For Poetry Duel 10 I am very pleased to welcome Cheyenne Bramwell who graciously contributed one of her poems for the duel. And she WON!
Cheyenne's poem "Grim Insights" tied for most votes on any duel and got the highest rating yet (4.67)! Cheyenne does something that I find amazing - posts a new original poem every day.
She is self-described as an adrenaline junky, poet, and author who runs a daily poetry blog, and is in the process of a handful of fiction projects, including one that's been going for over a decade! She's new to sharing her work with the world, so if you'd like to let her know what you think of this poem, tweet her at @PoemsbyCheyenne!
You can find her poetry blog at poemafterpoem.weebly.com, or on Facebook at www.facebook.com/poemsbyCheyenne. You can also support her on patreon.com/poetrybyCheyenne and get a personalized poem!
The "losing" poem, with an average rating of 4.4 (third best in the Duel so far) was Emily Dickinson's "Because I Could Not Stop for Death" which I found in The Complete Poems of Emily Dickinson.
Death is haunted by humans.
Who says that Death is evil?
Depicted as he is, with a black cloak and a curved blade,
ready to rend souls from their mortal shell.
It's unfair and biased.
For someone who has to watch the best and the worst of all human experiences,
who holds the hand of the lonely dying,
who cradles the forgotten children in his arms as they waste away before his eyes,
who sees an endless sea of flickering candles extinguished one by one by a phantom breath,
he is saddled with all of our fears, worries, and nightmares.
But don't you think he has his own memories of us all?
Don't you think he dreams of our tear-soaked faces,
our last words and thoughts?
Does he hear our voices as we sing, shout, scream, or whisper our last breaths?
Does he wonder why some of us struggle and fight with our last ounce of strength to live,
while others leap into oblivion because of hopelessness, sorrow, or desperation?
I think he wonders at the worlds going on inside our hearts and our minds.
Because he only gets a glimpse into our final moments on this earth.
His everlasting collection of last pages must fill whole volumes.
Imagine how much you'd want to read the rest,
if the last page was the only gift you were ever given.
Because I Could Not Stop for Death
Because I could not stop for Death –
He kindly stopped for me –
The Carriage held but just Ourselves –
We slowly drove – He knew no haste
And I had put away
My labor and my leisure too,
For His Civility –
We passed the School, where Children strove
At Recess – in the Ring –
We passed the Fields of Gazing Grain –
We passed the Setting Sun –
Or rather – He passed us –
The Dews drew quivering and chill –
For only Gossamer, my Gown –
My Tippet – only Tulle –
We paused before a House that seemed
A Swelling of the Ground –
The Roof was scarcely visible –
The Cornice – in the Ground –
Since then – ‘tis Centuries – and yet
Feels shorter than the Day
I first surmised the Horses’ Heads
Were toward Eternity –
Me as a critic (be careful! the harshness will be well concealed!)