If

By John Rybicki

Poem:

Text

If I could tie a river around my love's waist like a ribbon,

make sails out of her blood

and pin down death like a squirming bug.


If I could lift and rock each coffin in my arms

I would start with hers.



Main Idea

The author, John Rybicki, has written this poem to mourn the loss of his wife. His use of simple, modern-day language makes the poem very easy to understand. Throughout the poem, he compares very unlikely things to create unique pictures. Even though this poem isn't very long, Rybicki uses vivid imagery to make this poem chillingly powerful.



Why I chose it

Honestly, I'm not a big fan of poetry, but this poem caught my attention. It's short and easy to read, yet it's so powerful. I love how the author painted a picture with unexpected comparisons. You can tell he poured his heart into this poem, making it exceptionally moving.

The Band Perry - If I Die Young

Song:

Lyrics


If I die young, bury me in satin
Lay me down on a bed of roses
Sink me in the river at dawn
Send me away with the words of a love song

Uh oh, uh oh

Lord make me a rainbow, I'll shine down on my mother
She'll know I'm safe with you when she stands under my colors, oh,
And life ain't always what you think it ought to be, no
Ain't even grey, but she buries her baby

The sharp knife of a short life, oh well
I've had just enough time

If I die young, bury me in satin
Lay me down on a bed of roses
Sink me in the river at dawn
Send me away with the words of a love song

The sharp knife of a short life, oh well
I've had just enough time

And I'll be wearing white, when I come into your kingdom
I'm as green as the ring on my little cold finger,
I've never known the lovin' of a man
But it sure felt nice when he was holdin' my hand,
There's a boy here in town, says he'll love me forever,
Who would have thought forever could be severed by...

...the sharp knife of a short life, oh well?
I've had just enough time

So put on your best, boys, and I'll wear my pearls
What I never did is done

A penny for my thoughts, oh, no, I'll sell 'em for a dollar
They're worth so much more after I'm a goner
And maybe then you'll hear the words I been singin'
Funny when you're dead how people start listenin'

If I die young, bury me in satin
Lay me down on a bed of roses
Sink me in the river at dawn
Send me away with the words of a love song

Uh oh (uh, oh)
The ballad of a dove (oh, uh)
Go with peace and love
Gather up your tears, keep 'em in your pocket
Save 'em for a time when you're really gonna need 'em, oh

The sharp knife of a short life, oh well
I've had just enough time

So put on your best, boys, and I'll wear my pearls.



Connection between the song and poem

While I was reading the poem, the first song to pop into my head was If I Die Young by The Band Perry. I imagined the poem being the husband's point of view on his wife's death, whereas this song is her point of view. Not only did this use of my imagination add more depth to the poem, it made it come alive. I then wanted to elaborate her point of view in my orginal poem.

My original poem:

Though he would start with me,

maybe it's not best.

He would kill to keep me,

and I would kill to have myself.


So let him tie his ribbon,

and let him make sails.

But so shall I float away with these sails,

on the river.