Live Virtual Group Session: 6PM EDT July 14th 2021

Thank you to everyone who joined for this session!

Our text for this session was the poem Men at My Father’s Funeral by William Matthews, posted below.

Our prompt for this session was: “Write an elegy about someone lost.

More details on this session will be posted, so check back!

Participants are warmly encouraged to share what you wrote below (“Leave a Reply”), to keep the conversation going here, bearing in mind that the blog of course is a public space where confidentiality is not assured.

Also, we would love to learn more about your experience of these sessions, so if you’re able, please take the time to fill out a follow-up survey of one to two quick questions!

Please join us for our next session Friday July 16th at 12pm EDT, with more times listed on our Live Virtual Group Sessions page.

Men at My Father’s Funeral
By William Matthews

The ones his age who shook my hand
on their way out sent fear along
my arm like heroin. These weren’t
men mute about their feelings,
or what’s a body language for?
And I, the glib one, who’d stood
with my back to my father’s body
and praised the heart that attacked him?
I’d made my stab at elegy,
the flesh made word: the very spit
in my mouth was sour with ruth
and eloquence. What could be worse?
Silence, the anthem of my father’s
new country. And thus this babble,
like a dial tone, from our bodies.

William Matthews, “Men at My Father’s Funeral” 
from Time and Money: New Poems. 
Copyright © 1995 by William Matthews.

4 thoughts on “Live Virtual Group Session: 6PM EDT July 14th 2021

  1. Write an elegy about someone lost~~~

    I knew this person for quite a while.
    A bright person who was always full of questions.
    He had compassion for all those around him.
    The kind of person that welcomed a stray dog into his home and then this little straggly dog became his lifelong companion.
    A man who stood tall and strong, giving strength to those around him.
    An individual who was fun to be around,
    who made you feel whole and alive.

    Then one day I came across this small write-up in the local newspaper.
    This wonderful, caring man took his life.
    It seemed so foreign a concept for me to absorb.

    I wish him well wherever he is.
    I want him somehow to know that he was loved and very much missed.
    The world will not be the same without him.


    • al3793

      Michele, Your poem, like William Matthews’, is three stanzas, and the first and third give the reader a sense of hope, even in death. They bookend a very tragic story. Your speaker shares the same compassion that this young man must have emitted during his life. The lines, “I wish him well wherever he is,” and ” The world will not be the same without him,” reflect that sensitivity and caring and challenge the reader honor this man with the way we conduct our lives. Andre

      Liked by 1 person

  2. al3793

    An Elegy About Someone Lost

    For 18 years I have wanted to write about you.
    Losing you, Mom, was an experience of loss I had never felt.
    You carried me inside of you – in your womb
    I listened to the swishing of your heart for 270 days.
    You bore me.
    You fed me at your breast.
    No child has a relationship with anyone like the one with their mother…
    no one else in the world.

    I was exhausted for months,
    unable to start anything
    your absence did not seem real.

    You know, the night after you died I disappeared to the basement to cry
    alone and Katharine came down after me to play –
    She had no idea how comforting that playing was.
    You taught us to never abandon our child’s heart,
    a prayer I put to bed with my daughter every night,
    “keep your little girl’s heart.”

    By the way, i am sure you know,
    I was delivering a baby unaware that you were dying.
    We had talked just ninety minutes earlier.
    I wish we had talked longer.

    It’s funny how some lessons keep returning for another day.
    So, now I start this writing.
    I don’t know where it will go.
    All I know is that I am glad
    to have begun.



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