5am & Philosophical

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TrevorConway
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5am & Philosophical

Post by TrevorConway » Sun Apr 12, 2020 8:27 am

NEW DRAFT

Emulating the sea,
as if all babies are mariners, yearning
for a life once lived on blue terrain.

As we share the baldest hours,
your tick-tock sucking reminds me that time
is barely a concept here.

Warm plastic guides the curve of my fingers,
and sleep is a currency
seasoning our flesh.

Submit, my child,
let all my muscles
take your weight.

In the morning, we’ll be washed awake
by a tide of noise
from a Spanish street.


ORIGINAL DRAFT

Emulating the sea,
as if all babies are mariners, yearning
for a life once lived
on blue terrain.

Sleep is a currency;
we’re adrift of its ways,
unaware how it seasons our flesh,

so
submit, my child,
let it take your weight.

In the morning, we’ll be washed
by a Spanish street’s insistent tide.


This felt like it should be a short, impressionist (if that's the right word) kinda poem, but feel free to mention if you feel it should be much longer or shorter, or whether a different kind of tone, etc. might work better, as well as the usual feedback on line/word/stanza order and highlighting specific words or lines that are weak. I think the ending is probably the most unfinished/weakest part, but interested to hear all opinions, of course. Thanks, everyone.
Last edited by TrevorConway on Tue Apr 28, 2020 12:56 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: 5am & Philosophical

Post by Firebird » Sun Apr 12, 2020 8:33 pm

Hi Trev,

I really like it, and especially this line
let it take your weight.
I know what you mean about the end. It’s not quite there yet.

Maybe it could be something like this.

In the morning, we’ll be washed
ashore on a street in Tarragona.


Or maybe not.

In stanza 3, I don’t think ‘so’ should be on its own line. You could join it with the next line.

Hope this helps.

Cheers,

Tristan
yet.
TrevorConway wrote:
Sun Apr 12, 2020 8:27 am
Emulating the sea,
as if all babies are mariners, yearning
for a life once lived
on blue terrain.

Sleep is a currency;
we’re adrift of its ways,
unaware how it seasons our flesh,

so
submit, my child,
let it take your weight.

In the morning, we’ll be washed
by a Spanish street’s insistent tide.


This felt like it should be a short, impressionist (if that's the right word) kinda poem, but feel free to mention if you feel it should be much longer or shorter, or whether a different kind of tone, etc. might work better, as well as the usual feedback on line/word/stanza order and highlighting specific words or lines that are weak. I think the ending is probably the most unfinished/weakest part, but interested to hear all opinions, of course. Thanks, everyone.

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Re: 5am & Philosophical

Post by Perry » Mon Apr 13, 2020 3:15 am

The meaning of this poem seems to ride on the symbols. I'm having trouble interpreting it. But that's not unusual for me, as I'm quite literal-minded.
If I don't critique your poem, it is probably because I don't understand it.

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Re: 5am & Philosophical

Post by Firebird » Mon Apr 13, 2020 8:32 am

Hi Perry,

I think this is a fairly straightforward poem about trying to rock a baby to sleep in your arms while travelling. There does seem to be a little bit of a gap between the first and second stanza, which may hinder understanding/flow a little. I can’t parse stanza one either. There maybe an ‘of’ needed after ‘unaware’, too.

Hope that helps.

Cheers,

Tristan

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Re: 5am & Philosophical

Post by NotQuiteSure » Mon Apr 13, 2020 10:24 am

.
Hi Trevor,
like the piece, like the title (and Tristan's suggestion for the close).
However, I can't follow 'adrift of its ways'. Any alternative to 'emulating'?
I also like 'let it take you weight' but can't connect it back to sleep as 'currency'
(you didn't mean current, did you? Or is this 'currency' as 'time')


Might work 'better' as couplets?


5am & Philosophical

Emulating the sea,
as if all babies are mariners,

yearning for a life
once lived on blue

Sleep is a currency;
we’re adrift of its ways,

unaware how it seasons,
so submit, my child,

let it take your weight.
In the morning,we’ll be washed

...


Regards, Not


.
Last edited by NotQuiteSure on Mon Apr 13, 2020 10:27 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: 5am & Philosophical

Post by Richard » Mon Apr 13, 2020 10:24 am

Nice!i had a quick play to snip out bits I didn’t think you needed or deal with line breaks that jarred (with me). Hope you find it useful, if not, apologies!

Emulating the sea,
as if all babies are mariners,
yearning for a life once lived

on blue terrain.
Sleep is a currency;
we’re adrift of its ways,

unaware how it seasons our flesh,
submit, my child,
let it take your weight.

In the morning, we’ll be washed [away?]
by a Spanish tide
[... of??]

TrevorConway
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Re: 5am & Philosophical

Post by TrevorConway » Mon Apr 13, 2020 12:44 pm

Thanks as ever, Tristan. Yeah, that so is kinda going out on a limb there, sticking out. The rhythm just felt right, but certainly needs further consideration. And cheers for giving a sense of whether you liked it or not. I removed this poem from a collection I'm planning, simply because I thought it wasn't good enough. I gave it a quick look again and decided to tinker a little and post it. Still not convinced it pulls its weight, but I'm hoping to improve to a level that helps it make the grade.

Thanks again,

T
Firebird wrote:
Sun Apr 12, 2020 8:33 pm
Hi Trev,

I really like it, and especially this line
let it take your weight.
I know what you mean about the end. It’s not quite there yet.

Maybe it could be something like this.

In the morning, we’ll be washed
ashore on a street in Tarragona.


Or maybe not.

In stanza 3, I don’t think ‘so’ should be on its own line. You could join it with the next line.

Hope this helps.

Cheers,

Tristan
yet.
TrevorConway wrote:
Sun Apr 12, 2020 8:27 am
Emulating the sea,
as if all babies are mariners, yearning
for a life once lived
on blue terrain.

Sleep is a currency;
we’re adrift of its ways,
unaware how it seasons our flesh,

so
submit, my child,
let it take your weight.

In the morning, we’ll be washed
by a Spanish street’s insistent tide.


This felt like it should be a short, impressionist (if that's the right word) kinda poem, but feel free to mention if you feel it should be much longer or shorter, or whether a different kind of tone, etc. might work better, as well as the usual feedback on line/word/stanza order and highlighting specific words or lines that are weak. I think the ending is probably the most unfinished/weakest part, but interested to hear all opinions, of course. Thanks, everyone.

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Re: 5am & Philosophical

Post by TrevorConway » Mon Apr 13, 2020 12:47 pm

Thanks for commenting, Perry. Yeah, it's a floaty kind of piece, or vague even. I think a slight tilt towards the more concrete and literal could help the poem, though I don't want to go too far in that direction. Hard one to balance, I'm finding. It's supposed to reflect the experience of holding/rocking a baby at 5am, hoping she'll sleep. The mind tends to drift into strange places at that time of night :D

Thanks again, Perry. All the best,

T
Perry wrote:
Mon Apr 13, 2020 3:15 am
The meaning of this poem seems to ride on the symbols. I'm having trouble interpreting it. But that's not unusual for me, as I'm quite literal-minded.

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Re: 5am & Philosophical

Post by TrevorConway » Mon Apr 13, 2020 12:50 pm

Good to see your interpretation here, Tristan. Thanks for giving it. You're very perceptive, I've noticed! Other poems on the forum that have been a bit of a mystery to me have been clear to you.

I do think there's a gap in the logic/description that could make it a bit clearer, so I'll look into that.

Cheers,

T
Firebird wrote:
Mon Apr 13, 2020 8:32 am
Hi Perry,

I think this is a fairly straightforward poem about trying to rock a baby to sleep in your arms while travelling. There does seem to be a little bit of a gap between the first and second stanza, which may hinder understanding/flow a little. I can’t parse stanza one either. There maybe an ‘of’ needed after ‘unaware’, too.

Hope that helps.

Cheers,

Tristan

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Re: 5am & Philosophical

Post by TrevorConway » Mon Apr 13, 2020 12:55 pm

Thanks, Not.

Yeah, those couplets look good! Thanks for re-organising it. I meant currency alright. Having suffered from bad sleep deprivation over the last two months, every bit of sleep seems like a vital commodity; hence the idea of "currency" came to mind.

I'll look into alternatives for "emulating", though I quite like it for now. Sometimes you don't realise a word is a bit weak until you find a better alternative.

You caught me out on "adrift of its ways". The main reason it's there is because I like the sound of it. Not a great reason in itself. It's rare that i write a line where I don't have a full sense of the meaning. Here, what I had in mind was something along the lines of being unfamiliar with sleep, which is probably a long way off "adrift of". Again, I'll search for alternatives.

Thanks a million, Not.

T
NotQuiteSure wrote:
Mon Apr 13, 2020 10:24 am
.
Hi Trevor,
like the piece, like the title (and Tristan's suggestion for the close).
However, I can't follow 'adrift of its ways'. Any alternative to 'emulating'?
I also like 'let it take you weight' but can't connect it back to sleep as 'currency'
(you didn't mean current, did you? Or is this 'currency' as 'time')


Might work 'better' as couplets?


5am & Philosophical

Emulating the sea,
as if all babies are mariners,

yearning for a life
once lived on blue

Sleep is a currency;
we’re adrift of its ways,

unaware how it seasons,
so submit, my child,

let it take your weight.
In the morning,we’ll be washed

...


Regards, Not


.

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Re: 5am & Philosophical

Post by TrevorConway » Mon Apr 13, 2020 12:58 pm

Thanks for commenting, Richard. Such precise feedback is always helpful. I think you may have solved the ending. It's the vagueness of the Spanish tide that's the main problem; indicating a tide of specific things should make for a much stronger ending. Now, to gather those things together...

Many thanks, Richard. Take it easy.

T

Richard wrote:
Mon Apr 13, 2020 10:24 am
Nice!i had a quick play to snip out bits I didn’t think you needed or deal with line breaks that jarred (with me). Hope you find it useful, if not, apologies!

Emulating the sea,
as if all babies are mariners,
yearning for a life once lived

on blue terrain.
Sleep is a currency;
we’re adrift of its ways,

unaware how it seasons our flesh,
submit, my child,
let it take your weight.

In the morning, we’ll be washed [away?]
by a Spanish tide
[... of??]

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Re: 5am & Philosophical

Post by NotQuiteSure » Mon Apr 13, 2020 1:06 pm

TrevorConway wrote:
Mon Apr 13, 2020 12:55 pm
Having suffered from bad sleep deprivation over the last two months, every bit of sleep seems like a vital commodity; hence the idea of "currency" came to mind.
That I can/did follow, but then how does a currency 'season' or take ones 'weight', or how does one 'submit' to it? The metaphor got a bit too tangled for me (Individually each part works, but collectively ... no)


Regards, Not

.

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Re: 5am & Philosophical

Post by TrevorConway » Mon Apr 13, 2020 1:12 pm

I see what you mean, Not. It's just the product of vague thoughts at 5am, I have to admit. Great to get an idea of your experience reading/interpreting the poem.

Thanks a mill,

T
NotQuiteSure wrote:
Mon Apr 13, 2020 1:06 pm
TrevorConway wrote:
Mon Apr 13, 2020 12:55 pm
Having suffered from bad sleep deprivation over the last two months, every bit of sleep seems like a vital commodity; hence the idea of "currency" came to mind.
That I can/did follow, but then how does a currency 'season' or take ones 'weight', or how does one 'submit' to it? The metaphor got a bit too tangled for me (Individually each part works, but collectively ... no)


Regards, Not

.

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Re: 5am & Philosophical

Post by Perry » Tue Apr 14, 2020 6:47 pm

Firebird wrote:
Mon Apr 13, 2020 8:32 am
I think this is a fairly straightforward poem about trying to rock a baby to sleep in your arms while travelling. There does seem to be a little bit of a gap between the first and second stanza, which may hinder understanding/flow a little. I can’t parse stanza one either. There maybe an ‘of’ needed after ‘unaware’, too.
This is what I mean when I say that I'm too literal minded: Obvious meanings just fly over my head. I couldn't understand why there was a baby in the poem. (However, I was tired when I read it.) Now I understand it completely.

"Blue terrain" is a very nice phrase. You might allude to the womb, which is the first watery existence we experience.

Is the Spanish street mentioned just to create a mood? If so, that won't work very well for people who have never walked on one. However, I have seen pictures and imagine something old, even ancient, and very laid back. Perhaps you are alluding to the practice of siesta. I knew that they do that in Latin America, but wasn't sure about Spain, though it must have originated there.

I have never been one for putting a single word on a line for emphasis. I have always felt that the emphasis must come from the flow of the language. So I would combine lines 8 and 9.

Oh, and shouldn't "are mariners" be "were mariners"?

(Sorry, I didn't read all the comments.)
Last edited by Perry on Wed Apr 29, 2020 10:08 am, edited 1 time in total.
If I don't critique your poem, it is probably because I don't understand it.

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Re: 5am & Philosophical

Post by ray miller » Wed Apr 15, 2020 11:05 pm

I like it apart from the 2nd stanza, which I can't get my head around. I saw your comment on sleep as a commodity. Okay, wouldn't "sleep has a currency" be truer?
Is it important that the street is Spanish? - "by the street's insistent tide" flows better.
I'm out of faith and in my cups
I contemplate such bitter stuff.

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Re: 5am & Philosophical

Post by TrevorConway » Thu Apr 16, 2020 8:53 am

Thanks for all the feedback, Perry. I guess the Spanish street is to create mood, or at least it's better than just street. I live in Spain, so a Spanish street was the first thing that came to mind, and seemed to fit at the time. I'll consider an alternative adjective. Good point about readers who can't picture it.

I'm not sure if "were" mariners is technically more correct English, but "are" sounds more natural to my ear here. It might be a cultural thing.

That "so" is looking more and more vulnerable sitting there by itself :D I'm sure I'll change it.

Thanks again, Perry.
Perry wrote:
Tue Apr 14, 2020 6:47 pm
Firebird wrote:
Mon Apr 13, 2020 8:32 am
I think this is a fairly straightforward poem about trying to rock a baby to sleep in your arms while travelling. There does seem to be a little bit of a gap between the first and second stanza, which may hinder understanding/flow a little. I can’t parse stanza one either. There maybe an ‘of’ needed after ‘unaware’, too.
This is what I mean when I say that I'm too literal minded: Obvious meanings just fly over my head. I couldn't understand why there was a baby in the poem. (However, that I was tired when I read it.) Now I understand it completely.

"Blue terrain" is a very nice phrase. You might allude to the womb, which is the first watery existence we experience.

Is the Spanish street mentioned just to create a mood? If so, that won't work very well for people who have never walked on one. However, I have seen pictures and imagine something old, even ancient, and very laid back. Perhaps you are alluding to the practice of siesta. I knew that they do that in Latin America, but wasn't sure about Spain, though it must have originated there.

I have never been one for putting a single word on a line for emphasis. I have always felt that the emphasis must come from the flow of the language. So I would combine lines 8 and 9.

Oh, and shouldn't "are mariners" be "were mariners"?

(Sorry, I didn't read all the comments.)

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Re: 5am & Philosophical

Post by TrevorConway » Thu Apr 16, 2020 8:57 am

Cheers, Ray.

Thanks for the alternative phrasing on the sleep. I think both ways are logical (with "is" being taken as a metaphor), and I like the phrasing of both, so i choice a choice to make...

The Spanishness of the street probably isn't important, but I do think some sense of the kind of street is needed, so I think I'll keep some kind of adjective there.

Yes, that second stanza...Hmm...Would you call it pretentious? Be honest, please :)

Thanks again,

T
ray miller wrote:
Wed Apr 15, 2020 11:05 pm
I like it apart from the 2nd stanza, which I can't get my head around. I saw your comment on sleep as a commodity. Okay, wouldn't "sleep has a currency" be truer?
Is it important that the street is Spanish? - "by the street's insistent tide" flows better.

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Re: 5am & Philosophical

Post by TrevorConway » Tue Apr 28, 2020 12:56 pm

I was just looking at another poem (about feeding a baby at night), and I realised it's very similar in subject and approach to this one, so I combined the two in a new draft of this poem. If anyone cares to comment again, it'd be of great help. I've put it below and above the original draft at the start of this thread.

Thanks a lot,

T

Emulating the sea,
as if all babies are mariners, yearning
for a life once lived on blue terrain.

As we share the baldest hours,
your tick-tock sucking reminds me that time
is barely a concept here.

Warm plastic guides the curve of my fingers,
and sleep is a currency
seasoning our flesh.

Submit, my child,
let all my muscles
take your weight.

In the morning, we’ll be washed awake
by a tide of noise
from a Spanish street.

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