Author Topic: Forever - Need help, especially last stanza. Bit stuck with this.  (Read 10780 times)

Offline Gemwrites

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Your hair would never grow past your shoulders. . .

You'd never feel lust,
or the pain of broken trust;
never stare in a mirror with black-rimmed eyes
when some boy you'd never meet had told you lies.
You'd never work a nine to five,
never learn to drive.
You'd never be drunk
or ever get high.
You'd never grieve
for nobody that died.
You'd never walk down the aisle,
or feel this love for your own child.

You'd never get your two front teeth,
or lose that wonderful belief
that you would live forever.

« Last Edit: July 30, 2014, 06:02:10 AM by Gemwrites »
To take them home to,
The ones that they love and who love them forever :)

Jo Bannister

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Re: Forever - Need help, especially last stanza. Bit stuck with this.
« Reply #1 on: July 30, 2014, 05:52:39 AM »
There's some nice feeling in this.  I'm a little concerned that you chose that tense to work in, because it's setting up problems there is no grammatical way of solving!  Can I suggest you try "you'll" instead of "you'd" and drop the double negatives?  Something like this:

                             *

Your hair will never grow past your shoulders. . .

You'll never feel lust,
or the pain of broken trust;
never stare in a mirror with black-rimmed eyes
when some boy you've met has told you lies.
You'll never work a nine to five,
never learn to drive.
You'll never be drunk or get high.
You'll never grieve
for someone who died.
You'll never walk down the aisle,
or feel this love for your own child.

You'll never get your two front teeth,
or lose that wonderful belief
that you will live forever.

                               *
Any help?  Incidentally, I don't see much wrong with the last verse.

Offline Gemwrites

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Re: Forever - Need help, especially last stanza. Bit stuck with this.
« Reply #2 on: July 30, 2014, 05:59:05 AM »
Thanks Jo, that sounds great.  I did struggle with the tense throughout but my starting point for the poem was:
when some boy you'd never meet had told you lies.

This was the reason behind the tricky tense.  I must say, your version flows better. I'll work on it, thanks Jo.

Glad you liked the last stanza.  I worried it didn't sound quite right.

Also, thanks for your help with the punctuation, again.  I really appreciate this as it's a bit of a stumbling block for me.
« Last Edit: July 30, 2014, 06:06:10 AM by Gemwrites »
To take them home to,
The ones that they love and who love them forever :)

Offline Gemwrites

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Re: Forever - Need help, especially last stanza. Bit stuck with this.
« Reply #3 on: July 30, 2014, 06:21:59 AM »
Oh, another thing. You changed the last line in S.2 to "or feel this love for your own child."

I love this.  I couldn't get that line right after lots of changes and I'd never have thought of this.  It totally changes the feel of the poem, as though it's written from a mothers perspective. Thank you :)
To take them home to,
The ones that they love and who love them forever :)

Offline CorneliusPoe

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Re: Forever - Need help, especially last stanza. Bit stuck with this.
« Reply #4 on: July 30, 2014, 07:16:47 AM »
I agree with Jo's suggestions and with her impression of the final verse. I don't who the poem is addressed to. A child never born? A lost infant? Sorry for being dense. 
"Poetry is not speech raised to the level of music, but music brought down to the level of speech." - Paul Valery

Offline Gemwrites

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Re: Forever - Need help, especially last stanza. Bit stuck with this.
« Reply #5 on: July 30, 2014, 07:26:07 AM »
It's lost infancy, a sort of forever young concept.  It's from the point of view of a mother who's child has been killed.  She's mourning the things her child will never do but also taking comfort in the fact that she will never have to face the harsh realities that come with getting older.  Hope this makes more sense.  As I said to Jo, I started with a double negative and liked this touch even though it wasn't technically gramatically correct.  I'm not so sure now tho as Jo's rewrite worked well too :)
To take them home to,
The ones that they love and who love them forever :)

Offline CorneliusPoe

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Re: Forever - Need help, especially last stanza. Bit stuck with this.
« Reply #6 on: July 30, 2014, 07:30:30 AM »
Thanks. :)
"Poetry is not speech raised to the level of music, but music brought down to the level of speech." - Paul Valery

Offline bri h

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Re: Forever - Need help, especially last stanza. Bit stuck with this.
« Reply #7 on: July 30, 2014, 08:46:46 AM »
At the risk of repetition.  Wow! I think you've fund ya nitch. Ha ha. This is tremendous gem. Love it and it's so spot on.  Xbx
Fare thee well Skip. We're all 'Keening' now. xbx

Offline bri h

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Re: Forever - Need help, especially last stanza. Bit stuck with this.
« Reply #8 on: July 30, 2014, 08:48:10 AM »
Bow.  9 to 5 needs hyphens. I'm.  X
Fare thee well Skip. We're all 'Keening' now. xbx

Offline 510bhan

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Re: Forever - Need help, especially last stanza. Bit stuck with this.
« Reply #9 on: July 30, 2014, 08:49:20 AM »
Terrific -- especially with Jo's tweaks. ;)

Offline Gemwrites

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Re: Forever - Need help, especially last stanza. Bit stuck with this.
« Reply #10 on: July 30, 2014, 09:03:02 AM »
Thanks guys. Better in present tense or as is?  I can't decide and it's driving me mad😁😁😁
To take them home to,
The ones that they love and who love them forever :)

Offline 510bhan

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Re: Forever - Need help, especially last stanza. Bit stuck with this.
« Reply #11 on: July 30, 2014, 09:07:14 AM »
You will rather than you would as it is a definite state of affairs and not something 'projected' as a possibility or choice. :)

Offline Gemwrites

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Re: Forever - Need help, especially last stanza. Bit stuck with this.
« Reply #12 on: July 30, 2014, 09:16:36 AM »
Thanks Sio  :) :) :)
To take them home to,
The ones that they love and who love them forever :)

Offline Tom 10

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Re: Forever - Need help, especially last stanza. Bit stuck with this.
« Reply #13 on: July 30, 2014, 10:40:28 AM »
Hi Gemwrites,

I very much like the substance of this poem, but hold the apparent minority view with respect to its construction.  The lack of meter makes the end-rhymes obtrusive and non-functional, and more so the hard rhymes toward the beginning – lust/trust, eyes/lies and five/drive.  The change to pure future tense is good.  I like a few things the original tense choice (present conditional?) could provide, but there is the double-negative problem. 

The other part of the construction of poem I should comment on was what seemed like over-use of the repeating device “you’d never”, or as revised “you’ll never”.  “You” (or you’d, you’ll) appears about ten times in sixteen lines as does the word “never”.  I appreciate the appeal of draping the poem around this structure, but to my ear its just too much.

AS far as the last stanza, I’m not clear about what problem(s) you see.  My (small) difficulty with it is that the sequence of life stages for the poem’s addressee.  S.1 is ambivalent, but S.2 identifies the top age of “you” at something less than perhaps 12 years old or so.  S.3 tamps that age to a much lower number - a person with all of their baby teeth - 4-5 years old.  For me it wasn’t until much later that I had that wonderful belief that you will live forever. At 4-5 I was still learning about the world, what was dangerous, what was fun, etc.  It wasn’t until I reached at least my mid-teens that the my feeling of invincibility matured.  For that reason the last stanza didn’t work for me.

JMO, use or loose.
 :)
T




Offline indar

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Re: Forever - Need help, especially last stanza. Bit stuck with this.
« Reply #14 on: July 30, 2014, 11:45:38 AM »
I almost always agree with T but the insistant repetition of "you'll never" really worked for me. I get the feel of a bereft parent almost rocking back and forth keening, trying to find some consolation where none is really available almost like the repetition in the throes of grief: Oh God, oh God, oh God---the dreadful detail about the growth of hair is desperate and strangely touching--