More Lies

Chop Suey by Edward Hopper 1929

Sometimes I say I’m going to meet my sister at the café—
even though I have no sister—just because it’s such
a beautiful thing to say. I’ve always thought so, ever since

I read a novel in which two sisters were constantly meeting
in cafés. Today, for example, I walked alone
on the wet sidewalk, wearing my rain boots, expecting

someone might ask where I was headed. I bought
a steno pad and a watch battery, the store windows
fogged up. Rain in April is a kind of promise, and it costs

nothing. I carried a bag of books to the café and ordered
tea. I like a place that’s lit by lamps. I like a place
where you can hear people talk about small things,

like the difference between azure and cerulean,
and the price of tulips. It’s going down. I watched
someone who could be my sister walk in, shaking the rain

from her hair. I thought, even now florists are filling
their coolers with tulips, five dollars a bundle. All over
the city there are sisters. Any one of them could be mine.


J Cosmo Newbery said...

Full of whimsey and wistfulness. Beautiful.
I wish I had a sister now too.

bulletholes said...

I got lots of sisters too!
I got a poetry question. When you see a poem like this, what is the deal with the spacing? Is each line supposed to have a certain # of syllables, or just approximate? Do you just space it by eye, or number of letters or what? Is there a rule? Or just a general guideline meant to bent and broken at the poets leisure?
That’s what I want to know.

Lee said...

What a beautiful image the words of that poem painted.

And what a beautiful painting to mirrow those words.

Thank you.

Today I feel I need the wistful beauty of both...

goatman said...

Very nice . . . I had three brothers and the thought of a sister (suggested by these words) had never occurred to me.
But I like cafes lit by candles on the tables and talk of little things.

red dirt girl said...

I have Soubriquet to thank for this poem.

Whimsical, beautiful, wistful ... it is all these things, but the title, More Lies puts a curve on this lovely poem. More lies? How many have we told? Lies we tell ourselves ??? Don't know. Just random thoughts from a random mind.

This poem is considered free verse so there are no set rules for spacing, syllables, rhymes etc etc. The number of syllables per line in this poem varies but stays in the same range more or less throughout the poem.

The interesting thing Karin does is that she begins a sentence in one line and allows it to travel to the next line or next stanza. There is a technical term for this, but I cannot remember what it is at the moment.

I do think she has a 'structure' but what it is, I'm not sure. I always read poetry according to its punctuation and not stanza by stanza - unless stanza by stanza is the intent.

Yes there is poetry that has definite rhyming patterns and meter and lines per stanza. Head over to Cosmo's - he plays with many different forms of poetry and lists them by name in his sidebar.

In the end, you are the poet and you decide what form you want your poem to take.