8th

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k-j
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8th

Post by k-j » Sun Oct 06, 2013 7:32 am

You are eight, tall, skinny, and weigh a ton.
I lift you, spin you: 24-carat plutonium.
You're all of a sudden, you're a piranha, a bomb.
All ignition and debris and phasers not to stun.

I desired fatherhood to be like a novel: long,
slow, and orderly. But you're making it a poem:
the lines blow away in the wind like sea-foam,
and contradict me and render me foolish and wrong.

You're like a blade of grass in your uprightness
and your purpose and unflattenableness. A holly
in handling, an apple tree, an elm-branching-brolly
for us when storms threaten. Esmé, unless

I drug myself, I won't reach that peak of sleep
that you rode while I wrote this. But construe
it favourably: I set down these fond few
words against your 16th, though words are cheap.
fine words butter no parsnips

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Re: 8th

Post by David2 » Sun Oct 06, 2013 7:26 pm

Ah, a paean to fatherhood. More to the point, as this is a girl we're talking about, a paean to advanced fatherhood. (Girls and boys. It's like the difference between hand-rearing an overwrought gazelle and having a tortoise. Sorry Sam, slightly unfair, but ...)

phasers set to stun?

L4 in V2 seems a bit long to me.

It might be nice to use a word other than "unflattenableness" - great word though it is - in V3, because with that preceding "uprightness" it feels like a misplaced rhyming word.

But very nice.

Cheers

David

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Re: 8th

Post by Antcliff » Sun Oct 06, 2013 7:52 pm

I liked that K-J,

especially..

You're all of a sudden, you're a piranha..

I wonder what you would think about taking the first stanza and making it the last? The appearance of that heavy sounding "plutonium" might better suited for the end. Inevitably it has a certain (intended of course) comic feel. If that came at the end of the slightly more sombre earlier start it would be a warm (er) finish. I also think stanza 2 might be a better entry point anyway.

Anyway, just a thought.
Seth
We fray into the future, rarely wrought
Save in the tapestries of afterthought.
Richard Wilbur

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Re: 8th

Post by Ros » Sun Oct 06, 2013 8:21 pm

Perhaps

contradict and render me foolish and wrong. (though that may then be a little short)

- in places feels as if there's a little padding (partic with 'and's) to fit the rhythm. Seth has good ideas about swapping stanzas - worth a look. Very enjoyable, though. 16 will come before you know it.

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Re: 8th

Post by twoleftfeet » Mon Oct 07, 2013 1:08 pm

I really enjoyed this, k-j

I thought S2 went a tad flat, sonically - possibly the three "ness" words. I'd be tempted to drop "unflattenableness" for a more conventional word like "spring".
Maybe use "purpose" for the L1 rhyme?
David2 wrote: phasers set to stun?
I wasn't sure - either it's the "stun" pun or it's a case of them being on full power! (is that not on "stun" ?)

Geoff
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Re: 8th

Post by Macavity » Tue Oct 15, 2013 4:42 am

I enjoyed this k-j, though part of me is saying novels are not by definition long and grass is definitely flat under a muddy footprint, the poem charms beyond logic. Perhaps on re-reading I begin to notice the number of 'you're', but I enjoyed the flitting list of possibilities - 'the lines blow away in the wind like sea-foam' is lovely and apt.

A holly
in handling, an apple tree, an elm-branching-brolly
The elm/holly were specific, especially like the elm, not sure what is intended with the apple tree?

cheers

mac

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Re: 8th

Post by Arian » Wed Oct 16, 2013 11:56 am

Yes, enjoyable. Some nicely phrased thoughts. I liked 'all of a sudden' as description. And I thought peak of sleep is clever - a nice reversal of the usual expression (depths etc) to introduce a bit of assonance.

One or two lines felt a little long, such as the contradict me line, and I agree with others about unflattenableness.

I also agree with
Antcliff wrote: I also think stanza 2 might be a better entry point anyway.

Cheers
Peter

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Re: 8th

Post by Cliff » Wed Oct 16, 2013 1:53 pm

Hello K-J

There's so much to like here!
You're all of a sudden, you're a piranha, a bomb.
All ignition and debris and phasers not to stun.
This is so vivid, "ignition and debris" - the ever alternating condition of that age. And "phasers not to stun" .. Perfect! I think it captures so well the full throttle force of a child (on us) in her element.

Though I quite like the word: unflattenableness. I too agree with the others as it doesn't seem to work for me in this case.

Really enjoyed the read!

~ Cliff
Somewhere in a burst of glory
Sound becomes a song - Paul Simon

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Re: 8th

Post by camus » Thu Oct 17, 2013 11:39 pm

A fine thing to stumble upon in years to come whilst routing through her father's papers, should that ever be the case.

I like that it's a dark side of sentimental.

Some brilliant contrasts, especially the first line.

"You're all of a sudden" is inspired, though I do think the contrasts get a little blurry? Piranha and phasers not to stun, didn't work for me.

"Though words are cheap"

Mmmmm, the closer? Personally I think that cheapens the whole poem? Words aren't cheap. Not in this case? They are laboured and worth something? I dunno i'm pissed.

Good stuff.
http://www.closetpoet.co.uk

k-j
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Re: 8th

Post by k-j » Sat Oct 19, 2013 3:53 am

Thanks all, and some good suggestions.

I agree about the line-length issues, but only partially, and am keeping the great "unflattenableness". But will change "uprightness" - good show David.

Ant, very good idea. Will switch S2 to the beginning.

Ros, yes, absolutely, I have a problem with repeating these "and"-like words. I need to get a grip there. Thank you.

2Lef - "purpose" not bad. Well done for being not on stun.

Mac - you're right and I shouldn't describe novels as slow and long and orderly, which is contrary to the facts and to my understanding of them when I became a father, i.e. it's a lie! So, I will rephrase it. Apple tree, just something that gives yearly pleasure, has some symbolism, I suppose.

Peter - thank you, S2 will be the new beginning.

Cliff - thanks

Kris - I doubt I'll leave any papers behind me, more's the pity. Maybe I should print out every comment people make on my poems here? Every email, blog comment, etc? After all, they'll all almost certainly be gone by the time I die. But then - are they worth preserving? I very much doubt it. Unless they're the only thing to survive from this era. And if so, they're buggered anyway! I rather incline to posthumous anonymity.

Thanks Kris for brining up the ending. This is my real issue with this poem. The ending won't stand, and until I can rewrite the ending nor will the poem. Thanks all.
fine words butter no parsnips

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