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Saturday, 9 July 2011

A love beyond words


Books so old
their wisdom shows through
torn, threadbare spines.
Time weighs
their qualities, gems
of learning. Phrase

after phrase
repays the love
which turns
each page:
words, verse,
philosophies.

A response to Poets United's prompt for this week.

19 comments:

Jim Murdoch said...

I like this apart from the long second line – that extra syllable sticks – why not change it to ‘their wisdom shows through’? I think the extra ‘s’ also adds to the nice soundscape you have going there.

Elisabeth said...

I'm with Jim, Dave. A resonant poem, and to even suggest you could change the second line to something like, 'their wisdom shows' feel outrageous.

I should not presume to say as much. Sometimes I like to think of myself as participating in an online writing workshop but it's too hard to get it right.

Thanks, Dave.

Jim Murdoch said...

@Lis – I’m always wary about offering comments on poems because it’s often a sensitive subject with poets. Dave, in my experience, always rises above any what other might take as inferred criticism. It’s not the first time I’ve handed a poem to my wife and she’s said, “You realise you use the word such-and-such four times in this one,” and I look at it and wonder how the hell I missed something so obvious. The reason is simply because the thing was still very fresh in my head and hadn’t set yet. When I look back on poems I wrote years ago and am not capable of objectivity I can usually see the flaws myself.

I read this poem over several times and every time I stumbled on that extra syllable in the second line. Others may not or may not care and may regard me as petty for even mentioning it. And that’s fine. It’s Dave’s poem. He’s not asked for critique and I’ve not given it. Just an observation.

Elisabeth said...

Thanks Jim, via Dave. Please don't take offense anyone. I'm not a poet and would never presume anything here.

In the end it's all in the rhythm for me and the word on the page can be so different when read.

Dave King said...

Jim
You're spot on. As you will see, I have made the change, for which hearty thanks. What happened was that in the first draft the lines generally were longer. In the second - and final - draft I drastically shortened 5 or 6 lines, but left the second, as you say, "sticking out". My problem now is that I want to insert "and" instead of the comma on the next line. So far I'm resisting.

Elisabeth
Please do not feel you cannot make positive criticisms. That, for me, is part of the value of the blog. Your comments are always much appreciated - and will be, whatever you say, for I know it will be genuine and well-meant.
My thanks for your support.

Dave King said...

Elisabeth
No offense taken - and we're all poets here!

Brian Miller said...

nice..i love books...and have many i have worn places on from reading...nice flow...

Old Ollie said...

Great poem Dave - you've got perfect imagery, and it flows too.

Really enjoyed this one.

stu said...

A nice poem, with a lot of depth.

TechnoBabe said...

Oh yeah, now you are talking my language. BOOKS. I have a book I have had just about my whole life. The binding is about gone and the pages are brittle. I won't take a chance and read it any longer. But I want the book with me. The title is Little Women.

This poem is special to me and speaks to me and for me.

jabblog said...

This perfectly captures the love of books - lovely.

Kerry O'Connor said...

Yes, books are a timeless love affair, which never dulls with age - no matter how threadbare the spines may grow.

The Weaver of Grass said...

I like the idea that their wisdom shows through their threadbare spines Dave - I have often thought how sad it is that some books on shelves are so pristine that it is obvious they have never been read.

Titus said...

Didn't see the first version - love this one!

Adrian L. said...

Great poem Dave!

Windsmoke. said...

Very enjoyable even though i didn't get to read it in its original state :-).

SG said...

I am a bibliophile. I just love books (and reading). When I read your poem, it was as if my mind echoed those sentiments.

Dave King said...

Brian
These look pretty good compared to one or two of mine.

Old Ollie
Welcome. Thanks for your kind comment. Very much appreciated.

stu
Good to have you commenting. All such feedback is much valued. Thanks for it.

TechnoBabe
I have one like that. It's a book about Beavers. I was presented with it for my performance as the Dame in the Sunday School panto'.

jabblog
Much thanks for a valuable response.

Kerry
True - and a warm welcome to the blog. Your comment is much appreciated.

Weaver of Grass
Yes, I absolutely agree. It is sad. Makes you wonder what they are doing there at all.

Titus
Thanks very much. Good to know.

Adrian
Thanks for the appreciation. Not much change: the second line read "their wisdom is showing through".

Windsmoke
As above, but I take the point: infuture I will be more circumspect in what changes I make and when.

SG
Thanks for that. I, too, count myself a bibliophile

Mary said...

A beautiful poem about the love of books. There really IS something special about an old book that has passed through many people's hands.