Monday, June 07, 2004

Two More Poems

This one was written on a trip to New York with the Stamford High Madrigals to sing in the plaza at Lincoln Center.

Benjamin Ross Hoffman

Queen Nefertiti's head is but a stone
And paint. But made to imitate her face,
It shines a beauty that was hers alone
Far past her life, her time, her sight, her place.
Your clay is crude and dull. But you comprise
A body shaped by actions shaped by soul
That's rendered by your smile and deep brown eyes
Not legs ears fingers lips and hair, but whole.
In wholeness, all your body in your power,
You realize the intentions of your mind,
Engraving all your deeds into the hour,
Mind focused, body shaped, and soul aligned.
Self-sculpted girl, your life-earned beauty's rare;
Not nature-stamped, but from your soul-self-care.

I think whom I wrote it about should be quite obvious to anyone who knows both me and the girl about whom I wrote this. I won't tell you whom I wrote the villanelle about, but she's the same girl. It describes my sentiments about several people I know, though, whom I admire. So don't you non-brown-eyed girls feel left out.

The next one is about someone in particular, but could apply to many people. It takes a while for me to become friends with people in any environment. I hate it when people move around, because it puts me at a distinct disadvantage.

Fare Well
Benjamin Ross Hoffman

I wish I had known you
At all.
We'll have drifted away by
The summer?
The fall?
But since I'm unable to
Read you?
See through you?
How can I know I
Would like, if
I knew, you?

We'd hear or we'd see
And I'd think
And you'd say
And then it would be
A good hour?
A good day,
For I'd had a thought
Not simple
Not random
But quite worth the thinking.
And our thoughts
Were in tandem.

I don't know if ever
You've thought
What I've said,
For I am unable
To read
From your head.
So do you like me
Feel we're linked?
We fit?
I'd like to know
How near
I've hit.

There's a new unknown path I
I would love to know you
As my friend?
As my friend?
In the brief time that I've
Known you?
Known of you?
I've discovered that I could
Have liked you?
Have loved you?

I might add here that this is one of my first poems not in a classic style. don'tel that if you don't have anything to say, at least say it like Shakespeare did. And if you have something to say, you can probably say it without inventing a new form. But in this case I felt justified in creating my own format because I knew precisely what I wanted to say, and a certain way of saying it followed naturally.


Blogger Summer said...

From my haiku to your free verse...

I am a particular fan of the following construction: "How can I know I / Would like, if / I knew, you?"

Was it intentional, the feel of that interruption? To seem like the disjunct you experienced in getting to know (or not) the subject?

I also like "So do you like me / Feel we’re linked?" The line break reminds me of the breathless, empty squares in front of YES and NO after "Do you like me?" notes passed in elementary school, but then the phrase takes another turn and becomes a comparison. Good stuff.

5:57 PM  

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