Comments : His Portrait

  • 5 years ago

    by Chelsey

    Xanthe....wow..I love the vent more than a poem, however, you included poetic lines in this piece that I loved..I could picture the stairs to the attic, covered pianos and portraits...nice details :)

    I loved your questions in this piece and how you're still unsure of the answers, it leaves the readers questioning with you and feeling your confusion :)

    Great write hun

  • 5 years ago

    by Decayed

    What? this is no vent!
    This is a portrait of narrative beauty.

  • 5 years ago

    by L

    More of a vent? not poetic?

    I'm always intrigued when I see those words because in my opinion a vent is a poem and a poem is what we feel. What we feel can be express in different ways, some use metaphors, others not.. Some can use cockroaches in the poem and the poem still be poetic lol. But that's just me.
    I haven't seen a poem that I haven't find poetic. In other words, I don't know how to distinguish a poetic poem? or just a poem? I guess the definition of poetic varies from person to person. And as for me, your vent is pretty poetic.

    I did have a slight confusion-
    I'm not sure who the her is in this line:

    "And I watched - continued to watch Mother timelessly obey her."

    I thought that it might have been in reference to the home..
    and that the same thing that happened to the house, happened to your mom. :(
    She didn't put much attention to herself.

    I have re-read this piece about 10 times, and it's the first time that I'm a bit lost. Because I'm not sure who the her is... I'll write everything that jumps to my mind so chances are this will turn into another babble of mine.

    The 10 times that I have read this piece, I find this sad tone and confusion as well. My thoughts is that this is personal poem and that it will be better for myself to not write a comment, but here I am trying to and not to at the same time.

    My first impression when I read the title is that this piece is about your dad, "his portrait", and how this has affected your life. :( I feel like crying because I don't want to imagine how difficult is for your mom and also for you to have lost him. I'm sorry.

    and in a way, I could understand why there were bare walls instead of photographs because it hurts your mom. ( that's the only thing that I can think about) or because you girls were moving so everything was packed.

    But you left me wondering with this lines:

    "I then find myself beginning to question the reason behind
    the existence of bare walls, the white sheet covering your piano,
    and the filled boxes on that day in our 'home'..."

    and so many thoughts are just jumping to my mind, but my first thought is because your mom might have wanted no one to play that piano, it's probably important to her? and the filled boxes to move to that other place. "

    "I remember how she gave me everything,
    apart from the reason why."

    and I'm wondering the same, why moved? I'm intrigued. I have read and I've been thinking about the words but only your mom knows for sure. My thoughts are that perhaps move because in the home, she remembers your dad and she misses him. :( I'm not sure.

    This was a thought- provoking and sadden piece. But I'm sure it felt nice to write it.

    • 5 years ago

      by Xanthe

      Thank you, Luce. It was. :)

      By 'her', I meant time:

      "...time gradually
      shaped into nothingness within her cold hands.
      And I watched - continued to watch Mother timelessly obey her."

      And yes, this is about us moving away.

  • 5 years ago

    by L

    Ah, that's what confused me because in Spanish we refer to time as a he.

    and to a home as a she...

    But I was not sure in English. I guess it can go either way.

  • 5 years ago

    by Thomas

    Pretty poetic for a vent, I loved it!

    So much emotion and memories woven into the very seems of this write made it so amazing

    good job man, hope you have more vents like this

  • 5 years ago

    by Axelle

    Another magnificent poem from you, Xanthe. Even though this is more of a vent than an actual poem, your speech still makes it unbelievable.

    It was over a decade ago when I left my childhood
    beneath quilts devoid of your once familiar warmth.
    I still remember how I watched Mother; eyes
    brimming with confusion as words fluttered from my mouth
    only to echo upon bare walls, their wings - singed.

    ^ Is this stanza about the same person from 'Cimmerian'? It seems like it because it refers back to your childhood again, which is where you left that person behind? I wish I knew what caused you to become disgusted with her, or at least to have negative feelings toward her...usually that person in our life is a safe haven to us, but that might not have been the same for you.

    That which I artlessly called my home, time gradually
    shaped into nothingness within her cold hands.
    And I watched - continued to watch Mother timelessly obey her.

    ^ Apparently she was mean? Or wicked? This stanza made it seem like your mother was afraid of her, so she obeyed her in order to avoid her wrath :/ which is understandable, but I would have bucked her myself because I wouldn't like being controlled by fear. I don't really understand what went on, but that is not my business.

    When I rediscovered my beliefs, I decisively looked back,
    and found I could no longer see her.
    I even heard Mother whisper freedom in her sleep.
    Perhaps it was the perfume of coffee or the warm
    arrival of Winter that beckoned my senses and reason to return.

    ^ After the fact? After everything happened, and you two moved away? The line where you mother whispered freedom in her sleep got to me, because I can only imagine the relief that must have been felt after you were no longer under her control. Like the both of you were able to breathe.

    Soon thereafter, all I can hear is rain tapping in my head
    and footsteps as I re-ascended the attic stairs for the first time
    since a thousand poems ago.

    ^ You came back to the place that caused you so much trouble maybe after she had passed? I like how you referred to time in poems - that is quite interesting and I like that because I know you write a lot, even though you don't really post them all.

    So it seems that this poem was basically just a reminiscing poem, and not really a vent. I didn't detect any real emotion in here - maybe a little disgust, and possibly a hint of anger, but to me it sounded like you wrote this in a passive voice. Like you didn't really know what to think about it, or maybe you didn't want to think about it at all, but you had to get it off your chest because if you didn't it would haunt you for the rest of life :/ just wondering.

    This is an excellent piece because it lets the reader know more about you. I guess all of your poems do that, because I assume that most of them are true. You always manage to put a little piece of yourself out there :)

    Excellent
    5/5

    P.S. I already rated this poem, so don't think I didn't!! I did it before I commented :)
    ~S

  • 5 years ago

    by Dagmar Wilson

    Wow Xanthe, this venting of yours
    is sure rocking

  • 5 years ago

    by Yrem Crish

    I love the whole message...and the word you emphasized here "home"...I was touched in this part, I don't know...maybe because I had my own perception...I am a family-centered person...even I don't know enough what the true meaning behind this poem I really inspired with this piece..so mesmerizing!

  • 5 years ago

    by Wild flower

    I promise I will come back and read this. Its the piece I was waiting for isnt it?:)

  • 5 years ago

    by Wild flower

    I'm back^_^

    I read this poem couple of times, each time I read it made me drown more in more questions. What made me question more, is you. How you too are searching for an answer.
    You know I wanna thank you too, this opened my eyes. When I read your vent, I felt the sadness in it, it made me wonder, did I ever become that sad?
    There's someone who always tell me any poem that comes from the heart is a great poem, and that person made me 100% agree. I too see that this is poetic, though I dunno what poetic really means:)

    Love this piece, AWESOM job Xanthe^_^

    EDIT: Venting poems are the best type of poems:)

  • 5 years ago

    by Maple Tree

    Xanthe- We have talked before about this, but I'll express my thoughts publically... You have a way of touching my heart within your poetry, and touching a part of me as well. You took me to a dark time within your life and I actually felt myself standing beside you... seeing this tragic memory unfold. That is how well written this piece is. You are truly talented..

    the poem tells a story of abandonment or death.. either way, I felt the tragic emotions within each verse. It leaves me speechless.... thank you for sharing this piece with us...

  • It was over a decade ago when I left my childhood
    beneath quilts devoid of your once familiar warmth.
    I still remember how I watched Mother; eyes
    brimming with confusion as words fluttered from my mouth
    only to echo upon bare walls, their wings - singed.

    ^^ This is such a captivating beginning stanza! There is a little bit of imagery, a little bit of wordplay which just combine to make something beautiful. 'Quilts devoid of your once familiar warmth' - such an amazing line; so simple, but so pure. This first stanza makes me think of two things:
    1) moving house
    2) childhood nightmares; when you climb into mum and dad's bed for safety...

    That which I artlessly called my home, time gradually
    shaped into nothingness within her cold hands.
    And I watched - continued to watch Mother timelessly obey her.

    ^^ I think you have personified 'Time' here by calling it a 'her'..?? Am I right?
    Personally, I wouldn't have added the 'continued to' in the final line.. it makes it seem cluttered and out of flow. But then it doesn't really work without it either... perhaps 'And I watched - continuously watched Mother timelessly obey her' -- Just my thoughts..

    When I rediscovered my beliefs, I decisively looked back,
    and found I could no longer see her.
    I even heard Mother whisper freedom in her sleep.
    Perhaps it was the perfume of coffee or the warm
    arrival of Winter that beckoned my senses and reason to return.

    ^^ The imagery in this stanza is beautiful and quite calming in fact. It also evokes a sense of hope and ... something else.. I don't know. Calm? No. Relaxation? No. Carefree? No. Longing.. perhaps, but not the original feeling.. I don't know. It's there, but I can't seem to name it. hmm.

    Soon thereafter, all I can hear is rain tapping in my head
    and footsteps as I re-ascended the attic stairs for the first time
    since a thousand poems ago.

    ^^ The imagery is even more vivid here! And I love the reference to your being a poet. Nice work there! 'Rain tapping in my head' - I don't really understand this statement. Memories of tears perhaps? I don't know.

    Your portrait hangs there still, where I left it.

    ^^ Whose portrait? The person that set this in motion? Or "time" itself? I imagine that there is one framed picture hanging on a wall covered with brighter rectangles where other frames used to hang not allowing the sun to penetrate and reap the wall of its colour.. But there is this one portrait in an empty room. It makes me feel lonely.

    And I begin to wonder, about the time this memory,
    this frozen, faraway look in your eyes -
    was not just a memory. When it was not
    just merely a part of my past.

    ^^ This has to be my absolute favourite stanza. I don't why. Perhaps it's simplicity; perhaps it's meaning - I just LOVE IT!

    I then find myself beginning to question the reason behind
    the existence of bare walls, the white sheet covering your piano,
    and the filled boxes on that day in our 'home'...

    ^^Relating back to my observations in the first stanza - I think this is definitely about moving house. Obviously, your mother hasn't told you the reason behind the move - A lost loved one perhaps? Too many bad memories? Too many GOOD memories... that just make it even more unbearable..? I don't know. The imagery still sticks around - it's beautiful, but lonely feeling and... immaturely (I don't believe that's a word, but what the heck) - 'ghostly' (the white sheets can do that to a person). I wonder why you write it like - 'home' - for me this would imply you don't call it that, you don't believe it to be home, but in the beginning it seemed like you cared about this place and didn't want to leave... I am a little confused. Perhaps, I am reading wrongly into this.... hmm.

    And the long drive afterwards to someplace "better".

    ^^ This makes me think your mother has bad memories at this place. That this place has become unbearable for her, hence the reason for the move. Parents always say the new place is going to be 'better' - it's a way of reassuring us, though they may know it not to be true, or are completely unsure themselves. Maybe it's just the hope they hold, or maybe it's just that --- reassurance.

    I remember how she gave me everything,
    apart from the reason why.

    ^^ This is such a powerful, and sad, ending. It really sums up the piece, but also leaves the reader thinking exactly as you - what was the reason why?
    It's simple, yet so very effective. You have chosen your words and arrangement perfectly.

    Overall;
    Apart from that suggestion I gave you, this piece it flawless. I mean a real masterpiece. I love it.
    I felt so many emotions pouring through the piece - and some I still have determined!
    Your imagery was filled with vivid detail and your flow was great.
    I loved your word choice and your arrangement of the whole piece.

    This piece is thought-provoking, emotion-evoking genius! 5/5

    By the way, if this was just a vent - Well, WOW! It's fantastic, and it is poetic, even if you weren't trying. You are a genuine poet. (:

  • 5 years ago

    by Ingrid de Klerck

    Congrats on the win!

  • 5 years ago

    by Wild flower

    CONGRAAAAAAAAAAATS ^_^

  • 5 years ago

    by Max

    WOOOOOOOOOW
    Congratulates on the win
    well deserved =))

  • 5 years ago

    by Maple Tree

    Congratulations on a well deserved win :-)

  • 5 years ago

    by Nema

    Sometimes things don't really have to be THAT poetic to be admired. Although I really think this IS as poetic as needed :)
    For a starter, I love your title, poetry alone is a portrait, a portrait IN a portrait is surely a poem of a kind.

    "That which I artlessly called my home, time gradually
    shaped into nothingness within her cold hands.
    And I watched - continued to watch Mother timelessly obey her."
    ^
    Can you explain the "her" here? I'm quite confused which her did you mean, are there two females in the poem?

    "Perhaps it was the perfume of coffee or the warm
    arrival of Winter that beckoned my senses and reason to return."
    ^
    A bleak winter I guess? I love these two lines, I love the smell of coffee in poems. They often smell of sleeplessnes and the desire to just...forget.

    "since a thousand poems ago."
    ^
    My ultimate favorite line!!! =) I'm not sure whose poems do you mean though, yours or famous poets'. All I know is that I adore this comparison.

    I love your enjambment here, it sounded so poetic to my ears, and yet too perplexing, like no ordinary poem. Hence, an extraordinary poem is yours :)

    Great write!
    Shine on~

  • 5 years ago

    by LittleMermaid

    Excellent Xanthe!!
    its so beautifully written ,as always you do..
    Congratulation on winning friend!
    *_*