(Poem #697) A Well Worn Story
In April, in April, My one love came along, And I ran the slope of my high hill To follow a thread of song. His eyes were hard as porphyry With looking on cruel lands; His voice went slipping over me Like terrible silver hands. Together we trod the secret lane And walked the muttering town; I wore my heart like a wet, red stain On the breast of a velvet gown. In April, in April, My love went whistling by, And I stumbled here to my high hill Along the way of a lie. Now what should I do in this place But sit and count the chimes, And splash cold water on my face, And spoil a page with rhymes?
Like Shakespeare, many of Parker's poems are variations on essentially the same few themes; however (again like Shakespeare) they are themes that she handles particularly well. Two devices that stand out in today's piece are the colourfully exaggerated imagery and the cynical bathos of the ending. And while the latter is rather weak, the imagery is among the best I've seen from Parker, especially the wonderfully synaesthetic 'his voice went slipping over me/ like terrible silver hands'. The poem also has a pleasingly varying rhythm, almost musical in places (particularly the third verse). All in all, I'd say this was one of Parker's better poems - all the more impressive a feat considering the relative weakness of the ending. Links: We've run several Parker poems (have I mentioned that I love her work?): Poem #150 Resume [including a biography] Poem #192 Comment Poem #486 Epitaph for a Darling Lady [another poem with superlative imagery] Poem #560 Chant for Dark Hours Poem #638 Song of Perfect Propriety -martin