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!
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.
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!