The Summer You Left, Revision 3

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The Summer You Left, Revision 3

Post by Grace » Thu Oct 20, 2016 7:55 pm

When You Left

Your loss attended
each moment awake,
a burn on skin.

In the heat of summer
I dressed in a tee and shorts
that could take a dunking,
and dry with ease beneath the sun.
I drove through the pines
in West Lake Park.
Clearing Cedar Bend,
I dashed down to the pier and plunged.

Then water surrounded the flesh of your absence

and sorrow floated, drifting with tendrils

of hair on the surface of the lake.

I remembered when we swam
at dawn under the cover of mist.
Driving home, the cooling weight
of my shirt dressed the sting.


Revision 2

Your loss singed like a burn.
I dressed in a tee and shorts
that would take a dunking
and dry with ease beneath the sun,
and drove under the pines
in West Lake Park.
Clearing Cedar Bend,
I dashed down to the pier,
rushed to its cusp, and plunged.

[tab][/tab] Then water surrounded [tab][/tab] the flesh of your absence

and sorrow [tab][/tab]floated [tab][/tab]drifting [tab][/tab] with tendrils

[tab][/tab] of hair [tab][/tab] [tab][/tab] on the surface of the lake

I remembered when we swam
at dawn, waving feet and hands.
Driving home, the cooling weight
of my shirt dressed the sting.




revision 1

The Summer You Left

When you left, I dressed
with care. I wore a shirt and shorts
that took a dunking and dried
with ease beneath the pervasive sun.

Air conditioning wanting,
the sweat of loss trickled
down my mind. I drove beneath
the pines in West Lake Park.
Reaching Cedar Bend, I dashed
down to the pier, rushed to the cusp, and plunged.

Water cooled my febrile thoughts,
and the suddenly amiable sun beamed
with pleasure at seeing relief.
Sorrow was suspended,
adrift with me for minutes.

Later, the weight of my saturated shirt
carried the cool and remembered
when you and I swam at dawn,
waving hands and feet.

Your absence was lighter to lift as I
drove home, back to that summer’s grief.




The Summer You Left,

...........................Was hot. I dressed with care.
I wore a shirt and shorts and even shoes
that took a dunking fine and dried
with ease beneath the tenacious sun.

With air conditioning gone
in the wind-tunnel van, long since
dripped out, and the sweat of loss trickling
down my mind, I pulled into the pine
drive of the county park along the way.
I bolted out of the mobile oven
convecting heat. From the scattered lot,
I dashed down to the pier,
rushed to the cusp, and plunged.

Then water soothed my knowing.
The suddenly-amiable sun laughed
with pleasure at seeing relief.

And afterward, the weight of my saturated shirt
carried the cool and remembered with me
the time you and I swam at dawn,
waving hands and feet.

Your absence lighter, now, to hold, as I
turned again onto the heat of summers’ road.
Last edited by Grace on Thu Nov 17, 2016 4:09 am, edited 4 times in total.

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Re: The Summer You Left

Post by penguin » Fri Oct 21, 2016 7:34 am

Hello Grace. I like the beginning and end. I think the 2nd stanza needs trimming a lot, it seems unnecessarily complicated.
Grace wrote:The Summer You Left, - you don't need the comma

...........................Was hot. I dressed with care.
I wore a shirt and shorts and even shoes - why even shoes? Like you wouldn't normally wear them?
that took a dunking fine and dried - do you need fine?
with ease beneath the tenacious sun.

With air conditioning gone
in the wind-tunnel van, long since - I don't understand wind-tunnel van
dripped out, and the sweat of loss trickling
down my mind, I pulled into the pine
drive of the county park along the way.
I bolted out of the mobile oven - I'd scrap this whole sentence, I really would. mobile oven convecting heat is not pretty.
convecting heat. From the scattered lot,
I dashed down to the pier,
rushed to the cusp, and plunged.

Then water soothed my knowing. - maybe do without Then
The suddenly-amiable sun laughed - don't think you need the hyphen
with pleasure at seeing relief.

And afterward, the weight of my saturated shirt
carried the cool and remembered with me
the time you and I swam at dawn,
swishing hands and feet.

Your absence lighter, now, to hold, as I - maybe to bear rather than to hold?
turned again onto the heat of summers’ road.


(Hi All,
I'm learning how to post and critique though I have been writing for some time. Could someone tell me how to keep the text in a certain place without the dots that I resorted to using in the first line? Thanks!)

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Re: The Summer You Left

Post by trobbo44 » Fri Oct 21, 2016 12:02 pm

Some of your stanzas are over long and because of it, muddled. Your punctuation is overly used in places. But, as for a poem of reliving memories it had some nice touches. I look forward to reading the trimmed down version. Regards

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Re: The Summer You Left

Post by JJWilliamson » Fri Oct 21, 2016 6:54 pm

Hi, Grace

..........................With regards to your question this is the best I can offer. Use the "Font colour" at the top and colour the dots white.
..........................Like this. It's not perfect but...

There's much to enjoy in this poem.
Grace wrote:The Summer You Left,

...........................Was hot. I dressed with care.
I wore a shirt and shorts and even shoes
that took a dunking fine and dried ...I'm fine with 'dunking' but struggle with fine and dried. Does it mean, 'took a dunking no problem and dried with ease? I thought fine and dried was a single action. Maybe a comma after 'fine' would help me. I'm sure there's a rule for this but can't remember.
with ease beneath the tenacious sun. ...'tenacious' stood out as OTT. Is there another, less dramatic, adjective available? I know it's a tricky one for clichés but...

With air conditioning gone ...Is 'gone' the best word?
in the wind-tunnel van, long since
dripped out, and the sweat of loss trickling
down my mind, I pulled into the pine
drive of the county park along the way.
I bolted out of the mobile oven ...I think this is strong. I've been in those mobile ovens and immediately latched onto the image. However, I knew it was hot by this time.
convecting heat. From the scattered lot,
I dashed down to the pier,
rushed to the cusp, and plunged. ...Love that feeling

Then water soothed my knowing. ...Not keen on 'my knowing' It leaves me up in the air.
The suddenly-amiable sun laughed ...'Amiable' hits the right tone.
with pleasure at seeing relief. ...You could strengthen 'relief'.

And afterward, the weight of my saturated shirt
carried the cool and remembered with me ...'carried the cool' is cool. Great couple of lines, actually.
the time you and I swam at dawn,
swishing hands and feet. ...Got the picture. Good.

Your absence lighter, now, to hold, as I
turned again onto the heat of summers’ road. ...I like the close. Wasn't sure how 'to hold' worked. Should that comma after 'now' be there?


I think a nudge or two would really help this already delightful piece.

Best

JJ

(Hi All,
I'm learning how to post and critique though I have been writing for some time. Could someone tell me how to keep the text in a certain place without the dots that I resorted to using in the first line? Thanks!)
Long time a child and still a child

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Re: The Summer You Left

Post by Macavity » Fri Oct 21, 2016 9:24 pm

[tab][/tab][tab][/tab][tab][/tab][tab][/tab]Was hot. I dressed with care.

[tab][/tab]tabs?

[tab][/tab]best

mac
Water soothed my knowing.
Perhaps drop then?

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Re: The Summer You Left

Post by Grace » Sun Oct 23, 2016 3:16 pm

I posted this revision using the edit button but I noticed there was no indication that a revision had been made, so I hope this is the correct way to add a revision. Thank you.


revision 1

The Summer You Left

When you left, I dressed
with care. I wore a shirt and shorts
that took a dunking and dried
with ease beneath the pervasive sun.

Air conditioning wanting,
the sweat of loss trickled
down my mind. I drove beneath
the pines in West Lake Park.
Reaching Cedar Bend, I dashed
down to the pier, rushed to the cusp, and plunged.

Water cooled my febrile thoughts,
and the suddenly amiable sun beamed
with pleasure at seeing relief.
Sorrow was adrift with me,
suspended for minutes.

Later, the weight of my saturated shirt
carried the cool and remembered
when you and I swam at dawn,
swishing hands and feet.

Your absence was lighter to lift as I
drove home, back to that summer’s grief.




The Summer You Left,

...........................Was hot. I dressed with care.
I wore a shirt and shorts and even shoes
that took a dunking fine and dried
with ease beneath the tenacious sun.

With air conditioning gone
in the wind-tunnel van, long since
dripped out, and the sweat of loss trickling
down my mind, I pulled into the pine
drive of the county park along the way.
I bolted out of the mobile oven
convecting heat. From the scattered lot,
I dashed down to the pier,
rushed to the cusp, and plunged.

Then water soothed my knowing.
The suddenly-amiable sun laughed
with pleasure at seeing relief.

And afterward, the weight of my saturated shirt
carried the cool and remembered with me
the time you and I swam at dawn,
swishing hands and feet.

Your absence lighter, now, to hold, as I
turned again onto the heat of summers’ road.

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Re: The Summer You Left

Post by Luce » Sun Oct 23, 2016 7:51 pm

Re revision. If you did just one so far, then the revision came through. If you did a 2nd revision, then I don't see it.

Yes, you press the Edit button to edit or post the latest revision above the original but you also have to press submit (down below) for it to take. You obviously did press "submit" or else I wouldn't see the revision marked "revision 1".

Also mark the latest revision next to your title (which you have done for Revision 1)) and in the title bar directly above the Edit toolbar.

Now to your poem. I like the approach you used to express loss - using nature as a healer - and the format used. You definitely know the value and use of rhyme and other sonic devices. However, it could do with some trimming. See additional comments below:

Luce

Grace wrote:revision 1

The Summer You Left

You don't underline poems anymore. You use italics instead but for long works only like Paradise Lost . Using italics is the same as underlining. You can thank the computer age for that change. Before you couldn't italicize anything because typewriters didn't have that capability. Thanks to word processing applications, you can italicize.

If a short poem was mentioned in a piece of prose, then you would use quotes basically so it could stand out from the prose. The same holds true for italicizing a book or long poem.

However, it is not necessary here because it is understood that this is the title of a poem.

Look around the forum, you don't see anyone using quotes or underlining the title of their poems.


When you left, I dressed
with care. I wore a shirt and shorts
that took a dunking and dried
with ease beneath the pervasive sun.


Try to show and not tell, easier said then done - I know. :D

"I dressed with care" is telling. "When you left I dressed in a shirt and short..." is showing. I like the rhyme of "left/dressed" so it is worth it to keep "dressed". However, the alty of "shirt/short" sounds awkward sand harsh. Maybe pick something smoother in sound than "shirt/short".

Try to cut down on words that are not necessary like "pervasive". Saying you were under the sun is enough since you already mentioned that the N "dried with ease".


Air conditioning wanting,
the sweat of loss trickled
down my mind. I drove beneath
the pines in West Lake Park.
Reaching Cedar Bend, I dashed
down to the pier, rushed to the cusp, and plunged.

The top line is telling. Instead of saying "Air conditioning wanting", you can say The car's air conditioning spewed hot air..."

Always give a clue to your reader as to where the N ( narrator) is in relationship to the poem (house, car, etc.). I like the internal rhyme of mind and pines. But, I'm not crazy about "sweat" representing "loss" trickling "down" into your "mind." Sounds a little OTT (over the top).

I like the action of the N driving to the pier. The passage shows movement, a good level of tension and the language flows effortlessly.


Water cooled my febrile thoughts,
and the suddenly amiable sun beamed
with pleasure at seeing relief.
Sorrow was suspended,
adrift with me for minutes.

Okay, the plunge the N takes in the lake cools down the feverish thoughts of the N. The sun approves. The N's sorrow is forgotten, at least for a short while.

I think you need something more descriptive then "febrile". The thoughts involve mainly seem to be about grief and loss really. Maybe describe the water a different way - soothing, smooth, etc. to pair with the thoughts of grief and/or loss. For example:

"The water soothed my thoughts of loss,
suspended grief and set it adrift
for seconds, if not minutes."

Please note that all suggestions are TOT (take or toss).

I'd cut the line about the sun - you're giving the sun obvious human qualities here by having it approve a human action.


Later, the weight of my saturated shirt
carried the cool and remembered
when you and I swam at dawn,
swishing hands and feet.

I like the off rhyme of weight/saturated. Suggestion here TOT:

Later, the weight of my saturated shirt
carried the cool memories when you and I
swam at dawn, swishing hands and feet.


Your absence was lighter to lift as I
drove home, back to that summer’s grief.

I like the ending. Very healing. I like the alty of lighter/lift and the off rhyme of drove/home. Minor suggestion

"back to that summer of grief
."
Word of advice on crits. Don't take it personal. They are critiquing the poem, not you. Whether or not the poster likes your poem or not, has harsh things to say about it or not, always thank the poster. After all, they took the time to read your poem, at least thank them for taking the time to do that.

Not a good thing to defend your poem nor insult or dismiss (directly or indirectly) the poster. There are guidelines in this forum on how to give and take critiques. It's worth your while to read them, assuming you have not done so already. There are also some excellent tools like RhymeZone you can access from the forum or outside of it.

I'm sure you'll enjoy your time here. It's a great place.

Luce



The Summer You Left,

...........................Was hot. I dressed with care.
I wore a shirt and shorts and even shoes
that took a dunking fine and dried
with ease beneath the tenacious sun.

With air conditioning gone
in the wind-tunnel van, long since
dripped out, and the sweat of loss trickling
down my mind, I pulled into the pine
drive of the county park along the way.
I bolted out of the mobile oven
convecting heat. From the scattered lot,
I dashed down to the pier,
rushed to the cusp, and plunged.

Then water soothed my knowing.
The suddenly-amiable sun laughed
with pleasure at seeing relief.

And afterward, the weight of my saturated shirt
carried the cool and remembered with me
the time you and I swam at dawn,
swishing hands and feet.

Your absence lighter, now, to hold, as I
turned again onto the heat of summers’ road.[/quote]
"She acts like summer, walks like rain." - Train

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Re: The Summer You Left

Post by Grace » Mon Oct 24, 2016 12:32 am

Hi Luce,

Thanks so much for the detailed critique of my revision. And thanks to Penguin, trobbo44, JJ and Mac, as well, for taking time to help! I used all of your comments to make a first revision.

I am very grateful for any and all crits that come my way and did not intend to snub or seem ungrateful. Being new to the forum I have read and re-read the rules, pointers, etc, and I posted my revision without commenting on the critiques first because I thought it was important to "not bring up an old thread," and also, that I needed to post at least 2 crits of others' works before I posted again. So I simply took the intelligent and helpful comments of the crits to my revision, then posted on two others' poems, and finally put up my revision quietly.

Now I think I understand that I am supposed to first reply to each crit in a separate reply, then critique 2 more posters, then post a revision.

The learning curve here is steep and while I am putting it all together I appreciate your tolerance and help.

I will reply to your crit and continue to revise/trim soon. For now I will say that the "show, don't tell" is an extremely helpful reminder.

Thanks,
Grace

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Re: The Summer You Left

Post by Luce » Mon Oct 24, 2016 1:29 am

Grace wrote:Hi Luce,

Thanks so much for the detailed critique of my revision. And thanks to Penguin, trobbo44, JJ and Mac, as well, for taking time to help! I used all of your comments to make a first revision.

I am very grateful for any and all crits that come my way and did not intend to snub or seem ungrateful. Being new to the forum I have read and re-read the rules, pointers, etc, and I posted my revision without commenting on the critiques first because I thought it was important to "not bring up an old thread," and also, that I needed to post at least 2 crits of others' works before I posted again. So I simply took the intelligent and helpful comments of the crits to my revision, then posted on two others' poems, and finally put up my revision quietly.

Now I think I understand that I am supposed to first reply to each crit in a separate reply, then critique 2 more posters, then post a revision.

The learning curve here is steep and while I am putting it all together I appreciate your tolerance and help.

I will reply to your crit and continue to revise/trim soon. For now I will say that the "show, don't tell" is an extremely helpful reminder.

Thanks,
Grace

OH NO NO NO NO!!!!! Don't in any way think you were "dissing" anyone. I just put that thing about crits for general reference that's all. As far as the "rules/guidelines", I'm sure it boils down to 2 crits for every "POEM" you post. This does not include revisions since it is not a new poem that you're posting. You're revising a poem that you've already posted.

Also, you don't have to reply individually to each poster. I usually wait for 2-3 crits initially and then I "thank" them in one post. Others like to thank folks individually. Your choice.

You are doing more than fine Grace - not to worry. :D

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

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Re: The Summer You Left

Post by Crayon » Mon Oct 24, 2016 4:40 am

Hi Grace.
It's a strong, relatable and affecting piece. There's plenty of choice material in both versions but, for my taste, it could use some shifting around. Sorry if this seems impudent but, on the off-chance that it could be of some use to you, here's how I'd rearrange things:

Summer Passing

When you left, I dressed with care.
An old T-shirt and shorts that could
take a wild dunking and dry with
ease beneath the rapacious sun.

Cool air wanting, your loss
trickled down my mind at the
wheel of the wind-tunnel van.

I drove between the high pines
through West Lake Park to Cedar
Bend, dashed down onto the jetty,
rushed to the brink, and plunged.

Cool water knowing, your loss
suspended in sunlight came
adrift like a moment of pleasure.

Leaving that sultry lake, the dripping
weight of my sodden shirt carried
the memory of when you and I swam
at dawn, hands and feet swishing.

Cool thoughts collecting, your loss
was lighter to wear as I headed
back home to summer's grief.
Last edited by Crayon on Mon Oct 24, 2016 1:54 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: The Summer You Left

Post by ray miller » Mon Oct 24, 2016 10:59 am

Nice poem. The only thing wrong with the revision, for me, is the first line

The summer you left

When you left

Too close to the title. Nothing wrong with the original opening line.
I'm out of faith and in my cups
I contemplate such bitter stuff.

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Re: The Summer You Left--revision 2

Post by Grace » Mon Oct 24, 2016 3:03 pm

Hi Crayon, Luce and Ray,

Thank you for the time you put into thinking about this poem with me.

I made a second revision with Luce and Ray's thoughts, doing more showing, for sure, and incorporating most of the ideas. I like the sun keeping the narrator company in her grief so I kept the emotion of the sun.

I also like many of the ideas you gave me, Crayon, and I didn't see them until now--I thought that your text was just another copy of my poem until I looked more closely. I'm still adjusting to the ways of the posting.

So I am going to go back to the drawing board.

Here is revision 2 but just ignore it for now because I am going to take my revision 2 and look at it with some of Crayon's input.

Thanks again!

The Summer You Left

………………………........was hot, and
the sweat of your loss trickled through
my mind. I dressed in a top
and shorts that took a dunking
and dried with ease beneath the sun.

I drove under the pines
in West Lake Park, and reaching
Cedar Bend, I dashed down to the pier,
rushed to the cusp, and plunged.

Water soothed thoughts of your absence,
and the suddenly amiable sun witnessed
my relief. Tendrils of hair and limbs
drifted, suspending sorrow
on the surface of the lake.

Later, the cool weight of my saturated shirt
reminded me of when you and I swam
at dawn, swishing our hands and feet.

I wore your absence in comfort as I
drove home, back to that summer of grief.

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Re: The Summer You Left

Post by ton321 » Tue Oct 25, 2016 10:31 pm

When you left, I dressed
with care. I wore a shirt and shorts
that took a dunking and dried
with ease beneath the pervasive sun.

Air conditioning wanting,
the sweat of loss trickled
down my mind. I drove beneath
the pines in West Lake Park.
Reaching Cedar Bend, I dashed
down to the pier, rushed to the cusp, and plunged.

Water cooled my febrile thoughts,
and the suddenly amiable sun beamed
with pleasure at seeing relief.
Sorrow was suspended,
adrift with me for minutes.

Later, the weight of my saturated shirt
carried the cool and remembered
when you and I swam at dawn,
swishing hands and feet.

Your absence was lighter to lift as I
drove home, back to that summer’s grief.


Hi Grace
I like the way you build up the motifs in this piece, with water, and clothing, getting dressed, getting wet/dry as ways of communicating the fragile emotional state of the narrator. I don't even know if you need the last two lines as much as you might think, maybe add a few more telling details could be enough,
Cheers, Tony.
Counting the beats,
Counting the slow heart beats,
The bleeding to death of time in slow heart beats,
Wakeful they lie.

Robert Graves

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Re: The Summer You Left

Post by Crayon » Tue Oct 25, 2016 11:26 pm

Grace, please don't let me and my edit badger or baffle you into changing things. Stay true to your voice. (Sorry if that sounded trite and patronising, but you know what I mean.)
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Re: The Summer You Left

Post by Grace » Wed Oct 26, 2016 12:40 am

Thank you Tony and Crayon.

I'm looking at the last 2 lines, and am wondering if they belong before the next-to-last stanza. I am going to find a way to show that idea better, whether it ends up as the final lines or not.

And Crayon your edit will simply help me clarify and refine my own voice, and I am grateful for it!

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Post by Grace » Wed Oct 26, 2016 3:07 pm

I edited this because it was a double of a post.
Last edited by Grace on Thu Oct 27, 2016 1:55 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Revision 3

Post by Grace » Thu Oct 27, 2016 1:53 am

1 Fresh air stalled, and sweat
2 and loss trickled through
3 my thoughts. I dressed in a top
4 and shorts that took a dunking
5 and dried with ease beneath
6 the sun. I drove under
7 the pines in West Lake Park,
8 and reaching Cedar Bend,
9 I dashed down to the pier,
10 rushed to the cusp, and plunged.

11 The water surrounded your absence
12 and the suddenly amiable sun
13 reflected my relief.
14 Sorrow drifted with tendrils
15 of hair, suspended on
16 the surface of the lake.
17 When I drove home I wore
18 your loss like a delicate
19 silver chain. Until
20 it dried, the cool weight
21 in my sodden shirt
22 reminded me of the time
23 we swam at dawn, swishing feet and hands.


lots of changes;

I connected the heat/pain stanzas together and the cool/hope stanzas together so that there is one hopefully noticeable change in tone at line 12.
I dropped the return to summer's grief at the end.
Added "delicate silver chain" not sure if that's overused.
I've gone back and forth on the title. Don't want the first line of the poem to be "was hot."
Added tendrils floating line 14, trying to show grief floating for a while giving the narrator temporary relief.
Used Crayon's sodden instead of saturated line 21. Thanks. Also used other of your ideas in my own words--added a comparison and strengthened the "wearing" of the grief, I hope.

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Re: The Summer You Left

Post by Crayon » Fri Oct 28, 2016 5:02 am

Hi Grace.

It may be better if each new revision is added to the original post, above the previous one. You can then also post a new comment to bump the thread and alert us that a new revision is up.

Numbering each line is a bit distracting.

Is line 1 a continuation of the title? If so, then begin line 1 with a lowercase letter, and always keep the title close above it.

I don't think "fresh" and "stalled" set the hot atmosphere very well. Stalled is an odd verb for air.

Just "a top" is hard to picture.

The past tense of "took" and "dried" feel odd coming before the dunking happens. Maybe: 'that could/would take a dunking and dry'.

Maybe cut: "The" from line 11 and begin that stanza with 'water'? And you could begin the first stanza with 'air'.

Maybe repeat the title between the stanzas?

The "silver chain" comes out of the blue, and feels a bit out of place, and I'm not too sure what it means.

Better change line 21 to: 'of my sodden shirt' otherwise the narrator themself could be "the cool weight".

The narrator's "shirt" was a "top" earlier.

Maybe put "swishing feet..." onto a new line?

Fussily, I'd prefer the same number of lines in each stanza. Maybe have two stanzas of ten lines, and then a separate four-line stanza for the sodden-shirt-dawn-swimming memory.

Don't let this distract you, but I thought the opening line: "When you left, I dressed with care" was very good because expectation is subverted, and interest generated, when the narrator then describes such casual clothing. I would suggest: 'When you left, I dressed appropriately', but you've moved on from those opening lines.
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Re: The Summer You Left

Post by Luce » Fri Oct 28, 2016 5:17 pm

Definitely post the revision as Crayon said. Don't number the lines. Put revision number next to the title and in the subject box (the box that shows the title on the board).

You don't have to explain what was changed. We'll figure it out.

If you want an idea of how it should look, just look at one of my poems for reference.

Post the latest revision ASAP.

I'll wait for you to do the above before I comment on Revision 2.

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

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Re: The Summer You Left, Revision 2

Post by Grace » Wed Nov 16, 2016 7:18 pm

Revision 2 posted.

Thanks.

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Re: The Summer You Left, Revision 2

Post by David » Wed Nov 16, 2016 8:32 pm

Grace wrote:Your loss singed like a burn.
There's a big difference, to my mind, between singeing and burning. And I goggle slightly at the idea that a pier has a cusp. I like the rest of S1.

S2 is a all a bit ethereal, but works well in showing what you're describing.

And S3, apart from "swishing", I like too.

So lots to enjoy.

Cheers

David

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Re: The Summer You Left, Revision 3

Post by Grace » Thu Nov 17, 2016 4:21 am

Hi David,

Thanks for your comments. I changed a few things in the poem, hoping it keeps the wistful tone I tried to cultivate in the first versions. In researching words that meant "moving one's hands through water," which is only what that word means in my world, I came across another meaning. I'm sorry to have used a word unknowingly that has been used by some to hurt others. I edited it out of my other versions, I hope that was ok with the moderator...

Agreed on "cusp."

I got rid of the floaty words, too...

Thanks again, very helpful.

Grace

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Re: The Summer You Left, Revision 3

Post by trobbo44 » Thu Nov 17, 2016 1:05 pm

Your latest revision is by far the best

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Re: The Summer You Left, Revision 3

Post by Luce » Fri Nov 18, 2016 3:15 am

This is coming along nicely Grace. Got some more suggestions/feedback for you. TOT, always TOT.

Luce


When You Left

It's a nice simple title. Good. Puts the intent of the poem up front. This means you can concentrate on the imagery to support the intent of the poem.

[s]Your loss attended
each moment awake,
a burn on skin.[/s]

[s]In the heat of summer[/s] I dressed in a tee and shorts
[s]that could take a dunking,
and dry with ease beneath the sun.[/s]
and [s]I[/s] drove through the pines
to [s]in[/s] West Lake Park[s].[/s] ,
[s]Clearing Cedar Bend,
I[/s] dashed down to the pier and plunged.

I really don't think you need what I crossed out. We don't need to know it's summer or whether you specifically picked out a tee and shorts that can dry with ease or be so exact on the location.

I wouldn't say "dashed" it sounds too cheerful. This is an impulsive, driven act, yes? Maybe "ran" or "streaked" or "sped" instead. Use a word that indicates speed. Something tells me you used "dashed" for the alty value (dashed/down) but you already have an alty going with "pier/plunged" so you don't need the "dashed/down" one.

Just to clarify, I would say you plunged into a lake or water.


Then water surrounded the flesh of your absence.

Maybe "weight" rather than "flesh"? Would make a nice sound with "the" (the/weight).

and sorrow floated, drifting with tendrils

of hair on the surface of the lake.

I like the imagery with the sorrow floating, the tendrils of hair on the surface of the lake. Don't quite understand the extra blank lines though in the format. It's a little distracting. Are they format errors?

I remembered when we swam
at dawn under the cover of mist.
Driving home, the cooling weight
of my shirt dressed the sting.

I would expand the imagery of the N and her beloved swimming together a bit by one more line. It sounds a little incomplete. You also want to expand this imagery to serve as a better contrast to the concluding lines below.

Not crazy about the closing lines. Would like to see something stronger to represent loss (if this is about a form of loss or abandonment).

The sting metaphor doesn't seem strong enough, imho. It's probably because "sting" is mainly a localized thing. I think you need something all consuming. The challenge with using a "burn" type metaphor is that it can easily be confused with passion/lust.

Again, I may be reading this all wrong and the poem is about passion and not loss. If so, perhaps the sting metaphor can work here.

Luce

P.S. It's not unusual for posters to conflict on a line, imagery or rhyme. One person may love it, another hates it with a passion. In the end, you decide what stays or goes. However, if more than one poster is pointing out the same "bump in the road" then it is wise to address it.

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

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Re: The Summer You Left, Revision 3

Post by Grace » Fri Nov 18, 2016 5:13 am

Hi Trobbo and Luce,

Thanks for the most recent thoughts. Trobbo, glad you see improvement.

Luce, I can see why you responded the way you did. It makes sense.

I'm trying to think of a detail for the swim because at this point the poem has veered far from the bit of real-life experience that got it started; that was driving on a hot day with broken air conditioning and wishing I could jump in a lake. I've never swum at dawn, I'm sorry to say. I think the person the narrator is missing must have done something kind, like getting their towels, or made a joke or maybe they saw a doe and fawn drinking? It's all fiction here so this could take a while...

Thanks again,

Grace

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