the evolution of a poem

i wrote this poem last spring.

* * *

‘her hands over his’

Death stood,

cloak billowing in the wind.

she leaned casually on her scythe, her hands folded over themselves,

and watched.

* * *

the window stood open,

soft white curtains billowing in the wind.

the wife helped her husband pull on his shoes, her hands over his, to keep them steady,

and she kissed his cheek.

* * *

Death smiled.

she rose to her full height

and left alone.

* * *

and i love that poem.  i’m very happy with the tone – the fear of what could be, the gentleness of what is, and the gift of a future.

. . . then i put it to music.  i kept almost the exact wording, but the song is so very different from what the written piece intended.  i titled them differently, from ‘her hands over his’ to ‘death left alone’, because i didn’t want the ‘punchline’ or surprise ending to be revealed in the poem – there is no threat if we already know Death left alone.

for the song, however, i thought ‘death left alone’ made a much catchier title, with the rhythm of the words when muttered or said aloud.

death left alone

* * *

i don’t really have a major point to this post other than to share how much fun i think it is to be able to tell the exact same story differently – to give life to words and characters, even in a short poem and one-minute song, and allow the identities to be separate yet the same.

. . . i can feel this idea getting ready to launch into a huge post of its own.  lemme chew on it, clean it up, trim it under 1,500 words, and get back to you.

Logo wire

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