Sunday, October 31, 2004

Week Nine Theme

Hello stranger,
Its been seven years since I've seen you last,
And twelve before that.
I just wanted you to know that I still think of you now and then.
I remember when I was little I thought you were the greatest,
I believed everything you told me.
Like when you told me you would buy me a pony if I came to live with you.
And I can still hear you singing to me...
"Can you tell me how to get, how to get to Little Miss Bee-food's Street?"
Little Miss Bee-food... ya know, I had forgotten about that until now.
I loved it when you called me that, it was our own special name.
It made me feel special, unique... at least you had time for me when I was little.
I guess you figured as I got older I didn't need you as much.
Or maybe you were afraid you didn't know what to say to me.
It would have been nice to hear from you more often.
I remember the birthday card I got from you when I had to stay at someone else's house.
That was a shining moment for me...
I hid the money you sent because I was afraid they would make me share it with their kids.
Thanks for the birthday card.
But then time went by... a lot of time.
Graduation, marriage, kids... and just every day life passed by.
Just because I got older didn't mean I didn't want to hear from you.
Would it have been so hard to write a note now and then?
After awhile I just stopped writing.
You should have noticed I wasn't writing anymore.
Why didn't you start writing then?
At least for a long time you sent Christmas cards, but now even those have stopped.
The last one you sent was two years ago...
I think it said, "Things are going good, weather is cooperating. Have some work. Take care."
I cried the day I opened that card.
But I still put it up on the wall. I have an old picture of you on the wall too.
Last Christmas you didn't even bother to send a note, not even a card.
Someone said you probably figured we were better off without you.
Shouldn't you ask us that?
Someone else said that you thought I was embarrassed by you.
Wow, I got a good guilt trip out of that.
It took awhile for that to sink in, then I got mad.
Embarrassed? Only by the fact that you have written us off.
I can't take responsibility for your choices, I've been down that road too many times.
But I can take responsibility for my actions.
I refuse to let guilt, anger, self-pity, and doubt consume me.
So, I am here if you want to write.
If not, that's up to you.
Just know that I love you.
No matter what the past, present, or future, that will always be true.
I may not believe everything you say now, but it would still be nice to hear you say something.
Love Always,
Little Miss Bee-food.

10 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I don't know if this qualifies as "assignment material" - I guess it does if you can see the message behind the letter. If not, then try again I shall.

October 31, 2004 at 7:17 PM  
Blogger johngoldfine said...

Sonnets usually are set up as an 8 line/6 line deal or 10/2/2 or 12/2--or in some way distinguishing between the front and back ends. The poet needs to set up and then to kick ass, so to speak. Most writers do in any form. (If it doesn't kick ass, the back end feels like an afterthought, like the poet needed 14 lines so, by golly, here they are.)

In this: do you know where you shift gears and which is front end and back? In my opinion you're mixing gold and silver here--both outstanding and delightful metals, both valuable, but, hey, gold is gold and stands alone.

November 1, 2004 at 4:36 PM  
Blogger josiejo said...

Your response makes the assumption that I am familiar with 8 line/6 line and 10/2/2 or whatever those numbers were (they don't show below and I didn't write them down)- ignorance is apparently not blissful for me since I am not sure where you are coming from. And please don't be so elusive in your comments: "gold and silver" - is that good mixed in with not so good? So, without all the jargon, what can be done to clean it up and make it work? Is it too straightfoward, too choppy, jump around too much; what works, what doesn't? Admittedly I did not have the same heart for this as Stairways, didn't shed a tear - that did not work to my advantage. Should have gone another route? Exhausted this avenue? Let it go? Move on to next week? Enough questions yet?

November 2, 2004 at 8:58 AM  
Blogger johngoldfine said...

Sorry to be so elusive--old habit I'm not even trying to kill.

I don't think there's any possibility of your ever exhausting this topic. I like your approach here. I thought at a certain point you lost your tone and then later picked it up again, but that's just an opinion.

More opinion: "too straightfoward, too choppy, jump around too much"?--no, no, & no.

November 2, 2004 at 11:27 AM  
Blogger josiejo said...

Specifically where did it lose tone? I like the beginning... but the rest seemed to lose tone all over! Show me some lines - I think I am not seeing it because I know too much behind the lines. Do you think there are lines that could be left out? I am asking for your opinion, if I didn't want it I wouldn't ask!

November 2, 2004 at 1:26 PM  
Blogger johngoldfine said...

I hope it's okay to do this. I subtracted some words and lines and added one word in [brackets.] Apologies in advance if you think I overstepped.

Hello stranger,
Its been seven years since I've seen you last,
And twelve before that.
I just wanted you to know that I still think of you now and then.
I remember when I was little I thought you were the greatest,
I believed everything you told me.
Like when you told me you would buy me a pony if I came to live with you.
And I can still hear you singing to me...
"Can you tell me how to get, how to get to Little Miss Bee-food's Street?"
Little Miss Bee-food...
I loved it when you called me that, it was our own special name.
It made me feel special, unique... at least you had time for me when I was little.
I guess you figured as I got older I didn't need you as much.
Or maybe you were afraid you didn't know what to say to me.
It would have been nice to hear from you more often.
I remember the birthday card I got from you when I had to stay at someone else's house.
That was a shining moment for me...
I hid the money you sent because I was afraid they would make me share it with their kids.
Thanks for the birthday card.
But then time went by... a lot of time.
Graduation, marriage, kids... and just every day life passed by.
Just because I got older didn't mean I didn't want to hear from you.
After awhile I just stopped writing.
You should have noticed I wasn't writing anymore.
Why didn't you start writing then?
At least for a long time you sent Christmas cards, but the last one you sent was two years ago...
I think it said, "Things are going good, weather is cooperating. Have some work. Take care."
I cried the day I opened that card.
But I still put it up on the wall.
Someone said you probably figured we were better off without you.
Shouldn't you ask us that?
Someone else said that you thought I was embarrassed by you.
Embarrassed? Only by the fact that you have written us off.
[But] I am here if you want to write.
I may not believe everything you say now, but it would still be nice to hear you say something.
Love Always,
Little Miss Bee-food.

November 2, 2004 at 4:46 PM  
Blogger josiejo said...

Wow! What a difference! Its much "cleaner", not a lot of extra distractors... I knew there was more than needed to be there but couldn't see it (or not see it!). Honestly, the revised version tugged at some strings and conjured up some misty eyes. Amazing what can be done with less! Thanks - that tends to be my downfall, giving more info than needed...

November 2, 2004 at 6:07 PM  
Blogger johngoldfine said...

Much better as a writer to have too much material than too little. Perspective on your own stuff is hard, at best--even harder with a hot topic like this--but sleeping on something, for weeks if you can stand it, often cools the emotions and allows the art of the writer to kick in.

Can I use this in the future?

November 2, 2004 at 7:22 PM  
Blogger josiejo said...

I think part of me figures if I let something set, writing or not, it'll be eons before I get back to it... evidenced by the numerous unfinished projects scattered about the house. Its a curse...I like to start and finish in one sitting. Rough drafts kill me! Again, use what you like. Toss what you don't.

November 2, 2004 at 8:59 PM  
Blogger johngoldfine said...

Well, I talk a good game--waiting and revising are conventional advice--but like you I'm very impatient. I want to be done, break out the champagne, then move on. Do as I say, not as I do.

November 3, 2004 at 5:42 AM  

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