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Poets Corner => Review My Poetry => Topic started by: Tom 10 on January 30, 2016, 07:34:47 PM

Title: End of Days
Post by: Tom 10 on January 30, 2016, 07:34:47 PM

    End of Days

I would see these trees as firewood
kindling dragged and heaped
at the feet of each new Joan
for final conflagration-
the end of times, like
the second bookend.

But what of these books to be
incinerated - lives written
as pages in pulp mills
rolled flat, dried as leaves
crackling down a cold fall
scrolled to flower hot
in the pages of the Book
some would imagine.

A blazing maple grove, the reds,
yellows disintegrate
in fading light to brown, dust
or ash, winds always at the ready.
I went to divinity school for this
and learned to make candy.
Now I think the end of days
will come at night.

Title: Re: End of Days
Post by: CorneliusPoe on January 31, 2016, 12:44:12 PM
I really love this T.

Great sounds, wonderful internal rhymes, both full and near. The opening line is a grabber and a half, wow!

A couple sticky spots:

I think you should, or at least could, drop lines 5 & 6:

I would see these trees as firewood
kindling dragged and heaped
at the feet of each new Joan
for the final conflagration-

just feels more potent. This creates a problem of how to lead into S2, which has some just amazing writing. I don't know how to fix it. I like the image of a "second bookend", but those lines feel like pure setup. Even with these functionary (in my opinion) lines in place, it's hard to make the jump to "these books". I have some guesses at them, but I admit to struggling with the books and can only see the "second bookend" as a figurative device and not as a contributing image.

Anyway there is a jump between S1 & S2 that I'm not able to make smoothly. All the difficulty (and I'm well aware it could be with the me as a reader) is in lines 5,6, & 7.
I don't want to overstate the effect.

I also think you could drop the last line of S2. You capitalized the "Book" in line 13. "some would imagine" feels like unnecessary hedging and sonically it deflates the force built up to "Book" That hard stop is huge. When I read it aloud, it literally has the effect of someone saying:

Some say the world will end in fire
or whatever

You may not agree, but I hope I'm being clear in what you'd be disagreeing with.

I spent a lot of time on a couple minor points. I hope the excess of words that appear negative do not overshadow my actual appreciation for the poem. You alway exhibit a great sense of tone. And sonically, most every one of your poems I've read has great movement. This poem is a step above. All the tools are in place and singing so sweetly you have to look for them to know they're there.

You mirrored this tour de force of sound with amazing imagery. I dwelled a bit on S2 because the writing, particularly in that stanza, is so wonderful that even the slightest distraction stands out by contrast.

Finally, I love the way to poem ends. Amazing and on top of that, it's so you you might as well have signed it. Frankly, I don't have a bigger compliment.

Great stuff. Thanks for posting it.

Title: Re: End of Days
Post by: 510bhan on January 31, 2016, 02:07:23 PM
This has loads of stuff in it to like -- philosophical/religious argument, mortality, what it's all about . . . I love the change of tone at the end where the words sound more dismissive and contemporary (a reflection on our times perhaps) with a rolled eyes/tongue in cheek one liner especially when compared to the previous stanza. Enough suggested here for the reader to put their own interpretation on the words presented. Food for thought, candy if you desire.

 ;) :) :) :) :) 
Title: Re: End of Days
Post by: drab on January 31, 2016, 10:34:00 PM
Glad I popped in to check this out T.
Amazing images, especially in S1 & S2. And the last 3 lines in S2...what a wonderful way to describe how these Books are manipulated.
I initially thought S3 was a bit OTT with the dust/ash/fading...but now think S4 can't survive without it.
This is quite special T, be very proud.
Title: Re: End of Days
Post by: Tom 10 on February 01, 2016, 12:08:13 PM
CP- thanks for the generous comments.  I think you are right about punching up S.1 with the deletion of L5,6.  And you are right about not getting into S.2 then.  I need the bookend image and need it in the first stanza.  I don't know what else to do.

You accurately assess the effect of S.2 L.8, but the 'deflating' is an essential part of the monologue.   It has to be a whatever moment, or I think it goes over the top as melodrama which would betray N.'s personal sense of insignificance in a gerrymandered universe.

Sio - yes, candy.  Thanks for the feedback, glad you like.
drab - glad you like it as well.  I didn't feel S.3 was close to the line, but as you mention, yes, I would agree.  If I could temper it back just a hair, I would.. Need to sleep on it.

Cheers all. :)

Title: Re: End of Days
Post by: duck on February 01, 2016, 12:12:53 PM
Of all the great poetry and ideas in this my favourite has to a more modest but perfectly timed line:

I went to divinity school for this

Thanks for this Tom (the excellent poem I mean)
Title: Re: End of Days
Post by: Tom 10 on February 01, 2016, 05:02:04 PM
Thanks Dave, that was the line I thought might be a little cheap. 
Title: Re: End of Days
Post by: Mark T on February 03, 2016, 03:54:55 PM

Great stuff, this has such a rolling tone like Savonarola meets Himmler and yes, multiple possible takes. Top form writing, this piece.   
Title: Re: End of Days
Post by: Tom 10 on February 04, 2016, 07:28:45 PM

Thanks Mark. 
This marks the first time Himmler was referenced in a thread I commenced.  Portends nothing. . .  .portends nothing. . . . .