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Resurrecting Passion by Michael R. Burch

Last night, while dawn was far away
and rain streaked gray, tumescent skies,
as thunder boomed and lightning railed,
I conjured words, where passion failed …

But, oh, that you were mine tonight,
sprawled in this bed, held in these arms,
your breasts pale baubles in my hands,
our bodies bent to old demands …

Such passions we might resurrect,
if only time and distance waned
and brought us back together; now
I pray these things might be, somehow.

But time has left us twisted, torn,
and we are more apart than miles.
How have you come to be so far—
as distant as an unseen star?

So that, while dawn is far away,
my thoughts might not return to you,
I feed your portrait to the flames,
but as they feast, I burn for you.

Featured in Issue Two of New Lyre Magazine

10 comments on “Resurrecting Passion by Michael R. Burch

  1. It’s always an honor to be published by New Lyre. Comments are welcome.

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  2. johnhughbalmfordmartin

    A good poem rich with delightful effects.

    My one slight reservation would be that it reads a bit like an exercise as if the writer were imitating a passion, rather than actually experiencing it. But the the oddly Christian title seems to be designed to counter precisely this criticism. So overall a poem of great sophistication of much interest and summing up a whole vast tradition.

    The rhyme scheme is unusual and interesting.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks for the comments, John. The poem is mean to be ambivalent. The speaker is modeled a bit after the Duke in Robert Browning’s “My Last Duchess.” He wants to get rid of an unwanted memory. Passion failed, as he says in the opening stanza, so now he conjures words. But he can’t escape his memories. He hopes that burning the portrait will do the trick, but it seems unlikely. He’s caught in a sort of No Man’s Land and nothing is really working for him, if that makes any sense.

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  3. johnhughbalmfordmartin

    Yes, it is a very fine poem. But to me it lacks something. As if the poet is showing off a bit. His best poem is ‘Home Thoughts From Abroad’ because it is purely lyrical. And you feel he had to write it. Not so with his dramatic monologues which because they are separate stand-alone entities lack that feeling of necessity you get in Shakespeare.

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    • I can’t agree. For me “Home Thoughts From Abroad” is not one of Browning’s best poems. Browning isn’t one of my favorite poets and I wouldn’t compare any of his poems to the best works of Shakespeare. But “My Last Duchess” is a fine poem, and a well-written poem that reminds me a bit of Poe in the way it delves into mind of someone who seems to be “disturbed” but doesn’t know it himself. The Duke thinks he makes sense. The reader is appalled. I think the poem accomplishes exactly what the poet intended, or at least it does for me. Different poems do different things.

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  4. Thank you, Michael. As a retired clergy I was at first attracted to the title. As an old man, I appreciated the work. Mine is named “JoAnn.” After more than four decades I’m still feed her portrait to the flames. 🙂 dniederfrank@gmail.com

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    • I suspect we all have passions we are trying to resurrect or forget. Sometimes both. As retired clergy do you think I will go to hell or be eternally destroyed for not believing Jesus Christ could be so cruel and unjust?

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