly at a bar.  One day, this person decides to stop drinking.  This causes the person’s friends to shun the person.  The person then stops going to the bar and finds new friends.

The idea of the poem is to show a situation where someone changes their behavior for the better, but it has negative consequences from their peers.  Although here, the idea was applied to drinking alcohol, the idea could be applied to many situations.  For example, think of a person who decides to become a vegetarian but who has friends who eat lots of meat.  Those friends might question the person, debate with person, poke at the person and at some point stop being friends with the person because the person changed their ways and became different from them.

The poem is made of stanzas that have four lines each.

In the first stanza, the person and their friends arrive at the bar.  The group is described as The flock of birds.  The bar is described as a tree.  Everyone is happy and having a good time (all were chirping and dancing about).

In the second stanza, the alcohol they drink is described as berries that were red.  The drinks are enticing – they were bright and shined.  All the people at the bar (all the birds) drank excessively (did eat past full).

In the third stanza, the alcohol affects the group.  It affects their coordination and behavior.  They are described as stumbling, falling, flying in wide circles, and flying into limbs.

In the fourth stanza, it is the morning (as the morning did dawn) and the birds are hungover.  They sleep and some stagger from the alcohol (from all the berries).

In the fifth stanza, despite their hangovers, the people are waiting for night (And they did wait, for night to fall) so they can drink again (the berries to shine).

The sixth stanza introduces the main person (And there was a bird).  This person was like their friends and drank (ate the bright berries), partied (danced on the tree), and waited for each night (and waited for the moon).

In the seventh stanza, this person is shown as the life of the party.  They danced and drank (ate).  They partied (flew about) and were full of excitement (and chirped a loud song).  Everyone liked them (and was friend to all).

But one day (But there was a day), shown in the eighth stanza, during the day (as the sun did shine) that for some reason, looking at the bar in the daylight (in its bright light), it didn’t seem like such a fun place to the person (the tree seemed dull).

In the ninth stanza, the person thinks about this (And the thought did grow) as it went to the bar each night (with the passing nights).  As the person started to really see what the bar was like it seemed less and less like a place they wanted to be (the tree grew dark).

In the tenth stanza, the person starts to think (The bird did think) of all they were missing by going to bar (of all there was, that was so far, from the berry tree).

In the eleventh stanza, the person still goes to the bar (And then for nights, it came to tree), but they don’t dance (but did not dance) and they don’t drink (and did not eat).

In the twelfth stanza, the person’s peers (The other birds), who are having a great time at the bar (singing aloud) wonder what might be wrong with their friend (looked at their friend, and questioned its change).

In the thirteenth stanza, the person explains the change that they feel (The bird then spoke).  They talk about how the bar doesn’t seem so good to them (of the dull tree) and of all there was besides the bar (and all that was bright, in the day’s sun).

In the fourteenth stanza, all the person’s drinking peers (But the other birds, eating of berries) didn’t understand what the person was talking about (did not understand, what it had said).

In the fifteenth stanza, some ask questions (Some asked questions), some debated (some did debate) and many tried to change the person (many did push, and try to change its ways).

In the sixteenth stanza, the person does not give to the arguments (But the bird did resolve), and decided that they would no longer drink (to eat no berries).  Despite this though, because of their friends, they say that will still come to the bar (but said it would, still visit the tree).

In the eighteenth stanza, the friends respond negatively to this (The others though, did shun the bird, who did not eat, or dance about).

In the nineteenth stanza, they talk bad about the person (They did speak ill), make jokes about them (and make loud jokes), and taunt the person (and taunt the bird) because they did not drink (who did not eat).

Because of this, one day (And in the sun), as shown in the twentieth stanza, the person is sad (with sorrowful eyes) and they stop coming to the bar (the bird did leave, the berry tree).

In the twenty first stanza, when the other people learned this (And when all knew), they laughed (they did laugh loud), drank more (ate more berries) and continued their party (and danced about).

In the twenty second stanza, the person looks for new place to go (And the bird flew, far from the tree, and over a mountain, and to a glen).  They find a coffee shop to go to, described as a glen.

At the coffee shop, in the twenty third stanza, things are different than the bar (The air was clear, a river did flow).  There were non-alcoholic drinks (there were seeds of grass) and everything seemed brighter in the daylight (and a bright sun).

In the twenty fourth stanza, the person sits outside at the coffee shop (And as it sat, and felt the warmth).  While they are there, they hear people talking (it heard a sound, it did not know).

In the twenty fifth stanza, the person listens to other people talking (There in the grass, where it couldn’t see, were other birds, who sang each day).

In the twenty sixth stanza, the people at the coffee shop are talking about things different than what the person heard at the bar (They sang a song, of sun and warmth, that the one bird, did not know).

In the twenty seventh stanza, the person decides to talk to the people at the coffee shop (And it sang back), and they make new friends (and found new friends).

In the twenty eighth stanza, the person is happy (And days did shine, upon the bird, who found a home, in the tall grass).

 

P. S. This is the one hundredth “singular” poem with an explanation on this blog. It is the one hundredth poem with an explanation that isn’t in some way part of something else, such as a post series.

 

P. S. S. If you like poems with explanations, you might check out M. Sakran’s eBook Understanding: poems with explanations.

Poem with an explanation: waterfalls

Waterfalls,
all around,
pouring down,
the mountain sides.

Through the caves,
and to the hearts,
where silence dwells,
in shadows.

Silent words,
flow through the mist,
and time stands still,
while rivers flow.

And in the fields,
being unseen,
the silence sits,
and waits for drought.

 

This poem is about cancer.  It is about a scene in an infusion room where patients are being treated with chemotherapy.

The first stanza describes the chemotherapy medication.  The medication can be administered through IV.  It can be in bags, with tubes that flow to the patient.  The medicine can be clear.  The first stanza describes this.

In the first stanza, the medicine flowing from the bags is describe as waterfalls on mountain sides.  This describes the medicine being high up in bags on metal stands.  The waterfalls are all around because in the room there are many patients with bags.

Through the caves, in the second stanza, describes the medicine flowing through implants in patients.  The implants are connected to the veins in patients which is described in the second line as and to the hearts.

In the second stanza, the souls of the patients are metaphorically described as being in their hearts.  They are described as silence.  The patients are in a state such that their souls are described as being in shadows.

In the third stanza, nurses in the infusion room speak.  This is described as Silent words because the patients are not paying attention to what is being said.  This is because of the medication and physical state of the patients.  This metaphorical cloudiness is described as through the mist in this stanza.

In the third stanza, the patients feel like the chemotherapy will not end.  This is during the administration and also generally.  They feel this particularly while they are receiving treatment.  This is described in the last two lines of the stanza as and time stands still, while rivers flow.

In the fourth stanza, the patients are somewhat detached from the experience.  They want the treatment to end and for themselves to be in remission.  They think of this in an unconscious way at times.  It is more of a feeling than a thought.  This detachment is described as And in the fields.  The far off sense of hope is described as being unseen.  The patients, described as silence, are waiting for the chemotherapy to end.  This is described as waits for drought.

The poem contains four stanzas, each with four lines.  All of the lines contain three or four syllables.  The first stanza has one four syllable line, the second has two, the third has three and the fourth has four.

 

P. S. If you like poems with explanations, please consider purchasing a copy of M. Sakran’s eBook Understanding: poems with explanations.