Login   Sign Up 



by TheGodfather 

Posted: 07 November 2004
Word Count: 147

Font Size

Printable Version
Print Double spaced

The life of a leaf is not
so different than a man's,
its budding beginning,
its expectant future,
its enjoyable present,
the focus and the nurture of the tree.
Sweet youth, succulent youth
becomes a leaf just like all the other leaves -
Wanting the focus of eyes
not realizing that
when the world sees the tree
it looks on waves of green leaves
but not on the leaf, the one leaf,
that is just like all the other leaves -
For a season it stays green
until the color comes,
the announcement of an individual among individuals
heralding that a new season has arrived
and death will be knocking
soon - but not yet.
The color moves through it,
the gradual gain of the uniqueness it wanted,
the gradual loss of the lifeblood
that kept it just like all the other leaves -

Favourite this work Favourite This Author

Comments by other Members

poemsgalore at 12:41 on 07 November 2004  Report this post
A very thoughtful poem, something one never thinks about, but now every time I look at a tree, I will think of this lovely piece of work.

joanie at 18:01 on 07 November 2004  Report this post
I agree - this is very thought-provoking. I like the repeated 'green' and the slightly different introduction to that line. I like the whole form of this; lovely to re-read and to remember in the Springtime. I want to go and find a leaf and gaze at it!


Lawrenco at 23:38 on 07 November 2004  Report this post
I suppose I enjoyed the anological philosophy in it. Especially liked the line "an anouncement of an individual amongst individuals ".
I real riddle teaser. nice one.


fevvers at 11:52 on 08 November 2004  Report this post
Hi Godfather

There is a wonderful piece in this 'colour moves through it'. I think there is something important in this poem, but you've not yet got to it. I think the fact you're writing all these ideas around the central image is good, and you should continue. And when you feel you can't write anymore, look inside the poem and see what is the most exciting part of it - it probably won't be what you think it is, and most likely won't be your original impulse (but some development of it).


TheGodfather at 14:43 on 08 November 2004  Report this post
Poems, Joanie, and Lawrenco, I'm glad you enjoyed it. I also liked the repeated 'green'.

Fevvers, You really think I missed the mark on this one? I think it speaks a lot about things, life. I'm not sure I'm getting what else you think the poem needs in it. It says everything I wanted it to say and perhaps came out with a little more...you know, to speak to me. Weird how the words do that. More comments/suggestions are welcomed.


fevvers at 17:18 on 08 November 2004  Report this post
Hello Godfather

I think I'd like to ask you how you think the words are working - how much work they are doing themselves? What are they asking of the reader? How much work are they asking of the reader? In poetry every word, every line must be working as hard as all the others. If I gave you a line form your poem at random, could you tell me what it's doing? Not in context, or what you think it might be doing, but what actually it's doing?

"its budding beginning/"

What are the words doing? What is the line doing? What image does it give you on it's own, with no other lines to assist it? Is it a tautology - budding and beginning the same thing? Is it nebulous or abstract? It's possible to do this to every line in a poem, every word even, and if it's not pulling its weight, does it need to be there?

Poetry isn't about 'expressing the self' it's about using the self to get to something beyond it. I wonder if you wouldn't mind telling me what your favourite poets and poems are, I'd be really interested?


TheGodfather at 01:21 on 09 November 2004  Report this post

That is the most detailed advice I have ever been given on poetry writing - truly outstanding. Thank you for taking the time to do that. Briefly, 'its budding beginning' gives the idea of the start of life, when the bud on a plant first starts to sprout, the emergence of life. How could I better get that through those words? I thought about them a while.

The poets I enjoy are e.e. cummings, Maya Angelou, Raymond Carver, Stephen Crane.


"the Cambridge ladies who live in furnished souls"
"Old age sticks"
"now does our world descend..."
"but if a living dance upon dead minds"


"You Don't Know What Love Is"


"In the desert"
"Why do you strive for greatness, fool?"
"A man saw a ball of gold in the sky"



fevvers at 10:25 on 09 November 2004  Report this post
Hi Godfather

Thankyou, I had a feeling cummings was in there somewhere (who I love by the way).

I understand what you're saying with the line (and remember I chose it entirely at random) but what I meant was have a really good look at it. When you say, 'budding beginnings', you're giving the reader a tautology - budding is a beginning - but you're also giving them too much space to imagine just about anything. You have to give the reader some space, but you can also control it to a degree - and you do this by using strong images. What colour is the bud, what's its texture, size, shape, smell? I have little idea of any of this from your poem.

Using abstractions is also important, but you need something concrete on which to pin them. Look at Geoffrey Hill and Jorie Graham, look at cummings - 'the man who had fallen among thieves lies on the roadside on his back' - we have a clear image of the man on a roadside on his back which underscores the idea of a man having fallen umong thieves. The work the reader has to do is not nearly so much in order to empathise, sympathise or even just understand the man's situation. Of course we can add extra to this image, but that's the reader's privelege (the space I was talking about). Do you see what I mean?


snoozy at 13:37 on 10 November 2004  Report this post
Ooh - the lovely idea of greenness. I love the line:

'the colour moves through it'

gives life and purpose to something as abstract as colour. I feel I want to nurture leaves like a small animal.

Great piece. Sorry I can't be more in my comments, feel quite inadequate after Fevvers excellent insight and advice!


Kara at 17:01 on 18 January 2005  Report this post
I haven't really got anthing mind shattering to add. But as i read the poem and enjoed it, i just thought I'd say thank you. I oiften have feelings/thoughts like this about insects, I suppose I'll start getting philisophical about leaves now. I'd like to see you tackle mushrooms!

To post comments you need to become a member. If you are already a member, please log in .