Grandpa

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Jackie
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Grandpa

Post by Jackie » Tue Jan 21, 2020 1:28 pm

Version 2
He was trim, a tall man who wore spats, a fact hidden now
as family snaps trained on his laughter, caught on the fly.
Boys then all longed to be traveling salesmen but where’s
the kudos with no frames? He’s not named in civic rosters.

At home, he made art from wood. We recently reupholstered
his lion’s paw easy chair in deep cherry, not knowing in the sun
it would speckle like nap on a beaver top hat. He did posture,
though, and would have looked good in one. On the fly, laughing.


Version 1
He was trim, a tall man who wore spats, a fact hidden now.
Snaps always caught him on the fly laughing.
Boys then longed to be traveling salesman but where’s
the glory? You’re not framed or named in civic rosters.

At home, he made art from wood. We recently redid
his lion’s paw easy chair in a deep cherry, not knowing its sheen
in the sun would speckle like a beaver hat. He did posture,
though, and would have looked good in one. On the fly, laughing.
Last edited by Jackie on Tue Jan 28, 2020 1:59 pm, edited 1 time in total.

NotQuiteSure
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Re: Grandpa

Post by NotQuiteSure » Tue Jan 21, 2020 2:58 pm

.
Enjoyed this Jackie, but a bit confused by L3-4, they seem to come
out of nowhere and then go nowhere. How do they relate to him?
Did he become a salesman?

Maybe add 'family' before 'snaps' (if 'photographs' is too unsatisfying :) )

Personally I don't feel I know enough about him, or why N would choose
to write about him by the end, so am left wanting more ... please.

(By the way, "beaver hat" results in much wider array of hats than I was
expecting, given the spats I'm picturing a top hat, but that's probably not
the image you had in mind :) )

Regards, Not

.

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Re: Grandpa

Post by Poet » Tue Jan 21, 2020 8:48 pm

Jackie wrote:
Tue Jan 21, 2020 1:28 pm
He was trim, a tall man who wore spats, a fact hidden now.
Snaps always caught him on the fly laughing.
Boys then longed to be traveling salesman but where’s
the glory? You’re not framed or named in civic rosters. (weird premise, what was that about?)

At home, he made art from wood. We recently redid
his lion’s paw easy chair in a deep cherry, not knowing its sheen
in the sun would speckle like a beaver hat. He did posture,
though, and would have looked good in one. On the fly, laughing. (Ahaha good poem, I like the last line! Really good job)
Overall I thought it was solid, but it was also odd as well the 3rd line was confusing though.

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Perry
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Re: Grandpa

Post by Perry » Wed Jan 22, 2020 1:46 am

For me the poem is all over the place, jumping from one thought to another. I'm having trouble seeing the thread that ties all the sentences together.
Jackie wrote:
Tue Jan 21, 2020 1:28 pm
He was trim, a tall man who wore spats, a fact hidden now. [Why hidden? Because he is dead? Death isn't usually seen as something that hides things.]
Snaps always caught him on the fly laughing. [Not sure what kind of snaps you mean. Snaps on spats? How are those snaps ever "on the fly"? When he's walking?]
Boys then longed to be traveling salesman but where’s [salesmen]
the glory? You’re not framed or named in civic rosters. [Not sure why you introduced the boys here. Was Grandpa a salesman?]

At home, he made art from wood. We recently redid [refinished?]
his lion’s paw easy chair in a deep cherry, not knowing its sheen
in the sun would speckle like a beaver hat. He did posture,
though, and would have looked good in one. On the fly, laughing. [The end should tie the poem together, but the connection between the final sentence and the rest of the poem isn't clear to me.]
I guess that in your mind you've made an emotional connection among all the images, but I'm not getting it.]
If I don't critique your poem, it is probably because I don't understand it.

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Re: Grandpa

Post by Macavity » Thu Jan 23, 2020 9:47 pm

A warm hearted write Jackie. It was the private man, making art from wood, that won me over.

best

mac

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Re: Grandpa

Post by Firebird » Sun Jan 26, 2020 7:00 pm

Hi Jackie,

It’s a warm portrait. My only nit is with the following line:
in the sun would speckle like a beaver hat.
‘A beaver hat’ sounds a little too specific but is indefinite if you know what I mean. Shouldn’t it be something like ‘a beaver hat he bought when...’ or ‘his beaver hat’.

Hope this helps.

Much enjoyed.

Cheers,

Tristan
Jackie wrote:
Tue Jan 21, 2020 1:28 pm
He was trim, a tall man who wore spats, a fact hidden now.
Snaps always caught him on the fly laughing.
Boys then longed to be traveling salesman but where’s
the glory? You’re not framed or named in civic rosters.

At home, he made art from wood. We recently redid
his lion’s paw easy chair in a deep cherry, not knowing its sheen
in the sun would speckle like a beaver hat. He did posture,
though, and would have looked good in one. On the fly, laughing.

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JJWilliamson
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Re: Grandpa

Post by JJWilliamson » Mon Jan 27, 2020 3:07 am

A very warm and enjoyable poem, Jackie
Jackie wrote:
Tue Jan 21, 2020 1:28 pm
He was trim, a tall man who wore spats, a fact hidden now. ...I'm assuming nobody wants to admit to having once worn spats.
Snaps always caught him on the fly laughing. ...Would "laughing on the fly" be more consistent with the voice?
Boys then longed to be traveling salesman but where’s ...Reads like a romantic dream of boys looking for a touch of excitement.
the glory? You’re not framed or named in civic rosters.

At home, he made art from wood. We recently redid ...I love this memory. Would "revarnish" or "repaint" help?
his lion’s paw easy chair in a deep cherry, not knowing its sheen
in the sun would speckle like a beaver hat. He did posture,
though, and would have looked good in one. On the fly, laughing.
I enjoyed so much of this but feel that a nudge or two would yield dividends.

Best

JJ
Long time a child and still a child

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Re: Grandpa

Post by ray miller » Tue Jan 28, 2020 12:11 pm

Enjoyed the poem. It's trim.
Jackie wrote:
Tue Jan 21, 2020 1:28 pm
He was trim, a tall man who wore spats, a fact hidden now. - why is that fact hidden now?
Snaps always caught him on the fly laughing.
Boys then longed to be traveling salesman but where’s
the glory? You’re not framed or named in civic rosters.

I'd suggest
Boys longed to be traveling salesmen then, but where's
the kudos.

At home, he made art from wood. We recently redid
his lion’s paw easy chair in a deep cherry, not knowing its sheen
in the sun would speckle like a beaver hat. He did posture,
though, and would have looked good in one. On the fly, laughing.
I'm out of faith and in my cups
I contemplate such bitter stuff.

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Jackie
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Re: Grandpa

Post by Jackie » Tue Jan 28, 2020 2:06 pm

Thanks so much Not, Poet, Perry, Mac, Tristan, JJ and Ray! Your questions and comments have been very helpful.

I've posted a 2nd version above, that I hope works better.

Jackie

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Re: Grandpa

Post by bjondon » Wed Jan 29, 2020 6:15 pm

Hi Jackie - enjoyed both your recent posts (this and Caravan) - I can't claim to 'get' either of them but both gift the reader with enough to beguile and then proceed to confound in so many seemingly specific and curious ways I keep coming back to them.
I know you are interested in Keith Douglas who perhaps does something similar - I can't quite put my finger on why his poems are so memorable - the subjects are very vivid, but they are also full of strange, sometimes archaic and unexpected turns of phrase - this has a distancing effect but if I was to name just one defining thing about these pieces it is the sense that he is very much there, almost alive in the now of the poem.
I wondered if there are any other touchstone poets, writers you feel are informing your work, pushing and experimenting with similar strategies.

The revision: - My favourite bit was the opening two lines of the original - positively 'Fred Astaire' in its capricious, syncopated rhythm - just not so good in V2! … Yes, I understand you're addressing a perceived problem with 'a fact hidden now' - but I didn't mind that - This is not a straight portraiture piece, I get the feeling the N didn't actually know him that well, that maybe he was quite an illusive though glamourous character - What survives, the snaps and the chair are almost more real than he was, but there's also this defining memory of him in spats, a clear picture but only in the mind of the N.

kudos or glory? - I'm not sure of your intentions here, though again I preferred the sonics of V1 and also the clustering of the only full rhymes. 'glory' -points more to the wars and the suggestion that he was too young for the first, too old for the second. There's a definite change of tone which is quite confusing - it doesn't sound like a judgement the N would make though I can hear it as maybe an ironic (but also quite self-deprecatory) statement in his repertoire (italics would help clarify that)

'redid' - For me a clear vernacular synonym for 'reupholstered' (together with the 'easy' clue) and much better sonically at that point.

S2 - I can understand the significance of restoring (cherishing) the chair, but not why the speckling was a problem, or exactly why it's brought up there. 'speckled like a beaver hat' is a lovely phrase and it does lead us to this vivid final image of him in a top hat, so maybe it's just an eccentric detail we just have to take at face value. [The logic/style of this whole piece could be described as 'on the fly, laughing'!]

Must a poem make complete sense? The games being played here keep leading me to the question 'What is a poem for? What does it do?' - suggesting an answer that it is more in the category of a spell than a holder of information.

Jules

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Re: Grandpa

Post by Jackie » Sun Mar 08, 2020 3:33 pm

Jules, I'm so grateful for all the thought you put into this critique. It's given me lots to think about.

Jackie

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