Guest poem submitted by Priscilla Jebaraj:
(Poem #886) Maiden Name
Marrying left your maiden name disused. Its five light sounds no longer mean your face, Your voice, and all your variants of grace; For since you were so thankfully confused By law with someone else, you cannot be Semantically the same as that young beauty: It was of her that these two words were used. Now it's a phrase applicable to no one, Lying just where you left it, scattered through Old lists, old programmes, a school prize or two Packets of letters tied with tartan ribbon - Then is it scentless, weightless, strengthless, wholly Untruthful? Try whispering it slowly. No, it means you. Or, since you're past and gone, It means what we feel now about you then: How beautiful you were, and near, and young, So vivid, you might still be there among Those first few days, unfingermarked again. So your old name shelters our faithfulness, Instead of losing shape and meaning less With your depreciating luggage laden.
I like everyday poems too, and I thought of this one when I read Night Vision. I guess it's not really an everyday poem -- giving up your maiden name doesn't happen everyday! -- but the images used are everyday. This isn't a profound reflection on the loss of identity. Or maybe it is; except that big words aren't used. Instead, there are simple, everyday pictures of school prizes and tartan ribbon. This doesn't seem a poem with a forceful message to propagate. But maybe it does just that, in its everyday way. Priscilla. [Minstrels Links] Philip Larkin: Poem #73, I Remember, I Remember Poem #100, Days Poem #178, Water Poem #254, The North Ship Poem #502, MCMXIV Poem #544, Toads Poem #756, An Arundel Tomb Poem #793, No Road