Original poem reprinted online here: "I'll Catch You Up" by Todd Davis
Originally read: December 31, 2012
More information about the Poet: Todd Davis
Now for this poem I wrote down this in the middle: "The speed of the generalizations offsets the images for me -- it's the ability to grasp images more readily than intangibles."
The poem itself lays out it's hand in the middle of the poem "your being / dead, me alive;" The speaker is alive and the other person is dead -- so what's at stake will be further explained in the poem; yet, what is before the stake is the backdrop -- or rather the state of mind of the speaker.
The weird part about the beginning of the poem -- very image-centric, very much symbolic ("bits of night / into daylight") is that the poem goes back to the aesthetic of the beginning at the end of the poem with one condition. Prepositions.
Now the crisis of styles (image to list based) adds to the speakers well unsureness -- weariness? Or how the speaker deals with the death of the other. And when the speaker returns the usage of "that" really shows the struggle down to the end.
I write this in my notes "It's a tricky situation. Which is the stronger metaphor? Or rather the first prepositional phrase 'that leads towards spring' feels like a positive note [to end on], the 'that runs along the bottom / of the ridge' is a negative image'"
In theory the poem could go "that leads towards spring which runs along the bottom of the ridge" there's a certain flow to the sentence that make logical sense.
However, the double usage of that doesn't fit quite well, and brings too much attention to itself when I read it outloud and in my head. For me, the usage of "that" twice conflicts with each other.
I write this in my notes; "Death <-- sweet bitter ---> bittersweet ---> sweet bitter." I know it doesn't look like it makes sense (When do I ever?) but it's about this. Conflict continues through the littlest detail -- a simple "that" could shift the poem -- a simple discordance definitely shifts things.