Wild Goose Poetry Review

Contemporary Poetry, Reviews, and Commentary

Maren Mitchell, Items on the Survival Kit List

with 23 comments

Maren O. Mitchell

At our table in the mountain town coffee shop,
while college students give a poetry reading,
the young New Yorker,
a blue-eyed Cheshire cat,
smiles as his mother introduces him
to us: he edits film
for a living. His smile stretches on
as he disclaims and labels writing:
Words are over-rated.

My iamb-loving friend Joan
chuckles: Like Dr. Seuss,
we are all waiting to be discovered
She packs her heart and eyes
into meter and rhyme
woven dense as Kevlar,
no words unnecessary.

My main dream sits beside me,
urges me to write
toward another goal—
fill books with poems.
On the brink of old age,
my third aim fights for space:
drop ambition
grasp the calm
heft and sheen
of brevity.

Author’s Comment: Balancing the need and use of words is constant in speech and writing. I am trying to be more selective in both the need and the use.

Bio: Maren O. Mitchell’s poems have appeared in Southern Humanities Review, The Journal of Kentucky Studies, Pirene’s Fountain, Appalachian Journal, The Arts Journal, and elsewhere. Her book, Beat Chronic Pain, An Insider’s Guide, has been released through Line of Sight Press, http://www.lineofsightpress.com/, and is available on Amazon. For twenty years, across five states, she has taught the Japanese art of origami.

Written by wildgoosepoetryreview

February 14, 2013 at 12:35 am

Posted in Uncategorized

23 Responses

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  1. Hey Maren,

    This is really good. Kudos, my friend.


    Ronald Moran

    February 14, 2013 at 2:24 am

    • So glad you like it, Ron. Thanks!

      Maren O. Mitchell

      February 14, 2013 at 10:18 pm

  2. Ah, the “heft and sheen of brevity.” Brilliant!


    February 14, 2013 at 1:34 pm

    • Thanks. Frankly, I was pleased with it, too!

      Maren O. Mitchell

      February 14, 2013 at 10:19 pm

  3. Nice one, Maren!

    Robert S. King

    February 14, 2013 at 2:34 pm

    • My thanks, Robert.

      Maren O. Mitchell

      February 14, 2013 at 10:20 pm

  4. Love it, Maren, especially the last, and you captured Joan perfectly.

    Ann Cahill

    February 14, 2013 at 8:36 pm

    • Hope Joan agrees! Thank you, Ann.

      Maren O. Mitchell

      February 14, 2013 at 10:21 pm

  5. Brava, Maren!
    The soul of wit, whether in iambs or otherwise —
    or as Baltasar Gracián, one of the greatest Spanish literary thinkers put it, “Good writing, if brief, is good twice over [Lo bueno, si breve, dos veces bueno].”



    February 14, 2013 at 9:32 pm

    • I am honored, Tyler! And good to hear from you, too!

      Maren O. Mitchell

      February 14, 2013 at 10:24 pm

  6. This poem works on so many levels, Maren. Very precise. I liked it the first time I read it, and I like it now. My favorite part is your main dream sitting next to you.

    Karen Paul Holmes

    February 15, 2013 at 12:11 am

    • Aha! That’s my favorite part too, Karen.

      Maren O. Mitchell

      February 15, 2013 at 2:28 am

  7. Yes, yes, yes, to the last 4 lines!
    Nice, Maren!

    Heidi Sherlock

    February 15, 2013 at 3:31 am

    • I appreciate, appreciate, appreciate your enthusiasm, Heidi!

      Maren O. Mitchell

      February 15, 2013 at 5:55 pm

  8. Thank you, Maren. I am honored you put me in your poem. Brevity and you are dancing partners in this lovely tribute!

    Joan Howard

    February 16, 2013 at 12:21 pm

    • Thank you, Joan. My pleasure!

      Maren O. Mitchell

      February 16, 2013 at 6:13 pm

  9. Thank you, Maren, for including me in your lovely poem. I am honored. Brevity and you are partners in this lovely dance.

    Joan Howard

    February 16, 2013 at 12:40 pm

  10. You used the words like a paint brush. I could have been sitting in the room. It was vivid.

    Mary Mike

    February 16, 2013 at 7:54 pm

    • Coming from a painter to a would-be-painter, I am honored!

      Maren O. Mitchell

      February 17, 2013 at 7:59 pm

  11. I love this. Surreal elements in poems take them into the realm of magic, just as this does for me.


    February 18, 2013 at 12:18 am

    • Thanks, Pris. Enjoyed “The Nature of Attraction.” Congratulations on “Shadows Trail Them Home.” You AND your poetry are admirable!

      Maren O. Mitchell

      February 19, 2013 at 2:16 am

  12. I love this poem. This is a wonderful place for poets. Great job.

    Rana Williams

    April 4, 2013 at 12:21 am

    • Isn’t it fun to read and make comments on poems by poets we will never meet? Thanks, Rana, for yours!

      Maren O. Mitchell

      April 10, 2013 at 2:53 am

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