Prompt 204 Measured loss
Today we’ll continue to think about a subject that is close to our hearts.
Loss is one of the most potent subjects of poetry. It is, I suspect, what truly moves us in a poem. As the true marker of our humanity, it snucks up on us at various moments. What it summons up when it does, it summons up wherever we are, wedged on the kitchen floor, as in Therese Broderick’s poem, “Their Moving Van Drives Off”, or looking at a christening gown, in Grace Harriman’s “Fort Andros Flea Market: Christening Dress: Circa 1895”. It is so true that time past is contained in time present.
As a kind of blue light. Purest flame.
Then there’s language, where we poets find ourselves, find our truest habitation. It forms a firmament for grounding our experiences. It is what art does. To measure loss. To take it in again. Deeper this time. Let it become rhythm, second breath. The bird having flown. So as it is, “the bird lies still while the light goes on flying” (W S Merwin, “Unknown Age”).
So write a poem about measured loss. It doesn’t necessarily have to be about grief. It could just be making notes about the day passing. I find it best to write about the present. And then somehow, allow the past to wedge itself into your present.
Again, and if you get lucky, your poem gets to be featured in Red Wolf Journal. Let this also be a repeated call for submission. Don’t be an easy bystander. Go through your drawer of poems. If you’ve submitted before, submit again. The Spring 2014 issue will only officially close on 30 April 2014. If we run out of submissions, the real door will close even before. Without the language of your poems, we—reader, poet–find ourselves bereft. Or elsewhere.