ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel
  • »
  • Books, Literature, and Writing

Two Losses In Second Person

Updated on January 30, 2012


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!


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • Doc Snow profile image

      Doc Snow 5 years ago from Camden, South Carolina

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

    • i scribble profile image

      i scribble 5 years ago

      Thanks again!

    • Doc Snow profile image

      Doc Snow 5 years ago from Camden, South Carolina

      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 5 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.

    • i scribble profile image

      i scribble 5 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.

    • Doc Snow profile image

      Doc Snow 6 years ago from Camden, South Carolina

      A pleasure, sir. Thank you!

    • kingphilipIV profile image

      Ramphil Basco 6 years ago from Iloilo, Philippines

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

    • Doc Snow profile image

      Doc Snow 6 years ago from Camden, South Carolina

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

    • Hello, hello, profile image

      Hello, hello, 6 years ago from London, UK

      A brilliant acticle.

    • Doc Snow profile image

      Doc Snow 6 years ago from Camden, South Carolina

      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!

    • Pearldiver profile image

      Rob Welsh 6 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


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: ""

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)