Telling Tuesday

I could should begin by admitting I have started and thrown away this post three times before this writing. Each time, I have felt compelled to move what I did write somewhere else entirely. No matter how it started, it just never answered what I felt I needed to say. Writer’s block? After 1,800 words, hardly.



My muse is a strange character (go figure). Unlike John’s Dragon, she does not push, although she is mischievous. I think of her more like Pan, with the incessant flute I cannot escape.

Yesterday, I wrote about why writers write. I also posted a poem. I will always find poetry analysis interesting, the way I like to look at microbes beneath a microscope slide.

Be Still

Mantra (my muse’s name) some days feels like a virus. Her flitting around inside my brain and heart makes me woozy. When I just sit down (before I fall down), I hear the music so very plainly. It translates into words by the time it gets from my brain to my fingers.

English: Logo of Muse in SVG Español: Logo de ...

Congratulations! It’s a…poem?

I hear the song all the time. If the song is merely instrumental, the guttural symphony or cacophony, my fingers play out prose: some fiction, some not. When I can discern the tender singing voice (no, not that kind of voice), what appears on my page is poetry.

And now, for the rest of the story.

There seemed to be some confusion over last night’s Muse for Monday poem, entitled My Equal. Since Mantra has cancelled all public appearances (saving all of her mischievous energy for me…Oh, goody.), the safe bet has you cannot hear what she is singing. Let me translate:

A picture is worth…

John, whose Dragon tells him to uncolor between the lines, made this lovely photograph in monochrome, and I promptly stole it. Meh. I attributed it, relax. It becomes in monochrome something it was not in color…pure.

Surprise! The original is not a white rose. It was pink (which is not my favorite, in case you were considering sending me flowers). White, on the other hand, is my favorite. Picture sold.

It is only one; tight; with a trailing petal and crisp leaves. It is gently unfolding. It symbolizes the poem.

Intro, please.

Far be it from me to tell you in advance what the itinerary is, but I did. Before you read it again, think about the question in the intro.

Stanza I

When you stop looking for love, it finds you…even when you question who is knocking.

Stanza II

Pieces of a puzzle

You often do not know what is missing from your life until after it has been replaced.

Stanza III

A different perspective always broadens your horizons and opens your mind to possibility.

Stanza IV

We are all adults. Sex.

Stanza V

Comfort and trust.

Stanza VI

Inspiration and happiness.

Stanza VII

When we have someone in our lives, they answer our needs and desires. They also create desires and needs which were not there before.

Stanza VIII

Partners make each other stronger. When one needs to lean, the other supports.

Stanza IX

Ambition and dreams of the future.

Stanza X

The heart which loves opens to others.

Stanza XI

Argument. Just because you are mates does not make you identical.

Stanza XII

Calmer. When the world is rife with lunacy and turmoil, Mate makes it okay to cry, scream, wreck.

Stanza XIII

Just because you did not expect it, does not mean it is not precisely what you need in Mate: An Equal.


What makes a good poem? Was the analysis what you expected? Why or why not?


(c) Red Dwyer 2011
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  1. Hi Red! 🙂

    Thanks for the visit and wishes – Hope you have a VERY Merry Christmas!!! LoL!!

    Love and hugs!


  2. Red, that was a wonderful analysis, I admire and loved how you managed to squeeze accurate interpolations from every stanza, –only very clever poetess-types and Mommas can do that. “:)
    I saw the resemblance, but didn’t perceive the poem in the same manner. It is eloquent in it’s simplicity– the true soul-mate is recognition and encouragement of the reality that is carefully and mutually constructed in any spectacular relationship.

    • All good, and especially great, relationships are work…as in a true profession. I have always believed it and see absolutely no evidence which will sway me from such belief. Glad you like the analysis. Not sure I will analyse all of mine, as some I prefer to just leave a mystery for my readers to take what they will. Red.

  3. Haha, Stanza IV was the only part I understood right away when I read your poem the first time. Perhaps understood is the wrong word. I do not comment on poems because I think I am wrong because when I read what others think about it, I am always off. Always. Besides, I lack the training (English education blah blah blah).

    • English, schmenglish. I often wished I could meet the poet so he could tell me all my teachers were self-inflated boors and had it all wrong. To date, I have not met the English professor YET who could accurately gauge my poetry’s intent…even the ones as straight forward as this one. I think E.V.E.R.Y.O.N.E. understood Stanza IV 😉

  4. No, I mean in our schools we do not learn even about Shakespeare, Poe, etc. In that regard, American schools are actually ahead.

    • Alex, I am not so convinced. My 19yo did not have to learn any British lit save one Shakespeare play. What little American lit they actually studied was limited to the books (they read two) they studied each semester. There was very little poetry at all. One teacher did a two week lesson on contemporary poets. The one I found most revealing was Shel Silverstein. While I love his poetry, I felt for high schoolers, it was a bit lacking.

      Yes, I am a snob 😛

  5. awarewriter

     /  December 13, 2011

    “A poem should not mean
    But be.”

    -Archibald MacLeish, Ars Poetica (1926)

    I was thinking about poetry (your poem in particular Red) and analysis this evening. Serendipity? I stumbled across Archibald MacLeish’s quote. He says it much better than I could. I’ll borrow your words and say a poem allows the reader to ‘color between the lines.’ This is probably why I enjoy Haiku so much.

    I love the way you described (and used) the rose. Thank you.


    • Oh, John, the thanks is a two-way street. They just made a wonderful pair. And old Archie was right. Most really good poems just are. Everyone who reads them gets the “right answer”.

  6. I must be the furthest thing from a poet, and yes, groan, I know it. It’s one thing to write a good, meaningful poem, but to analyze it for all to see and criticize is a realm of writing I have no business in. This made me think, and that is exactly what poetry is supposed to do, isn’t it? Bravo, encore, and all that jazz!

    • Poetry is so different today than it was even twenty years ago. With the introduction of more diverse free verse, classically styled poems are to today’s much the way dissertations are to blog posts. That said, regardless of style, if the reader thinks and applies to to himself, it is good enough. Thank you, Marc! Red.

  7. To be honest I never analyse poetry, I read it and perceive whatever it conjures to me personally, though I know that there are many alternatives and every reader will see something different within its lines. Breaking down a poem and figuring, fathoming its nuts and bolts as it were is not my way of digesting the ingredients that are offered to me, I find that every poet has a unique ability to create that magical influx, deliver a delightful compilation of words, mix them into a recipe of wonder and generate a magnificent selection of thoughts and ideas.

    I like your poems my fine young friend, all have a very nice edge to them but as for the reality, of the true authenticity they are always going to be the authors own visualisation, some readers will tap into that source while others meander along a little, perhaps seeing something entirely different, and yet enjoying the flow of words that are offered to them, delighting in the quintessence of the written word and nurturing feelings that had possibly been left behind, indeed poetry enhances those feelings, and in turn the journey offers a never-ending scope of awareness for all…

    Have a truly wonderful day today Red and thank you for offering us such an interesting array of postings 🙂

    Androgoth XXx

    • You conjure the image of a feather floating on the breeze. I rather like to float on the breeze as much as I like to pick apart the pieces. Honestly, I, more often than not, do both. If I can float, I want to know what makes me buoyant. I do not think it is a cart and horse proposal, either.

      Glad you have enjoyed your visit here, Andro. Have a terrific rest of the afternoon 😉 Red.

  8. What makes great poetry? I wish more people would figure it out! I’m happy to be generous with my shares, but I refuse to share a poem I just don’t get or one that is absolute crap (read way too many of those on That said, I too, seldom analyze poetry. It is in the eyes of the beholder, after all, so who am I to say? Sometimes I come across a mess, but it speaks to me, so I like it. Sometimes I come across one that has all the bells and whistles, but still does not classify as something I would call poetry. Therein lies the rub – a poem and poetry are not always the same thing. I enjoy your poetry (so far lol) or I would not comment. I enjoy reading the comments as well, especially seeing that projection thing coming out. Keep writing:)

    • Good analysis! I have some poems I wish were at the bottom of the ocean. How ironic is it some people absolutely love them (in their childish ABAB rhymes)? I rather like your rub. While the ABAB is “technically” a poem, I hardly could classify it as “poetry”. Even more strangely, I have written pieces which come across as poetic despite the absence of intent.

      But I will take your suggestion and keep trying to get it right! Red.

  9. The title caught my attention and the style of writing kept it!

  1. Muse for Monday | Momma's Money Matters

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