As she gradually
lost her memory,
she lost herself.

Haunted by the loss,
her anchor rope frayed,
detached from sentence
and paragraph of life’s prose.

Weightless and joyless,
she floated in free verse
of demented poetry.

Kim M. Russell, 2017


Image found on Pinterest

My response to dVerse Poets Pub Meeting the Bar – Irony

Today Frank is our host with some irony, a topic Victoria covered some years ago. Frank has shared a reading of Oliver Goldsmith’s ‘An Elegy on the Death of a Mad Dog’ to illustrate irony and says that one of the delightful features of irony is that everyone can enjoy such a poem, even if they don’t get the ironical interpretation: as the tale of a man so good that when a mad dog bit him, the dog died, or as the tale of a man so ‘good’ that when a good dog bit him, the poor dog died. Frank says that the force of Goldsmith’s irony comes not from misunderstanding the poem. There is nothing cryptic or hidden in the poem. Everyone understands it even on first reading. The ambiguity is right on the surface for different people to understand the poem differently.

Ambiguity is powerful, but it is also not enough for some poets. They hold strong positions on some topics, perhaps rightfully so, and they want to make sure the reader hears that position. That often leads to something called sarcasm. With sarcasm there is no longer that ambiguity that makes irony powerful.

The challenge is to write an ironical poem on whatever topic we desire and using any style. For example by twisting a joke into a poem, agonising over the antics of a favourite political character or worrying about how the world will end – there just has to be some understandable ambiguity to pull this off.

49 thoughts on “Untethered

  1. This touched a chord with me. A gentleman who was in my writing group for several years, who was a true lover of written and spoken words and rhyme, fell victim to a stroke and lost his ability to communicate. So sad.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Too true, as this Lady, poem. poet is cursed with a game of tennis with the net down. As my own health issues sprout up & accumulate. my hobbies & projects must be amended & the process given accommodation–not for mute sissies; loved the metaphoric zest of your piece on my cortical taste buds.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I am new to irony and your poem together with rereading Frank’s notes (which you kindly reproduced) help me. Your poem is perhaps like a hologram, there are two ‘images’ or perspectives waiting to be discovered.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Wow… I read this three times, and interpreted it three completely different ways. Once, I felt free, once I felt profound loss, and once I felt fearful.

    This is impressive writing.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Beyond the beautiful sparsity of your poem, there haunts a story I don’t personally know. It matters not when I read these lines; I live it through another dementia I’ve been privy to. Well done.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. “She floated in free verse of demented poetry.” Tethered. Such insight into the perils of dementia and Alzheimers’ — gleaned from immersion. The loss of a loved one begins long before death when this insidious disease begins to show itself.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It certainly does, Lillian. Having been though it with Mum, my granddad and great grandmother, I’m so aware that it can happen to anyone, dementia doesn’t discriminate.


  7. Great work dear!! Nicely penned Enjoyed it. Keep it on.

    I am a bit new here and I am an amateur poet. I would love if you visited my blog ( The Diary of the fallen soul) and followed it if you like my content. Feel free to refuse. Cheers:)


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