every sin dissipates to blank space
and the world is gentle, soft sand
(when we embrace, we feel it)
and we are full. Of air, of life
of love. We are bursting.
Every sound we hear is sweet
as birdsong, and light as clouds.
We are a harmony with it all,
I stare gladly
at our plentiful time.
Celebrate the newness that comes
We find places that are filled,
like us, with the greatest sounds
and gentlest things;
that unmistakable taste
This poem was an experimental one to say the least, but I’m hopeful that my messing around with the form had the right effect. I tried to make this piece read as a monologue by having various inconsistencies throughout, such as line lengths, caesuras, numerous examples of enjambment and irregular capitalisation. In my mind, this helped the stanzas flow and tie the entire piece together, but also allowed them to occasionally make sense as stand-alone separate thoughts.
Since the poem might first appear as lovely-dovey and potentially a bit wet, I made sure to add a new element to it by experimenting with my title. Astraea is the Greek Goddess of innocence and purity (among other things) so I decided to use her name in my title to allow readers to ponder the overriding theme in a little more depth. I wanted there to be an underlying tone of fabrication and make-believe; almost a feeling of ‘too-good-to-be-true’. The narrator is ‘Acting Astraea’ unknowingly, and is so blindly in love that they cannot see the falseness residing underneath their seemingly perfect happiness*.
Examples of this covertly one-sided relationship can be seen in a few of the stanzas – even the first line “every sin dissipates” suggests that once, there were sins, and having the verb in the present tense suggests that they are still disappearing (i.e. not completely gone). Additionally, the line “I stare gladly” could represent loneliness and isolation as the narrator chooses not to use the plural pronoun “we”, implying that only they are content with the prospect of a lifetime with the other.
I ended the poem without punctuation or a satisfying final line because I wanted the reader to decide their own ending. Is the narrator interrupted in their thoughts and eventually told the truth about their fantastical love? Are they simply trailing off, completely immersed in their fictitious happiness? I’m not even sure if I’ve decided for myself…
I hope you enjoyed this experimental piece. There’s so much more to say about it but I wouldn’t want to bore you!
Some questions from me:
How did you feel about the ending? What is the narrator feeling?
Did you pick up on the natural imagery? What could this represent?
Thank you so much for reading xxx
*Disclaimer: if anyone knows me personally and is wondering whether this is a representation of my own relationship, please do not worry, we’re fine!