A poem’s truth, when presently revealed
Inside its lines where they had first congealed
Will fill you with a youthful ardent joy—
Like first unwrapping ribbons on a toy,

Or spring, when fragrant warmths of mulchy earth
Stew flowers cocking back their heads in mirth
As coldly chirping birds ring out from high;
The sun’s a milky lake, and falling nigh—

A snake weaves wetly through the tired leaves,
And mandrakes bob their fruit in labored heaves;
The Lily of the Valley drips its bells,
Their choirs bow and shake—the breeze, it swells.

But reason says this moment passes quick,
And anything done well is such a trick.
There’s only what the evening will allow;
Eventually we take the final bow.

So celebrate the now, that’s fine, but how?
Unpluck some of the finest cellared wine
And serve with caviar all ballsy brine?
Adroitly wreath the door in eglantine?

Well no, I’m after something more sublime:
A poem from the onset of my prime,
Its secret woven in a metered rhyme,
Presented here on each and every line.

Just sample this: melodious and fine,
You’ll sing it by design, fat bells will chime;
There’ll ring a chorus, echoing in time,
Proclaiming that this soul’s alive, divine.

 

Michael Stutz is the author of Circuits of the Wind, the story of the net generation. Working as a novelist, correspondent and itinerant poet-photographer, his writing has appeared in many publications online and off, including the New York Times, Rolling Stone, The Age, The Daily Caller and Wired. Follow him on Twitter at @michaelstutz.

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4 Responses

  1. Carb Deliseuwe

    Michael Stutz “A Poem’s Truth” is a lively ditty, “melodious and fine…You’ll sing it by design.” The language is glittering, Keatsian, the pace abrupt, the tone is humourous and serious, the imag’ry is lush. There is a spritely quality that I admire above another set of iambic pentametres, which devolve into a playful fine, rhyme scheme at the end. At moments I thought of a tossed Frost salad. Bon appetit.

    Reply
  2. Mark Stone

    Michael, Hello.

    1. Line 2 confuses me because I don’t know what “they” refers to. It seems that lines 1-2 are saying that a poem’s truth is revealed inside the lines of the poem where the lines of the poem first congealed. I don’t follow that. If you choose to revise the line, I like “concealed” as a rhyme for “revealed,” since they are kind of opposites, and can be used to express an “it was concealed / it’s now revealed” sort of thought.

    2. The change in rhyme scheme in each of the last three stanzas was an interesting variation.

    3. I noticed the casual “passes quick” in place of the grammatically correct “passes quickly.” If you would like to use “passes quickly,” it would give you the opportunity for a feminine rhyme, which would add an element of sophistication to the poem, I think. For example:

    But reason says this moment quickly passes

    And then you can rhyme with “molasses” to draw the fast/slow contrast, or with some other fun word.

    4. There is nothing technically wrong with “the breeze, it swells.” However, it reminds me of how teenagers talk. Since I’m old fashioned, I would prefer something more traditional, such as “the soft breeze swells.”

    5. On a positive note, I will say that the meter is flawless and the rhymes are strong. I especially like line 20 and stanzas 5 & 6. My favorite line, which is beautiful, is: “Its secret woven in a metered rhyme.” And you educated me about eglantine, which I had not heard of. Thank you for sharing this poem.

    Reply

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