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WIDOW'S RETREAT (a morphing poem)

At sixty years
the telephone
bringing bad news late at night

An accident
on his way home
mad dash to the hospital
....too late....

The daze
of death certificates
coffin choices
hushed sad voices
busy work
then finally


For almost all her life
she's been a part of someone else
a teenage girlfriend

Now the kids are grown and gone
as expected, as should be
but facing even one more day
or cold nights for eternity?

She maintains her brave fascade
rehearsed words and false cheer
while secretly she questions God
for putting her through such a trial

So inwardly her spirit drifts
to a place which she calls Avalon
where lovers never endure rifts
a place of warm eternal dawn

Where everyone stays seventeen
where tears of loss are never shed
where the leaves are always green
as on the day when they were wed

You'll often see her sitting there
as she travels in her rocking chair
eyes closed, a small smile on her face
to Avalon, her favorite place

Style / type: 
Structured: Eastern
Review Request (Intensity): 
I want the raw truth, feel free to knock me on my back
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?
Last few words: 
Another stab at morphing poetry. In this one the poem changes from choppy free verse to structured rhyme to mirror the chaos of loss to final peace of memory..............stan
Editing stage: 


For some reason 'coffin choices' seemed to hit me far more than 'Avalon'...actually think your mixing up the rhyme structures does indeed reflect the life chaos of loss. It's a little sad but I can relate to it.


've been involved with enough funerals to be aware of all the detailed choices which have to be made. All these choices really bring home that the loss is permanent and I used "coffin choices" as I think this is the one which brings it home most strongly. At the same time these choices and having to deal well with the sympatizers provides a cushion of time to acclimate to the loss. Then the visitors go away, the paperwork is all done and there you are :truly alone.
And searching for a better place to be. In this instance I used Avalon to heighten the affect of the romance within her chosen retreat. Now I'll shut up and thank you for dropping by.................stan

author comment

I thought the free verse part ending with 'alone' was the more powerful part of the poem. Its dramatic because it's real and individualized.
the next S was too everyday,
then the poem restarts as verse, after one S that doesn't rhyme, that's a bit annoying but whatever.
I thought the new section much less interesting, words like eternity, eternal, spirit, avalon and god are too abstract and undefined. They dilute the poem because they have no emotional impact being undefined ideas rather than actualities or images. The verse flows nicely and I liked it but it was more conventional than the first part.

spelling facade

The stanza immediately following "alone" is the one which serves as gradual transition to rhyme ( may not have noticed due to structure that wife rhymes with last word in l-1)
Now to the rhyming section being less dramatic. This was on purpose so as to mirror protagonist's search for redefining herself in a state of calm after the chaos of sudden loss. So she retreats to the romantic world of her youth which she defined as Avalon. Now I had considered making up another name for her retreat but that would then require 2-3 more stanzas to define while using Avalon conveys the world of chivalry with one word.
And I've actually heard more than one widow curse God for taking their mate so maybe that belongs here also.
This new form I've been puttering around with for a while is still in developmental stage. You are not the 1st to state that I might be morping the forms from one to another too gradually and thus losing impact. So this Will be taken into consideration when I write my next morphing poem.
I DO appreciate you taking the time to let me know what you did and didn't like as this is a major part of coming up with what I hope will eventually become an accepted variation of poetry.............stan

author comment

But to me this is a great poem spoiled by the drift in style. Each section is fantastic but one doesnt unite with the other.

Like all new endeavors this particular form is going to take some time to figure out which writes it works for and which it doesn't. There is also the thing that not everybody Will like it (maybe not Anybody lol). But I'm going to keep experimenting with this because in theory changing form during a poem Should work in emphasizing changes mood within the poem.

Now on to specifics : do you think it doesn't work because the changes are too abrupt? If so do you think the changes would be smoother if made within a stanza instead of between stanzas? all feedback is appreciated........stan

author comment

The change in tempo makes them 2 separate poems and they each aRe good on their own but the second half reminds me of a rocking chair in which life is looked back on and the first is that life. It slightly unfulfills me. Not sure how to get it to flow from one into the other except with a single long sentence and lots of dots indicating the passage of time.

Thanks for the input. I'll figure something out. Have been thinking of going from free verse to rhyming couplets then to quatrains closer to the end..... But I'm gonna let it stew a bit first............stan

author comment

Hi, Stan,
I very much like this format, especially within this theme. Each of your stanzas and format enhances the widow's feelings, and the process of grieving. Perfect title and ending.
Thank you,

I appreciate your digging this one out of the cob webs lol. I'm pleased you like it

author comment
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