Picked (Revision 7)

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Picked (Revision 7)

Postby JJWilliamson » Tue May 02, 2017 9:04 am

I notice how the daffodil,
on our kitchen windowsill,
withers in the slender vase.

It feels quite sad to see it fade,
slowly bowing in the shade,
no longer staring at the stars.

Beside the winter pansy beds,
from clumps of white and yellow heads,
a single stem was picked with care;

yet I could find no words of praise
to celebrate its final days;
all isolation seems unfair.

They set their spring alarms in June,
and even though they’re gone too soon,
in March they’ll wake again, but still,

when winter heads for southern climes
and healthy shoots are in their prime,
what of the bonny daffodil.


Revision (6.5)

I noticed how the daffodil,
on our kitchen windowsill,
wilted in the slender vase.

It felt quite sad to watch it fade,
slowly bowing in the shade,
no longer vying with the stars.

Beside the winter pansy beds,
from clumps of white and yellow heads,
a pristine bloom was snipped with care;

but there was little I could say
to dignify its final days;
all isolation seems unfair.

They set their spring alarms in June,
and even though they’re gone too soon,
in March they’ll wake again, but still,

when winter heads for southern climes
and healthy shoots are in their prime,
what of the bonny daffodil.



Revision 6

I saw a flawless daffodil
on the kitchen windowsill,
confined inside a slender vase.

It felt quite sad to watch it fade,
slowly bowing in the shade,
no longer vying with the stars.

Beside the winter pansy beds,
from clumps of white and yellow heads,
a single bloom was plucked with care;

but there was little I could say
to dignify its final days;
all isolation seems unfair.

They set their spring alarms in June,
and even though they’re gone too soon,
in March they’ll wake again, but still,

when winter heads for southern climes
and healthy shoots are in their prime,
what of the flawless daffodil.


Revision 5

I saw a flawless daffodil
on the kitchen windowsill,
confined inside a slender vase.

It felt quite sad to watch it fade,
slowly bowing in the shade,
no longer vying with the stars.

Beside the winter pansy beds,
from clumps of white and yellow heads,
the honoured flower was plucked with care;

but there was little I could say
to dignify its final days;
the isolation seemed unfair.

They put themselves to bed in June
and even though they’re gone too soon
in March they’ll wake again, but still,

when winter heads for southern climes
and healthy shoots are in their prime,
what of the single daffodil.


Revision 4

I saw a favoured daffodil
on the kitchen windowsill,
confined inside a slender vase.

It felt quite sad to watch it fade,
slowly bowing in the shade,
no longer staring at the stars.

Beside the winter pansy beds,
from clumps of shocking yellow heads,
the finest flower was plucked with care;

but there was little I could say
to help improve its final days;
the isolation seemed unfair.

They put themselves to bed in June
and even though they’re gone too soon
in March they’ll wake again, but still,

when winter heads for southern climes
and healthy shoots are in their prime,
what of the wilted daffodil.


Revision 3

I saw a wilted daffodil
on the kitchen windowsill,
confined inside a slender vase.

It felt quite sad to see it fade,
slowly bowing in the shade,
no longer staring at the stars.

From rafts of yellow waving heads,
beside the season’s pansy beds,
the brightest bloom was cut with care;

and there was little I could say
to help improve its final day;
the ruination seemed unfair.

They put themselves to sleep in June
and even though they’re gone too soon
in March they’ll wake again, but still,

what of the wilted daffodil.


Revision 2

I saw a wilted daffodil
on the kitchen windowsill,
confined inside a slender vase,
no longer dancing with the stars.

It seemed quite sad to watch it fade,
slowly bowing in the shade;
but there was little I could say
to help improve its final day.

They put themselves to bed in June,
and even though they’re gone too soon,
in March they’ll wake again, but still,
what of the wilted daffodil.


Revision

I saw a lonely daffodil
staring from the windowsill,
placed inside a slender jar,
no longer dancing with the stars.

It seemed quite sad to see it there,
a wasted chance for one so fair;
but there was little I could say
to help improve its final day.

They put themselves to bed in June,
and even though they’re gone too soon,
in March they’ll wake again, but still,
what of the lonely daffodil.


Original

I saw a lonely daffodil
staring from the windowsill,
placed inside a slender jar,
no longer dancing with the stars.

It seemed quite sad to see it there,
a tragic chance for one so fair;
but there was little I could say
to help improve its final day.

They put themselves to bed in June,
and even though they’re gone too soon,
in March they’ll wake again, but still,
what of the lonely daffodil.
Last edited by JJWilliamson on Mon May 29, 2017 7:34 am, edited 12 times in total.
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Re: Freshly Picked Flowers

Postby Richard » Tue May 02, 2017 1:03 pm

JJ, it's the tthird line wich is not quite right here for me. There's something not on with the meter, "placed inside a slender jar," [Somone] had placed it in a jar, might work but you might miss slender.

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Re: Freshly Picked Flowers

Postby ray miller » Wed May 03, 2017 9:00 am

I enjoyed it, don't think there's anything wrong with the metre. "tragic chance", though? "quite sad" is an apt description, tragic is over the top. I think "end" would be better than chance.
Don't you need a question mark at the end of the poem.
I'm out of faith and in my cups
I contemplate such bitter stuff.
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Re: Picked (was Freshly Picked Flowers)

Postby JJWilliamson » Thu May 04, 2017 7:04 am

Thank you, gentlemen

Richard wrote:JJ, it's the tthird line wich is not quite right here for me. There's something not on with the meter, "placed inside a slender jar," [Somone] had placed it in a jar, might work but you might miss slender. ...I think it's the headless iamb that's throwing you, Richard. L3 begins with a stress, leaving me with seven syllables instead of the usual eight. I scan it like this, ^ PLACED/ inSIDE/ a SLEN/der JAR/. L2 is the same, with the rest being strictly iambic tetramer IE eight syllables and four stresses. Interestingly enough, it's L3 that I've looked at more than once. I originally used 'crimson vase' instead of 'slender jar'. BUT, I don't think a red vase would compliment the yellow daff. The daff is the star of the show so I put it in a plainer jar. I appreciate the question.

Best

R

ray miller wrote:I enjoyed it, don't think there's anything wrong with the metre. "tragic chance", though? "quite sad" is an apt description, tragic is over the top. I think "end" would be better than chance.
Don't you need a question mark at the end of the poem.


I'll look at 'tragic', Ray, to see what occurs. I was thinking about the host of golden daffodils at the time and really needed something to reflect bad luck. IE Out of the myriad daff's you had to pick me. Yes, I think you're right. I thought 'end' was a bit cliché.

The question is rather open and rhetorical so the Q mark is a moot point. The speaker isn't expecting an answer, as it's already implied. So, I'm changing the title to give it an extra nudge. Mind you, a Q M wouldn't harm.

Thanks again, guys, for the great questions. Appreciated.

Best

JJ
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Re: Picked [Revised](was Freshly Picked Flowers)

Postby Lou » Fri May 05, 2017 10:48 am

I'm having a problem liking this one, JJ. There's been a million poems written about daffodils, so for me, a new one has to be a bit different - actually, a lot different. Your piece has a distinctly Victorian feel to it with phrases like, 'lonely daffodil' and 'one so fair' and the rhyming couplets don't help. I would use this as a start and sketch out half a dozen more daffodil ideas and see if you can't come up with something a bit fresher and more quirky.

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Lou
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Re: Picked [Revised](was Freshly Picked Flowers)

Postby JJWilliamson » Fri May 05, 2017 11:01 am

Lou wrote:I'm having a problem liking this one, JJ. There's been a million poems written about daffodils, so for me, a new one has to be a bit different - actually, a lot different. Your piece has a distinctly Victorian feel to it with phrases like, 'lonely daffodil' and 'one so fair' and the rhyming couplets don't help. I would use this as a start and sketch out half a dozen more daffodil ideas and see if you can't come up with something a bit fresher and more quirky.

Best,
Lou


Thanks, Lou

I knew it was very ordinary and hoped the simple approach might be refreshing for some. I will take you up on the daff's quirkiness idea, though. Sounds good to me.

I often go for simplicity as a deliberate strategy, having spent years reading complex, academic poems. I occasionally want to let my brain relax
and love the idea that a poem can be accessible to all comers. I made this decision a few years ago but sometimes slip into the complex.
As a consequence I present this easy going poem, rhymes and all, for your enjoyment or otherwise. I know it's not everybody's cup of tea and genuinely appreciate that undeniable fact. Might do well in a children's book. Do they still read poems? :)

Finding a voice is difficult, so I try to stay true to myself and simply hope for the best. I think I was born in the wrong era. :)

Thanks for the very useful visit.

Best

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Re: Picked [Revision 2](was Freshly Picked Flowers)

Postby Macavity » Thu May 11, 2017 1:51 am

Quite like it JJ. Made me think of renewal. Also taking from the wild, the natural environment, and breaking that 'cycle of life'.

I saw a wilted daffodil
on the kitchen windowsill,
confined inside a slender vase.

It seemed quite sad to watch it fade,
slowly bowing in the shade;
no longer dancing with the stars.

etc


Just a thought on breaking from the rigidity of couplet chimes.

best

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Re: Picked [Revision 2](was Freshly Picked Flowers)

Postby JJWilliamson » Thu May 11, 2017 6:37 am

Thanks, mac

That's the perfect interp' for me. Thank you very much for that.

A feast of a rhyming suggestion, if I may say so. Consider the idea used. Further revision coming soon.

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Re: Picked (Revision 5)

Postby Macavity » Tue May 16, 2017 5:36 pm

hi JJ

Effectively done - for your intention - though perhaps you may want to reconsider using bed/beds.

best

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Re: Picked (Revision 5)

Postby JJWilliamson » Wed May 17, 2017 8:13 am

Thanks, mac

I saw the beds/bed repetition and changed bed to sleep. "They put themselves to sleep". (I need 'beds' for the rhyme)
There is a suggestion of euthanasia which could reflect a kind of quiet and painless death,
when I actually want a dormancy. It is the single daff that slowly dies. So, I thought I could
tolerate the rep'. Never was sure. I'll think some more because your focus does highlight a weakness.
One of the many. :)

Best

JJ

PS

I'm thinking of changing 'single' to 'lonely' in the closing line. Pathetic fallacy and all that.
Lots of tweaks available with this one.

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Re: Picked (Revision 5)

Postby Firebird » Wed May 17, 2017 10:52 am

I like it JJ. A sad lament to individual loss, that is not remedied by the circle of life. It reminds me of a quote by Marcus Aurelius which unfortunately I cannot remember. No nits I'm afraid. I like it as it is.

Cheers,

Tristan

I saw a flawless daffodil
on the kitchen windowsill,
confined inside a slender vase.

It felt quite sad to watch it fade,
slowly bowing in the shade,
no longer vying with the stars.

Beside the winter pansy beds,
from clumps of white and yellow heads,
the honoured flower was plucked with care;

but there was little I could say
to dignify its final days;
the isolation seemed unfair.

They put themselves to bed in June
and even though they’re gone too soon
in March they’ll wake again, but still,

when winter heads for southern climes
and healthy shoots are in their prime,
what of the single daffodil.
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Re: Picked (Revision 5)

Postby NotQuiteSure » Wed May 17, 2017 4:57 pm

JJ
Simple and sweet.
very small nits.
(L6)     'vying with' doesn't convince, perhaps 'gazing at'?
(L9)     Where's the 'honour'?
(L12)     if this is reflecting on 'bad luck', then 'unfair' seems redundant.
echoing mac's bed/beds repetition;
(L13)     they tuck themselves away in June?
(L18)     Should it not end with ? ? (and 'that single...'?)
You might also consider repeating 'flawless' in the final line.
I don't think the title does enough.

Just an idea
(Revision 6)?

I saw a flawless daffodil
on the kitchen windowsill,
confined inside a slender vase.

Beside the winter pansy beds,
from clumps of white and yellow heads,
the honoured flower was plucked with care;

It felt quite sad to watch it fade,
slowly bowing in the shade,
no longer vying with the stars.

They put themselves to bed in June
and even though they’re gone too soon
in March they’ll wake again, but still,

[...]there was little I could say
to dignify its final days;
the isolation seemed unfair.

when winter heads for southern climes
and healthy shoots are in their prime,
what of the single daffodil.

Regards, Not
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Re: Picked (Revision 5)

Postby Macavity » Wed May 17, 2017 8:36 pm

'honoured' over-baking it JJ?

all isolation is unfair.


to be more emphatic?

You could finish on 4 with another slant:

I saw a flawless daffodil
on the kitchen windowsill,
confined inside a slender vase.

It felt quite sad to watch it fade,
slowly bowing in the shade,
no longer vying with the stars.

Beside the winter pansy beds,
from clumps of white and yellow heads,
the flower was plucked with care;

but there was little I could say
to dignify its final days;
our isolation is unfair.


Just a quirky thought :)

best

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Re: Picked (Revision 5)

Postby Crayon » Thu May 18, 2017 11:28 am

JJWilliamson wrote:I saw a flawless daffodil
on the kitchen windowsill,
confined inside a slender vase.


The opening lines make the narrator sound rather like a visitor in their own kitchen.

[Edit: removed lame joke that may cause offence.]
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Re: Picked (Revision 5)

Postby JJWilliamson » Fri May 19, 2017 6:46 pm

Thanks, Tristan, Not, mac and Cray

Sorry about the tardy response but I've been mulling it over, amongst other things.

I wish you could remember that quote, Tristan. Are you referring to the real philosopher emperor or the great "Gladiator" emperor/Richard Harris?
Pleased you liked.

Firebird wrote:I like it JJ. A sad lament to individual loss, that is not remedied by the circle of life. It reminds me of a quote by Marcus Aurelius which unfortunately I cannot remember. No nits I'm afraid. I like it as it is.

Cheers,

Tristan


NotQuiteSure wrote:JJ
Simple and sweet. ...Yes, I was going for simple.
very small nits.
(L6)     'vying with' doesn't convince, perhaps 'gazing at'? ...I spent an age asking myself what exactly was I trying to say. The star shaped trumpet competed with the stars for beauty, I figured. However, stars come out at night and I wondered if this made a difference. Not on a bright night, I thought. Still thinking. Interestingly, or not, I wasn't sure if I liked how 'vying' looked. It's a strange looking word.
(L9)     Where's the 'honour'? ...It's the favoured bloom, the best. It won a place in the vase, in first position; a brief but glorious victory.
(L12)     if this is reflecting on 'bad luck', then 'unfair' seems redundant. ...It does reflect bad luck but also points a finger at segregation/separation. I thought segregation was too dramatic, and I'm already skirting the boundaries of credibility. :) I need that care/fair rhyme.
echoing mac's bed/beds repetition; ...Yip, I'll have to do something there.
(L13)     they tuck themselves away in June? ...That's a possibility. I am struggling with that line.
(L18)     Should it not end with ? ? (and 'that single...'?) ...Ray said the same thing. I could use a QM but the question is rhetorical. The speaker doesn't require an answer. The QM demands an answer and I thought the question was more open without it, inviting reflection rather than a definitive answer.
You might also consider repeating 'flawless' in the final line. ...I've changed the close dozens of times, originally using a rep on 'lonely'. Consider 'flawless' reinstated.
I don't think the title does enough. ...Tricky one. I like the title for its paronomastic possibilities.

Just an idea
(Revision 6)?

I saw a flawless daffodil
on the kitchen windowsill,
confined inside a slender vase.

Beside the winter pansy beds,
from clumps of white and yellow heads, ...I've toyed with this format and might revert. There is a logical progression with this arrangement.
the honoured flower was plucked with care; ...I'll change 'honoured'. You've convinced me.

It felt quite sad to watch it fade,
slowly bowing in the shade,
no longer vying with the stars.

They put themselves to bed in June
and even though they’re gone too soon
in March they’ll wake again, but still,

[...]there was little I could say
to dignify its final days;
the isolation seemed unfair.

when winter heads for southern climes
and healthy shoots are in their prime,
what of the single daffodil. ...I have to be careful with the rhyme scheme. This arrangement separates the closing rhyme of each stanza by some distance.

Thanks for all the suggestions and thoughts.

Regards, Not


Macavity wrote:'honoured' over-baking it JJ? ...Could be. I'll tame the beast in the next revision.

all isolation is unfair. ...Quite like the assertion.


to be more emphatic?

You could finish on 4 with another slant:

I saw a flawless daffodil
on the kitchen windowsill,
confined inside a slender vase.

It felt quite sad to watch it fade,
slowly bowing in the shade,
no longer vying with the stars.

Beside the winter pansy beds,
from clumps of white and yellow heads,
the flower was plucked with care; ...Only three stresses.

but there was little I could say
to dignify its final days;
our isolation is unfair.


Just a quirky thought :) ...Thanks for the thought. appreciated.

best

mac


Crayon wrote:
JJWilliamson wrote:I saw a flawless daffodil
on the kitchen windowsill,
confined inside a slender vase.


The opening lines make the narrator sound rather like a visitor in their own kitchen. ...Believe it or not, I thought the same thing. The speaker would be looking at and considering the flower. As it stands he sounds surprised to see it. Of course, it may have been placed there by his wife and he suddenly notices its presence. That's a common occurrence in this house. SO, perhaps 'we placed' or something along those lines.

[Edit: removed lame joke that may cause offence.]


Thanks again to all.

Best

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Re: Picked (Revision 6)

Postby Macavity » Sat May 20, 2017 3:05 am

from clumps of white and yellow heads,
the flower was plucked with care; ...Only three stresses.


Apologies JJ. I should have been more explicit. I was suggesting how the line became lighter without modifier filler.

from clumps of white and yellow heads,
a bloom was plucked with care;


A similar effect could be an option in the revised line. For a formalist pattern the three stressed line could be introduced into each stanza. Just a thought really.

all the best

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Re: Picked (Revision 6)

Postby JJWilliamson » Sat May 20, 2017 8:42 am

Thanks again, mac, for the continued support.

Macavity wrote:
from clumps of white and yellow heads,
the flower was plucked with care; ...Only three stresses.


Apologies JJ. I should have been more explicit. I was suggesting how the line became lighter without modifier filler. ...Ah, I see. I wanted to show how the flower was selected because of its perfection. I'm considering "pristine bloom" but wonder about the "flawless" similarity. My initial thought was to use "pretty" in the opening line. It seemed too twee. There's always the option of "I saw a single daffodil", introducing its "beauty/perfection/pristine nature" later as an enhancement. The original version read, "I saw a lonely daffodil", implying isolation. Are all abstract modifiers to be avoided if they are supported by tangible imagery? I keep asking myself that question. So, the "simple" is not so simple after all. :)

from clumps of white and yellow heads,
a bloom was plucked with care;


A similar effect could be an option in the revised line. For a formalist pattern the three stressed line could be introduced into each stanza. Just a thought really. ...The pattern does lend itself to a 4-4-3 rhythm and I've already looked at that possibility, and liked the idea, in fact there are so many possibilities it really is decision time, because I find myself with several viable options, all of which would work. This is such a simple poem. :D I'm rambling again. :)

all the best

mac


Thanks again

Best

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Re: Picked (Revision 6.5)

Postby Macavity » Sun May 21, 2017 4:04 am

I wanted to show how the flower was selected because of its perfection. I'm considering "pristine bloom" but wonder about the "flawless" similarity. My initial thought was to use "pretty" in the opening line. It seemed too twee. There's always the option of "I saw a single daffodil", introducing its "beauty/perfection/pristine nature" later as an enhancement. The original version read, "I saw a lonely daffodil", implying isolation. Are all abstract modifiers to be avoided if they are supported by tangible imagery? I keep asking myself that question.


I don't believe in yes/no there JJ. As always, a matter of taste. I quite like the reasoning of 'flawless' for motivation and 'single' for context, though both have less 'verve' than 'pristine' and 'bonny'. 'lonely' felt too WW and I agree 'pretty' too twee ('bonny' poetic diction?)

On a more mundane note, perhaps...

this pristine bloom was snipped with care;


...for particular.

Writing is not simple or complex, just obsessive :D

best

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Re: Picked (Revision 6.5)

Postby JJWilliamson » Mon May 22, 2017 9:56 pm

Thanks again, mac

Macavity wrote:I don't believe in yes/no there JJ. As always, a matter of taste. I quite like the reasoning of 'flawless' for motivation and 'single' for context, though both have less 'verve' than 'pristine' and 'bonny'. 'lonely' felt too WW and I agree 'pretty' too twee ('bonny' poetic diction?) ...'Bonny' is ok round my neck of the woods, or was. The whole of northern England uses 'bonny' on a regular basis. I know what you mean, though. I'm going to sit on this one for now because I'm humming and harring too much.

On a more mundane note, perhaps...

this pristine bloom was snipped with care; ...Yes, that would fit.


...for particular.

Writing is not simple or complex, just obsessive :D

best

mac


All the best

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Re: Picked (Revision 6.5)

Postby Crayon » Sat May 27, 2017 9:32 pm

JJ, you seem awash with possibilities. Perhaps deciding on an overarching tone or emotion or metaphor could make the choices clearer.

Could there be a regional pronunciation problem with the rhyme 'vase' (varz/vayz) and 'stars'?

A number of times you've kindly given me guidance in the ways of metre and feet, and so I thought I'd test myself by attempting to offer suggestions in a remix that, hopefully for once, comes close to having the correct metre and feet.

Picked / Plucked / Chosen

Upon the kitchen windowsill
my love displayed a daffodil,
resplendent in a slender vase;

     though sad it was to see it fade
     and slowly stoop by nightly shade,
     no more to complement the stars.

Beyond last winter's pansy beds,
from crowds of sunny swaying heads,
the single stem was picked with care;

     yet I could find no words of praise
     to celebrate that bloom's last days
     in isolation so unfair.

The daffs depart, not one sees June,
and we might feel they pass too soon
for all the joy they bring, but still,

     whilst seasons turn around our world
     with buds unfurled or dry leaves curled,
     there's hope for one last daffodil.
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Re: Picked (Revision 6.5)

Postby JJWilliamson » Sun May 28, 2017 10:08 am

Thanks, Ray

Yes, awash indeed. :)

Some good ideas there, and an enjoyable alternative. You've strayed slightly from the original intent
but there's still plenty to work with. Much appreciated suggestions. Must have taken some time.

Crayon wrote:JJ, you seem awash with possibilities. Perhaps deciding on an overarching tone or emotion or metaphor could make the choices clearer.

Could there be a regional pronunciation problem with the rhyme 'vase' (varz/vayz) and 'stars'? ...I thought about using 'jar' because of the varying accentuation you highlight, then reverted to 'vase' for accuracy.

A number of times you've kindly given me guidance in the ways of metre and feet, and so I thought I'd test myself by attempting to offer suggestions in a remix that, hopefully for once, comes close to having the correct metre and feet. ...A great example of iambic tetrameter all the way through. It's flawless, and I've checked every line. :D

As with many metrical poems some of the word choices are there for meter's sake, even though they work contextually. That's where the substitutions or iambic alternatives come in handy. EG I opened with a verb, IE "I noticed" rather than 'upon'. You could even begin with 'ON/ the KIT/chen WIN/dowSILL', giving you a headless iamb (substitution) to open L1, with 7 syllables and four iambs. BUT, there is no established iambic pattern at this point so it could be mistaken for a troche. If the closing word ended with a feminine syllable you'd have a line that could easily be mistaken for trochaic tetrameter. So, an opening iamb would be my choice, verb and all. The same could be said of 'beyond' but the narrative is already well on the way, so it doesn't stand out so much. No problem. We're talking personal preference here, btw. S1L3 of my version begins with a headless iamb. It snags the iambic rhythm a bit to help establish a natural flow; at least that's the idea. Doesn't always work.

Thanks again. I feel revision 6.75 coming on. :)

Best

JJ

Picked / Plucked / Chosen

Upon the kitchen windowsill
my love displayed a daffodil,
resplendent in a slender vase;

     though sad it was to see it fade
     and slowly stoop by nightly shade,
     no more to complement the stars.

Beyond last winter's pansy beds,
from crowds of sunny swaying heads,
the single stem was picked with care;

     yet I could find no words of praise
     to celebrate that bloom's last days
     in isolation so unfair.

The daffs depart, not one sees June,
and we might feel they pass too soon
for all the joy they bring, but still,

     whilst seasons turn around our world
     with buds unfurled or dry leaves curled,
     there's hope for one last daffodil.
Long time a child and still a child
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JJWilliamson
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