Poem with an explanation: Happiness again

Behind the bars,
looking out,
listening for a sound.

  Behind the bars,
  looking in,
  sitting in the silence.

The door opens,
eyes look up,
with hope.

  The door opens,
  eyes look down,
  in the emptiness.

Waiting each day,
seeing joy,
waiting for the turn.

  Waiting each day,
  seeing sadness,
  with nothing to wait for.

    Having a thought.

    Waiting.

    Having a thought.

    Waiting.

    Time passes.

    Waiting.

    Taking a step.

    Waiting.

Behind the bars,
looking out,
seeing the face.

  In front of the bars,
  looking in,
  seeing the face.

Happiness again.

 

This poem is about a person and a dog.  The person recently had their dog die and the dog in the poem is in an animal shelter.

The poem has stanzas with alternating focus for the most part (although how that is applied changes in the poem).  For the first six stanzas, the odd stanzas are from the perspective of the dog and the even stanzas are from the perspective of the person.

In the first stanza (Behind the bars, looking out, listening for a sound), the dog is in a cage at the shelter.  It is looking outside the cage bars hoping someone will come for it.

In the second stanza (Behind the bars, looking in, sitting in the silence), the person is alone at home.  Their dog has died and they are sad.  Their house feels like a prison (Behind the bars) and they are feeling loneliness.

In the third stanza (The door opens, eyes look up, with hope), the dog hears someone come into the shelter.  They look up hoping the person will pick them.

In the fourth stanza (The door opens, eyes look down, in the emptiness), the person opens the door to a room where their dog was.  The look down because they are sad because they are sad their dog is no longer there.

In the fifth stanza (Waiting each day, seeing joy, waiting for the turn), the dog in the shelter waits for someone to get it.  It sees the happiness of other dogs that are picked and it waits for its turn.

In the sixth stanza (Waiting each day, seeing sadness, with nothing to wait for), the person waits to feel better, but they are sad, and they feel like they have nothing to wait for because their dog is gone.

The first six stanzas follow a pattern.  They are grouped as pairs.  In each pair (stanzas 1 and 2, stanzas 3 and 4, and stanzas 5 and 6), the first line is the same and the second lines start with the same word and then have an opposite word (out/in, up/down, joy/sadness).  All the stanzas are three lines.

Stanzas seven through fourteen are the next set of stanzas.  In this set, the person’s perspective is shown in the odd stanzas, and the dog’s perspective is shown in the even.

In stanza seven, the person has the first thought of getting another dog.  In the eighth stanza, the dog waits.  In the ninth stanza, the person thinks of this more.  In the tenth stanza, the dog waits.  In the eleventh stanza, time passes.  In the twelfth stanza, the dog waits.  In the thirteenth stanza, the person goes to the shelter.  In the fourteenth stanza, the dog waits.

In stanzas seven through fourteen, the stanzas for the dog are all the same.

The next set of stanzas are stanzas fifteen and sixteen.

Stanza fifteen parallels stanza one, and has the same first two lines.  In this stanza (Behind the bars, looking out, seeing the face), the dog sees the person who has come to get it.

In the sixteenth stanza (In front of the bars, looking in, seeing the face), the person stands and sees the dog.  This stanza has the same second line as stanza two.

The last stanza is a combination of perspectives.  It shows the dog and person are happy again.

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Post Series: Poems with Explanations: The celebration ends

The distant look,
the fourteenth time,
the eyes then pause

the flag is waved!

In a moment,
the color’s checked,
the eyes squint tight,

and there it is!

The shouts of joy,
the cheers resound,
banners fill the streets.

Parades begin,
the speech is said,
streamers fill the air.

But something is said,
a questioning thought,
the trumpets blast,
and drums do play.

But something is said,
a questioning thought,
acquiescence occurs,
call in the man.

The man comes in,
and peers on out,
he says it’s this,
and is not that.

Banners fall,
trumpets too,
and drums do have no beat.

But something is said,
a questioning thought,
a check again,
the sight is this.

The empty streets,
the empty square,
a littered scene,
and all are gone.

 

This poem is about happiness being dashed.  In the poem, a person believes they have found out that something good has happened, but then they find out they were wrong.  Although this idea could pertain to many things, one example might be a person thinking they have won a prize, but then finding out that they didn’t.

In the first stanza, the person is checking the results of something (The distant look).  They are anxious to know the results and have been checking repeatedly (the fourteenth time).  This time is different from the rest though, because the person believes they see a result (the eyes then pause).  The person takes a moment, and in the next stanza, they come to the excited realization that the result is actually there (the flag is waved!).

In the third stanza, the person takes a second (In a moment) to scan and see what the result is (the color’s checked).  They focus on it (the eyes squint tight), and in the next stanza, they see not only the result, but the result they have been wanting (and there it is!).

In the fifth stanza, the person celebrates what has happened (The shouts of joy, the cheers resound, banners fill the streets).

In the sixth stanza, the person continues the celebration and starts to tell other people the good news (Parades begin, the speech is said, streamers fill the air).

In doing this though, in the seventh stanza, someone questions if the person was right in what they saw (But something is said, a questioning thought).  The person though, is overwhelmed with happiness, and ignores this idea (the trumpets blast, and drums do play).

In the eighth stanza, the someone questions the person again (But something is said, a questioning thought).  The person thinks this questioning is nonsense, but they decide to humor the someone (acquiescence occurs) and have someone else check the result (call in the man).

This someone else arrives (The man comes in) and checks the result (and peers on out).  They see what it is and they tell the person that they made a mistake.  They say the person did not get the result they wanted (he says it’s this, and is not that).

In the tenth stanza, the person is dejected (Banners fall, trumpets too, and drums do have no beat).

In the eleventh stanza, the person, with a small hold on hope, asks if the someone else might be wrong (But something is said, a questioning thought).  The someone else checks the results again, and confirms that the person did not get what they wanted (a check again, the sight is this).

In the last stanza, the person is forlorn.  They don’t know what to do, and they are quiet and walk away (The empty streets, the empty square, a littered scene, and all are gone).

This poem has a number of form elements.

The pair of stanzas one and two, has a similar structure to the pair of stanzas three and four.  Stanza one is three lines and stanza two is one line that is an exclamation.  This is the same for stanzas three and four.

Also, looking at the first four stanzas, all of the eight lines have four syllables each.

Stanzas five and six are similar in that both have a syllable count per line of four, four and five.  Also, there is connection between the last lines of each of the stanzas.  In stanza five, banners fill the streets.  In stanza six, streamers fill the air.

In stanzas seven and eight, the first two lines match.

In stanza nine, each of the lines has four syllables.  Additionally, lines one and two end in antonyms.

In stanza eleven, the first two lines from stanzas seven and eight are repeated again.  Stanza eleven has the same syllable count per line pattern as stanza seven.

In stanza twelve, all of the lines have four syllables (like stanza nine).  Additionally, the first two lines both start with the empty, and then a word that starts with s.

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Do you like poems with explanations?

M. Sakran’s self-published book of poems with explanations called Understanding: poems with explanations is available for purchase as an eBook for an available price of $0.99. Buy your copy today!

To help celebrate the self-publication of this book, there is a post series of poems with explanations on the blog.  Above is a poem with an explanation for the series.  This poem with an explanation (as well as the rest in the series) is not from the book.  It is a different one that is part of this post series for readers to read and enjoy.