Tuesday, April 28, 2015

A maudlin poem

Actually, I don't think the poem is maudlin, I wanted to take the challenge to be a teacher who writes poetry, given in the throwback post from Two Writing Teachers. I followed the general plan for starting with a word of the day, finding synonyms and then synonyms of synonyms.


Tearfully charming,
Mawkish weeping,
Dreamy howling.
A comic mourner
In a funereal scene
from Charles Dickens.


Tall black hat,
Downcast eyes.

Dies Irae

The undertaker's mute
Pacing behind
Tenderly, professionally tearful.


Maybe the poem should speak for itself, but I'm going to talk about it anyway. I tried to pair unexpected synonyms - some of the synonyms and definitions were at odds with each. This led me to thoughts of the undertaker's mute, the hired mourner who walked behind the hearse in Victorian England. Oliver Twist was a mute for a short time in Dickens' novel, a pale, sad little boy dressed in mourning. One of the synonyms was lachrymose, which I discovered means weeping. That word took me to the Requiem mass. The Lachrymosa is part of the Dies Irae, so that became part of the poem, too.

Though I have written poetry in the past, I have fallen out of the habit. This was an enjoyable challenge that should lead to more poetry on my part.


  1. I love that you share your thought process, Becky! This is reminiscent of a think aloud :-) Great poem, too!

  2. I for one appreciate your thought process....and the synonyms....and the path your mind wandered as the poem unfolds...you are quite a teacher-writer!

    1. Thank you for the kind words! These comments are making my day!

  3. Count me in on enjoying your think aloud! I love the way you built this poem and might just try it myself sometime. Great poem!

    1. It was fun trying this out. I had no idea where I would end up when I started looking at synonyms. Thank you for the compliments!