Madonna and Child

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HenryBones
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Madonna and Child

Post by HenryBones » Fri Sep 11, 2015 10:45 pm

Madonna and Child

i.m. Grace Gifford

In the end, it is nothing that I can feel.
My hands and feet could be passing over
the same plastered stone, the same splintered
wood as his must have done in those final
moments before they led him out
to the courtyard, guards on either
arm and a blindfold feathered
low around his neck like a cravat,
but it wouldn't matter. They will not speak
to me. At night I pray I'll dream
of an art as gilded as the richest
Byzantine icon, the glint of its light
a halo throwing these barren structures
into ever sharper relief:

Madonna and Child in deepest
blue, lushest purple, their faces
lined with eternity. Sun rises,
bells ring, rifles fall and he must
be gone, like the shadow of a cloud.
Afterwards, she struggled for money,
dabbled in politics and poetry,
spent time abroad, never remarried
and missed the conversion of gaol
to museum by more than a decade.
You can watch them, gangs of visitors
now, as they float down the corridors,
marvelling at the life in each cell,
at the sounds and shapes that it can make.

ray miller
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Re: Madonna and Child

Post by ray miller » Mon Sep 14, 2015 9:51 am

Very good. Had to google who she was. These are fine lines:

Madonna and Child in deepest
blue, lushest purple, their faces
lined with eternity. Sun rises,
bells ring, rifles fall and he must
be gone, like the shadow of a cloud.

low around his neck like a cravat,
but it wouldn't matter. They will not speak - I wonder if you need it wouldn't matter
to me. At night I pray I'll dream


You can watch them, gangs of visitors
now, as they float down the corridors, - better without now
I'm out of faith and in my cups
I contemplate such bitter stuff.

Suzanne
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Re: Madonna and Child

Post by Suzanne » Mon Sep 14, 2015 6:34 pm

This is wonderful.
You are very enjoyable to read.

I am just flying past but wanted to make sure you know...
You have a beautiful talent.

I will come back soon.
Suzanne

David
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Re: Madonna and Child

Post by David » Mon Sep 14, 2015 6:47 pm

ray miller wrote:Very good. Had to google who she was.
I agree. And me too.

Cheers

David

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Re: Madonna and Child

Post by Antcliff » Mon Sep 14, 2015 7:00 pm

Greetings Henry

I wonder, do you need "final" since what follows rather tells us that?

Does this bit feel a bit flat/functional prosey in contrast to the more consciously poetic language/expression that went before? Or is it just me? It may be.
Afterwards, she struggled for money,
dabbled in politics and poetry,
spent time abroad, never remarried
and missed the conversion of gaol
to museum by more than a decade.
Best wishes,
Seth
We fray into the future, rarely wrought
Save in the tapestries of afterthought.
Richard Wilbur

HenryBones
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Re: Madonna and Child

Post by HenryBones » Tue Sep 15, 2015 12:24 pm

Thanks all for the encouraging, especially Suzanne - I'm starting to blush...

I see where you're coming from, Seth, but I liked the brisker narrative after the intensity of the previous passage, partly because it varies the mood and partly because it catches something of how Grace Gifford's life (or any life, I suppose) can be defined by one event, and everything seem like a footnote or afterthought.
I'll have a brood on possible other changes,

Thanks again all

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Re: Madonna and Child

Post by Ros » Tue Sep 15, 2015 1:21 pm

Ah, was just going to make Seth's point.

Afterwards, she struggled for money,
dabbled in politics and poetry,
spent time abroad, never remarried
and missed the conversion of gaol
to museum by more than a decade.

feel a bit info-dump. Otherwise very enjoyable.

Ros
Rosencrantz: What are you playing at? Guildenstern: Words. Words. They're all we have to go on.
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Antiphon - www.antiphon.org.uk

Basnik
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Re: Madonna and Child

Post by Basnik » Thu Sep 17, 2015 8:39 pm

HI,

Some lovely lines here so overall, thank you for sharing this. Some crits though: not keen on the line endings always. Especially 'splintered / wood' - never keen on the adjective noun separation. The blindfold feathered is good.

I'm sorry but I also totally agree with Seth and Ros on this one. The info dump turns it into a kind of wikipedia poem and utterly spoils the second part. It's not your response, your take on this anymore, it's an annoying guide book.

I mean well, I promise.

Best wishes,
Richard
bez prace, nejsou kolaci - without work, there are no cakes (Czech proverb)

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