Adios

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TrevorConway
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Adios

Post by TrevorConway » Sun Apr 05, 2020 8:20 pm

NEW DRAFT

Adios

Corners uncrowded,
the slender length of a skirting board
lacks the punctuation gathered
over a clump of years:
TV, desk, bookshelf, guitar,
all had a hand in my thoughts.

Galway sheltered me – fourteen years;
now, it nudges me away
through morning cold,
with cracked hands on the bus to Shannon,
a tranquil child and a wife
wrapped in thought
at the hours ahead.

Nicole is quiet in my arms
as the plane breaks through cloud
like a fish leaping clear of the sea.
I was quiet once,
for twenty-odd years,
shy as a Sligo field.
In time, I gained a thicker throat.

When we land,
Catalunya is restless
with hills and voices, Roman stone
like spilt seeds of ancient ambition,
and we must join the clamour
with two great bags heavy as dolmens.
Sandra has packed
the baby-sized things,
my books responsible for the weight.

The wind is more Irish than we could’ve imagined,
so I pull the hood of Nicole’s buggy,
snug as a snail shell,
ignorant yet of the months we’ll spend without wifi or phone,
the restless cañas.
Most of all, I can’t see
our rickety emotions
or the hair-and-muscle flowering of our child.

From a footbridge, we smell the sea
and watch the wind provoke the waves
to foamy delirium,
too treacherous for swimming yet.
Soon, the Mediterranean will calm,
cajoled to new humour by the sun,
and this city might feel like home.


OLD DRAFT


Adios

Corners uncrowded,
the slender length of a skirting board
lacks the punctuation gathered
over a mossy clump of years.
An absent TV, desk and guitar
are evidence I’m willing to forget.
All
is simple,
pared
to the roots,
ready to renew on foreign terrain.

Adios to family,
to a housemate and friend
who shared our home with a newborn.
Galway sheltered me for fourteen years.
Now, it nudges me away
through morning cold,
with cracked hands on the bus to Shannon,
a tranquil child and a wife
wrapped in thought
at the hours ahead,
two bags like stone monuments
stolen from Easter Island.
Sandra has packed
baby-sized things,
my books responsible
for the weight.

Nicole is quiet in my arms
as the plane seeks communion with clouds,
breaking through like a fish leaping clear of the sea.
I was quiet once,
for twenty-odd years,
silent as Sligo fields.
Shy streams and country roads twitched my pen.
Of course, I gained a thicker throat,
absorbed the acts of other men
and grew in volume.
Below us now,
Catalunya is restless
with hills and voices,
and we must join the clamour.

In Tarragona,
Roman stone
sprouts like growth from spilt seeds of ancient ambition.
The wind is more Irish than we could’ve imagined,
so I pull the hood of Nicole’s buggy,
snug as a snail shell,
ignorant yet of the voices that rumble
like public announcements through streets at night,
the months we’ll spend without wifi or phone,
the dogged sun, the cañas and jarras,
the buying of bits,
the shops’ siestas,
restaurant kitchens all closed.
Most of all, I can’t see
my rickety emotions
or the hair-and-muscle flowering of our child.

From a bridge built to link water and city,
I watch the wind provoke the waves
to foamy delirium.
Too treacherous for swimming yet,
soon, the Mediterranean will calm,
cajoled to new humour by the sun,
and in time,
we’ll feel at home.
Last edited by TrevorConway on Mon Jun 08, 2020 9:33 am, edited 1 time in total.

NotQuiteSure
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Re: Adios

Post by NotQuiteSure » Mon Apr 06, 2020 11:50 am

.
Hi Trevor,
a lot to like her, and a lot that gets in the way :)
Unfair, perhaps, to single out a line but
The wind is more Irish than we could’ve imagined,
is just wonderful

Not keen on the title. Would have preferred whatever goodbye is in Irish (then having variations in various languages through the poem,
if necessary.) Also, not sure the short lines suit the piece. There's a nice flow that the form seems to interrupt.

Some cut and paste suggestions


Galway sheltered me fourteen years.
Now, it nudges me away through morning cold,

- not keen on 'nudges', seems overused to me.
(now it's showing me the door, through morning cold)
on the bus to Shannon, with cracked hands
a tranquil child and a wife wrapped in thought

- I like the stone monuments idea, but find 'Easter Island' unnecessarily distracting. Isn't there something Irish that could replace them?
And it would help to know where the bags are, I think.
two (cases, big as causeway basalt, mark a boundary
at her feet A line we'll cross.)

Sandra has packed baby-sized things,
all the weight comes from my books

Nicole is quiet in my arms. I was quiet once,
for twenty years
, as silent as a Sligo field.
Of course, I gained a thicker throat since then,
absorbed the acts of other men and grown in volume.
- don't think 'acts' works in this context. Should be something material, I think.

when we land Catalunya is restless
The wind more Irish than we could’ve imagined,

worn edges of Roman stone sprout, like seeds
of ancient ambition. I pull the hood of Nicole’s buggy,

[feels like you could add more here]
- not sure about 'of' (and 'roman stone' seems a bit misleading, geographically speaking).
I get lost on the rest of this verse. It's mainly a list, and is a rather flat read.

- I like this ending, just not sure how you get to it.
In Tarragona, cajoled to new humour
by the sun, in time, we’ll feel at home.



Regards, Not


.

TrevorConway
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Re: Adios

Post by TrevorConway » Mon Apr 06, 2020 8:03 pm

Thanks very much for the feedback, Not. And yep, I thought it probable does have a lot of fat, but wanted to see what's fattiest to others' eyes :D Thanks for pointing out so many specifics.

It'll take time to digest it all and go at another draft, but my gut reaction is that I like the variations in various languages idea and an Irish equivalent of Easter Island statues (dolmens will do that job). And you maybe well be right about it being too listy in the second-last verse. I suppose that could be fairly inevitable when I want to mention things of particular personal significance, but it's up to me to make them interesting to a general reader (since it's a poem, not a diary entry!) or ditch them.

Re the Roman stone, Tarragona, where we live, is famous for its incorporation of so much of its Roman past (it was the Roman capital of the Iberian Peninsula), and lots of old Roman rock and pillars/walls are dotted around the place.

Again, Not, your input and generosity have been a great help. Thanks so much.

T

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Re: Adios

Post by NotQuiteSure » Tue Apr 07, 2020 10:29 am

.
Hi Trevor,
Re, re the Roman stone - it's the phrase not the image that slowed me, perhaps something like
In Tarragona,
Imperial Rome
still sprouts like growth ...

might be a little clearer? (Though 'sprouts like growth' needs a second look!)

Nice idea about dolmen, that should definitely do that job.

since it's a poem, not a diary entry! ... Well, I didn't want to be the one to say :)

Regards, Not


.

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Re: Adios

Post by Macavity » Wed Apr 08, 2020 5:34 am

hi Trevor
The wind is more Irish than we could’ve imagined
Yes, agree with Not, worth the entrance fee.
All
is simple,
pared
to the roots,
I feel your habit of paring down length lines is a mode that fragments in a longer poem and disjoints the read.
a tranquil child and a wife
wrapped in thought
at the hours ahead
This kind of delivery felt like diary entry.
the hair-and-muscle flowering of our child.
That kind of line I find more creative and challenging.

I'm not convinced your long poems are an effective means for your talents or bring focus to your intent. The voice becomes samey, or flat as someone said on another poem, there is not a soundscape or there are not rhythms there to sustain the poem.

hope that helps some

best

mac

TrevorConway
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Re: Adios

Post by TrevorConway » Wed Apr 08, 2020 8:01 am

Thanks a million for the feedback and clear examples to illustrate, Mac. Appreciate it. Yes, I'll have to look at the overall flow again. Lots of these poems are second drafts, and it often takes a later draft (ideally with feedback from helpful souls such as yourself) to cut it to its final, more sleek shape where necessary.

Thanks again,

T

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Re: Adios

Post by ray miller » Wed Apr 08, 2020 10:46 am

I like the punctuated skirting board very much. The mossy clump of years is a bit bland in comparison.
If you're looking to cut then I wouldn't miss these lines -
Adios to family,
to a housemate and friend
who shared our home with a newborn.

I was quiet once, - I like the line, but "silent" comes too closely after.

Of course, I gained a thicker throat, - better without "Of course"?

From a bridge built to link water and city, - I'd be interested to learn how it differs from your common and garden bridge that links land to land.
I'm out of faith and in my cups
I contemplate such bitter stuff.

TrevorConway
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Re: Adios

Post by TrevorConway » Wed Apr 08, 2020 10:52 am

Cheers, Ray! Some very good feedback to get there.

All the best, and chat soon.

Stay safe,

T

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Re: Adios

Post by David » Wed Apr 08, 2020 12:52 pm

TrevorConway wrote:
Mon Apr 06, 2020 8:03 pm
And yep, I thought it probable does have a lot of fat, but wanted to see what's fattiest to others' eyes
Well, I don't usually like to nip and tuck too much - or at all - in people's poems, as they have conceived them, but that reads like an open invitation in this case. So, here's what you're left with if I give my eye for fat free rein ...

Adios to family,
to a housemate and friend
who shared our home with a newborn.
Galway sheltered me for fourteen years.
Now, it nudges me away
through morning cold,
with cracked hands on the bus to Shannon,
a tranquil child and a wife
wrapped in thought
at the hours ahead,
two bags like stone monuments
stolen from Easter Island.

Nicole is quiet in my arms
as the plane seeks communion with clouds,
breaking through like a fish leaping clear of the sea.
I was quiet once,
for twenty-odd years,
silent as Sligo fields.
Shy streams and country roads twitched my pen.
Below us now,
Catalunya is restless
with hills and voices,
and we must join the clamour.

In Tarragona,
Roman stone
sprouts like growth from spilt seeds of ancient ambition.
The wind is more Irish than we could’ve imagined,
so I pull the hood of Nicole’s buggy,
snug as a snail shell,
ignorant yet of the voices that rumble
like public announcements through streets at night,
the months we’ll spend without wifi or phone,
the dogged sun, the cañas and jarras,
the buying of bits,
the shops’ siestas,
restaurant kitchens all closed.

From a bridge built to link water and city,
I watch the wind provoke the waves
to foamy delirium.
Too treacherous for swimming yet,
soon, the Mediterranean will calm,
cajoled to new humour by the sun,
and in time,
we’ll feel at home.

TrevorConway
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Re: Adios

Post by TrevorConway » Wed Apr 08, 2020 1:03 pm

Cheers, David!

I appreciate the feedback. I'll give it at least a few weeks before digesting all the feedback and getting stuck into another draft. Your suggestions will be of great use when doing so.

Thanks again, and hope all is well.

T
David wrote:
Wed Apr 08, 2020 12:52 pm
TrevorConway wrote:
Mon Apr 06, 2020 8:03 pm
And yep, I thought it probable does have a lot of fat, but wanted to see what's fattiest to others' eyes
Well, I don't usually like to nip and tuck too much - or at all - in people's poems, as they have conceived them, but that reads like an open invitation in this case. So, here's what you're left with if I give my eye for fat free rein ...

Adios to family,
to a housemate and friend
who shared our home with a newborn.
Galway sheltered me for fourteen years.
Now, it nudges me away
through morning cold,
with cracked hands on the bus to Shannon,
a tranquil child and a wife
wrapped in thought
at the hours ahead,
two bags like stone monuments
stolen from Easter Island.

Nicole is quiet in my arms
as the plane seeks communion with clouds,
breaking through like a fish leaping clear of the sea.
I was quiet once,
for twenty-odd years,
silent as Sligo fields.
Shy streams and country roads twitched my pen.
Below us now,
Catalunya is restless
with hills and voices,
and we must join the clamour.

In Tarragona,
Roman stone
sprouts like growth from spilt seeds of ancient ambition.
The wind is more Irish than we could’ve imagined,
so I pull the hood of Nicole’s buggy,
snug as a snail shell,
ignorant yet of the voices that rumble
like public announcements through streets at night,
the months we’ll spend without wifi or phone,
the dogged sun, the cañas and jarras,
the buying of bits,
the shops’ siestas,
restaurant kitchens all closed.

From a bridge built to link water and city,
I watch the wind provoke the waves
to foamy delirium.
Too treacherous for swimming yet,
soon, the Mediterranean will calm,
cajoled to new humour by the sun,
and in time,
we’ll feel at home.

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Firebird
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Re: Adios

Post by Firebird » Fri Apr 10, 2020 10:25 pm

Hi Trev,

I really like the first two stanzas as David has them, but still think the poem looses engagement and a certain flow at the stanza that start with ‘In Tarragona’.

Hope this helps.

Cheers,

Tristan

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Re: Adios

Post by ton321 » Sat Apr 11, 2020 12:35 am

Corners uncrowded,
the slender length of a skirting board
lacks the punctuation gathered
over a mossy clump of years.
An absent TV, desk and guitar
are evidence I’m willing to forget.
All
is simple,
pared
to the roots,
ready to renew on foreign terrain.

Adios to family,
to a housemate and friend
who shared our home with a newborn.
Galway sheltered me for fourteen years.
Now, it nudges me away
through morning cold,
with cracked hands on the bus to Shannon,
a tranquil child and a wife
wrapped in thought
at the hours ahead,....... if it was me i would end the stanza here


two bags like stone monuments................not sure i get this connection, seems a bit forced
stolen from Easter Island.
Sandra has packed
baby-sized things,
my books responsible
for the weight. ........................................i just think the last 6 lines just seem unnecessary

Nicole is quiet in my arms
as the plane seeks communion with clouds,
breaking through like a fish leaping clear of the sea.
I was quiet once,
for twenty-odd years,
silent as Sligo fields.
Shy streams and country roads twitched my pen.
Of course, I gained a thicker throat,
absorbed the acts of other men
and grew in volume.
Below us now,
Catalunya is restless
with hills and voices,
and we must join the clamour.

In Tarragona,
Roman stone
sprouts like growth from spilt seeds of ancient ambition.
The wind is more Irish than we could’ve imagined,............. loved this line
so I pull the hood of Nicole’s buggy,
snug as a snail shell, ......................... i like the sibilants on this line
ignorant yet of the voices that rumble
like public announcements through streets at night,
the months we’ll spend without wifi or phone,
the dogged sun, the cañas and jarras,
the buying of bits,
the shops’ siestas,
restaurant kitchens all closed.
Most of all, I can’t see
my rickety emotions
or the hair-and-muscle flowering of our child.

From a bridge built to link water and city,
I watch the wind provoke the waves
to foamy delirium.
Too treacherous for swimming yet,
soon, the Mediterranean will calm,
cajoled to new humour by the sun,
and in time,
we’ll feel at home.


Hi trevor,

I really liked this piece. The tone and calmness of it reminded me of how Derek Walcott writes, with a moving towards something. Could do with trimming
but for me the line breaks work well, add to the progression,
Tony
Counting the beats,
Counting the slow heart beats,
The bleeding to death of time in slow heart beats,
Wakeful they lie.

Robert Graves

TrevorConway
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Re: Adios

Post by TrevorConway » Sat Apr 11, 2020 7:49 am

Tristan and Tony,

Thanks very much for the feedback. Loads to mull over here. It did feel originally like it should be a slowish, rolling poem a la Walcott when I wrote it first, but I do realise it needs some cutting. All the feedback has been hugely helpful.

Thanks again,

T

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Re: Adios

Post by TrevorConway » Mon Jun 08, 2020 9:34 am

Hi all,

Just posted a new draft of this above, for anyone who's interested. Decent bit of cutting and moving was done.

Thanks again for all yere help.

T

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Re: Adios

Post by NotQuiteSure » Mon Jun 08, 2020 11:15 am

.
Hi T.
I like some of the new additions, L5-6 for instance, but I think the 'baby' elements, particularly
towards the end, are padding, and the ending (being a new beginning) is (perhaps unavoidably)
not that satisfying. I think you might achieve more with less, the good lines are rather drowned
out.

What are 'the restless cañas'? (Second use of 'restless' by the way).


Galway sheltered me
– fourteen years; now,
it nudges me away
through morning cold,
with cracked hands
on the bus to Shannon,
a tranquil child and wife
wrapped in thought
at the hours ahead.

We've two great bags
heavy as dolmens.

Sandra packed the baby things,

(anything a bit better than 'Sandra packed the baby-sized things?')
I packed my books.

On the plane
Nicole is quiet in my arms

as we break through cloud
(think you could add a bit more here, is the cloud 'Irish'?)
I was quiet once, for twenty-odd years,
(first 'fourteen' now 'twenty-odd. Unnecessarily confusing, perhaps cut the the 'twenty-odd'?)
and shy as a Sligo field.
I've gained a thicker throat
since.

When we land,
Catalunya is restless

(I like the idea of the restlessness of Catalunya, but don't get much sense of it in the examples
you give. The hills and Roman stone seem far too solid and sedentary.)
with hills and voices, Roman
stone like spilt seeds
of ancient ambition,
and we must join the clamour

(the clamour of what? Where's the noise coming from?)

[some specific geographic location, where]
the wind is more Irish than we could’ve imagined.


(Still think it's a weak title, why not Slán Abhaile or So Long?)


Regards, Not


.

TrevorConway
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Re: Adios

Post by TrevorConway » Mon Jun 08, 2020 4:04 pm

Hey Not,

Thanks very much for the detailed follow-up. Really appreciate it. I tried to come up with alternative titles, including the Irish ones you suggested, but none of them sounded right to my ear.

Cheers for pointing out the repetition of "restless". Will change that. Canas are glasses of beer. Although I describe the drinks themselves as restless, the intended implication is that we are drinking them out of restlessness (the settling in process).

Many thanks, Not.

T

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