Tuesday, August 30, 2011

None of us are ready

None of us are ready
Tonight. We float in a
Sea of Tranquility
As the tide washes us
In, inexorably.

None of us are ready
And yet it is time. We
Travel after midnight
One hand upon the stars
As a new voice sings bright.

None of us are ready,
Our arms still tangled in
Each other’s hair, we lift
This wet thing to our chest
And say, “This is a gift

None of us are ready
To receive.” And it’s true.
Our swift humanity
Is chastened before such

None of us are ready,
We are all newborn here.
But there is grace, and soon
Joy as we stumble home
Kissed by the mother moon.

The grammar involved in "none is" vs. "none are" makes my head spin.  I ended up sticking with "none are" though "none is" might work better in some people's eyes.  Hope you can get past this issue to appreciate the sentiment of the poem!  For friends at the marvelous dVerse Poets Pub.


Pat Hatt said...

Yeah never fear I can get past the none is or none are. That won't be an issue...haha

So true, none are ever ready for many things, but have to tackle them the best we can.

Brian Miller said...

nice...the repitition through out is tight and pulls us through this but it is also your emphasis...none of us are ready...until it gets here and we figure it out to get to the next thing none of us are ready for...

Seek The Sun said...

"Our arms still tangled in each other’s hair,".
I love this line. Beautiful poem expressing the uncertainty of our human lives.

Jannie Funster said...

We ARE all newborn here, it's true. Lovely way to say this.

and kissed by mother moon, how sweet is that!

Ann LeFlore said...

beautiful poem and I am so happy it has inspired me so

sharplittlepencil said...

I loved the allusion to a new birth. None of us IS ready - neither parents nor child! Great write, Andrew. "Kissed by Mother Moon," yes... Peace, Amy

Claudia said...

such a lovely way to write about giving birth...none of us are ready...i like..as a german, not sure if the grammar is correct but in poetry you sometimes got a green card..now you have to know that i'm heavily influenced by the cliche hunting luke prater...and he just told me in my poem to be careful with stars...as this is not a love poem, it may works..and having one hand upon the stars is original...still not 100% sure. the part which for me is def. cliche is the mother moon. for me it weakens your otherwise creative and originally written poem a bit.
what i def. love is "we are all newborn here"

hope this is helpful andrew...really liked your piece..

Luke Prater said...

'none is ready' and 'none are ready' are both correct grammatically as 'none' is a pronoun which is non-specific of numbers involved. It can be one person or many. It's context-sensitive (so right choice to go with 'are' in this case).

your 'None of us are ready' as repetitive device kicking off every stanza is very effective and has an almost hypnotic effect, underscoring the meaning greatly. Great depth of content in this and many universal truths; once or twice perhaps stated too outright, rather than shown by way of more subtle means - poetic devices such as metaphor etc. For example

None of us are ready
To receive.” And it’s true. >do you need to state that it's true? I'm not sure you even need this.

The stars ref works well for me as it isn't a love-poem (!) but I agree with Claudia that 'Mother Moon' would be a stronger closure is rephrased in a less well-worn way. Something different, arresting, unusual.

Small point but in my opinion dropping the caps at beginnings of lines would ease transition line-to-line (esp where there is run-on of sentence/thought, of which you have many), and make it feel more modern. If an old-fashioned atmosphere is what you are aiming for then maybe best to leave them in.

It would look like this-

None of us are ready
tonight. We float in a
Sea of Tranquility
as the tide washes us
in, inexorably. >the run-on of 'us in', for eg. was quite hampered

None of us are ready
and yet it is time. We
travel after midnight
one hand upon the stars
as a new voice sings bright.

None of us are ready,
our arms still tangled in
each other’s hair, we lift
this wet thing to our chest >love this, great imagery
and say, “This is a gift

none of us are ready
to receive.” And it’s true.
Our swift humanity
is chastened before such

None of us are ready,
we are all newborn here.
But there is grace, and soon
joy as we stumble home
kissed by the mother moon.

Much in this piece. Strong, thought-provoking writing.

eclipsingwinter said...

Love that our arms are still tangled in each other's hair. So glad I read this. We are never ready yet we face it all. Wonderful.


Christi Moon said...

What a stellar tribute to parenthood. There is no greater joy.

I do agree about dropping the Caps from the beginning of each line, for me this significantly improves the flow of the poem.

I enjoyed this Andrew, great word choices throughout… and very touching.

safehousepoetry said...

"None of us are ready And yet it is time." ... Isn't that the truth?!

I love this imagery: "Travel after midnight
One hand upon the stars"

With "none is/are," I think it depends on your intended meaning: "not one of us is ready" or "not any of us are ready" ... You should write it the way you hear it in your head, as long as all is right in your head. :)

[Claudia, thank you for clarifying that Luke is a cliche-hunter. That explains his comment on my poem today: "Not a cliche in sight."]

Andrew Kreider said...

Thanks to all for your helpful comments and suggestions. I'm off to weed out the cliches!

Rosemary Nissen-Wade said...

None of us IS ready is grammatically correct, but None of us ARE ready is often used colloquially, and I think it works better here than the correct version. I enjoyed reading.

The Gooseberry Garden said...

giving birth is hard, you have captured it vividly and poetically.

The Gooseberry Garden said...

Glad to discover your poetry talent, invite you to join our poetry picnic today, free and fun, free style commenting.
First time participants are encouraged to share 1 to 3 random poems, or old poems!
We're Open until Thursday, 8pm, American Central!
Hope to see you in!
Thanks in advance,