on and on you go (take two)

Please don’t hate me! I was not content with my first version of this poem. Something about the third stanza (and a few other things) just didn’t fit. So I revised it, and here it is. Most of you know by now: This poem is dedicated to “wind.”

dress3From here to there and everywhere,
on and on you go.
I hear you there, or is it there?
Your face, you’ll never show.

O’er sea and over mountain,
continent and plain,
from Asia to the Balkan:
the world is your domain.

At times I’ve seen you angry,
you howl and wreak havoc.
It’s then I shiver meekly,
and stand in awe, dumbstruck.

But when you’re sweet, you’re lovely;
you caress my soul.
Your whispers soft and balmy,
you can take me whole.

And though I cannot touch you,
on wings you fly me high,
to places where I knew you,
under another sky.

Which version do you prefer?

Image: Pinterest

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55 thoughts

    • Thanks; I’m glad you think so, too. Yeah, I published the other one too soon, and I knew it. The perfectionist in me can’t stand to put anything less than my best work out there.

  1. Years ago, when I was still in high school, I didn’t know what ‘delightful’ means. Then I consulted with my bilingual dictionary and found the meaning. But my understanding of the word was impartial due to the inadequacy of the dictionary I was using which simply refers to the word to an Indonesian equivalent, ‘menyenangkan’. Now years later, after reading this poem, I know exactly what the word means, in its full context and usage.

    A very well-written poem. Well done, Jess! :-)

    • At first I wasn’t sure where you were going with your comment, Subhan. After all, the word “delightful” does not appear anywhere in this poem. And then I got it. Thank you! What a sweet thing to say.

  2. Both! I like the first one because I mistakenly interpreted it as a ‘love’ poem, but I like this one also because showing love for our planet’s natural beauty inspires me. So, as I am certainly not a poetic critic, you unintentionally touched me with both. Spontaneous expression is not always misguided, huh? :)

    • Spontaneous expression… I suppose there is some truth to that, Professor Taboo. To me, the first version was a little lazy. I went with whatever popped into my head for the third stanza and, even though it ended up quite light hearted compared to the rest of the poem, I stuck with it.

      But I’m glad you were able to pull something from both! :)

  3. First, why would anyone “hate” you for re-writing? That is what good writing is about – or at least re-writing is what it takes to write well. Personally I prefer the first – maybe it’s because of the power of first impressions, or because I’m no expert on poetry. No matter because both are beautiful and effective.

    • Well put Steve. Why, indeed would anyone “hate” you for rewriting. I think it’s wonderful of you to share both versions with me. They felt like two different poems to me and both were beautiful. I can’t help but think of the big time poets of old. What was their method of writing? As always, Jessica, thank you so much for sharing your words.

      • Thank you, Terri. Your words mean so much. As I said in my comment to my dad, I just don’t like posting same work two days in a row. I would have rather made those edits on my own before publishing the poem… But I suppose it is interesting (to some) to see the process a writer goes through. I’m sure some of the older poets spent quite a time with some of their more difficult pieces. Writing books wasn’t always the same. I remember Dickens published “Hard Times” a chapter at a time in a newspaper/magazine to get by. Not much time for rewrites and edits then!

    • Well, I feel silly posting essentially the same poem two days in a row. People want variety. And I have so many other important things I want to talk about, as you well know. I’m glad you liked both poems. To me, the third stanza in the first version was too silly for what followed… Or for what I had meant to convey. But glad you liked both. Thanks, Dad!

  4. I prefer the first version, Jessica. The third stanza (to me) read more smoothly. At the end of it, after all, it’s your poetry. You are the one who must be pleased.

    • The third stanza *did* read smoothly in the first version, Paul. I’m glad you liked it. Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts! Means a lot.

    • Thank you, thank you, thank you. Yes, writing is most definitely a process. That’s why I *like* to wait a day or two before posting something—let it sit for a while—although that almost never ends up happening. ;)

      Thank you for your feedback! It is much appreciated.

      • Kindred spirits! Sometimes I’ll resurrect a piece that I posted long ago, “improve” it and re-post it. Simmering is a good way to cook a tasty poem. ;)

  5. Jess, I have to say I just read the two again, out loud, with a slightly different rhythm to that third stanza, and I agree with you – the second version is significantly stronger and better. Still, both effectively paint “more” than the wind, as “theoxherd” saw. Thanks for writing, you are a blessing to all of us.

    • Thanks, Dad. Yep, although I wrote it with wind in mind, I think it does encompass more than that. As always, thanks for sharing your thoughts!

  6. Good stuff! I think both have merits but the second one has a better rhythm. They each feel as though they mean different things. It sure is amazing what changing a few words can do! Thanks for sharing. It drives me to post some of my poetry. Hmmm. We’ll see.

    • You should do it! Honestly, I never thought I could write poetry and didn’t really see a point in trying. Who wants to read poetry, anyway, right? But then, when I wrote part of my rock-climbing accident, there was a piece that just didn’t seem right any other way. It needed the rhythm and the rhyme. Since then, I’ve been experimenting with it more. I keep all my poems short, and, although “modern” poetry doesn’t require it, I like rhymes. I think we look for them when we read… So, yeah. You should totally go for it. :)

  7. OK, now I’m reading beyond the titles (sheesh).

    This poem reads as a letter to the wind; an old friend (or like a bewildering, wild animal) who is ancient to many, and better traveled than all. You didn’t overdo it. You made your sentiments to this friend clear and true. It’s wonderful to read poetry that doesn’t try too hard to ooze caffeine and sophistication. This one has unique heart and bright language.

    Also enjoyed your use of the sounds of ‘havoc’ and ‘dumbstruck.’

    • Lol. Why, thank you so much. I’m glad you liked it. I try not to overdo anything I write. I’m a pretty genuine girl, really, and I think my writing reflects that.

      This poem is one of my favorites.

      • Miss Jessica, would you permit Us if you would like to translated in Turkish, and after sending you a copy of the Translation in Turkish online and with a prompter in your Own language, occaisonally it is likes to be not Chinese, because still in this WordPress type of blogging it seems still hard to Translate some poetry in Latin alphabet in to Some other Latin using language, but, give the prompter in an another Alphabet, they soulhd match.

        So, if you are to accept this kind of an order, I think it would be enough for us to remind you that, we are not just two people in a row. But, we may stand ahead and up, like that ındıan artctic sculptures, Heads, on Heads, on going on like that to a skyful order.

        At least, give it a think of. Or, if you not, please tell as that you are not that into it.

        Good day too you too, si’.

        Yiğit İnceli
        24.08.2013 01:57 AM

      • To be honest, I am very confused by your request! You would like to translate my work into Turkish and post it on your site? Which post do you want to translate? This poem? If you can clarify then I may be able to help you much better.

        Thank you so much,

        Jessica

      • Actually, for my thought your poetry is swinging between a place about a pre-haiku and a Elliotlike espacing, at least it is what the impression I got from the poetry you have just published. But to be honest, in other literary sense, it is also in a swinging place about Swing music and a post-bop sense.
        I would not like to talk and examine and you know, surge the thing out of its organs. But actually it would be nice to this kind of voice at least in a couple of Turkish interpretations, for this kind of basic limitations of the verse are very much oblished (kind of obelishing) in the Turkish literary, so, and if you are interested you may look at Turkish Poet Orhan Veli’s poetry. Because if you are to think about these kind interpreting I thin you would like to know what would be our clashing points, not, but nondimondinishing points. It’s like a diamond which makes diamondy business, and keeps the light not away, but always in a sense in the same tricky way of non not distributing. Because if you are to go into a diamond, it is for sure it would cut you into pieces, and, of course many of a colours.
        So, give it a think about. For a start you could lend us 3 of your poems for public publishing, of course if you are in alike positions along the way of interpratation and of course demolishing of the poetry. Not in a bad sense of demolishinization, but, a kind of recunstructive decription of the piece.
        Anyway, we would like to hear your poetry in Turkish language, so you could maybe hear Orhan Veli in some not English, but a sensing sensously nonEnglish voice. So is the business alongs.

        Good day To you too; Miss Jessica.
        28.08.2013 04:14 AM

  8. I discovered your blog today and I’ve been here for an hour. I read some of your posts and will return for the ones I missed. I read all of your poetry and enjoyed each one. On and on you go for some strange reason affected me emotionally and made me just sit there and think. This poem is a work of beauty. Also, the poems that you voice recorded added a different vibe or feeling to the words. Having a voice tell my ears what my eyes are reading makes your poems even more alive and rewarding. Keep writing!

    • Oh wow! Your sweet comment brought tears to my eyes! I can’t believe you’d spend an hour reading my blog, especially my poetry! I do love to write it, though. When it comes, it just flows. Thank you so very much. And I like it when I record the poems, too. That idea came to me after I’d already written quite a few. I may go back and record the others as time goes on.

      I really appreciate your comment, and I look forward to getting to know you better. Thank you for stopping by! :)

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