Yeatsian Interlock – “To My Father”


To my Father (Ill for Some Time Before Death)

I miss you more than I can say–
you, who sat in a chair all day
so far away–  What did we say
those days? Just know I called each day
and you would listen–I say, hear.
I miss you in the buzz of silence,
where listening is silenced; I can’t hear
your ear, your soft soft ear, in this silence.

A reading of the poem, which may be interesting due to the breaks. – (Note that it does not have the full title.)
This is a poem posted for Kerry O’Connor’s “mini” challenge on With Real Toads to write a poem in the form of Yeats’ “He Wishes For the Cloths of Heaven” – (check it out on With Real Toads.)  The Yeats’ poem (a wonder) uses interlocking repeated words and rhymes. 
I found this very challenging.  My poem  uses a bit more rhyme and repetition (just to make sure I got it all), which probably makes it way too sing-songy.  But I enjoyed the challenge nonetheless.   Thanks, Kerry!   
I am also linking this post to dVerse Poets Pub Open Link Night.   Pearl (my dog) and I are currently working on Nanowrimo so couldn’t get a new poem up today. 
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56 Comments on “Yeatsian Interlock – “To My Father””

  1. Bodhirose Says:

    So tender and sweet, Karin…your poem pulled at my heart…and brought a lump to my throat.
    Gayle ~

  2. David King Says:

    Ineffable is the word that comes to mind.

  3. shafiqah1 Says:

    Reblogged this on shafiqah1 and commented:
    Beautiful and thank you, may both of our fathers feel better ❤

  4. Oh, this is just heart-breaking! And I am all over in goosebumps! Those last three lines ripped through the deepest part of me.

    • ManicDdaily Says:

      Oh, Kerry, thanks so much. I really hadn’t intended to write more poetry last night, as I actually am doing my job work this weekend (a great incentive to write, I guess) – and then I saw your post and wanted to support your great endeavor of coming up with all these challenges. You chose such a marvelous poem as the model/form. I really admire your energy with this. Thanks much. k.

  5. brian miller Says:

    nice….so full of emotion this one…and made me think of T losing her mom a few years ago…they would talk on the phone often being as we lived a ways away….you work the form really well to accentuate not just to fit…

  6. hedgewitch Says:

    I really enjoyed your reading here, karin–it seems to emphasize the softness of a dwindling time, wrapped in love and concern to cushion it as it slowly melts away. There is a powerlessness that is painful, of course, but here more of a surrender that cherishes without letting go of all that can be kept. A beautiful piece.

    • ManicDdaily Says:

      Of course, it’s meant to be after death, but I wanted somehow to give a meaning/explanation to the chair all day. And it may be fine to be in an illness too. I’d not thought of it that way, but may be fine. Thanks. k.

  7. Very moving and I like the extra repetition. In a way it says something about how we often used to say the same things over again to the elderly relative in the chair – neither minding, just enjoying the conversation. A great response to the challenge.

  8. janehewey Says:

    the ear- physically and metaphorically- wonderful. Silence is as profound as the soft of his ear; the softening of his hearing finds wrought through the buzzing. this is really brilliant.

  9. Mama Zen Says:

    Nice job with this! I found this really moving.

  10. OH my goodness!!! You’ve worked magic of this form!!! So heart wrenching and the words you chose to repeat didn’t even seem as though they were…great work, Karin!!

  11. Luke Prater Says:

    So much you say here.. yes there is so much in silence… the monorhyme you almost establish in the first half is broken as if silence. I see the form but the end-rhyme and the breaking of it amplify the silence – if that isn’t oxymoronic

  12. margaretbednar Says:

    Oh, certainly not sing songy. This is a dear, very dear epitaph any father would treasure. You are so lucky to be able to “miss” such a kind man’s listening ear. Some never, ever have had it. You say he isn’t gone yet… I hope you have time to just enjoy holding his hand.

  13. Marian Says:

    love that notion, missing in the silence where listening is silenced. great, great line.

  14. Sherry Marr Says:

    Not only have you mastered the form wonderfully, and attained an elegaic tone while doing so, the poignancy of the feelings expressed really reach the reader. The repeated words emphasize wonderfully the emotions expressed. Fantastic write, kiddo!

  15. Susan Says:

    I feel the narrator sharing the phone line ear to ear with the old father. I am trying to remember the name of the Japanese author who wrote about the wisdom residing in the wrinkles of an old man’s ear, but I cannot. What a loss of softness.

  16. Very emotional and poignant…much enjoyed your reading… thanks

  17. aprille Says:

    What a lovely voice for reading poetry. So enjoyed your rendering.

  18. vivinfrance Says:

    Challenge it may have been, but you have risen to it superbly.

  19. What a lovely response to the prompt. I can understand so well, because my father wasn’t well for some years before he died, but we still loved him, and he knew it.
    Thanks for sharing this with us.

  20. Mary Says:

    This is so very sad that it choked me up as I read it. It is so true of the way it is when one spends time with someone near the time of their death. But it is important time…..for both…and a time you will never forget, and someday you will meet again and both know what this time meant.

  21. K this is so poignant and vivid. So sad. Loved the buzz of silence.

  22. claudia Says:

    this feels just warm with love for your dad…and we don’t have many people nowadays that really listen…good listening is an art..

  23. ladynyo Says:

    the essence of simplicity of this poem goes straight to the heart, K.

    I ‘hear’ you, because…well, you know.

    Lady Nyo

  24. Evelyn Says:

    “I miss you in the buzz of silence,
    where listening is silenced; I can’t hear
    your ear, your soft soft ear, in this silence.”
    these lines are so well crafted.

  25. so hard… but I still think I can hear my mom and dad in the whisper of those pines

  26. That reached in and touched me. Leaves no room for doubt that you love and miss him very much. What a lovely tribute.

  27. ayala Says:

    Sweet…made me think of my parents …I miss them so much. Sorry 😦 I understand this too well.

  28. jasmine calyx Says:

    I love this: “I can’t hear
    your ear, your soft soft ear, in this silence.”

  29. Heart breaking and yet, it speaks so eloquently to the love you shared–

  30. kelly Says:

    I think you used the form most wonderfully… very heartfelt and touching.

  31. Affecting, honestly I envy your relationship, Beautifully done.

  32. PJF Sayers Says:

    The concise nature of this poem makes it all the more compelling and poignant. Beautifully done, Karin.


  33. Kelvin S.M. Says:

    …sad yet delivering… i can read it aloud playing a background in it..

  34. Very sadly sweet, k. The emotion is thick in this one.

  35. loving, with a lullaby lilt in the rhyme…just beautiful.

  36. apshilling Says:

    hearing you read
    made it even more personal and
    solidified its shape on a real level of intimacy
    and understanding 🙂

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