Poetry: A Poem about Butterflies - 'The Love of Broken Things'

image courtesy of Wiki-Commons
image courtesy of Wiki-Commons

The Love of Broken Things

In amongst the attic dust
I found
A broken frame
That once displayed
Five buttterflies
Trapped on pins

The glass, long gone,
The joins, unglued
Hanging askew
And those flightless
Fragile wings
Torn and damaged

Bright colours
Jewels of the air
Netted, all brief life
Stolen in an instant
Now faded
Motes of dust dance

A memory of lost summer
Even as
I brush the cobwebs
From the mount
My heart lurches
A flame snuffed out

That queer feeling in my chest
I recall
How beautiful
They were in death
Cruel admiration
Innocence lost

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Comments 36 comments

G-Ma Johnson profile image

G-Ma Johnson 7 years ago from NW in the land of the Free

humm...nice and am not sure quite what your thinking is here?..G-Ma :o) Hugs & Peace


Amanda Severn profile image

Amanda Severn 7 years ago from UK Author

Hi G-Ma I've often admired displays of mounted butterflies. You can't help but be fascinated by the jewel bright colours. Yet it's so cruel to kill them just so we can stare at them. This poem is about a broken butterfly display I once saw. The glass had gone, and the butterflies had been damaged. I just thought, what a pity that those beautiful dancing creatures died only to end up unwanted and broken.


pgrundy 7 years ago

Amanda, thank you for this. I always thought it so strange to see butterflies pinned to a board. Kind of frightening somehow. There's a move "Angels & Insects" that really isn't about butterflies at all, but your poem made me think of it. It uses a similar metaphor--something lovely and something horribly broken combined. Nice job.


Amanda Severn profile image

Amanda Severn 7 years ago from UK Author

Thanks Pam. Poetry is such a weird thing. You want to say a lot, but you want to express it in just a few words. But you seem to know exactly where I'm coming from.


Leta S 7 years ago

Hi, Amanda!I've been amiss in getting back to you, but I have a feature story due for work (oh, always the thing) and I sometimes get lost in political forums, don't you know...

I second Pam on the movie Angels & Insects.  That is one of my favorite films.I also have written about butterflies of moths in this way--  I'm thinking of this big lunar moth I found (the ones with big eyes on them) laying under a street lamp dying.  I wonder what happened to that poem?

You have a natural sense of rhthym (I always mispell that word!) and my favorite stanza is:

The glass, long gone,

The joins, unglued

Hanging askew

And those flightless

Fragile wings

Torn and damaged

That is the image that sticks for me.  Great--you don't need to say a lot, it is your image that says it.


TKIMWRSVC profile image

TKIMWRSVC 7 years ago from United States

Very nice, very nice indeed


laringo profile image

laringo 7 years ago from From Berkeley, California.

What a beautifully written poem to express your feelings on mounted butterflies.


hot dorkage profile image

hot dorkage 7 years ago from Oregon, USA

That is really a nice poem. It says a lot more than it says, if you know what I mean.


ColdWarBaby 7 years ago

This is excellent Amanda. Blank verse is a fantastic vehicle when imagery is as strong as yours. Being unfettered from the necessity of rhyme allows the poet to devote a lot more attention to the vision while keeping the rhythm of the verse which keeps the poem fluid. This is beautifully done and extremely emotive. I especially love the juxtaposition of cruelty and admiration.


Amanda Severn profile image

Amanda Severn 7 years ago from UK Author

Thanks Lita,

You've inspired me now. I used to write a lot of poetry, but it always felt like an indulgence, and for many years Christmas Cards and shopping lists were the extent of my writing activity. But you've unlocked the box now. Who knows what might escape!


Amanda Severn profile image

Amanda Severn 7 years ago from UK Author

Thank you TKIMWRSVC , Laringo and Hot Dorkage for stopping by and commenting. I hope you will all be joining in Lita's poetry challenge as it great to see some poetry here on hubpages.


Amanda Severn profile image

Amanda Severn 7 years ago from UK Author

Hi CWB,

Thanks for your comments. I must say I feel more comfortable with blank verse, and most of my favourite poems (Black Marigolds, Warming Her Pearls etc) are in blank verse. Sometimes the need to find a rhyme is too restricting.


Cris A profile image

Cris A 7 years ago from Manila, Philippines

I love the fragmented feel all throughout this one! Beautifully executed. Thanks for sharing! I'm looking forward for more :D


Amanda Severn profile image

Amanda Severn 7 years ago from UK Author

Hi Cris,

There's quite a poetry vibe going around Hubpages at the moment. I really like it. Thanks for commenting.


countrywomen profile image

countrywomen 7 years ago from Washington, USA

That is a beautiful poem. This poem made me go back to the earliest memory of my morning walks with grandpa in the nearby garden. We used to have lots of butterfly's and sometimes I would try to chase them. My grandpa told me that if you really love them then admire them from the distance as your love for them can bring harm to them. They are so beautiful yet fragile.  Thumbs up for a great poem.


Teresa McGurk profile image

Teresa McGurk 7 years ago from The Other Bangor

Hey, Amanda: what a graceful poem -- I like how you build the rhythms naturally, without fuss. Elegant.

I'm really enjoying this whole challenge -- it's great to read what others are writing.


Amanda Severn profile image

Amanda Severn 7 years ago from UK Author

Hi CW

We sometimes have butterflies in the garden in the summer. Mainly Red Admirals and Cabbage Whites. I love to see them flutter past. It's too sad to kill them for our pleasure.


Amanda Severn profile image

Amanda Severn 7 years ago from UK Author

Hi Teresa,

I love poetry, so it's fun to try my hand at it again after a very long break (about 20 years!) I'm looking forward to reading more of yours and also all the other aspiring poets here on hubpages.


countrywomen profile image

countrywomen 7 years ago from Washington, USA

You seem to have a nice garden with those beautiful butterflies. Yeah I know they are really delicate and even if we want to be gentle while holding them they may die or get injured. Thanks for the wonderful poem.


Amanda Severn profile image

Amanda Severn 7 years ago from UK Author

Hi CW

We live in a Victorian terraced house with a tiny garden, most of which is taken up with the children's trampoline, but we do grow herbs and flowers in pots in the summer.


anjalichugh profile image

anjalichugh 7 years ago from New York

A beautiful blend of poetic rhythm and recollection! Very nice.


Melissa G profile image

Melissa G 7 years ago from Tempe, AZ

This is beautiful, Amanda--and very inspiring. Thank you for reminding me why I love poetry so much!


Laurie Harley 7 years ago

I love it... you did a great job. I am having a hard time with this poetry challenge. I wrote something, but i'm just not happy with it. Isn't that always the case with your own writing?


Amanda Severn profile image

Amanda Severn 7 years ago from UK Author

Thanks for stopping by Anjali and Melissa. Are you joining in with Lita's poetry challenge?

Hi Laurie,

Poetry is such a personal thing. There's no right or wrong. Let me know if you get round to posting your poem, as I'd love to see it.


PenmanZee profile image

PenmanZee 7 years ago

A beautiful poem Amanda. I'm especially touched by the third verse showing how something is beautiful and vibrant one moment and is snuffed out the next. How we must enjoy the moment we have and bring joy to others as the beautiful creatures once did before they were frozen onto a frame picking up dust.

Thank you for sharing Amanda.


Amanda Severn profile image

Amanda Severn 7 years ago from UK Author

Hi PenmanZee

I'm glad you enjoyed the poem. The third verse is also my favourite, and I agree with your sentiments, as always, so beautifully expressed!


israyfa profile image

israyfa 7 years ago from Malang Horizon

good job amanda

i'll wait for the next poem


Amanda Severn profile image

Amanda Severn 7 years ago from UK Author

Thanks israyfa


lovelypaper profile image

lovelypaper 6 years ago from Virginia

Beautiful poetry. Continue to share with us.


Amanda Severn profile image

Amanda Severn 6 years ago from UK Author

Thank you lovelypaper.


h2oforthegaslit profile image

h2oforthegaslit 6 years ago from Birmingham, Alabama

I love the depth of something so simple. You are a true poet, let no one tell you any different. The meaning, the depth, the symbolism - all very clear, I believe. This should be printed in an anthology somewhere, but I'm happy to have found it, nonetheless. Looking forward to reading more!


Amanda Severn profile image

Amanda Severn 6 years ago from UK Author

Hi h2oforthegaslit (great name btw!) thank you for the compliments. I love poetry, but don't really write it too often. Perhaps I should do more!


agaglia profile image

agaglia 6 years ago

Nice, nice, nice. I loved it. thanks.


Amanda Severn profile image

Amanda Severn 6 years ago from UK Author

Hi Agagia, I see from your profile that you're also a lover of poetry. Perhaps you could start a new poetry challenge? Lita Sorensen's original challenge was in the form of a list of random titles. The idea was that you could pick and choose, or do the whole 30 (it was supposed to take a month, one poem a day). I just did three, and this was one of them.


oliversmum profile image

oliversmum 4 years ago from australia

Amanda Severn. Hi.

I agree wholeheartedly with your reply to G-Ma, Why do these beautiful creatures have to be killed,just so folks can sit and look at them in a glass case hanging on their wall.

I thoroughly enjoyed reading your poem, It was beautiful.

The 4th verse touched me the most.

Thank you so much for sharing your wonderful talent with us. Voted up and beautiful.:):)


Amanda Severn profile image

Amanda Severn 4 years ago from UK Author

Hi Oliversmum, thank you for your kind compliments. I haven't written too much lately, but coming back to this hub to respond to your comment, reminds me how much I love poetry, and I must get round to writing some more. I hope you and Agvulpes are both well. It's been a long while since I crossed paths with you on HubPages. Cheers for now. Amanda.

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