Not to a Mouse [revision 3]

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Not to a Mouse [revision 3]

Post by JJWilliamson » Sat Feb 08, 2020 3:57 pm

Ah see a wee beastie emerge frae a hole,
a shadow in shadows, a form wi' a goal.
She brattles thro' runnels, a' matted wi' grass,
tae snaffle some seedlings 'n' shoots under gless.

She follows th' hedges ‘en bolts tae her hoose,
is aften mistaken fur auld Rabbie’s moose,
but mair like a mole, nae a moose nor a shrew,
‘n’ th' cot that she builds is sae quaintly bijou.

Microtus agrestis is vegan bi nature,
stores a' o' her seeds in an undergroond chamber,
yet whin she is haulin’ her spoils up a brae
th' kestels 'n' weasels 'n' owls hae thair say.

That opulent housie o' grasses 'n' stubble
has broucht tae oor gairden a shedload o' trouble,
but aye she’ll appear frae her canny built nest,
a shadow in shadows, a vole wi' a quest.


Revision 2

Ah see a wee beastie emerge frae a hole,
a shadow in shadows, a form wi' a goal.
He brattles thro' runnels, a' matted wi' grass,
tae snaffle some seedlings 'n' shoots under gless.

He follows th' hedges ‘en bolts tae his hoose,
is aften mistaken fur auld Rabbie’s moose,
but mair like a mole, nae a moose nor a shrew,
‘n’ th' cot that he builds is sae quaintly bijou.

Microtus agrestis is vegan bi nature,
stores a' o' his seeds in an undergroond chamber,
but whin he is haulin’ his spoils up a brae
th' kestels 'n' weasels 'n' owls hae thair say.

That opulent housie o' grasses 'n' stubble
has broucht tae oor gairden a shedload o' trouble,
but aye he’ll appear frae his canny built nest,
a shadow in shadows, a vole wi' a quest.

Revision

Ah see a wee cratur emerge frae a hole,
a shadow in shadows, a beast wi' a goal.
He brattles thro' runnels, a' matted wi' grass,
to search fur some seedlings 'n' shoots under glass.

He follows th' hedges ‘en bolts tae his hoose,
is aften mistaken fur auld Rabbie’s moose,
but mair like a mole, nae a moose nor a shrew,
‘n’ th' cot that he builds is sae quaintly bijou.

Microtus agrestis is vegan bi nature,
stores a' o' his seeds in an undergroond chamber,
but whin he is haulin’ his spoils up a brae
th' kestels 'n' weasels 'n' owls hae thair say.

That opulent housie o' grasses 'n' stubble
has broucht tae oor gairden a shedload o' trouble,
but aye he’ll appear frae his canny built nest,
a shadow in shadows, a vole wi' a quest.


Original

Ah see a wee cratur emerge frae a hole,
a shadow in shadows, a trace wi' a goal.
He brattles thro' runnels, a' matted wi' grass,
to search fur some seedlings 'n' shoots under glass.

He follows th' hedges ‘en bolts tae his hoose,
is aften mistaken fur auld Rabbie’s moose,
but he is a mite, nae a moose nor a shrew,
‘n’ th' cot that he builds is sae quaintly bijou.

Microtus agrestis is vegan bi nature,
stores a' o' his seeds in an undergroond chamber,
but whin he is haulin’ his load up a brae
th' kestels 'n' weasels 'n' owls hae thair say.

That opulent housie o' grasses 'n' stubble
has broucht tae his gairden a shedload o' trouble,
but aye he’ll emerge fae his canny built nest,
a shadow in shadows, a vole wi' a quest.
Long time a child and still a child

NotQuiteSure
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Re: Not to a Mouse (Written for Burns Night)

Post by NotQuiteSure » Sat Feb 08, 2020 4:28 pm

.

Hi JJ.

:)

Couple or four v.minor nits.

L4. You've the Lynn Truss problem with 'shoots under glass'
Made me smile, but for the wrong reason.

L7, 'mite' really misleads. I was picturing bugs/small arthropods belonging to the class Arachnida.
(and 'vegan' seems open to debate. Occasional insectivore?)

L11, anything better (more dialectical?) than 'load'. Similarly L14 'shed-load' and L15 'built' (hit the wrong notes).
Even 'trace' L2, might be worth a second look.

L15 - isn't this really a repeat of L8? or (if 'cot' is 'bed') then a repeat of L13?

Just for the sake of it :)
but aye he'll race off doon his canny built run
a shadow in shadows, a vole wi' a mission


Regards, Not

.

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Re: Not to a Mouse (Written for Burns Night)

Post by Firebird » Sat Feb 08, 2020 11:52 pm

Hi JJ,

‘Mite’ confused me too. The rest, besides the punctuation error Not points out, is fine for me. Enjoyed the old Scots dialect.

Cheers,

Tristan

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Re: Not to a Mouse (Written for Burns Night)

Post by Macavity » Sun Feb 09, 2020 5:34 am

hi JJ

Your vole wi' a quest was a joy to read. Definitely a smiley inducer.Particularly enjoyed the bijou/shrew, the opulent housie o' grasses 'n' stubble, and Microtus agrestis is vegan bi nature. I agree with the others on mite. A lovely musicality to the poem. The fact the poem was not overloaded to be opaque with dialect was a thumbs-up for me.

best

mac

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Re: Not to a Mouse (Written for Burns Night)

Post by JJWilliamson » Sun Feb 09, 2020 9:16 am

Thank you very much, Not, Tristan and mac, for the great comments and nudges. Appreciated, as always.
NotQuiteSure wrote:
Sat Feb 08, 2020 4:28 pm
.

Hi JJ.

:)

Couple or four v.minor nits.

L4. You've the Lynn Truss problem with 'shoots under glass'
Made me smile, but for the wrong reason. ...Ha! A smile is a smile, is it not, Not?

L7, 'mite' really misleads. I was picturing bugs/small arthropods belonging to the class Arachnida. ...Yes, I tend to agree. I was looking at that one for some time, and even though it can point to something on the small side, the link to insects is overwhelming. Consider it changed. :)
(and 'vegan' seems open to debate. Occasional insectivore?) ...They're registered as herbivores, even though they will eat larvae and small insects when necessary. They are indeed vegan "by nature" preferring seeds etc to all other foods.

L11, anything better (more dialectical?) than 'load'. Similarly L14 'shed-load' and L15 'built' (hit the wrong notes). ...'Load' could be "crop" but sheds and gairdens go together very nicely, I thought. :) I was toying with "bit nest". It changes the meaning, though. One refers to the nest being well built, whilst the other refers to its pleasantness. It would also be close to 'opulent housie'. Not sure about the change yet.

Even 'trace' L2, might be worth a second look. ...Yes, changed.

L15 - isn't this really a repeat of L8? or (if 'cot' is 'bed') then a repeat of L13? ...There's enough of a difference methinks. Still looking at it.

Just for the sake of it :)
but aye he'll race off doon his canny built run
a shadow in shadows, a vole wi' a mission ...Fem close and not much of a rhyme. You've got the general gist, though. :)


Regards, Not

.
Firebird wrote:
Sat Feb 08, 2020 11:52 pm
Hi JJ,

‘Mite’ confused me too. The rest, besides the punctuation error Not points out, is fine for me. Enjoyed the old Scots dialect.

Cheers,

Tristan
Yes, I'm changing 'mite' in the revision. Delighted you enjoyed.

Macavity wrote:
Sun Feb 09, 2020 5:34 am
hi JJ

Your vole wi' a quest was a joy to read. ...That put a big smile on my face.

Definitely a smiley inducer.Particularly enjoyed the bijou/shrew, the opulent housie o' grasses 'n' stubble, and Microtus agrestis is vegan bi nature. I agree with the others on mite. ...Yip, change in the offing.

A lovely musicality to the poem. The fact the poem was not overloaded to be opaque with dialect was a thumbs-up for me. ...That's a tricky one, actually. Deciding how far to go, for accessibilities sake, is a perpetual torment. :)

best

mac
Thanks again, gents.

Best

JJ
Long time a child and still a child

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Re: Not to a Mouse (Written for Burns Night) [revised]

Post by ray miller » Sun Feb 09, 2020 10:49 am

Enjoyed a lot. Love bijou/shrew and nature/ chamber is my kind of rhyme. Is there a difference between frae and fae?
Maybe "but mair like a mole...."?
I'm out of faith and in my cups
I contemplate such bitter stuff.

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Re: Not to a Mouse (Written for Burns Night) [revised]

Post by NotQuiteSure » Sun Feb 09, 2020 2:05 pm

.
Hi JJ,
much, much better without 'mite'. :)

Wondering about 'beast' (L2) after 'wee cratur' (L1), any way to get 'beastie' in there?
Curious about the point ray makes about 'frae' (L1) and 'fae' (L15), what's the difference?
Just a thought (L4)
....
gaes searching fur seedlings n shoots under glass
.

Any way to avoid the repetition of 'moose' in S2
(Not sure it would work but
he's mair lik a mole, nae a ratling, nae shrew?)

Sonically, perhaps 'vole on a quest' ? 'vole wi'' is a bit mushy. The wi' seems to get swallowed when said aloud, (by me at least :) ).

Not a crit, just curious. Why 'his gairden' (as opposed to, say, 'this/my/oor gairden')?

Just for the visuals, perhaps cut all the apostrophes Don't think you need em and they're intrusive.


Regards, Not

.

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Re: Not to a Mouse (Written for Burns Night) [revised]

Post by JJWilliamson » Sun Feb 09, 2020 7:30 pm

Thanks, Ray and Not, for the comments and suggestions. (again)
ray miller wrote:
Sun Feb 09, 2020 10:49 am
Enjoyed a lot. Love bijou/shrew and nature/ chamber is my kind of rhyme. Is there a difference between frae and fae? ...Nope, it's a typo. Good catch.
Maybe "but mair like a mole...."? ...I'll have another look. Thanks for that.
NotQuiteSure wrote:
Sun Feb 09, 2020 2:05 pm
.
Hi JJ,
much, much better without 'mite'. :) ...Good to know.

Wondering about 'beast' (L2) after 'wee cratur' (L1), any way to get 'beastie' in there? ...It would be good if I could. I'll see.
Curious about the point ray makes about 'frae' (L1) and 'fae' (L15), what's the difference? ...Just a typo. I'd only looked at it a thousand times. :)
Just a thought (L4)
....
gaes searching fur seedlings n shoots under glass
.

Any way to avoid the repetition of 'moose' in S2 ...In this case I'm not really concerned about the rep's.
(Not sure it would work but
he's mair lik a mole, nae a ratling, nae shrew?)

Sonically, perhaps 'vole on a quest' ? 'vole wi'' is a bit mushy. The wi' seems to get swallowed when said aloud, (by me at least :) ).

Not a crit, just curious. Why 'his gairden' (as opposed to, say, 'this/my/oor gairden')? ...Ah, good point. Let me ruminate. :)

Just for the visuals, perhaps cut all the apostrophes Don't think you need em and they're intrusive. ...Hmmm. Not so sure. I'll experiment.


Regards, Not

.
Best

JJ
Long time a child and still a child

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Re: Not to a Mouse [revision 2]

Post by JJWilliamson » Sun Apr 19, 2020 8:36 am

I thought I'd finished with this one, folks, but Not's "beastie" suggestion just kept niggling away.
I know from experience what that means and distance definitely helped me to see it through new eyes.
So, here's the second revision, where S1 has been revised for the better, I hope.

Best

JJ
Long time a child and still a child

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Re: Not to a Mouse [revision 2]

Post by NotQuiteSure » Sun Apr 19, 2020 11:09 am

.
Hi JJ,
like the changes to S1, except the (rather) lacklustre 'form' - why not 'shade'? Or, if it's not too pejorative, 'sneak'? Or even,
dare I say it ...
Ah see a wee beastie emerge frae a hole,
a sleekit wee shadow, a shade wi a goal
that brattles thro' runnels, a' matted wi' grass
tae snaffle some seedlings 'n' shoots under gless
. ? :)
(I know it cost the 'shadow in shadow' but ...)

Still think you've two other problematic lines.

but mair like a mole, nae a moose nor a shrew,
- it's pretty weak, and reads like filler. I think there's better out there.

Microtus agrestis is vegan bi nature,
- they're herbivorous, not vegan, and the 'bi' is humorously misleading.
Microtus agrestis - a grazer bi nature ?

I thought this was an interesting fact - "Nests can be shared and defended by up to five females"
https://www.pitchcare.com/news-media/the-importance-of-small-mammals.html
- and was left wondering if, rather than a 'he' yon beastie were a wee lassie? (That link describes males as 'floaters', so ...) You could change the first 'he' to 'that' (L3) and the second to 'it' (L5) and the third (L8) to 'that they build are so ...' Then maybe it's 'she' thereafter?



Regards, Not

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Re: Not to a Mouse [revision 2]

Post by JJWilliamson » Mon Apr 20, 2020 7:08 am

Thanks, Not

I must say, I'm delighted with your reply AND the suggestions offered. I have absolutely no aversion to a gender change (not personally, you understand) and I will almost certainly make the change. The link, incidentally, has made all the difference.
NotQuiteSure wrote:
Sun Apr 19, 2020 11:09 am
.
Hi JJ,
like the changes to S1, except the (rather) lacklustre 'form' - why not 'shade'? Or, if it's not too pejorative, 'sneak'? Or even,
dare I say it ... I actually wanted to generate a kind of sympathy or liking for the vole, what with all its challenges etc, so any kind of disparaging comment runs against my intent. The idea of "shade" did cross my mind but in the end I opted for the easy to follow 'form'. Might change.
Ah see a wee beastie emerge frae a hole,
a sleekit wee shadow, a shade wi a goal
that brattles thro' runnels, a' matted wi' grass
tae snaffle some seedlings 'n' shoots under gless
. ? :) ...Yes, I changed "glass" to 'gless'. It's an acceptable corruption.
(I know it cost the 'shadow in shadow' but ...) ...Well, the idea is a good one and "sleekit" certainly fits, but I need to include some of my own words. Too much Rabbie might be detrimental. :) AND I'm very fond of my repeated shadows at the beginning and end.

Still think you've two other problematic lines.

but mair like a mole, nae a moose nor a shrew,
- it's pretty weak, and reads like filler. I think there's better out there. ...It's fairly central to the theme and title so I'm happy with this line. It's also a tease, hopefully leaving the reader wondering about its identity.

Microtus agrestis is vegan bi nature,
- they're herbivorous, not vegan, and the 'bi' is humorously misleading. ...Yes, I have to agree, but 'bi' is pronounced as "bee" almost.
Microtus agrestis - a grazer bi nature ? ... The real problem, as you said before, is they also eat the odd grub/insect when other food sources run low. However, they are, by nature, herbivorous. 'Vegan' is a stretch. Not many alternatives available, though, and "grazer" always reminds me of larger animals. Leave it with me.

I thought this was an interesting fact - "Nests can be shared and defended by up to five females"
https://www.pitchcare.com/news-media/the-importance-of-small-mammals.html
- and was left wondering if, rather than a 'he' yon beastie were a wee lassie? (That link describes males as 'floaters', so ...) You could change the first 'he' to 'that' (L3) and the second to 'it' (L5) and the third (L8) to 'that they build are so ...' Then maybe it's 'she' thereafter? ...I think a gender change from the start would be ok, given your link. It's a reasonable assumption. I'll just have another look.



Regards, Not

.
Thanks again for a very thoughtful and helpful critique. Nice one, Not.

JJ
Long time a child and still a child

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Re: Not to a Mouse [revision 3]

Post by NotQuiteSure » Mon Apr 20, 2020 10:43 am

.
Hi JJ.
I think it reads a lot better with 'she' (but then I would say that wouldn't I?).

Still not convinced by the same things as before, so here's a couple of
gentle provocations

a shadow in shadows, abroad wi' a goal/an' havin' a goal/a scamp wi a goal

but this wee brun rodent her ain path pursues
to th' cot that she builds that's sae quaintly bijou

She's nae solitary, communal her nature
the shy sisterhood o' the undergroond chamber


(I think delaying the reveal of vole until the end works better.)

And one last (rather determined) prod (without changing a word).
See if you can spot the difference :)


Ah see a wee beastie emerge frae a hole,
a shadow in shadows, a form wi' a goal.
She brattles thro' runnels, a' matted wi' grass,
tae snaffle some seedlings 'n' shoots under gless.

but whin she is haulin’ her spoils up a brae
th' kestels 'n' weasels 'n' owls hae thair say.
She follows th' hedges ‘en bolts tae her hoose,
is aften mistaken fur auld Rabbie’s moose,

but mair like a mole, nae a moose nor a shrew,
‘n’ th' cot that she builds is sae quaintly bijou.
Microtus agrestis is vegan bi nature,
stores a' o' her seeds in an undergroond chamber,

That opulent housie o' grasses 'n' stubble
has broucht tae oor gairden a shedload o' trouble,
but aye she’ll appear frae her canny built nest,
a shadow in shadows, a vole wi' a quest.



Regards, Not


.

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Re: Not to a Mouse [revision 3]

Post by JJWilliamson » Tue Apr 21, 2020 8:00 am

Thank you once again, Not, for your continued efforts. Much appreciated.
NotQuiteSure wrote:
Mon Apr 20, 2020 10:43 am
.
Hi JJ.
I think it reads a lot better with 'she' (but then I would say that wouldn't I?). ...Ah, but so do I. It also makes more sense.

Still not convinced by the same things as before, so here's a couple of
gentle provocations ...After further thought, and some considerable research, I'm not entirely unhappy with the present version. Some tiny niggles over their grub eating antics still exist but they only resort to this diet when all other food sources run out. It still bothers me, though.

a shadow in shadows, abroad wi' a goal/an' havin' a goal/a scamp wi a goal. ...The shadowy 'form ' seemed fitting to my eye, although I quite like "scamp".

but this wee brun rodent her ain path pursues ...It's a possibility but I'm happy enough with the existing line.
to th' cot that she builds that's sae quaintly bijou

She's nae solitary, communal her nature
the shy sisterhood o' the undergroond chamber
...Ah, the link supports this but it's a stretch for the casual reader.

(I think delaying the reveal of vole until the end works better.)

And one last (rather determined) prod (without changing a word).
See if you can spot the difference :) ...I most certainly can and although I admire your determined nudge :) I prefer the progression of my version. This could simply be down to my own sensibilities and awareness of how I was thinking, of course, but I'm okay with it just now. I did enjoy your rearrangement, though, giving it much thought.


Ah see a wee beastie emerge frae a hole,
a shadow in shadows, a form wi' a goal.
She brattles thro' runnels, a' matted wi' grass,
tae snaffle some seedlings 'n' shoots under gless.

but whin she is haulin’ her spoils up a brae
th' kestels 'n' weasels 'n' owls hae thair say.
She follows th' hedges ‘en bolts tae her hoose,
is aften mistaken fur auld Rabbie’s moose,

but mair like a mole, nae a moose nor a shrew,
‘n’ th' cot that she builds is sae quaintly bijou.
Microtus agrestis is vegan bi nature,
stores a' o' her seeds in an undergroond chamber,

That opulent housie o' grasses 'n' stubble
has broucht tae oor gairden a shedload o' trouble,
but aye she’ll appear frae her canny built nest,
a shadow in shadows, a vole wi' a quest.



Regards, Not


.
Thanks again, Not. You're a sport.

JJ
Long time a child and still a child

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