Hands

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ton321
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Hands

Post by ton321 » Sun Oct 28, 2018 2:06 am

Revision

I held my grandmothers hand between mine,
loving its strangeness
and the paper thin skin stretched tight
over each bulging knuckle.

I knew my hands would never be like hers-
maybe that was a part of it;
my mother would have been in a wheelchair
if she had lived

so my grandad said,
and her hands would have been the same-
if not worse than hers,
if hands could be a measure of pain.



original


I held my grandmothers hand between my two hands
loving its strangeness
and the paper thin skin stretched tight
as a drum over each bulging knuckle.

I knew my hands would never be like hers-
maybe that was a part of it;
my mother would have been in a wheelchair
if she had lived

so my grandad said,
and her hands would have been the same-
if not worse as hers.
if hands could be a measure of pain.

So get to hold whatever hands you can,
for as long as possible,
as I’m a firm believer in the holding of hands.
Last edited by ton321 on Tue Oct 30, 2018 6:42 pm, edited 3 times in total.
Counting the beats,
Counting the slow heart beats,
The bleeding to death of time in slow heart beats,
Wakeful they lie.

Robert Graves

Macavity
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Re: Hands

Post by Macavity » Sun Oct 28, 2018 4:05 am

ton321 wrote:
Sun Oct 28, 2018 2:06 am
I held my grandmothers hand between my two hands
loving its strangeness
and the paper thin skin stretched tight
as a drum over each bulging knuckle.

I knew my hands would never be like hers-
maybe that was a part of it;
my mother would have been in a wheelchair
if she had lived

so my grandad said,
and her hands would have been the same-
if not worse as hers.
if hands could be a measure of pain.

So get to hold whatever hands you can,
for as long as possible,
as I’m a firm believer in the holding of hands.
hi Tony

There are several shock moments that grab the reader in your poem. The narrative is unpredictable. The bulging knuckle, the mother/wheelchair/loss, hands as a measure of pain, that holding of hands like a desperation. A heartfelt write.

best

mac

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JJWilliamson
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Re: Hands

Post by JJWilliamson » Sun Oct 28, 2018 10:39 am

Lots to like here, Tony, in this meeting of hands. A sad poem but pleasant in its resigned presentation.

A few thoughts for your perusal:
ton321 wrote:
Sun Oct 28, 2018 2:06 am
I held my grandmothers hand between my two hands ...Would "between mine" help, given you have 'hands' in S2L1?
loving its strangeness
and the paper thin skin stretched tight
as a drum over each bulging knuckle. ...Good image. Is 'tight as a drum' a bit overused? I'm not sure if it's a problem, more that it just crossed my mind.

I knew my hands would never be like hers-
maybe that was a part of it;
my mother would have been in a wheelchair
if she had lived

so my grandad said, ...Very nice, reflective, conversational tone that asks the reader to share the speaker's thoughts.
and her hands would have been the same-
if not worse as hers. ..."than hers" perhaps.
if hands could be a measure of pain. ...I'm not a fan of the ellipsis but I'd be tempted to use one here, given the contextual clues.

So get to hold whatever hands you can, ...Could you drop the lesson and advice and keep it personal? In this way you'd encourage the reader to do the same without actually telling them to do it. Just a thought.

EG only.

"So now I hold hands whenever I can,
for as long as possible,
for I believe in the holding of hands"


for as long as possible,
as I’m a firm believer in the holding of hands.
A quiet and peaceful poem that I enjoyed reading very much.

Best

JJ
Long time a child and still a child

churinga
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Re: Hands

Post by churinga » Sun Oct 28, 2018 6:40 pm

Hi Harbal

I held my grandmothers hand between mine
the paper thin skin stretched tight
over each bulging knuckle.

Less is more, avoid repetition unless it is for a good reason, avoid vague abstracts like 'strangeness' and avoid cliches like 'tight as a drum'.


I knew my hands would never be like hers-
maybe that was a part of it;
my mother would have been in a wheelchair
if she had lived

This is mysterious, you seem to be saying you have the same disease that your mother has.
I like this verse, it is moving and the mystery is part of that emotional pull.


so my grandad said,
and her hands would have been the same-
if not worse (as hers.)
if hands could be a measure of pain. .

I like this verse too.

So (get to) hold whatever hands you can.

I would end it here. Less is more, you don't want to sound preachy.

kind regards

Ross

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Re: Hands

Post by ray miller » Sun Oct 28, 2018 8:29 pm

so my grandad said,
and her hands would have been the same-
if not worse as hers. - Should it not be "worse than hers"?
if hands could be a measure of pain. - I'd end it here.

So why cannot N's hands be like grandmothers?
I'm out of faith and in my cups
I contemplate such bitter stuff.

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Re: Hands

Post by bjondon » Mon Oct 29, 2018 7:51 pm

Hi Tony,
this is astrong and unusual poem.
The opening image, one hand held between two hands
is what triggers the whole piece and I think the refusal
of concision is part of the effective style here.
Having said that, S1 feels unwieldy and I don't think you would
lose anything by dropping the strangeness and the drum.

S2 and 3 are perfect apart from that odd'as'. It's a regional
variation and it could be you want to heighten the emotion
by vernacular speech. But I'm not sure it works.

The sentiment at the end which could be mawkish in almost
any other context is I think earned here but there's something wrong with
the phrasing. I like JJ's suggestion, but maybe add 'whatever' to 'whenever'
and drop the 'as long as possible' line.

Regards, Jules

ton321
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Re: Hands

Post by ton321 » Tue Oct 30, 2018 6:50 pm

Thanks Mac, and JJ , Ross, Ray and Jules for your comments and suggestions, which are much appreciated.
I've taken up some of them in the revision,

Tony
Counting the beats,
Counting the slow heart beats,
The bleeding to death of time in slow heart beats,
Wakeful they lie.

Robert Graves

Suzanne
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Re: Hands

Post by Suzanne » Thu Nov 01, 2018 8:59 am

This is lovely.

I think that if it was titled Holding hands, so words that would covey the last stanza you wanted to add, it wold work.

the tile, now, is fine and good but it could be even better if it did a little of the work for your message.

Also:

so my grandad said,
and her hands would have been the same-
if not worse than hers,
if hands could be a measure of pain.

I would differentiate if L2 "her" and L3 "her" are not the same person. I read the the second "her" is grandma's? A slight confusion here for me.

Suzanne

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