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Poets Corner => Review My Poetry => Topic started by: Tom 10 on November 13, 2013, 02:46:00 PM

Title: Done
Post by: Tom 10 on November 13, 2013, 02:46:00 PM
Revision:

         Done

For years Dad scavenged reusable
dimension lumber for the raising of
his monuments - outbuildings, a pole barn,
always with tools, handles worn smooth,
same cross-cut, square, sledge, level.

My brother and I burned through turgid
afternoons of blazing sun, big sky,
the sweated pulling of nails, skinned
knuckles, and splintered fingers
folded in swollen rotational healing and prayer.

Later when dust fused to every surface,
even the back of Dadís hands I supposed then,
he started getting rid of his tools - one, three at a time. 
It felt like a hollow twinge, at first.





= = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = =

Original:

         Done

For years Dad sought out wood to scavenge,
reusable dimension lumber to hoard
for raising of edifices that only he then yet
could seeĖ outbuildings, a pole barn.

As kids, my brother and I filled premiere
afternoons of new blazing sun with
the sweating pulling of nails, skunned
knuckles, and splinter-lanced hands
folded in swollen rotational healing and prayer.

Later when dust accreted to every surface,
to the backs of his forearms, I supposed
then, he started getting rid of his tools -
one, three at a time.  It felt like a hollow twinge
pussing bigger by the day.




Title: Re: Done
Post by: bri h on November 13, 2013, 06:45:21 PM
'Skunned' knucles Tom? heh heh
Title: Re: Done
Post by: indar on November 13, 2013, 08:19:03 PM
Hi Tom,

I noticed "skunned" as well. It could be childspeak I suppose--- a great deal of this reads awkwardly to me, is this intentional?


Quote
For years Dad sought out wood to scavenge,
reusable dimension lumber to hoard
for raising of edifices that only he then yet
could see– outbuildings, a pole barn.

Why not:

For years dad scavanged reusable lumber
to hoard to raise outbuildings only he could see.

This is a strange use of overblown mixed with conversational  language e.g.

edifices--pole barn

accreted--getting rid

I truly like the premise and I'll bet almost everyone has known a lumber-hoarder with big dreams. Do the kids get sucked into those dreams or are they cynics already?
Title: Re: Done
Post by: 510bhan on November 13, 2013, 08:19:58 PM
u is beside i on the keyboard. ::)
Title: Re: Done
Post by: duck on November 14, 2013, 06:54:17 AM
Hi Tom,
I agree with Indar that this reads awkwardly. Sought out wood to scavange sounds to me like saying the seem thing twice as scanvanging automatically involves seeking out.
The words seem too well chosen so that they come across stilted - premiere afternoons for example.
A hollow twinge pussing does not ring true - how can a twinge be hollow and if hollow how to puss?

I would simply and cut the chase more easily and faster.
Duck
Title: Re: Done
Post by: Tom 10 on November 14, 2013, 09:11:42 AM

Hi, Thanks to all for reading and commenting. :)

   bri - yes, skunned

   Indar - no, the awkwardness was not intentional, but the word choices were. :-[  I should work through it all again.

   Sio - I think my index finger knew that. :)

   Duck - I see how this appears clunky and not to the point.  Iíll cogitate on your suggestions.

Thanks for all of the FB - its always valuable.
 8)
T
Title: Re: Done
Post by: drab on November 15, 2013, 09:04:07 PM
Like this T.
Accreted-fused, nice word if that was your meaning. But 'fused' is good too.
I'd look at S3. Work on the last 2 lines. I also snagged on 'skunned' and 'premier' but S2 is excellent, especially its last 2 lines.
A minor edit will create a major thing.
Well done.
Regards
Title: Re: Done
Post by: jkaram on November 16, 2013, 09:49:12 AM
Hi Tom,

I love the sense of nostalgia you bring forth in so many of your poems- you often create a visceral experience for the reader this way of peeking into someone else's memories. I find that very cool. There are parts of this poem I like a whole lot. There were certain words interspersed that snagged me, one that seemed extra or draw too much attention to themselves- dimension was the first, I'm not sure it adds, and the others have already been mentioned by others.

I enjoyed the imagery of brothers pulling nails in the hot sun, their father raising edifices, and the way you illustrated the father's end of these activities and the impact this has on the N. I also love the way the ending ties in with the title, that's a nice loop you've created  :)

Janet
Title: Re: Done
Post by: Tom 10 on November 17, 2013, 12:19:45 PM

Thanks for the looks drab, Janet. 

I confess Iím surprised word selection is an issue or series of stumbling points.  Those noted are skunned, accreted, premiere, dimension and edifice.  To that list Iíd add rotational, pussed and bigger.   

One thing I have long been aware of is my strong preference for the simple word over the complex, the one-syllable over the multi, and the Saxon-based over the Latin-based.  In that regard this poem is a departure with the many more than usual latinates. 

Indar suggests a problem is that there is a strong fluctuation from conversational-sounding language, and that may be true. 

Skunned knuckles must be a local phrase, its almost cliche in my world.  But I am glad to learn that it hangs readers up, detracts from the text.  Thereís not a real good substitute but skinned is close enough.  Similarly, dimension is equally routine.  Dimension lumber (2x4's, 2x8's, 2x12's, etc) describes the structural components for frame construction - not, for example, flooring, sheeting, roofing, etc. 

Edifice and premiere were considered choices.  The first was intended with its realative flavor of grandiosity to suggest the regard with which the projects were approached.  The latter was intended to suggest to young boys these werenít just any routine days being captured for labor.  And for the functioning of the poem, I think this establishes N.'s vantage point.

I think the worst or most inappropriate or least functional word is pussing.  I regret the way it sidetracks the last stanza.  The idea of the poem is the disconcerting feeling of the N. to see the inevitable abandonment of life projects and goals by an aging father as its done.  Bigger is such an imprecise word and I need to find a better expression of this.

I will consider if the remedies need address specific word choices or the broader inconsistencies of diction. 

Thank you all for feedback and I will be re-writing this as time goes on.
 :)
T

     
Title: Re: Done
Post by: drab on November 17, 2013, 08:54:48 PM
For years Dad sought out wood to scavenge,
reusable dimension lumber to hoard              it means nothing to people unfamiliar with standard sizes
for raising of edifices that only he then yet       the grammar is wrong IMO. If 'the' came after 'for' then your 'of' works.
could seeĖ outbuildings, a pole barn.

As kids, my brother and I filled premiere       I don't think there's one word for what you're trying to say. You'll have to 'show' it.
afternoons of new blazing sun with
the sweating pulling of nails, skunned            Skinned here I think. City folk might think it's a typo.
knuckles, and splinter-lanced hands
folded in swollen rotational healing and prayer.

Later when dust accreted to every surface,           accreted (grew/fused) I still like this word here.         
to the backs of his forearms, I supposed
then, he started getting rid of his tools -
one, three at a time.  It felt like a hollow twinge       These 2 lines I'd edit.
pussing bigger by the day.

'one, three at a time' Doesn't sound right.

twinge:
 brief pain: a sudden brief stab of pain 
 brief uncomfortable emotion: a sudden brief uncomfortable pang of an emotion such as guilt or fear

A well selected word. But 'pussing'? I know what you mean, but it's not actually saying what you want.

Just my thoughts T.
But I still love the clarity, and the emotion you deftly weave through the poem.
Regards

 
Title: Re: Done
Post by: 510bhan on November 17, 2013, 09:24:08 PM
        Done

For years Dad sought out wood to scavenged, reusable dimension lumber,
to boards he'd hoard for raising of edifices
that only he then yet could yet  see
Ė outbuildings, a pole barn.

As kids, my brother and I filled premiere hailed afternoons
of new blazing sun with
the sweating, nail-pulling of nails, skinned
knuckles, and splintered fingers  lanced hands
folded in swollen rotational healing and prayer.

Later when dust accreted to every surface,
to the backs of his forearms, I supposed
then, he started getting rid of cleared his tools -
one, two,  three at a time, their absence/removal  
It felt like a hollow twinge pussing bigger by the day.
Title: Re: Done
Post by: Tom 10 on November 18, 2013, 09:26:37 AM
drab, Sio,

Thanks for your considered efforts. 
drab, I see exactly what you mean about twinge and pussing.  Your clean-up of the earlier lines makes sense too. 
Sio - Your fiddle smoothed out this out, I'm liable to grab much of it.  :) 

Thanks yous two.

T
Title: Re: Done
Post by: Tom 10 on January 17, 2014, 11:37:03 AM
Revision posted.
Title: Re: Done
Post by: 510bhan on January 17, 2014, 12:19:04 PM
Nice rhythm to this, Tom. :)       


Done

For years Dad scavenged reusable
dimension lumber for the raising of
his monuments - outbuildings, a pole barn,
always with tools, handles worn smooth, [I'd have a dash before 'always' so that the sense of the sentence flows better -- showing us Dad always scavenging with his tools in hand JMO]
same cross-cut, square, sledge, level.

My brother and I burned through turgid
afternoons of blazing sun, big sky,
the sweated pulling of nails, skinned
knuckles, and splintered fingers
folded in swollen rotational healing and prayer.

Later when dust fused to every surface,
even the back of Dadís hands I supposed then,
he started getting rid of his tools - one, three at a time. 
It felt like a hollow twinge, at first.
Title: Re: Done
Post by: Tom 10 on January 17, 2014, 12:20:06 PM
Sio,
good suggestion, consider it adopted and appropriated. :)
Title: Re: Done
Post by: Mark T on January 19, 2014, 04:13:13 AM

Hi Tom, 'hollow twinge' is a great phrase that evokes the underlying pathos and nostalgia of this piece. I know that feeling. The tone is reminiscent of the piece that had Grandpa's piston forearms - something like that, in it. Not much to quibble with here but lots to like. The fusing of dust everywhere, even Dad's hands, has this creep-of-time effect.       
Title: Re: Done
Post by: shadowdrifter on January 19, 2014, 05:39:01 AM
Hi Tom

A lovely feel of nostalgia in this.  The sadness when he got rid of his tools, comes across clearly in the last verse.

Quote
For years Dad scavenged reusable
dimension lumber for the raising of  <<--I have to admit that "dimension" means nothing to me who knows zilch about wood and woodwork, so I wonder if it is needed as reusable seems to cover the image you are looking to convey.  Instead of "for the raising of" you could say "to raise"
his monuments - outbuildings, a pole barn,  <<--I think you need another hyphen after pole barn to balance the earlier one. 
always with tools, handles worn smooth,
same cross-cut, square, sledge, level.  <<-- I wondered about saying "using tools, handles worn smooth".  I got a bit lost with what image you are describing in this last line..cross-cut, sledge, level

My brother and I burned through turgid  <<--I love "through turgid afternoons"  It has a great sound.  Not so sure about "of blazing sun"  maybe "under a blazing sun, big sky.  Another thought is to say "my brother and I sweated through turgid afternoons, under a blazing sun, big sky, pulling nails; skinned knuckles, splintered fingers folded in rotational healing and prayer.
afternoons of blazing sun, big sky,
the sweated pulling of nails, skinned
knuckles, and splintered fingers
folded in swollen rotational healing and prayer.

Later when dust fused to every surface,
even the back of Dadís hands I supposed then,
he started getting rid of his tools - one, three at a time.
It felt like a hollow twinge, at first.

Use or not as you wish.  Hope something helps.  A very vivid memory.
Title: Re: Done
Post by: Tom 10 on January 19, 2014, 10:50:22 AM
Shadow,
Thank you.  I always appreciate your close reading.  When you raise a question about word choice it makes me think why I chose as I did, and sometimes my reasons melt away.  Its good to be challenged and I like the way you do that.
 :)
T
Title: Re: Done
Post by: Tom 10 on January 19, 2014, 10:51:50 AM
Mark,
"fused" I stole from drab, perhaps with permission. 8)
Writing poems like this makes me feel old, and I usually do not. Thanks for your comments.
T