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kborsden
03-11-2016, 09:56 PM
Remember your winter coat hangs by the door.
Remember the days, and the weeks they’ve spent
in arrears while we count hours forgotten—
remember the year, and re-count them each.

Remember not to hide the world away
behind the mnemonic curtains pulled close,
and drink tea with a smile that shows we know,
still knowing the face that Spring told was ours.

Remember how to stir the sky when Autumn
has been bled from it and poured, double-milk
with sugar, to blow before we sip,
and remember that Winter comes early—

and should either of us forget again,
remember to collect your winter coat.

I_love_coffee
03-13-2016, 06:57 PM
read this yesterday, but didn't comment. Needed to think about it.

The line, "Remember how to stir the sky.." Just kept rolling over and over in my mind.

Makes me think of a moment my husband and I shared while we were going through difficult financial times. However, I could be way off base with what the poems intentions were ( highly likely!)

CassandraW
03-14-2016, 06:25 AM
I see "winter" as a metaphor for old age and death. Always it is hanging by the door, waiting for us (like the winter coat). The narrator is reminding the reader to remember that -- to remember to live the days, weeks, and years, and savor them like the tea in the second and third stanzas when we're still young ("still knowing the face that Spring told was ours"), and to "remember how to stir the sky" when we're middle-aged ("when autumn has been bled from it").

Whether my take is correct or not, I particularly love this stanza:

Remember how to stir the sky when Autumn
has been bled from it and poured, double-milk
with sugar, to blow before we sip,
and remember that Winter comes early


ETA:

Apropos of nothing, the line "the face that Spring told was ours" made me think of something an elderly relative once said to me. She said that no matter how old she got, she still thought of herself as having the face she had as a young woman -- and sometimes, when she caught a glimpse of herself in a mirror or in a current photograph, she thought "who the hell is that old biddy?"

I_love_coffee
03-17-2016, 12:01 AM
I'm new at picking up metaphors in the imagery. I usually read a poem and it stirs something up in me, on an emotional level, and it's usually accompanied by my own image I assign to what I've read.

I was imagining the winter coat as symbolic of a security blanket, or peace of mind, or security that's always present in this couple's house. And that no matter what happens or how many years go by that the coat/the security from each other, is always there to provide for the other. And that the hard times will pass, time will pass, but that the peace of mind/security is always there, no matter what.

Cass, I re-read it with your interpretation. I can see that it could work like that. But I'm still struck by my first feeling I got about it.

The more I read the poem, the more I see in it. It's really brilliant.

CassandraW
03-17-2016, 12:14 AM
I can see that interpretation. Certainly the middle two stanzas, with their tea and drawn curtains, give a cozy feeling, and one could take the references to spring and fall as remembering and savoring the couple's past happy days.

On the other hand, the winter coat is not being used. It's hanging by the door, and won't be used until winter comes around. And at the end, the narrator reminds the reader to "collect it" -- it's not something the narrator thinks will necessarily be remembered during spring, summer and fall.

My thought is that an ever-present cozy secure feeling between a loving couple would be better represented by, say, a blanket or comforter that is used every day, or a well-worn, beloved sweater or robe routinely worn about the house.

Then too, there's the reminder not to "hide the world away" behind the curtain of memory. I would think that something more akin to the opposite would be appropriate to a poem about cozy love and security between a couple -- when the world outside is harsh, they can draw the curtains together and shut it out, focusing on comfort of their warm love.

ETA:

Then too, there's the reminder that "winter comes early" -- which for me hearkens to the sentiment of "gather ye rosebuds while ye may," etc.

ETA:

Also -- if the narrator is reminding someone to "collect" his/her coat, it rather sounds as though they do not live together. It sounds as though the person left the coat there on the last cold day, and needs to be reminded that he or she will need it eventually when "winter comes early," and the person will want to have it when that time arrives. Therefore, they should collect it when it is time for them to go. (Or at least that is my feeling when I see "collect.")

Winter cannot be there quite yet, however, because if it were, no reminding to "collect" the coat would be necessary. The cold weather would be reminder enough.

ETA:

Whether either of us have Kie's intentions correctly, he will probably be interested in our interpretations. For what it's worth, I've tried to indicate the language that gives rise to mine. I'd be interested to hear what others think -- and of course, Kie's intention, if he'd like to share it.

cellajam
03-17-2016, 05:43 PM
While I can see ILC's read and I love Cass' wide yet exacting read I keep getting a dementia type condition. Remember not to go out in the snow without your coat, it's right there. Recount: review the facts we're expected to know. Needing mnemonics, remembering to at least look like we are enjoying the gifts of life.

"Remember how to stir the sky when Autumn
has been bled from it and poured, double-milk
with sugar, to blow before we sip,
and remember that Winter comes early—"

I am floored by this passage like both of you no matter which way it's turned.

And the ending, for me it's the not always being able to do the reminding but hoping it will be the thing they remember.

I like Cass' interpretation better. :)

Sarita
03-17-2016, 07:12 PM
Lovely and melancholy. Thanks for posting.

I couldn't help but think of "clouds in your coffee" on reading "how to stir the sky when Autumn has been bled from it". That's amazing imagery, right there. Well done.

kborsden
03-23-2016, 02:15 AM
Thank you for reading. I enjoyed the analyses.

MuteSoul
03-23-2016, 05:24 AM
This poem is so lovely. It struck a cord within me. I interpreted it as someone before did, that is, that it's about death and aging.


still knowing the face that Spring told was ours

This hit me. I don't know why. There is just something so melancholy in it. It's bittersweet.

I am terrible at long analyses because mostly I read a poem and if I love it, reflect on deeper meanings in my mind. Putting my thoughts in words always makes my intention muddled. So I'll just say I think this is a flawless poem of imagery in simple ways that bring about huge meaning.

Thanks for sharing.

Latina Bunny
03-23-2016, 07:07 AM
Remember your winter coat hangs by the door.
Remember the days, and the weeks they’ve spent
in arrears while we count hours forgotten—
remember the year, and re-count them each.

Remember not to hide the world away
behind the mnemonic curtains pulled close,
and drink tea with a smile that shows we know,
still knowing the face that Spring told was ours.

Remember how to stir the sky when Autumn
has been bled from it and poured, double-milk
with sugar, to blow before we sip,
and remember that Winter comes early—

and should either of us forget again,
remember to collect your winter coat.

This poem sounds lovely. :)

I had to read and re-read the poem and then gather my thoughts together. There were a couple of lines that I didn't think I understood, but I'm going to try and give it a go. :)

For me, I think this poem is about a shut-in person (maybe an elder?) who may be reminiscing about past times, or may be too depressed to go outside and engage with the world.

I think someone is trying to urge them to re-connect with the world, to put on the coat, she'd off the cobwebs, get out of his/her slump, and to continue on with life. (Of course, a possible alternative is that it is the shut-in person who is thinking all this to him/her-self.)

The coat is always there to remind the shut-in person that the option to get out in world is always there, a certain possibility.

The shut-in is also drinking some hot chocolate or something hot as the weather gets colder.

The part that confuses me is the last two lines, "and should either of us forget again,
remember to collect your winter coat". I wonder if the shut-in person was an elder who had a bad memory, or something.

Or maybe the person gets too depressed or absorbed into their thoughts to not want to engage with society. (Or they literally just want to forget the world exists, lol.)

Basically, I think it's someone who is a shut-in, or is in a deep slump and doesn't want to engage with the outside world. The coat is a reminder that there is an always opportunity to reach out and re-engage/re-enter outside society.

That's my take on it. I could be waaaay offbase, but the poem sounds lovely and gave me food for thought. :)