Poetism Commentary: “Stormy Weather”

The poem in question: Stormy Weather

An alternative title for this poem would be “Letter to the Devil.”  In LDS theology the Book of Mormon offers some insights to Satan’s workings in 2 Nephi 26:22 and 2 Nephi 28:21-23.  Basically the idea is that the devil will attempt to be our friend, slowly putting a “flaxen cord” around us so we don’t realize we are under his control, until one day it’s too late, we’re bound by his “awful chains, from whence there is no deliverance,” and he gleefully abandons us and moves on to the task of ensnaring the next poor soul.

I tried to capture this idea in my poem, and I like the subtle progression the speaker makes in realizing that he is becoming more and more trapped.  It starts out somewhat light-hearted: “we… played our game together,” progresses to “let’s go tonight,” and arrives at the conclusion that “we dug my grave together,” all while not quite making the full logical connection that this relationship is not a good one, because he keeps coming back to it.  I think this is something that everyone struggles with on some level.

The last stanza is also based in LDS theology, but it is also a bit overly-negative by my reading today.  While Mormons believe that eventually Satan will be cast down forever, the phrase “your demise will be my finest hour” seems displaced from the spirit in which the triumph will take place.  That spirit is not one of boastfulness, but of relief and gratitude toward the delivering power.  I don’t think I conveyed that sentiment, but I also think that I was 18 when I wrote this and overcoming Satan’s ceaseless attacks was constantly on my mind.

As for the style of this poem, I generally enjoy it.  I think I did a pretty good job with the rhyming pattern, and I think the meter generally flows pretty well.  Similar to something I mentioned many years ago in a different commentary, the repeated use of the line “then came stormy weather” probably had some influence from Paul Simon’s “Hearts and Bones.”

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