Author Topic: Generous to a Fault  (Read 2180 times)

Offline 510bhan

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Generous to a Fault
« on: July 28, 2015, 05:27:17 PM »
Generous to a Fault

My need to nurture,
a selfless, saintliness
is sham, a genuine fakery
where the goal is separated
from the motivation.
Though I’ve been known to say ‘no’
if you’re not worthy,
too needy, too snotty . . .
I need your problems to mirror mine
so I can explore solutions.

A toothy, freckled, pre-teen,
soft-spoken with a slight stammer,
pointed to the lake and rolled his eyes
as he quizzed me about the waterfowl
with a series of ‘why’ like a young child.
 
I guessed his fear of birds, like me,
but he requested some seed
for the ducks and geese.
He stared at the bag, he glanced at the pigeons,
a grey and white barrier, perched on railings
or pecking discards on the decking .

I shielded him, showed him how to shoo
the fluttery swoop of flapping wings
if any greedy nuisance scared him.
As I talked the talk, I walked the walk,
more therapy for me than him,
but one of those win win situations
for hungry birds, a frightened boy
and a woman who discovered why
she’s compelled to help. Selfish bitch.


Offline Boston

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Re: Generous to a Fault
« Reply #1 on: July 28, 2015, 05:51:03 PM »
enjoyed this-especially the first stanza.


I need your problems to mirror mine
so I can explore solutions.

This is a universal truth.

Boston


Offline Tom 10

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Re: Generous to a Fault
« Reply #2 on: July 28, 2015, 06:04:27 PM »

This is a delightfully written poem.  The narrative adeptly presents the story in thematic fashion.  The theme is the Narrator doing good for the selfish purpose of feeling better about herself - a dubious but enticing proposition.   There is a lyrical sound to much of the narrative, the vowel repeats, internal rhymes, rhythms, part rhymes, etc, are woven into a marvelously readable (and enjoyable) text.

My fiddles include:
- reexamine placement of the two commas in the first two lines.  It could be argued only one comma is needed, and that at the end of L.2.

- consider deleting S.1 L.4 & L.5 & L.10.  Let me know if you want my arguments why.

 S.2 L.5 ‘why’ > ‘whys’ ?

S.3 - does he share a fear of birds with the N. or does he fear the N. like he does the birds - ambiguous, at least to me.

S.4 L.5 - therapy for > benefit to?  Just asking.

L.6 - win win > win-win?


I so much like the ironies in this, and the last stanza is special. 
 8)
T

Offline 510bhan

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Re: Generous to a Fault
« Reply #3 on: July 28, 2015, 06:16:50 PM »
Thanks for reading, Boston. Glad you see the universal truth. ;)

You're much more pithy than me, Tom.

Yep, cuts can be made -- less is more.

I want the pauses the commas bring in S1.

If I were to change it to whys -- there would be no need for the quotation marks, which I think allow the reader to hear the voice/actual question from the boy.

S3 -- just the birds -- the woman is amazingly kind and wondrous, no one would fear her! :P ;D ;D ;D ;D

Therapy rather than benefit for the connotation of professional help.

win-win -- you're right. :-* Thank you.

Offline Tom 10

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Re: Generous to a Fault
« Reply #4 on: July 28, 2015, 06:29:28 PM »
Good points all.  Good poeming, S. 8)

Offline kateD

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Re: Generous to a Fault
« Reply #5 on: July 28, 2015, 06:48:17 PM »
I like this a lot -- which is saying a lot from a childless sort.

I would only add minor nits -- double quotes "why" anywhere you intend a quote (instead of apostrophes, which single quotes are ... maybe different overseas?), which I think would alleviate the issue Tom had. (It did for me.) And even present it as "why?" with a question mark.

I think win-win needs a hyphen. And "selfish bitch" may be over-the-top, as the reader kind of gets it by this point. :-) Just IMO.

Love it though!

Offline 510bhan

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Re: Generous to a Fault
« Reply #6 on: July 28, 2015, 07:03:27 PM »
Yep single marks and double marks -- trans-Atlantic misunderstanding though with the doubles called speech marks and the singles called quotation marks, I'd have thought it was easy to understand. :P

Thanks for reading Kate, agreed about win-win. ;)

Offline rosez

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Re: Generous to a Fault
« Reply #7 on: July 29, 2015, 12:13:33 AM »
Well written poem, Siobhan. Like this very much. S1 is real wisdom. Nice sonics to the poem with vivid imagery throughout and a nice ending. Much enjoyed.

Offline 510bhan

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Re: Generous to a Fault
« Reply #8 on: July 29, 2015, 06:27:00 AM »
Thank you. :)

Offline Welsh Rarebit

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Re: Generous to a Fault
« Reply #9 on: July 30, 2015, 03:29:32 AM »
Aside from the heavy use of aliteration/wordy techniques (just my pet aversion;) )  I think this is a wonderful piece of work.  You've built the 'story' up well and I understand the sentiment completely- I feel immersed in this poem, I've already read it a few times and I know I want to come back to many more :)  I tend to agree with Kate re "selfish bitch'  the poem communicates that well enough.  VERY much enjoyed :)