i’m a genuine survivor of the life i’ve had to live
the hills i’ve had to climb i’m climbing still
it doesn’t matter how high the ground before me is
mere gradient will never conquer will

i could wish that life were easy or easier at least
but wishing never changed the way things are
so i’ll take what i am given as it comes along
after years of battle what is one more scar

some day i’ll reach a haven, a perfect place to rest
then i’ll turn my back on this unforgiving road
but until that day arrives i will never choose to stop
for i have the strength to manage yet my load

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  1. damommza

     /  August 24, 2011

    I’ve had the most trouble with this one. I’ve said it in my head multiple times, trying to get the correct emphasis on certain words, but I keep losing it. I can get the first and last stanzas but the middle one has me vexed. I keep pausing at different places but it just doesn’t ride smoothly. I’ve even tried placing commas then moving them (in my head) but the middle stanza still eludes me. Hmm.

    *It’s never JUST a poem, Jim…..* 🙂

    • I admit I keep losing the pattern to the middle verse when examining it. But when just reciting it I get the stress on the seventh syllable of the odd numbered lines and the sixth on the even although on the last line you have to scrunch “battle” into one syllable – batl – as opposed to two – bat tul, which makes “what” the sixth.

      i could wish that life were EASY or easier at least
      but wishing never CHANged the way things are
      so i’ll take what i am GIVen as it comes along
      after years of battle WHAT is one more scar

  2. damommza

     /  August 25, 2011

    AHA!!!! Going to the source is always the best way!!! Saying it the way you just wrote it makes perfect sense and it rides beautfully. I put the emphasis on all the wrong words. I had stressed (in order of lines) “easy”, “never”, “line 3 had me changing the emphasis over and over” and “battle”. By my doing that, none of the lines went together and as I changed one, I changed the next. (sort of like doing a verbal Rubik’s cube in my head, when you change one line, all the others change).

    • This demonstrates the difference between poetry that is written to recite (as mine is, even if it isn’t) and poetry that’s meant to stay on the page. Had this been written for the page the last line of verse two would have thrown off the whole thing because in it’s written form “battle” is always going to be a two-syllable word.

  3. damommza

     /  August 25, 2011

    I wish I could hear you recite. One of my all time favorite poets, ee cummings, writes well and when you read it, it’s good but when HE reads it…it becomes magic. I coud never, in my own mind, create the pattern and the phrasing as he does, and when he reads, it’s like listening to opera.

  4. damommza

     /  August 25, 2011


    • Now, granted it works for e.e. cummings, both as a writer and reciter, but I am not a cummings. Be grateful you’ll never hear me recite! I have and, with the best will in the world, it is abysmal, breaths in the wrong places, forgetting where to stress, if it can go wrong I can do it, in the same verse!

  5. damommza

     /  August 25, 2011

    LOLOLOLOL You make me laugh… :-)))


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