I ... entered the poem of life, whose purpose is ... simply to witness the beauties of the world, to discover the many forms that love can take. (Barabara Blackman in 'Glass After Glass')

These poems are works in progress and may be updated without notice. Nevertheless copyright applies to all writings here and all photos (which are either my own or used with permission). Thank you for your comments. I read and appreciate them all, and reply here to specific points that seem to need it — or as I have the leisure. Otherwise I reciprocate by reading and commenting on your blog posts as much as possible.

26 April 2014

The Last Straw Poem

We didn't know it would be the last,
hadn't exactly planned it that way.
When it was finished, we thought it
as decorative as the rest,
as well-constructed.

But then those poets down the road
built the first wooden one.
Everything was instantly different.
The rules had completely changed. 
(Nice it was, of balsa, light and graceful.)

Then, of course, everyone tried.
The timber used grew thicker.
This didn't always produce 
the most tractable results,
but they were lasting.

In time came the bold
experiments in metal. 
And now a new departure
thanks to the internet:
cyber-poems, lighter than air.

I came across it the other day,
that last straw poem,
forgotten in a cupboard.
I wondered at its primitive ephemerality — 
but it was sweetly woven.

April Poem A Day Challenge 2014, day 25: a "last straw" poem


  1. Ah, but sweet straw
    that's woven to last,
    the microcircuitry I saw--
    what was now is past.
    One song we belong to,
    my money's on me & you.

  2. Rosemary,
    What a great idea you've put together in this! When I think of the archetypes, Sappho is among the first to come to mind. All of the heavy lifting that came afterward can't begin to rival her grace and translucence when at her best. You've made me think again of those wonderful verses with your wonderful verse. You've brightened my Sunday. Fine work!
    Steve K.

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  4. Forgive me for removing my comment above, Rosemary--I was doing it on mobile and it became impossible to finish...I wanted to say I didn't mean to be presumptuous in my original comment about the Last Straw Poem. In my enthusiasm, I interpreted it as commentary on the progression of poetry in general; I know that there are other interpretations equally (or more) valid than my own. But as I read it, that's the spark I drew. Have a wonderful Sunday!
    Steve K.

    1. No need for apologies, Steve! It's a wonderful interpretation. (I too love Sappho.) Indeed the poem does read as a commentary on te progression of poetry in general, and I think the previous commenter took it that way too. Really, the poem was simply a playful conceit without any real relationship (in my conscious mind) to any particular schools of poetics, let alone judgments upon them. But I was well aware it was open to such interpretation; so I guess there's a mischievous element too. Basically I wasn't in the mood for a deep and serious "last straw" poem that day, so I went silly instead. It took on a life of its own, as they do ... and who knows how far my subconscious entered in (as it always does, I believe).

    2. PS Anyhow, I'm glad to have brightened your day! :)