Posted Monday, September 20th, 2004
If You See Something, Say Something
To Whom It May Concern,
This is what I see:
There is a gentleman sitting on the bus
Beside me who has the name Beatrice
Tattooed across his forearm.
I’d just like to say that it is not
A wise idea, etching love into your skin.
Usually the one outlives the other,
And then what should you do?
Across the aisle, out the window,
A distant, swinging little girl
Is pumping her legs relentlessly
And nears the tipping-over point.
Her body, boldly pink, traces the same
Dangerous semi-circle, one end to the other.
Comments [post a comment]
Posted by Nicholas Taylor on Tuesday, September 21st, 2004 at 11:03 AM
Great enjambment: "Beside me who has the name Beatrice / Tattooed across his forearm..." Very tricky!
Posted by h fox [ firstname.lastname@example.org
] on Tuesday, September 28th, 2004 at 9:34 AM
In just a few lines, it conveys a world so convincingly, as if we, the readers, were sitting on that same bus. This is how poetry sounds when it succeeds. Awesome work.
Posted by Geoffrey Berresford [ email@example.com
] on Tuesday, September 28th, 2004 at 2:24 PM
Clever structure: the ominous title (from bus signs warning of abandoned packages) foreshadows both the psychological/emotional and physical hazards to come. Could the girl grow up to be someone else’s Beatrice (not incidentally, the object of Dante’s affection), linking the end of the poem back to the beginning? "Her body, boldly pink" does suggest a future sensuality. A final ironic twist: while the tattooed gentleman may not have been Dante, there was a poet sitting opposite him.
Posted by Alla Michelle Watson on Thursday, October 28th, 2004 at 7:43 PM
I enjoyed this very much. It flows beautifully, and creates a stunning visual.
Posted by Kate Davis on Saturday, October 30th, 2004 at 6:49 AM
What a beautifully composed and constructed poem that evokes such vivid images in your mind.