Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Poems and meanings

I've had an interesting experience with a poem I posted on Writers' Dock.

Dream on

She used to live as if
as if it really were,
in spite of lacking evidence
or truth.

She lived in wish-horse land
a beggar finely mounted,
on a wild white stallion
windy stormscapes
in a sordid little house
she didn’t see.

When she died she left the sadness
of a life of might-have-beens:
a pile of clothes unmended,
of stories never written

and a bookcase full of stories of escape.

As I wrote it, it was the simple tale of someone who lives inside her head, ignoring the reality around her, and dreams her life away without attempting to act on either dreams or reality. The saying 'if wishes were horses, then beggars would ride' is behind the second stanza.

Of course there are inelegant parts, and the repetition of 'stories' was pointed out, with justification. Other words could be removed, though I want to keep the rhythm I feel when I speak it.

Then, someone saw it as being about a heroin addict with the references to 'horse' 'white' and stormscapes'
' as heroin, gives wish-horse as the illusory dreams of the drug, a beggar gives me the feel of a desperate person, and again the white stallion as the white powder of the drug itself, windy stormscapes reminded me of references to taking the drug as riding the storm with the sordid little house being the body which she no longer feels a need for as rides the drug-fuelled high.
The last line now reads more as a reference to her secret stash of the drug which still holds all the dreams she never got to have.'

I claimed that my subconscious works in mysterious ways, but am surprised how well the interpretation fits the poem.

One of my daughters on the other hand, looked at it and said - 'Oh no, it's one of your get off your arse and do something poems again.' Time I did, then?

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