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ray miller
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Post by ray miller » Sun Apr 05, 2020 12:46 pm

It was never going to be enough
to merit a round of applause
of a Thursday evening.
But as a means to get involved
in the resistance, to meet
other people and be observed
to assist while keeping my distance,
then fetching Mrs Shelley’s shopping
was right up my street.

She was happy to see
a friendly face and thankful
as well for the bread, toilet roll,
cat food, polos and I didn’t mind
purchasing pork sausages,
even though I am vegetarian.
Then on Saturday she asked
for The Daily Telegraph.
Now I’m having to wear a mask.
Last edited by ray miller on Wed Apr 08, 2020 10:47 am, edited 1 time in total.
I'm out of faith and in my cups
I contemplate such bitter stuff.

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Jackie
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Re: Reputation

Post by Jackie » Sun Apr 05, 2020 1:13 pm

I found this delightful, Ray, and kept tasting
fetching Mrs Shelley’s shopping
over and over—did you consider it as your title?

I'd choose S1 as the stronger, maybe because "even though" and "as well" and the last line are less compact or special. I'm not talking about the content of the last line—that's a whopper!

Jackie

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Post by NotQuiteSure » Sun Apr 05, 2020 1:15 pm

.
Hi ray,
enjoyed the read (though stumbled a bit with 'then' L8, would em dashes after 'resistance' and 'distance' make it clearer?)

(Is L10 missing a 'me,' at the end? Feels like it needs the beat).

Like the ending, but not how you get there. Don't think you need the vegetarian line ('I didn't mind' sets up all sorts of possible explanations, let the reader pick their own. It doesn't need spelling out.) But perhaps something to suggest how unthinkingly casual her request for that paper could be included instead?
Then on Satruday she asked
if I wouldn't mind picking up
a copy of the Daily Telegraph.
Now it's me can't leave the house
without wearing a mask



Regards, Not


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Firebird
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Re: Reputation

Post by Firebird » Sun Apr 05, 2020 1:44 pm

I can see you are in a humours mood Ray. I like the ending, though the set up seemed a little long for a poem that depends mostly on its final line. I think a lot of the poem could probably be cut or expressed more concisely.

Something like:

Mrs Shelly was happy to see
a friendly face and thankful
as well for the bread, toilet roll,
cat food, polos and I didn’t mind
purchasing pork sausages,
even though I am vegetarian.
Then on Saturday she asked
for The Daily Telegraph.
Now I’m having to wear a mask.

Saying that, it did still bring a smile to my face at the ending.

Cheers,

Tristan

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Post by Macavity » Sun Apr 05, 2020 3:19 pm

I enjoyed the poem set-up, the motivations of altruism. And those lines we cross for the 'good cause'. Yes, the ending delivers too. I guess the future is masked and so may we all be!

cheers

mac

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Re: Reputation

Post by TrevorConway » Sun Apr 05, 2020 8:03 pm

Hi Ray,

Some stuff to like here. Similar to Tristan, I found the set-up didn't quite sustain itself, so cutting it would be my suggestion, too. And I think the context of the poem won't be so clear when everyone has forgotten about the virus, so some direct mention of it might be necessary. More details below, handier than explaining.

T

Coronavirus, Mrs Shelley & Me

It was never going to be enough
to merit a round of applause
of a Thursday evening,
but as a means to being observed

assisting while keeping my distance, [Feels weak. Remove line altogether?]
then fetching Mrs Shelley’s shopping [Remove "then" - redundant. I love "fetching". Perfect word, very dog-like :D ]
was right up my street. [I wonder if there's a better phrase, though it does fit the tone of the poem, I suppose]

She was happy to see [3 lines deleted]
I'd purchased her pork sausages
despite my vegetarian stance.

Then on Saturday she asked [Remove "then"? Turns out I'm not a big fan of thens :) ]
for The Daily Telegraph.
[I'd suggest at least another line here to set up the ending a bit more. Is the mask meant to hint at aversion to the Telegraph in any way? Or just that you have to wear one like everyone else who goes outside? Or that you've actually contracted the virus because of all the tasks? Maybe a hint in one of these directions, without necessarily spelling it out, might help]
Now I’m having to wear a mask.

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Re: Reputation

Post by David » Mon Apr 06, 2020 4:23 pm

I've been reading lately how a lot of the appeal of Robert Frost is in the conversational quality of the poems, and I think it's true for you too. The walk is as important as the destination. I wouldn't advocate radical shortening here.

And you're still getting the DT for Mrs Shelley. Now that is altruism.

Cheers

David

ray miller
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Re: Reputation

Post by ray miller » Wed Apr 08, 2020 11:05 am

Thanks all.
Jackie - glad you liked it. What I am considering as a title is Being Seen.
Not - yeah, dashes are a good idea, that passage did bother me. I need the vegetarian line, it's to emphasise N's priorities.
Tristan - what David said, really.
Mac - so far as N is concerned, it's more about being seen to be doing good, than doing good.
Trevor - I wouldn't want to cut any lines, to me they're important in conveying N's character. It's clear enough that being seen with the The Telegraph is the reason for wearing a mask. There's a Bob Dylan quote from way back, something to the effect that lots of people are afraid of the atomic bomb, but there are many others equally afraid of being seen carrying a modern screen magazine. I get that totally.
David - The walk is as important as the destination. I couldn't agree more, thankyou.
I'm out of faith and in my cups
I contemplate such bitter stuff.

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Re: Reputation

Post by NotQuiteSure » Wed Apr 08, 2020 12:11 pm

ray miller wrote:
Wed Apr 08, 2020 11:05 am
I need the vegetarian line
Beg to differ :) N could be Jewish, Muslim, porcine intolerant; vegetarian narrows the list
but doesn't add anything itself.
Like 'Being Seen'.

Regards, Not

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Richard
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Re: Reputation

Post by Richard » Mon Apr 13, 2020 10:25 am

Ha, nice punch line!

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Re: Reputation

Post by Richard » Mon Apr 13, 2020 10:31 am

I might think about excising the bits in bold...?

It was never going to be enough
to merit a round of applause
of a Thursday evening.
But as a means [way?] to get involved
in the resistance, to meet
other people and be observed
to assist while keeping [and keep?] my distance,
then fetching Mrs Shelley’s shopping
was right up my street.

She was happy to see
a friendly face and thankful
as well for the bread, toilet roll,
cat food, polos and
I didn’t mind
purchasing pork sausages,
even though I am vegetarian.
Then on Saturday she asked
for The Daily Telegraph.
[And] Now I’m having to wear a mask.

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