Being Real: When Hyperbole and Life Intersect

Sometimes hyperbole tells the tale best of all.  I sincerely hope to get some feedback on this one.  thanks!

Being Real

– When Hyperbole and Life Intersect

Overwhelmed by a single thought
Triggered by sweet words read on some site I don’t recall
A punch to my chest

A  shawl knit of sorrow draped around my shoulders
A vacuum sucks the air from my lungs
This sudden longing for you
a craving sharp and fierce

If I can’t touch you how can I live
and navigate my days?
Never feel you?  Never kiss you?
Never hold you in my arms?

The sands of regret
weigh me down and clog my breath
I am blinded to life’s beauty
We will never be together

5 thoughts on “Being Real: When Hyperbole and Life Intersect

  1. First, it’s a good universal, genderless theme (anxiety and then love lost or unrequited). I do perceive here a war within the narrator of the poem. As far as emotional content, that’s where I see the strife: there’s the anxiety or angst of the narrator (shown through sensations such as touch or feeling–the punch to the chest, the vacuuming of the air, and then the clogged breath) and then there’s his/her sorrowful realization that they cannot be a couple (again mostly through the sense of touch–the shawl of sorrow and the narrator’s more direct almost- dialoguish “If I can’t touch you how can I live…”). Even the part about the longing is very touch-oriented–with “sharp” and “fierce” normally being associated with feeling or the skin, as piercing and fire-related. For me, I like the assonance of “regret” and “breath” in the concluding stanza. I also like the idea of hyperbole in matters of love–in “new” love especially, we tend to magnify the beloved (not seeing his or her flaws) and in a way hyperbolize and almost, finally, marginalize them until we get to know them better. I’m intrigued with it here in the poem in that possibly you’re suggesting what’s called in fiction an “unreliable narrator” (or, at the very least, s/he is very upset). Maybe this person’s view of the beloved, as well as his/her determinism or fatalism (in absolutist terminology like “We will never be together”) is also a bit flawed and s/he comes to realize that even as s/he writes (or lives!) the last line. Anyway, this is my long-winded take on the poem, fwiw. I’m glad you shared it!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Leigh I am so appreciative of your detailed and carefully thought out critique of my poem – Being Real: When Hyperbole and life Intersect. You picked up on some very real feelings of the poet at the time that this was written. Yes, Hyperbole is the device that I used both to illustrate some over-the-top distress and something else that was a little harder to define. That was an incongruity between the depth of the poet’s distress and the lack of any “real life” contact with the object of longing. So it seemed appropriate at the time to write of the whole situation in an over the top hyperbolic way. I hope that makes at least a little sense, lol. I’m so glad you enjoyed it and took the time to share your observations!! thank you!


      • I read something recently to this effect; I think it was from the Paris Review, but I don’t remember the poet who said it. It was to the effect that “metaphor makes life worth living.” So, too, hyperbole. Glad to stop by your blog. Keep on writing! 🙂


  2. modgranny says:

    Having just lost my dear husband of almost 62 years and having honored his request for care at home with me…I grieve with little regret and much longing and heartbreak with his touch.


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