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Featured Guest Poet
Margaret A. Dukes

White Bridge Road

There's a tinge of lavendar at the edge of the trees
where the sun's rays cross the lone road.
Light strikes from the side, not glaring, soft, polite,
a consideration not available at noon,
a solvent, it shows off such beauty.
I dissolve into the color of the trees,
I am lying in the field, tears streaming.
Maybe I will never get over this sadness.

April, 1999

Margaret A. Dukes's Questions:

1. Help with line breaks. What makes the most sense?

2. The line "I dissolve into the color of the trees", should I just say "I dissolve into color" instead?

Lines breaks are almost a personal item among all the aspects that make up a poem. I have changed some of your breaks and I will email the new poem to you, since this forum doesn't allow for carriage returns to break the line. I think line breaks should do two things: leave interesting words at the end of a line, and also create a bit of mystery leading to the next line. Almost all my own poems have line breaks at "natural" positions - where the breath may break or where the poem takes a natural pause. I like your poem very much and only took liberties with the lines breaks to experiment a bit. Your poem reminds me a bit of James Wright's "Lying in a Hammock at William Duffy's Farm in Pine Island, Minnesota." Your breaks are okay, but two of the lines are left to be it little long. Visually, I like modulation with no extreme changes. But these are my own guidelines and may not suit your purpose. I did take out "of the trees" in the line about color, feeling that it was not necessary. Thanks for the read. REgards, Larry
Larry L. Fontenot
USA - Sun Apr 30 07:11:34 2000

Dear Margaret Line breaks are your call My suggestion is to try several for any work you like One suggestion: Light strikes from the side not glaring soft, polite My vote: dissolve into the color - of the trees - is redundant The suns rays as a solvent which bring out beauty is troublesome for me who spent a lifetime in labs dissolving stuff matt
Matt McMahon
USA - Mon May 1 18:55:55 2000
Dear Margaret, A lovely poem with smooth shift from the landscape to the speaker. I too find the lines too long and different line breaks would create more pauses in this observation of light and its effects either on the lanscape and on the speaker. Not sure of "polite"; "not glaring,soft" are enough as modifiers, IMO. I'd also reconsider the necessity of the line" a solvent, it shows off such beauty. Besides being abstract, it actually sounds redundant. As a lover of nature and the subtle yet deep correspondence with us human beings, I really enjoyed your poem. Thanks, Paula.
Paula Grenside
Italy - Sat May 6 22:15:51 2000
I too agree that some of the lines are a bit too long. The best way to decide on line breaks is to read the poem aloud, and see where you naturally pause. Also, I agree with removing the line "a solvent, it shows off such beauty." It does not seem necessary. You might also remove the "I am" from the beginning of the line "I am lying in the field, tears streaming" as you have already established person and place in the line before. Great poem!
Sara Powell
USA - Tue May 9 18:33:21 2000
It's a beautiful poem. 1) I was wondering whether you really need "there is" at the very beginning. 2) The line "Light strikes from the side, not glaring, soft, polite," does not fully work for me. The ending seems to me a little bit abstract, also I'm not sure of "not". 3) I agree that "of the trees" need not be there, however you might try to make the colors more visual, perhaps "I dissolve into the [XYZ] colors." I also agree that there is no need to repeat "I am" in the next line. 4) It seems to me that the final line migh work better as a question: "will I ever get over this sadness?" This would be moresuccint, stronger perhaps.
USA - Fri May 12 15:36:55 2000

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