Author Topic: “Absalom, my son, my son"  (Read 2132 times)

Offline mouselady

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“Absalom, my son, my son"
« on: October 09, 2009, 09:55:08 AM »
Tamar was my sister,
but Amnon was my brother.

(Half-blood only, our mutual father
being a busy, as well as important,
man.)

Amnon took her,
who could have had her
for the asking.
He took, then,
like many others,
found hunger far more satisfying
than a satisfied desire.

Amnon was my brother,
but Tamar was my sister.
Who can say when vengeance
first acquired a less heroic face?

All my brothers – save one –
riding home to our father
from that backwards funeral;
who then betrayed me:
brothers, hair, or the tree
that caught it, held me steady
for our father’s friend
to finish the job,
the only way
that remained?

So the succession moved on,
to the son of the Hittite’s wife.

They say my father David wept for me,
outside the gates of the city.
« Last Edit: October 10, 2009, 12:44:58 PM by mouselady »
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Offline Biola

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Re: “But what of the young man?”
« Reply #1 on: October 09, 2009, 06:03:26 PM »
Hello Mouselady,
I am sorry, but I really did not understand much what you tried to say. There were hints and suggestions that left me half satisfied and frustrated. the N got me confused. Are talking about the half sister? Did she die, was she raped, who got murdered in honor killing by the brothers. I really got confused. I am sorry, maybe if you clarified a bit more.Sensed pathos and pain but it did not come through properly (for me at least)
biola
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Offline indar

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Re: “But what of the young man?”
« Reply #2 on: October 10, 2009, 02:46:51 AM »
Hello Mouselady,
I'm intrigued by this piece. I wonder if its an historic piece or if the N is referring to the only permissable form of incest in hittite culture (brother/sister) to imply the sort of "family consent" that sometimes occurs in these situations in our day. There is so much going on here. I think the N has killed her brother and is put to death by her father's friend. This makes me think its an historic/cultural traditions piece acting as an analogy for modern "family secrets". Of course the reference to the father's importance makes my blood boil as does the brothers revelling in his own persistant lust. What is it that moves on to the son (of an incestuous relationship I assume) a sense of entitlement? Tacit permission to carry on the family tradition? Much to think about here. The weeping father (whose friend killed the N?) ends it like a Greek tragedy in which the events played out with a sense of inevitability.
« Last Edit: October 10, 2009, 03:12:58 AM by indar »

Offline Lew Charles

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Re: “But what of the young man?”
« Reply #3 on: October 10, 2009, 04:11:33 AM »
I quite enjoyed this, mouselady. I like the sense of restraint in the tone.
'The best things in life are free.'

Offline pb

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Re: “But what of the young man?”
« Reply #4 on: October 10, 2009, 05:19:37 AM »
it blew me off my stool.

i'm not sure what happened though!

backwards funeral is a great lyric

Offline Mark H

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Re: “But what of the young man?”
« Reply #5 on: October 10, 2009, 06:03:29 AM »
Sorry Mousey, you know I luv ya stuff, but this I found ... irritating. Who the hell are these people? Is it poem or a rubics cube?

'My brother took her, who could have had her for the asking.' ... feels like mincing around the subject. In fact I think that's what I don't like, the narrative voice, the story told by proxy by an N that is either trying to appear subtle or is too timid to tell it as it is.

It is probably brilliant but it's not for me.  :)

Mark

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Offline pb

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Re: “But what of the young man?”
« Reply #6 on: October 10, 2009, 08:06:06 AM »
i'm on my stool now, thanks for asking

Offline mouselady

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Re: “But what of the young man?”
« Reply #7 on: October 10, 2009, 12:43:27 PM »
The story is based on 2 Samuel,Chapters 13 - 19.  

The narrator is Absalom, David's eldest son.

The 'son of the Hittite's wife' is Solomon, whose mother, Bathsheba, was originally married to Uriah, a Hittite.  Absalom would have become king, but after murdering his brother Amnon, he rebelled against his father and was killed by Joab, one of David's commanders.

Mark, sorry I irritated you.  I was trying to convey the dispassionate voice of someone (in this case, Absalom) who is now dead and thus is viewing the events of his life in a fairly detached way.  Clearly I've not succeeded.  

I've amended the poem somewhat to include some of the names; let me know if this improves things or not?

Also amended the title to a quote from David (said after the death of Absalom). 
« Last Edit: October 10, 2009, 12:46:06 PM by mouselady »
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Offline Mark H

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Re: “Absalom, my son, my son"
« Reply #8 on: October 10, 2009, 12:52:21 PM »
Heh you didn't irritate me, it was just the style. Here have something to make up for my harsh comments ...  :-*

I think the revised version is much better. It doesn't really float my boat due to the subject matter but it's well written.

Mark
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Offline mouselady

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Re: “Absalom, my son, my son"
« Reply #9 on: October 10, 2009, 01:00:59 PM »
I think the revised version is much better. It doesn't really float my boat due to the subject matter but it's well written.

Mark

Thanks, Mark.  Praise from a writer whose work you enjoy and respect is the best kind of all.

As to subject matter, it's the relationships that interest me, rather than the fact it's based on a Bible story. 

Cheers,

Mouse
Listen to 'Book It!' for author interviews, book reviews, original stories, and more on the last Saturday of the month, 10 -11 am GMT, on Sine FM, 102.6 on your radio dial, or www.sinefm.com

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Offline sjwriter56

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Re: “Absalom, my son, my son"
« Reply #10 on: October 11, 2009, 12:50:37 AM »
I enjoyed the critiques about as much as the writing. I think you toyed with our brains a bit but I appreciate the sentiments of the story.
« Last Edit: October 11, 2009, 12:55:00 AM by sjwriter56 »
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