Friday, August 2, 2013

I Am Left With Keats

I wish I could be a bright star
with eyelids blinking eternity
instead of this dullness more
bone than flesh.

I curl into Keats and feel
the oil on the book’s frayed corners
from my fingers stealing words
for my memory.

My head was once pillowed
upon love’s breast in its
glory and fire that burned
away all thoughts of temporary.

A flame unfed by air dies
as did my heart when
you stopped breathing.

Now I cling to Keats to keep
you from disappearing.
Together we feasted on his words
while winter melted into spring
and if I lose him you will slip from me.

Odes, Lines, songs are the food
that I eat to pass my days.
I am brailed to his words
waiting until life unties their ropes
to let me use my wings.




©Susie Clevenger 2013

At Real Toads Fireblossom challenged us to write about a book within the story within the poem....book, poet, story, poem....Thank goodness she wrote one as an example. :) I chose John Keat's poem Bright Star as the basis for my poem, but also referred to his odes, lines and songs.

Brailed: to bind (the wings of a bird) in order to prevent it from flying

34 comments:

mindlovemisery said...

Susie your writing is stunning, filled with heart-breaking emotion. This is so gorgeous you are such an inspiration to me to keep pushing myself and challenging myself so that one day I will create a poem of such beauty. I love your word choices.

Susan said...

Well, if a human bird must be tied to abook, Keats is a good choice. Lots of food for thought there in words that could help you fly.

Kerry O'Connor said...

Keats was my first poet crush.. so this is right up my street. I still have my beloved Collected Works, but it's been too long since I slept with it on my pillow. I love your use of lyrical language in this piece.

Lisa A. Williams said...

Breathtakingly beautiful!

Mama Zen said...

That last stanza is breathtaking.

clarior e tenebris said...

I particularly like how your "flame unfed" dying with cessation of breath mirrors against your eating the "food" of odes and lines breathed by poetry, echoing Keats' immortality on "her tender-taken breath." A story well-told.

juzta mum said...

Beautiful words Susie. And it is so nicely and easily weaved in the poem!!Absolute justice to the prompt!

hedgewitch said...

"I am brailed to his words.." an immediate identification, for me,Susie, and a lovely word in its own right. This is softly intense, and full of heart.

Helen said...

Beautiful poetry, Susie .. beautiful.
Keats was a shining star, a shooting star, gone too soon.

Kay L. Davies said...

A new word for me, Susie. I love that there are new words left for me to learn.
This is an amazing poem, beautifully written, and Keats such a great poet to have as inspiration.
I hope the bereavement mentioned here is not recent, even though I know bereavement never really ends.
K

Fireblossom said...

I really love that last stanza, and thanks for the explanatory note about it. Thanks, too, for being part of my challenge!

Maggie Grace said...

Susie, this is so poignant and beautifully written. Wings bound...for now. But you find solace and strength. Wish I could say more and more eloquently. You took my breath away.

Hannah said...

Ooo...I'm so glad for your meaning of the word "brailed" that's the first I'd read that definition....

I enjoy the passion ans longing in your poem...very befitting and the idea of words for nourishment, indeed! :)

Outlawyer said...

A moving poem--I found beginning and end most compelling, but enjoyed all-- but the bone more than flesh very strong and the braising so interesting as one has the double association of trying to touch something with fingers in this case words to reach some other substance-- the loved one. Thanks, k Manicddaily.

aka_andrea said...

I love the description of the book itself, 'the oily corners on the frayed edges' make the idea of being tied to it much more visually stunning. I love books, real books, holding them turning the pages. I felt that in this~

ed pilolla said...

your stuff is just so gorgeous. the relationship with the book and all the meaning sewn into the piece i can feel with those oily book corners. so effortlessly polished.

humbird said...

'Odes, Lines, songs are the food
that I eat to pass my days.' - my faves, and all poem filled with light..thanks, Susie

Sam Edge said...

Great poem - I really don't know much about Keats I will go check him out now.

LaTonya Baldwin said...

I recently saw a film about Keats. Your speaker reminds me of Fanny Brawne after Keats died. You capture her unwavering devotion.

Sherry Blue Sky said...

Absolutely beautiful writing - emotion-laden and heartrending. Loved it, kiddo. So much.

Ben Ditty said...

Still lovin' your wings, Susie!

Ella said...

Oh, Susie I think this might be one of my favorite~ It is magical from the oil on your fingers and your wings~ It sings-love this one :D

Brian Miller said...

wow...love the third and fourth stanzas...the flame unfed by air dies...when you stopped breathing...geez...felt and killer lines...

Mary said...

I like " Now I cling to Keats to keep
you from disappearing."

And I picture someone reading poems that resonate to keep in touch with a beloved (who is no longer in the narrator's life) who also shared the love of that poet.. The reading keeps the relationship alive. Poignant writing.

moonlitpoetic said...

'..Together we feasted on his words
while winter melted into spring
and if I lose him you will slip from me' - loved this stanza especially. a truly moving and skillfully written poem~

Grace said...

Beautifully written Susie ~ Those last two stanzas are my favorites ~ Thanks for reminding us of Keat's powerful writing ~

Truedessa said...

Beautiful poem with tints of sadness..the last stanza really stood out.

kaykuala said...

Great writing with powerful emotions. Grand designs having it tagged to Keats. Very interesting reading Susie!

Hank

Poet Laundry said...

Rich melancholy and lovely lines Susie!

Jane Hewey said...

Keats spread wings so wide, he's still among us. love, freedom, and poetry... some favorites of mine. I enjoyed the poetic wisdom and deep sentiment nestling in here.

flaubert said...

Susie, the whole poem is magical, but the last stanza contains a certain magic to it. I enjoyed reading it.

Pamela

turtlememoir said...

gorgeous writing, Susie - quite breathtaking and insightful, at times koan-like...

...fire that burned
away all thoughts of temporary.

A flame unfed by air dies
as did my heart when
you stopped breathing.


broke my heart all over again

Mystic_Mom said...

Susie this is amazing. So well done.

ayala said...

Beautiful poem, Susie.