One way

Pages of my past
Smudged with wild drafting errors
Stubbornly resist
The most fervent eraser’s
Attempts to prettify them.

A tanka for Totally Optional Prompts – this week, “one way”.

15 responses to “One way

  1. You have a lot of energy contained in a small poem there. The sounds of the words really reflect the action so I can feel the effort with the eraser. Very cool poem, Lironne.

  2. true this – lirone, your poem has inspired
    me to write a rare week night poem

  3. This truly resonates. The shortness of it works very well.

    making inroads into I know what not

  4. Each word seems thought out and particularly chosen. I love the way you keep the poem from sounding too melodramatic by adding a sense of playfulness. Yay for “prettify.”

  5. Scuse my ignorance, but pray, what is a “tanka”?

  6. lovely. one way indeed. 🙂

  7. I love the sense this poem gives–that all’s well and all manner of things shall be well.

  8. What’s done is done; regrets never fade.

  9. can’t really unwrite anything, just turn the page…
    Thanks, Lirone!

  10. ah the disappointments, er.. eraser of life..spoken beautifully…

  11. “The most fervent eraser’s
    Attempts to prettify them.”

    Positively compact way of putting it across; The permanency of the past, and of regret.

    You’ve inspired me to try tanka.

  12. I think I’ve written it a companion tanka:

    Though even the great
    Leonardo da Vinci
    messed up and smudged
    still the birds of his notebooks
    leap off the pages and fly

  13. Interesting thoughts, Lirone. I have given this some thought and have decided that the trick to beautifying mistakes is to fill in the gaps with words that change the meaning. What do you think?

  14. What a nice clutch of comments! I like writing these constrained forms because it does force you to think carefully about each word, and in doing so makes you think again about the essentials of what you’re trying to say.

    Katia – a tanka is a poem with the syllable count 5/7/5/7/7 – it’s the ancestor of the shorter haiku.

    Brad – I’d say the trick is to stand back in order to look at the mistakes in the context of the whole – it’s amazing how they suddenly diminish. If you’ll excuse a rather gross metaphor – if you have a spot on your face, the tendency to get it as close to the mirror to look at it in horror naturally makes it look like the biggest thing in the world… and make it harder to take a balanced perspective that includes the unblemished part of the face, which is actually far larger!

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