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The Fluctuations of Modernity
and Antiquity

a pantoum

__Something is ahead,
A solemn note on open sky,
__It rises from the dead,
A whizzing plane of time gone by.

A solemn note on open sky,
Reminds me of the shopping mall,
A whizzing plain of time gone by,
A breaking voice, an alien call.

Reminds me of the shopping mall,
The perfect world that is conceived,
A breaking voice, an alien call,
This misty world of make-believe.

The perfect world that is conceived,
Is sooty; full of darkened leaves,
This misty world of make believe,
Is crossed in cries of coming geese.

The perfect world that is conceived,
__It rises from the dead,
Is crossed in cries of coming geese,
__Something is ahead.

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Laurel Aronian is a 10th grade student at St. Luke’s School in Connecticut.


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9 Responses

  1. Jeremiah Johnson

    Laurel, Initially I cringed at the switch from something as latently beautiful as the call of geese flying in formation overhead to a description of a shopping mall – yet the deft back and forth of the two images ultimately is quite moving. That said, I wonder if shopping malls themselves aren’t headed for antiquity, what with how Amazon and other online retailers have taken over – kind of like cinemas. On another note, although some here in the South refer to geese as “flying rats” because of their dirty on the ground habits, my instinct strongly disagrees with this – I can never hear them honking without gazing up in wonder and waiting until they come into sight. Thanks for this one!

    Reply
  2. Allegra Silberstein

    I loved your beautiful pantoum. In the past few days I’ve seem flocks of geese traveling away…they are always a moving blessing for the eyes and ears as I hear and then look up to see them…thank you…Allegra

    Reply
  3. Peg

    I enjoyed your clever pantoum, Laurel… thank you!
    (I am from CT originally 🙂

    Reply
  4. jd

    Very nice, Laurel. Your poem makes me want to
    try a Pantoum sometime. The graphic is lovely too,
    Evan.

    Reply
  5. Cynthia Erlandson

    A pantoum is ambitious, and I think this one shows you have substantial talent! Keep on writing; I’d like to see more of your work.

    Reply
  6. Paul Freeman

    Indeed – times they are a-changing.

    There are images bordering on magical realism I’m struggling to interpret, but that’s the nature of some poetry.

    The switch from ‘plane’ to ‘plain’, for instance, I at first thought was a mistake, though perhaps the second ‘plain’ is referring to the flatness or ugliness of the shopping mall which is passing into antiquity thanks to Amazon, et al, much as biplanes have been replaced by jet planes. Meanwhile, the geese are a fluctuation but a constant in their migrations.

    There’s still a lot to mull over in this poem. Thanks for an intriguing read, Laurel, which has piqued my interest in the pantoum.

    Reply
  7. Roy Eugene Peterson

    “Something is ahead” indeed and that does not necessarily mean better! Thank you for challenging our imagination.

    Reply
  8. Michelle

    I loved the reference to nature versus The Mall.I find Nature revives the soul, where The Mall distracts .

    Reply
  9. Adam Sedia

    I echo Cynthia: a good and natural-sounding pantoum is difficult. You’ve mastered the form, and produced a work with a lovely elusive quality. I am impressed at your talent and likewise encourage you to continue writing.

    Reply

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