The room looks old
and smells of wood
The clock shows noon,
its hands made of gold
The fire lies in cinders,
its embers dying out
Feeble sparks shoot out,
like a romance rekindled
The hearth grows cold,
just like the heart,
as each hour passes fast,
for the lady who grows old.
Her hands begin to fumble,
her face a map of wrinkles,
her eyes a permanent crinkle,
incoherent words she mumbles.
The candle flickers feebly,
plunging the room in darkness
The night is moonless.
The clouds drift slowly.
The title of the poem is very simple and straightforward which might mean that making amends is a very easy thing to do but also because it stands alone, it means that you have to take the decision yourself and not let others decide for you.
“Nights like this”, the opening line of the poem emphasizes on the point ‘this’ which means that this is a special night (probably a full moon) and not just any normal night.
“On the cold apple bough…out of the bark.”, here these lines that describe the apple tree, reflect the sky at night as it says words like ‘cold’ which could define the night sky as cold, distant and alone. Nonetheless, at the same time, poem says, “a white star…exploding” meaning even in the distant, alone sky there is a star of hope and if you keep looking then there will be more, “then another…”
The poem then starts mentioning the job of the moon; “moonlight picking at small stones”, here, small stones shows that the moon not only amends the bigger the things in life, but also the small things, which we take for granted at times. The poet starts with ‘small stones’ which tells us that we should begin by amending the small things in life before we move onto the bigger things, just like the moon who “…picks at greater stones…”
The moonlight starts with amending all things of nature first, ‘surf’, ‘stones’, ‘ledge’. “Lays its cheek for moments…”, ‘moments’, emphasizes that the moon is very busy and it cannot afford to use more than a few moments and because of this, its movements are very quick, ‘licks’, ‘flicks’, ‘flows’. As the moon starts to move away from nature and towards mankind and man-made objects, its work becomes harder. Now the moon has to use more effort, ‘pours’, instead of ‘flick’, ‘leans’, instead of ‘flows’ and soaks instead of ‘lick’. This is because human mistakes are harder to amend as the human mind is very stubborn and mostly it takes years for man-kind to forgive, forget and move on. “Unavailingly pours into the gash…” it means the moon is very determined to try to heal the gash but is unsuccessful as it is a very deep gash, but the moon has to more on.
“Soaks through cracks…with sleep…”, ‘soaks’ personifies the trailers as a sponge which absorbs the moonlight. “Tremulous with sleep” shows that each trailer is filled as if it’s being washed clean by the moonlight and because of that it seems as if they were quivering. “Dwells”, shows that the moonlight couldn’t just “lay its cheek for moments” as humans needed the most attention and care over a whole night to make amends.
Finally, from the 5th to 15th line, repletion occurs as it confirms the moon is making amends; “as it”, but in the last and final line of the poem, the poet writes, ‘as if”, telling us that every human wishes and fantasizes about the moon (aka someone) solving their problems, but in reality it is they who have to do it. While the moon doesn’t make amends, it motivates them by shining brightly in the dark, cold sky as a glimmer of hope.
The poet uses highly effective descriptive imagery and figurative language by using many describing words and phrases like, “exploding out of the bark” and ‘flicks the broken ledge”. I think she uses that to show that at night there are many beautiful sights to enjoy.
She personifies the moon to make it sound like a loving elderly person (probably a mother) that heals everyone. “Licks the broken ledge”, here ‘licks’ makes it sound like the moon was like a cat, licking its kittens wounds. It creates a very beautiful and caring image in a readers mind.
She also uses a lot of repetition, “as it” to show that it is a pattern and the moon travels ‘round the whole earth while making amends. She uses lots of onomatopoeic words as well to show movement and constancy of the moonlight, Words like ‘licks, ‘flicks’, ‘flows’, ‘rises’, create a sense of fast movement while words like ‘pours’, ‘leans’, ‘soaks’, create a more slow movement. Sibilance is used in line 4, ‘small stones’, to show that making small amends can be very smooth while assonance is used in line 12, “though…the trailers” gives a harder, rougher edge to the stanza because the trailers are manmade.
The rhyme and meter are quiet fast but smooth in the first 2 stanzas as the moon moves at a quick pace there, but when it reaches the last 2 stanzas, it’s more of an effort and that slows the moon down and with it the rhyme and meter as well.
Finally, I think the poet has beautifully compared and contrasted between the amends that are needed to be made by nature and humans, It clearly shows that mankind has to work a lot harder in order to make amends as they have done more harm to nature than nature itself, “…pours into the gash..” while nature only has “the broken ledge…” but instead of criticizing them, she tells them to work for the one ‘exploding white star…” exploding out of the bark and then she tells us that we will find the other automatically. She also tells us to work first at the smaller things in life and then continue to amend the greater and bigger things.
This is a poem I had written for my Mom’s birthday and I wanted to share it with you…
Sometimes a daughter
Sometimes a sister
Sometimes a wife
Sometimes a mother
You play so many roles
and touch so many lives
each in a unique way
You seem to offer so much
Love, Kindness, Care
yet ask for nothing in return
Your smiles are heartfelt
Your hugs soothe pain
Your words are a comfort
These words just begin to describe
the Superwoman of our life
In a simpler time,
when bells chimed,
and words spoken from the eyes,
meant more than a sweet voice
When a bird’s song brought smiles,
and people didn’t need dimes,
when love was the currency,
and easily came mercy
When love was true and not a game,
when immodesty wasn’t fame,
when clothes were long and pride short,
and women were more beautiful than hot
In a simpler time
when bells chimed,
is where I want to live,
for the rest of my life.
Beauty can be found
In the blooming of a bud
Or in the early morning dew
Beauty can be found
in the bare tree in winter
or in the golden autumn leaves
Beauty can be found
in the song of a mockingbird
or in the meaning of a single word
Beauty is all around us
yet people fail to see
That beauty is in the simple things
That can’t be bought with money.
~Beauty is in the eye of the beholder~
The sun’s first golden rays,
Hit the shimmering city of glass
Bringing with it a new day,
One better than the last
The smell of coffee wafts outside
Through an open window
In the alley, a scrawny boy hides
In the shadows, he sinks low
By 12 noon, the city is alive
With people fighting to survive,
The ongoing struggles of the day,
In between millions, they make their way
The cacophony of sounds,
Makes its way through the crowds
The day begins to fade
As night makes its way
Darkness blankets the light
As the fiery sun says goodbye
The stars act as a guide
In the night sea up high
The music plays softly
And the lights begin to dim
The wind walks the empty streets
The night gives birth to whims;
While in the dark, two lovers meet.
‘Round the corner a dog barks
An owl hoots nearby
The moon gives hope in the dark
And the silence sings a lullaby.
The title of the poem is metaphorical and gold represents value and wealth so when it says nothing gold can stay it means that nothing that is precious or of great value in the materialistic way can stay forever. As gold symbolises materialism it wont last for long and it will give us “fake happiness” and another thing is that gold and other things which are money based can take years to accumulate but can be washed away in a millisecond. On the other hand, things having emotion and sentimental values cannot be bought with money and therefore will remain with us throughout our life.
The poet personifies nature with a commonly used term as ‘mother nature’ and I think the hidden meaning behind this is that the poem he has written carries the same message that has been preached for years, yet no one bothers to follow or listen to it.
The poet says “nature’s first green is gold” he compares the colour of nature ‘green’ with something that can be bought i.e. gold. Maybe he is trying to say that nature’s first baby is green that is just as valuable as gold but the he says “her hardest hue to hold” which might mean that green was her hardest hue to hold as it was the most valuable just like gold and it would be taken away from her.
“…a flower” flower symbolises purity, beauty and nature just like a new born baby, and when the poet says “her early leaf’s…” it proves that he is talking about something just born or created. However, he then says, “but only so an hour.” which makes evident that the beauty and innocence will only stay for an hour and then fade away. “Eden sank to grief”, the Garden of Eden has always been symbolic of Adam and Eve and the forbidden fruit, so the poet probably wants to say that nature’s first flower, i.e. Adam and Eve were innocent and pure but after a certain time, they too were tempted by the fruit and they had to come down to earth and that’s why Eden was angst. “…dawn goes down to day” just like dawn has to finally depart and the day has to end even gold has to take its leave.
The poem is written in a couplets e.g. “…gold…hold…” etc, and this might indicate that every happiness comes with sorrow or vice-versa. So when nature receives its first gold, she has already accepted that she can’t hold on to it and she says that it will last “…so an hour…”
The poet has used lots of figurative and pastoral language to create vivid imagery, “nature’s first green is gold”, here imagery and alliteration are both used to create a very vibrant opening line that will appeal to the reader. The poet also uses alliteration throughout the poem mostly “S’s” to give a soft and harmonious tone to the poem. The poet uses strong and deep language to express the sadness felt by nature by using words like “grief” and “subsides” instead of not strongly emotive words like unhappiness etc.
All in all I think the poet has successfully conveyed a very meaningful and significant massage through the excellent use of vibrant and lush imagery.
I wandered freely as a mare
That pranced o'er high grounds and planes
When all at once I heard a sound
As sweet as water from a spring
On a high branch of a tree
She sang a beautiful melody
She had feathers the color of red wine
That outdid the blazing sun of May
She seemed like a painting that was divine
And held its head high everyday
She guided herself between the rainbow by chance
And twisted and turned as if in romance
(Parody of the poem Daffodils by William Wordsworth)
The early morning sun set its eyes on my face Bringing hope to my life with a new grace I had to forget the faults I made in my past to find happiness and peace at last The walls of my room began to come alive Every time I saw them with new eyes The mistakes of my past began to fade away And an urge to do everything right came my way The world outside seemed so new to see And all of a sudden sadness felt far away from me the flowers that only yesterday seemed so dead Were now blooming and looking forward to the day instead I walked through the busy lanes Forgetting the old sorrow and pain The past had always been a terrible mess But this new beginning would be the greatest and best --RiRi