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Cape Cod Mourning

March 22, 2013

Cape Cod Morning - Hopper

She’s leaning into the dazzle –
torque alight in her muscles,
hands stiff on the warm wood;

but in that eagerness is the flinch
of life impaled, and worse, bêtes
noirs throwing her day into relief.

She knows the sun will be gulped
down, spat out, that however tight
she fists her life into the frame, it will

be lost

and that the eyes gleaming in the trees,
drilling her, will slink into the light
and swill her in rancid breath this

Cape Cod morning.


Image: Cape Cod Morning – Edward Hopper


Exploring Negative Capability with Anna Elizabeth Graham, for Critique & Craft @dVerse Poets Pub: Poets and readers around the world..join us.

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  1. this is rather haunting… seems like such a peaceful scene but there’s much underneath the surface…the sun being gulped down and her lost, no matter how tight she fits life into that frame..the tree eyes drilling her…love what you did with the interpretation of the painting..always more to a scene than what’s seen for the eyes..

  2. Nice one .. Loved the lines here

    She knows the sun will be gulped
    down, spat out, that however tight
    she fists her life into the frame, it will
    be lost

    Beautiful but a haunting write …i think i will be reminded of this before relishing a fish again

  3. great intentional use of language in this…the impaled life…has quite the menace..she fists her life into the frame, it will

    be lost …another…there is an unsettledness to this…something just under the surface…which is a great contrast to the picture…

  4. You have really captured the mood of this picture. there is something sinister about it.I feel the women is very isolated with no one around and in danger.

  5. such a beautiful capture of the morning… not knowing what is next feeling

  6. I came across this picture on the cover of a collection of Wallace Stevens’ poems. I like what you have done with it. It could easily be a comforting picture, but you have filled it with tension.

  7. Thanks for all these comments.. It’s one of those pictures that for me is not what it first seems to be. The dark grows and her tension.. panic even.. becomes impossible to ignore. It reminded me a little of how Kate Winslet’s character felt in Revolutionary Road, or Julianne Moore’s character in The Hours. Also a book I read a few months back – Tigers in Red Weather – really caught the mood of the times.

  8. Beautiful write, Becky! And, I love the picture, too!

  9. there is such graceful timing in this poem. I am studying the line breaks and the literal space between. “betes noirs” brings a delightful twist. you can only lean so far into a window.

    • Thanks so much for your comment Jane.. love how you’ve caught some of those dark undercurrents …

  10. Your words really lend themselves to the striking posture of the woman in the picture. I story to be told, and you tell it well.

  11. Powerful poem with a punch. I liked very much the imagery you used.

  12. Thanks everyone.. all your comments are very much appreciated. They let me see what you see.

  13. Becky I truly loved this! There is a whole story here

  14. I like the line about the sun being gulped down and the fist holding tightly the day.

  15. Becky, I’m not sure this is a current link but this is where I ended up and I’m so happy for that. Wondrous ekphrasis. and the play of words Mourning/morning is brilliant and set the tone for the poem. Your verb choices zing.

    • Great to read your comment Victoria! I had linked from my newer blog for OLN, but plan to start using this one a gain soon. Thanks for dropping in and your warm comment.

  16. Such a surprising poem – very powerful in a shudder producing way–Very cool, thanks. k.

  17. A bleak and powerful evocation of oppressive grief. Haunting and impressive.

  18. great piece (of course), esp like the use of ‘torque’ in the context. Top poetry from a top poet

  19. I haven’t studied the pic, but your words are enough to imagine the end everywhere–whether son/sun, personal or political, anger and grief are both in her hands. Fine poem.

  20. There is always something disturbing in Hopper’s paintings. I think have captured that perfectly.

  21. This put me in mind of recluses such as Emily Dickinson–there is an undercurrent of lonelinesss, perhaps even invalidism. Quite evocative. I love your work, Becky.

  22. Lovely lovely write … bkm

  23. othermary permalink

    Hi Becky. There is an undercurrent of something sinister here. I like the way you’ve used dark and light, and your word choice is amazing, as usual. I especially like S2.

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