Lest We Forget - (Making Bets....chopped)

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barrie
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Lest We Forget - (Making Bets....chopped)

Post by barrie » Fri Nov 14, 2008 8:37 pm

Edited version

The clinging mud
of Ypres
played for keeps.

The grumbling guns
of France
met each advance.

In crawling shrouds
of gas,
throat-torn gasps.

A blown-off leg,
or face:
no disgrace

Bold promises
of peace,
never cease.

The odds-on bet?
They will forget.

...........................

First version -

The clinging mud
of Ypres
played for keeps:
with death the best bet.

Lest we forget.

The grumbling guns
of France
met each advance:
lost hope the best bet.

Lest we forget.

In crawling shrouds
of gas,
throat-torn gasps:
there was no best bet.

Lest we forget.

A blown-off leg
or arm,
where's the harm?
Each lost in one bet.

Lest we forget.

Yet promises
of peace,
never cease.
And the odds-on bet?

They will forget.
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: Making Bets

Post by R. Broath » Fri Nov 14, 2008 9:04 pm

barrie, I think this would work without the last line in each stanza. As it is it is working too hard to sustain the betting image. I have a fondness for this subject and think this delivers as below - and even the title could survive.

The clinging mud
of Ypres
played for keeps.

Lest we forget.

The grumbling guns
of France
met each advance.

Lest we forget.

In crawling shrouds
of gas,
throat-torn gasps.

Lest we forget.

A blown-off leg
or arm,
where's the harm?

Lest we forget.

Yet promises
of peace,
never cease.

The odds on bet?
They will forget.


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Re: Making Bets

Post by Lake » Sat Nov 15, 2008 7:00 am

Barrie,

I find this very sharp.

Yet promises
of peace,
never cease.


That's because promises are easy to make. Enjoyed the sonics here.

Thanks,

Lake

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Re: Making Bets

Post by David » Sat Nov 15, 2008 9:34 am

Very good, but I think RB's suggestion is an excellent one. It sets the poem free, where the "bets" line at the end of each stanza is - well, I was going to say like a lanket, but lanket seems to be defined nowhere on the World Wide Web. I think it's the rope you put round a sheep's back legs to stop it getting over hedges, but I digress ...

I like it, but with RB's amendments I really like it.

Cheers

David

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Re: Making Bets

Post by twoleftfeet » Sat Nov 15, 2008 7:25 pm

Barrie,

"Where's the harm?"
-Sorry to say it but IMHO this line is letting the whole piece down:
("Where's the 'arm?" "Over there in the crater?" "What's this ear then?")

Otherwise it's really rather good.

Mr Picky
and another vote for RB's suggestion

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Re: Making Bets

Post by Sharra » Sat Nov 15, 2008 8:53 pm

I liked this a lot, especially 'In crawling shrouds / of gas, /throat-torn gasps:' very powerful stuff.
I also agree with RB about chopping those lines - so many of us agreeing, what's going on? :)
I'm also not sure about stanza 4, I assume this is the cynical voice, but it feels almost flippant and anachronistic, whereas the other stanzas feel firmly rooted in the conflict. (If that makes sense -I'm not sure if Ive explained what I mean ok) - the change in voice jars me. You could get away with just chopping that stanza :)
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petal that love waits

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Re: Making Bets

Post by barrie » Sun Nov 16, 2008 3:42 pm

Thanks Jimmy - It seems that everyone's in agreement here - me included. I've gone a little further and removed Lest they forget from in between each verse and used it for the title.
I've altered the 'where's the harm' verse after reading Geoff's comment - I hope this one doesn't come across as too cynical - but the rulers of this land fit for heroes welcomed back the crippled men and found them work selling matches and bootlaces on street corners, or stuck them in asylums to be 'cured' by experimental methods. They taught them how to make baskets as well. Oh yes, and they gave them all a medal.

Thanks everyone for your opion here - point taken.

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: Lest We Forget - (Making Bets....chopped)

Post by oranggunung » Sun Nov 16, 2008 3:56 pm

Barrie

This staccato structure and rat-a-tat rhythm suits the subject very well. The removal of the ‘chorus’ has strengthened the piece, imo.

I like the sentiment for the last verse, but the reduced format abandons the rhythm. Would something like

Though they haven’t
done it yet,
they’ll forget.

Keep the rhythm and the sentiment?


og

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Re: Lest We Forget - (Making Bets....chopped)

Post by R. Broath » Sun Nov 16, 2008 5:57 pm

It's a lovely piece, barrie, and I think it reads well with the altered structure. It's a subject which still rankles with many of us far removed from the torment and I think this would fit well with any corpus of work dedicated to the pity of war.

Jimmy

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Re: Lest We Forget - (Making Bets....chopped)

Post by juliadebeauvoir » Sun Nov 16, 2008 6:30 pm

Barrie,
Second revision much better. "Lest we forget." didn't deliver after each verse. I think paring it down keeps the reader's mind on each moment of war--each remembrance.
All my 'moments of war' were from a distance--textbooks, movies or CNN news. But my grandfather served in the navy in WWII and wouldn't talk about it. I was too young and naive to think to ask--my loss.

Some favorite lines:
The clinging mud
of Ypres
played for keeps.
The "Yp" in Ypres and the 'played for keeps" works well.
In crawling shrouds
of gas,
throat-torn gasps.

A blown-off leg,
or face:
no disgrace
Vivid imagery without over doing it.
Bold promises
of peace,
never cease.
Again, bold promises come from politicians who never go to war themselves. Something has to change.

Cheers,
Kim
"Freedom is what you do with what's been done to you."

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Re: Lest We Forget - (Making Bets....chopped)

Post by beautifulloser » Mon Nov 17, 2008 9:39 am

Very succinct, Baz. I like it. I remember during the whole week I was paying (perhaps too much) attention to those sporting a poppy. Harrowing number too busy with energy bills and X-Factor, maybe? Good one - and the only one on the subject, I guess despite my previous comment I didn't rummage enough for the right words. Revision much better, mate. Cheers.

big love

me
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Re: Lest We Forget - (Making Bets....chopped)

Post by dedalus » Mon Nov 17, 2008 10:52 am

The revised version, barrie, comes across as much much better than the first while retaining all the central ideas and images. The last line is a killer! True, too, unfortunately.

Bren

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Re: Lest We Forget - (Making Bets....chopped)

Post by Danté » Mon Nov 17, 2008 4:44 pm

Barrie,

I think you have dealt with a difficult subject in a well thought out manner. The revised version is even better and says what it needs to. It would be very easy to over write this subject, it´s refreshing to read a peice that is fitting rather than a display of the writer´s repertoire.

Another fine write

regards

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

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Re: Lest We Forget - (Making Bets....chopped)

Post by Elphin » Mon Nov 17, 2008 4:58 pm

barrie

A rare visit for me right now but just to say the revision is excellent.

A great use of rhyme/half rhyme with Ypres/keeps the best. I think the revised last couplet is partic good and makes me wonder whether you should keep Making Bets as the title or maybe The Odds on Bet - I think the latter would be very much in the style of the war poets.

One stanza Im not sure about

A blown-off leg,
or face:
no disgrace


It has me thinking that obviously its not a disgrace to be injured and thinking should this stanza perhaps refer to something that may appear to be a disgrace (e.g. cowardice) but in the circumstances is not. Just something for you to ponder.

Excellence

elph

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Re: Lest We Forget - (Making Bets....chopped)

Post by barrie » Tue Nov 18, 2008 10:29 pm

Thanks a lot for your comments everyone - they're much appreciated.

og - If I start the last verse with 'and' , it'll have the same number of syllables as the rest of the verses - How's that?

'And the odds-on bet?
They will forget.'


Elph - about the title. I had intended to keep the original, but after getting rid of 'lest we forget' in between verses I lost the contrast with the last line - now the contrast is in the title.

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: Lest We Forget - (Making Bets....chopped)

Post by David » Wed Nov 19, 2008 8:58 pm

Sure is a humdinger now. (Maybe I should call it a whizzbang.)

Good on you for adopting Jimmy's excellent suggestions. He's helped you make this really good.

Cheers

David

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Re: Lest We Forget - (Making Bets....chopped)

Post by barrie » Thu Nov 20, 2008 9:47 am

Thanks David - Yes, you're right, most of the credit must go to Jimmy.

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: Lest We Forget - (Making Bets....chopped)

Post by David » Thu Nov 20, 2008 3:52 pm

barrie wrote:Thanks David - Yes, you're right, most of the credit must go to Jimmy.

Barrie
I'm not sure that was what I was trying to say. I thought Jimmy's suggestions were very helpful, but all he did was streamline the model you built. A great work of collaboration, I'd say. Take a bow, both of you.

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