Summer Storm

I love the use of the word ‘barbarian’ here. It personifies the weather as unwelcome, invasive, and outsider. It seems as if it’s not safe for them to sleep until the storm is gone. -Kyle Austin, age 21

After dark, barbarian winds stormed around

“Barbarian” is the perfect word for describing the strong, hapless, philistine winds of summer storms. -Andrew De Haan, age 23

The house and lightning lit up windows
Everywhere; rain ricocheted across

“Ricocheted” is another perfect word as it causes the reader to hear the rain patter and ping on the roof and siding. -Andrew De Haan, age 23

The roof, against the vinyl siding. We stayed
In bed until it passed, then fell asleep.

I like the contrast between what is going on outside and inside the house. -Rachel Talen, age 22

We never looked out back.

These last two stanzas work beautifully together. Though the storms has disrupted the scenery of their world and a symbol of their love, they are still able to see that destruction always gives rise to the wonderful opportunity of rebuilding. -Kyle Austin, age 21

                                    I saw
It first, in light softly redefining what
We thnk we know for sure—our tulip poplar,
Planted jointly when our love was new,
Had lost its top, the upper trunk and limbs
Lopped off and flung awkwardly over chairs
Akimbo on the deck.

The imagery of this falling tree is jaunted and awkward, but so simple and pure to the event that it works so well. -Andrew De Haan, age 23

                                    Upstairs, you saw
Sky start to blush and heard the sweet birds sing,

I love how the sky blushes! What a great way to describe the warm pinkish hues and the cozy feelings that develop. -Rachel Talen, age 22

Battening down their broken nests.

This is a very passionate poem: “barbarian winds,” “rain ricocheted,” “our love as new,” “sky start to blush,” “sweet birds sing.” It’s a little hard to say exactly what it’s about, but I don’t believe it’s only about a storm. The reference to the tulip bush they planted when they were first married suggests that maybe their love has changed. He says the roses are all over the yard, and describes the view from the house as changed from their bedroom window. This could be an allegory for the changes in their relationship after a “storm.” The ending brings about hope however, with the birds rebuilding their nests. -Raegan Flikkema, age 16
Through the 3rd Eye was supported in its inception by the Grand Rapids Humanities Council and is currently made possible by continued volunteer effort and private support. Copyright 2013.