Radio, Rhythm & Rhyme

Tying together poetry, parenting, and advertising in a neat little package

Poetry Friday: “Perspective”

After last week, I just had to post this poem this week.

I mentioned in last week’s Poetry Friday post that I find it interesting how two or more people can look at something and each walk away with a different experience.   Even though we may view the same thing at the same time, we look at it through our own personal set of filters – our tastes, preferences, emotions, life experiences – and therefore see or feel that thing in our own unique way.  It’s what ‘perspective’ is all about.

Then, later that day, I read Mary Lee Hahn’s post about stars, and the last line, “You’ll never know the stars / unless / you change your point of view”.  This got me thinking about perspective again; in particular, a poem I wrote last summer about – you guessed it – stars!

I hope, after you’ve read this poem, you’ll have a chance to go outside this evening and view the night sky…and contemplate the same thing I did.  In your own, unique way, of  course!

(For more great Poetry Friday offerings, Renée at No Water River has the complete roundup!)

Perspective

One quiet, moonless summer night,
The stars above the only light,
I lay down in the grass to catch the view;
And as my troubles slipped away
I marveled at the Milky Way
And all the swirling worlds I never knew

A million of them in the sky;
I couldn’t try to count that high,
And so I watched them twinkle silently.
Each point of light, a little sun…
I wondered if somewhere, someone
Was lying down and looking up at me.

- Matt Forrest Esenwine

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25 thoughts on “Poetry Friday: “Perspective”

  1. Beautiful, Matt. I just love the rhythm and rhyme scheme of this one. Years ago, when my now-husband and I were separated by an ocean, I often looked up at the moon and thought “That’s the same moon he’s looking at.” I know, I’m such a romantic! But there is something comforting and magical about thinking how our gazes can meet somewhere out there…

    • Renee, my wife and I used to do the exact same thing, when we were living half an hour apart, before we were married! We’d chat on the ohone while watching the night sky. Glad you liked the poem and connected with it!

  2. Pingback: Poetry Friday: A Bowl of Poetry Candy

  3. I love the rhythm in this one too and the wonder. Nice to have found your blog, Matt.

  4. I agree with Renee, such a beautiful poem. I especially loved the image you used here, just perfect with your verse. Here are my favorite lines:

    “And so I watched them twinkle silently.
    Each point of light, a little sun…
    I wondered if somewhere, someone
    Was lying down and looking up at me.” :)

    • Thanks, Myra! It’s nice to meet you. I really think the concept of other folks on other planets revolving around other stars – looking up at THEIR sky and wondering if WE exist – is pretty cool. I’m glad I was able to get that idea across poetically, and that you actually liked what I came up with!

  5. Janet F. on said:

    As a” sort of new to the blogosphere” retired teacher/poetry advocate I found your post today and love your poem! While subbing this week I read a picture book, Meteor by Patricia Polacco, who will be the visiting author next week at my former school. So…your poem is a perfect compliment to that story and I wonder if you know it? I teach children to carry poems in their heart. Yes, I get kids to memorize poems in a zero pressure, happy, easy environment. Though the main goal is to learn to love and read poetry of all stripes! Locally I am known as the “poetry teacher” so I am always looking for new ones to share. Yours is going on my list! I will be teaching it to third and fourth graders! My new goal is keeping up with this wonderful blogosphere world and I thank Heidi at My Juicy Universe for getting me started and all the other generous poetry people out there for filling me with so much delight: Laura, Amy LV, Ed, Janet W. Sylvia, etc. etc. Someday I, too, may have a blog! By the way I have done that same “look at the moon thing and wonder”!! A poem to savor!

    • Janet, thanks for stopping by and for your wonderful comments! I’d be honoured for you to share this with your class – I, too, developed a love of poetry due to teachers showing me what it can do, how it’s written, and why memorization can be a good thing! There are some other great poems out there, too – so please make sure you click the link to Renee’s No Water River blog (http://www.nowaterriver.com/poetry-friday-a-bowl-of-poetry-candy/) for the complete list of poets sharing poetry today.

  6. So lovely, Matt. The night sky was so important to me on an extended stay in Japan. The moon, the points of light were connections to those I loved back home, even if I was seeing that sky a half day ahead of them! I love how you bridge to the idea that someone may be looking up at you!

  7. Glad you liked it, Joyce – and glad I’m not the only one who ponders such thing!

  8. I like the sun/someone lines too. I love the flipped perspective at the end.

  9. Beautiful! Thanks for sharing. Really nice rhythm accompanying these images.

  10. Matt, that is gorgeous! Wow, not only can you write beautiful verse- you know about things like Trochaic dimeter (as per your comment on my post. Thanks)
    I’ll refrain from guessing what poetic form your poem is, because I may put my foot in my mouth! :-)

    • Thank you so much, Iza! I’m honestly not as intellectual as I may have fooled you into thinking…I just learn a lot through osmosis! (For the record, my poem is a combination of iambic tetrameter and pentameter)

  11. What a beautiful poem and I love the twist at the end that throws it way open. I’ll share this with my son tomorrow (it’s after midnight here in the UK now – so tempting as it is to go and shake him awake to look up at the stars and read it together, tomorrow will have to do :-) ) – I know he’ll love it.

  12. Love how your last line shifts our point of view. You do that shift so well in this poem!

  13. Glad you liked it, Violet! I wanted a bit of a twist, without it being so jarring it takes the reader out of the moment, if that makes sense.

  14. Wonderful! I like that the narrator thinks about the number and then catches himself and thinks that that’s not the point–just looking at them, celebrating them…that’s the point.

  15. I’m so pleased you like it, Laura – and that you caught that little inference I made. Indeed, it’s not how many there are; the sum truly is greater than the parts!

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