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GaryBFitzgerald Profile
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Posted for Art Durkee


           Thin Ice


     Such thin ice and fragile,
     brittle on the pond. I’m afraid
     to even speak lest I crack it,
     afraid a single drifting leaf
     or tumbling berry, one lost feather
     of suggestion might fall to fracture
     and in breaking reveal the colder
     darkness underneath.

     This ice, though thin, protects.
     The cheerful white reflects a happy
     blue of sky, keeps me from
     black water and the beasts that
     hide beneath, the fear and loss,
     the confusion swimming just below
     this frosted, easily broken pane.

     Such thin ice and fragile,
     crystallized by this barren cold
     suspended between the opposing
     empty poles of my sorrow
     and its frozen anger.




Copyright 2008 - HARDWOOD-77 Poems, Gary B. Fitzgerald

Last edited by GaryBFitzgerald, Feb/15/2009, 12:52 pm
Feb/12/2009, 10:10 pm Link to this post Send Email to GaryBFitzgerald   Send PM to GaryBFitzgerald
 
Terreson Profile
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Re: Thin Ice


Looks like you got a poem, Gary. I was pulled in by the end of the first strophe. To me, at least, the extended metaphor is so difficult to pull off successfully. Very easy it is to end up bathetically. But this does not.

My slight reservation might involve the last two lines. I don't know. Sorrow and anger expressed as "empty poles" seems a bit weak, especially after how the poem has pulled up, so to speak, the underwater depths.

Tere
Feb/14/2009, 3:27 pm Link to this post Send Email to Terreson   Send PM to Terreson
 
GaryBFitzgerald Profile
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Re: Thin Ice


Thank you, Tere, for your kind review.

I would like to take issue, though, with your observation that “Sorrow and anger expressed as ‘empty poles’ seems a bit weak…”, especially since this is the strongest part of the poem. First, please reread the poem in the light of it having been written in response to the untimely loss of a loved one. I guess I just assumed that this was obvious.

The poem is based on the metaphor of cold and ice. The “opposing poles”, the Arctic and Antarctic, which are “barren cold” and “empty poles”, are the coldest places on Earth. Sorrow and Anger are also opposite poles, one passive and one aggressive, but both also cold and empty. Cold anger because there’s nobody to blame; empty sorrow because, no matter how deep, you can never bring them back.

But the ice of sorrow ultimately freezes over the dark of anger.


Feb/14/2009, 9:25 pm Link to this post Send Email to GaryBFitzgerald   Send PM to GaryBFitzgerald
 
GaryBFitzgerald Profile
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Re: Thin Ice



Wouldn't mind your opinion of 'Joy When Older', either.

GBF
Feb/14/2009, 9:27 pm Link to this post Send Email to GaryBFitzgerald   Send PM to GaryBFitzgerald
 
Zakzzz5 Profile
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Re: Posted for Art Durkee


GBF,

I posted another message here, but felt uncomfortable with it, and erased it. Suffice it to say, that I liked the poem but could not address it completely as there were elements of it I could not completely relate to in my life, though I could see it as literature. Thanks for posting. Zak

Last edited by Zakzzz5, Feb/16/2009, 6:54 am
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GaryBFitzgerald Profile
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Re: Posted for Art Durkee


Um...thanks. I guess. emoticon
Feb/16/2009, 11:14 am Link to this post Send Email to GaryBFitzgerald   Send PM to GaryBFitzgerald
 
Katlin Profile
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Re: Posted for Art Durkee


Hi Gary,

I like your use of extended metaphor in this poem and especially like "one lost feather/of suggestion". Very nice.

You might consider dropping "easily broken" in the last line of S 2. You have already demonstrated that the ice is fragile and easily broken. By dropping the adjective, you would also put more emphasis on "pane" and its double meaning.

I understand the connection between sorrow and anger you are describing in S 3. I question the use of "barren" cold though. I think you mean barren as in lifeless, but to me barren cold would be very cold and the ice less fragile, as a result. Is the N thinking ahead to an even colder time, soon to come, when the ice will freeze solidly? At any rate, I got confused at that point.

Just my 2 cents. HTH. Thanks for posting.

Feb/18/2009, 3:57 pm Link to this post Send Email to Katlin   Send PM to Katlin
 
GaryBFitzgerald Profile
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Re: Posted for Art Durkee


Thank you, Katlin, for taking the time to read my poem. I found your observations very thoughtful and astute.

I would not want to eliminate “easily broken”, though, because, besides screwing up my rhythm, it would serve only to highlight “pane” which, I think, would then turn it into just a merely obvious pun. I intended the homonym, but wanted only its suggestion rather than making it the subject of my metaphor. The subject here, thin ice, is attempting to describe the fragility of emotion I felt, and tried to suppress, after the death of my older brother. Potentially, it could have been shattered at any moment into overwhelming grief (“the colder darkness underneath”) or uncontrolled anger (“the beasts that hide beneath”).

But barren, indeed, my heart. I felt betrayed by God and the world. I felt such an empty, barren cold, in fact, that it froze over the formerly happy, warm and peaceful pond of my life.

Yes, a very extended metaphor.
Feb/19/2009, 12:12 am Link to this post Send Email to GaryBFitzgerald   Send PM to GaryBFitzgerald
 
Katlin Profile
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Re: Posted for Art Durkee


Hi Gary,

You are right that emphasizing "pane" would be too much. Subtle is better. What was I thinking? Slaps self upside of head. Ouch! emoticon

Thank you for explaining your use of "barren". Even though I thought I didn't understand the last stanza, seems like I got the gist of it and was on the right track after all.
Feb/19/2009, 1:03 pm Link to this post Send Email to Katlin   Send PM to Katlin
 


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