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Bright Star

ewippermann's picture

I want to get
older with you
read in
bed with you
every night
like tonight
we've got
time but
that bright star
looking through
our dark window
the reflection
more beautiful
than this what
happens when
the water's too
tired to clean
our human shores
the air too
thick to see
stars caught in
fall trees'
well I'll be
to your
tender breath 
I'll be more
steadfast than
that nightlight 
sleep sound to
your soft fall
and swell
dreaming of 
waking with
you of
with you. 



jrlewis's picture


I really enjoyed this poem.  It was the perfect after dinner and before dessert reading.  My friend paused tending the fire to listen to me read it out loud.  It seems to be addressing the difference between love and infatuation.  Infatuation is atemporal; it is a static kind of affection.  Love takes place in time, over a period of time, love grows with the years.  I see this idea expressed most clearly in the line, "older with you."  The choice of older instead of old, implies an incremental process of aging, rather than a specific point.  Getting older occurs everyday, being old happens one day.  Older is also a relative term, older than what.

The ending of the poem, too is very strongly written.  The repetition of the words with the changing of the line breaks creates the effect with the language that the langauge is talking about.  There is repetition and subtle alteration. 

I'm curious about your choice of form for this poem, particularly your line breaks.  The lines are very short and the shape of poem very long and skinny.  (I've noticed you have used this form several times recently too.)  It works really well for some of the lines, the last five lines especially.  However, there are places where the poem was difficult for me to read out loud.  The breaks were halting the flow of my speech. One example is "more beautiful/ than this what/ happens when".  I wouldn't mind seeing these three lines condensed into one.  I think it would help the flow of the poem.  However, if you are committed to the shape of the poem, perhaps consider modifying the sounds for something easier on the tongue? 

Why one long sentence?  Why no punctuation?  I didn't notice the lack of punctuation until my third reading, but now I'm curious.  Was there a point you were trying to make with the single sentence or did the punctuation follow the sound of the poem? 

interloper's picture

Line Breaks

I am also curious about the use of line breaks. When I read poetry, I am often surprised by where poets put their line breaks, and don't understand why they had put them where they are. Sometimes it creates enjambment or a double entendre and I understand that. Sometimes it gives the poem a rhythm that is appropriate. But sometimes I just don't understand why they are where they are and it frustrates me because in my mind the poem would have been different, maybe better, if they were placed differently. In these cases I have never been certain whether there is a reason or if I just don't get it. 

In this poem the short lines work for me, though, because it causes me to think separately about each phrase and  makes the poem read more slowly, and since the poem is about a long slow span of time it emphasise this. So that works for me here. But that is just my take on it.