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  • By Michael R. Burch

Something


Listen to a recording of this piece here.


―for the children of the Holocaust and the Nakba Something inescapable is lost— lost like a pale vapor curling up into shafts of moonlight, vanishing in a gust of wind toward an expanse of stars immeasurable and void. Something uncapturable is gone— gone with the spent leaves and illuminations of autumn, scattered into a haze with the faint rustle of parched grass and remembrance. Something unforgettable is past— blown from a glimmer into nothingness, or less, which finality has swept into a corner ... where it lies in dust and cobwebs and silence.


Credit: Open Art


Michael R. Burch is the editor of The HyperTexts, on-line at www.thehypertexts.com, where he has published hundreds of poets over the past three decades. His poetry has been translated into fourteen languages, taught in high schools and colleges around the globe, incorporated into three plays and two operas, and set to music by seventeen composers. A five-time Pushcart nominee, his poems, translations and essays have appeared in hundreds of literary journals, including The Lyric, New Lyre, Romantics Quarterly, The Chained Muse, LIGHT, Measure, Southwest Review, The Chariton Review, The Chimaera, Brief Poems, Poem Today, Asses of Parnassus, Writer’s Digest—The Year’s Best Writing and The Best of the Eclectic Muse.

28 commentaires


ajsedia
18 nov. 2023

What I like most about this is that you could remove the subtitle and nothing of the poem's depth would be lost. This poem does one of the best jobs I've seen of conveying the sense of loss -- be it a genocide or the death of a loved one. "Inescapable" and "uncapturable" perfectly describe the lost past, and that sense of wistfulness, of grasping at something ungraspable, permeates the work.


I also like the poem's simplicity. No grandiose monument to commemorate the tragedies referenced; just a short, profound meditation on the subject of loss -- a more appropriate response, I think.

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winestone.poet
19 nov. 2023
En réponse à

Well said, Adam! I couldn’t agree more. It is a stirring tribute to victims of genocide, but it’s extremely relatable on an individual level as well.


- Shannon

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winestone.poet
14 nov. 2023

I would just like to add how beautiful and moving David’s recording of “Something” is. Admittedly, I am always profoundly moved—perhaps to an almost ridiculous extent—by David’s recordings, so I guess my opinion on the “Something” recording may not mean very much for that reason. Nonetheless, something about his delivery on this one hits different. There is something especially profound about it, as is his choice for an illustration. Thank you, David, for publishing this wonderful poem during this dark time, and for doing it such justice. Sadly,

”Something” is all too timely and relevant today.

- Shannon

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stewart.burke
12 nov. 2023

This poem took me to some places and experiences in the Middle East which I had not thought about in a long, long while. We often refer to poetry and other meaningful arts as being "moving", but they can never be so without an accompanying stillness. The image with which the editor(s) chose to enhance this sensitive poem reminds me so much of the still ruins in the wake of war, an interstice that martial poignancy requires, yet I wish were not necessary.

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Michael R. Burch
Michael R. Burch
12 nov. 2023
En réponse à

Martin, my father was a 20-year man in the US air force, and I grew up on air bases in England, Germany and the US. When I lived in Germany under the threat of a Soviet invasion there were very real plans to evacuate us if the Russian tanks advanced, so I understand something of what children in Gaza face today.

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winestone.poet
11 nov. 2023

Words cannot adequately convey my love for this poem. It is absolute perfection. The use of imagery and metaphor is—as another commenter aptly put it—gorgeous. When I read “Something”, I find myself speechless; I can only shake my head in amazement and read the poem again. Below are some thoughts I have managed to scrape together:


For one thing, I love the complete lack of tribalism here, as the poem is dedicated to the children of both the Holocaust and the Nakba. After all, no good can come from acknowledging one atrocity against mankind only to delegitimize another. Such tribalism is even more reprehensible when we are talking about innocent children.


The poem itself is profoundly sad and heart-rending. I…


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winestone.poet
14 nov. 2023
En réponse à

Thank you so much, Martin! I’m glad you think so—I was actually dozing off multiple times while I was proofreading it. 😂 I like that principle of Buddhism you quoted; I think it is very wise. As time goes on, I find myself leaning towards a “middle path“ more and more. And I agree: endeavoring to wipe each other off the face of the earth is definitely not the answer. It never is.


- Shannon

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ddouthat09
ddouthat09
10 nov. 2023

Gorgeous imagery. Heart-hurt.

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winestone.poet
14 nov. 2023
En réponse à

Thank you so much, Mike!


- Shannon

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