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Featured Guest Poet Larry Fontenot

Giving It Up For Lent

What wasn.t mine was hers,
including three out of five fingers
of every glass of whisky,
and a touch that forgave all sins.
Now rain has the only beauty,
a slow release of stillness
that covets blue sky, red horizons.
I lean against this silence,
stunned and hard,
like ice minding
its own business.

November, 1999

Larry L. Fontenot's Questions:

Concerns I have and request comments upon

1) I usually avoid "big" abstractions, but in this poem I have "beauty" and "stillness" and "silence" and I wonder if this is too much for such a small poem?

2) Does the ending simile work?

3) "Blue sky" and "red horizons" are purposefully cliche, but that doesn't mean it will work. Should I replace these images?

Thanks for your time and consideration. General comments and suggestions welcome, of course.



Larry, I like this poem. and firstly I'd like to say that I think that the last simile does work, very well - please don't change it! I can see what you mean about the "big" ideas, but it is fairly difficult to think of alternatives - for "stillness" you could substitute "emptiness", etc, but that seems just as big an idea... Good luck, Sarah
Sarah A.
UK - Wed Nov 24 06:13:48 1999

Larry -- This poem was so perfect in its marriage of image and intent that I held my breath while reading. Although you did use abstract concepts, you made them come down to earth and breathe. The last simile works well for me, except you could consider deleting the word "like". The only place I paused, with a flicker of disbelief was at red horizon. Blue sky was enough, adding another image was unnecessary. You have taken images that are familiar and big concepts and made them your own. This is a gem. I also enjoyed hearing your poem "Protocol" at Gazebo. Thanks for both fine poems.
USA - Thu Nov 25 08:51:01 1999
It's hard to give substance to abstract words, but you succeeded in the task and brilliantly. You give sound to silence and color to stillness. As to the clichés of the blue sky and red horizons, I was wondering whether they might be proposed differently, not a great change but: "red sky on blue horizon". The last simile works and well. Very good poem. Thank you. Paula
Paula Grenside
Italy - Fri Nov 26 07:33:27 1999
I really like everything about the poem: imagery, diction, and the simile at the end which works very well. My only concern is with the title? Did you ever have a different title or consider a different title? If so, I wonder what it might be.
Wanda M. Wandas
USA - Sun Nov 28 10:20:32 1999
I think the use of color in a short poem gives more vivid meaning than a string of modifiers.Red horizons and blue solitude speak volumes.If passion has a color,it is purple which is the co-mingling of the two. I liked the economy of words displaying a welath of emotion.Very well done!
USA - Fri Dec 3 09:23:50 1999

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