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Filtered Through the Heart

the river is rising
but the stones still aren't floating
some of us
are climbing
the golden ladder
to the stars
and some of us
are digging
to the center of the earth

farther than
six feet down
we all get beyond death
the expanding
feeling of sorrow
and ecstasy
in our chest

the smell of new earth
and of forests burning
the heart
the size of an oil filter--

life flows through it
and ultimately
not illusion
reigns supreme

Review Request (Intensity): 
I appreciate moderate constructive criticism
Review Request (Direction): 
What did you think of my title?
How was my language use?
What did you think of the rhythm or pattern or pacing?
How does this theme appeal to you?
How was the beginning/ending of the poem?
Is the internal logic consistent?
Editing stage: 


I really love the resolution of the poem.
I love the fact that you made us understand that life is the river.
My little problem comes from thinking that the following lines could have had a little more justification.
"but the stones still aren't floating"
"not illusion"
Other than that I think the emotion and flow came out aptly.

I think the first stanza of this poem is the strongest poetry i have seen from your pen since i first saw a poem. That stanza is to me what good poetry is about. It is in a sense a complete poem, as all the parts in "words of totem pole" by ws merwin

When I stop I am alone
at night sometimes it is almost good
as though I were almost there
sometimes then I see there is
in a bush beside me the same question
why are you
on this way
I said I will ask the stars
why are you falling and they answered
which of us

The first stanza you have written is similar- it suggests while the meaning jumps off the page.
The other stanzas are too pedantic, ultimately concluding humility not illusion reigns supreme.
That is an interesting idea, belief, but as a "truth" it must be proven, even if through poetic devise (symbol or metaphor) comes a little out of nowhere in the poem, it is a conclusion which I cannot feel the weight of in the poem. what is the illusion? what constitutes an act of humility?

Also for me heart being the size of oil an image the oil filter is too industrial, cold and greasy, and too vague- even the size... an oil filter in a car size?

The sound, the feeling, the idea, the images in our head of the river rising but not the stones as some climb the golden ladder to the stars and others "dig" to the center of the earth...very very powerful poetry. Hard to follow up. But it can be done.

I'd rather learn from one bird how to sing
than teach ten thousand stars how not to dance
ee cummings

thanks mark, for your comments and encouragement. i have been coming back to this one in my head, wanting to fill it out so that the humility/illusion finish makes more sense. the first image is kind of a foundation for that. just because the river rises, doesn't mean that stones float. there is a natural order to things. including the expanding sorrow and ecstasy that we feel in our hearts. the feelings that make us alive, the humility we feel to be allowed to be a part of such an epic journey. epic journeying is all over the poem. but i agree, it could use a lot of work.

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