Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Poetry Tuesday: "Untitled" by Bruce Dethlefsen


what would I write
if I had only
four or five lines worth
of ink or time left?

how we children were put down
around eight o-clock in the bedroom nearby
with a crack of light from the open door
so the grownups could smoke play cards and talk

how I walked my sweetheart home
from eighth grade on that orange afternoon
carried her books from school
and she said the word marriage

how perfect the rainbow of the ball
my triple during
the all-star game
with my father there

how I heard the first cries of my baby
little bundle wrapped
in that thin pale yellow flannel blanket
in my arms against my chest

what would I write?
would I drop an anonymous note to jesus?

would I beg you
to remember to keep
this untitled green and blue
world of ours?

really what would I write
if I had only
four or five lines worth
of ink or time left?

--Bruce Dethlefsen


Anne Gallagher said...

What would I write?

Four or five lines of what your face looked like the first time I saw it.

Four or five lines about your little hand as I held it the first time we crossed the street.

Four or five lines of how incredibly proud I am to be your mother.

(Well, not your mother, but you know what I mean.)

Sueann said...

Wonderful poem and good question...what would one write to share one's life with little ink and a few lines? Wouldn't be easy, that is for sure!!

My Mind's Eye said...

BB thank you for sharing this very beautiful and thought provoking poem...What indeed would I write or say if I could only write or speak 5 words....I'll be thinking on that all day,


A wonderful and a thought provoking question. enjoyed the read.


Leanne said...

Wonderful wonderful piece of work there. What would I write? What a question, huh? Probably something really dorky about living a happy life.

What would YOU write, Betty?

Elizabeth Grimes said...

What a question. I love this. Thanks.

Unknown said...

what a lovely poem.

Leah J. Utas said...

So very thought-provoking. It will be with me all day.

Old Kitty said...

Awwwwww BB!! What a joyous poem of a lifetime of memories!! Thank you!!! Sometimes there isn't enough ink or words really!! Take care

baygirl32 said...

very thought provoking. I'd like to say a note to kiddo, but I don't think I'd get it all in there

Linda at To Behold The Beauty said...

I could identify with the part about the parents putting the kids to bed, leaving the door cracked, while they smoked, played cards, and talked. (In our house, drinking was also involved.) The poet's words brought back memories.

Susan Gourley/Kelley said...

I love the question? Like what would you grab if the house caught fire. I guess I would write notes to my children.

Larri said...

The neurons are rapid-firing as I try to process what I would write with only little ink left for 4 or 5 lines. Excellent and profound poem! Thanks for sharing. Happy Tuesday! ☺

Teresa Evangeline said...

This reminded me of my own parents, the cracked door, the card-playing. Wonderful poem. What an interesting day of posts this is....

Stephanie V said...

OK...you've got me thinking now. What a wonderful evocative poem.

Connie said...

Thought-provoking poem, Betty! I liked it. Have a great day my friend. :)

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

I think he did very well with just a few lines.

missing moments said...

Great question ... something to pin up by my computer daily to remind me ....

Talli Roland said...

Oh, I love that. So poignant! What would I write? Hm... I have to ponder that!

Out on the prairie said...

I don't know that i could keep it simple.
lovely thoughts to share.

Mary@GigglesandGuns said...

Thoughtful, beautiful and full.
Thank you.

Brian said...

That was really good! Just think what he could have done with more time and ink!

Kazzy said...

I like the sweet simplicity in this one. An anonymous note to Jesus? hmmmmm What would I write?

Liz Mays said...

That's beautiful, and it really got me thinking about things.

Ms. A said...

Since I tend to over-say, that limit might leave me speechless. For the most part, that could be a good thing.

Gigi said...

WOW! I really loved that one! Good job, Betty - you got my mind to think after I'd turned it off for the day.

TexWisGirl said...

what a wonderful poem... strikes the heart.

Ann said...

What a great poem and very thought provoking. I wonder what I would write

Jules said...

Great selection Betty. I really need to read more poetry, I do like the thoughts it invokes.

Got to go check out the flowers I missed. :)
Jules @ Trying To Get Over The Rainbow

Marlene said...

Wowza...I read this one and actually even LIKED it!

Nancy C said...

This is such a lovely poem and really makes you think, doesn't it? :)

faye said...

what a lovely poem.. and I know
I would run out of ink before I could
decide on what to write.

Cloudia said...


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john said...

Interesting that the "poet" only capitalises "I"...

Baby Sister said...

That was beautiful. Thanks for sharing. :)

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