A Sweet Victory For The Solemn

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and the light

and the dark

and the shadow

are one and the same,

a triptych housed 

in a living library

of idyllic loneliness,

each sombre annex 

of soothing stillness

speaks volumes from 

its rows of tomes 

that epitomise and 

embrace solitude,

their testimony to

splendid isolation

and the silence

and the peace

and the rest


are one and the same,

a sweet victory for the solemn

◄ The Name Game - Part 2

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Paul Waring

Mon 23rd Jan 2017 16:39

You know Col, it's fantastic to get this type of praise and to read your interpretations of this poem. The fact that you 'get' the whole meaning of it and can really see what I was trying to portray is very rewarding. Thank you so much. Paul

<Deleted User> (13762)

Mon 23rd Jan 2017 13:34

I get where you're coming from Paul and I do agree that it works and I love the poem as it is. A part of my comment was me taking your poem and rewriting it to suit my own personal viewpoint, which is probably not good critique but blah who cares, you get to see what you've written from a slightly different perspective which is also perhaps what part of this process of posting online is all about I guess - personalising, interpreting, reinterpreting, taking inspiration from...

For me I took the language of this poem as being quite uplifting, the words you employed seemed to give that impression despite your intended focus on loneliness. You mentioned the 'library of loneliness' yet that library is described as 'living' and that loneliness as 'idyllic'. And although the annex was 'sombre' it contained a stillness that was 'soothing'. The reader is then led to 'embrace' the solitude and the isolation becomes 'splendid'. For me, these words are all very comforting and draws me in to a world in which the light, dark and shadows become elements to rejoice in rather than to be frightened of, for they bring silence, peace and rest - the writer's best friend - at one with himself, his words and his mind - almost ecstatic but unattainable perhaps.

to me the loneliness / solemn / sombre elements are almost external emotions - an outsiders view of another person's joy of solitude. What's right for one is not necessarily right for another etc.

But whatever, this poem is delightful and very much struck a chord with me. Anyways, my turn to shut my face. Cheers, Col.

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Paul Waring

Mon 23rd Jan 2017 09:31

Thank you Col, for reading this and for making some very considered and valid comments. I'll try to explain what I meant by the inclusion of sombre/solemn.

I started with the phrase 'library of loneliness' to describe a person who is solemn and spent so much time alone they could have written extensively about loneliness. I then added the twist of it being about someone who actually found bliss (splendid isolation and the triptych of peace, rest and silence) by choosing to exist in a sombre, almost sacred setting.

Finally, I nearly changed the last word to silence but wanted to keep it in the triptych and not repeat it and thought solemn worked (to describe the character of the loner).

......fingers crossed this all makes sense.....!

<Deleted User> (13762)

Mon 23rd Jan 2017 08:29

oh I like this lots Paul although I'm not entirely in agreement with 'solemn' and 'sombre' - sounds quite idyllic to me and I'm tempted to suggest it's A Sweet Victory for Silence - something which writers, readers, thinkers, scholars so often seek and worship.

I love the use of the word 'triptych' here - that holy trinity of altar piece art all gilded with gold and idolatry - it works so well with your light / dark / shadow trio and later with silence / peace / rest. We could stray endlessly into religioso comparisons but I'm happy to leave that thought where it is if that makes sense.

this is one of my favourite poems from the Waring Collection so far but the solemn / sombre thing niggles. You might have to persuade me round on that Paul.

thanks for posting. Col.

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