poetry critical

online poetry workshop



Visit From a Dying Friend
william

Even the sun dies, he said,
 1
and if you lived a hundred million years
 2
you could watch every star
 3
twinkle out of the sky
 4
like lights in the city below
 5
(or snowflakes,
 6
on touching warm pavement).
 7
  
 8
I told him I’d love him to
 9
even that moment of full black;
 10
but he told me that no one
 11
lives for that long.
 12
  
 13
We stood on the hill
 14
over the valley past sunset
 15
and I loved him
 16
(though there was no snow on the ground)
 17
and when he was gone
 18
the city was dark in the valley
 19
and I felt a hundred
 20
million years old.
 21

11 Feb 03

Rated 8.3 (7.6) by 6 users.
Active (6): 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 10
Inactive (88): 1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 2, 2, 2, 3, 3, 3, 4, 4, 4, 5, 5, 5, 6, 6, 7, 7, 7, 7, 7, 7, 7, 7, 7, 7, 7, 7, 7, 7, 8, 8, 8, 8, 8, 8, 8, 8, 8, 9, 9, 9, 9, 9, 9, 9, 9, 9, 9, 9, 9, 9, 9, 9, 9, 9, 9, 9, 9, 9, 9, 9, 9, 10, 10, 10, 10, 10, 10, 10, 10, 10, 10, 10, 10, 10, 10, 10, 10, 10, 10, 10, 10, 10

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(34 more poems by this author)

(45 users consider this poem a favorite)



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Comments:

This is amazing. It works so well; it wraps up so brilliantly, and the ideas are touching. I love it.
 — Moose

do the () really add anything? i think they just cut up the flow. try removing them and then reading it, as a bit of a favor to me.
the second stanza, especially 10-11, is sweet.
actually, 17-19 are really sweet too.
i get the feeling like this is just a draft, like you got all your ideas on paper but then you stopped before you really edited it. it doesn't flow as well as one might like, () or no (), in the third stanza. i really don't have any sort of suggestion to change it, i only know that i ended up reading that last stanza quite a few times before it stuck in my head.
what a nice idea overall though. maybe if the "even" in 8 was gone so that the end felt final, not like she was still loving him but that she was done. i assume that's where you were going?
 — jade

i take back my comment about the even, if the dying in the title is literal.
 — jade

because i'm a twerp and don't read closely.
 — jade

I like this.
 — unknown

"full black", however, is a lazy image.

i'll stop commenting now.
 — jade

goosebumps... rare for me...
 — writer1020

there is no 'she' in this poem.
 — unknown

This is a lovely read but there are things that bug. Line 8 doesn't work for me. It feels wrong and took me a second read to understand what you are getting at. 10 and 11 are just plain daft! He must think you are a complete moron! 14 & 15 again seem very strange. What's snow got do with it? I like the ending a lot.
 — unknown

I, likewise, got goosebumps. That has never happened when I read a poem. Never. There are some imperfections in here, but I'd be wary about changing them; you might lose your poem.
 — Ananke

where is the tissue?
 — urbansong

Oh William. I too have felt such pain. Beautiful description of emotion here. Great Job!
 — unknown

This is lovely.
 — heatherS

the use of words in your poem is brilliant i wish we would all live to see those things.
 — unknown

I love the image of snowflakes on touching warm pavement. That is something I've never thought about before.
 — Lossandra

until i commented and saw the author, i assumed it was a boy and a girl.

this is all different than i thought. i echo ananke's comment.
 — jade

I really adore this poem. The feelings here are absolutely so well put together and so tender in nature. I think you're an excellent poet.
 — Reformer

Bravo! I love the whole idea....mood and sentimentality. The ideas of sunsets, stars, friendship and time wonderfully woven with the snowflakes.
 — tinkerman

move "to" down to line 9, or "even" up to line 8, or change "to" to "until" so it's easier to comprehend on a first read.
 — unknown

A lot better than its name led me to think. The parentheses don't work though.
 — ersaph

Sounds a little trite, a little forced.

I dont' even think you need lines 6-7, though the imagery is decent. Save it for another poem.

Line 8. "I told him I'd love him to" -- love him to do something? or love him too?

The last half of line 14 and 15 can leave with the snowflakes from before. I'm pretty sure I understand what you're trying to say, but it takes away from the situation, what's going on as you write it.
 — flyfire

I like this poem .....
 — BloodDrip

I love this poem. Don't know about the title but I love everything else.
 — tha_mink

I really this had a different title. I get it all without the title giving it all away.
 — tha_mink

I'm in with the "love this" group. I thought there was a word missing in 8-9 but reading it again, I understand. I didn't get a sense of male/female friends here but of male/male bonded friendship, not necessarily sexual at all. I have a best female friend with whom I've shared many deep moments but there is no sexual bond at all.
 — Isabelle5

wag mo na itry na gamitin to alam ko na ito

 — unknown

Cool....
 — unknown

This is an amazing poem
 — dmartin

William, you are a good poet. Keep on writing.
 — unknown

amazing
 — unknown

wo...
 — aforbing

I agree it is a beautifull poem...and that the title is too literal...it detracts form the discovery
 — steve_p

But william is a good writer, isn't he? It is really nice.
 — unknown

It was originally titled, "For Keats," which it is. I'll keep the comments re: the title in mind.
 — william

This is a moving poem for me. I don't know the relationship between the two people presented, but I lost my dad a few years ago and it immediately made me think of him and things he said to me before he died. The first two lines sound just like a father comforting his child. Even something as great as the sun dies. Very Thanatopsis. I like the parenthesis and the reference to snow in both, like two bookends. very nice.
 — unknown

Okay...

"or snowflakes on touching warm pavement" is kinda jarring to the pace of the poem. How about making it one line and editing "touching"?

"full black" bothers me a bit, but I don't know what you'd change it to. "Pitch," maybe, but that's not exactly what you mean. Eh, keep it.

"THE hill." A hill. That hill. Anything but "the."

Otherwise, good work.
 — collyrium

I think this poem is so kool tough that part (though there was
no snow on the ground) is really retarded and it just gets you lost for a sec also the () on the first paragraph isnt really necessary....But kool poem!...i LOVE work like this i usually print them out and show it to my friends and tell them to check them out , my buds will defenitely love urs.

 — unknown

I've always liked this poem. What did you edit? The transition from line 9 to line 10 is very awkward. I would venture to say it doesn't make sense, and was a mistake when you re-edited it? Maybe I'm just misunderstanding, though. Regardless, it is still a wonderful piece of writing.
 — root

great poem.
 — space

the edit made it better.
 — username

i hate my fucking school!!!
 — unknown

I believe that last comment to be the highest of compliments: The writer is obviously young (needless use of the word "fucking") and must have had some reason to post that comment on this poem. The reason? Probably plagiarism. They probably stole this poem because it is so good and submitted it for a class, much to the surprise of the teacher, who has never received such a beautiful entry from one of their students. Teacher performs a google search for this entry, and discovers its existance on this site! She always knew that little Jimmy was a terrible writer: Why the sudden change from teen angst poems, she wonders? Poor Jimmy gets a failing grade for stealing another poet's work, and in his anger, comes back to the scene of the crime to vent his hatred of his school, teacher and the justice system! A triumph for this poem, and a lesson learned for young Jimmy.

Then again, maybe not.
 — unknown

Haha. I like that story. And yeah, why is it that young people swear so much? I belive there are better ways to get your point across.
 — unknown

I really like line 18 to 21. Maybe its my personal pref. but I think poems should never give away the image, which happens with the last two lines in the first stanza. And the second stanza just doesn't match the poem. I am sure that you really felt like it needed to be there, but try taking it out, it is just as beautiful and a lot less obivous.
 — unknown

this is beautiful
 — ggvicous

give it up!
 — unknown

because it allows you to think you're saying a lot with a very small vocabulary. people who don't use profanity need to know synonyms. sheit.
 — jade

What are you even talking about??? It doesn't even make any sense!! Lines 9-12 suck!! the rest are "ok"
 — unknown

On reading, I said quietly, out loud, "Wow, I like that!"
(C)
 — unknown

its beautiful! really touching!
 — Darkmagick13

this poem reminds me of 'Tonight I Can Write' by Pablo Neruda. but yours was very touching.
 — unpretty

you title made me not want to read it, the whole outright death thing can be worn out, etc..but whoa, am i ever so glad i read this. this is so incredibly beautiful, gorgeous imagery, gentle, gentle words. this is amazing. absolutely amazing. for me, this is without a doubt one of the most moving pieces i have read on this site. wish i had written this. ditto anake's comment.
 — wendz

This is perfect.. absolutely beautiful.
So eloquent- and at the same time, such potent, raw conversation masked with such fragile imagery...
I'm absolutely in love with this... and so very envious.
 — Inuki

This is good, but you already know that, don't you? So, just to be different, I shall say: THIS SUX!

^.~;
 — unknown

Lovely poem. I like the parenthetical remarks about snow, despite what others have said, although the actual parentheses are only necesary the second time snow is mentioned. The poem overall is a bit vague but the sentiment is so spot-on, especially the middle stanza, which makes the whole thing worthwhile. I think a little more sparseness in your connecting words will help keep the reader on their toes more, will prevent too much foreshadowing. Consider instead of "but he told me that" just writing something like "his voice:" or indicating he is speaking simply though putting quotation marks around his voice throughout the poem. The word "but" tells us in advance what to expect, and so deflates the poem a bit. The same with the word "and" in lines 18 and  20. Try "When he was gone / the city was dark in the valley. / I felt a hundred / million years old."
 — eajohnson1

shiver shiver
 — unknown

im sorry i just dont like it.
 — unknown

okay
 — unknown

I'll imagine just for a moment that our abuse of the english language hasn't devalued the word "beautiful." I believe this poem is beautiful. I have nothing to offer it. It's lovely just how it is. I really like the simplicity of "and I loved him..."
 — Cella

This poem still blows me away. It's beautiful.
*bump*
 — unknown

Precious.
 — noodleman

Wouldn't a hundred billion be more accurate? Perhaps less poetic.
 — eajohnson1

wonderful images. i hate to be repetative, but i also got goosebumps...
 — mylastbreath

not bad.
 — atoner

I like this one because it reminds me of my Grandma
 — unknown

i give it 5 because the poem is ordinary, and the feeling of death doesn't reach the common knowledge of it. isn't special this friend's death? make it feel special, and after all dying could be a happy thing, depends on the mood. snowflakes or not, you could have asked him if we was sick, and drove him to a hospital, but i'm sure this ud be more a comical story than a death anouncing poem.
 — invain

This is really excellent!  Some well-honed poetic skills have endowed this peace with heart-rending poignancy.  
 — unknown

Bright, stunning piece!
 — idomis

wow, this is great. it really captures loss perfectly.
 — KatinaChoo

9
Pretty good
 — lieskilllies

so sad. written so perfectly.
 — 8Gj00

I agree with Moose' comment. Brilliant work. :)
 — Jakle1111

it sucked
 — unknown

I found this work quite touching.
 — uninvited

Wonderful to feel the reflection of this majesty again. Reminds me of an idea I tried to awaken through my poem, Recognition ...And they/we are born somewhere else- I suppose something else. (C)
 — unknown

I read this poem three years ago and I still come back to look at it every now and again. It is hauntingly beautiful. Keep up the great work william.
 — akendrick

cool


att
miguel de la fuente
 — unknown

it is k
 — unknown

This is super good.  don't change a thing!
 — themolly

err 03?

if you're still a member you need an a in 7. just for rhythm to my ear. but ears are like a unique imprint, like a finger pad.

otherwise no earache.
 — kaleidazcope

Attention new batch of gremmie tetto poets:

Read this poem and other poems by william. He can write!!

Maybe you can, too.
 — unknown

i agree with mr last unknown
 — Ananke

goodness, your stuff is still gorgeous. i still don't like line 10, but i no longer hold it against you.
 — jade

you betcherass. william kicks butt.
 — noodleman

Brutal!
 — loonytune

simple, and very nice
 — innominate

this is absolutely one of my favorites. I'm in love
 — MrFetus

whoa everyone calm down! it is not a masterpiece!!!!
what does "i told him i'd love him to even that moment of full black" mean?
the parentheses are completely unnecessary.

the whole idea is good, i feel a lot of real emotion in the last stanza. a friend of mine recently passed away and that's the way i felt- dark all the time, adn that i would be alive in pain for a long time
 — unknown

I did not find this poem delivered its full potential.
Line two is terrible and line three a nonsense.

New stars are constantly being formed so the time factor is one of utter nonsense.

Line four seems to be a contradiction in terms twinkle means to shine with a broken light

Line seven possibly should have been pavements.

Line if one stood on the hill over the valley past sunset. Where would one really be?

It certainly with all it faults, it still deserves to be higher rated than the current top rated posting.

Mor
 — Mor

touching romantic and gently despairing

not a poem for the literal or unloved i think..

they would not understand it :)

-Mong-
 — Mongrol

There's little to add, save another voice who loved this piece.
 — DrakeScott

I would consider, as mentioned previously by another individual, omitting the paranthesis as I feel it is very hesitant. Although the poem is strong and beautiful I would also consider replacing the word "felt" with a stronger verb in the 20th line.  You could even go as far as to allow the narrator to state he/she "is" a hundred million years old...but I'm just being picky. Very nice.
 — sashacapri

good poem.
 — jumpoline

i agree with moose.
 — dreamingg

Mongrol, the unloved understand love better than anyone else.
 — Ananke

someone is making generalizations and exposing their own issues.
 — unknown

The "sun" and the "stars" are too linked here to not seem absurd. I think what you might want is to put a full stop after "he said" and then continue your list of banalities with "watching the stars go out" etc. It's too bad, because there are moments here when it seemed like you really saw what you were writing about AS you wrote it -- which is what poets do.
 — joey

very nice work. i do have a few suggestions for you to make this even better. i think a comma at the end of line 9 would make the structure clearer. also, possibly consider a comma at the end of line 19. nonetheless, beautiful poem. originally written. poignant piece. rock on.
 — lanezfairy

Oh so cute and sad and unoriginal, and sad, and boring, and cute, and unoriginal. Grueling drudgery to get through this horrific normalcy of evocation.
 — unknown

The only line that grabbed me was L6-7.  This is a poem that hints at brilliance, but doesn't reach it.

L9-10 reads awkwardly.  Try something like, "...love him through/ to that moment..."  Or just redesign the stanza around your original concept, without stating it outright.

The subject of this is poem is powerful, and sweet.  But to me, the association of the dying friend with the Sun is very conventional.

7/10
 — aurelius

very beautiful. really. thank you.
 — OKcomputer

This poem ends and splendidly as it begins. I really liked it.
 — Leanan

This is still my favorite poem.
 — MrFetus

An excellent, excellent poem.
 — PaulS

beautiful sageful poem

woudn't want my chicken done any other way cept if jack n.  said so

thank you for your beauty poem booty
 — unknown

William,

i know you've gotten a lot of comments on this poem, but I wanted to tell you that I ran across this poem a couple of years ago a day or so after learning that a friend had died.  It's one of the most beautiful, poignant poems I've ever read and ranks among my favorite poems ever.

I copied and pasted it last night and sent it to a friend of mine whose 45-year-old son is dying.  She thanked me for it and said it was beautiful.

I belong to a book club in my hometown and we've elected to each bring a favorite poem to read to the members, many of whom don't read poetry.  Of all the poems I could have chosen, written by famous and nonfamous poets, alike, I've chosen yours to read.

I would love to tell them who wrote the poem, and would welcome an email from you.  If you've not tried to have this one published, I would encourage you to do so.

Very beautiful.  Thank you for sharing it.

CE Pritchartt
 — elodious

this is beautiful. i mean absolutely fantastic. its just... its so filled with love and the way you pulled it all together at the ending. bloody brilliant my friend. beautiful write. well writ i must say. thank you for that.
 — silentspring

This is amazing...i love it!!!!
 — JTigger831

It hit me pretty hard when I visited today and saw that this had climbed back to the top. My aunt just passed away yesterday. She was very young. And I feel a hundred million years old.
 — Ananke

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20150420maoqiuyun
 — disclosure

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