Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Poets United Mid-Week Motif ~ Mirror

“The time will come when, with elation,
you will greet yourself arriving
at your own door, in your own mirror,
and each will smile at the other’s welcome.” 
― Derek WalcottSea Grapes

Today’s motif: Mirror

What do you see when you look in a mirror?  What is the best mirror you ever looked in? Do you have a mirror story that needs a poem?

I am inspired today by Agha Shahid Ali and Sylvia Plath:

I See Chile in My Rearview Mirror
     By dark the world is once again intact,
     Or so the mirrors, wiped clean, try to reason. . .
                                                 --James Merrill

This dream of water--what does it harbor?
I see Argentina and Paraguay
under a curfew of glass, their colors
breaking, like oil. The night in Uruguay

is black salt. I'm driving toward Utah,
keeping the entire hemisphere in view--
Colombia vermilion, Brazil blue tar,
some countries wiped clean of color: Peru …

- See the rest at

by Sylvia Plath (from The Collected Poems)

I am silver and exact. I have no preconceptions.
Whatever I see I swallow immediately
Just as it is, unmisted by love or dislike ...

See the rest at

  1. Post your mirror poem on your site, and then link it here.
  2. Share only original and new work written for this challenge. 
  3. Honor our community by visiting and commenting on others' poems.

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  1. Good topic here, Susan. Sylvia Plath is always an inspiration too.

  2. Good morning Poets United! Mary, thank you for posting my poem. I'm trying to see myself outside in the howling wind and drifting snow, cleaning off my car and heading to this morning's doctor's appointment. That's a hard one. I hope everyone has a wonderful Wednesday and enjoys our Midweek Motif.

  3. Thank you, Susan! This one offers so many angles and possibilities. Will do my best in limited time.

  4. Interesting prompt Susan ~ And Plath's words are always inspiring ~ When my cable is back, I hope to write for this theme ~

    1. Snowed in here, luckily WITH internet. See you later, Grace.

  5. I love the whole idea of seeing Chile in the rearview mirror. I see the beach. Sigh. I may be late making the rounds, kids. Cinderella is working today among the ashes. The furnace blew up and there is soot on everything - and my sister has a LOT of Things. Sigh. But I will get to you, promise.

    1. Rest easy, friend. I hope you are unhurt. We will be here when you get here, and you may find some great metaphors in those ashes.

  6. working on something to leave you in the comments susan...

    1. I'll be here. Philadelphia has cancelled everything, even my doctors' appointments.

    2. ok, rattled off a quick one for you...smiles.

      out to eat

      His Daily Bread on Court St.,
      the old lady running the house got a wide smile
      that breaks her dark face, but don't take no shit
      off no one

      'hun, you roll the silver.'

      'how much?'

      'all of it. it's cold out, gonna be a crowd today.'

      a spoon, a fork, a knife, fold twice, roll
      & tuck, fill the tub

      'you gonna take all day?'

      she snips on her way to kick
      out one that slipped the door

      'i just---'

      'git out. you can use the bathroom next door
      & no cutting in line'

      he gives a sheepish grin,
      but she'll have none

      don't no one get in
      til servin' time

      'wash your hands"

      'no one eats til we say grace,
      so sit down and be quiet!'

      she screeches
      & they listen, cause she means it

      'dow'n mine her,'
      the birdnest woman in a dirty sundress
      says, 'she love us all more'n
      ya'll eva know.'

      the volunteers
      get served last, i sit
      across the checked tablecloth
      from another dusty mirror


      'i saw the doc this week---'

      & he doesn't stop
      til i hear the truth of what brings us
      all to this point.

    3. Bravo Brian ~ She is quite a gutsy old lady ~

    4. she is def a character...and hey thanks...i was thinking i might be the only one that could see that poem in the comments....smiles.

    5. ...this is in a way entertaining to read, Brian... you def raised a character out of her... enjoyed it... smiles...

    6. Hey Brian! Lots of grins for this one. So many mirrors running around! Sorry it took me so long to get here, I spaced out when I saw that "Dead Poets Society" was on cable. Really didn't like it the first time I saw it, and I did like it better this time. Of course I liked Robin's character and teaching method, but his advice was more college level than high school level. And the ripping of the books and the suicide? Gosh. It should have had more poetry in it. Yawp, yawp, yawp. Listen to me go on and on. Just like that mirror in your poem. Dusty, too.

    7. smiles...i am particularly fond of the recitation of corso in the movie...i think it def offers some interesting insights and makes you think a bit about poetry...

    8. Yes. More scenes like that would be a plus. I also think for greater enjoyment of this film, it helps to have a male soul. Mine is only about 40/60.

    9. Brian,

      A very vivid and determined character in your poem. Full of impacting news and rules...Rather like hearing the truth itself from the old Doc:)


  7. This was a tough one for me as it brought back a very painful memory of an incident from my life. The poem is sad but it depicts a realization that started me down the road to self discovery and eventual healing. It is good to revisit painful memories from time to time.

    1. Amen to that. Great poem! it takes us there, but leaves us to find our own way home. perfect.

  8. ...this is probably my first time participating in midweek motif... i have shared a poem not literally telling about mirror.... but used another medium to represent mirror.... a shorty again.... and hey, i liked that "I See Chile in My Rearview Mirror" piece a lot... smiles...

    1. Thank you, Kelvin. You've got me curious about the Weeping Willow now.

    2. ...hi Susan... there were many stories about the weeping willow... & i have just left a li'l process note to show where i referenced my poem... thank you! smiles...

  9. Amazing prompt, mirrors are wonderful, but frightening, reflections of truth but infused with lies. Be blessed.

    1. Hello Alan. I did not see how to put comments on your blog. Your poem made me gasp, a deja vu. Yes, yes. Things change so fast. Slow down for the children, slow down. Marvelous poem.

  10. Participating for the first time in mid-week motif. Loved the prompt. Looking forward to the comments/ suggestions.

    1. I hope you will come back often. Your poem embraces a great truth in a way that opens it to others. Thank you for posting it and reading poems at Poets united.

  11. Susan,

    I only returned from a week in France last night. I noted the Mid-Week Motif, and started to compose it en route, but I had to wait until today to post my offering.

    1. Glad you posted it. Consider sending some photos to Mary for Sunday's Pantry.

  12. As always a great prompt Susan. There are so many stories you can tell in a mirror. I have many mirror stories one was about a ghost in a mirror.

    1. It is not too late to post if you wish. Thanks again for being here.

  13. Good prompt, Susan.

  14. Kalpani, I don't know if you will read this or not; but I don't see a way to comment on yours outside of Google-Plus; and I'd rather NOT do Google-Plus.

  15. Me, too, Kolpani. And I felt so blessed to read your poem.

  16. Came back after a long hiatus....Now, trying to get into the groove.!! Missed you all guyz..:(
    Thanks or the lovely prompt, Susan.

  17. hi,susan it is my first time on poets united.lovely prompt hope i could do any good with it.I hope you guys check it out....dxbnidblog


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