all the light we cannot see–dVerse OLN



all the light we cannot see

the blind french girl
her bedroom fills with pebbles, seaglass, shells,
and yet she misses gardens, books and pinecones.
her pockets lined with sand, her face aglow with wind,
she simply listens, hears and breaths.

the reluctant german soldier boy
he tries to lose himself in work,
stares into space and hears the distant
thrumming of a bird, a skylark
four hundred children crawl along the razors edge.

the blind french girl
her stockings now have runs in them,
her shoes too large but still she walks
a ballerina in satin slippers
her feet articulate as hands,
a little vessel, now, of grace

the reluctant german soldier boy
a shell now screams above the house
everything—transient, aching, tentative
i only want to sit with her, he thinks,
for hour upon hour.

so war continues to this day
with no return, without surcease
preventing lovers’ deepest want
indulging only endless greed
and misplaced ideology
why not accept the beauty of
our differences.

her bedroom fills with shells and whelks
and tears.

I’ve written this for dVerse Open Link Night with reference to the peace prompt from dVerse Poetics on Tuesday. This is an erasure poem with some paraphrasing. The book I used is Pulitzer Prize Winner Anthony Doerr’s “All the Light We Cannot See.” It is the story of a German Orphan boy, recruited into Hitler’s Army and a young French girl, displaced from Paris during the occupation…and how their lives converge. I cannot recommend it highly enough. At my age, I only read books I find really worthwhile, and only once…I want to get in as much reading as I can before I can’t! I read this twice, for its amazing plot and stunningly poetic writing. 5 Stars +++

Please join us for Open Link Night.


28 thoughts on “all the light we cannot see–dVerse OLN

  1. Thom Hickey says:

    Thanks. I enjoyed every slect of your post. One of many I have admired this year. Regards Thom.


  2. Kate Mia says:

    tears of fears
    wars of separation
    dreams of healing
    Souls on fire
    for Love


  3. This is beautiful, sad, nostalgic. The image of the ballerina in satin slippers is amazingly beautiful.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. MarinaSofia says:

    I’ve heard such good things about this book – it’s somewhere on my toppling to be read list…
    I can’t believe this is erasure poetry – you’ve done a fantastic job – so lyrical, so succinct, so illuminating!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Bryan Ens says:

    I would have never guessed that this was erasure poetry…it read so smoothly. Blind and reluctant…such wonderful metaphors for war and missed opportunities at love.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Mary says:

    A nice summation of the book, Victoria. I must be one of the few people who really could not get into the book though. I tried. Perhaps because it was so hyped by so many it could not live up to its expectations…but I do know I am an exception & should try it again sometime.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Amazing poem, Victoria. Thanks for the book recommendation.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Polly says:

    Oh, so sad, so lovely…

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Oh, my. I’m out of words. Splendid poetry.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. kaykuala h says:

    Given the horrors of war as a backdrop, there is the heart-warming story of those who somehow manage to make it through with all the drama thrown in!


    Liked by 1 person

  11. What a wonderful poem, and even more so you only hint at the horrors of war, but more that strong want, the urge that keep us wanting peace. This is exactly the type of peace poem that I like… I have to look for that book next time I need a new one. Currently I’m slowly reading through the latest book by Svetlana Alexievich… I really recommend it, though it’s hard to read because of the horrors… I think they are hard to get hold of in English…


  12. Your poem sums up the hollow horror of war and the last stanza echos what so many of us are feeling right now.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. I love that first stanza… especially about missing gardens. Very nice and poetic!

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Brilliant! I will look for this book.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Bodhirose says:

    It’s amazing how well that erasure poetry can come together even when taking bits and pieces from here and there. Excellent, Victoria…it flowed so well and told its own story.

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Grace says:

    I will check out the book Victoria ~ The title is familiar to me but I have not read it ~ You used erasure process, wow ~ The verses all come together beautifully ~

    Liked by 1 person

  17. Fae says:

    Oh my goodness, I love this! It’s my favorite of the day.

    Liked by 1 person

  18. Glenn Buttkus says:

    Erasure poetry can be dynamic, taking on a life of its own, as with your piece. A very touching experience, making me flash on THE TIN DRUM, THE BOY IN THE STRIPED PAJAMAS, & SCHINDLER’S LIST. I love the line /four hundred children crawl along the razor’s edge/.

    Liked by 1 person

  19. Sanaa Rizvi says:

    This left me utterly speechless….!!

    Liked by 1 person

  20. Pleasant Street says:

    Oh wow. A Triumph!

    Liked by 1 person

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