Author Topic: Forever - Need help, especially last stanza. Bit stuck with this.  (Read 10779 times)

Offline Tom 10

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Re: Forever - Need help, especially last stanza. Bit stuck with this.
« Reply #15 on: July 30, 2014, 11:49:55 AM »
Thanks for posting that, Indar.  I can see what you mean. I don't agree, but its really good the author gets a fuller range  of feedback. 8) 

Offline Lon Palmer

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Re: Forever - Need help, especially last stanza. Bit stuck with this.
« Reply #16 on: July 30, 2014, 11:58:51 AM »
Your hair would never grow past your shoulders. . .

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

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


I think that "you'd/you'll never" was overdone, and could be abbreviated as above.

It's a lovely poem, and I like the second stanza as is. I notice an emotional intensification and slow reveal in the examples of the first stanza, and wonder if that could be better exploited.

Offline Mark T

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Re: Forever - Need help, especially last stanza. Bit stuck with this.
« Reply #17 on: July 30, 2014, 12:05:21 PM »
I feel the repetition both detracts from the substance of the piece and distracts the reader in keeping the narrative aligned. The rhymes start off clearly paired and then start crumbling until the ending which is like a couplet with an extra bit tacked on. Not that I heartily endorse rhyme but if you start it, then you should stick with it. Going to try something...

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

You'll never lose that wonderful belief
that you live your life without grief.


Offline Lon Palmer

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Re: Forever - Need help, especially last stanza. Bit stuck with this.
« Reply #18 on: July 30, 2014, 12:26:48 PM »
Not to be contrary for its own sake, but I like the way the rhyme devolves, suggestive of grief getting the better of composure.

I may have been wrong about the repetitions of "You'd/You'll never, suggestive of a formula the grieving parent is clinging to, until that, too, fails.

But I do wonder why, given the substance, this poem does not move me more than it has. Perhaps the build in the list of things she'll never do needs some attention? That's my guess.
« Last Edit: July 30, 2014, 12:30:29 PM by Lon Palmer »

Offline Gemwrites

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Re: Forever - Need help, especially last stanza. Bit stuck with this.
« Reply #19 on: July 30, 2014, 01:08:26 PM »
My phone reception isn't great but I just wanted to say thank you for all your comments. I really appreciate your advice and help. I will look properly when I get in and take another look at the poem. Thanks again 😊😊😊
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 #20 on: July 30, 2014, 01:55:57 PM »
Tom, I can see that the repetition is very full on.  I was trying to convey a sense of utter devastation and as Indar commented, the image of a parent absolutely bereft with grief. I thought that if a mother was saying this she would say it like this.  I see your point about getting that feeling of invincibility as a teen rather than at 4 or 5 but this line was very personal to me so may not resonate with everyone.  At 5 I hadn't yet lost anyone close to me and it never crossed my mind that anyone would ever die.  This is where that line came from but maybe I can word it better.

Lon, I loved your rewrite. It still feels intense and personal but it flows beautifully. When I rewrite it tonight I will change the you'd for you'll as it's so much better.
When I started I had a much longer list of things the little girl would never do but a lot of them trivialised the poem somewhat. I'd be interested to hear any ideas you might have that could form part of that list as it does fall short slightly. I wanted it to be more hard hitting and moving than it is at the moment.

Mark, your rewrite is excellent and well written.  However, I can't imagine a mother being that concise and collected in this situation. I know there are parts that aren't particularly neat but I wanted it to seem raw and real.  The rhyme does need looking at and it needs some more work though so thanks for your comment.

Thanks everyone x
To take them home to,
The ones that they love and who love them forever :)

Offline Gemwrites

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Re: Forever - First rewrite #21. Sorting the tense out.
« Reply #21 on: July 30, 2014, 02:09:59 PM »
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'll never meet has told you lies.
I'll never say I told you so,
or pick you up when you were low.
You'll never work a nine to five,
never learn to drive.
You'll never be drunk
or ever get high.
You'll never grieve
for somebody that died.
You'll never see your brother grown,
or meet the man that he'll become.
You'll never walk down the aisle,
or feel this love for your own child.
I'll never see your smile again,
or ever need to call your name.

You'll never get your two front teeth,
or lose the innocent belief
that you will live forever.
« Last Edit: July 30, 2014, 05:18:56 PM by Gemwrites »
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 #22 on: July 30, 2014, 02:12:00 PM »
You'll never grieve
for nobody that died.

^^^ = double negative . . . for anybody/someone who ;)

Offline Gemwrites

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Re: Forever - Need help, especially last stanza. Bit stuck with this.
« Reply #23 on: July 30, 2014, 02:17:07 PM »
Thanks Sio  :)
To take them home to,
The ones that they love and who love them forever :)

Offline bri h

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Re: Forever - Need help, especially last stanza. Bit stuck with this.
« Reply #24 on: July 30, 2014, 02:30:07 PM »
Sorry for the typos up there^^^^ was texting on me phone, and the reception was a bit intermittent. Have to say after reading your re-write, that I much prefer the original. JMHO. xbx
Fare thee well Skip. We're all 'Keening' now. xbx

Offline Gemwrites

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Re: Forever - Need help, especially last stanza. Bit stuck with this.
« Reply #25 on: July 30, 2014, 02:35:15 PM »
I appreciate your opinion, Bri. Even with the double negatives?
 :)
To take them home to,
The ones that they love and who love them forever :)

Offline bri h

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Re: Forever - Need help, especially last stanza. Bit stuck with this.
« Reply #26 on: July 30, 2014, 02:52:49 PM »
Yeah cos it's a home-spun lassie thinking of what might have been. The double-edged sword of pain and loss, but with a little bit of relief thrown in as well. I tried to say earlier that to me 9 to 5 may need to be hyphenated? 'Nine-to-five.' I could be wrong. Maybe you should ask 'Shvon-a-pedia?' ha ha. xbx
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 #27 on: July 30, 2014, 02:55:25 PM »
 :D :D :D :D :D :D Not that I can see anywhere, though it wouldn't be 'wrong' to do it that way either. No need though. ::)

Offline Lon Palmer

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Re: Forever - Need help, especially last stanza. Bit stuck with this.
« Reply #28 on: July 30, 2014, 04:03:35 PM »

Lon, I loved your rewrite. It still feels intense and personal but it flows beautifully. When I rewrite it tonight I will change the you'd for you'll as it's so much better.
When I started I had a much longer list of things the little girl would never do but a lot of them trivialised the poem somewhat. I'd be interested to hear any ideas you might have that could form part of that list as it does fall short slightly. I wanted it to be more hard hitting and moving than it is at the moment.

I'm glad that you found the rewrite helpful.

As far as the list, the following drifted into my mind:

- You'll never meet your little sister . . .
I had the ultrasound last week
or open that box of crayons I bought for you at Toys 'R' Us

. . . but I think they'll mean more coming from you.

Do you have a child? If so, I think you've got to go there, imagining - and yeah, that's painful. Or a little sister, niece, whomever? We've all lost somebody, even if it's an aged grandparent: we all understand loss. I encourage you to open yourself to all of that, and if you already have, go deeper, uncomfortable as it is. We're writers so we go to all kinds of uncomfortable places - you can recognize the ones who don't.

What do we think of when we lose someone? Of ourselves, of course, what we will miss and what they will miss. In the case of a child, we might think of the milestones or rites of passage, as you have, but we also think of the littlest things - sometimes that's what really brings the tears: looking at that little toothbrush that will never get used again . . .

And there is guilt within our sorrow: the things we wish we had done, and how we would give anything, anything, to see or hear them say and do the most ordinary, supposedly insignificant things. I'm not getting too much of that from your poem.

And we also feel defensive of them: maybe that's what you were doing in the last line.

I think of the things that really made me cry, not just in life - lots of those - but in writing, and what strikes me most (in the latter case) is how understated they were. I think of Steven King's account of his accident or some of Mitch Albom's writing. They know how to pick the details, and to let them speak for themselves without getting all purple about it as a lesser writer would do. King wrote that when he saw how horribly twisted his arm and shoulder were after he got hit, he said this to the ambulance driver: "Please tell me that's just dislocated," and I knew that he was writing about something that really happened - it's those little details.

Death and loss are, in a way, so important for us. They take us out of the background noise of our lives and put us in touch with what is essential to us - there should be some of that there, too.

I think that you have a fine poem, even an important poem percolating here - the last line tells me that if nothing else. I encourage you to dive into it and not let it go until it shines for you.

I think that it will give us all something important if you do.

 

Offline Gemwrites

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Re: Forever - Need help, especially last stanza. Bit stuck with this.
« Reply #29 on: July 30, 2014, 04:24:22 PM »
Wow, thanks Lon. Great advice. You're right, the things I mentioned were more rites if passage. I'm going to work on it tomorrow and think of my boys and what it would mean without them here. I immediately loved the toothbrush idea. One of the first things we do on a morning, yet this would tip anyone over the edge. Seeing that toothbrush that would never be used again. Also, the sibling aspect really appeals to me as this would show heartbreak not only for the mother but the rest of the family. I can relate to it so will be able to write honestly about it. It really is the little, personal things that mean the most. 

You're right, when something rings true it is much more effective.

I can't thank you enough for your kind words. They really inspire me to try to make this poem great 😊
To take them home to,
The ones that they love and who love them forever :)