This week’s POW is for two poems: Origins and Farewell and Forget, by Seth Jani.
Both poems appeared together in the post titled, “2 to Read & Love & Read Again”.
Given these poems were published together in Snapping Twig, it’s impossible to say if either of the two was more influential to the readers response, but these moving words by Seth Jani, were also greatly admired by the publisher / editor as well, so it certainly did not surprise us that our readers felt the same way.
Thanks to everyone who visited, read, gave feedback, supported, shared, and helped us choose this week’s Poem of the Week.
Both poems, Origins, and Farewell and Forget remind us of the fragility of the heart, the weight of memories. There are times in our life where we remember them with such closeness, even long after we actually lived through them. To me, the most provocative thing about the writing Seth Jani infuses is how well he illustrates the value of simile and metaphor, and the potential of beautiful language, which he heaves into both poems. We would like to spotlight these lines from, Origins:
The taxis leveled by icing on the streets
Like Seawater the longing thrashes in my rib cage…
Jani creates an elliptical dance between simile, and word use that hinges on the qualities of solid yet poignant descriptive lines. As if hybrids, he makes it look as though there is some kind of effortless merging that happens between simile and metaphor – with each line he exposes both the fluid emotion, imagination of his writing while conveying the inner struggle that tears at us in spite of, and because of love.
Before my birthday,
And the days before me
Coast like a damaged bird
Into my twenty-fifth year.
Admittedly, Farewell and Forget was harder for me to interpret, but at times all any reader can be grateful for is simply a feeling a piece of poetry leaves with you, which I believe too, is as much as any writer can really hope to achieve. To that extent, I loved this poem most of all. I felt both sadness and peace, or the generosity of acceptance after reading Farewell and Forget. Even though I loved so many things about these poems, what I felt was distinct about each is that I wanted to know the story behind them. I wanted to know from where the writer had to unbury the emotions emanating from these lines.
Often we are left to translate poetry for ourselves – I could relate what I felt when reading, Origins, to a handful of significant and personal moments which no one else could specifically know about, since they are my own. It was in knowing that where I found myself curious about the person the writer speaks of; what must have happened between them?
Even so, the tools the writer uses painted quite a picture for me. In the poem, Origins, it is not the scenery, or the beautiful attributes of some beloved person the writer clearly makes the reader aware of, but the small motions or pieces of time spent with them, which are held onto and later become so valuable to us – like the last time you see, or kiss someone when you don’t know it’s the last time. With that we must find solace in the resolution of it all – something profoundly felt in Farewell and Forget – from the very first lines…
Forget what love is always after.
Forget the gravity of grief and constellations.
Forget the pointed, singular repose
Of small animals in death.
Because the truth is – we will do it all again anyway, we break our own hearts… over and over again, and in that truth we make the time we have in this life worth something, so how much does anything else matter? That’s all we get after-all, time spent having the chances to love and then let it go – until we’re no longer here.
This is just some of what I took away from these two poems, and not necessarily speaks to how the writer intended, so why not share with us what you think – what is the poet trying to tell us? Visit the link below to read both of Seth jani’s poems or here to see all of the work by this writer in Snapping Twig.
Special Thanks to Seth Jani for his incredible and moving poems that were so valued by our readers and thus, were chosen as this week’s Poem of the Week.
Reminder: Poetry published in Snapping Twig is eligible for the POW once it has been published live for a period of at least 30 days