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Untitled pantoum by Kelly Ramsdell Fineman

This month, my poetry sisters and I were up to pantoums, a Malaysian form which I explained here. If you've been able to read blogs this week (and really, if you haven't, I totally understand), you may have seen one I wrote that draws attention to the horrifyingly high suicide rate among U.S. veterans.

Today's is not about that, but is about time. In addition to writing a pantoum, the goal was to use either the word "certainties" or "flight", or both. (I only used the first.)

There are no certainties in life,
though death and taxes come to all.
Do not go gently into that good night--
Is that the best advice we can hope for?

Though death and taxes come to all,
it is important to enjoy the time we have.
Is that the best advice we can hope for,
that “carpe diem” philosophy?

It is important: to enjoy the time we have,
we have to lose ourselves in the flow of time.
That carpe diem philosophy
has it backwards. We must let go.

We have to lose ourselves. In time
we’ll find something better, a place we can
take back words, or let them go
floating in rivers of starlight.

We’ll find something better. A place we can
go gently into that good night,
floating in rivers of starlight.
There are some certainties in life.

Here are the links to the pantoums written by my lovely poetry sisters:

Sara Lewis Holmes at Read Write Believe.

Tanita Davis at Fiction, Instead of Lies.

Andi Jazmon at A Wrung Sponge.

Laura Purdie Salas at her website, who wrote hers while in Ireland.

Liz Garton Scanlon at Liz in Ink.

Tricia Stor-Hunt at The Miss Rumphius Effect, who got us started with this form.

I hope you'll check out all six of the other poems.





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Comments

( 14 comments — Leave a comment )
d_michiko_f
May. 1st, 2015 09:49 am (UTC)
Oh, Kelly! This poem is so timely! Thank you for sharing it - it's gorgeous and thoughtful. It's been forever since I've been to LJ and this is my "last" time here (see my post), but I'm glad we can still connect via FB.
kellyrfineman
May. 1st, 2015 07:46 pm (UTC)
Thanks, Debbi, for stopping by and commenting. It was written with a mutual friend in mind a couple weeks back. Glad we have FB & Twitter, but I do miss the olden days here.
Andi Sibley
May. 1st, 2015 12:42 pm (UTC)
Beautiful poem, Kelly! My favorite lines:

"...We must let go.

We have to lose ourselves."

And such a hopeful, beautiful ending! "floating in rivers of starlight..."
kellyrfineman
May. 1st, 2015 07:47 pm (UTC)
Thanks, Andi - floating in rivers of starlight sounds pretty great, I think.
Tricia Stohr-Hunt
May. 1st, 2015 02:12 pm (UTC)
I so love this:
We’ll find something better.
...
There are some certainties in life.

It may not start out hopeful, but it certainly gets there. And reading it buoys my spirits.
kellyrfineman
May. 1st, 2015 07:47 pm (UTC)
Thanks, Tricia!
TS Davis
May. 1st, 2015 02:24 pm (UTC)
this poem really challenged me...
We have to lose ourselves. In time
we’ll find something better, a place we can
take back words, or let them go...


Just the right words, just the right time. Thank you.
kellyrfineman
May. 1st, 2015 07:48 pm (UTC)
Re: this poem really challenged me...
Thanks, Tanita. I'm really fond of this one.
boreal_owl
May. 1st, 2015 03:56 pm (UTC)
Your pantoum made me teary.
kellyrfineman
May. 1st, 2015 07:48 pm (UTC)
It didn't make me teary when I wrote it, but it sure made me a little teary when I posted it last night.
lpsalas
May. 1st, 2015 08:57 pm (UTC)
I love this, Kelly--especially this perfect line:

We have to lose ourselves. In time

The way you broke it so the enjambment works but we can't help but see all the words of this line together, too...so lovely!
kellyrfineman
May. 1st, 2015 09:02 pm (UTC)
Gee, thanks! I mean, that's what I was going for, but one never knows . . .
(Deleted comment)
Sara Lewis Holmes
May. 2nd, 2015 03:18 pm (UTC)
Both of your pantoums challenge me to live truer, better. Also: There are no certainties--but that Kelly will write thoughtful, lovely poetry. I'm glad I can count on that. :)
( 14 comments — Leave a comment )

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