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Mid July

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Below is the poem entitled Mid July which was written by poet Brooke Wolfe. Please feel free to comment on this poem. However, please remember, PoetrySoup is a place of encouragement and growth.

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Mid July

When the clock ticks towards the end of July,
I begin spending all too-hot summer days painting the blue-jay,
A rare and almost-majestic mini, hard to find the right color paint
For.  But on good days after sunset the air becomes crisp
Enough for me to enjoy the change in temperature corresponding with my change
Of mood or palette, all-encompasses occurring under

That unfabulous shroud of melancholy, that, under
Which I cannot keep safe-keeping in July.
When the colors on the page scream for need of change,
I ignore the plight of the real blue-jay
As he exists in this reality of crisp-
Air-fragility which causes my paint

To dry and crumble like the immature cheap paint
Of a five-year old hanging just under
My incomplete summer canvas crisp
With hopes of an increasingly hopeful July.
I stroke the brushed-over blue-jay
Feathers fake on canvas which changes

With every motion of my hand, changing
The color of my paints
As I allow them to drip over the image of my blue-jay,
The reality now out of sight making reality more clearly hidden under 
The lie of a canvas in late July.
It lies hidden under remorse of lies, crisp

With not-yet-oncoming autumn crispness
Teasing me with surreality which changes
With every movement of a hand this time of July.
I methodically repetitiously move my hand to paint but what I thought was real 
was revealed as not under
The surreal thought of the canvas as the actual blue-jay

Who fluttered his meaningless blue-jay
Wings a long time ago out of sight—crisply
Seen crawling around or over, when it should’ve been under
The hammock tree in the rain, recently changed 
To my favorite willow peaceful-painting
Locale no matters the month, even July.

The time the blue-jay wants most to be changed
By the crisp stroke of a masterful painter
In the yard, under the hot sky just after mid-July.

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  1. Date: 12/2/2008 12:45:00 PM
    This is a brilliant piece of writing. Sestina is the most difficult of poetic form because it restricts the poet so much and in doing so put demands on the writers skill and, above all, imagination. In a lot of forms writers use them as prescriptions: they count syllables; they attend to enjambment and the like and that can end up being dry. The sestina, I feel, exposes that greatly. Here though you have kept to the form and in doing so you have given a real passion to the poem.