"Classical Beauty," John William Godward, WikiArt photo.
“Classical Beauty,” John William Godward, WikiArt photo.

Between poems, I oft consider ephemeral nature of poetic characters, who and what they are, (not necessarily where they originate), but their brief lives on printed pages. Generally, most are transient, small lights that live for fifty lines or so and then cease to exist, at least in that given form. This idea may seem callous or uncaring; however, within my experience, it’s true. When the poem is over, so are they – literally, end of story.

Aside for reoccurring few, we share no love, no enduring feelings for their passions, struggles, how they lived or died. Their small lights burn brightly and briefly, perhaps entering reader’s hearts, and then return to antiquity or to ether. All is not lost, however. In a few days or weeks, something curious occurs. They reappear as another character, poetic rebirth, essence of Ismene transforms to Iola, Ilithyia, and so on, each Greek and physically similar, dark hair and eyes, with olive skin. Yet, in rekindled form, we remain distant and dispassionate, no more than acquaintances. After several incarnations, brittle lives complete, they return to silence, “all those moments lost in time like tears in the rain.”*

*From “Tears in the Rain,” Vangelis, “Blade Runner” movie soundtrack.

Next blog post is “Poetic Characters, Enduring.”

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