Plain Talking (also in the audio section) (was called PC)

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barrie
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Plain Talking (also in the audio section) (was called PC)

Post by barrie » Mon Dec 01, 2008 10:21 am

Here you come
with your scuffling shuffle,
grumbling cough and wheezy breath.
How can I fail to notice Death?
Would it be so wrong to suppose
that cramps are crunching through your bones,
your bowl of cherries, wizened stones?

“My God, you’re looking bloody rough!
Should you be out?”
I’ll shout.
“Times must be tough!”

Can't say things like that, I’m told.

Then I’ll scold,
“You’re looking old, so wrap up well
or the cold will take you, soul and bone!”

Straight talking with some good advice -
but the socially skilled will always groan,
“Now that’s not nice!”

Must I say,
“You’re looking well
I can tell by your colour,
it's this mild weather,
the walks in the park,
and the long country drives
in your son’s soft-topped car.

What a marvellous colour you are,
you are,
what a marvellous colour you are!"
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: PC

Post by R. Broath » Mon Dec 01, 2008 3:55 pm

I like the way you've pitched this, barrie. Truth, it seems, must be dressed in Sunday best and delivered so well disguised that even its mother would not recognise it. I think S1 is the interior monologue of many but the 'socially skilled' tut-tut its utterance and what is left but the anodyne of coward-speak. (To which we all genuflect as it is the acceptable balm of social intercourse.)
Your tone and humour survive throughout and I am reminded in the closing of a cross twixt Owl and Pussycat and Father William.
A serious topic dealt a deviously clever blow which left this reader in admiration and consternation.
Nitless as far as I'm concerned.

Jimmy

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Re: PC

Post by Danté » Mon Dec 01, 2008 5:25 pm

Barrie,

You obviously still have the touch in respect of word placement and carefully constructed rhyming. I enjoyed the thoughtful nature of this poem and found little that I would personally alter. The last line of the opening verse seemed a little superfluous and I have a feeling that you could trim elsewhere, but that might be me, as I have been working with rather skeletal phrasing of late and have grown a little accustomed to it. I was going to reply to another of your posts recently, but found it had vanished.
I will hang out on this board a little more soon, as I should have a little more time to put together some stuff worthy of being posted with the other fine work that’s been on here of late. I hope you are well, and will catch up with you soon.

Kind regards

Tim
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Re: PC

Post by juliadebeauvoir » Mon Dec 01, 2008 8:26 pm

Barrie,
I could 'hear' you read this in my mind and its wonderful stuff. Should record and put it on the site.
Would it be so wrong to suppose
that cramps are crunching through your bones,
your bowl of cherries, wizened stones?
Great lines--wizened stones! Very nasty this thing called the Truth or Death--either one will get you in the end.
No nits--

Cheers,
Kim
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Re: PC

Post by emuse » Tue Dec 02, 2008 3:29 am

Barrie I really love this and especially the first strophe which has such marvelous sonics and rhythm. Leave it to you to give Death a kick in the pants unless I didn't get it right (which is entirely possible). You must have a chapbook's worth by now of poems on the subject. I'd put them together and submit if I were you. Themed chapbooks are very popular these days.

I wondered if this rhythm seemed a bit choppy compared to the rest:

Straight talking with some good advice -
but the socially skilled will always groan,
“Now that’s not nice!”

It felt a little forced but that's small change. Great work as always.

Thank ye and g'day.

e

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Re: PC

Post by ray miller » Tue Dec 02, 2008 10:45 am

I'm probably in a minority of one on this but I found it a bit disappointing. Started well. and "How can I fail to notice death?" is great and I liked the touch of the son's soft-topped car. The middle section I thought was weak but what I found most troublesome is that I don't see this as a PC issue. Is there a politically correct stance on how the old and frail are looked after or (fail to) care for themselves. My feeling is that there would be as many objecting to advice such as "wrapping up warm" as there would be to " braving the cold". So it seems to me that it's the giving of advice in itself (perhaps without undertaking a risk assessment) that raises hackles. Is that a PC ISSUE, good old British reserve or professionals jealously guarding their patch? Best wishes, Ray
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I contemplate such bitter stuff.

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Re: PC

Post by David » Tue Dec 02, 2008 8:35 pm

Have I read this, or something like it, before? There seems to be something familiar about the approach, but maybe it's just generic you. Nothing wrong with that.

Nicely handled again. I think the PC issue must be not mentioning death to those who might be closer to it than they'd like. Which, to be honest, could be any of us.

I especially like the knowing touch of the soft-topped car, and like Jimmie I think I recognise the origin of the closing lines in the Owl and the Pussycat.

You must be popular with the old folk round your way.

Cheers

David

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Re: PC

Post by twoleftfeet » Wed Dec 03, 2008 12:29 pm

Barrie,

Excellent poem and I wouldn't change anything except, perhaps, the title because I tend to agree with Ray:
I always think of Political Correctness in terms of saying the "right" things in order to cover your own arse
rather than having any genuine consideration for the person you are speaking to.

My suggestion would be something along the lines of the old Stanley Holloway monolgue/song
"My word you do look queer/well"l
http://www.trasksdad.com/MusicHall/Queer.html

Geoff

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Re: PC

Post by oranggunung » Thu Dec 04, 2008 6:53 pm

Barrie

Late to this. I’m not managing to stop and stare (or crit) when I drop in.

I like the sentiment and the exploration of the subject, but I find the structure too much to handle. The alternation between internal rhyme and unpaired couplets wrecks my head.

I’m sure your reading of this could address many (if not all) of the uncomfortable switches. I just can’t make it work as it is, and feel compelled to tighten the reigns on the rhythm and force the poem into a more traditional shape. It’s a bit like hearing something sung out of tune, but then one tends to know what the right tune is.

I’m not sure if I’m making any sense, so I’ll leave it there.


og

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Re: PC

Post by barrie » Fri Dec 05, 2008 10:26 am

Thanks for your replies everyone.

Just to address ray's points - It's not meant to be a comment on how the old and sick are looked after, or a complete definition of political correctness. Maybe Geoff's right and I need another title, but PC to me is just an excuse not to call a spade a spade. It's about people saying what they think others would like to hear, instead of saying what they mean.

I'm definitely open to suggestions for another title - has anyone any ideas?

David - It's one of a few that I've taken to pieces and put back together again.

Kim - I might record this one - good idea.

Og - I recorded it this morning and e-mailed it in.

Cheers all

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: PC

Post by Callum C » Sat Dec 06, 2008 11:17 am

I enjoyed this piece, first time I read it I thought there was a bit too much in the way of internal rhyme but with a subsequent reading it seemed to work. The tone fits the subject very well. I particularly enjoyed the line "How can I fail to notice Death", Larkin-esque! By way of a criticism, can stones be wizened? Can't really see that. I have to say, though I enjoyed your use of internal rhyme, stanza four seems a bit overpowered by your word choice; "scold, old, cold, soul, bone". I think if you were to modify just one or two of these it would provide a relief to the ear; the effect being that instead of actively looking for the next rhyme, the words would act on the reader's subconscious and thereby have a greater effect. Good stuff though.

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Re: PC

Post by barrie » Sun Dec 07, 2008 7:11 pm

Thanks for the comments, Callum.
Callum C wrote:By way of a criticism, can stones be wizened? Can't really see that.
- Cherry stones can.

You may have a point about the rhyme, but maybe it's just a matter of taste. You might get a better idea when the poem's in the audio section.

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: PC

Post by Elphin » Sun Dec 07, 2008 7:32 pm

How did I miss this in my recent infrequent visits?

Its you and Death again. I find myself reading it in a mimic of your accent and it works well. Im with the chaps on PC as the title - really its just Plain Talking because thats what you do. Ive just said it as a title outloud in your accent again.

I see what Callum means by Larkin-esque, I would quite like to see you shape into a more formal Larkin like structure, if it has any weakness its the changes of structure throughout.

your bowl of cherries, wizened stones and

or the cold will take you, soul and bone!”

are cracking lines

Its begging to be recorded

elph

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Re: PC

Post by barrie » Mon Dec 08, 2008 6:55 pm

Thanks Elph - It's in the audio section now under your suggested title - 'Plain Talking', so thanks for that.

Did you get my accent right?

cheers

Barrie
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Re: Plain Talking (also in the audio section) (was called PC)

Post by Elphin » Mon Dec 08, 2008 7:04 pm

Barrie

I got it spot on - great stoof!! It does work well as a verbal piece.

I need to give the audio a try.

elph

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Re: Plain Talking (also in the audio section) (was called PC)

Post by David » Mon Dec 08, 2008 7:14 pm

Right, just heard that, and enjoyed it. Can I suggest a new feature: which footballer do YOU sound like?

I don't think Barrie sounds like any o' these young fellers nowadays, at all. Maybe t' ghost of Stan Mortensen.

What do you reckon, Baz?

I must listen to more of these.

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Re: Plain Talking (also in the audio section) (was called PC)

Post by barrie » Mon Dec 08, 2008 7:40 pm

I can't think of any - the only footballer I can think of with a similar sort of accent is David Platt, he's from Chadderton (Oldham way). Mind you, he's been retired for a while now, so I'm stumped.
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: Plain Talking (also in the audio section) (was called PC)

Post by Lake » Tue Dec 09, 2008 4:07 am

Barrie,

What a marvellous reading it is,
it is,
what a marvellous reading it is!

Enjoyed your reading immensely. We don't have the luxury to listen to this voice and accent, so it is fun to listen to and it does add color to the poem. But I have to have the text in front of me while listening, or I'll get lost. :oops:

You tell the truth in the poem, some words are taboo not only in death, but also in many other areas. As it is Plain Talking, I think it is a good shape as it is.

Best,

Lake

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Re: Plain Talking (also in the audio section) (was called PC)

Post by barrie » Tue Dec 09, 2008 1:28 pm

Lake wrote:We don't have the luxury to listen to this voice and accent
- This is a new experience - no-ones ever described listening to me drone on as a luxury before.

Is that the time.....I'm late for my elocution lesson.

Thanks Lake

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Re: Plain Talking (also in the audio section) (was called PC)

Post by Oskar » Wed Dec 10, 2008 1:14 pm

barrie wrote:Is that the time.....I'm late for my elocution lesson.
Don't bother. I've just heard you in the Audio Section. You're a lost cause.

Still,it could be worse. You could have ended up sounding like George Formby.

Great accent btw!
"This is going to be a damn masterpiece, when I finish dis..." - Poeterry

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Re: Plain Talking (also in the audio section) (was called PC)

Post by barrie » Wed Dec 10, 2008 3:14 pm

Oskar wrote: Still,it could be worse. You could have ended up sounding like George Formby
- Impossible. The man was a Wiganer, sir - a damned Pie-eater, by God!

Still, it's turned out nice again.
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Re: Plain Talking (also in the audio section) (was called PC)

Post by twoleftfeet » Thu Dec 11, 2008 3:03 pm

barrie wrote:
Oskar wrote: Still,it could be worse. You could have ended up sounding like George Formby
- Impossible. The man was a Wiganer, sir - a damned Pie-eater, by God!

Still, it's turned out nice again.
Have you made the same mistake as me and bought a George Formby grill, as opposed to a
Geoorge Foreman grill?

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