Absence – A Poem

It’s been a week of rediscovering micropoetry, using the boundaries and confines of 140 characters on Twitter.

This poem was inspired by a comment from Australian author, James Bradley, on depression. His comment also inspired an idea for a short story I have written down and filed away for further development. Right now it’s on the compost heap, fed with scraps of thought until I see what sprouts.


Absence grows like a shadow
lengthening with the sun
and turns light to darkness
to fill the space
retreating at its turn
never disappearing

On reflection on the type of poetry I write, focused on the little things of the everyday, I resist the urge to use simile. Metaphor, or sustained metaphor, feels less jarring than the input of a simile. However for this one the imagery required the simile to set up the remainder of the poem and the final line. 

Looking at it now, I could replace the first line with a metaphor, “Absence is a shadow,” and I feel it works better, making the link to the imagery cleaner and less like a teacher demonstration. 

The other issue is the use of “its” (line 5) as it is unclear what is the subject of the preposition. I know “its” refers to the sun but that may be unclear to the reader and you want the imagery and lines to stand for itself, not require the reader to unpack the grammar to find out what is truly meant.

So, an edited version.

Absence is a shadow
lengthening with the sun
turns light to darkness
to fill the space
retreating at the turn
never disappearing


2 responses to “Absence – A Poem

  1. The first time I read the edited version I got stuck between the second and third line. When I reread the piece I changed with to when and it flowed better for me.

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