"Yosemite Valley" by Albert Bierstadt‘Snapshot’ by David Paul Behrens The Society October 10, 2019 Beauty, Poetry 11 Comments The wind and balmy breeze Blow softly through the trees. All the darkness of the night, Disappears in morning light. The shadows on the ground, They do not make a sound. Birds awakened, singing sweet, Make the forest seem complete. This world we call the Earth, Comes into view at birth, For a brief moment in time, In this universe sublime. After fifty thousand miles and five years as a hitchhiker, living on the road and streets in towns and cities across America, David Paul Behrens followed with a career as an over the road dispatcher in the trucking industry. He is now retired and living in La Verne, California. His website is davidpaulbehrens.com. NOTE TO READERS: If you enjoyed this poem or other content, please consider making a donation to the Society of Classical Poets. The Society of Classical Poets does not endorse any views expressed in individual poems or comments. CODEC News:Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pinterest (Opens in new window) 11 Responses Martin Rizley October 10, 2019 A lovely and delicate picture painted here of the day´s most peaceful hour. I like the way you engage in your description the senses of sight, sound, and touch. Reply David Paul Behrens October 10, 2019 Thank you, Martin. You have explained the essence of the poem, that our senses are the viewfinder for the soul. Reply C.B. Anderson October 10, 2019 David, in high school English I was always taught never to employ a double subject, which is what you have done with: “The shadows on the ground, They do not make a sound.” The two subjects, of course, are “shadows” & “they.” This is an easy fix. For instance: The shadows on the ground Will never make a sound. You would never write, “My cousins they had bad teeth,” but instead, “My cousins had bad teeth.” This is a small point, but one worth taking note of. A poet’s freedom of choice does not imply license to violate normative rules of good diction and sound sentence structure. Reply David Paul Behrens October 10, 2019 Thank you, C.B. Your input is highly respected. Reply David Paul Behrens October 12, 2019 C.B., I believe you are correct in regard to proper diction and sentence structure. Perhaps Evan will implement your recommendation if he should choose this poem for next year’s print edition. Reply The Society October 12, 2019 Actually, if C.B. is on board again for the Journal’s editorial team, he does much of the selecting. -Evan Paul Oratofsky October 10, 2019 For a title, “Snapshot” feels too general – it could be anything seen. Maybe “Forest,” or “Hiking,” or such. Reply David Paul Behrens October 10, 2019 The idea behind the title is that, in face of infinity or eternity, life on this planet is merely a snapshot. Reply Martin Rizley October 10, 2019 I picked up on the idea behind the title “snapshot” from your use of the word “seem” when you write “Birds awakened, singing sweet, make the forest seem complete.” The forest may “seem” complete, but in fact, what we perceive with our senses is a perceptually limited snapshot of a sublime reality that far transcends our view. C.B. Anderson October 11, 2019 Yes, Martin, and I think the author made that clear in the last two lines of the poem. And, of course, as Plato would have it, what we see of the world is only shadows projected on a cave wall. I hope the situation is somewhat better than that, but hope, though a cardinal virtue, is sometimes a vain exercise. I think that faith and charity are better virtues by far. At least I hope so. Reply Paul Oratofsky October 12, 2019 Yes, I see that now. I didn’t give that much (enough) weight to that last stanza – especially its third line. Reply Leave a Reply to Paul Oratofsky Cancel ReplyYour email address will not be published.CommentName* Email* Website Notify me of follow-up comments by email. Notify me of new posts by email. Δ This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.