What if this poem didn’t care?

74707-poetry-friday-logoA couple of weeks ago, Linda Mitchell hosted the Roundup (here) and generously offered up some “poetry clunkers” for others to use. I was intrigued by the line “What if this poem didn’t care?”

What if this poem didn’t care?

What if this poem didn’t care?
If it simply gathered up
its syllables and vowels,
packed up its consonants
and hit the road
not even looking back once
to see me, bereft,
fading in the distance
a pen, broken, in my hand

Molly Hogan ©2019

Jone McCulloch is hosting this week’s Roundup at her blog, Deowriter. She’s sharing a fabulous poetry swap she received from Tabatha Yeatts along with some of her swap-inspired poems.

34 thoughts on “What if this poem didn’t care?

  1. I can see this poem dressed up as Tom Joad heading to Californai in John Steinbeck’s Grapes of Wrath. Well played poem! Wasn’t JS quite the story teller!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. margaretsmn says:

    I’m glad this poem didn’t pack its bags. Love it!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. cweichel says:

    Just Wow! This poem is a stunning use of that clunker. I’m more than impressed. I’m still carrying my clunker with me. I’ve played with it, but so far, I’m still waiting for it to all come together.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I love this clunker’s new life…it’s so interesting and so sassy!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. lindabaie says:

    I am stunned to see the first commenter’s reference to Steinbeck because I thought of it, too, only Steinbeck’s Travels With Charley. The poem would hitch a ride! Molly, sorry it left you. But, the one that stayed is terrific!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. the poem watching the writer with the broken pen is such a fabulous image, Molly! As I often say eventually with my own daily tragedies… at least you got a poem out of it. 🙂 xo

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Kay Mcgriff says:

    Linda’s clunker shines in your poem. I’m glad your pen wasn’t broken when you wrote this one. It is such a memorable poem. I can picture that forlorn writer standing alone with a broken pen as the poem rides off into the sunset.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. haitiruth says:

    I’m glad the poem cared! Nice job! Ruth, thereisnosuchthingasagodforsakentown.blogspot.com

    Liked by 1 person

  9. cvarsalona says:

    Well done, Molly. I love that you interjected what-ifs. At least, your poem did not hit the road and leave you high and dry. Your clunker line shines.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. You know I love this personification of the poem wielding its power to emancipate itself from you. Hm–what if every poem leaves us this way, thought perhaps without so much attitude?

    Liked by 1 person

    • mbhmaine says:

      Your thought reminds me of the quote Linda shared from “The Way the Light Bends”, by Cordelia Jensen: “How much am I capturing something with my art as much as I am releasing it?”

      Like

  11. Tabatha says:

    You picked a great clunker! Funny that they thought of Steinbeck…I thought of Ray Charles’ Hit the Road Jack, although in that case the poem would be thrown out! (I had to throw out a poem yesterday. Was kind of sorry to see it go, but what can you do? Some of them need a good kick in the behind.)

    Liked by 1 person

    • mbhmaine says:

      You have me wondering what the “sell-by” date is on a poem. I have a few I’ve been fiddling with for years, but they just won’t quite gel. Perhaps I should just give them the boot?

      Like

      • Tabatha says:

        This one was a Golden Shovel whose body topic didn’t match the topic that the end words spelled out. It was pretty clear that I needed a do-over. If you keep coming back to those, maybe they still have potential.

        Liked by 1 person

  12. maryleehahn says:

    At least the poem cared enough to stop by! What if the poem walked right on past your door? Hmm…Now I’m picturing all of the unwritten poems out there wandering around. They seem as confident and self-assured as this one, but really, they want to be written and shared…

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Bravo, Molly! I just love this poem, especially the image of poet, “bereft…a pen, broken, in my hand.” We’ve all been there!

    Liked by 1 person

  14. I’m loving all the conversation and thoughts your clunker poem has inspired Molly! It’s a terrific poem, and I could just feel the let down as the poem closes and you and perhaps the broken pen are both so distraught…

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Amanda Potts says:

    So glad I saved this to come back to. I care about this little poem with its bad attitude. In fact, if you don’t mind, I might introduce it to some of my students this year.

    Liked by 1 person

  16. macrush53 says:

    Love this concept. A poem with an attitude.

    Liked by 1 person

  17. Hi Molly, catching up on some older posts I opened, but never got back to. I absolutely LOVE what you did with Linda’s line! It reminds me of this poem that I wrote (and you liked) back in 2016: https://michellehbarnes.blogspot.com/2016/09/dmc-no-words-of-my-own-poetry-friday.html Clearly we both have an infatuation with words that pack up and hit the road! 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    • mbhmaine says:

      Thanks! What a delight to revisit your fabulous poem and enjoy it again! I still love it! I’m also happy to be reminded about septercets and may play around with that form for a while. Thanks for that, as well!

      Liked by 1 person

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