When I was Born

This is a serious poetry forum not a "love-in". Post here for more detailed, constructive criticism.
Post Reply
JohnLott
Preponderant Poster
Preponderant Poster
Posts: 1326
Joined: Tue Feb 22, 2011 9:35 pm
Location: Devon

When I was Born

Post by JohnLott » Thu Nov 24, 2011 12:40 am

I knew when I was born,
In the year of the Scorpion, at half past three
and four degrees left of a crescent moon;
there would be controversy.

No man is an Island, I was told
as I floated in on the solar wind.
‘But what about a comet?’ I replied in bold
bodoni font size ten as Ballad took my hand.
No answer. With his hand on my tail
we crash landed in Reading Gaol.
Of course Wilde went wild.

A truly, madly Minghella moment
of which I was proud. But really,
deeply irrelevant to my birth and
the green fluid under my skin is
testament that I am not of this earth.

I am a story, I am words, I am poetry.
The nibs of broken pens
constantly renewed to become a book:
I am the chapters, the pages, the anthology.

I floated on a sentence out of there,
over wall and down the vale,
past the Madejski football crowd.

I became the film, the dvd (in HD), the game.
The hero of every child who,
before I was born, had rarely smiled.
Until then crazy fancies caused pain
and dull and dour were pure joy:
Pleasure was silence, potatoes, leeks and flowers.
Now LukePercyPotter is written to thrill a boy.
Last edited by JohnLott on Sun Dec 04, 2011 9:22 pm, edited 3 times in total.
Before you shave with Occam’s razor - Try epilation or microlaser

Arian
Perspicacious Poster
Perspicacious Poster
Posts: 2718
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 8:41 am
antispam: no
Location: Hertfordshire, UK

Re: When I was Born

Post by Arian » Thu Nov 24, 2011 7:58 pm

Hi John. Can I just ask...is this:

and four degrees left of the slivered moon;

a typo? A number of possible answers occur:

1. Yes it is. OK, fine, so correct it. And then it's a bit dog-eared.
2. No. It's a deliberate, but ironic, corruption. OK, fine, but ironic corruptions - indeed, irony of any kind - seems missing elsewhere in the piece, so it's out of place. Readers will read it as a typo.
3. No, it's deliberate, but not ironic - it's a genuine attempt at new imagery. OK, fine, but then it's weak (I'd say). I can see how you might force a case for a "slivered" moon, but it doesn't seem to me to be an adjective that has natural appeal in this context.

I've focused on the micro rather than the macro, here, but - hey - sometimes you have to. Others, no doubt will feed back on the piece in the round.

Cheers
peter

JohnLott
Preponderant Poster
Preponderant Poster
Posts: 1326
Joined: Tue Feb 22, 2011 9:35 pm
Location: Devon

Re: When I was Born

Post by JohnLott » Thu Nov 24, 2011 9:14 pm

Hi Peter.
Deliberate.
slivered = slice of moon.
New way of saying new moon. Well maybe not.
But then N is not of this world :roll:

I'll think about changing it but can't promise.

I also conclude that the macro view is an accident.

J.
Before you shave with Occam’s razor - Try epilation or microlaser

calico
Prolific Poster
Prolific Poster
Posts: 400
Joined: Wed Apr 14, 2010 7:06 pm
Location: london lovely london
Contact:

Re: When I was Born

Post by calico » Fri Nov 25, 2011 11:22 am

Who or what are you?!
This is definitely fun - lots of surprises - like the Madejski stadium outside Reading gaol...Time-travelling?
It's overwritten in places I think - like I love this line:
Pleasure was silence, potatoes, leeks and flowers.

But I'd prefer it without the 'silence', letting me work out for myself that vegetables are silent.
I also think it's over-rhyming, i.e joy and boy in the last stanza......just sounds trite.

As for what it's about...ummm...
I don't know what you are. On one hand you're cosmic and filmic, but then you're poetry and an anthology too. What's Oscar Wilde doing in there? Is he the bad old times or the good old times? Not sure - doesn't matter-
The boldness of your writing works well in this poem in my opinion.
I don't think you need 'that' after 'pens' do you?

JohnLott
Preponderant Poster
Preponderant Poster
Posts: 1326
Joined: Tue Feb 22, 2011 9:35 pm
Location: Devon

Re: When I was Born

Post by JohnLott » Sun Nov 27, 2011 3:34 pm

Thanks for your read, Megan.
Man has been gifted (from the gods as it were) with literature and it is what we are doing with it, in a socio-intellectual context. Once children grew into ‘adult’ appreciation – earned their spurs so to speak; they had to be seen and not heard, they had ‘natural’ pursuits and appreciation: Now adults are mixing it with (popular) children’s consumption.

Sorry about the 'over-rhyming' - rhyme was not intentional in this piece.

:)

J.
Before you shave with Occam’s razor - Try epilation or microlaser

User avatar
twoleftfeet
Perspicacious Poster
Perspicacious Poster
Posts: 6761
Joined: Wed Dec 07, 2005 4:02 pm
Location: Standing by a short pier, looking for a long run-up

Re: When I was Born

Post by twoleftfeet » Sun Nov 27, 2011 3:45 pm

John,

Crash landing in Reading's "goal" or "gaol"?
- well, you did mention the football stadium, so maybe it's not a tpyo.. :)

Even with your explanation the final stanza still isn't working for me, but I did enjoy the quirkiness of S1,S2 and S3.

Geoff
Instead of just sitting on the fence - why not stand in the middle of the road?

JohnLott
Preponderant Poster
Preponderant Poster
Posts: 1326
Joined: Tue Feb 22, 2011 9:35 pm
Location: Devon

Re: When I was Born

Post by JohnLott » Sun Nov 27, 2011 7:22 pm

Hi Geoff,
Oscar Wilde went to jail - goal. He wrote his poem 'Reading Goal'. Reading(town) reading (literature).
The association of that in transit refers to football-gaols-the Stadium: the obession of society to football as a game....

8)

J.
Before you shave with Occam’s razor - Try epilation or microlaser

k-j
Perspicacious Poster
Perspicacious Poster
Posts: 3004
Joined: Thu Aug 04, 2005 10:37 pm
Location: Denver, CO

Re: When I was Born

Post by k-j » Sun Nov 27, 2011 9:52 pm

I think this would work very well performed. On the page, with all those crazy sonics and wild associations, it's like fireworks going off in a box.

Think I agree with the analysis of the slivered moon. It's sort of unsatisfying whichever way I look at it. Likewise "Reading goal" which I can't believe isn't a typo.

"Ballad took my hand"? Eh?

Love the green fluid. I really like the last four lines, "potatoes, leeks and flowers" especially.

Didn't get "LukePercyPotter", at least the first two.
fine words butter no parsnips

JohnLott
Preponderant Poster
Preponderant Poster
Posts: 1326
Joined: Tue Feb 22, 2011 9:35 pm
Location: Devon

Re: When I was Born

Post by JohnLott » Sun Nov 27, 2011 10:13 pm

Hi k-j

Thanks for the read.

I suppose I could do the cliched Crescent Moon? How about a geometric chord for anything up to a half-moon?

'Ballad of Reading Goal' - Oscar Wilde
not a typo - honest

Luke Skywalker - Stars Wars
Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief
Harry Potter

8)

J.
Before you shave with Occam’s razor - Try epilation or microlaser

k-j
Perspicacious Poster
Perspicacious Poster
Posts: 3004
Joined: Thu Aug 04, 2005 10:37 pm
Location: Denver, CO

Re: When I was Born

Post by k-j » Sun Nov 27, 2011 10:24 pm

JohnLott wrote:'Ballad of Reading Goal' - Oscar Wilde
not a typo - honest
Erm... yes it is?
Luke Skywalker - Stars Wars
Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief
Harry Potter
Gotcha, but I think most people aren't gonna know which Luke and Percy you're referring to. Even "Potter" is pretty generic.
fine words butter no parsnips

JohnLott
Preponderant Poster
Preponderant Poster
Posts: 1326
Joined: Tue Feb 22, 2011 9:35 pm
Location: Devon

Re: When I was Born

Post by JohnLott » Sun Dec 04, 2011 4:02 pm

OK k-j
it's a typo. Put me in gaol.

I own up to an own goal :lol:

J.
Before you shave with Occam’s razor - Try epilation or microlaser

Bloggsworth
Persistent Poster
Persistent Poster
Posts: 194
Joined: Mon Oct 25, 2010 10:43 pm
Location: Sunny Barnet

Re: When I was Born

Post by Bloggsworth » Sun Dec 04, 2011 4:56 pm

I'd cut the slivered moon...

JohnLott
Preponderant Poster
Preponderant Poster
Posts: 1326
Joined: Tue Feb 22, 2011 9:35 pm
Location: Devon

Re: When I was Born

Post by JohnLott » Sun Dec 04, 2011 9:22 pm

OK Blogsworth

Crescent (new) Moon

J.
Before you shave with Occam’s razor - Try epilation or microlaser

Post Reply