"Achilles Lamenting the Death of Patroclus" by Gavin Hamilton (National Galleries Scotland)‘This Grief of Mine’ by Sally Sandler The Society November 25, 2020 Beauty, Poetry 19 Comments Don’t place your limits on this grief of mine or try to cheer me out of feeling sorrow. I need to wear it for a longer time and won’t be ready to let go tomorrow. The ragged tears that burn and sting my eyes, the knot that’s tied inside my throat and chest are raiment needed for my long good-bye and bind me to the soul that’s laid to rest. And so I wear a shroud of blackest black and wrap myself in aching disbelief, knowing when I last discard my cloak our closeness severs. I’ll be sadly free. So long as I can bear to wear my grief, it’s part of me—the life that was so brief. Sally Sandler is a writer and graduate of the University of Michigan. She lives in San Diego, California. NOTE: The Society considers this page, where your poetry resides, to be your residence as well, where you may invite family, friends, and others to visit. Feel free to treat this page as your home and remove anyone here who disrespects you. Simply send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Put “Remove Comment” in the subject line and list which comments you would like removed. The Society does not endorse any views expressed in individual poems or comments and reserves the right to remove any comments to maintain the decorum of this website and the integrity of the Society. Please see our Comments Policy here. 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) 19 Responses rohini sunderam November 25, 2020 Incredibly moving and so beautifully paired with that art! Reply Sally Sandler December 9, 2020 Thank you Rohini for your response, it’s very gratifying. Reply Julian D. Woodruff November 25, 2020 Ms. Sandler, These are words of raw power. To me they testify inarguably to the sacredness of human life. I miss the element of hope, but that is for another poem. Reply Sally Sandler December 9, 2020 Thank you, Julian, these come from a very raw moment. Reply Susan Jarvis Bryant November 25, 2020 Sally, your poem is heart-achingly beautiful and has brought tears to my eyes with its raw pain. It says so much in its brevity in imagery that transcends the written word. This is a very fine poem, indeed. Thank you! Reply Sally Sandler December 9, 2020 Thank you, Susan, I appreciate your feedback! Reply Cynthia Erlandson November 25, 2020 I very strongly agree with the sentiment you’ve expressed here, of not trying to cheer up a bereaved person with words that deny the person’s pain. Just being with them, and letting them know that we can’t even imagine what they’re going through, is about all we can do. Personally, that is why I believe that we need real funerals, not “celebrations of life”. Reply Sally Sandler December 9, 2020 Cynthia, I agree with you completely. Reply Amrita valan November 25, 2020 Made me tear up…the line … I’ll be sadly free. Beautiful moving work. Reply Sally Sandler December 9, 2020 Yes, and that’s truly how I felt. Reply Tonia Kalouria November 25, 2020 Having recently lost a husband and son, this really “hit home.” I especially like the first line: “Don’t put YOUR limits on MY grief.” It is both cogent and beautifully written. Reply Sally Sandler December 9, 2020 Tonia, I’m so sorry for your losses, yet glad this poem reaches you. Reply Terry L. Norton November 25, 2020 Moving sentiment. Reply Yael November 25, 2020 This poem is sadly true, eloquent, and beautiful all at the same time. I can really relate to this. Reply Sally Sandler December 9, 2020 Thank you Yael. Reply Margaret Coats November 27, 2020 This is a fine poem laid out so that mourning attire serves as your overall figure for the grief itself. As Cynthia says, the funeral ceremonies we have abbreviated or abandoned did serve an important purpose, and here you give an effective explanation. I take it your many imperfect rhymes suggest a grieving carelessness as to what is expected in rhyme, and the technique works in this particular poem, because of your careful attention to meter. The picking up of “disbelief” in the third quatrain to provide the perfect rhyme in the couplet shows that you are attending to rhyme in an unusual manner. I would suggest one little change to line 11, which really seems to demand “at last” rather than just “last.” With “last” alone, you appear to discard the cloak many times before the “last” discard. If you discard the cloak “at last,” it is worn continuously for a long time, which is what the poem is all about. Either way, you have five stresses in the line, and I would say that stressed “I” and stressed “last” need to be separated by a syllable. Again, fine work overall. Reply Julian D. Woodruff November 28, 2020 Good observation about line 11, Margaret. I think my unconscious must have supplied it when I read the poem: I was absorbed by the Frank expression of pain and secondarily by the imperfect rhymes (without reaching your insightful conjecture as to their purpose). Reply Julian D. Woodruff November 28, 2020 It=”at (last).” Sorry for the lack of clarity. Sally Sandler December 9, 2020 Margaret, I certainly see your point, and will work with that! Thanks for taking the time to read and respond so deeply. Reply Leave a Reply 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. This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.