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If we had stopped,
it would have --
but we made every light
the whole ride home.

27 Aug 03

Rated 10 (7) by 1 users.
Active (1):
Inactive (14): 3, 4, 4, 5, 6, 6, 7, 7, 7, 8, 8, 9, 10, 10, 10

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(34 more poems by this author)

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 — Isabelle5

This poem is so minimalist as to be hardly there. At least with a bad poem, I can form an opinion. With this, I have none.
 — ersaph

But can't you just see this moment? You go through a green light and speed to the next, hoping for green and you can't believe you hit it just right to get all the way home on one green. I think there's so much implied. I can hear the hooting and hollering in the car, can't you?
 — Isabelle5

been 45
 — unknown

45? I got six once and considered it exciting.
 — Isabelle5

I was bein optimistic, sequence mapping, research is the key
 — steerpike

Isabelle: I read the poem quite to the contrary
 — unknown

I just love it. Succint and perfect for a moment. Captures some great sense of yearning and something i still vaguely remember. Great stuff.
 — badger

i love this.

i first read "if it had stopped / we would have" and dropped jaw.
then i read again found it the way it is.
if you meant this to happen,
i will 10 you.

isabelle in comment 3: yes i agree; exactly.

 — gnormal

it;s not clear, and i dont know, what "46." is.
 — gnormal

rt. 46 in new jersey, i assume.
 — username

Well, it seems that the discussion that this poem has generated certainly deems it worthy of note. I love the multiple implications which are a brilliant mirror for the critic and lay reader alike. I immediately put myself in a car with one particular ex on one particular night, but the vivid application of this poem to that situation and notably to other peoples' poems shows to me its true poetic strength.

 — zepplin42

I think it should be changed to 47, since 47 is just a better number.
But then again, it wouldn't fit with the poem, which is good by the way.
 — abby

I don't get how the title relates with the poem. Could someone possibly help me out?
 — Rixes

Hahaha... maybe it just comes naturally to people who live in Jersey to understand your poems.  I read this a long time ago, and never commented, but like most poems of yours William... I enjoy their simplicity and playfulness.  Although I think someone already mentioned that this is about Rt. 46, or that 46 in the title refers to Rt. 46, I am just repeating that notion for the last individual who commented.  Anyone who has driven 46 in Jersey knows how painful it can be.    

However, there is definitely something else here that I think most everyone has missed, perhaps because it is so subtle.  Not to sound all quasi-existential or anything, but what this is very much like an existentialist method of revealing things by not revealing them.  It is a strange paradox of course and perhaps it is best understood through visual methods... (paintings where the lack of certain details can insinuate what is missing in the painting) or at least it is easier to pick up on.  The same sentiment though can be found in this poem.  The choice to leave it unspecified... that being, what would have "stopped" if the car had been stopped by a red light is insinuated by the very fact that it does not exist in the poem.  The "--" in line 2 specifically refers to that "moment" stopping.  

In a way, it leaves the reader to create what the "moment" might have really been, and as Isabelle had mentioned, she felt it might have been just the excitement that can come with catching every light green, and it is a joy if you live in Jersey... that certain.  Personally, I felt there was another "moment" going on, and although I may be incorrect, I will explain what I felt the poem may be aiming towards symbolically, or through a subtle bit of suggestion.  To a degree the may be somewhat metaphorical, but it does not push it as being necessarily interpreted that way.  I felt the "moment" that existed in the poem, might have been a moment shared between two people.  I am sure many of you have experienced moments with people where you have some sort of connection, whether it be related to love, sex, or friendship... some sense of joy and understanding... just a connection so to say.  The poem I felt speaks of such an instance, and cleverly uses the drive down Rt. 46 as a way of representing it, with the threat of the "moment" ending, with a red light.  The threat is experienced that way, and might even be experienced in the actual event of it threatening to end this shared moment.  For the poet, or whomever the poem is representing, the threat was real, real enough to ruin the moment anyways.  Hahaha… for some reason I have some strange images correlating to the actual event taking place, but I will keep them to myself.  

Overall, I don’t feel this is one of your best pieces.  I enjoyed its simplicity and how it allows for such a freedom for interpretation, but to some degree, I want to know more about the event itself… which is not such a bad thing and could be a positive mark.  There is always the option of writing an entirely separate poem for that.  This is well enough as it is for what it is I think, and to that degree I feel you have done a good job.  Your short poems always seem to make me laugh and many take on a mad-riddler sentimentality.  It’s always a pleasure to return and read them from time to time.  And as always, if I read it wrong, screw it…  I am but one person and enjoyed making my own interpretation.  Take care.
 — unknown

 — OldShoe

This may be a bit overdone, but I just wanted to re-establish that I really don't believe this has to be taken entirely as a metaphor, but that it combines the actual event with the "moment" in a metaphorical manner.  So I see it all occuring in the car ride.  I think I have said enough.  
 — OldShoe

still love it!
 — gnormal

i like this
 — unknown

 — unknown

hahah... nice work.
 — thirdeyris

yes, a really good one.
: )
 — fractalcore