The butterfly, the sea anemone,
And snowflake, though possessive of the true
Design of grace and perfect symmetry,
Seem crude and ugly when compared to you.
The stars that line the deep, black sky like grains
Of salt, the sun that ripens like a peach,
The Northern Lights that brighten arctic plains
With hopeful luminescence, although each
Shines bright, there’s not a light as bright as yours
To clear the shadows roosting in my breast,
And help me see that though things may grow worse,
They do so ‘cause it’s only for the best.
And even if those lights just disappear
The world won’t lose a thing ‘cause you’d be here.

 

Gleb Zavlanov is a young poet and songwriter living in New York City. He is a 2017 graduate of Townsend Harris High School. His YouTube channel can be found here.

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11 Responses

  1. Sally Cook

    Dear Gleb —
    This poem is full of poetic observation and just the joy of observation. Your careful attention to adjectives, meter, point of view serve you well, point you in the right direction and give you a terrific advantage over other, older poets, many of whom seem over-willing to accept the first thing that pops into their heads. You want more, which makes me very happy. I think of Lorenz Hart.

    Just one thing — the last three lines are awkward and aren’t really saying what you mean.
    I quote:
    “…..And help me see that though things may grow worse,
    They do so ‘cause it’s only for the best.
    And even if those lights just disappear
    The world won’t lose a thing ‘cause you’d be here.

    Suggestions: While you are here.
    When you are here.
    Or you could change the “’cause” in line 13 to “for.

    I love the poem and want it to say exactly what it
    means to say. But I know you will work it out. Send more!

    Reply
    • Gleb Zavlanov

      Dear Ms. Cook,

      Thank you for reading.

      I’m flattered by your comparison to Lorenz Hart, and I see what you mean by the last three lines: they do seem to meander a little and sound vague. I will definitely work on that.

      Thank you,
      Gleb

      Reply
  2. Joseph S. Salemi

    Line 8 has one major flaw. The words “hopeful luminescence” make no logical sense, and one suspects that the adjective is thrown in simply to make position for the iambic meter. The flaw can be removed by finding a different trochaic disyllabic adjective — one that is more rationally connected to what the word “luminescence” means.

    Some possibilities are “swirling,” “flashing,” “opal,” “sweeping,” or “glowing.”

    Reply
    • Gleb Zavlanov

      Dear Mr. Salemi,

      Thank you for your advice.

      When I wrote “hopeful,” I meant to imply that its light is a source of comfort in the dark and uncertain arctic, but your more concrete suggestions will definitely make it more effective.

      Thank you,
      Gleb

      Reply
  3. C.B. Anderson

    So, Gleb, Who is the lucky girl. I now know everything I need to know about her, but I don’t know who she is. I second the criticisms offered by my esteemed colleagues, and would add that at the end of line 8 you force the reader to read “although” as though it were a trochee rather than an iamb. This is a very minor indiscretion, a traffic ticket at worst. But “although” should be preceded with something stronger than a comma because you’ve essentially begun a new sentence there.

    Reply
    • Gleb Zavlanov

      Dear Mr. Anderson,

      I’m glad that the poem was able to pique your interest in the girl it’s intended for.

      And to fix that metrical blunder, I can change “although” to “though they.”

      I would appreciate it if you have more suggestions.

      Thank you,

      Gleb

      Reply
  4. Mark Stone

    Gleb, Hello.

    1. Lines 5-12, as currently written, are one sentence. To me, they appear to be three sentences strung together without any semi-colons, i.e., a run-on sentence. In my opinion, the phrase that starts with “The stars” and ends with “luminescence” should be a separate sentence, which would require the addition of a verb. The second sentence would end with “worse” and the third would end with “best.”

    2. To expand on Ms. Cook’s point, the last line seems to have an inconsistent verb tense. I think it should be either: “The world won’t lose a thing ‘cause you’ll be here.” Or: “The world wouldn’t lose a thing ‘cause you’d be here.” To me, the former sounds better. If you do change it to the former, you’ll need to change your title to match.

    3. The first four lines state that the subject of the poem is prettier than a sea creature, a snowflake and a butterfly. The next eight lines explain that she is a brighter light than several other light sources. If it were me, I would cut the second topic to four lines, and use the freed-up four lines to offer a third favorable comparison. My guess is that she would love to have a third compliment in the poem. Obviously, since the poem has only 14 lines, we want get as much umph from each line as possible.

    4. The poem is nicely done. I enjoyed it!

    Reply
    • Gleb Zavlanov

      Dear Mr. Stone,

      Thank you for your input and compliment. As to the issues of the poem:

      1. I’ll definitely fix the run-on sentence. Thank you for catching that mistake.
      2. The inconsistent tense is also a problem that needs to be fixed.
      3. I really like your idea of a third comparison and would include it if lines 5-14 didn’t flow together so well. Perhaps I can get rid of lines 1-4 and use them as a premise for a completely separate poem? What do you think?

      -Gleb

      Reply
  5. Gleb Zavlanov

    Dear Mr. Stone,

    Thank you for your input and compliment. As to the issues of the poem:

    1. I’ll definitely fix the run-on sentence. Thank you for catching that mistake.
    2. The inconsistent tense is also a problem that needs to be fixed.
    3. I really like your idea of a third comparison and would include it if lines 5-14 didn’t flow together so well. Perhaps I can get rid of lines 1-4 and use them as a premise for a completely separate poem? What do you think?

    -Gleb

    Reply

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