Task: Imagine you are the person the poem 'Answer' was addressed to. Write a Reply
If I was made of stone,
Crinkled, crumbled, chipped, eyes eroded long ago
My kiss a hollow cave of ice
My body, the birdbath, the bird's love worth a thousand of yours
Cold sheets, crispy, unslept in, bed solid like a rock.
If I was stone, if I was made of stone, no.
If I was fire,
The Devil's fiery tongue burning innocent sinner's ears
My mind a glowing orb of burning relentless anger
My heart? What heart? It burnt out long ago.
Fingers like matches. Click once and the spark tears the house down.
If I was fire, if I was made of fire, no.
If I was water,
The sea's white horses trampling the sand and delicate shells
The plunge pool, splosh, the water keeps you under
Arms that lash the unwary and alone into darkened depths
The river, always flowing, no time to stop, just to meander.
If I was water, if I was made of water, no.
If I was air,
The desolate face of the bright sky, harsh on the eyes
My calls the clouds which litter perfection
Unnoticed, I slip and change my tune
The relentless rain that falls saltily across your face
If I was air, if I was made of air, no.
If I was air, if I was water,
If I was fire, if I was stone,
Or if I was none of those,
But really just me, the answer is no.
Answer- Copyright to Carol Ann Duffy
If you were made of stone,
your kiss a fossil sealed up in your lips,
your eyes a sightless marble to my touch,
your grey hands pooling raindrops for the birds,
your long legs cold as rivers locked in ice,
if you were stone, if you were made of stone, yes, yes.
If you were made of fire,
your head a wild Medusa hissing flame,
your tongue a red-hot poker in your throat,
your heart a small coal glowing in your chest,
your fingers burning pungent brands on flesh,
if you were fire, if you were made of fire, yes, yes.
If you were made of water,
your voice a roaring, foaming waterfall,
your arms a whirlpool spinning me around,
your breast a deep, dark lake nursing the drowned,
your mouth an ocean, waves torn from your breath,
if you were water, if you were made of water, yes, yes.
If you were made of air,
your face empty and infinite as sky,
your words a wind with litter for its nouns,
your movements sudden gusts among the clouds,
your body only breeze against my dress,
if you were air, if you were made of air, yes, yes.
If you were made of air, if you were air,
if you were made of water, if you were water,
if you were made of fire, if you were fire,
if you were made of stone, if you were stone,
or if you were none of these, but really death,
the answer is yes, yes.