“Once I lay unwillingly awake”

Once I lay unwillingly awake in bed
And cried and tried to rid myself
Of an unwitting image-bearer’s image;
Now I sit awake at midnight here,
Weeping for the height from which I’ve tumbled,
From nothing more than habit.

Once my pen raced back and forth in haste,
Writing lines I could not — cannot — fathom
Even when my moments are most lucid;
Now I sit at midnight here,
Fingers tapping words mechanical at best,
Staring into the night.

(Crossposted to my wiki. This is this poem’s first appearance in public; it is not on my Calvin homepage. As always, comments, questions, concerns, criticism, suggestions (especially for a real title or what to post next), or other feedback are welcomed and greatly appreciated.)

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2 thoughts on ““Once I lay unwillingly awake”

  1. You wrote well about writing poorly… I think.

    I know I liked it, certainly.

    The more poetry I read, the more I feel like I don’t know what to look for, mechanically. I at least know when I like the way it sounds.

    • I’m of the opinion that poetry isn’t worth much if it requires special knowledge to appreciate; while literary devices and allusions can and should provide extra pleasure to readers who “get” and can look for them, the poetry should be readable to someone without such knowledge.

      This poem is intended more as a lament of lost inspiration than about poor results, for something closer to the latter, there’s my poem “Caveat Lector”.

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