Response to Wordle 45

26 Feb

Hello! Happy Sunday. I have my response to the Wordle words from Brenda over at The Sunday Whirl.

How many memories can she cement
into the circuitous windings and back-
trackings of her brain

with its corrugated pelt, its ridges
and folds and lobes, its soft grey
sponginess, its thick

cumbersome workings, dense
with nerves and neurons, its
mazy meanderings?

How many memories can she cement
before the map becomes increasingly
difficult to follow

as senses shout and murmur, emotions
stray, and reluctant memory is slow
to answer, before

she stands entranced at doors of smoke-
fogged rooms, fire licking at the foot
of memory?

No title yet, possibly because I feel as if I have two different poems going. I like the first three stanzas, but not particularly the last three. I feel as if I am hearkening back to my more self-indulgent days. Therefore, please, if you have any suggestions, or even: This doesn’t work, but I’m not sure whys,Β  fire away. I would like this one to work.

The first three stanzas came together once I started the roll. Once I stopped, I still had a bunch of words to include, thus the last three stanzas. The whole being focused on memory is because my head is over at Joseph’s Reverie, which I am still working with.

Meanwhile I am heading to The Sunday Whirl to read what others have come up with.


Posted by on 26/02/2012 in exercises, poetry, writing


Tags: , , , ,

54 responses to “Response to Wordle 45

  1. Laurie Kolp

    26/02/2012 at 9:31 am

    Margo- I could read this over and over again and still be left with a feeling of awe. Amazing…

  2. anl4

    26/02/2012 at 9:54 am

    I love the final words you have chosen!

    • margo roby

      26/02/2012 at 10:12 am

      Thank you, annell. I admit, I do like the last stanza.

  3. brenda w

    26/02/2012 at 10:02 am

    Margo, I can’t separate two pieces. It reads cohesive. It reads beautifully. I love “mazy meanderings.” Brilliant.

    • margo roby

      26/02/2012 at 10:10 am

      Thank you, Brenda. It helps to hear that as a reader you see it working together.

  4. anjum wasim dar

    26/02/2012 at 10:07 am

    Great Poem Margo, beautiful usage and arrangement of the given words…

  5. Yousei Hime

    26/02/2012 at 11:23 am

    I think part of the reason it feels split into two is that you only repeat “How many memories can she cement” the one time. May take some revision, but if you use it even one more time it will take on refrain qualities instead of dividing nature.

    • margo roby

      26/02/2012 at 12:11 pm

      Agreed. Thank you, Yousei. I will play.

    • tmhHoover

      26/02/2012 at 12:17 pm

      I am with Yousei on this…

  6. wordsandthoughtspjs

    26/02/2012 at 11:35 am

    Margo, this is cohesive to me as well. I didn’t read it as two different pieces. Is this in the series of poems about your mom? That is what I get a sense of, or am I way off base? I like it nonetheless.


    • margo roby

      26/02/2012 at 12:12 pm

      You are right, Pamela. It seems whenever I write about the mind mom is in my thoughts. I may try to take this two ways when I play with it: one with my memories, one with hers.


      • tmhHoover

        26/02/2012 at 12:20 pm

        This is truly an insight. I have a habit of writing from my sisters perspective.

        • margo roby

          26/02/2012 at 12:32 pm

          Teri, I make this one of my regular strategies, checking out different possible perspectives before writing. In this poem I changed point of view as well. I started with first person, but like third person better.

  7. Daydreamertoo

    26/02/2012 at 11:42 am

    Sometimes difficult to remember all of those things which have touched our lives. Deep, thoughtful and, lovely imagery.

    • margo roby

      26/02/2012 at 12:13 pm

      Especially as we live longer and longer. Thank you, Daydreamertoo.

  8. tmhHoover

    26/02/2012 at 12:30 pm

    Your clear observations of the layering of memories is wonderful. My favorite line,
    “she stands entranced at doors of smoke-fogged rooms, fire licking at the foot of memory?”

    As for your question for suggestions, I do feel a slight break between the first bit and the second. The first bit seems more factual – like a Doctors observations. The second bit seems a bit more dreamy and takes on the quality of the person with the issues of memory blending. As I said above I would love a way to link these to parts somehow. Big help-huh?

    • margo roby

      26/02/2012 at 12:34 pm

      Lol, Teri — it is a help though, when I read your thinking on paper, because even if you don’t have a specific, my brain is working away on what you say. From this I have already started working on ‘link’ and the two sides of memory.

      • tmhHoover

        26/02/2012 at 6:14 pm

        I would be interested in seeing it if you do…

        • margo roby

          27/02/2012 at 8:16 am

          I will ship it your way, but margo time is often weeks :-), so don’t think I have forgotten. I have a note.

  9. vivinfrance

    26/02/2012 at 12:37 pm

    This definitely works for me. I agree about the ‘how manys’: a refrain is something I should use more, as it’s an effective techique for pulling disparate thoughts into a coherent whole. Yours is perfectly coherent, but perhaps a further revision could adapt the ‘how many’ line to fit all sizes!

    • margo roby

      26/02/2012 at 12:43 pm

      You know me, ViV. I love refrains, any kind of repetition. I considered a third repetition of the line but it’s a heavy line. Now that the wordle part is done, I may rewrite the line and find something better suited to repetition. I am looking forward to the revision.

  10. Mr. Walker

    26/02/2012 at 12:57 pm

    Margo, I liked it, especially the last stanza. But, since you mentioned some possible suggestions… I like the specificity of the imagery in the first half, and the link between cement, gray matter, and a suggestion of hardening. Perhaps the second half could go in a different direction, instead of cementing, hardening, keeping, you go with something that has to do with the opposite, the losing, so that the “entranced at doors of smoke- / fogged rooms” is evocative of what has been lost.


    • margo roby

      26/02/2012 at 1:04 pm

      I do love comments from teachers who write, Richard. Funny that I don’t see in mine what I would in others. Thank you for noting the cement, grey matter, and hardening. Love the suggestion to take the whole of the second into the ephemeral. Am heading to my handwritten copy to start revising.

  11. Annette

    26/02/2012 at 1:20 pm

    Those first three stanzas are very strong and I thing the last line is as well (fire licking at the foot of memory). I did sort of drift in the fourth stanza but I can’t tell you why. This one is definitely worth playing with some more.

    • margo roby

      26/02/2012 at 3:59 pm

      Thank you, Annette. That fourth stanza is the one I know I probably need to ruthlessly toss or revise sternly.

  12. Mary

    26/02/2012 at 5:18 pm

    Actually, Margo, I like the fourth stanza and would not toss it out. (I may be the minority.) Perhaps because I identify with it. LOL. It goes well, in my opinion, with the first three stanzas. I am not as enamored of the last two stanzas. But basically I think you made a poem with meaning with this collection of words!

    • margo roby

      27/02/2012 at 8:14 am

      I was relooking at the poem, Mary and it’s the fifth stanza I’m not so fond of. So far, I have switched the last three stanzas and made them the first three. I feel better already!

  13. markwindham

    26/02/2012 at 5:30 pm

    I actually like the last one better than the fifth; would rather it get moved around than lost. Snip, snip. πŸ˜‰

    • margo roby

      27/02/2012 at 8:13 am

      Mark, the first step has been to make the last three stanzas the first three. I like the poem better already. I will play and probably send it your way. This is on margo time, so we are talking possible weeks πŸ™‚

      • markwindham

        27/02/2012 at 8:37 am

        I knew scissors would come in to play. Perhaps my biggest failing, I do like to rush things that should not be (biggest aside from a basic lack of understanding of grammar. Any suggestions for a remedial English class?)

  14. JulesPaige

    27/02/2012 at 8:56 am

    I would not have seen the break…if you had not told me to look. I thought of the first three as you preparing your scrapbook, and the second three, after reading yours and other comments as relating more perhaps to your mother? I also like that last stanza, because at 89 – I can see my MIL doing just that. In a conversation the other day I had reminded her of some very old photos, and she made a comment from her memory, but it wasn’t of current reality. Of course respectfully, I did not correct her. I think her memories are more important than the particular truth I knew.

    • margo roby

      27/02/2012 at 9:24 am

      Jules, I love the way you put that: her memories are more important than the particular truth I knew.

      • JulesPaige

        27/02/2012 at 4:26 pm

        hmm. thanks for pointing that out. I think I’m going to expand on that. As we get older I think ‘truth’ is allowed to be bent in order to be respectful. Kind of how long marriages last. Some secrets of the past don’t need to be shared because the present is the best gift.

  15. pmwanken

    27/02/2012 at 9:32 pm

    I keep going back to circuitous wingdings…I love saying it! And when I think of “wingdings” I think of all those funny little symbols of the font called Wingdings. And then, of course, I see all those little images stuck in the folds and lobes inside my head!

    Is that what it’s like to have a photographic memory?? πŸ™‚

    • margo roby

      28/02/2012 at 7:16 am

      I love you. Windings. It’s windings. But I love the thinking that came from you because of wingdings. Now, I need to go check my spelling in case I really did write wingdings.

      As to the photographic memory, sort of. My daughter has one. I have a semi- one, untrained. If I am discussing a book with someone, even one I have not read in a while [but know well] I can say exactly where on the page, and what side, something is. I ‘see’ it.

      • pmwanken

        28/02/2012 at 7:29 am

        Oh, that serves me right for reading and commenting when I’m tired! You’re correct (heehee) it IS windings!! πŸ™‚ I read that line SO many times because I liked the way “wingdings” sounded!! LOL

        Apparently I need more sleep.

        • margo roby

          28/02/2012 at 7:30 am

          I love that you saw it as wingdings!

          • pmwanken

            28/02/2012 at 7:31 am

            and THAT’S why i love YOU!

  16. seingraham

    27/02/2012 at 11:08 pm

    “fire licking at the foot of memory” – that is going to stick with me for a long, long time … what a glorious poem … just amazing

    • margo roby

      28/02/2012 at 7:17 am

      Thank you, Sharon. I don’t often have a flight of imagery like that so am holding onto it for dear life.

  17. Cheryl's Excellent Adventure

    27/02/2012 at 11:24 pm

    I thought you did an excellent job. I don’t feel a break. Only the repetition of the first line, and that gives it a good feel. It describes the brain, then it describes the memory fog, so it works for me.

    • margo roby

      28/02/2012 at 7:18 am

      Thank you, Cheryl. It is helping me tremendously to hear how people see the poem.

  18. purplepeninportland

    27/02/2012 at 11:57 pm

    Margo, I love this one. It works for me, especially the ending.

  19. b_y

    28/02/2012 at 7:43 am

    I really like the images, Margo. But when that dissatisfied feeling takes you, it’s a good time for radical revision, cause you never know what will have been wanting out of the backnof your mind.
    If it were mine to play with, I’d begin with that last stanza, like a short story with a killer opening para.

    • margo roby

      28/02/2012 at 8:00 am

      I like that, Barb. Now I want to stop writing today’s blog [I got distracted by comments :-)] and go play with this poem. I’m loving last stanza first.

  20. Sharp Little Pencil

    28/02/2012 at 11:35 am

    Margo, found you and so happy to be back in your blogiverse! I know you’re still playing with this poem (tinkering?), but my first impression is one I face daily: The realization that my short-term memory is not what it once was. The “fire licking at the foot” of my memory is truly a hot-foot from God – a reminder that time passes, and I must do what I can, while I can. Thank you, and I look forward to the final. Peace, Amy (this was written for Trifecta, a new-ish prompt I fell in love with a first “site”!

    • margo roby

      28/02/2012 at 11:49 am

      Yay! I wondered where you had disappeared to. I’ve missed you, Amy.

      I find it even more interesting to see what the brain feels it’s important to remember!

      I’m heading to your place now, to read the poem.


  21. Traci B

    28/02/2012 at 9:22 pm

    So much has already been said and suggested, so I’ll just say that this poem as it is here is very evocative. It brought to mind my grandmother, whose short term memory is failing her more and more these days. She can recall events and incidents from decades ago, but she asks the same question five times in as many minutes because she doesn’t remember having asked it.

    • margo roby

      29/02/2012 at 8:09 am

      Traci, I just read an article somewhere about that, the repeated questions. The thinking now is to write the answer down [when it’s one being repeated], and show the answer after the first couple of times. Then just point at the answer when the question is again repeated. Doctors think that the brain does better seeing the answer and the writing is less frustrating for the person doing the answering.
      I am sorry. It is not an easy time.


Join the discussion and feel free to critique, or suggest an idea for any poem I post.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: