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november poem-a-day, day 5

November 5, 2010

We are on Day 5 in the Poetic Asides Poem-A-Day Challenge, and the prompt today is to write a metamorphosis poem.

I have been thinking a lot lately about how, as helpful and supportive and necessary counseling/therapy is, that it may also change us in ways we never anticipated, good and bad. Couples counseling, in particular, seeking middle ground and common understanding, can seem particularly risky: who are we when we get to the middle?

I combined those questions with a few of my notes from yesterday’s gorgeous and sunny flight over the continent and came up with this draft for Day 5. I also make fun of myself a little bit and my always-failed quest to escape relationship poems by including a line about marriage metaphors.


  1. November 5, 2010 1:05 pm

    Reminds me of a mantra from my early days, a quote from Antonin Artaud (from the essay/poem “Van Gogh: the Man Suicided by Society”): “A vicious society created psychiatry to defend itself from the investigations of certain superior lucid minds whose intuitive power were destructive to it.”

    • November 5, 2010 1:20 pm

      @Dan, psychiatry, the double-edged sword of experimentation vs. will to live. I’m one of the lucky ones.

  2. November 5, 2010 1:22 pm

    Dan’s comment brought forth a different understanding of this poem. I was so entranced by the visuals, the neverending feel. Best line, for me:
    The first one
    who apologizes may get to heaven, but I don’t
    want to be alone.

    Great writing, Carolee, and happy to be back on your blog. Amy Barlow Liberatore

  3. November 5, 2010 2:05 pm

    Wonderful – and yes, forever is impossible…even though we can’t imagine how long it might go on. 🙂

  4. November 5, 2010 2:57 pm

    I need to come back and read this again. There is a lot in it to take in in one reading.

    I’m so glad you posted it here: I’m finding it really difficult reading the PAD poems, there are so many, and no space to comment if you’re not there the moment a poem is posted.

  5. November 5, 2010 7:39 pm

    or as translated by Mary Beach & Lawrence Ferlinghetti:
    “So a sick society invented psychiatry to defend itself against the investigations of certain visionaries whose faculties of divination disturbed it.”

  6. November 5, 2010 10:41 pm

    Very nice. I especially like ” like knives buried handle-first.”

  7. November 5, 2010 10:44 pm

    I’m in awe of the quality of work you are producing every day.
    I think I’m going to need at least till next April to work myself up to the challenge of “one-a-day” again

  8. November 6, 2010 9:15 am

    “The first one who apologizes may get to heaven” would be a nice title for this poem. And it’s a great line.

  9. November 6, 2010 3:36 pm

    So very intense this line really got me “like knives buried handle-first” Wow but then I got to this line “The first one
    who apologizes may get to heaven” getting more intense and self-observant as it goes, amazing writing!

  10. November 7, 2010 4:56 am

    So many great lines…!!

    charcoal shadows

  11. November 7, 2010 9:54 am

    I like the ideas of always/forever explored and (lightly) rebuked/debunked.

    (And I love poems dealing with landscape from the air. Did I ever tell you I have a fantasy of designing a fabric line based on aerial landscapes?)

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