Furiously Overcome by Stars

by Guy Kettelhack
Wild Poetry Forum
First Place, April 2019
Judged by Melissa Studdard


Explain this to me, would you, dear? –
how you, who breathe the atmosphere
I breathe, and witness day and night
and up and down and left and right
.
with sight presumably not unlike what
my eyes take in, experience a glut
of swarming, loud, sensate hyperbole
where only silent absence seems to me
.
to be, and otherwise imply the “real”
is so inordinate you can’t begin to feel
the groaning board of it. I’m in the dusk
in emptiness while you’re the brusque
.
besieged eternal target of internal war.
Is it simply I see less, and you see more?
Who is yes and who is no? I am my scars.
You’re furiously overcome by stars.


Oh delight! I love what this poem asks and how it’s built. Between the intriguing title and its repetition in the last line, we’re fed a delicious poetry sandwich. If, for some reason I can’t fathom, the title hadn’t already grabbed the reader’s attention, the first line’s question is a certain draw. Explain what? I have to know. What a complex thing, too, this difference in two people’s perceptions. What is it that makes two people share the same experiences, yet internalize and comprehend them so differently? Further, the formal elements of “Furiously Overcome By Stars”—the framing, the rhyming closing couplet, and the quatrains—work to contain this wildness of language and feeling that seems always about to burst deliriously, and fabulously, from the seams of the poem. --Melissa Studdard

  • May2020 Winners

    • First Place

      Burying My Brother
      by Bob Bradshaw
      The Waters

      Second Place

      The Asian man who walks past the balcony
      by Daniel J. Flore III
      Babilu

      Third Place

      Five Hundred Yards from Home
      by Richard Moorhead
      Wild Poetry Forum

  • April 2020 Winners

    • First Place

      In the next life we were married
      by Ken Brownlow
      The Waters

      Second Place

      To a Wayward Son
      by Ken Ashworth
      The Waters

      Third Place

      Separation
      by Bob Bradshaw
      The Writer's Block