Still Life (was Boots)

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1lankest
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Still Life (was Boots)

Post by 1lankest » Sat Feb 02, 2019 9:46 pm

Revision

These you left, canvassed in paint,
cement; shaped to the slow

inevitable tread
of years

skewed by the door
as they fell.

I leave them there:
leather, lace, the votive-you

each morning and evening
I step over, over.




Original

These you left, canvassed in paint,
cement, shaped to the slow

inevitable tread
of years,

skewed by the door
as they fell.

I leave them here:

smiles of instep-
curves, crud, maze
of unravelled lace.

They’ve become the votive-you
each morning and evening
I step over, over;

these gnarled
leathery wounds.
Last edited by 1lankest on Wed Feb 06, 2019 5:35 pm, edited 3 times in total.

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Re: Boots

Post by Macavity » Sun Feb 03, 2019 6:52 am

Hi Luke

I like a boot poem and you have some good word resonance here. The sparce style fits too.
1lankest wrote:
Sat Feb 02, 2019 9:46 pm
These you left, canvassed in paint,
cement, shaped to the slow

inevitable tread ....................a destined predictability?
of years,

skewed by the door
as they fell.

I leave them here:

smiles of instep-
curves, crud, maze
of unravelled lace.

They’ve become the votive-you
each morning and evening
I step over, over;

these gnarled
leathery wounds.
cheers

mac

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Re: Boots

Post by NotQuiteSure » Sun Feb 03, 2019 1:59 pm

.
Enjoyed this Luke,
a lot from a little.

You could cut 'these you left' by adding 'your' to the title.

Don't think you need L11/12 as 'wounds' says more with
less ('gnarled leathery' seems clunky).

Just a suggestion:
Your Boots

maze of unravelled lace.
canvassed in paint,

cement, skewed
Instep smiles,

by the door
as they fell.


[cracked skin],
crud [scabbed,]

shaped to the slow
inevitable tread,

I step over
[and] over;
these wounds.




Regards, Not.


.

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Re: Boots

Post by David » Sun Feb 03, 2019 2:08 pm

This is a nice one, Luke.

I wonder about "canvassed" - as the recipient of the paint and cement, I suppose. A simpler word might suffice here - "caked", even, although it's something of a cliché, so maybe not, but something less showy. "Covered"? I leave it to you.

I'm not sure "votive" seems quite right either. Interesting when combined with "you", though.

I would stop at " over, over". I like the repetition.

Cheers

David

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Re: Boots

Post by Pinky » Mon Feb 04, 2019 2:47 pm

Hi 1lankest,

Upon seeing the title I was expecting stomping and exits, so was pleasantly surprised by your boot shrine. The loss and haunting come across slowly and surely.
These you left, canvassed in paint
This is an interesting twister that needs some attention and so may interrupt the flow of the read and take the spotlight away from "the votive you".
skewed by the door
Skewed makes me think of BBQ and data analysis. I guess you were using variant of askew. I wonder if there are better options? Maybe always askew ?
I leave them here
Maybe instead of "here" use "there", pointing at some internal distance and at the door.

Pinky

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Re: Boots

Post by Perry » Tue Feb 05, 2019 1:15 pm

I'd like the poem to say more about why the boots represent "wounds". Is the owner of the boots not coming back? Is that why the boots have become a shrine?

"there" would be better than "here". Not sure what "smiles" means in this context.
If I don't critique your poem, it is probably because I don't understand it.

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Re: Boots

Post by bjondon » Tue Feb 05, 2019 8:16 pm

Really like this Luke - I also live in my dad's house, keep finding
new, oddly haunted corners. Tidy them up or put them in a
box and they just vanish.
1lankest wrote:
Sat Feb 02, 2019 9:46 pm
These you left, canvassed in paint, . . . . good opener - the N's inheritance. I think 'canvassed in' works, even though it is virtually
cement, shaped to the slow . . . . . . . . . . . . a neologism meaning 'turned into a canvas by' - it makes a distinctive separation
between the father's artisanal life and the son's artistic perspective . . . . you suspect he wouldn't have approved of such a notion
and that is part of its point. I think I would put a semi-colon after 'cement'.

inevitable tread
of years,

skewed by the door . . . . . this almost feels like the doorway to death, a sense of being struck down, perhaps before his time
as they fell.

I leave them here: . . . . . .the here/there question - there' would be more expected but suggests a putting away, 'here' somehow designates it more as a special place, held in the mind

smiles of instep- . . . . an awkward line break for me, 'curves' wanting to be a verb. I like 'smiles of instep' as is.
curves, crud, maze
of unravelled lace.

They’ve become the votive-you . . . . . the poem seems to revolve around two spotlit very conscious articulations, the 'votive-you' and 'canvassed in' - they ask for our attention and hold the key
each morning and evening
I step over, over; . . . . . I would end here too. It is clear there are conflicted emotions here and the final couplet feels unnecessary.

these gnarled
leathery wounds.
Regards,
Jules

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Re: Boots

Post by Firebird » Tue Feb 05, 2019 9:37 pm

I think it’s excellent until the fifth stanza (I prefer ‘here’ to ‘there’ at the end of stanza 4. It shows N’s proximity to the boots) which is nowhere near as lucid or lyrical as what came before and has a distracting rhyme (maze/lace) that shouts it presence at you - totally out of place in this poem I’d say. IMO this stanza needs simplifying and cleaning out so it matches the simplicity, tone and ludity of the previous stanzas. I like ‘the votive you’ and the end. I also like the ‘votive-you/wound thread/rhyme. The juxtaposition adds value to the end.

Cheers,

Tristan

PS. I think the title could do more, and think the reader would get more out of the poem by working out the object’s identify as they read the poem. It’s clear by line 4 anyways.

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Re: Boots

Post by 1lankest » Wed Feb 06, 2019 10:04 am

Thanks Mac, Jules, Perry, pinky David, not,

Incredibly helpful comments as ever.

Revision posted, accordingly.

Luke

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Re: Still Life (was Boots)

Post by Firebird » Wed Feb 06, 2019 3:22 pm

1lankest wrote:
Wed Feb 06, 2019 10:04 am
Thanks Mac, Jules, Perry, pinky David, not,

Incredibly helpful comments as ever.

Revision posted, accordingly.

Luke
I’m feeling a bit left out Luke. :( That said, that’s not much of a response either considering the amount of detailed feedback you received. It would be good to see a bit more engagement with individuals’ comments.

Cheers,

Tristan

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Re: Still Life (was Boots)

Post by 1lankest » Wed Feb 06, 2019 5:23 pm

Sorry I missed you, Tristan, really wasn’t intentional. Of course I value your input as much as anyones. You're a terrific reader and writer of poetry.

My replies are usually rushed, regrettably. I’m a teacher in a 7 day week boarding school and my days are 12 hours without breaks, even for lunch (we eat with the kids).

I barely have time to write any poetry, let alone engage in lengthy exchanges about the minutiae of mine or others’ poems.

I always consider everyone’s comments and revise my work accordingly. I thought it was enough to respond indirectly in this manner, perhaps not. Happy to take my leave if moderators judge my contributions to be inadequate, I really don’t have time for more.

Cheers,

Luke

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Re: Still Life (was Boots)

Post by Firebird » Wed Feb 06, 2019 5:57 pm

Hi Luke,

I said it would be ‘good’ to see a bit more engagement with individual comments , but understand if you can’t - we all have our own time constraints (I have two young kids and a full time teaching job).

I agree that your second version of the poem was a type of response to the comments. I only mentioned the briefness of your response to others comments because I think by engaging with indidvidaul comments it shows you value/appreciate the work others have put in.
1lankest wrote:
Wed Feb 06, 2019 5:23 pm
Happy to take my leave if moderators judge my contributions to be inadequate, I really don’t have time for more.
That’s a bit meladramatic. What I said was not implying that at all.

Cheers,

Tristan

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Re: Still Life (was Boots)

Post by 1lankest » Wed Feb 06, 2019 6:44 pm

Thanks Mac, Jules, Perry, pinky David, not,

Incredibly helpful comments as ever.

Revision posted, accordingly.


Did this not show value for people’s comments? I know I missed your name but that was mere forgetfulness. It was your comment, which I clearly agreed with, that prompted me to change the title. Is that not ‘engaging with comments’?

I guess I assumed if I’d been picked up on something by a moderator then i must have breached protocol. If not, why pick me up?

Sorry, long day and not really in the mood for condescension or a ticking off.

L

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Re: Still Life (was Boots)

Post by Firebird » Wed Feb 06, 2019 7:09 pm

I guess I assumed if I’d been picked up on something by a moderator then i must have breached protocol. If not, why pick me up?
Others have been picked up on this in the past. You are not the first. I think we better leave it there.

Tristan

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Re: Still Life (was Boots)

Post by 1lankest » Wed Feb 06, 2019 8:19 pm

Fair enough, Tristan. But if people feel pressurised to post beyond their means then they will shrink away into obscurity. I almost gave up on this place a few years ago because I didn’t feel able to wipe my face. Now, I do what I can.

Cheers,

Luke

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Re: Still Life (was Boots)

Post by JJWilliamson » Wed Feb 06, 2019 9:02 pm

I wrote a poem about boots a couple of years ago and revised the life out of it. Your poem reminded me
that I must return to address the problem. Sorry, I'm off track.

I see you've changed the title to "Still Life" which immediately prepares me for a painting or ekphrastic poem,
both of which I embrace with open arms. However, it also provides a subtle metaphor for death or loss, or at least it certainly has that potential.
I read an empathetic, almost melancholic sorrow for these boots, but I have a tendency to apply my own take on things.
1lankest wrote:
Sat Feb 02, 2019 9:46 pm
Revision

These you left, canvassed in paint, ...How are you using 'canvassed'? Would "daubed with paint" carry the same emotion?
cement; shaped to the slow

inevitable tread
of years ...These boots are old and still IE no longer active or serving their purpose, as if the owner had departed. I can't help but detect an anger, of sorts, lurking here.

skewed by the door ...I take it that they were knocked away from tidy alignment by the door and simply left where they fell. Is there anger at work, or a swift departure?
as they fell.

I leave them there:
leather, lace, the votive-you ...'Votive' seems to be pivotal, as if something sacred had been left, something meaningful to the speaker.

each morning and evening
I step over, over. ...At the start and end of the day the speaker takes care to step over these boots. He doesn't move them
or throw them away and neither does he physically care for them, and yet I don't feel the "you" is returning. A curiosity, at least it is for me.


A very engaging poem, full of emotion and intrigue.

Best

JJ
Long time a child and still a child

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Re: Still Life (was Boots)

Post by Perry » Wed Feb 06, 2019 9:22 pm

I have made a comment about the exchange between Luke and Tristan, but in order not to hijack the thread, I made it on my Minimalism thread (in the Poetry Discussion forum), which I have now rechristened "Perry's Opinions (on minimalism and more)".

Regarding the poem, Luke, your response to the crits has been to scale the poem back, to make it more minimal. I know that my opinion in this area is not consistent with prevailing ideas, but sometimes a poem needs expanding, not reducing. I would like to see you add some details, like (as I suggested) whether (or why) the owner of the boots is gone forever -- that would clarify the poem (and explain why the boots have become a shrine). In my opinion, your poem was already too "slender". Now it is anorexic.
If I don't critique your poem, it is probably because I don't understand it.

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Re: Still Life (was Boots)

Post by 1lankest » Thu Feb 07, 2019 6:24 am

Thanks Jj, get back to them boots! Great to see the tensions are working for you — you’ve read it perfectly. Anger is indeed there. Canvassed is use to detect the artist/artisanal contrast Jules highlighted. I like daubed though, has a maudlin quality.

Perry, I do like the idea of an anorexic poem but I’m not sure I want this to be so. I fear if I feed it up it will lose the intrigue jj values. Tricky. Thanks for commenting.

L

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Re: Still Life (was Boots)

Post by Ros » Fri Feb 08, 2019 3:20 pm

I like the revision, Luke - I think it says all that is necessary.

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Re: Still Life (was Boots)

Post by Firebird » Fri Feb 08, 2019 6:04 pm

I like the revision too Luke. My only tentative suggestion might be to put the second ‘over’ (at the end of the poem) on a new line.

Cheers,

Tristan

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Re: Still Life (was Boots)

Post by Perry » Fri Feb 08, 2019 11:39 pm

You know that I feel the poem needed more and not less, but I won't belabor the point. However, these lines have always struck me as strange:

skewed by the door
as they fell.

I have this image of hands reaching out from the door frame, grabbing the boots and arranging them. If what you mean is that the boots were thrown against the door frame and that caused them to fall in a certain way, you might find another way to say it. I also find myself thinking, "How long are these boots going to sit in a doorway before someone decides they are in the way?" Perhaps this might work:

thrown against the wall
and skewed where they fell.

I originally took the hyphen in "votive-you" to be a dash, but you mean it to be a hyphen, don't you? As in the "you" that worships?
If I don't critique your poem, it is probably because I don't understand it.

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Re: Still Life (was Boots)

Post by ton321 » Sat Feb 09, 2019 1:08 am

Hi Luke

The lines that stand out by far are

They’ve become the votive-you
each morning and evening
I step over, over;

and if it was me i would start the poem from there, and let the piece take its course, as Frost said, like a melting ice cube. Good read,
Tony
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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: Still Life (was Boots)

Post by Macavity » Sat Feb 09, 2019 2:11 am

Hi Luke,
I agree with David on 'canvassed', though no better option comes to mind and you have already cut much of the 'c' sonics (to express 'anger'). The new title, more pointed, does prompt more narrative and thread to the art world. A matter of taste and personal preference, but I preferred the 'no nonsense' title of the original (I guess I like the word Boots :) ). The loss of colour, adjectives, in the concluding lines...works for me...elsewhere? lace by itself does nothing, with unravelled there was more image. Miss 'crud', but then if you want the poem to be more thought driven and less visceral, that is the kind of poet you want to be and the revision is effective in that style.

cheers

mac

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Re: Still Life (was Boots)

Post by David » Sat Feb 09, 2019 12:18 pm

1lankest wrote:
Sat Feb 02, 2019 9:46 pm
Revision

These you left, canvassed in paint,
cement; shaped to the slow No to semicolons! Unless unavoidable. The comma was better.

inevitable tread
of years And I think you need to reinstate your comma here ...

skewed by the door ... and add another one (or two?) here? They are lying here, skewed, by the door, [just] as they fell - they weren't skewed by the door as they fell ... no?
as they fell.

I leave them there:
leather, lace, the votive-you Here I prefer the original arrangement.

each morning and evening
I step over, over. But, as you might imagine, I like it finishing here.
Cheers

David

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Re: Still Life (was Boots)

Post by NotQuiteSure » Sat Feb 09, 2019 12:43 pm

.
Hi Luke,
you might want to revisit the opening
as it makes little sense with the new
title. 'You left them...' ?

Some punctuation after 'years' ?

Not sure about 'votive', what's the vow?
(Not keen on the '-you' either)

Thought the 'maze of unravelled lace'
offered something, sad to see it go.

Is there an implicit 'you' at the end? :)

Regards, Not.

.

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