by Michael R. Burch
Form, Theme, Analysis and Meaning
This was the first non-rhyming poem that I wrote as a young poet. It came to me
"from out of blue nothing" . . .
―for the children of the Holocaust and the Nakba
Something inescapable is lost—
lost like a pale vapor curling up into shafts of moonlight,
vanishing in a gust of wind toward an expanse of stars
immeasurable and void.
Something uncapturable is gone—
gone with the spent leaves and illuminations of autumn,
scattered into a haze with the faint rustle of parched grass
Something unforgettable is past—
blown from a glimmer into nothingness, or less,
which finality swept into a corner, where it lies
in dust and cobwebs and silence.
Form, Theme, Analysis and Meaning: "Something" is a poem about
loss. Its theme is loss. The poem came to me "out of blue nothing," to borrow a
line from my friend the Maltese poet Joe Ruggier. The poem is about things
slipping through our fingers like vapor. It was the first poem I wrote that
didn't rhyme, and my first free verse poem. After I wrote the poem, I decided to
dedicate it to the children who died in the Holocaust and Nakba.
Michael R. Burch is an American poet who lives in Nashville, Tennessee with his
wife Beth, their son Jeremy, and three outrageously spoiled puppies. His poems, epigrams, translations, essays, articles,
reviews, short stories and letters have appeared
more than 4,000 times in publications which include TIME, USA Today, The Hindu,
BBC Radio 3, CNN.com, Daily Kos, The Washington Post, Light Quarterly, The Lyric, Measure, Writer's Digest—The Year's Best Writing,
The Best of the Eclectic Muse, Unlikely Stories and
hundreds of other literary journals, websites and blogs. Mike Burch is also the
founder and editor-in-chief of The HyperTexts, a former columnist for the Nashville City Paper and, according to Google, a relevant online publisher of poems about the Holocaust,
Hiroshima, the Trail of Tears, Darfur, Haiti, Gaza
and the Palestinian Nakba. He has two published books,
Violets for Beth (White
Violet Press, 2012) and
O, Terrible Angel (Ancient Cypress Press, 2013).
A third book, Auschwitz Rose, is still in the chute but long delayed.
Burch's poetry has been translated into eleven languages and set to music by the
composers Mark Buller, Alexander Comitas and Seth M. Smith. One of his poems, "First They
Came for the Muslims," has been adopted by Amnesty International for its
Words That Burn anthology, a free online resource for
students and educators. He has also served as editor of International
Poetry and Translations for the literary journal Better