Dreamland

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Lou
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Dreamland

Post by Lou » Thu Aug 18, 2016 8:23 am

Revision 1

It wasn’t like it was before,
a child’s vision lost to me,
the past a locked and bolted door.

The Ghost Train with its spooks and gore,
pathetic, comic stuff, scare-free,
it wasn’t like it was before.

The nudes in What the Butler Saw
who stole my breath pre-puberty,
the past a locked and bolted door.

The Helter-skelter climb a chore,
the slide not worth a 20p,
it wasn’t like it was before.

The Crazy House with moving floor
that creaks with sad futility,
the past a locked and bolted door.

All stalls and rides a childish bore,
my Dreamland dream illusory,
it wasn’t like it was before,
the past a locked and bolted door.



Original

It wasn’t like it was before,
a child’s vision lost to me,
the past a locked and bolted door.

The Ghost Train with its spooks and gore,
pathetic, comic stuff, scare-free,
it wasn’t like it was before.

The nudes in What the Butler Saw
who stole my breath pre-puberty,
the past a locked and bolted door.

The Helter-skelter climb a chore,
the slide not worth a 20p,
it wasn’t like it was before.

The Crazy House with moving floor
that creaks with sad futility,
the past a locked and bolted door.

All stalls and rides a yawning bore,
my Dreamland dream illusory,
it wasn’t like it was before,
the past a locked and bolted door.
Last edited by Lou on Sun Aug 21, 2016 2:50 pm, edited 3 times in total.

Katherine
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Re: Revisiting Dreamland

Post by Katherine » Thu Aug 18, 2016 3:18 pm

I really enjoyed this. I remember the excitement when 'The Hoppings' came to town. I could go on three rides - that was a limit. I chose very carefully.
I realised that I was old when I stood by the fair rides, in Scarborough, enjoying the delight of the children I was financing, while they went on the rides - I wasn't even tempted.
I never thought I would see the day when I wouldn't be panting to join in. But, I remember the frisson of excitement, well.

PS You can enjoy it all again, by proxy.

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Re: Revisiting Dreamland

Post by Antcliff » Thu Aug 18, 2016 7:41 pm

Rolls along nicely, Lou

Don't think you need "Revisiting" in the title since the text makes that very clear...indeed the first line.

Wonder if there is a slightly more comic alternative to "yawning"...that expresses something not quite conveyed already at that point in the poem?

Best wishes,
Seth
We fray into the future, rarely wrought
Save in the tapestries of afterthought.
Richard Wilbur

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Re: Revisiting Dreamland

Post by Firebird » Thu Aug 18, 2016 8:27 pm

I like it, too, Lou. My only tiny nit is that the line 'it wasn't like it was before' sounds a bit clunky compared to what I think is the more natural sounding line, 'it wasn't like it used to be'. There is a slight difference in meaning between these two line, too. And I think the meaning of 'it wasn't like it used to be' suits your poem a little better, although the it doesn't help the rhyme. Sorry if I'm not helping much. I couldn't even attempt a form like this. So my hat goes off to you.

Cheers,

Tristan

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Re: Revisiting Dreamland

Post by Macavity » Thu Aug 18, 2016 9:09 pm

I thought the metre, rhyme, repetitions were apt mechanisms. Triggered a sense of the mechanical rides in the form.

best

mac

Lou
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Re: Revisiting Dreamland

Post by Lou » Fri Aug 19, 2016 5:51 am

Thanks Katherine,

I suppose it's known as growing up but I miss the enthusiasms of my youth.

Best,
Lou

Thanks Seth,

Granted 'Revisiting' could go and I should be able to think of something better than 'yawning'.

Best,
Lou

Thanks Tristan,

I agree 'it wasn't like it used to be' would be preferable but as you say the villanelle would need to be recast to fit it in, and I'm too lazy to bother!

Best,
Lou

Thanks Mac,

I hadn't thought of the wheels and cogs of the villanelle as being analogous to fairground rides - it's an interesting idea.

Best,
Lou

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Re: Revisiting Dreamland

Post by ray miller » Fri Aug 19, 2016 5:33 pm

Enjoyed, to a degree. But in every villanelle I've read the repeat lines detract from the poem more than they add.

The Crazy House with moving floor
that creaks with sad futility, I like that a lot, but a sad futility describes the form pretty well.
I'm out of faith and in my cups
I contemplate such bitter stuff.

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Re: Revisiting Dreamland

Post by JJWilliamson » Fri Aug 19, 2016 7:17 pm

I, on the other hand, enjoyed the form and the execution of it. I find the refrains add weight to the longing for the
dreams and fantasies of yesterday. The revelation that it's all a bit of a dupe is something of a let down for all of us.
I remember my brother scrutinising the ghost train at Alton Towers when I was still determined to scream. I couldn't
keep it up, though, eventually drifting into passive acquiescence.

Blackpool's array of coasters still has me laughing and screaming, so I suggest you upgrade the rides. Up the ante. :)
It helps if you have a young'n screaming with you.

The meter is perfect IT all the way through, although some of your end rhymes are feminine. Doesn't make a jot of difference if you ask me
because it reads very well indeed.

I love the light but wistful tones running throughout. Delightful.

Best

JJ
Lou wrote:It wasn’t like it was before,
a child’s vision lost to me,
the past a locked and bolted door.

The Ghost Train with its spooks and gore,
pathetic, comic stuff, scare-free,
it wasn’t like it was before.

The nudes in What the Butler Saw
who stole my breath pre-puberty,
the past a locked and bolted door.

The Helter-skelter climb a chore,
the slide not worth a 20p,
it wasn’t like it was before.

The Crazy House with moving floor
that creaks with sad futility,
the past a locked and bolted door.

All stalls and rides a yawning bore,
my Dreamland dream illusory,
it wasn’t like it was before,
the past a locked and bolted door.
Long time a child and still a child

Lou
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Re: Revisiting Dreamland

Post by Lou » Fri Aug 19, 2016 9:01 pm

Thanks Ray,

I quite understand if villanelles aren't your cuppa, but they've been going for 500 years or so and poets still write them today, so they must have something. Of course it helps if you can come up with two repeating lines which are belters . . .

Best,
Lou

Thanks JJ,

The repetends can be boring, like people who tell you everything twice, but they're fun when you get each repeat to mean something slightly different. Unfortunately, I haven't managed to do that with my villanelle.

Best,
Lou

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Re: Revisiting Dreamland

Post by Moth » Sat Aug 20, 2016 5:07 pm

I want N to be a grandparent taking their child to the fair - gives them a reason for being there which as yet we can only guess at. Perhaps this could somehow be inferred in the yawning bore line as in the child seeing them as a bore. Line 2, the way I hear it in my head, appears to have a different rhythm to the subsequent second lines - maybe childish/childlike/small child's vision? Otherwise nicely put together and one I enjoyed.
to be totally honest... whenever you feel you really shouldn't write that, that's exactly what you should write.

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Re: Revisiting Dreamland

Post by Lou » Sun Aug 21, 2016 7:43 am

Thanks Moth,

I like your idea about the grandparent's POV but can't find a way to incorporate it at the mo. As a halfway house I've changed 'yawning' to 'childish'. As for L2 'child' is one of those convenient words for poets that can be one or two syllables as they please (but not both in the same poem, of course!). I opt for the two syllable version which makes my scansion OK, I hope.

Best,
Lou

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Re: Revisiting Dreamland

Post by David » Sun Aug 21, 2016 5:00 pm

I enjoyed this, Lou. Is the reference to What the Butler Saw right, though? I had thought that that went a lot further back in time than 20ps.
Macavity wrote:I thought the metre, rhyme, repetitions were apt mechanisms. Triggered a sense of the mechanical rides in the form.
A very good point! Never thought of that.
ray miller wrote:Enjoyed, to a degree. But in every villanelle I've read the repeat lines detract from the poem more than they add.
But this, too, is true. And I admit that as someone who's written a villanelle or two - two, in fact, to be accurate - as well. But it's still a good one.

Cheers

David

Lou
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Re: Dreamland

Post by Lou » Mon Aug 22, 2016 5:42 am

Thanks David,

As retro objects 'What the Butler Saw' machines have always been popular and a steady source of income for engineers paid to adjust coin slots for ever-increasing amounts. What once cost an old penny probably costs £2 to get an eye-full these days.

Best,
Lou

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Re: Dreamland

Post by trobbo44 » Mon Aug 22, 2016 12:15 pm

I have now been introduced to villanelle's and for that I thank you. As for the poem, it carries with it all the nostalgia for the over 50's, and then some. No, we can't go back, and yes the door is firmly shut. But, we humans are lucky enough to be able to look back with fond regard or bitterness. I like this poem, I've read it several times and I still like it and it brings a little nuance to the table on each visit. Well done.

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Re: Dreamland

Post by Luce » Mon Aug 22, 2016 7:50 pm

Lou,

I love villanelles. They are difficult to do but worth the effort to get it right. I mainly like this one.

However, I have problems accepting the 2nd refrain "the past a locked and bolted door". I can't help but think, if the past can't be accessed, which is what the N is saying, then how can he compare the rides as an adult and as a child? To make the comparison he has to be able to vividly recall the past.

I like the first refrain though ' "It wasn't like it was before". this one works nicely to reinforce the intent of the poem. The 2nd one does not help the poem a great deal for the reason stated above.

Maybe reworking the 2nd refrain is in order then. Perhaps saying something like this would help -"the past a dormant, distant door"...or something like that. Anything to indicate that the past can be accessed or awaken, when needed.

Luce
Lou wrote:Revision 1

It wasn’t like it was before,
a child’s vision lost to me,
the past a locked and bolted door.

The Ghost Train with its spooks and gore,
pathetic, comic stuff, scare-free,
it wasn’t like it was before.

The nudes in What the Butler Saw
who stole my breath pre-puberty,
the past a locked and bolted door.

The Helter-skelter climb a chore,
the slide not worth a 20p,
it wasn’t like it was before.

The Crazy House with moving floor
that creaks with sad futility,
the past a locked and bolted door.

All stalls and rides a childish bore,
my Dreamland dream illusory,
it wasn’t like it was before,
the past a locked and bolted door.



Original

It wasn’t like it was before,
a child’s vision lost to me,
the past a locked and bolted door.

The Ghost Train with its spooks and gore,
pathetic, comic stuff, scare-free,
it wasn’t like it was before.

The nudes in What the Butler Saw
who stole my breath pre-puberty,
the past a locked and bolted door.

The Helter-skelter climb a chore,
the slide not worth a 20p,
it wasn’t like it was before.

The Crazy House with moving floor
that creaks with sad futility,
the past a locked and bolted door.

All stalls and rides a yawning bore,
my Dreamland dream illusory,
it wasn’t like it was before,
the past a locked and bolted door.
"She acts like summer, walks like rain." - Train

Lou
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Re: Dreamland

Post by Lou » Tue Aug 23, 2016 5:42 am

Thanks Trobbo,

Yes, villanelles are fun - why not have a go at one?

Best,
Lou

Thanks Luce,

I take your point, but the past being a locked and bolted door means literally it is unavailable, we can't travel back in time, but we can imagine doing so. Ah, memories!

Best,
Lou

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Re: Dreamland

Post by Luce » Tue Aug 23, 2016 7:24 am

Lou wrote:
Thanks Luce,

I take your point, but the past being a locked and bolted door means literally it is unavailable, we can't travel back in time, but we can imagine doing so. Ah, memories!

Best,
Lou
You misunderstood my crit. I did not mean time-traveling to the past at all. I meant memories. Some folks try to lock their past, their memories really of the past, because they may be too painful. Your 2nd refrain infers that the N is trying to block his/her memories (past). Therefore, it is contradictory to the N comparing the rides as an adult now and when he/she was a child.

Luce
"She acts like summer, walks like rain." - Train

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Re: Dreamland

Post by JJWilliamson » Tue Aug 23, 2016 9:08 am

Hi again, Lou

I've read this thread with great interest, finding myself agreeing with everybody (including you) along the way.
That's one of the beauties of intent and interpretation, I think.

I see the second refrain as the speaker recalling, with fondness, the days when the imagination would sweep him/her away on the back of a fairground ride. Everything was a wonder and a dream at Dreamland, until maturity and/or wisdom came along to dampen the illusion. The memories are still intact, as are the stalls and rides, but it can never be the same, because the great revelation has made it impossible for the speaker to ever experience that pleasure first-hand again. So, from an experiential point of view it can't be like it was before and the past is indeed a locked and bolted door. That's how I read your refrains but it was very interesting following the other critiques as they gave me a different perspective. The decision, of course, is yours. :)

I don't think your refrains are necessarily weak. Each stanza reinforces the next, providing proof in a different context. The location is the same but the rides etc are significantly different, each one bringing its own disclosure. The final stamp is made in the closing stanza, leaving the reader (me) satisfied that the speaker has expressed their pov effectively.

I genuinely believe this is a great villanelle. People have been discussing and analysing the form, the success of the form and writers of the form for ages. I've read umpteen critiques of Dylan Thomas's (Thomas') "Do Not Go Gentle into that Good Night" (possibly the most famous of all villanelles). The arguments of 'gentle' versus 'gently' abound, to say nothing of the meaning of some lines. Personally, I find the power of the emotions drives through the pertinent observations. In other words, It's unlikely you'll ever write a vill' for all seasons. I'm not being contrary, far from it, but I think you could end up revising the guts out of this piece and I would therefore advise caution.

If you want to pursue the grandparent idea you could drop it into L2 EG "My grandson's." Can't be "granddaughter's" could be "daughter's" or "grandchild's". I'm not convinced about 'child's' carrying two syllables btw. Granted, it's slow. The line could be viewed as catalectic, where an incomplete foot appears at the beginning or end of a line. It certainly has the required four stresses. A CHILD'S/ VIsion/ LOST to/ ME. This is open to interpretation. iamb/troche/troche/troche (tailless). This line could be seen as incongruous from a metrical point of view, as every other line is perfectly iambic. An extra syllable after 'child' would give you four clear iambs. OR!! You could leave it as is. Glad it's not my line. :lol: It's worth mentioning that my eye and ear missed this on the first read through.
Anyway! Just thought I'd lob my two penneth into the pot.

Good luck with this fine villanelle.

Best

JJ

PS
In S4 L2 how about "the 20p" instead of 'a 20p' ? Sounds more natural even if you do get an extra 'the'. I'd definitely say, if asked about the value of the slide, "It's not worth the 20p".

J

Lou wrote:Revision 1

It wasn’t like it was before,
a child’s vision lost to me,
the past a locked and bolted door.

The Ghost Train with its spooks and gore,
pathetic, comic stuff, scare-free,
it wasn’t like it was before.

The nudes in What the Butler Saw
who stole my breath pre-puberty,
the past a locked and bolted door.

The Helter-skelter climb a chore,
the slide not worth a 20p,
it wasn’t like it was before.

The Crazy House with moving floor
that creaks with sad futility,
the past a locked and bolted door.

All stalls and rides a childish bore,
my Dreamland dream illusory,
it wasn’t like it was before,
the past a locked and bolted door.



Original

It wasn’t like it was before,
a child’s vision lost to me,
the past a locked and bolted door.

The Ghost Train with its spooks and gore,
pathetic, comic stuff, scare-free,
it wasn’t like it was before.

The nudes in What the Butler Saw
who stole my breath pre-puberty,
the past a locked and bolted door.

The Helter-skelter climb a chore,
the slide not worth a 20p,
it wasn’t like it was before.

The Crazy House with moving floor
that creaks with sad futility,
the past a locked and bolted door.

All stalls and rides a yawning bore,
my Dreamland dream illusory,
it wasn’t like it was before,
the past a locked and bolted door.
Long time a child and still a child

Lou
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Re: Dreamland

Post by Lou » Wed Aug 24, 2016 5:54 am

Thanks again Luce,

By 'the past a locked and bolted door' I mean the happiness of the past cannot be recovered, not that the memories are too painful to contemplate.

Best,
Lou

Thanks again JJ,

I'll think about the grandparent idea, but young people get nostalgic about their past too! I should imagine a ride today on the Helter-skelter would be considerably more than 20p. My N. suggests that however much it costs, the thrill is greatly over-priced.

Best,
Lou

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Re: Dreamland

Post by ton321 » Sat Aug 27, 2016 12:31 am

Hi Lou,
I think you nailed it with this one! You found the form to work with your subject matter, though maybe form alters the process of writing about it as well, with the repetition that echoes and amplifies the meaning.
Counting the beats,
Counting the slow heart beats,
The bleeding to death of time in slow heart beats,
Wakeful they lie.

Robert Graves

Lou
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Re: Dreamland

Post by Lou » Sat Aug 27, 2016 6:27 am

Thanks ton,

Yes, sometimes you find the meaning through form, or the form through the meaning. I find a template can often work to set me writing, but there's no guarantee about the quality, I'm afraid!

Best,
Lou

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Re: Dreamland

Post by bodkin » Wed Aug 31, 2016 9:54 am

Hi Lou,

I fall on the "loving them" side of the great villanelle controversy. (Sestinas on the other hand... blech :-p)

I enjoyed this and think it is working well as it is. I can see the point that "locked and bolted door" might imply less access to the memories than you are, in fact, demonstrating. However for me there is a difference between not accessing the memories (amnesia and a far more traumatic thing than you are dealing with here) and merely not being able to recapture the youthful experience...

So you could lighten the sense of exclusion in that phase: "peering through a bolted door"? I know that doors aren't necessary see-through, but there's not a lot of words to play with, and "gate" wouldn't rhyme :-) "peering round a jamming door"? Maybe the best sense would be if it was a door you could pass, except you don't want to... but that's hard in so few syllables too... "a glimpse through an unwanted door"? None of these really work for me, but just thought I would throw them out in hope they shake something loose for you.

Ian
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Re: Dreamland

Post by Lou » Wed Aug 31, 2016 10:22 am

Thanks Ian,

I agree with you, sestinas are hard to write, and even harder to read. You've set me thinking about the 'door' repetend, I'll see what I can do.

Best,
Lou

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