A Very Pulmonary Poem (edited)

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barrie
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A Very Pulmonary Poem (edited)

Post by barrie » Fri Dec 12, 2008 1:08 pm

Once, your heels
were heather sprung:
now, leather lungs
leave you trout-mouthed,
gasping on the bank,
drawing in nothing but
a grasping hope
that some higher power
might open up those sickened sacs,
let the air suck back
let the air suck back
along narrow spaces
to those tight, dry places,
choked-up and sealed.

--------------------

Replaced last three lines


through tight, dry spaces
to those choked-up places,
so withered and useless.
---------------

edit: changed sacks to sacs
After letting go of branches and walking through the ape gait, we managed to grasp what hands were really for......

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Re: A Pulmonary Poem

Post by R. Broath » Fri Dec 12, 2008 4:01 pm

A lovely lungful, barrie.

Like the use of 'grasping' and its association. Not so sure of 'your heels were heather sprung' which sounds like too hard a try for the rhyme with 'leather lungs'. Maybe it is idiomatic but I haven't heard of it before.
Anyway, the short lines reinforce the subject matter and give this a breathless quality.

Give up the fags.

Jimmy

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Re: A Pulmonary Poem

Post by ray miller » Fri Dec 12, 2008 4:43 pm

My father suffered with emphysema for many years before a merciful death and so I can empathise. It's a very fine poem, I think. One does spring off heather and I thought heather sprung, leather lungs and trout-mouthed were well nigh perfect. I wonder whether "sacs" ought to replace "sacks".
I'm out of faith and in my cups
I contemplate such bitter stuff.

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Re: A Pulmonary Poem

Post by twoleftfeet » Fri Dec 12, 2008 5:41 pm

I don't have any problem with "heather sprung" because "spring heather" and "springy heather" are common
expressions..

In an ideal world the last line would provide a rhyme (ideally for the first line) - but don't look at me, I don't have
any suggestions!

This poem obviously has a deeply personal relevance for you - I wouldn't presume to say any more.

Geoff

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Re: A Pulmonary Poem

Post by bobvincent » Fri Dec 12, 2008 7:31 pm

Ah, the trials of aging! I liked this, especially "trout-mouthed".

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Re: A Pulmonary Poem

Post by Ros » Fri Dec 12, 2008 9:45 pm

I too was about to praise 'trout-mouthed' - great image. And I think sacs would fit better, too. Good stuff.
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Re: A Very Pulmonary Poem

Post by Danté » Sat Dec 13, 2008 3:53 pm

Barrie

I think you have written the subject very well.
The image of heather sprung is lovely and gave a very visual flash of how plants compress and relax as weight comes off of them imparting that spring.
As always your internal rhyming and word sounds are carefully placed to deliver some real enjoyment
when the piece is read aloud. I find myself wondering if you were tempted to have restricted in there
to bounce off the sickened sacks.

A very enjoyable read

all the best

Tim
to anticipate touching what is unseen seems far more interesting than seeing what the hand can not touch

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Re: A Very Pulmonary Poem

Post by juliadebeauvoir » Sat Dec 13, 2008 9:11 pm

Barrie,
Leather-lungs seemed heavy (but maybe the effect you were going for in contrasts) although I am in no way suggesting you remove it. The 'trout-mouth' actually reminded me of carp I had seen last summer--their large mouths greedy and gasping. I thought that image was as powerful as 'sickened sacks, let the air suck back..."
Excellent images.

Cheers
Kim
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Re: A Very Pulmonary Poem

Post by David » Sat Dec 13, 2008 9:46 pm

The whole thing's good, but I like "heather sprung" in particular - that's exactly the way it feels.

I can't work out why you used "Very" in the title, though.

Cheers

David

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Re: A Very Pulmonary Poem

Post by Callum C » Sun Dec 14, 2008 1:53 pm

Hi Barrie, enjoyed this one; nothing springs like heather, does it? Though leather lungs doesn't quite seem right, somehow. I've been trying to think of something that would make the image more visual; something simple that could picture ageing lungs rejecting breath...sodden, maybe? Maybe not. I also thought "nothing but" could possibly be substituted for "only", which would marry with the vowel sounds of "hope", "those" and "open". Just a thought, nice poem.

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Re: A Very Pulmonary Poem

Post by juliadebeauvoir » Sun Dec 14, 2008 4:22 pm

Instead of leather, would 'spongy' work?
Just a thought...I think sodden would even conjure up fluid filling the lungs. For alliteration sake you could go with an 's' word.
Cheers,
Kim
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Re: A Very Pulmonary Poem

Post by oranggunung » Sun Dec 14, 2008 6:19 pm

Barrie

Late once again, so have had the benefit of others’ comments.

This is a powerful piece. It’s not clear why the subject is having trouble breathing. If they were a smoker, then I see “leather lungs” as an excellent choice, bringing to mind the images of tanning and nicotine-stained walls and curtains. However, if that is not the reason, could 'weathered' act as an alternative?

The ‘sickened sacks’ image is a strong one, but I couldn’t help thinking of cul de sacs. Any mileage in that?

In response to Geoff’s comment, seeking an alternative ending to rhyme with the first line, I thought ‘congeal’ might be a contender. It seems to fit the scenario reasonably well.

All this coming after the horse has bolted, so to speak.


og

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Re: A Very Pulmonary Poem

Post by barrie » Mon Dec 15, 2008 7:01 pm

Thanks Jimmy - Have you never run or walked over heather, it certainly puts a spring in your step. It just 'sprung' to mind as a good double rhyme.

Thanks Ray - You're probably right about using 'sacs'. I was thinking of a pair of dirty old sacks as opposed to air sacs, but I'll change it.

Thanks Geoff - I've been having a think about the first and endline rhyme - not come up with anything yet though.

Thanks Bob, Ros - 'Sacs' it is then.

Thanks Tim - Yes, I played around with restricted - constricted as well, but I couldn't really get it to sound right

Thanks Kim and Callum - Ray was spot on when he mentioned emphysema. One of the effects is a drastic loss of lung elasticity, that's why I used 'leather lungs' - I hope that makes for a clearer image.

Thanks David -
David wrote:I can't work out why you used "Very" in the title, though.
- I just liked the sound of it, I suppose.

Thanks og - 'congeal' is a good suggestion - I've not come up with anything yet, but I keep going back to it. I've another couple of rhymes but I can't seem to be able to make them fit either.

Thanks again everyone

Barrie
After letting go of branches and walking through the ape gait, we managed to grasp what hands were really for......

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Re: A Very Pulmonary Poem

Post by Elphin » Mon Dec 15, 2008 7:43 pm

Late again and nowt to say but "good poem" - one of your best of late in terms of the structure perfectly suiting the subject, well positioned rhymes and, as always, perfect choice of words.

I thought leather lungs was inspired - so much meaning in that phrase.

A couple of observations and they are no more than that - trout mouthed sounds great and paints the picture. Its a pity it has an unfortunate link to Leslie Ash collagen implants and trout pout. I wondered about gaping rather than gasping but see you have it rhyming with grasping. As I say minor obs only.

Enjoyed

elph

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Re: A Very Pulmonary Poem

Post by barrie » Mon Dec 15, 2008 10:19 pm

Thanks Elph - I'm sure Leslie Ash would be most flattered to be compared with a trout. I never even considered that - it was the image of a fish out of water with it's reflexive gulping mouth that I was going for. It could be any fish, but trout went with mouth. I still don't think Leslie Ash ever looked like a trout, more like a volunteer for cold sore reasearch.

cheers

Barrie
After letting go of branches and walking through the ape gait, we managed to grasp what hands were really for......

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Re: A Very Pulmonary Poem

Post by Oskar » Mon Dec 15, 2008 11:28 pm

Barrie

I've got a couple of suggestions for that last line -

dried and peeled
OR
blocked and sealed

Feel free to file in the bin!

Cheers
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Re: A Very Pulmonary Poem

Post by bobvincent » Tue Dec 16, 2008 7:12 am

I've just re-read this, attracted by the number of replies, and thought it needs a punchier ending. I keep saying this about poems on this site, but I think it's important to end powerfully.

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Re: A Very Pulmonary Poem

Post by Oskar » Tue Dec 16, 2008 11:25 am

Can I have one more go at this?

How about for the last two lines -

to locked and cracked
lead chested gills


Sorry, Barrie. I promise to leave it alone now!
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Re: A Very Pulmonary Poem

Post by barrie » Tue Dec 16, 2008 11:47 am

Thanks for coming back to it Bob - I agree with what you say.

Oskar - I've come up with something using a word you suggested - 'sealed'

let the air suck back
along narrow spaces
to those tight, dry places,
choked-up and sealed.
- Is that any better?

Thanks

Barrie
After letting go of branches and walking through the ape gait, we managed to grasp what hands were really for......

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Re: A Very Pulmonary Poem

Post by Oskar » Tue Dec 16, 2008 1:31 pm

barrie wrote:et the air suck back
along narrow spaces
to those tight, dry places,
choked-up and sealed. - Is that any better?
It does the trick for me.

Nice one
"This is going to be a damn masterpiece, when I finish dis..." - Poeterry

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Re: A Very Pulmonary Poem

Post by barrie » Tue Dec 16, 2008 3:36 pm

Cheers Oskar - I'll edit it now.

Barrie
After letting go of branches and walking through the ape gait, we managed to grasp what hands were really for......

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Re: A Very Pulmonary Poem (edited)

Post by dedalus » Wed Dec 17, 2008 6:28 pm

Not a single word out of place. It's good, barrie, it's very good. Apparently I'll have to sit around and wait for the next one if I want to have a go at you.

Hats off,
Brendan (the dedalus one)

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Re: A Very Pulmonary Poem (edited)

Post by barrie » Wed Dec 17, 2008 6:34 pm

Thanks Brendan - I posted one earlier but took of off again, I decided I wasn't happy with it.

cheers

Barrie

BTW - I thought you were going to do some recording.
After letting go of branches and walking through the ape gait, we managed to grasp what hands were really for......

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