Tough love, 3 versions

(1)

“Still in love?” she asked.
“Yes,” I said.

This is the time
when I don’t feel it, always.

Its summer-colors
are covered up with sodden pain
like November leaves
that fell for weeks and years,
and, just like that,
its air is heavy,
quiet, damp.

Yet, just like that,
inside dark layers
hide the workings of continuity,
where new growth starts
in fertile cold nights.

“She really was in love,”
they’ll say then.

I know it now,
now.
Love is tough,
but I don’t run away.
No virtue:
it holds me
by a finger, wrist and heart,
and won’t let go.

verdict: too literal, verbose, and (typically for my poems’ first drafts) stuck in the innate iambic rhythm of the English language.

(2)

“Still in love?” she asked.

“Yes,” I said.

This is the time
when I don’t feel it, always.
Its summer-colors
are covered with hurt
that fell for weeks and years,
like autumn leaves,
and just like that,
its air is heavy,
quiet.

Yet just like that,
its dark
has layered continuities.

“She really was in love,”
they’ll say then.

I know it now,
now.
Love is tough,
but I don’t run away.
No virtue:
it holds me
by a finger, wrist and heart,
and won’t let go.

verdict: choppy, but more honest. but. choppy. 😀

(3)

“Still in love?”

Yes,
though now’s a time
when I don’t always
feel that way.

Love’s summer-colored rags
are dark with hurt,
its air is heavy,
quiet.
Yet nothing hides
its layered continuities.

“She really was in love,”
they’ll say.

I am.
Love’s tough,
but I don’t run.
No virtue: it holds my finger,
wrist
and heart
and won’t let go.

verdict: the honesty’s still there, and it’s leaner, but is it better? reading it aloud helps to know. dunno, though. poems need to age.

the new breaks in the last stanza support these meanings better: the finger, standing in for a ring of commitment; the wrist, symbolizing the way love imprisons a lover; and the heart… how it stands alone — staunch, yet completely vulnerable.

there’s better use of the implicit qualities of language, which is always a worthy goal — implicitness engages readers naturally — it’s about whispering, rather than hammering. people run from hammers, but come close for whispers.

love, h

(first published at Grafediting)

This entry was posted in ...Grafediting, composing, editing, writing poetry. Bookmark the permalink.