Week of First Drafts - Sunday - A ten words exercise

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Week of First Drafts - Sunday - A ten words exercise

Post by bodkin » Sat Jan 09, 2010 9:41 pm

Hi all and welcome,

To repeat the rules, such as they are:

-- Each day I will post a prompt in a thread like this one.
-- You can use the prompt or go off on your own tangent, as the mood takes you
-- Post your resulting first draft into the same thread
-- Then read other people's drafts and reply with any comments or light (repeat light critique -- these are first drafts)

The idea is to do one each day, but obviously some of us have lives to get on with, it's OK to post a draft a few days late.

You shouldn't start on the day of the exercise, polish your poem for three days and then post it, however. If you have a draft that hasn't worked, post it anyway with an appeal for suggestions...

And if you have a different take on the prompt that you think people might like, then feel free to add that to the thread.
--------------------
OK first prompt:

Write a poem using the following 10 words in any way you can. Feel free to lightly mutate words (e.g. walk -> walked, song -> songs, or light -> lightly). The words are:

reading, knee, beautiful, winter, February, mosaic, minutes, hand, warm, field

--

These words are selected from an actual poem by a Famous Published Poet, I will reveal the source poem later so we can all say "well I did better than that..."
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Re: Week of First Drafts - Sunday - A ten words exercise

Post by k-j » Sun Jan 10, 2010 8:08 am

Light Critique (a sonnet about love in wintertime)

It was February and I had written
a sonnet about love in wintertime.
It didn't exactly stand out in its field: the rhyme
was woolier than a wooly mitten
after ten minutes in the care of a kitten;
the imagery was a mosaic of murk. I'm
quite sure it was nearer ridiculous than sublime;
it was one of the worst poems in Britain.

Before I'd finished reading, you said you thought
it was touching and tender and beautiful,
and put your warm hand on my knee...
OK, so you were just being dutiful
but I wasn't too distraught:
you were being dutiful to me.
fine words butter no parsnips

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Re: Week of First Drafts - Sunday - A ten words exercise

Post by bodkin » Sun Jan 10, 2010 10:06 am

Hi k-j,

congratulations on being the very first, and a sonnet no-less! I like your rhymes here: beautiful/dutiful is very clever...

but kitten/mitten I think I've heard before :-)

Ian
Last edited by bodkin on Sun Jan 10, 2010 10:19 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Week of First Drafts - Sunday - A ten words exercise

Post by bodkin » Sun Jan 10, 2010 10:18 am

Cool customer

In this season there is no point
bending my knee,
reaching for her hand,
but she is so beautiful.

February has brought elements of chill
to shade the mosaic of her emotion.
Many times, while reading,
she breaks for minutes
staring from a warm room
through the winter window
at a plain white field.
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Re: Week of First Drafts - Sunday - A ten words exercise

Post by brianedwards » Sun Jan 10, 2010 4:45 pm

You Do It To Yourself

Nothing pricks his bubble like a mosaic
sucks all warmth from his overzealous hands
as reminder of his beautiful mistake.

Not skinny-dipping in a Winter lake,
not February's treacle on his gland,
no, nothing pricks his bubble like a mosaic.

Behind the fuzziness, young buttocks shake
as buzzing tools deliver dark demands
that remind him of such pitiful mistakes

as weekend dreams of a teeny-weeny embrace
with barely woman enough to call him a man.
Oh nothing pricks this bubble like mosaics:

he's reading knees, deliberately placed snakes
uncrossing, flashing: dirty helping hands,
reminders of the glorious mistake

that costs him every minute of the chase
through foreign fields and unforgiving lands.
Nothing pricks his bubble how mosaics
remind him of that one marital mistake.








~

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Re: Week of First Drafts - Sunday - A ten words exercise

Post by bodkin » Sun Jan 10, 2010 6:13 pm

Hi Brian,

A villanelle, and darker than the wistfulness they often invoke... nice one!

--

I hope nobody's getting scared off by the fact that we've had a sonnet and an villanelle already...

Ian
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Re: Week of First Drafts - Sunday - A ten words exercise

Post by Ros » Sun Jan 10, 2010 6:38 pm

Collection

She finds it simple
to state the obvious:
February is a winter’s field,
your hand a mosaic
of lethargic moments
waiting for the thaw.

It’s harder for her
to see why you should call
these minutes beautiful,
read desire in the flexing
of a knee, find warmth
in the drumming of her fingers.

She’s wrapped up like a parcel,
seemingly to gain immunity
from frost but hidden also
from your feeble ardour,
hanging round the doorstep
with a label that says ‘elsewhere’.
Rosencrantz: What are you playing at? Guildenstern: Words. Words. They're all we have to go on.
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Re: Week of First Drafts - Sunday - A ten words exercise

Post by bodkin » Sun Jan 10, 2010 6:42 pm

Killer last line Ros!
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Re: Week of First Drafts - Sunday - A ten words exercise

Post by Ros » Sun Jan 10, 2010 6:45 pm

Thanks!

Given that these probably aren't the first words we'd think to use in a short poem, I'm impressed by the quality so far! Well, ok, slightly disturbed by Brian's...
Rosencrantz: What are you playing at? Guildenstern: Words. Words. They're all we have to go on.
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Re: Week of First Drafts - Sunday - A ten words exercise

Post by camus » Sun Jan 10, 2010 7:00 pm

White Winter Hymnal

whilst kneeling in-between the lines
february fell away, simply snapped off
and what was left - but minutes - mosaic

field-like minutes, patches of time
till the train, winter-cold, neglects the
beautiful bent body.

a hand, blood-warm, waves goodbye.
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Re: Week of First Drafts - Sunday - A ten words exercise

Post by camus » Sun Jan 10, 2010 7:09 pm

Cool customer

Nice and simple. An economic use of given words. Enjoyed.

Although not sure how a "chill" would "shade"?
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Re: Week of First Drafts - Sunday - A ten words exercise

Post by ray miller » Sun Jan 10, 2010 7:28 pm

Mosaic

She fields the familiar February question:
here comes Dad's birthday and what shall we get him?
Last year they made a photographic mosaic,
a diary of warmness to winter's decaying;
the feeding of bottles and reading of stories,
my hair set in bobbles and children guffawing;
teaching the beautiful game in the garden,
counting the minutes left on the vacation;
shaking the hand of the boyfriend who's stopping
and wondering whether or not they use johnnies.
My long dark waves are grown snowy and thinning
like this worshipping congregation that's risen
off knees as if all their sins were forgiven,
and I a declining church or religion.
I'm out of faith and in my cups
I contemplate such bitter stuff.

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Re: Week of First Drafts - Sunday - A ten words exercise

Post by Raine » Sun Jan 10, 2010 8:01 pm

I found this quite difficult. I'm very familiar with the piece that the prompt words were taken from so the original poem kept wending its way through my mind in an annoying and thoroughly distracting manor. That's my excuse anyway. :mrgreen:

Might be better to pluck random prompt words straight from the dictionary. What do you think ?



See-through Luck

The reading promises wealth and more:
A beautiful stranger, cold hands, warm heart
‘seen as clear as day,’ she says, for
seven minutes and twenty five pounds.
She rubs her knee and gleefully counts.
(Notes - More modern that cross-palm silver)
Winter bills bite! February finds field experts
touting coloured glass. Buy now!- for luck my dear,
or better yet, collect for the construction of mosaics.


.
All aspects of language are tools of the poet; line-broken narrative serves an intent.
Take cliché, miss pelling and hyphen'd syllabics. Mould them with form and artistic intent. :-)

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Re: Week of First Drafts - Sunday - A ten words exercise

Post by bodkin » Sun Jan 10, 2010 8:18 pm

camus wrote:Cool customer

Nice and simple. An economic use of given words. Enjoyed.

Although not sure how a "chill" would "shade"?
Shade as in "colour", not as in "shadow..."

Or so I hoped to say :-)
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Re: Week of First Drafts - Sunday - A ten words exercise

Post by Raine » Sun Jan 10, 2010 8:38 pm

.

Ros,
This doesn’t read like a first draft and I agree that the last two lines are wonderful.

Camus,
Succinct: In the nicest way. Sometimes this kind of write can be too brief or annoyingly sketchy but I think you’ve hit the nail on the head with here. The prompt words have been put to excellent use. I wouldn’t change a word of it. Sometimes, quite rarely, the first draft really should be the only draft.

Brianedwards,
Technically: Very good
I’d like to comment on the content - but I’m a little scared. :mrgreen: Fantastic impact!

Ray,
I adore the sentiment and the last four lines are great. I think there could be more to this somewhere in the middle perhaps. I have a feeling that the finished piece may end up quite a bit longer.


.
All aspects of language are tools of the poet; line-broken narrative serves an intent.
Take cliché, miss pelling and hyphen'd syllabics. Mould them with form and artistic intent. :-)

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Re: Week of First Drafts - Sunday - A ten words exercise

Post by bodkin » Sun Jan 10, 2010 8:44 pm

camus wrote:White Winter Hymnal

whilst kneeling in-between the lines
february fell away, simply snapped off
and what was left - but minutes - mosaic

field-like minutes, patches of time
till the train, winter-cold, neglects the
beautiful bent body.

a hand, blood-warm, waves goodbye.
Love February snapping off...

and I'm always a sucker for poems that dissect the nature of time,

not so sure about the usage of mosaic.

Enjoyable,

Ian
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Re: Week of First Drafts - Sunday - A ten words exercise

Post by bodkin » Sun Jan 10, 2010 9:09 pm

ray miller wrote:Mosaic

She fields the familiar February question:
here comes Dad's birthday and what shall we get him?
Last year they made a photographic mosaic,
a diary of warmness to winter's decaying;
the feeding of bottles and reading of stories,
my hair set in bobbles and children guffawing;
teaching the beautiful game in the garden,
counting the minutes left on the vacation;
shaking the hand of the boyfriend who's stopping
and wondering whether or not they use johnnies.
My long dark waves are grown snowy and thinning
like this worshipping congregation that's risen
off knees as if all their sins were forgiven,
and I a declining church or religion.
Hi Ray,

I like how you've focussed on a family occasion here and filled it with personal moments. I like the slightly sad note at the end too!

Ian
http://www.ianbadcoe.uk/

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Re: Week of First Drafts - Sunday - A ten words exercise

Post by bodkin » Sun Jan 10, 2010 9:12 pm

Hi Raine,
Raine wrote:I found this quite difficult. I'm very familiar with the piece that the prompt words were taken from so the original poem kept wending its way through my mind in an annoying and thoroughly distracting manor. That's my excuse anyway. :mrgreen:

Might be better to pluck random prompt words straight from the dictionary. What do you think ?
I have tried it with completely random words and it was surprising how much harder it was.

Possibly any piece of prose would do as a source of words, however.

Next time Road Transport Act, 1932...



See-through Luck

The reading promises wealth and more:
A beautiful stranger, cold hands, warm heart
‘seen as clear as day,’ she says, for
seven minutes and twenty five pounds.
She rubs her knee and gleefully counts.
(Notes - More modern that cross-palm silver)
Winter bills bite! February finds field experts
touting coloured glass. Buy now!- for luck my dear,
or better yet, collect for the construction of mosaics.

.
At first I assumed the focus was on the customer, but as I read on I shifted my attention to the fortune teller...

I like the concentrated nature of this, how you outline her situation in such a small block of text.

Ian
http://www.ianbadcoe.uk/

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Re: Week of First Drafts - Sunday - A ten words exercise

Post by zootsuitmod » Sun Jan 10, 2010 10:50 pm

Snowscape

More snow falls on the sugar coated fields.
Listen to the cornflour crunch,
which every foot fall yields,
Forging on my freezing way,
across the bright white wealds.

Oaks stand sentry, cloaked in their winter clothes,
While small angelic snowflakes
Melt kisses on my nose.
Such beauty that surrounds me,
Which helps me to compose.

Safe home, behind mosaic frosted glass
Kaleidoscopic splendour,
Which cannot be surpassed .
Standing by the roaring fire
To warm my hands and arse.

In warmth I dream; book resting on my knee,
February and a thaw,
Green shoots I long to see.
Minutes reading turn to hours
Does Wordsworth hold the key?
[center]A poem will always find someone for whom it works and to whom it means something [/center]

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Re: Week of First Drafts - Sunday - A ten words exercise

Post by zootsuitmod » Sun Jan 10, 2010 11:08 pm

ray miller wrote:Mosaic

She fields the familiar February question:
here comes Dad's birthday and what shall we get him?
Last year they made a photographic mosaic,
a diary of warmness to winter's decaying;
the feeding of bottles and reading of stories,
my hair set in bobbles and children guffawing;
teaching the beautiful game in the garden,
counting the minutes left on the vacation;
shaking the hand of the boyfriend who's stopping
and wondering whether or not they use johnnies.
My long dark waves are grown snowy and thinning
like this worshipping congregation that's risen
off knees as if all their sins were forgiven,
and I a declining church or religion.
I liked this, whymsical to begin with a darker tone towards the end. A metaphor for life perhaps?
Afraid I sniggered at the use of johnnies..........sorry
[center]A poem will always find someone for whom it works and to whom it means something [/center]

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Re: Week of First Drafts - Sunday - A ten words exercise

Post by brianedwards » Mon Jan 11, 2010 1:37 am

ray miller wrote:Mosaic

She fields the familiar February question:
here comes Dad's birthday and what shall we get him?
Last year they made a photographic mosaic,
a diary of warmness to winter's decaying;
the feeding of bottles and reading of stories,
my hair set in bobbles and children guffawing;
teaching the beautiful game in the garden,
counting the minutes left on the vacation;
shaking the hand of the boyfriend who's stopping
and wondering whether or not they use johnnies.
My long dark waves are grown snowy and thinning
like this worshipping congregation that's risen
off knees as if all their sins were forgiven,
and I a declining church or religion.

Splendid.

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Re: Week of First Drafts - Sunday - A ten words exercise

Post by anniecat » Mon Jan 11, 2010 2:55 am

The February skies above
twinkled with diamond stars,
below in a white frosted field
minutes turned to hours,
a girl this winter night
was reading from a book,
balanced upon her knee
wrapped and bound in leather,
soft and warm in her hand, this
beautiful study of mosaic.
Last edited by anniecat on Mon Jan 11, 2010 1:31 pm, edited 1 time in total.
It always happens when you least expect it. AC

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Re: Week of First Drafts - Sunday - A ten words exercise

Post by ray miller » Mon Jan 11, 2010 11:29 am

k-j's poem, although some of the rhymes were obviously meant to make us cringe,I thought it had a lot of charm especially the ending.

bodkin, I'm afraid it read like a poem in which you were obliged to squeeze certain words. Sure you can make it a lot better.

Brian, February's treacle on his gland? he's reading knees, deliberately placed snakes? Are we in a porn film?

Ros, I didn't take much to the first verse but the remainder is very excellent, I think.

camus, feel about this as I did about bodkin's. What's more, I don't understand it!

Raine, I like this. Strange, the different directions we take, this was a great idea though I thought it petered out last few lines.

zootsuitmod, See, where I come from glass and surpassed wouldn't rhyme with arse. Apart from the last verse it's nicely winter pastoral but I think it falls away at the end.

anniecat, good effort. You'd want February skies, not sky's."warm to touch by hand" is a bit of an unnatural formulation.
I'm out of faith and in my cups
I contemplate such bitter stuff.

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Re: Week of First Drafts - Sunday - A ten words exercise

Post by anniecat » Mon Jan 11, 2010 1:36 pm

Thanks Ray, all noted i have changed... skies and changed.. soft and warm in her hand but i have two and above each other. :D
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Re: Week of First Drafts - Sunday - A ten words exercise

Post by camus » Mon Jan 11, 2010 2:52 pm

Hey Ray
What's more, I don't understand it!


Ok, well it's about someone losing sense of time and space when they are about to be run over by a train. It's a jolly suicide poem. As for the obligation of squeezing certain words in, goddam it, I took the prompt literally and did exactly that. I see what you're saying of course, but it is a first draft! Some poems do not seem to be first drafts, they read as though they've been worked on...

cheers
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