Sunday, February 3, 2013

Poetics: bright shadows

Homage, Tom Mix,
Homage, Tom Mix, "Cupid in the Cow Camp," 1913 by
David Lee Guss


Were children called "bright" when he was a boy
or when she was a girl? Was this child bright,
or dull as those eyes staring out from the
shadows of Time? What brightened the child's
days — a trip to the dark hardware store
where hard candies were a prize for being
still over by the stove as the adults spoke?
What lurked in the shadows behind
the folds of that developing brain? Sinister
plans or nonsense nuances? Does it even matter
now? Who loved the child enough to keep the
portrait, to stand it against the dusty, cold
stove? Someone who recognized that art thrives
in bright shadows.



Written for Poetics — The Poetics of Groundhog Day — Bright Shadow at dVerse Poets, hosted this week by Karin Gustafson, whose prompt post gave samples of wonderful shadow poems, and asked that we consider "jumping off (or into) bright shadows" in our own poems this week. 

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6 comments:

Brian Miller said...

intriguing response...is this based on an occurance? you sell it well enough it could be...art thrives in bright shadows..nice...what brightens the life of a child...i would like to think it does not always have to be getting things...i think they see brightness much better than us at times...

Manicddaily said...

Such a cool poem. I have to say that I think people have always loved their children about as much as we do. That said, they probably had to develop a certain kind of distance too simply because so many were lost. And children, even being quiet by the stove, I'm sure had great imaginative lives. I love this whole combination however of poem and picture, and the bright shadow of early photography -and of those eyes!

Thanks. k.

Manicddaily said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Lydia said...

Brian~ Thanks much for your appreciation of this. No, it was not based on an occurrence, but was only what I saw when I viewed the remarkable image. I think you have a better read on what brightens a child's world than many dads, based on what you've shared in your poetry.

Karin~ Your kind comment posted twice, and I was so pleased with what you said that I felt it would be gluttonous to keep both. :) I loved your prompt and your comments about the children of the past seemed so right to me. Thanks.

Don't Feed The Pixies said...

there's definately something odd about the face in the frame - the face is young, but the hairstyle seems old, also the frame seems to be rather precarious on the edge there

i think you've captured the ambiguity of the expression really well

Kathe W. said...

your poem is so appropriate for this haunting image.

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