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« The Cat of Montserrat [by Lera Auerbach] | Main | "My Ego" [by Amy Gerstler] »

November 14, 2021


Beautiful poem. Love it, Jeff! I understand completely. Love you, Barbara

Every syllable rings true.

What a great poem! So moving -- but still fun.

"She was chiffon and dad was concrete."
"He was a quarter/ leprechaun. She was half elf."

Every line is a gem.

Love this poem. “My folks stay closer now they’re “gone” touched my heart ❤️

brilliant and original as always, thanks Jeff for poeming and Terence for posting

How the past aches inside us, but I'll bet they loved you just as they all did with us--

chiffon and cement! Perfect!

Michael---thanks for commenting.

This brilliant, fourteen-line poem (sonnet-like in how it moves and is moving) by Jeffrey Cyphers Wright reveals the private and public side of his grief over the “lot of grief” he “caused” his deceased parents. What child hasn’t had similar feelings about squandered opportunities to convey an apology to parents or tell them they’re loved? Far more than an expression of filial regret, the poem is, in and of itself, a gift from a son whose own gifts include composing verse of lasting impact. It is far more personally affecting than the wonted, full, funeral service recitation of Psalm 23 evoked by Wright in the line “I walk in the valley where they met.” His poetic palette teems with descriptive information delivered with astonishing economy: a mother who was “chiffon” and “half elf”; a father who was “concrete” and “quarter leprechaun.” Toward the end the poet confesses that his “threnody”--the poem serving in one sense as a powerful public song of lamentation--is for the “throng” (us). The slant rhyme of “throng” and “‘gone’” in the final two lines also suggests that the poet’s far deeper memory and missing of his parents will remain out of our reach but will, for him, make them “stay closer.”

A shout-out to Terence Winch for his unerring picks of poems.

I’m impressed with the way the simplicity of the diction and the syntax have such power. Really fine work.

Thanks, Earle, for another amazing mini-essay.

A wonderful poem!

Let me add my compliments. I am particularly foind of "a threnody belonging to the throng."

The poet walks in ghost shoes, so-called because made by a leprechaun, a shoemaker elf, who is both his father and mother. So his parents are always with him, as he walks repeatedly in this lovely poem.

Terrific poem!! Congrats Jeff - & thank you to Terence for highlighting it.

Thanks for the comment, Vincent.

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I left it
on when I
left the house
for the pleasure
of coming back
ten hours later
to the greatness
of Teddy Wilson
"After You've Gone"
on the piano
in the corner
of the bedroom
as I enter
in the dark

from New and Selected Poems by David Lehman

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