The Breastplate

The Breastplate

A Poem by Oceana
"

I never asked to be awake at 2 am during finals week with fluidity. Really, I didn't.

"
There is a breastplate in a tunnel
Dark, and musty,
And for a thousand years,
unseen.

But the breastplate sits,
And it waits,
Humbly,
For its master.

It waits for its master
Who once wore it
Tight over his heart,
Molded to his chest,
And every odd day,
For a few odd minutes,
The breastplate
And its master
Were one.

The breastplate bears the insignia
Of the man it once protected.
It feels the weight of that emblem over its heart
Like the tons of soot that have collected in the tunnel
Since the last time it was thrown in the dirt-
Wine sloshing, meat smacking, men laughing.

The insigned armor
Has been alone for a thousand years,
Will be alone for a thousand more,
Waiting.

Waiting to be worn 
Over the sculpted chest of the man
It was made for.

Loyally waiting.
Waiting loyally.

After all this time
The good people remember the name of the man it protected,
Yet no one seems to correctly recall
The insignia
On the real martyr of the pair.

© 2013 Oceana


Author's Note

Oceana
If you have any questions about this poem, please see the comments between "The Honest Guy" and myself. Hopefully it'll clear up whatever you're confused about, but if not, feel free to ask!

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Featured Review

I enjoyed the poem. You made me desire more history and tale of this armor. I like the mystery of ancient times. Allow us to remember old faces, places and struggles. The good description allowed the reader to understand the value of the shield. Thank you for the excellent poetry.
Coyote

Posted 8 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.




Reviews

I really like this poem. It's so...dreamy and nostalgic, in a way. I think of Narnia when I read this poem :)

I especially like "After all this time, the good people remember the name of the man it protected, yet no one seems to correctly recall the insignia on the real martyr of the pair."

I think that's a great ending and a solemn nod to a lot of things people choose to remember and which ones we choose to forget.

Posted 8 Years Ago


Oceana

8 Years Ago

Thank you very much!
Again, a very intriguing concept...I know the focus is on the armor left behind, but it would be nice to have a snapshot of the bearer.

From a "maintenance" perspective, I'd encourage you to evaluate your use of "and" at various points, some of them seem not quite necessary - though stylistically, if you feel like they belong, that's totally up to you, of course.

I always enjoy reading your work!
CM.

Posted 8 Years Ago


Oceana

8 Years Ago

First off, thank you very much for your suggestion on the "and" usage-without being belligerently cr.. read more
ChemicalMadness

8 Years Ago

I try to gently offer suggestions....it is damn near impossible to convince someone their baby is ug.. read more
The repetition of the word master in the beginning of the third verse seems out of place.
'It waits for the one who once wore it' would eliminate the need to say 'waits or master' twice.
A tunnel? A cave or tomb seems more likely to hold such secrets for such a long time. Where are the bones of its master? Why would he leave it there?

And it feels the weight
Of the emblem
Over its heart
(This is an odd statement for a piece of protective metal.)

Yet no one seems to correctly recall
The insignia
On the real martyr of the pair.
On the real martyr of the pair? That also seems slightly odd. I'd be interested to know what you mean by that?

Overall I know where you're going with this so don't take anything I've pointed out personally. There's a real historical feel to this poem that is almost creepy and yet sad. You express the bond between the shield and its owner in a way that touches the heart.

Posted 8 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Relic 3

8 Years Ago

Wow, your explanation really cleared that up. I never made the connection between a tunnel (which co.. read more
Oceana

8 Years Ago

That's a great idea actually, thank you!
Relic 3

8 Years Ago

You're welcome.
The emotional attachment to the breastplate is such that I am caught in a sort of feeling for it, that seems a part of another human being . . . although obviously it isn't. The colors and the natural fluidity with which you wrote about the breastplate makes it seem very realistic, though, and very human. There was a really interesting type of repart in this poem between the plate and it's former master, its friend . . . really nice job!!

Posted 8 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

I enjoyed the poem. You made me desire more history and tale of this armor. I like the mystery of ancient times. Allow us to remember old faces, places and struggles. The good description allowed the reader to understand the value of the shield. Thank you for the excellent poetry.
Coyote

Posted 8 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.


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Added on May 15, 2013
Last Updated on May 19, 2013
Tags: armor, soldier, breastplate, gladiator, history, personification

Author

Oceana
Oceana

Not Quite Boston



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