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Night Light. (2 Viewers)

Torus34

Senior Member
Night Light

Springs eighty seven I’ve now seen,
Some warm, some cold, some in-between.
The actuaries tell me, though,
I’ve not that many more to go.

At night as I prepare for sleep,
There’s one small bulb, a light I keep
To mark the stair and limn the hall.
A precaution to stay a fall.

Last night the bulb seemed over bright,
Suppressing dark with all its might.
This morning, though, the light had died,
A broken filament inside.

So too, perhaps, our lives when last
We reach our endings, burn as fast.
Our energy gives one last flare,
Just as that light atop the stair.

And then the final dark descends.
Our lives, our poems, reach their ends.
My poems now I rarely show.
I cannot judge how bright they glow.

If read by one with judgment sound,
A truth I dread perhaps be found..
The words I fear most, have you guessed?
“Without a doubt, this poem’s your best.”


And a question. I rather enjoy writing things with a subtext or intent which may well be missed by the casual reader. In this instance, the poem's written to, hopefully, complicate a reader's response. Is that how it struck you?
 

Undercover

Senior Member
To answer your question, I feel like maybe the ending is contradictory. Wouldn't you fear something else, like if this poem is the worst. Or maybe you can end it, is this poem a test. That way it would rhyme. And I do like the rhyme and the analogy of light bulb here. Enjoyed.
 

Phil Istine

WF Veterans
This poem had me thinking about when someone is close to death they are sometimes said to perk up the day before. I'm not usually a fan of end rhyme for its own sake, but you seem to have carried it off reasonably well.
I like the use of limn - a new word for me. The dictonary describes it as old and obsolete, which fits the subject of the poem.
 

Torus34

Senior Member
This poem had me thinking about when someone is close to death they are sometimes said to perk up the day before. I'm not usually a fan of end rhyme for its own sake, but you seem to have carried it off reasonably well.
I like the use of limn - a new word for me. The dictonary describes it as old and obsolete, which fits the subject of the poem.

Hi! Thank you for taking time to post a response! This rhymester is also old and obsolete, so everything's in order. As far as words go, old, obsolete and otherwise, I've been constructing a dictionary in a desultory manner for a while. Here's an entry:

Partisan, n. A person who is seen by his fellows as a loyal patriot and by the opposition as an abject dupe.

There was a loyal partisan.
Who'd vote the solid row.
When he was told that they were crooks,
His instant response, 'So?'


A Modern Dictionary, Fragmentary Press, 2016, Chelm, IA

PS. The location of the Fragmentary Press was chosen with care.
PPS. A victim of a classical education, I was aware of the Latin roots of limn. It seemed the correct choice. Stay, a line which maintains a mast in a vertical position, also fit.
 
Last edited:

Torus34

Senior Member
To answer your question, I feel like maybe the ending is contradictory. Wouldn't you fear something else, like if this poem is the worst. Or maybe you can end it, is this poem a test. That way it would rhyme. And I do like the rhyme and the analogy of light bulb here. Enjoyed.

Hi!

Thank you for the response.

What I hoped to do in the final stanza -- itself written in a manner which slowed the reader -- was to have someone who might automatically post something like, 'Great!' stop and consider whether something far less complimentary was indicated. Telling me that this was a great poem, with whatever words, was in essence noting that the Grim Reaper was already on my front porch, knocking.

Regards, stay safe 'n well.
 

Namyh

Senior Member
Torus - When you're young, you don't think about that filament burning in the light bulb. You believe it's gonna burn forever. When you're much, much, much older you can feel the filament inside fizzling relentlessly to what you know will be a final flare and there won't be any "night light" replacements. Makes you think and that's what poets do. Thanks Torus. Namyh
 

Serendipity

Senior Member
Night Light

Springs eighty seven I’ve now seen,
Some warm, some cold, some in-between.
The actuaries tell me, though,
I’ve not that many more to go.

At night as I prepare for sleep,
There’s one small bulb, a light I keep
To mark the stair and limn the hall.
A precaution to stay a fall.

Last night the bulb seemed over bright,
Suppressing dark with all its might.
This morning, though, the light had died,
A broken filament inside.

So too, perhaps, our lives when last
We reach our endings, burn as fast.
Our energy gives one last flare,
Just as that light atop the stair.

And then the final dark descends.
Our lives, our poems, reach their ends.
My poems now I rarely show.
I cannot judge how bright they glow.

If read by one with judgment sound,
A truth I dread perhaps be found..
The words I fear most, have you guessed?
“Without a doubt, this poem’s your best.”


And a question. I rather enjoy writing things with a subtext or intent which may well be missed by the casual reader. In this instance, the poem's written to, hopefully, complicate a reader's response. Is that how it struck you?
This is beautiful!!!! I don't know if it is your best, but it is certainly relevant to all of us.
 

Torus34

Senior Member
Torus - When you're young, you don't think about that filament burning in the light bulb. You believe it's gonna burn forever. When you're much, much, much older you can feel the filament inside fizzling relentlessly to what you know will be a final flare and there won't be any "night light" replacements. Makes you think and that's what poets do. Thanks Torus. Namyh

Thanks for the response!

For what it's worth, I couldn't have written the poem in my younger years. Age brings with it a certain perspective. It also, if you've stuffed your head with all sorts of stuff, leads to Aha! experiences as a couple of things in your memory touch and meld.

Regards, stay safe 'n well.
 
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