The poem in question: Cried Out
This is a poem of which I like the idea, and the structure, but looking back at it now reads very awkwardly to me. It was written the same day as Insincerity, as previously noted, and it is about the same relationship with the same girl as described therein.
My, does that paragraph sound stuffy.
The style of this poem is patterned after the Paul Simon song “Flowers Never Bend With the Rainfall.” You may note with (not so) much amusement that I take what are most probably too many cues from Mr. Simon, but I cannot overstate what beautiful music and lyrics the man has created over the years. I have had in the back of my head for a while the thought that I may, if I ever finish the commentaries on my own works, offer a few on some of his. If I do, I’ll be sure to include my friend Ben’s take on “Leaves That Are Green,” because it makes me laugh.
The style of the poem is not one that I remember having encountered before “Flowers,” but I have since noticed it in a few other songs, with the Barenaked Ladies’ “War on Drugs” springing most quickly to mind. I like the rhyming pattern quite a bit, and I think it’s tricky too pull off without it sounding too forced. While I don’t think that I succeeded as I would have liked to here, neither do I think that I failed miserably.
As a bit of trivia (though what isn’t, with these commentaries?), I thought that this was the only poem that I had ever submitted to anyone, but a quick search of my name on poetry.com turns up a listing for to whom it may concern, which I think is actually a much better poem than Cried Out, but who am I to judge? Oh, that’s right.
Anyway, I submitted this poem to what is probably the same organization that owns poetry.com and got back one of those letters that says something like, “You have a gift. You are beyond gifted. We’ll be happy to publish your amazing poem in our upcoming anthology, of which you can own one of your very own copies for only an exorbitant amount of money. Did we mention you are so gifted that we have never seen your like, and thus should give us money so that you can see your work in print in an actual book?” I never did order one of those books. I did try to find the anthology I was supposedly published in a few times at the local bookstores, but never came across it.
Perhaps now I will actually take a look at the content of the poem, and elaborate a little bit on it.
In the poem, the man has had a relationship end some time before, and has not had another one since. He thinks about it often, and is trying to size up the reasons for its ending. The conclusion he comes to is that he didn’t have enough emotional attachment to the relationship for it to fully flourish, and the woman left him. The reasons for his lack of attachment are not explicitly given, but are ultimately unimportant; the relationship was destroyed beyond hope of being rebuilt. He is devastated, but won’t allow himself to fully feel the pain, because he fears even that level of emotional commitment. He tortures himself continually and cannot see any way to turn his life into something better, because he refuses to accept that some degree of pain is requisite to bring about a fullness of joy. If you don’t know how to be sad, how can you ever know how to be happy? This is noted in a discourse given in The Book of Mormon in 2 Nephi Chapter 2.
The title, “Cried Out,” is actually true, or was. When this particular girl and I broke up, I was determined that I would not get so emotionally attached to someone or something, so that I wouldn’t ever have to feel so sad I had to cry. I started counting how long I went without crying, and I think it was around sixteen months or so. When I finally did cry about something, it wasn’t because I was sad, but rather because I was on a boat and I was scared. Now laugh it up and let’s move on.
Strangely, this commentary took me quite a bit longer to write than the actual poem. I started it five nights ago, worked on it for a few hours and got stuck, came back to it once or twice over the next few days, and finally I decided that it is as good as it is going to get for now, and added this final paragraph. That is all.