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missing spring

winter crushes
the promise of April,
a string of robins
shiver at my window,
heavy breasts huff
in the cold.  a child
digs for spring
with burnt cheeks;
my hopeful tulips
depart.  I have
tea to replace
your warmth, and
for breakfast,
a mouthful of words
I forgot to send
with you-
my tears offer the
the only relief it deserves
and I realize
the more we grow,
the lonelier
I become.

for chloe

9 Apr 07

Rated 8.4 (8.8) by 18 users.
Active (18): 2, 6, 6, 7, 8, 8, 8, 9, 9, 9, 9, 9, 9, 9, 10, 10
Inactive (5): 9, 9, 10, 10, 10, 10, 10

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(28 more poems by this author)

(11 users consider this poem a favorite)

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Outstanding; the first stanza is a quick and solid hook that keeps the reader engaged throughout.  This poem is an excellent example of the economy of words, there is very little flab or excess here.

That said, I have only two suggestions for revision.  First, I'd recommend blue-penciling line 9, "and cries."  A child digging for Spring "with burnt cheeks" is just so strong and punchy, following it with "and cries" is a letdown.  I don't think you need it.

Second, and more difficult to put into words, I'd rather see something more, or different, than "I'm with you" in line 20 (lines 19-21, "and I realize/the more I’m with you,/the lonelier I become.")  While it may feel like the most direct path, plainest speech is best for the final lines, there is so much that is original in this poem (huffing robins, burnt cheeks, tea) that I just want to see something *imply* the relationship more than say it directly.  "and I realize/the more we scrub the bathroom tile...", "and I realize/the more we plant each year/the lonelier I become," something... more.

ANYWAY.  Just some thoughts to consider.  This is excellent work, thanks for posting,
 — mikkirat

your comments were very helpful,  thank you.
I made some revisions, yes, ridding "and cries" (excellent suggestion), and
L20, I am hoping, allows for interpretation.  
Thank you very much for reading. =-)
 — jenakajoffer

Jen --

The revisions work well, a soft touch; I like the double turn on line 20 now, it kind of -- dang words -- keeps the poem more contained within the narrator's voice.  Lines 11-15 really introduced the overall metaphor, and I'm glad 20 no longer pulls the reader (me, of course) out of that, but instead draws back in.

Forgive my goofy words, oftentimes it is so much easier to talk about poetry than type about it.  Thanks again for this post, it is lovely.
 — mikkirat

Very nice, Jen.
l11-15 are my fav.
I don't have a crit as this time but I will come back...probably with no crit but just to read again.

 — unknown

playoffs have begun
golf course opened today
spring, i think, is here!

nice poem
 — chuckles

oh yeah
that's great

 — chuckles

I know once Mikkirat critiques and after you have followed his suggestion no one can possibly pick out mistakes in your piece anymore.
I cant make up my mind to decide my favourite lines. I think i love the ending the most.
Nice work Jenny. Keep writing.
 — trochee

no need to apologize mikki, I know what you mean.
I'm glad the revisions work, thanks so much for the insight.

thanks, "me"
I wanted this simple, not too much said.  I hope you aren't lost between L15-16; that's my only concern really.  
Thanks for reading =-)

c...thank you.  yes, please bring me spring.

troch, hi
thanks so much, always,  for the nice comments.

 — jenakajoffer

very nice poem ms. jenakajoffer.
 — varun

i'm always lost, jen...you know that.
i want to re-break those lines to give it a double meaning.
i like doubles
but i hate breaking things
that belong to other people.

 — unknown

ha, thanks v.

me, go ahead and break my things.
i don't mind, i'd like to see anyway.
 — jenakajoffer

This is so stylish and the flow is near perfect. It has a haunted quality and imagery thatb arrests the reader.

Larry spring is here the flowers are riz , I wonder where the burdies is.Lark
 — larrylark

This would read better to me if L14 preceeded L13.
 — rocket

Larry, thank you kindly.
I always enjoy your strange and wonderful signatures. =-)

good suggestion, I like that.  
I will change it, see how it goes.
Thank you.
 — jenakajoffer

lovely poem
simple and authentic
without artifice.

might you consider a less predictable verb than "depart (?) (l 10 )
and I'm asking myself the same question for line 20 -- i.e: would the author be willing to replace "grow" with something with more "bite."
 — banditfemme

damn, i know,
you have a point bandit.
thanks for the generous comments.

I would consider it, of course.  Just with what, I don't know.  I just don't know.
thanks you so much,
 — jenakajoffer

this is so
good. tulips depart. unguent.

heavy breasts huff, cold coverlet.

my single suggestion would be enjambment (see below, please excuse my impudence)


missing spring
winter crushes
the promise of April,
a string of robins
shiver at my window,
heavy breasts huff
in the cold coverlet. a child

digs for spring
with burnt cheeks;
my hopeful tulips
depart. I have

tea to replace
your warmth, and
for breakfast,
a mouthful of words
I forgot to send

with you-
my tears offer the
the only relief it deserves
and I realize
the more we grow,
the lonelier

I become.
 — jumpoline

Beautiful in every way, shape and form. Love your line breaks, so clear and concise.
 — angrychick

thank you jumpoline,

I am not as comfortable with enjambment but I have tried it before.  With help.
I will think about this, I might need more opinions before I do anything. I always need time to wrap my head around new thoughts.  It certainly is appreciated.
Thanks so much.

A heartelf thanks to you angrychick,

 — jenakajoffer

This is truly an excellent poem.
The title caught my eye immediately, well chosen words; beautiful, warm imagery.
I especially like lines 11-15.
really, wonderful work.
 — sparrow

Ah and I also must say, that the ending is perfect as well.
 — sparrow

I critique, I rate and am surprised (once again) at who the writer is!  Beautiful poem, Jenn!  It reminds me of the song "Spring Is Here," written by Hoagy Carmichael.  It's on Carly Simon's "Torch" CD from 1981.  
 — starr

The first two stanzas were wonderful, but the poem loses its touch (to me) after that. The ending makes a point, but feels pretty weak. L16 - L18 almost feel pointless. With all of this though, the emotion is so strong in the front that i cannot give it less than a 7. Good job, really, but keep working on it.
 — bbucsis

It's so lyrical and it captures that disappointing spring thing.
 — opal

i like how hard-hitting and true this is for me. especially in your last stanza, i could relate to it a lot. i like your description and how it conveys such a on-point image. nicely done piece. rock on.
 — lanezfairy

I take those words o’ how they sing
there seem like robins on a string.
For natures, call is strange indeed
They many ways the poet plead.

 — Mor

Alas .A poem fraught with problems.

Winter is by tradition from All Hallows Day to Candlemas Day.
Therefore, in April winter would be two months late in crushing anything.
Like wise the Robins, of whom a string of is nothing more than fanciful imagination.
Two robins are the most you will ever see together, a male and female.
However, by April, the robin is well into its breeding season and the female would most likely be sitting on her clutch of eggs.

Obviously, a lot of poets and readers on PC do not get out a great deal.

 — Mor

in canada, winter is whenever the heck it is cold and snowing.
this occurs in september, january, even may.
oftentimes in this country, we are delighted when the snow has finally melted, the sun lingers past suppertime, and a light jacket is all the protection we need. it is often a fleeting delight.
i find the vision of a string of robins to be a noteworthy event.
i wasn't there, but i'm sure this poem is not fiction.
 — chuckles

wasn't it just last week that temps here in canada dropped below 0C and it snowed once again?
isn't there the possibility of snow this coming weekend?
yep, i do believe...yep.
 — unknown

this poem makes perfect sense to me.
 — chuckles

this scene was not brought to you by

jerry bruckheimer...
 — chuckles

me too.
and the first 2 lines,
i know for a fact,
happened just like that.
 — unknown

When I was in Canada, the Robins usually nested in April, those that over wintered somewhat sooner.

I never seen a string of Robins there neither, strings of idiots but never Robins.

How strange it makes sense to you.

 — Mor

Mor's got a superiority complex or somethin'.  "Always Gotta Be Right Syndrome" too.  Whateva.  Strangely, no poems posted either.  Kinda makes ya wonder.  Jealousy can make one "bitter."  This poem is beautiful.  Can you say "beau-ti-ful," Mor?  That's why it's not only Top Rated, but it's Recent Best also.  That usually happens when a poem is worthy.  Majority rules, not Mor.
 — starr

As in nature, idiots tend to flock together, you are, certainly no exception.
Whilst lemmings rush to the sea, hell bent on suicide, so do the poets on PC.

You are one pathetic example of humanity, a suck hole of the lowest order.
Go kiss your own arse. You are one pathetic individual.
You will never be a poet. You are obsessed in yourself.
You live for the praise of idiots.

 — Mor

and there it is as it always is...
mor can only resort to insults
when proven wrong.
right skippy...er mor?
 — unknown

http://poetry. tetto.org/forum/read/112546/

go fight here!
 — chuckles

Thanks you guys
for your awesome comments/suggestions
and back-talk, hehe.

A wee word for Mor:
Someone gave me some writing advice a while back,
"only write what you know".
I took it and it was the best advice one could give.  
I usually only write about real experiences-
don't underestimate my intelligence.
Thank you for reading my poem.  The inspiration for it was quite beautiful and I'm happy to have shared it.
 — jenakajoffer

Then I suggest you write a journal about your experiences.

A string of robins is unheard off, robins are territorial, and in all my life, I have never seen more than two robins in a garden at any one time, even when we fed them by hand.

 — Mor

The imagery is great - I am trying to put words together to describe it but nothing good is coming to me. So for now, I will just leave you with the useless and cliche "it's good." =)
 — papermoon

So much expressed here in each light line. Every word counts. A very touching, sad, honest poem.
 — unknown

Relatively strong poem. "my hopeful tulip departs" though is getting a bit traditionally saphappy. Overall, an enjoyable read.
 — InfaFred

thank you papermoon, unknown, Infafred.
For Infafred: I was not aware that my line about the tulips was traditional at all,  
in fact, I thought quite carefully about it.  Saphappy eh?, (new to me)!
 — jenakajoffer

damn that april snow!
 — unknown

beautifully done.
 — unknown

Love it!  The form is catchy, and the literary devices are genius.  Particularly L13-16.  Lonely breakfast says it all, I think.  Which is why I didn't quite like the ending, as it states the obvious.  

Confused a bit about the poinsettia.  Symbolically speaking it represents purity, and obviously the tears represent longing...so, the speaker's innocent love only deserves to be replenished because she's in pain over it?  Doesn't make sense to me.  I have a feeling you wrote it without a lot of premeditation.  Which is fine, because it sounds cool.  I think the average reader gets the point.

I suggest reconsidering the ending, though, for sure.
 — aurelius

first, thank you unknowns.

glad to see you back!  thanks for commenting.
I must say that although I like L17-19, I had the most difficulty here, probably due to possible confusion--  
the poinsettia should have died by now:
the winter gift from her lover, the love of her lover-
and spring started blooming, but left so suddenly,
the poinsettia is still alive, reminding her how much more she longs for him.

I don't know if that makes any sense.  I honestly can't change the ending, at least not now, but I appreciate your thoughts.  
Some areas may seem obvious, but I'm not sure how to be more vague.
I need more time to learn,
thanks so much, =-)
 — jenakajoffer

Trite, trite, trite. Can PC go any lower than this Poetry 101 crap? It's just not worthy of a rating over 3.
 — unknown

beautiful random.
 — unknown

thank you ksampt,
have you any poems hiding in your pockets?
I'd love to return the favour.
 — jenakajoffer

What would I change?  I can't find a thing.  Well formatted, well spoken.  
 — Isabelle5

Still trite, if Isabelle likes it, well that just confirms it.
 — unknown

Hi Jen.  One little booboo here in L4...

A string of robins SHIVERS at my window.  It's the "string" that shivers and not the robins.  Love, Starr
 — unknown

Insipiring to me, really.  Thank you.
 — neverthehero

are you sure Starr?  I know what you're drivin' at,
but "robins shivers" ugh, makes me cringe!
Do I need to get rid of my beloved string????
Tell me it's not so!

Also, I wonder if I brought the poinsettia into the ending:
"the more "it" grows...(although "we" works just fine for me) but
it might be a make the significance of the winter flower more understood.  Then perhaps it brings the absence of spring back into the poem as well.
I don't know, just thinking of some previous comments.

Thanks to you, Isabelle, Starr and neverthehero. =-)
 — jenakajoffer

What about my real comment...trite...don't listen to the pozers, they have about as much talent as you do, very little.
 — unknown

I'm sure, Jen.  It should be a string of robins shivers; "string" being the subject and "shivers" being the verb.  As it stands now, the subject and verb are out of agreement.  I just wouldn't want an editor to nab you on this.  :-)  It would actually sound better.  Trust me.
 — starr

p.s.  ...And no, you can still keep your "string," honey.  You just need to make that one small adjustment to that line.  :-)
 — starr

nice ending. i like the words here a lot, more than you would think. more than i think, really. and that lonely feeling ... you got it down on the page, even if it was difficult to cage.

great work.
 — listen

you shouldntve changed it
robins shivers?
 — chuckles

thanks for speaking up to help me, I asked because I didn't think it sounded right.
always after the fact.
 — unknown

listen, thank you for the very nice comment.

a string of robins shivers...
yeah, I tried, but I just can't do it.  
Give me, what is it..."poetic licence?" just this once.
Starr, buddy,
thanks so much for looking out for me, I really appreciate it.  
 — jenakajoffer

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