Two... - Revision III

New to poetry? Unsure about the quality of your work? Then why not post here to receive some gentle feedback.

Two... - Revision III

Postby Luce » Wed Nov 08, 2017 3:43 pm

Two… – Revision III

...arms, legs and hands in motion,
reflections of each other,
a faultless balance of fluidity

In nature there is symmetry
that the earth creates.
The barred owl nestles
with its lifelong mate while
the beaver interlaces branches
to his lodge while his partner
places stones at its base.

I had a twin who loved but hated me.
She was the broken face, the shadow
in the hallway that haunts my dreams.

The scarlet scabs on her arms and legs,
the gray moss teeth bore witness
to a life misspent.

Sometimes we’d meet at diners
where I’d give her money for the rent
and listen, with hands clenched,
about her life and how her boyfriend
had beaten her again,

of how

it would have been different
if only mom and dad had loved her more
and me less. I had absorbed their animal warmth
with my perfect grades and blind obedience
while she shivered in the darkness,
her flaws spreading inside her unchecked,
like the virus that killed her.

****************************************************************************************************************************************************

Two… – Revision II

...arms, legs and hands,
reflections of each other,
a faultless balance of
fluidity.

In nature there is symmetry
that the earth creates in her
compassion. The barred owl
nestles with its lifelong mate.
The beaver interlaces branches
to his lodge while his partner
places stones at its base.

I had a twin who loved but hated me.
She was the broken face, the shadow
in the hallway that haunted my dreams.

The scarlet scabs on her arms and legs,
the gray moss teeth bore witness
to an existence in disarray.

Sometimes we’d meet at diners
where I’d give her money for the rent
and listen, with hands clenched,
about her life and how her boyfriend
had beaten her again,

of how

it would have been different
if only mom and dad had loved her more
and me less. I had absorbed their animal warmth
with my perfect grades and blind obedience
while she shivered in the darkness,
her flaws spreading inside her unchecked,
like the virus that killed her.

***************************************************************************************************************************************************
Two - Revision

Two arms, two legs, two hands,
they're reflections of each other,
a fautlesst balance of weight
fluidity and harmony.

In the forest, the barred owl nestles
in a tree with its lifelong mate. The beaver,
by the stream, interlaces branches to his lodge
while his partner places the stones, she has
gathered, at its base. All are wrapped
in a soft peace that affection seeds.

I had a twin who loved but hated me
and whom I loved but hated back. She was
an icy shadow, the broken face that haunted
my parents’ frugal dreams.

The livid scabs on her arms and legs,
the rotted teeth bore witness
to a life misspent.

Sometimes we’d meet at diners
where I’d give her money for the rent
and listen, hands clenched,
about her life and how her boyfriend
had beaten her again, of how

it would have been different
if only mom and dad had loved her more
and me less. I had hogged their meager warmth
with my perfect grades and blind obedience
while she shivered in the darkness,
her flaws spreading inside her unchecked,
like the virus that killed her.

************************************************************************************************************************************************************
Two

Two arms, two legs, two hands,
they're lifelong companions,
a perfect balance of weight and fluidity.

In the garden, in the world,
there are pairs and multiples of two:
two wings, six petals, eight pairs of feet
the four corners that created Baker Street,
all in harmony wrapped in a soft peace.

I had a twin who loved but hated me
and who I loved but hated back. She was
an icy mist, a cracked mirror, the broken face
that haunted my parents’ dreams.

She bore the scars of a life destroyed
of broken noses and missing teeth,
tokens of too many bar room brawls.

Sometimes we’d meet at diners
where I’d give her money for the rent
and listen, hands clenched,
about her bitter life and how her
beau had beaten her up again, of how

it would have been different
if only mom and dad had loved her more
and me less. I had hogged their meager warmth
with my blind obedience and A plus grades
while she trembled in the shadows,
her flaws spreading inside her unchecked,
like the cancer that killed her.

Luce
Last edited by Luce on Wed Nov 22, 2017 9:52 pm, edited 6 times in total.
"She acts like summer, walks like rain." - Train
User avatar
Luce
Prolific Poster
Prolific Poster
 
Posts: 665
Joined: Sun Mar 20, 2016 8:25 am
Location: Not so sunny Florida

Re: Two

Postby NotQuiteSure » Wed Nov 08, 2017 5:57 pm

     
Hi Luce,
hope you're well.

Two arms, two legs, two hands,
not keen about so many 'twos', particularly so close to the title.
they're lifelong companions,
a perfect balance of weight and fluidity.

In the garden, in the world,
there are pairs and multiples of two:
again, don't think you need 'of two' (implicit in 'multiples')
two wings, six petals, eight pairs of feet
the four corners that created Baker Street,
all in harmony wrapped in a soft peace.
to be honest, I think you don't need the first two (ahem) stanzas.

I had a twin who loved but hated me
This would make an excellent start line
and who I loved but hated back.
(personally I'd have gone for;
and whom I loved and hated back
but that's just me.)

She was an icy mist, a cracked mirror,
the broken face that haunted my parents’ dreams.
I don't think 'icy mist' works here,
and 'broken face' is pretty much what the next stanza describes,
so perhaps that should also go?
I think the simplicity of
She was the cracked mirror
that haunted my parents' dreams
might serve better.


She bore the scars of a life destroyed
('life destroyed' - telling, not showing)
of broken noses and missing teeth,
tokens of too many bar room brawls.
Perhaps reorder as;
She bore the scars, tokens
of too many bar room brawls,
[oft] broken nose and missing teeth ?

Sometimes we’d meet at diners
where I’d give her money for the rent
(not sure you need 'for the rent')
and listen, hands clenched,
(wouldn't mind a little bit more detail about N's reactions)
about her bitter life and how her
perhaps 'to' rather than 'about'
beau had beaten her up again,
'beau' seems very out of place to me.

of how it would have been different
if only mom and dad had loved her more
and me less.
(I think break after 'less')

I had hogged their meagre warmth
with my blind obedience and A plus grades
while she trembled in the shadows,
don't think this adds much (tell/show)

her flaws spreading inside her unchecked,
perhaps 'failures' for 'flaws'
like the cancer that killed her.
I think you've got two (naturally) good endings. This and 'and me less'.
And, for me, they combine to weaken on another.
If you could fold the 'cancer' into the diner scene, just one more in her list of complaints,
it will still pack a punch, but it would leave the plaintive 'me less' to shine
(it would also circle back to 'I had a twin' more effectively I think.)


All in all a terrific piece well told. Glad to see you back.

Regards, Not.
     
NotQuiteSure
Prolific Poster
Prolific Poster
 
Posts: 475
Joined: Wed Dec 28, 2016 4:05 pm

Re: Two

Postby ton321 » Thu Nov 09, 2017 12:50 am

Hi Luce,

This piece grabbed my attention, as I too had a sibling, now deceased through unnatural means.
I'm not sure you need the first two stanzas, as after that, is where it takes off. Sorry for not being more critical, but I'll come back to it later, as its quite late now. But anyhow, good job,

Tony
Counting the beats,
Counting the slow heart beats,
The bleeding to death of time in slow heart beats,
Wakeful they lie.

Robert Graves
ton321
Persistent Poster
Persistent Poster
 
Posts: 212
Joined: Sat Feb 08, 2014 12:54 am

Re: Two

Postby Macavity » Thu Nov 09, 2017 5:31 am

Hi Luce,
I enjoyed this too. I presumed you had the preamble to make a point of contrast. Of course, it is a matter of taste whether you use this or start the write in 'fifth gear'. I quite enjoyed it myself, that shift of gear from nature to 'unnatural', but I know others, including editors, often like a poem already in 'flight'. In terms of wordy condensing: I like an icy mist, a cracked mirror, the broken face for characterisation - they have an accumulative impact. If the inclination is to select - and tone/voice/pacing of a poem is always affected by simple 'shrinkage' - I'd choose... :roll:

Sometimes we’d meet at diners
where I’d give her money for the rent


Like the detail there - keeping a roof over her head. The fact of the 'diner' nudged to me to the thought of who is paying as well! In terms of fantasy/delusional world - 'beau' made me smile (touch of Tennessee Williams there). No wonder there is a clenched restraint listening to the moan.
Liked the sonics of rent/clenched. The about/bitter/beau/beaten thread was effective too.

I had hogged their meagre warmth
with my blind obedience and A plus grades
while she trembled in the shadows,


Interesting how the siblings reacted and went their different ways - one fought, one retreated. Of course, the latter is always likely to blame the parents. Justify the behaviour of 'freedom'. Be melodramatic in victim portrayal. Like that break, intake of breath, on how.

A nice bitter bite to that ending to echo the relationship of love/hate.

good stuff

all the best

mac
Macavity
Perspicacious Poster
Perspicacious Poster
 
Posts: 4115
Joined: Tue May 10, 2005 10:29 am

Re: Two

Postby Luce » Thu Nov 09, 2017 10:20 pm

Not, Tony & mac - Thanks for reading this one and leaving feedback.

Not & Tony - Yeah, I know some folks would see the first two stanzas as unnecessary but as mac said, I wanted the contrast. I will condense it a little though.

mac - Yes, I wanted the contrast between the natural and unnatural. However, I also wanted to convey the N's longing and sadness that there was no deep love/peace with her twin. I may have to expand or change the pairing to achieve that intent more clearly.

I've always been intrigued by Diane Arbus' photo of a pair of Twins. Both had identical dresses and hairstyles but their expressions were so different - a mirror to their possible personalities. However, even photos can lie and the twin with the unsmiling expression may not have been feeling well or just didn't want to have her photo taken.

Luce
"She acts like summer, walks like rain." - Train
User avatar
Luce
Prolific Poster
Prolific Poster
 
Posts: 665
Joined: Sun Mar 20, 2016 8:25 am
Location: Not so sunny Florida

Re: Two - Revision

Postby Luce » Mon Nov 13, 2017 7:22 pm

I did a revision. Made it darker, more honest.

Tony - Yes, I too had a twin that passed away from "unnatural means". She was a fraternal twin. I was dark and short and she was tall and fair. However, that didn't stop our mom from dressing us both alike and thinking of us as one unit - "the twins". It drove us both mad.

Luce.
"She acts like summer, walks like rain." - Train
User avatar
Luce
Prolific Poster
Prolific Poster
 
Posts: 665
Joined: Sun Mar 20, 2016 8:25 am
Location: Not so sunny Florida

Re: Two - Revision

Postby NotQuiteSure » Tue Nov 14, 2017 5:58 pm

     
Hi Luce,
I'm enjoying (if that isn't a poor choice of words) where you are going with this one.
The 'darkness' is compelling. Thoughts on the revision:

Two

You could cut the 'twos' and flow straight from the title with
arms, legs, hands,
reflections of each other,
[I think some version of this thought might work here -
"I was dark and short and she was tall and fair.
However, that didn't stop our mom from dressing us both alike
and thinking of us as one unit - "the twins". It drove us both mad."]


[The 'forest scene' appears to me like an attempt to hide from the subject]

I had a twin who loved but hated me
and whom I loved but hated back.
[She became] the broken face
that haunted my parents’ frugal dreams.
[this verse made me think that if one face haunted dreams,
maybe the other, in photographs, proudly adorned walls etc,.]


The livid scabs on her arms and legs,
rotted teeth [and bruises
in the shape of weak mens' hands
]

Sometimes we’d meet at diners
where I’d give her money for the rent
[You could explore why else N might give her money? ]
and listen, [my] hands clenched,
[to her fall]

[Here I think you could describe her voice]
about how
it would have been different
if only mom and dad had loved her more
and me less. [If I had not]
hogged their meagre warmth
with my blind obedience and perfect grades
while she shivered in the [my shadows]
[Then she wouldn't have those flaws
the ones that allowed the virus in,
the ones that killed her
]
Virus makes for a much stronger end.

Condolences, Luce.

Regards, Not.
     
NotQuiteSure
Prolific Poster
Prolific Poster
 
Posts: 475
Joined: Wed Dec 28, 2016 4:05 pm

Re: Two - Revision

Postby David Smedley » Tue Nov 14, 2017 7:58 pm

Two arms, two legs, two hands,
they're reflections of each other,
a fautlesst balance of weight
fluidity and harmony.

In the forest, the barred owl nestles
in a tree with its lifelong mate. The beaver,
by the stream, interlaces branches to his lodge
while his partner places the stones, she has
gathered, at its base. All are wrapped
in a soft peace that affection seeds.

I had a twin who loved but hated me
and whom I loved but hated back. She was
an icy shadow, the broken face that haunted
my parents’ frugal dreams.

The livid scabs on her arms and legs,
the rotted teeth bore witness
to a life misspent.

Sometimes we’d meet at diners
where I’d give her money for the rent
and listen, hands clenched,
about her life and how her boyfriend
had beaten her again, of how

it would have been different
if only mom and dad had loved her more
and me less. I had hogged their meager warmth
with my perfect grades and blind obedience
while she shivered in the darkness,
her flaws spreading inside her unchecked,
like the virus that killed her.


Hiya Luce, I have problems with this and the original, The theme is fine, it's the composition of the delivery that's the problem, for a start both pieces are one dimensional, another is wording like "I had hogged their meagre warmth," " All are wrapped
in a soft peace that affection seeds" and " haunted my parents’ frugal dreams." These just don't read right (to me), and it's not easy to explain why. The whole of S2 is as wrong (for me) as it can get.

You need the directness yes, but it has to be tempered through poetic devices, these devices will kill the one dimensionality. If you have not read her yet I would suggest you read and study (in depth) Sharon Olds' poetry. (maybe then you will start to get a grasp as to why the wording I mentioned bothers me.)

David.
David Smedley
Prolific Poster
Prolific Poster
 
Posts: 584
Joined: Tue Dec 11, 2012 5:16 pm

Re: Two - Revision

Postby Luce » Wed Nov 15, 2017 6:06 pm

Not and David - Thanks for the feedback on this one.

Not - Thanks for the suggestions. Will look at this one a little more closely. I can't seem to find the balance between being subtle without being vague in some parts and in other parts I'm too flat and obvious.

David - I'm familiar with Olds. She has a brutal poetic style which matches the subject matter she is usually tackling. However, she is not one of my favorites. She's a little too hard for my liking, at times. But, I see your point. In essence you're saying I'm too flat and perhaps not honest and/or poetic enough. Point taken.

Well, it looks like this poem needs more work for my intentions to come through in the shape it needs. I'll try for one more revision.

Luce
"She acts like summer, walks like rain." - Train
User avatar
Luce
Prolific Poster
Prolific Poster
 
Posts: 665
Joined: Sun Mar 20, 2016 8:25 am
Location: Not so sunny Florida

Re: Two... - Revision II

Postby Luce » Sun Nov 19, 2017 1:45 pm

Okay. Revision II is up. Some important changes made.

Luce
"She acts like summer, walks like rain." - Train
User avatar
Luce
Prolific Poster
Prolific Poster
 
Posts: 665
Joined: Sun Mar 20, 2016 8:25 am
Location: Not so sunny Florida

Re: Two... - Revision II

Postby NotQuiteSure » Sun Nov 19, 2017 3:42 pm

Two…

...arms, legs and hands,
reflections of each other,
a faultless balance of
fluidity.
Prefer this opening, though the rest rather gives the lie to 'a faultless balance...',
and I don't think you need it as you go straight into 'symmetry'.


In nature there is symmetry
that the earth creates in her
compassion. The barred owl
nestles with its lifelong mate.
The beaver interlaces branches
to his lodge while his partner
places stones at its base.

[And] I had a twin
who loved but hated me.
and whom I loved
but hated back.

liked the 'symmetry' this line provided

She was the broken face,
the shadow in the hallway
that haunted my dreams.
Perhaps 'haunts' rather than 'haunted'

The scarlet scabs on her arms and legs,
the gray moss teeth bore witness
to an existence in disarray.
I think you could fold this into the next stanza

Sometimes we’d meet at diners
where I’d give her money for the rent
[?Try not to notice] The scarlet scabs
on her arms and legs,
the gray moss teeth,
and listen,
with hands clenched,
[to] her life; how her boyfriend
had beaten her, again,

[and] how

it would have been different
if only mom and dad had loved her
more and me less.

I had absorbed their animal warmth
Perhaps 'stolen' rather than 'absorbed'
with my perfect grades and blind obedience
while she shivered in the darkness,
her flaws spreading inside her
unchecked,
like the virus that killed her.

Hi Luce.
The flow is a lot better I think, and if this is where you're going, then you're pretty much there.

Regards, Not.
     
NotQuiteSure
Prolific Poster
Prolific Poster
 
Posts: 475
Joined: Wed Dec 28, 2016 4:05 pm

Re: Two... - Revision II

Postby David Smedley » Sun Nov 19, 2017 5:59 pm

Two… – Revision II

...arms, legs and hands,
reflections of each other,
a faultless balance of
fluidity.


"fluidity" suggests motion to me, so if the "arms," "legs" and "hands" are not moving the correlation throws me.


In nature there is symmetry
that the earth creates in her
compassion. The barred owl
nestles with its lifelong mate.
The beaver interlaces branches
to his lodge while his partner
places stones at its base.

Luce, I cannot make myself believe that the earth creates anything in/through her "compassion."


David.
David Smedley
Prolific Poster
Prolific Poster
 
Posts: 584
Joined: Tue Dec 11, 2012 5:16 pm

Re: Two... - Revision II

Postby Luce » Wed Nov 22, 2017 9:42 pm

Not & David = Thanks for sticking with this one. I appreciate the feedback and suggestions.

Trying for one more revision, incorporating some of your suggestions. After this revision, it's time for me to move on and put this one aside for a while.

Luce
"She acts like summer, walks like rain." - Train
User avatar
Luce
Prolific Poster
Prolific Poster
 
Posts: 665
Joined: Sun Mar 20, 2016 8:25 am
Location: Not so sunny Florida


Return to Post-a-Poem (Beginners)

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 3 guests

Powered by phpBB® Forum Software © phpBB Group
cron