Cut Poems: 284 / 500

Cutting Glass

Rating: 4.5

It takes a long, smooth stroke practiced carefully
over many years and made with one steady motion.

You do not really cut glass, you score its length
with a sharp, revolving wheel at the end of a tool

not much bigger than a pen-knife. Glass is liquid,
sleeping. The line you make goes through the sheet

like a wave through water, or a voice calling in a dream,
but calling only once. If the glazier knows how to work

without hesitation, glass begins to remember. Watch now
how he draws the line and taps the edge: the pieces

break apart like a book opened to a favorite passage.
Each time, what he finds is something already there.

In its waking state glass was fire once, and brightness.
All that becomes clear when you hold up the new pane.


First published in Yarrow.

Cutting Glass
Wednesday, April 12, 2017
Cut Poems: 284 / 500
Topic(s) of this poem: creativity
POET'S NOTES ABOUT THE POEM
My father was a master of several crafts - mason, carpenter, cement-finisher, woodworker. He believed that for every manual task to be performed there was a special and necessary tool. Among the most curious was the small metal device with which you scored and 'cut' glass to fit in a window. Cutting glass has a finality about it. Sometimes when you are working with stone or brick or wood, you can be slightly off in your measurements, and the piece can still be made to fit. You can mortar it into place or nail it down or shim it up. With glass, you must snap off the piece the first time, or it breaks into slivers and fragments, and you have to start again. There are no second chances.
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COMMENTS OF THE POEM
Tom Allport 24 May 2017

a poem full of good advice but only if you don't want a broken pain? ..............well written.

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All that becomes clear..... congrats on being chosen.... a big 10+++++

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Edward Kofi Louis 24 May 2017

Practiced carefully. Thanks for sharing this poem with us.

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Daniel Brick 24 May 2017

The details of glass cutting in the poem and prose comment are fascinating in themselves. But what I really liked about this poem was the resonance of your metaphors. Glass is identifies as both LIGHT and FIRE, both of which stunned with their aptness. But the description of glass as LIQUID, SLEEPING floored me. And also the completion of the task of making two glass panels becomes A BOOK OPENING TO JUST THE RIGHT PAGE. I consider metaphor to be a higher form of cognition because instead of separating things into discrete identities, it shows how thinking and language can makes seemingly hard reality SHAPE SHIFT. CATEGORIES place things in fenced in spaces, and the metaphor shows how porous, malleable, p-l-a-s-t-i-c (in its old meaning) things truly are. I respect the knowledge of the trade you gave me; I am exhilarated by the MAGIC you revealed in your poerm of METAMORPHOSES

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Glen Kappy 24 May 2017

jared, i'm glad yours is the poem of the day, glad to be introduced to you. this piece is excellent- well-crafted in word choice, shape, and logic; and i like how the inanimate is made less so in how you characterize glass as in Glass is liquid, sleeping. In its waking state glass was fire once, and brightness. and i like the pieces break apart like a book opened to a favorite passage. you honor the craftsman and the material he works with. i look forward to reading more of your work. glen kappy

1 1 Reply

At first i thought you were making cut glass crystal...fooled me..thank you for sharing..

0 2 Reply
Anil Kumar Panda 24 May 2017

Very interesting poem. Congrats.

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Rajnish Manga 24 May 2017

Thanks for taking up the subject of glass or cutting glass for this poem. I have seen the process through which the glass is melt in fire and then poured into molds and blown with air to get the desired results. I greatly admire the skills of your father and how you have utilised it in your poem. Thanks a lot.

2 0 Reply
M Sagnik Das 24 May 2017

a poem full of good advice but only if you don't want a broken pain? ..............well written.

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Rini Shibu 24 May 2017

a voice calling in a dream but calling once...There is no second chance, and when break apart opens a new passage..Beautiful.

0 1 Reply