I've just returned home after a 3 week stay in hospital, of which I spent 8 days in isolation, and I wrote a number of poems, and this is one of them.
I’ve been hidden away
Out of sight
Out of harm’s way
Locked in my room
A poet Pharaoh’s tomb
Or a butterfly’s cocoon
There’s a shining light in my bubble
On top of all my rubble
Above the deathly quietness
I’m a lonesome chick in his nest
Or a bear with a sore head
Hibernating in his bed
Tucked away for winter
Living in an Eskimo’s igloo
Day after day, I’m wearing old
Isolation my saviour, from the cold
I like the intriguing first two lines.
I'm not sure the title is enough; without your comments at the top I don't think offhand I would know what "Isolation Time" should mean here. What about just calling it "8 Days in Isolation"?
The wording of the last two lines confused me just a little. I assume that "wearing old / isolation" means that it's a defense against the "cold" of the outside world. What about just saying that to make it simpler: "I'm wearing old / isolation, a coat against the cold" ?
Poems usually move the reader from point A to point B, but here we're still at point A at the end. You've given us the passage of time, but has anything changed? Resignation? Looking forward to release? Maybe just a word or two would be all that's needed to hint at a change in mental state by the end of the poem.
Sounds like you've kept your sense of humor. I'm curious, did hospital staff inquire about your poetry writing or have any interest in it? Usually we compose sort of hidden away from the world, writing almost furtively, but the circumstances of your composing were probably not completely under your control. I'm always interested in how non-poets view this odd poetry-making activity.
This is a compelling poem. I agree with Phil about the title; one of things I look for in a poem is the connection between the last line and the title. I love it when I reach the end and am drawn back to the title for unity. All of the comparatives are wonderful and brought up images that made me smile and nod; you pull your reader into the isolation tent with you. Regarding the last two lines, I was most struck by your use of the word 'savior.' The religious undertones say that, in the midst of your touches of humor, there is something deeper, and it connects with your 'deathly quietness' above. That said, I read those two lines several times, really focusing on your punctuation choices, and felt slightly off-balance. It is the only place in the poem where punctuation happens, so I consider it an important spot on which to focus.
The thought of you churning out poems in isolation is remarkable; glad they let your muse hang out there with you ! 🙂
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What Can I Do at the Poet’s Cafe?
You may have noticed the new link in the menu bar: “Poet’s Cafe”. Seeing that Vita Brevis has amassed such a large poetry community, I figured it was best to give everyone a place to call home!
So, welcome to the Poet’s Cafe. It’s not much yet, but, just like Vita Brevis, we’ll make it into something great. Here’s what it looks like:
You’ll notice that there are three sections at the Poet’s Cafe: Poetry Swap is where you can self-publish your work and receive feedback from the community–but also where you can give feedback to others (hence the “swap”). Get Published is where you can find new publication opportunities like contests and magazines to submit to–and where you can leave “leads” for your fellow poets. Finally, What to Read is where you can promote your poems, chapbooks, and blogs, talk about great reads by others, or just
*Update: There’s now a “Cafe Conversations” section where you can leave useful insights and advice for poets*
It also features a “reputation” system, so the more active you are in the poetry community, (by making posts and replying to others), the higher your reputation score, ranking you up. This lets other members see how influential you are at the Cafe, and it will let you know if someone is brand new, so you can give them any help they might need.
I’m In! But How do I Get Started?
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About Vita Brevis Poetry Magazine
What’s Vita Brevis?
Vita Brevis Poetry Magazine is much more than a publication. It has its own built-in poetry community called The Poet’s Cafe, plenty of great articles about publishing poetry and interviews with poets, and countless contest and publication opportunities for emerging and established poets.
All-in-all, it’s the ultimate resource for poets!
Founder & Editor
I’m studying to become a psychotherapist, but in my free time, I’m an avid reader, researcher, and writer. Besides managing Vita Brevis, I’m working on a new magazine called Mental Life, which merges philosophy and psychology into personal-development articles.