What does poetry mean to you?

Is it important for you to know what inspired the poet to create his or her words?

Do you think a poem should mean one and only one thing?

Or do you feel like I do, that poetry, like all art is completely open to interpretation?

As a writer of poetry, I was never concerned with people getting out of a poem what I put into it. It is and has always been more important to me that the reader just feel something, and I am always interested in hearing what my poetry means to someone else.

I wrote this poem today. Please let me know if you feel something from reading it. And if so, what do you feel? What does it mean to you?

And if you are interested, keep scrolling past — I’ve divulged what inspired me to write it.

Your song once emanated from inside my walls
and now the silence is deafening.
How I once longed for the peace and quiet
the rest, the ability to sleep without the constant perky noise . . .
and now, now that it’s gone . . .
all I long for is to hear your sweet song
. . . a melody that belongs to you and you alone.

You used to spend hours admiring your own beauty.
I turned my nose up
called you conceited, vain and arrogant.
In truth, I was jealous of your confidence.

Unable to spread my own wings,
I found myself in contempt of your ability to find joy in your slavery.
I thought I hated you,
but in truth
my existence means nothing without you.

***This was inspired by a writing prompt. #226 – Write from the point of view of a bird cage whose occupant has just died.***

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14 responses to this post.

  1. Loved it Dayle! Not sure if I have read your poems before! Very good! Carolyn Holcmb

    Reply

  2. Posted by Anne on August 5, 2011 at 9:47 pm

    Well, I definitely felt loss. I definitely did not guess birds or a bird cage. I was thinking (probably because I’m a mom) of a child growing up and leaving.
    This line was intriguing: “I found myself in contempt of your ability to find joy in your slavery.”
    Well done, Dayle!

    Reply

    • Thank you, Anne!

      My boyfriend thought I wrote it about my daughter (who is with her father for the next few days). Later I yelled at him (jokingly, of course) because of the “I thought I hated you” line πŸ˜›

      I can totally see how this could relate to a teenager who leaves for college, especially with the “admiring yourself” part and how parents don’t necessarily “hate” their teens, but I’m sure they are driven crazy by them (quite frankly, I’m terrified of my daughter reaching her teens :P).

      This why I love poetry! What is intended is rarely what is taken πŸ™‚

      I’m really loving the website with the writing prompts!

      Reply

  3. I too am not worried if the reader doesn’t see the poem as I saw it when writing. I only hope that they are touched by it and can relate to it on thier own level. I love your poem… I felt the since of loss and regret.

    Reply

  4. WOW! Such a beautiful poem…I would have NEVER guessed it was about a bird leaving a bird cage. I was actually shocked when I saw what it was about.
    I think, like you said, that poetry is just about touching others in some way where they feel something from what you wrote….maybe what the author wrote about, like in your case, is something that you have never experienced before. I doubt anyone reading your poem has actually been a bird cage, right?!
    But even though none of us can relate to the bird cage experience, we can use it as a type of metaphor to fit what we each HAVE experienced in our own lives and each person will feel something different.

    Reply

    • Thank you, Sharon!

      This was so much fun to write! I made my boyfriend read it before I posted it. I was all kinds giddy as he read it and asked, “so what do you think it’s about?”

      It was funny because I knew he would draw a connect to my daughter . . . she constantly stares at herself in the mirror πŸ˜›

      “But even though none of us can relate to the bird cage experience, we can use it as a type of metaphor to fit what we each HAVE experienced in our own lives and each person will feel something different.”

      That’s exactly it!

      I just saw that you used one of the writing prompts . . . I’m headed over to read now πŸ™‚

      Reply

  5. I read your poem and definitely felt the longing and loss. When I read what inspired the poem, I read it again and cried. It made me think of what Fred will think if Angel is adopted by another family.
    “and now, now that it’s gone . . .
    all I long for is to hear your sweet song
    . . . a melody that belongs to you and you alone.”

    *sniff* Beautiful, Dayle.

    Reply

  6. We could adopt her but we haven’t yet. We are still waiting to see if an awesome family wants to adopt her. If that happens, we can foster another pit bull. We probably wouldn’t do it right away, but we could save more dogs. It’s hard though, because I have grown to love her so much. But I keep praying and leaving it in God’s hands … worrying about it will just make me a mess and it certainly won’t help anything. πŸ™‚

    Reply

  7. this was a really amazing take on the prompt it has both romance but also a slight feel of belonging and of wanting to be like this person, finding there traits attractive.

    Reply

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