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Reaching Nirvana

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  #1  
Old 08-21-2017, 08:26 PM
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Default Reaching Nirvana


What the living don't realize, is that
death is not at all like falling asleep,
Death is waking up.

Once I was a grain of sand
shuffling about in an ocean current,
swallowed by a fish.

I opened my eyes and I was a dragonfly,
hard shell glistening in the warm summer air
red and purple thorax trailing behind my
lace wings,
laying down when my season was done,
a gem colored leaf sailing to the ground.

I opened my eyes and I was a gazelle;
long, lean legs carrying me quickly
across the Savannah,
Bowing my head and giving my body
so that another's might last a little longer.

I opened my eyes and I was a human girl
who grew quickly into a human woman,
whose life was so vast it could fill
the pages of a storybook twice over,
whose body was ready for sleep before her mind.

I woke standing in a room without walls,
without a ceiling. Above me there spanned
an endless sky, a shade so brilliant
there is no word for it, at least not in any of
the tongues I have ever worn.

Behind me there trailed a line of beings,
all chattering, all saying the
same sorts of things, things such as:
"I opened my eyes and I was a kernel of corn"
"I opened my eyes and I was a honeybee"
"I opened my eyes and I was an elephant"

In the distance stood two massive trees,
with entertwined limbs that stretched
towards the heavens.
On one, leaves made of emeralds graced each branch,
on the other, pearls glistened quietly.
In the place where the two met was a door.

Creatures approached the archway;
some walked through,
others were not granted passage and surely
opened their eyes to find themselves elsewhere,
perhaps as a butterfly.

When at last I was at the door
a being appeared before me with
Starlight seeping from every pore,
consuming my vision until I could see
nothing else. They spoke with a voice like rain;
"Ah, you were a dragonfly! What was it like?
In none of my other lives did I ever fly."

Burning hands pressed against my back,
I passed through the door;
I woke and I was light.

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  #2  
Old 08-21-2017, 08:54 PM
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Default Reaching Nirvana

Really enjoyed this.

I would cut the first verse and just open with the action. The pre-explanation feels a little corny.

'Whose body was ready for sleep before her mind' - love this.
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Old 08-23-2017, 02:20 AM
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Hi Madeline.

This is a very feminine poem. ( s'pose the mention of lace..pearls ..butterflies..all very girly.)

Although the notion is expressed well - it sounds twee. A cross between the hymn 'All Things Bright and Beautiful' and something that perky little nun would sing to the Von Trapp kids. I think it's just the choice of imagery - honeybees...gazelles...all selectively delicate and sweet.

Some of the description is bland, such as "two massive trees". Towering? Majestic? Ancient? Gnarled? There are opportunities to say more in far less words.

The structure has the run and fluency of prose - I think it would fair better as free writing.

The grain of sand reference made me sit up - I wrote a poem with that title five or six years ago with much the same philosophy. If I can find it, I'll chuck it up for you to read.

I think, on the whole, I thought this was "nice". You're clearly a lovely person to have such beauty in your soul . Unfortunately, it was too nice for my jaded and slightly warped taste. x
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Last edited by Grace Gabriel; 08-23-2017 at 02:35 AM..
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Old 08-23-2017, 02:38 PM
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Unlike Brian I like S1 but Like Grace I think you need to find a way to express yer ideas in less words by using more surgical phrases and poetry. There are some good images and lines in here yet there is also some imagery that just doesn’t work (is a room without walls and a ceiling really a room), and some lines that are too close to cliché for comfort. In short I feel this would benefit greatly from an edit to severely cut away the fat and fluff. I would look to make this about half of what it presently is.

However, another route you could take would be to make the lines longer but it would need some poetic devices to make it work. I would also expect a chant like scheme, perhaps in the “opened my eyes … ” section.


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Old 08-27-2017, 09:07 PM
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Thanks so much for the reads and reviews. I don't think this is a finished poem, I was mostly just messing around with an idea. Thanks for the compliments and suggestions
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