Piper At The Gates Of Dawn (revised)

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Macavity
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Piper At The Gates Of Dawn (revised)

Post by Macavity » Thu May 21, 2020 1:21 pm

revision

True, back then, he was a sallow fellow
- mind lost in mazes, burrowing for exams.
The day he heard those birdies singing in
the willow wood ended his studious ways.

He let the sophist rest, breathed the songs
within the trees, came to the river bank.
A child at heart, and living in England,
he saw Ratty and timorous Mole waving

from a weathered boat. Badger, they called.
Badger he became. A life of black and white.


original

True, back then, he was a sallow fellow
- mind lost in mazes, burrowing for exams.
The day he heard those birdies singing in
the willow wood ended his studious ways.

He let the sophist rest, breathed the songs
within the trees, came to the river bank.
A child at heart, and living in England,
he saw Ratty and timorous Mole waving.

They shouted out to him. Badger, they called.
Badger he became. A life of black and white.
Last edited by Macavity on Fri May 22, 2020 1:57 pm, edited 4 times in total.

NotQuiteSure
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Re: Piper At The Gates Of Dawn

Post by NotQuiteSure » Thu May 21, 2020 1:36 pm

.
Hi mac.
An excellent (and entertaining) biography,
not quite certain about the movement from 'sallow'
(connotation 'dirty' or 'yellow' (lacking convictions?))
to 'black and white' (but that's a nice ending).

Maybe 'those birdies' ? ('the' seems a bit feeble, somehow).

Shouldn't ratty be Ratty (and therefore Mole)?

Don't think you need (or can get away with :) )
'they called' after 'shouted' (and actually, 'shouted out'
hits a duff note, to me). Maybe,

They called out to him Badger! Badger!
So Badger he became, and lived a life
of black and white.

Regards, Not


PS. Now who's doing catchy titles? This one works a treat.


.

Macavity
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Re: Birdies At The Gates Of Dawn

Post by Macavity » Thu May 21, 2020 3:15 pm

Thanks Not. I've capitalised, changed the to those, and tweaked the title. Will ponder a tad more about the concluding lines.

best

mac

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Re: Birdies At The Gates Of Dawn

Post by Firebird » Thu May 21, 2020 8:05 pm

I love it Mac.

Couple of nits. I really like the sound of ‘sophist rest’, but is ‘sophist’ right here? Why would a sophist need to rest. The penultimate line seems a bit flabby: why ‘they shouted out’ and ‘they called’?

I really like the last line though and love ‘breathed the songs/ within the trees’.

Cheers,

Tristan


Macavity wrote:
Thu May 21, 2020 1:21 pm
True, back then, he was a sallow fellow
- mind lost in mazes, burrowing for exams.
The day he heard those birdies singing in
the willow wood ended his studious ways.

He let the sophist rest, breathed the songs
within the trees, came to the river bank.
A child at heart, and living in England,
he saw Ratty and timorous Mole waving.

They shouted out to him. Badger, they called.
Badger he became. A life of black and white.

TrevorConway
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Re: Birdies At The Gates Of Dawn

Post by TrevorConway » Thu May 21, 2020 8:58 pm

Hey Mac,

Interesting idea. For such a narrative poem, it felt like the pace was way too quick. Suggestions below, anyway. See what you think.

T


True, back then, he was a sallow fellow [Nice opening, though "sallow" seems irrelevant. Any alternative that would better convey his character?]
- mind lost in mazes, burrowing for exams.

[The following should come in a separate verse, I think, for pace reasons]
The day he heard those birdies singing in
the willow wood ended his studious ways.

He let the sophist rest, breathed the songs [Yep, the sophist seems out of place or at least unexplained]
within the trees, came to the river bank.

[Again, these characters could come in a separate verse]
A child at heart, and living in England,
he saw Ratty and timorous Mole waving.

[More needed on the characters before he decides to join him - at least another verse or 2, in my opinion]

They shouted out to him. Badger, they called. [No need for both "shouted" and "called", as mentioned by others]
Badger he became. A life of black and white. [Great ending. Reminds me of Ted Hughes]

Macavity
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Re: Birdies At The Gates Of Dawn (revised)

Post by Macavity » Fri May 22, 2020 6:07 am

Thanks Tristan and Trevor. There seems a consensus on L9 so I've edited. sallow and sophist were there to convey unhealthy, indoor, abstract pursuits.

all the best

mac

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Re: Birdies At The Gates Of Dawn (revised)

Post by NotQuiteSure » Fri May 22, 2020 12:33 pm

.
Hi Mac,
preferred the original title, 'birdies' (here) seems a bit too trivial somehow.

To return to 'sallow' and 'sophist', how about

True, back then, he was a bookish fellow
...

He let the scholar sleep, breathed (deep) the songs


Any alternative to 'living' (L7)? It rather clips the heels of 'life' in the last line.

'timorous' seems unbalanced (Ratty having no such modifier)
so got to wondering about the (delightfully dated, and rarely used)
he saw Ratty and Mole gaily waving ?

Still think you could get away with a couple more 'badgers' in the
final couplet.
from a weathered boat. Badger, they called, Badger.
And Badger he became. A life of black and white.


Regards, Not


.

Macavity
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Re: Piper At The Gates Of Dawn (revised)

Post by Macavity » Fri May 22, 2020 2:04 pm

Thanks Not. Title duly restored.

I'm happy with sophist/sallow for an unhealthy life spent on spurious 'learning'.

will ponder your other thoughts some more

cheers

mac

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