Two Losses In Second Person


These short poems are a followup to my Nocturnal Paraphrases, and like it are presented here in a sort of "storybook" fashion, as a series of page-like photo capsules. Each contains a few lines of verse superimposed upon a background image commenting upon the text.

So, for maximum enjoyment, slow down and take in both components.

I hope you enjoy these "sad songs," and find them to "say so much" to you!

1. Elegy

2. Breaking Up Is Hard To Do


“Two Losses In Second Person” consists of a pair of poems written decades ago. The first was a reaction to the death of my grandmother, and to my memories of her years living alone—I loved her, but couldn’t understand how (while still healthy) she could have seemingly given up on life and its possibilities—even its possibilities for others. The dictionary definition of “elegy,” by the way, is “a poem of serious reflection, typically a lament for the dead.”

The second loss, more conventionally perhaps, was of an important romantic relationship in my life. Today I find the poem surprisingly unembarrassing: despite well-worn subject matter, a certain melodrama, and a tendency (which most of us have) to find our own youthful revelations callow, naïve, or even shallow, the poem does seem fairly “tight” to me now—not a mere wallowing in the moment. The title, added for this Hub, brings in a hint of dark humor with its allusion to a doo-wop hit by Neil Sedaka. (“Comma comma down dooby-do down down,” indeed.) Needless perhaps to say, the term “breaking up” receives a whole new significance in this poem.

A page of William Blake's "The Ecchoing Green."
A page of William Blake's "The Ecchoing Green."

New, as well, is the grouping of these two together—it seemed to make sense given the common theme—and (of course) the title had its attractions. A few minor revisions were made to tighten up the wording here and there—nothing too major, just the elimination of unnecessary verbiage.

As to the presentation here, I won’t add too much to what I have already written in the notes for Nocturnal Paraphrases. Basically, I didn’t want to be confined by the inflexibilities of Hub text capsules for my poetry, so I thought of using photo capsules instead. And if I were using them, then why not incorporate images, too? Hence the “picturebook” approach you saw (and, I hope, enjoyed) above.

Surely an inspiration in the background for me was the work of William Blake, whose ‘day job’ engraving was often put to use in his artistic output—you can see one of the resulting images just above. Blake is wonderful in conventional printed format, and even better in reproduction!

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Pearldiver profile image

Pearldiver 5 years ago from Tomorrow - In Words & NZ Time.

"What's up Doc?" - does absolutely no justice to your work my friend.. I enjoyed it very much and appreciate the view through eyes not really unlike my own, in regards to lateral ability - that 200 - 200 vision :).

Thank you for sharing your talent DS... take care

Doc Snow profile image

Doc Snow 5 years ago from Atlanta metropolitan area, GA, USA Author

Hey, Pearldiver, been a while!-- though I have seen your name out here and there on Hubpages.

Thanks for the kind words, and of course for coming by.

Be well, my friend!

Hello, hello, profile image

Hello, hello, 5 years ago from London, UK

A brilliant acticle.

Doc Snow profile image

Doc Snow 5 years ago from Atlanta metropolitan area, GA, USA Author

Thanks, hello. Always a pleasure to hear from you!

kingphilipIV profile image

kingphilipIV 5 years ago from Iloilo, Philippines

Beautiful poems doc.. Thanks for sharing it with us.. :)

Doc Snow profile image

Doc Snow 5 years ago from Atlanta metropolitan area, GA, USA Author

A pleasure, sir. Thank you!

i scribble profile image

i scribble 4 years ago

These are exquisite. I love the verse in photo capsules. When I read the first group, I assumed you had lost a wife, was surprised to learn it was your grandmother. You seemed to capture so well how couples grow apart over time, and often one evolves and grows while the other does not. The first in that series is the hardest to interpret. Perhaps you can help me out?

I would like you to know, I don't fancy myself a poet. Didn't major in lit or anything related. I laughed when I saw you had sent me an email, but I will read it and try to take it to heart.

i scribble profile image

i scribble 4 years ago

Just read your email. Thanks for the formatting advice. I misinterpreted what you meant by formatting--thought your were critiquing my use of stanzas, meter or something. I do want to try the photo capsules for verse.

Doc Snow profile image

Doc Snow 4 years ago from Atlanta metropolitan area, GA, USA Author

Thanks, i scribble!

You are half right: the second poem arose from the wreckage of my first marriage.

As I said, the first was about my grandmother--how she seemed to abandon her own life after my grandfather died, and she was no longer able to be a wife. Her own children were grown, so she couldn't really be a mother--not full-time, at least. And while she loved my brother and me, that really wasn't a full-time gig, either. She didn't seem to have the idea that she as an individual could be fully worthy of her own time, if you see what I mean by that. She just seemed to be marking time.

I can see now, based upon your comment how it might well apply to some relationships, as the principals drifted apart. But that's the beauty of art, if you ask me: it's not just what the writer/artist put in, it's also what the beholder puts in.

As to critiquing your poem, I like it a whole lot! I'd like to spread some links to it around, actually. I suppose I could appropriately start here, for anyone reading this comment thread:

i scribble profile image

i scribble 4 years ago

Thanks again!

Doc Snow profile image

Doc Snow 4 years ago from Atlanta metropolitan area, GA, USA Author

You earned it, in my opinion, but you are welcome!

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