My Beauty on the Bough

My love,
I see your anguished face
Brings beauty to your brow
And how each bursted vein betrays
The nape draped on this bough

Where once you were my stoic swain
My knight quite debonair
And with the band you tender placed
You promised ev’ry hair

Upon my head, to love and hold,
And hold you did, my dear
About my maw you made your mold
And stole away the air

Where there I hung in throttled glow
Remaining in the hands
With which had placed a loved embrace
No longer I could stand

So now, today, those bursted veins,
Hang weary ’bout your brow
And in the wind my love does sway
My beauty on the bough

This poem has been submitted to dVerse poets under the prompt “antithesis.” The contrast hopefully comes from the play on love and death in the poem. The use of common meter for something that should not be so common is also a bit of a play on antithesis. Please enjoy!


23 thoughts on “My Beauty on the Bough

  1. I think you were a troubadour in a previous life … so many of your poems remind me of the era of courtly love … (note: that is courtly love, not Courtney Love) 🙂

  2. I like your unique take on the antithesis prompt here….rather than a blatant contrast you went so much deeper and far more challenging…..weaving those profoundly meaningful contrasts of life and death, love and hate, into this piece. Utterly breathtaking in the complexity here. Excellent job 🙂

    • This comment pleases me so much. I hoped the language and form would take the reader to a different time, which it appears that for you it did. I also wanted the loving language contrasted with the hanging to have that ‘tragic’ kind of contrast. Thank you for reading my little poem!

      m(_ _)m

  3. Oh Aaron, I do so enjoy when you go all classic in your poetry. The rhyme, rhythm, the archaic touch to it. You rocked this my friend, or should I say, Mr. Sparkle? love it.

    • Hehe, I thought that picture may need updating. I’m curious, though: what do you think happened in this poem? I’m not sure I was successful in conveying my intent.

      • I think someone was murdered – contrast of murder to love and life. When I write something and I know what I am saying but others get a different idea, I go back to comments and then re-read what I wrote and look at from another POV. I ovten re-write and clarify or add and change punctuation, spacing. I usually end up with something closer to what I truly wanted. I sometimes get so in my own head when I am writing, I am only communicating with myself. I am not a poetic snob who only writes for a chosen few. I want to truly share what is in me, in my unique way. I don’t know if what I read in your poem, it is just my own POV. And I do enjoy your versatility and range.

        • It is (hopefully) a story of a man and wife and at least one death, most likely two. So, I’m pleased to see that you picked up on that. The love, I think, is the tricky part.

          I am always wary of expressing my POV because I don’t want to rob the reader of his or her experience/reading, but it can feel like a failure if too many don’t see my intent. I do take it as a personal failing.

          Thank you for letting me pry a bit further. m(_ _)m

        • And that is why I don’t express my POV or correct the reader, especially if there is a consistent thought in there I had not meant – the reader can only interpret what I give them. So I go back, read my original, and again, envision what I wanted to say and how to say it in a way true to myself but yet, different. I always write true and rarely go off track. I am a simple person and I prefer to write in a simple way. I am not one to write a rant or in a style of obscure words or wording – I leave that to people who are truly talented in that way. Likewise, when people consistently like a thing and how I said something, I also look at that. Not to duplicate but to see what worked for the vision I was trying to get others to see. I could not write about a lunatic/person who went insane in the manner of Poe in the Haunted Palace – mine would be more forthright. I like subtlety. Degrees of difference or shades of wording – like bows. I lived with a Japanese man for 13 years – a Kendo master instructor and wicked with a katana who carried daisho. I learned much from him and I like to think that sometimes, it shows in my writing. I don’t think of not communicating effectively as a failure, but rather, a need for me to re-sharpen my verbal wakizashi (too short for katana 🙂 ). It is good to reassess, to explore word choices or descriptions, to look at thing around me, sounds, smells, feelings, touchings….to go deeper into myself. I do admire your versatility and range. I’m a bit of a one trick pony but then, so was T.S.Eliot and our Ms. Dickinson. I do wish to be more of a Blake at times (eternity in a grain of sand…) but at this point, not yet, maybe…..I just have to be true to my vision and if it misses the mark, then I need to work on it. I have a stack of pages as tall as you with notes….work on this…..You did an excellent job on this and I liked the tone of it. Ad I do like the new gravatar muchly. and after all this time, it hit me……amplifier???? I’m more into acoustic and violin than electric but sometimes, I do catch on.

        • My Lady, you make every day brighter. 🙂 And my love for old tube amplifiers from the 50’s and 60’s is as great as my love for poetry. However, I too prefer the acoustic, which I learned on, but sometimes you have to let the freak out (a la Jimi Hendrix). 😀

  4. Ah.. the archetype of man as knight..
    My mother spotting the rugged beard
    of my father and mystical green eyes
    as ATF agent.. in a courthouse.. and
    says whoever is married to that man
    must be the luckiest woman in the
    world.. ah.. but little did she know
    then that the FULL PACKAGE
    does NOT
    Anyway.. that’s
    how i get here..;)

    Yes; LOOKS count
    A LOT..:)

    And yes, my wife falls into

    And thanks dad;
    you didn’t give me love;
    but you
    gave me

    MY WIFE!

    And by the way, thanks for
    inspiring that FRIEND;
    i sorta needed that

    AND now i am no longer
    short on words

    And if ALL THIS.. IS too much for your
    comments section.. please feel free to
    delete; as yOur inspiration is
    what truly
    for me;
    friend unknown;
    but friend
    still…. in the big scheme


  5. Bjorn nailed it for me, for indeed there is a strong classical vibe to it. Love & or vs. Death? Perhaps–but also a clarion feminine voice, deeply homo-erotic & into the romantic realm, ala Shelly & Keats. You have presented a finely etched & balanced poetic that both rocks the prompt & stands alone as exemplary word smithing.

    • Thank you! I’ve really enjoyed getting a sense of people’s different interpretations of this poem. Each take is always a little different. This is why I love poetry so. 🙂


    • I think I had a Dickinson meets Browning idea that I’ll need to work note on in the future, but it certainly was a challenge to write first thing in the morning. I’m glad there was still enough to meet the criteria.

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