98th Virtual Poetry Circle

Welcome to the 98th Virtual Poetry Circle!

Remember, this is just for fun and is not meant to be stressful.

Keep in mind what Molly Peacock’s books suggested. Look at a line, a stanza, sentences, and images; describe what you like or don’t like; and offer an opinion. If you missed my review of her book, check it out here.

Also, sign up for the 2011 Fearless Poetry Reading Challenge because its simple; you only need to read 1 book of poetry.  Please contribute to the growing list of 2011 Indie Lit Award Poetry Suggestions, visit the stops on the National Poetry Month Blog Tour from April.

While I’m off enjoying the Gaithersburg Book Festival, I’m going to leave you to discuss the following poem from David Livingstone Clink‘s collection Monster:

The Soldier (page 35)

If he could speak he’d ask for some food, some water, and you’d invite
him in. Taking off his boots and putting his feet up, he’d sip lemonade
with you on the back porch. He’d talk about where he grew up, which
sports he played, and the women he knew. He’d say this place is very
much like the place he grew up in, but the sky seemed bigger in his
hometown. You’d ask if he wanted to stay for the BBQ, and he’d surprise
you by saying yes. He’d eat his fill, wash it down with a few beers. Before
it gets dark he’d say he lost his map. Can you tell me where the enemy
is? he would ask, and you’d point beyond the trees, and he’d thank you
for your hospitality, and he’d be off, walking in the direction of those
trees. But no, the faceless soldier cannot speak, you don’t strike up a
conversation, you don’t invite him in. He passes your house and you
get a sense of relief as you watch him become some distant memory, become
the landscape, the soldier as much a part of the world as that distant
mountain that draws everything in, even the clouds.

Let me know your thoughts, ideas, feelings, impressions. Let’s have a great discussion…pick a line, pick an image, pick a sentence.

I’ve you missed the other Virtual Poetry Circles. It’s never too late to join the discussion.


  1. It’s interesting that in the what if scenario, the situation sounds relaxed, like they’re kicking back, but when it doesn’t occur, there is a sense of relief. This poem leaves you wondering many things about the person watching the soldier walk by — where they are, why is their a solider there, etc.

    • It almost reminds me of the Civil War, can’t you just picture the soldiers stopping by some farm on the way to the front lines and kickin’ it with the owners and enjoying their BBQ?

  2. I haven’t discussed many poems, so I hope I don’t sound foolish. This was an interesting and visual poem. I tend to prefer poems in this form, rather than those that rhyme or are more in a verse form. I guess they read more like prose for me. I’m going to continue stopping by. Maybe I’ll learn the art of poetry discussion from the experts. 🙂

    No longer a lurker! And I signed up for your poetry challenge. AND I can’t believe I didn’t comment on your post, but I fully intend to join you for the IT read along. Can’t wait!

    • Oh, I am so excited that you are joining in the poetry discussions. None of us consider ourselves experts at all. I really love visual poems as well.

      This poem has so much to say in its paragraph form about how we know soldiers, but don’t really know them…and then there are those of us that don’t know them personally but know of them….but how much can you really know a person who has been in war and what they’ve experienced.

      I’m so glad you’ll be joining the IT read-a-long in August. It was a personal challenge for my friend Anna, Diary of an Eccentric, and then we decided to open it up to others. It’s going to be fun!