Simple Counting

For poetry lovers, we have a series of blogs, Poetry Lessons.  Visit our page on the 5ths (5, 15, 25) to see which poem has inspired a lesson in thinking and writing.  We’ll intersperse with news about the newest books from Writers Ink.

We have a simple poetry lesson this time, Lynne Alvarez’ “She loved him all her life”.

She loved him all her life

and when she thought he might die

she tied her wrist to his at night

so that his pulse would not flutter

away from her suddenly

and leave her standed

No punctuation;  it’s not needed.

No special repetition or figurative language;  it’s the simple story of long love.

What makes this worthy of a poetry lesson, even a short one?  Count the syllables per line.

6 / 7 / 8 / 8 / 7 / 5

A syllable goes missing.  It departed.  As he departed and left her half complete (the symbolic meaning of 5).

This poem always brings tears to my eyes.

And the value to poets:  the use of simple numbers to create a revelatory structure. That’s all that’s needed.

Questions about writing your own poetry? Try Discovering Sentence Craft, which focuses the metaphorical and interpretive skills as well as inversion, opposition,  repetition, and sequencing. Find it here: