Curiosity (v3b)

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NotQuiteSure
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Curiosity (v3b)

Post by NotQuiteSure » Fri Jan 17, 2020 12:14 pm

.
v3b
Curiosity


In the holidays she observed the cat,
hidden by the rhododendron, shrinking
amongst dry, yellowy culms of goose grass.
She noted the incremental turning
of its head away from her: golden eyes,
pecked to sockets, closed up with soil. She saw
how it began to snarl, and found herself
smiling at each thin-lipped revelation:
the way the loose tongue hung like a shadow
of its last breath – white whiskers thistle-stiff.
She watched but did not see the industry
of maggots, in its ruptured belly, burst
- black, and winged, and hungry for the world.
September, returned to school, she wrote, this
summer I did scientific research.


__________________________________




v3
Curiosity


In the holidays she observed the cat,
hidden by the rhododendron, shrinking
amongst yellowy, dry culms of goose grass.
She noted the incremental turning
of its head away from her: golden eyes,
pecked to sockets, blown full of soil. She saw
how it began to snarl, and found herself
smiling at each thin-lipped revelation:
the way the loose tongue hung like a shadow
of its last breath. White whiskers thistle-stiff.
She watched the maggot's mindless industry
in the ruptured belly, but did not see
when all those pulsing, tiny scab-red dolls
burst, black, and winged, and hungry for the world.
September, returned to school she wrote: this
summer, I did scientific research.


__________________________________




v2
Curiosity


In the holidays she observed the cat,
hidden by the rhododendron, shrinking
amongst dry, yellowy culms of goose grass.
She noted the incremental turning
of its head away from her: golden eyes,
pecked to sockets, blown full of soil. She saw
how it began to snarl, and found herself
smiling at each thin-lipped revelation:
the way the loose tongue hung like a shadow
of its last breath. White whiskers thistle stiff.
She watched but did not see the industry
of maggots, hatched in the ruptured belly,
quicken, become black, and winged, and hungry
for the world. Once back at school she wrote: this
summer, I did scientific research.



__________________________________




Curiosity


In the holidays she observed the cat
that was hidden by the rhododendron
grow smaller among the culms of goose grass.
She noted each incremental turning
of its head, away from her: golden eyes,
pecked to sockets, filling with soil. She saw
how it began to snarl, and found herself
smiling at each thin-lipped revelation;
the way the loose tongue hung like a shadow
of its last breath, whiskers stiff as thistles.
She watched but did not see the industry
of maggots, which hatched in the open belly,
becoming black, and winged, and hungry
for the world. At school, when asked, she said: this
summer, I did scientific research.




.
Last edited by NotQuiteSure on Sat Feb 01, 2020 11:21 am, edited 12 times in total.

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Re: Curiosity

Post by bjondon » Fri Jan 17, 2020 1:12 pm

Excellent Not, the title swells as the cat shrinks.
'the industry' feels like it's the subject of that sentence
so 'become black' is awkward to my ear, but 'becoming black'
might cover it.
'inbetween' - one word? (and a typo in the line above).

Best,
Jules

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Re: Curiosity

Post by NotQuiteSure » Fri Jan 17, 2020 2:28 pm

.
Hi Jules,
thanks for the read and crit.
Taken 'becoming' thanks,
'in/in-between' too tricksy (so tweaked that line),
finally found the typo d'oh!
(Modified the opening (Through most of August...).

Regards, Not

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ray miller
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Re: Curiosity

Post by ray miller » Fri Jan 17, 2020 3:39 pm

Very good, especially the ending. Though I wonder if you need "when asked". Shouldn't think you need that comma after "whiskers".
I'm out of faith and in my cups
I contemplate such bitter stuff.

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Re: Curiosity

Post by NotQuiteSure » Fri Jan 17, 2020 4:33 pm

.
Hi ray,
thanks for the read.
'when asked' ... hmm. I wasn't sure she was the sort to volunteer the information - I'm not certain she didn't kill the cat :)
- and I wanted a clear allusion to those 'what we did on our summer holiday' essays.
comma - you're probably right, I just paused there so insitictively reached for a comma. Will dither. ... ok, cut it.

(tweaked the opening, again. From 'Throughout the summer ... ')


Regards, Not


.

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Re: Curiosity

Post by capricorn » Fri Jan 17, 2020 7:35 pm

Great poem, Not. You've already made a few good changes. I am with Ray over deleting ' when asked' - that line seems too wordy with it. Perhaps bring 'this down to the next line to compensate

for the world. At school, when asked, she said:
this summer, I did scientific research.

or perhaps

for the world. When asked at school, she said: this
summer, I did scientific research.

Just a thought
Eira

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Post by MilesTugeau » Fri Jan 17, 2020 9:37 pm

.
Last edited by MilesTugeau on Mon Jan 20, 2020 1:48 am, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: Curiosity

Post by NotQuiteSure » Sat Jan 18, 2020 1:40 pm

.
Hi Eira,
thanks for the read and suggestions.
I'm attached to the line ending with 'this', it just amuses me.
Have revised, and hopefully improved it :)

Hi Miles,
read and crit appreciated. Glad you 'enjoyed' it.
You're right about the comma, it's there in the revision :)
'thinner-lipped' - cats have 'thin' lips, I don't know that they become 'thinner' in death.
I like the enjambment, can't help it :)


Regards both, Not


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Re: Curiosity (v2)

Post by tatterdemalion » Sat Jan 18, 2020 6:49 pm

Hi Not, compelling read. You've had some useful critique, and I've a few ideas.

In the holidays she observed the cat,
hidden by the rhododendron, shrinking I question ''observed'' followed by ''hidden'' How about ''beneath the rhododendron''?
amongst dry, yellowy culms of goose grass. loved ''culms'' never read that before, but wonder if ''yellow'' would sound better than ''yellowy''?
She noted the incremental turning
of its head away from her: golden eyes,
pecked to sockets, blown full of soil. She saw
how it began to snarl, and found herself
smiling at each thin-lipped revelation:
the way the loose tongue hung like a shadow
of its last breath. White whiskers thistle stiff.
She watched but did not see the industry I keep coming back to these last lines)
of maggots, hatched in the ruptured belly,
quicken, become black, and winged, and hungry
for the world. Once back at school she wrote: this
summer, I did scientific research.

How about this

She watched maggots, hatched in the ruptured
belly, but did not see them quicken,
become black, and winged, their hungry
industry. Once back at school she wrote: this
summer, I did scientific research.

I realise as I read this again, it's not only the girl watching the cat that's unsettling, it's the poet, and us the readers, looking over her shoulder in the same detached fashion that's unnerving.

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Post by MilesTugeau » Sat Jan 18, 2020 8:14 pm

.
Last edited by MilesTugeau on Mon Jan 20, 2020 1:49 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Curiosity (v2)

Post by ton321 » Sun Jan 19, 2020 12:48 am

Hi Not,

I liked his piece-the way you maintain the tone throughout/ scientific/ detached almost, which I'm sure is deliberate, but I'm not sure about it from l 12 ie
she watched but did not see. You are seeing things for her, maybe for dramatic purposes. I would just keep it to what's observable, and let the telling detail tell it's tale,
Tony
Counting the beats,
Counting the slow heart beats,
The bleeding to death of time in slow heart beats,
Wakeful they lie.

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Re: Curiosity (v2)

Post by Poet » Sun Jan 19, 2020 4:33 am

NotQuiteSure wrote:
Fri Jan 17, 2020 12:14 pm
.
v2
Curiosity


In the holidays she observed the cat,
hidden by the rhododendron, shrinking
amongst dry, yellowy culms of goose grass.
She noted the incremental turning
of its head away from her: golden eyes,
pecked to sockets, blown full of soil. She saw
how it began to snarl, and found herself
smiling at each thin-lipped revelation:
the way the loose tongue hung like a shadow
of its last breath. White whiskers thistle stiff.
She watched but did not see the industry
of maggots, hatched in the ruptured belly,
quicken, become black, and winged, and hungry
for the world. Once back at school she wrote: this
summer, I did scientific research.



__________________________________




Curiosity


In the holidays she observed the cat
that was hidden by the rhododendron
grow smaller among the culms of goose grass.
She noted each incremental turning
of its head, away from her: golden eyes,
pecked to sockets, filling with soil. She saw
how it began to snarl, and found herself
smiling at each thin-lipped revelation;
the way the loose tongue hung like a shadow
of its last breath, whiskers stiff as thistles.
She watched but did not see the industry
of maggots, which hatched in the open belly,
becoming black, and winged, and hungry
for the world. At school, when asked, she said: this
summer, I did scientific research.




.
So much imagery but I'm not sure if I can even understand this piece, it's why too convoluted and the metaphors are just convoluted. That's what I got from this.

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Re: Curiosity (v2)

Post by NotQuiteSure » Sun Jan 19, 2020 11:53 am

.
Hi tatter

In the holidays she observed the cat,
hidden by the rhododendron, shrinking

I question ''observed'' followed by ''hidden'' How about ''beneath the rhododendron''?
It's supposed to raise the possibility that she hid (or even killed) the cat herself.
amongst dry, yellowy culms of goose grass.
loved ''culms'' never read that before, but wonder if ''yellow'' would sound better than ''yellowy''?
Oddly I liked the sound of 'yellowy' for some reason. Perhaps it sounded like something
a young girl might say. Will ponder.

I keep coming back to these last lines
You and Tony. I can't tell, what's the difference between your version and mine? :)

I realise as I read this again, it's not only the girl watching the cat that's unsettling, it's the poet, and us
the readers, looking over her shoulder in the same detached fashion that's unnerving.

The [i'wrote: this[/i] is my little play with the idea that this is her report.



Hi Tony,

I liked his piece-the way you maintain the tone throughout/ scientific/ detached almost, which I'm sure is deliberate, but I'm not sure
about it from l 12 ie

she watched but did not see.
You are seeing things for her, maybe for dramatic purposes. I would just keep it to what's observable, and let the telling detail tell it's tale,
Aren't I doing this in L7/8 with and found herself / smiling
(If I just had 'she did not see' then one might infer that she was less that diligent in her observations ... perhaps? :) )


Hi Poet.

So much imagery but I'm not sure if I can even understand this piece,
A girl who may or may not have killed a cat is (assiduously) watching its body decompose.
When asked to write an essay 'What I did on my summer vacation' she begins
This summer I did scientific research - hope that helps :)


Thanks all.

Regards, Not


.

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Re: Curiosity

Post by capricorn » Mon Jan 20, 2020 11:23 pm

NotQuiteSure wrote:
Sat Jan 18, 2020 1:40 pm
.
Hi Eira,
thanks for the read and suggestions.
I'm attached to the line ending with 'this', it just amuses me.
Have revised, and hopefully improved it :)

.
I like the revision of the ending. I've no objection to the line ending with 'this' - it makes the enjambment more interesting.

How about 'yellowish' instead of 'yellowy'?

Eira

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Re: Curiosity (v2)

Post by NotQuiteSure » Tue Jan 21, 2020 1:31 pm

.
Hi Eira,
thanks for returning. Much appreciated.

like the revision of the ending.
Good to know, thanks. I'm not entirely convinced by 'Once back at school' but haven't found anything better ... yet. Suggestions welcome.
How about 'yellowish' instead of 'yellowy'?
Any reason? I'm not fixed on the term, though the -ish might just overload the sibilant count (which is quite high in the opening four lines,
even for me :) )


Regards, Not

.

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Re: Curiosity (v2)

Post by Macavity » Thu Jan 23, 2020 9:31 pm

Prefer v1 Not. The cat is the interest so the dry, yellowy extra is not needed. However, the ruptured belly is more scientific/medical. whiskers stiff as thistles flows better than White whiskers thistle stiff.

Another grim one, but the concluding line adds a saving 'humour'.

best

mac

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Re: Curiosity (v2)

Post by NotQuiteSure » Fri Jan 24, 2020 3:44 pm

.
Hi mac,
thanks for the read.
Bit of a cross-posting with v3, but will revisit the original (though I do like the tongue-twistery
'whiskers thistle-stiff').
I thought there was a certain 'humour' in the title too ... just me then :)

Regards, Not


.

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Re: Curiosity (v3)

Post by Macavity » Fri Jan 24, 2020 7:41 pm

Title is fine Not.

best

mac

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Re: Curiosity (v3)

Post by Firebird » Sun Jan 26, 2020 6:34 pm

Hi Not,

I read this one about a week ago and liked it then. I think I prefer v1 to the other versions, but I do like the alternative structure and addition of September in the final two lines in v3
September, returned to school she wrote: this
summer, I did scientific research.
I think this ending is stronger. I really like the poem and I’m sure it will find a good home. I suspect ‘Ink Sweat & Tears’ would like it. They are open for submissions again I’ve noticed.

Cheers,

Tristan

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Re: Curiosity (v3)

Post by capricorn » Mon Jan 27, 2020 12:43 am

Hi Not,

I like the way you've brought in September to the ending - much better.

Eira

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Re: Curiosity (v3)

Post by NotQuiteSure » Mon Jan 27, 2020 6:17 pm

.
Hi Tristan,
thanks for the read and comments (not to mention the submission suggestion) :)
Can you say what you prefer in V1?
The 'maggots section' has to change as it's lacking a certain biological verisimilitude.
And I'm not happy with the 'whiskers' line. This is where I've got to, as far as the
ending is concerned.

....
the way the loose tongue hung like a shadow.
of its last breath. She made careful sketches
watching
the maggot's mindless industry
in the ruptured belly, but did not see
when scores of pulsing scab-red pupae burst
black, and winged, and hungry for the world.
September, returned to school she wrote: this
summer, I did scientific research.


Hi Eira,
thanks for returning, and the thumbs up. :)
I agree, the ending's better for that addition
(but then I would say that, wouldn't I?)


Regards both, Not


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Re: Curiosity (v3)

Post by Firebird » Mon Jan 27, 2020 8:53 pm

Hi Not,

I like this phrase in v1: ‘She watched but did not see ...’. I like the way she did not see the maggots’ industry. I don’t like ‘maggots mindless industry’. It’s a step too far for my taste. I’m not keen on the addition of her sketching either. It’s pushing the point too far IMO. The poem loses subtlety. The ending has a certain irony which would be lost by this addition, too.
It’s lacking a certain biological verisimilitude.
Why?

Cheers,

Tristan



NotQuiteSure wrote:
Mon Jan 27, 2020 6:17 pm
.
Hi Tristan,
thanks for the read and comments (not to mention the submission suggestion) :)
Can you say what you prefer in V1?
The 'maggots section' has to change as it's lacking a certain biological verisimilitude.
And I'm not happy with the 'whiskers' line. This is where I've got to, as far as the
ending is concerned.

....
the way the loose tongue hung like a shadow.
of its last breath. She made careful sketches
watching
the maggot's mindless industry
in the ruptured belly, but did not see
when scores of pulsing scab-red pupae burst
black, and winged, and hungry for the world.
September, returned to school she wrote: this
summer, I did scientific research.


Hi Eira,
thanks for returning, and the thumbs up. :)
I agree, the ending's better for that addition
(but then I would say that, wouldn't I?)


Regards both, Not


.

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Re: Curiosity (v3)

Post by ray miller » Tue Jan 28, 2020 10:17 am

Are maggots mindless? They're certainly purposeful.
I'm out of faith and in my cups
I contemplate such bitter stuff.

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Re: Curiosity (v3)

Post by JJWilliamson » Wed Jan 29, 2020 7:55 am

Excellent, Not, and a bit macabre. The close had me squirming, rightly or wrongly, as the 'research'
could represent a "what if" situation, where the girl was curious to see what would happen to the cat
if she killed it. I liked 'hidden' as it supports the notion that death was inflicted by the girl. She knew
where it was hidden and so secretly visited the corpse to continue her research. It's one interp'.
NotQuiteSure wrote:
Fri Jan 17, 2020 12:14 pm
.
v3
Curiosity


In the holidays she observed the cat,
hidden by the rhododendron, shrinking
amongst yellowy, dry culms of goose grass. ..."yellow" is less distracting, perhaps "yellowing".
She noted the incremental turning
of its head away from her: golden eyes,
pecked to sockets, blown full of soil. She saw ...Not getting 'blown full of soil'.
how it began to snarl, and found herself
smiling at each thin-lipped revelation:
the way the loose tongue hung like a shadow
of its last breath. White whiskers thistle-stiff. ...Not sure the sentence fragment is necessary when a comma or semi would do.
She watched the maggot's mindless industry
in the ruptured belly, but did not see
when all those pulsing, tiny scab-red dolls
burst, black, and winged, and hungry for the world.
September, returned to school she wrote: this ...Could you drop the colon, cap "This" and finish the last line in italics?
summer, I did scientific research.

Brilliant read

Best

JJ

.
Long time a child and still a child

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Re: Curiosity (v3)

Post by NotQuiteSure » Wed Jan 29, 2020 11:40 am

.
Hi ray,
thanks for the read.
ray miller wrote:
Tue Jan 28, 2020 10:17 am
Are maggots mindless? They're certainly purposeful.
- And are those two synonyms? Never mind, will cut mindless :)

__________________


Hi Tristan,
thanks for returning.
So no sketching? Shame, I liked that.

__________________


Hi JJ.
Thanks for the read and crit.

I'm going to assume you were 'squirming' with delight :)
JJWilliamson wrote:
Wed Jan 29, 2020 7:55 am
It's one interp'.
Yes, it is :)
JJWilliamson wrote:
Wed Jan 29, 2020 7:55 am
..."yellow" is less distracting, perhaps "yellowing".
- I though it was a word that 'she' might use. Maybe not.
JJWilliamson wrote:
Wed Jan 29, 2020 7:55 am
...Not getting 'blown full of soil'.
- How about
pecked to sockets, closed with fine soil ?
...
JJWilliamson wrote:
Wed Jan 29, 2020 7:55 am
...Not sure the sentence fragment is necessary when a comma or semi would do.
- Not happy with this either, and my 'sketching' idea got rejected :) Still pondering.
JJWilliamson wrote:
Wed Jan 29, 2020 7:55 am
...Could you drop the colon, cap "This" and finish the last line in italics?
- Do you mean
September, returned to school, she wrote This
summer I did ...
?
JJWilliamson wrote:
Wed Jan 29, 2020 7:55 am
Brilliant read
- Thank you.



Regards all, Not



.

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