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interloper's picture

She had a stroke and I followed it on Facebook.
She fell in the Métro on New Years Eve and I felt bad when
she was in a coma in France but then she got better
almost completely in just weeks. I never commented. 

I had a dream in the middle of it all that I saw her and 
I was happy she was better and we hugged and it
was warm in my dream. 

But in February at the soup party she
didn’t recognize me. 

I couldn’t ask her if it was
because of my hat or her stroke.


interloper's picture

Thank you for this feedback.

Thank you for this feedback. I wrote this spontaneously with almost no revision. I felt like the rawness of it was an appropriate way to express the events and hopefully convey some emotion without much mention of emotion other than being happy and warm in my dream.

It is interesting to read your technical analysis. I will admit I had to look up "anaphora". The use of different pronouns and the pattern of them was not a conscious decision, but you are right about the turning point when I used "we", then another turn when it goes back to singular pronouns. Also the conflict between the singular and plural, and the contrast between first and third person are the whole point of it, I guess.

I have to admit, any Oliver Sacks reference was not intentional.

I will look at this poem and consider revising it.

jrlewis's picture

Here is what I thought you

Here is what I thought you were referring to-

interloper's picture


I didn't know of this book. It would have been a great reference, but I can't claim it. This poem was about a real event. I simply didn't know if it was my appearance or her condition or something else that made me unrecognizable to her. I was wearing a hat. I couldn't ask. It instantly felt like such a metaphor for so many other things happening at this stage of my life.

jrlewis's picture

Of Form and Pronouns

I love your Oliver Sacks reference!  The use of anaphora in the first and second stanzas is really interesting.  I wanted the pattern to be consistent throughout each stanza, especially as the pattern breaks down in the third and fourth stanzas.  The form shows the distance as the does alternation between the singular first and third person.  There is only one place where the first person plural is used.  I take that as a turning point in the poem.  Then, the poem returns to the singular first and third person in the last two stanzas.  The way the line breaks and stanza breaks don't reinforce this subtle change in relationship.  It might make the poem more dramatic to give the different pronoun sentence its own stanza?