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Poets Corner => Review My Poetry => Topic started by: indar on June 25, 2021, 03:29:01 PM

Title: The Fourth of July in Hensenville (with edit)
Post by: indar on June 25, 2021, 03:29:01 PM
(first edit)


The parade is three blocks long put on by the town board.
Bicycles are crepe-papered with red, white and blue
wound through wheel spokes streaming from handle bars.
Riders show off moves they practiced all June.

Dogs wag the route in homemade costumes, hats askew
not certain their duty but happy to be included.
Miss Liberty and Uncle Sam stop to exchange
too intimate dog greetings amid laughter, whoops
and shouts of encouragement from the rowdy crowd.

High schoolers are bused to a nearby town
now that the youth population has shrunk even further.
That's where the real band is today. Some parents
made the choice; others will try to divide their time;
some families split between parents and grandparents.

The grade school band struggles to stay in formation:
a trumpet, flute, tambourines and triangles.
An eight year old majorette leads the way
high stepping in white rubber boots, a red and blue
swimsuit with added tutu. She rarely catches the toss
but onlookers applaud and cheer her on anyway.
Some grab the rollaway baton to give back to her.

A local hardware store distributes 4x6 inch American flags stapled
to sticks for the crowd to wave. They all do their part, exchanging looks
they say: what a a great day, perfect weather for this celebration,
how lucky we are to live in a nation where we are free

**************************************************************

The Fourth of July in Hensenville

The parade is three blocks long put on by the town board.
Bicycles are crepe-papered red, white and blue
wound through wheel spokes streaming from handle bars.
Riders execute maneuvers they practiced all June.

Dogs wag the route in homemade costumes, hats askew
not certain their duty but happy to be there.
Miss Liberty and Uncle Sam stop for traditional (and intimate)
dog greetings amid laughter and whoops
and shouts of encouragement from the rowdy crowd.

High schoolers are bused to a different district now
that the youth population has shrunk even further.
That's where the real band is today. Some parents
made the choice, others will try to divide their time.

The grade school band struggles to keep in formation:
three horns, a bass drum, two snares, flutes, one triangle.
The eight year old majorette leads the way
high stepping in white rubber boots, a red and blue
swimsuit with an added tutu. She rarely catches the toss
but onlookers applaud and cheer her on anyway.
Some even grab the rollaway baton to give back to her.

A local hardware store distributes 4x6 inch American flags stapled
to sticks for the crowd to wave. They all do their part, exchanging looks
they say: what a a great day, perfect weather for this celebration,
how lucky we are to live in a nation where we are free.

ShortClip6/28/14 BATON TWIRLER, 4th of JULY PARADE,OCEANSIDE,CA - YouTube


Title: Re: The Fourth of July in Hensenville
Post by: jt72 on June 26, 2021, 10:55:06 AM
It reads more like notes jotted down while watching something taking place... But it was a nice read.    jt
Title: Re: The Fourth of July in Hensenville
Post by: indar on June 26, 2021, 05:55:58 PM
Thank you for the read and comment JT
Title: Re: The Fourth of July in Hensenville
Post by: jt72 on June 26, 2021, 08:32:14 PM
You are welcome indar. Thanks for sharing .
Title: Re: The Fourth of July in Hensenville
Post by: Tom 10 on June 27, 2021, 02:31:02 PM

Wow -- you have a way of finding the broad themes of our time in the most elemental of our interactions. 

This endearing snippet chronicles the last pathetic gasps of a culture now dead, for good or ill.  I don't recall who said - the future is here now, just unevenly distributed.  It clearly has not reached the community sponsoring this parade -- the last backwater. The details of the poem parody what the Fourth of July used to be in America.  Farm families would load in wagons and head to town for the celebrations. Following the all-town parade, folks would fill the parks for the afternoon speeches of the politicians of the day - mayors, legislators.  And for the pie contests, ice cream, and music. The games -- tug of war, foot races, three legged race, and head-to-head horse races. Each town had its own band to be proud of-- not high schoolers, but adults.   

  All of that is gone, even if the small hamlets and villages still hold tight to some remnants.  No high school band -- they are at a bigger venue.  So the feature is the elementary school band, because, well, the town still has an elementary school.  The event is no longer a family matter -- they need to split up to cover everything -- isn't that so precisely descriptive of the 21st Century?    Not flags draping the courthouse and city hall, but crepe-paper in bike spokes.  And even that is bygone doing.  No Belgians and Clydesdales pulling large wagons and floats --- just confused but genial little dogs in costumes. The hardware store guy kicks in some small flags, but he's being killed off by Lowe's and Home Depot, so they'll soon drag him off too.

  I love the people and incidents you describe.  Heartwarming for sure.  Yet rather brutal in contrast to contemporary reality.  A large majority of the US population believe we are at a cross-roads.   I believe we do have the chance to reestablish community.  But it won't come on waves of crepe paper, or include WWI flag-waving, and it will not involve turning the busses around.  The past is not coming back.  I think the heart of it is the simple, genuine faith in community that this poem chronicles.  The suggestion is that we need to reinvent how we do that, or we won't be able to at all.

The text could use some serious tightening up in places, but its heart is vibrant and strong.

Thanks for posting this.

Cheers.

​​​​​​​T
Title: Re: The Fourth of July in Hensenville
Post by: jt72 on June 27, 2021, 06:12:51 PM
Americans still have parades on 4th of July- We celebrate the signing of the Declaration   of Independence... Where have some people been?

Fourth of July Parade is on 

Staff report
Jennifer Dorsey
Jun 7, 2021
 
https://www.jhnewsandguide.com/the_hole_scroll/fourth-of-july-parade-is-on/article_43bd7f0d-e486-5f31-a3c7-6ac08941a8b2.html#:~:text=The%20Fourth%20of%20July%20Parade%20is%20on%20for,returning%20to%20the%20fairgrounds%20via%20South%20Willow%20Street.

Title: Re: The Fourth of July in Hensenville
Post by: indar on June 27, 2021, 07:14:44 PM
Wow to you Tom for being such an insightful reader. You certainly got to the main thrust of this write with remarks so poignant I feel very heartened and very motivated to "tighten it up"
Title: Re: The Fourth of July in Hensenville
Post by: Tom 10 on June 28, 2021, 11:50:12 AM
After another review, I am not sure how much revision to attempt.  There is a genuine vernacular so theme-specific which you do not want to lose.  That said, just a few things which occur to me --


S.1 L.4 -- execute maneuvers >> show off moves. . . ?


S.2 L.2 -- to be there >> to be included . . . ?

S.2:   . . .Miss Liberty and Uncle Sam are stopped by intimate
              dog greetings amid laughter and whoops of encouragement.

S.3 L.1 -- different district >> next town over . . . .


S.3 L.2 -- delete "youth" -- its the whole population in decline


S.4 -- I imagine one horn, four triangles and three tambourines -- attempts to involve those without . . . acquired proficiencies.  Just a thought.


S.4 -- Feels too long, like it needs to be whittled -- I think cut the last line, but not sure what else -- the details are marvelous, so maybe no further meddling.


S.5 -- most problematic.  Last line is clunker, second to the last may be the fixin's,
e.g. --
          They all do their part, say what perfect weather for this, and exchange looks.
        [That's not very good, but I think you get the idea.]


Just my thoughts -- use or lose, take or toss.   :) :)


Cheers, Indar.  I love the focused expanse of this.  You are close to the heart.


T




Title: Re: The Fourth of July in Hensenville (with edit)
Post by: indar on June 28, 2021, 02:12:33 PM
Well Tom, here is an edit per your suggestions and a few other tweaks. I thank you for the considered thoughts on the need for tightening. I am not finished with this one---perhaps by 7/4/2022

I'm a little stymied by the idea of trying to expand on the mind set of the crowd. My intention in the last stanza is to present the strained notion of "freedom" that is bandied about with a thousand interpretations and exploitations of an amorphous term the roots of which have been entirely lost (if you ask me). Maybe just introducing the word as it rings through the crowd is not enough. Should I describe the disembodied "HEAD" (as in CS Lewis' creepy book) of Donald Trump smiling down on these unquestioning but basically good folks?
Title: Re: The Fourth of July in Hensenville (with edit)
Post by: Tom 10 on June 28, 2021, 06:24:09 PM
I see your intention.  Sorry - nothing additional occurs to me about how to top it off.  Very challenging write, Indar.


Cheers.


T
Title: Re: The Fourth of July in Hensenville (with edit)
Post by: indar on June 28, 2021, 08:07:54 PM
Yes it is challenging--as poetry should be. I am enjoying this exchange that is somewhat like the good old days on this forum when discussions of a poem could go on for pages. Participants had the courage to give honest critiques and the writer was willing to try out various suggestions. So thank you.
Title: Re: The Fourth of July in Hensenville (with edit)
Post by: Tom 10 on June 29, 2021, 09:50:12 AM
I agree Indar.  This used to a functioning forum.  Not sure why I stopped by, but am always delighted to engage with your writing.


Cheers.


T