Waiting for Time (new version)

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Perry
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Waiting for Time (new version)

Post by Perry » Thu Feb 06, 2020 9:13 pm

There they are, still young, the entertainers who
defined my age, who kindly shared their lives with me,
still acting happy in re-runs on my old TV.
I see their faces, hear their witty repartee,
hear their plaintive songs that spoke of love

or love escaping. Some of them are gone,
others hidden in their homes, waiting for death;
some remain with us, visible if not vital,
holding on to fame for as long as they have
the strength to hold us. They were my friends.

I think it is technology that makes our lives
so strange, or perhaps it is time, for here I am,
looking at me from a glass, black hair shockingly
turned to white, no longer feeling entertained,
no longer searching for love, but only ease,

the ease to make it through another day
until a nursing home with my name beckons me,
grabs my legs and pulls me down and in,
after which comes the black unknown, the end.
Life is a journey I do not comprehend.

[The new final line is just a thought. Does it work?]


[original]

Here they are, still young, the people who shared their lives
with me, the entertainers who defined my age,
still acting happy in reruns on my TV screen.
I see their faces, hear their witty repartee,
hear their plaintive songs that spoke of love

or love soon lost. Some of them are gone, others old,
hidden in their homes, waiting for death;
some are still with us, visible if not so vital,
holding on to fame for as long as they still
have the strength to hold. They were my friends.

I think it is technology that makes our lives
so strange, or perhaps it is time, for here I am,
looking back from a glass, black hair shockingly
turned to white, no longer young, vitality gone,
no longer searching for love, but only ease,

the ease to make it through another day
until the serpent nursing home that beckons me
grabs my legs and pulls me down and in,
after which comes the black unknown, the end.
Plaintive songs will be inadequate then.

-end-

I thought it was time to post something that is more cheerful than my usual efforts.

The final line of the poem was an afterthought, but I wonder if it might not be better without it. That would leave the poem with 19 lines, but I was born on August 19th, so that would somehow be appropriate.

In the next few days I'll make sure to critique some poems.

Here is a version of the poem without the final line:

Waiting for Time

Here they are, still young, the people who shared their lives
with me, the entertainers who defined my age,
still acting happy in reruns on my new TV.
(Why can’t I purchase a new model of me?) [Does this line really fit?]
I see their faces, hear their witty repartee,

hear their plaintive songs that spoke of love,
or love soon lost. Some of them are gone, others old,
hidden in their homes, waiting for death;
some are still among us, less vital than they were,
holding on to fame for as long as they still

have the strength to hold. They were my friends.
I think it is technology that makes our lives
so strange, or perhaps it is time, for here I am,
looking back from a glass, black hair shockingly
turned to white, no longer young, vitality gone,

no longer searching for love, but only for ease,
the ease to make it through another day
until the sea serpent nursing home that beckons me
grabs my legs and pulls me down and in,
after which comes the black unknown, the end.
Last edited by Perry on Tue Feb 11, 2020 12:21 am, edited 28 times in total.
If I don't critique your poem, it is probably because I don't understand it.

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Re: Waiting for Time

Post by Firebird » Fri Feb 07, 2020 5:33 pm

Hi Perry,

I quite like the poem, especially these lines
no longer searching for love, but only ease,

the ease to make it through another day
Yep, I hope I never get to that, but I can see it happening. It rings true.
Why can’t I purchase a new model of me?
I don’t think this line does fit.
Plaintive songs will be inadequate then.
I don’t think this line does anything to help the end.

The length of the first line perturbed me a little. It just looks a little odd to me.
black hair shockingly
turned to white, no longer young, vitality gone,
I think this image is worn out and the language too telly.

I quite like ‘the end’. It’s appropriately dull.

Cheers,

Tristan


Perry wrote:
Thu Feb 06, 2020 9:13 pm
Here they are, still young, the people who shared their lives
with me, the entertainers who defined my age,
still acting happy in reruns on my TV screen.
I see their faces, hear their witty repartee,
hear their plaintive songs that spoke of love

or love soon lost. Some of them are gone, others old,
hidden in their homes, waiting for death;
some are still with us, visible if not so vital,
holding on to fame for as long as they still
have the strength to hold. They were my friends.

I think it is technology that makes our lives
so strange, or perhaps it is time, for here I am,
looking back from a glass, black hair shockingly
turned to white, no longer young, vitality gone,
no longer searching for love, but only ease,

the ease to make it through another day
until the serpent nursing home that beckons me
grabs my legs and pulls me down and in,
after which comes the black unknown, the end.
Plaintive songs will be inadequate then.

-end-

I thought it was time to post something that is more cheerful than my usual efforts.

The final line of the poem was an afterthought, but I wonder if it might not be better without it. That would leave the poem with 19 lines, but I was born on August 19th, so that would somehow be appropriate.

In the next few days I'll make sure to critique some poems.

Here is a version of the poem without the final line:

Waiting for Time

Here they are, still young, the people who shared their lives
with me, the entertainers who defined my age,
still acting happy in reruns on my new TV.
(Why can’t I purchase a new model of me?) [Does this line really fit?]
I see their faces, hear their witty repartee,

hear their plaintive songs that spoke of love,
or love soon lost. Some of them are gone, others old,
hidden in their homes, waiting for death;
some are still among us, less vital than they were,
holding on to fame for as long as they still

have the strength to hold. They were my friends.
I think it is technology that makes our lives
so strange, or perhaps it is time, for here I am,
looking back from a glass, black hair shockingly
turned to white, no longer young, vitality gone,

no longer searching for love, but only for ease,
the ease to make it through another day
until the sea serpent nursing home that beckons me
grabs my legs and pulls me down and in,
after which comes the black unknown, the end.

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Re: Waiting for Time

Post by Perry » Fri Feb 07, 2020 9:04 pm

Thank you, Tristan. That was a very useful critique. I think that I'll have to leave it a 19-line poem, which is what it was originally before I came up with the final "song" line. The final line makes a clever ending but doesn't really say anything.

And I'll see if I can improve the white-hair line. In my case, that's true. Up until only ten years ago, I had all dark-brown hair, and now my hair is light gray verging on white. It is a new look that I am not accustomed to, made worse by the fact that my eyebrows are still dark brown.

What prompted the poem is that I watch a lot of reruns on TV, and it is both pleasing and unsettling to see the celebrities that I grew up with (and loved) still in their young and vital state, when in fact most of them are now dead or just holding on to life. I guess we all experience that incongruity, but only since technology made it possible.

Oh, regarding the first line, it is 12 syllables like most of the lines (although some are shorter); it just looks longer because none of the syllables are small or short.
If I don't critique your poem, it is probably because I don't understand it.

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Re: Waiting for Time (new version)

Post by ray miller » Sun Feb 09, 2020 11:43 am

I like the first two verses very much, "visible if not vital" is a fine phrase. You ought perhaps avoid the use of "still" three times in the first ten lines.

I think it is technology that makes our lives
so strange, or perhaps it is time, for here I am,

The poem changes tack here and the technology theme is abandoned, for the worse, I think. Serpentine, for me, implies movement and is therefore inappropriate to describe a nursing home. I think you might do better portraying the stillness of the home and linking the boredom and routine to the endless repeats on tv.
I'm out of faith and in my cups
I contemplate such bitter stuff.

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Re: Waiting for Time (new version)

Post by Perry » Sun Feb 09, 2020 7:23 pm

Thank you, Ray, you've given me a lot to think about. It used to be that once a poem took shape for me, it became set in stone and I couldn't change it much, but that has changed since I completely rewrote "In the Park". I'll try a rewrite on this poem.
If I don't critique your poem, it is probably because I don't understand it.

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Re: Waiting for Time (new version)

Post by Poet » Mon Feb 10, 2020 10:53 pm

Perry wrote:
Thu Feb 06, 2020 9:13 pm
There they are, still young, the entertainers who
defined my age, who kindly shared their lives with me,
still acting happy in re-runs on my old TV.
I see their faces, hear their witty repartee,
hear their plaintive songs that spoke of love

or love escaping. Some of them are gone,
others hidden in their homes, waiting for death;
some remain with us, visible if not vital,
holding on to fame for as long as they have
the strength to hold us. They were my friends.

I think it is technology that makes our lives
so strange, or perhaps it is time, for here I am,
looking at me from a glass, black hair shockingly
turned to white, no longer feeling entertained,
no longer searching for love, but only ease,

the ease to make it through another day
until the nursing home with my name beckons me,
grabs my legs and pulls me down and in,
after which comes the black unknown, the end.
Life is a journey I do no not comprehend. (Why not say "I do not" instead of the latter?)

[The new final line is just a thought. Does it work?]


[original]

Here they are, still young, the people who shared their lives
with me, the entertainers who defined my age,
still acting happy in reruns on my TV screen.
I see their faces, hear their witty repartee,
hear their plaintive songs that spoke of love

or love soon lost. Some of them are gone, others old,
hidden in their homes, waiting for death;
some are still with us, visible if not so vital,
holding on to fame for as long as they still
have the strength to hold. They were my friends.

I think it is technology that makes our lives
so strange, or perhaps it is time, for here I am,
looking back from a glass, black hair shockingly
turned to white, no longer young, vitality gone,
no longer searching for love, but only ease,

the ease to make it through another day
until the serpent nursing home that beckons me
grabs my legs and pulls me down and in,
after which comes the black unknown, the end.
Plaintive songs will be inadequate then.

-end-

I thought it was time to post something that is more cheerful than my usual efforts.

The final line of the poem was an afterthought, but I wonder if it might not be better without it. That would leave the poem with 19 lines, but I was born on August 19th, so that would somehow be appropriate.

In the next few days I'll make sure to critique some poems.

Here is a version of the poem without the final line:

Waiting for Time

Here they are, still young, the people who shared their lives
with me, the entertainers who defined my age,
still acting happy in reruns on my new TV.
(Why can’t I purchase a new model of me?) [Does this line really fit?]
I see their faces, hear their witty repartee,

hear their plaintive songs that spoke of love,
or love soon lost. Some of them are gone, others old,
hidden in their homes, waiting for death;
some are still among us, less vital than they were,
holding on to fame for as long as they still

have the strength to hold. They were my friends.
I think it is technology that makes our lives
so strange, or perhaps it is time, for here I am,
looking back from a glass, black hair shockingly
turned to white, no longer young, vitality gone,

no longer searching for love, but only for ease,
the ease to make it through another day
until the sea serpent nursing home that beckons me
grabs my legs and pulls me down and in,
after which comes the black unknown, the end.
Beautiful pieces, I prefer the 19 line poem, it was wonderful to read, I wouldn't change a thing except for the last line, just a few words that need to be removed. Thanks for sharing, Also Perry you inspire me to write a poem about a private dancer for some reason.

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Re: Waiting for Time (new version)

Post by Perry » Tue Feb 11, 2020 12:22 am

Thank you, Poet.

It turns out my final line had a typo in it, which I have fixed. However, you seem to be saying that you'd like the final line dropped altogether.

Thanks for having a look.
If I don't critique your poem, it is probably because I don't understand it.

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Re: Waiting for Time (new version)

Post by Poet » Tue Feb 11, 2020 4:27 am

Perry wrote:
Tue Feb 11, 2020 12:22 am
Thank you, Poet.

It turns out my final line had a typo in it, which I have fixed. However, you seem to be saying that you'd like the final line dropped altogether.

Thanks for having a look.
Oh well ignore that post, I just wanted you to get rid of that typo that's all.

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