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

Updated on February 2, 2013
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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  • G-Ma Johnson profile image

    Merle Ann Johnson 8 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
    Author

    Amanda Severn 8 years ago from UK

    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.

  • profile image

    pgrundy 8 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
    Author

    Amanda Severn 8 years ago from UK

    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.

  • profile image

    Leta S 8 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 8 years ago from United States

    Very nice, very nice indeed

  • laringo profile image

    laringo 8 years ago from From Berkeley, California.

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

  • hot dorkage profile image

    hot dorkage 8 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.

  • profile image

    ColdWarBaby 8 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
    Author

    Amanda Severn 8 years ago from UK

    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
    Author

    Amanda Severn 8 years ago from UK

    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
    Author

    Amanda Severn 8 years ago from UK

    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 8 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
    Author

    Amanda Severn 8 years ago from UK

    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 8 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

    Sheila 8 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
    Author

    Amanda Severn 8 years ago from UK

    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
    Author

    Amanda Severn 8 years ago from UK

    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 8 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
    Author

    Amanda Severn 8 years ago from UK

    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 8 years ago from New York

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

  • Melissa G profile image

    Melissa G 8 years ago from Tempe, AZ

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

  • profile image

    Laurie Harley 8 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
    Author

    Amanda Severn 8 years ago from UK

    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 8 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
    Author

    Amanda Severn 8 years ago from UK

    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 8 years ago from Malang Horizon

    good job amanda

    i'll wait for the next poem

  • Amanda Severn profile image
    Author

    Amanda Severn 8 years ago from UK

    Thanks israyfa

  • lovelypaper profile image

    Renee S 7 years ago from Virginia

    Beautiful poetry. Continue to share with us.

  • Amanda Severn profile image
    Author

    Amanda Severn 7 years ago from UK

    Thank you lovelypaper.

  • h2oforthegaslit profile image

    h2oforthegaslit 7 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
    Author

    Amanda Severn 7 years ago from UK

    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
    Author

    Amanda Severn 6 years ago from UK

    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 5 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
    Author

    Amanda Severn 5 years ago from UK

    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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