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Steps

General Poetry - post, comment, review, critique
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Gyppo
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Re: Steps

Post by Gyppo » Tue Feb 11, 2020 9:20 pm

AJ, 

Could it be that you are more tied to form and rhythm because you're a singer/musician?.  There are probably underlying musical 'templates' deep in your subconscious.  Your mind probably instinctively works with these, making the words fit.  In the same way as some poetic rhythms lend themselves easily to a huge variety of parodies. Almost any words can be fitted to Longfellow's Hiawatha or Masefield's Cargoes for example ;-) 

Gyppo
I've been writing ever since I realised I could.  Storytelling since I started talking.  Poetry however comes and goes  ;-)

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Gyppo
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Re: Steps

Post by Gyppo » Tue Feb 11, 2020 10:08 pm

I'm tempted to say you truly don't need the first three verses at all.

Why?  Because when the loss is great enough the exact how doesn't matter.  The reader will feel the enormity without needing to be spoonfed. The story lies in her resolute determination to walk the same walks, and in her instinct to still make coffee for two.

Those first verses are you getting into your stride, bracing yourself to deal with the real meat of the tale.

I love the imagery  of the stark chair and the too big table.  The empty chair may be a cliche, but it still works as a universal image and punches well above its weight.  One good cliche is worth a dozen empty words.

Gyppo
I've been writing ever since I realised I could.  Storytelling since I started talking.  Poetry however comes and goes  ;-)

ajduclos
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Re: Steps

Post by ajduclos » Wed Feb 12, 2020 2:37 pm

Thanks very much to you all, Colm, Tim, Gyppo and yes, you too, Tracy. ;)  I appreciate you all taking the time.  Very informative, perceptive and thought provoking.

Trying to say too much is something I do almost consistently.  I wanted to write of the freak horror of his passing, her sudden loss, to set up the rest.  But mostly I wanted to explore her world as it is today, that grey day, as I watched her repeating their duet walk as a solo... and the sun never did break through the gloom that day.  Trying to say too much, I guess, and in the process the metaphor of "loss" gets buried and muddled.

"Wordy", Tim, I think is correct.  Again, I seem to be trying to cram as much as I can into a fixed framework.... 

Gyppo, you totally hit the nail on the head - it is the songwriter/lyricist in me that forces my writing into forms and rhythms and rhymes.  As I started this bit of writing I asked my musical muse to stand aside - I wanted to write something a bit different from my normal stuff.  It would seem that all my muse allowed was for me to not rhyme every line end, but to do some internal rhyming - a novel thing for me.

Not convinced that all of the first 3 stanza should go.  Perhaps they are not needed, but perhaps they can be re-written in a less intrusive and "wordy" way.

And Colm, yes, I do need to get free, a bit, at least.   "Let go, Grasshopper"  :)

A learning experience for me.  Thanks again.

Aj     

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Gyppo
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Re: Steps

Post by Gyppo » Wed Feb 12, 2020 3:28 pm

Maybe the freak unexpected nature of his death deserves a poem of its own.  Maybe something about a bright and fragile man-made butterfly, the vehicle of an old man's dreams, cast casually aside by capricious nature.

Yours to play with ;-)

Gyppo
I've been writing ever since I realised I could.  Storytelling since I started talking.  Poetry however comes and goes  ;-)

ajduclos
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Re: Steps

Post by ajduclos » Wed Feb 12, 2020 3:43 pm

Yes, Gyppo.  I have often considered and actually have split out my writings into two and even three separate explorations.  Excellent suggestion in this particular case.  I will dwell on this and the intriguing thoughts you put forth.

Thanks.

Aj    

indar
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Re: Steps

Post by indar » Wed Feb 12, 2020 7:10 pm

First let me echo Tracy's comment: I so love an actual exchange of ideas a dialog between the writer and the readers. When one can't participate in classroom style discussions, exchanges such as this are helpful to participants as evidenced here and to all of the rest of us following  along. 

AJ, as to the poem, your empathy for this woman is obvious in every line, but I agree it needs less words for more impact. I hope you keep at it.


 

Dave
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Re: Steps

Post by Dave » Wed Feb 12, 2020 8:43 pm

I think Tim has given you great feedback here.
Dave

ajduclos
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Re: Steps

Post by ajduclos » Thu Feb 13, 2020 12:29 am

You guys are all great, all very helpful.
  
Linda, it is a bit too wordy, I get too involved in the horrible details................

Dave, yes, I agree Tim is correct about too "wordy".................

I think there are two poems here (right on, Gyppo).  I find that I write from the gut rather than from the cerebrum.  Trying to find a way to blend the two................ 

Probably I'll stick to lyrics and music writing.  But I will keep on touching the world of poetry.

Thanks to you all.  So appreciate all the helpful thoughts and critiques.

Aj 

indar
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Re: Steps

Post by indar » Thu Feb 13, 2020 9:33 pm

Probably I'll stick to lyrics and music writing.  But I will keep on touching the world of poetry.


Thanks to you all.  So appreciate all the helpful thoughts and critiques.

AJ, you are triggering my abandonment issues. You must continue with the poetry. I think of the likes of Leonard Cohen and Randy Newman and I'm certain many TTB folks can name a whole lot more lyricists who are poets as well who contribute to the enlightenment
 

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Colm Roe
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Re: Steps

Post by Colm Roe » Fri Feb 14, 2020 3:08 am

ajduclos wrote:
Thu Feb 13, 2020 12:29 am
Probably I'll stick to lyrics and music writing. 
Aj 

Oh no you won't Aj!
All you have to do is realise that music lyrics, especially in mainstream music, are cliché fests. And that's ok, most of the songs we all love (poets included) are like that.
Next time you write a poem look at it closely, draw a line through the clichéd/generic stuff and just ask yourself how it could be written in a more interesting way.
Lyrics are usually 'telling'. 'My mother loved me so much' (That's not 'showing' us why she's different from every other loving mother)
Poetry is 'showing'. It tries to show in a real way how she's not just a generic mother...why/how she's different.
But you can't show that mother's love in a few words. I can't replace 'my mother loved me so much' with six words. I'd need a few lines.

It was always there, sometimes disguised
when I was bold, or spoke back,
in my early years, and my later ones
as we grew older, together, her ability to conceal it
was cancelled by my ability to discover it.
It was, of course, just a game we played
they couldn't detect her range, or those little changes,
the way her eyes reacted to an invisible word
or my uncomfortable shifting under her occasional Gestapo stare.
I still remember, intense eyes that couldn't help themselves
soft wraps around her charge, that image
still feels like a blanket.

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