The Widow




28 thoughts on “The Widow

    • You see the man… I see almost only the woman. The man’s presence and her response (or responsiveness) underlining her loss and distance. After writing the poem, which as usual took a direction all its own, I went for a walk and tried to interpret it for myself.
      I love the independent nature of poetry to exist beyond both author and reader. Have a wonderful day Hariod.

      • This is a really interesting question Hariod. and particularly relevant and timely for me. I would like to think about and get back to you. If not today, then over the weekend.

      • I don’t think that narrative would be a property of the subconscious. To me narrative suggests something linear and created with intention. I see the subconscious as a mirror and source of inspiration and response beyond the limitations of desire or design.

        I think the conscious (i.e. written) words are ambiguous because they are shared and thus become part of a relationship. Placed on the page they may not be ambiguous at all to the writer but the moment another lays eyes upon them they take on a life of their own.

        Something like that.

      • Thanks Chris — interesting. The first part of your response would imply that any narrative is a post hoc creation, it seems, one occurring during the conscious assembly and ordering of the imagery which itself priorly arose (would you agree?) from the subconscious — I think we have to conclude as much, for the narrative-less imagery only ‘seems’ to appear as if out of nowhere. By and large then, the subconscious deals the hand with (certain forms of)poetry.

        This sort of conception makes sense to me as regards what poetry actually is (I’ve never really known), and as against prose which we might say is led from the other direction, that is, by a consciously conceived narrative which then demands consciously sought imagery to fit it. Here then, the conscious mind deals the hand.

      • Well stated Hariod. Over the past couple of days I’ve enjoyed delving into the theme of the subconscious and poetry as I’ve driven (about 10 hours). I also keep thinking about your gravatar… key in hand… smiling and appreciating the doors your compassionate and inquiring mind tend to open.

      • Road trips are fertile ground for poetry. One of my favorite poems, ‘Fruits of Eden’, was inspired by a trio of roadside apples somewhere in Utah while en route to Telluride two years ago.

      • I’ve enjoyed having the opportunity of delving into this little idea with yourself as a poet, Chris, as I’m shamefully ignorant on the art form myself, though fascinated by it nonetheless. I really don’t know what poetry is, other than sometimes seemingly recognising it when I see it. It actually makes me want to give it a try.

        As to my Gravatar, then there’s a little story attached to that. That key was unearthed (by that hand) during an archaeological dig at the proposed site of a church’s graveyard extension. During the 15th. and 16th. centuries, a huge manor house and deer park had existed on the site, and so the diocese was obligated to commission the dig prior to consecrating the ground for use as a graveyard. Anyway, the key is assumed to be that of the manor house, and it was unearthed within 20 feet of where my grandson was subsequently buried. So, when I needed an image, it sprang to mind as one dear to my heart. 🙂

  1. Chris, I had to sit with this a while, reread it, sleep on it, and read it again over my morning coffee in a new cafe. I have the eerie feeling that you’ve written a current snapshot of my life. Simultaneously unsettling and comforting. Feeling seen. I love this about poetry: the layers, the hidden paths, the quiet reaching.

    • Ah Carolin… this comment stopped me in my tracks.
      For weeks I have been trying to write a poem that keeps alluding me. A couple of lines arrived and I was sure they would lead me to a piece about loss and healing. They haven’t. The lines don’t even manage to stay long in any drafts. This time I did manage to express something about loss (again though the original inspiration nowhere to be seen).
      I appreciate your response – on many levels – and step back from the poem thinking about you on the other coast and wishing you the best.

      • Chris, I’ve had the same experience. Fragments that go nowhere and then others that take you places you didn’t intend and couldn’t imagine.
        I had drafted about 50 pages of a novel at the time William died 31 months ago; the last time I worked on it was less than a week before he died. Then nothing, absolutely nothing, all this time. The attention span to write longer pieces simply evaporated with him. I was frustrated. I thought the characters had abandoned me and that was the end of the project. While riding the bus a few weeks ago, I suddenly saw my main character driving, driving home through the first page of the novel– something I had struggled with. My notebook and pencils are always with me so I pulled them out and sketched out a very rough couple of pages. The subconscious never sleeps.

      • The subconscious never sleeps. So true. And so awesome when the doors open and someone unexpected drives out of the depths onto the page! Good luck with this Carolin.

  2. Loss and grief embedded so deeply in the day to day. I felt like a bird on the wire watching this timeless drama. One moment for the man and a seeming eternity for the woman. Fine writing Chris…

    • Thanks Jana. As is so often the case – despite the possibilities – your interpretation follows my thoughts while writing. Not necessarily an easy task.
      Are you writing?

      • Writing? No Chris…more like completion of some aspects and absorbing new beginnings. I never know what is coming until it’s here….When I have a better idea of how this is all playing out I’ll update this adventure and post again welcoming fellow travelers. But I’m sure enjoying all this fine writing….!

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