Without a Compass (revision2)

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Without a Compass (revision2)

Postby Macavity » Thu Jan 04, 2018 9:03 pm

revision2

A tufted duck, eyes like buttons
of gold, jumps and dives. The lake
shivers. I'm wearing gloves, the ones
you knitted in no time. We're tired.

My short-cut was a thinning path,
giddy inclines, hands gripping tussocks,
the slip on shale, my jumper snagging
on bracken. Your laughter was coffee.

The duck surfaces, glistening -
it preens, dives again. Those washing-lines
beneath your eyes reveal a life
pegged with this joy of short-cuts.


==========================================================================================================

revision

A tufted duck, eyes like buttons
of gold, jumps and dives. The heath
bristles with frost. I'm wearing gloves,
the ones you knitted in no time.

My short-cut was a thinning path,
giddy inclines, hands gripping tussocks,
that slip on shale, my jumper snagging
on bracken. Your laughter was coffee.

The duck surfaces, feathers glisten,
it jumps and dives. Washing-lines
beneath your eyes expose a life:
pegging our map of torn clothes.



original

A tufted duck, eyes like buttons
of gold, jumps and dives. The lake
is winter cold. I'm wearing gloves,
the ones you knitted , we're tired.

My short-cut was a thinning path,
giddy inclines, hands gripping tussocks,
that slip on shale, my jumper snagging
on bracken. Your laughter was coffee.

The duck surfaces, shivers ripples
across the water. Washing-lines
beneath your eyes reveal a life
pegged with tangles of short-cuts.
Last edited by Macavity on Mon Jan 15, 2018 4:16 am, edited 9 times in total.
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Re: Without a Compass

Postby Firebird » Thu Jan 04, 2018 11:22 pm

It’s a good poem Mac. I think the best stanza is the second one. The others IMO have small problems. Specific points below.


Macavity wrote:A tufted duck, eyes like buttons
of gold, jumps and dives. The lake
is winter cold. I'm wearing gloves, (‘winter cold’ is a bit weak)
the ones you knitted , we're tired. (Run on sentence here. Not keen on ‘we’re tired’ hanging on the end of this line. It’s a telly expression, too.)

My short-cut was a thinning path, (nice line)
giddy inclines, hands gripping tussocks,
that slip on shale, my jumper snagging
on bracken. Your laughter was coffee. (Do you need ‘was’?)

The duck surfaces, shivers ripples (‘shivers ripples’ either needs punctuation or the ‘s’ dropping from ‘ripples’)
across the water. Washing-lines
beneath your eyes reveal a life (fantastic image)
pegged with tangles of short-cuts. (These final three lines are a lovely idea, but I feel the final line slightly loses its thrust somehow with ‘tangled’).


I’ll probably come backbto this one Mac, as the poem as a whole hasn’t yet come fully into focus. This may have something to do with a couple of glasses of red wine.

Cheers,

Tristan
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Re: Without a Compass

Postby Luce » Thu Jan 04, 2018 11:42 pm

Nice one mac. Looks and sounds like a metered piece. If so, I like how you let the meter carry the poem with minimal help from some internal rhyme (gold/cold) and other sonic tools. If it isn't a metered poem, than you did a good job in naturally instilling meter in it.

I also like the setting and the affectionate relationship, described in the poem, between the N and the subject. There is also the easy relationship between the N and his/her surroundings too, that I enjoyed.

Love this line: "Your laughter was coffee".

My only nit involves L4. First off, you need to delete a space where the comma is. More important, I feel the "we're tired" wording is kind of strange and forced. I'm wondering if describing the gloves could take its place instead. Like..."the ones you knitted in ragg yarn."

Luce


Macavity wrote:A tufted duck, eyes like buttons
of gold, jumps and dives. The lake
is winter cold. I'm wearing gloves,
the ones you knitted , we're tired.

My short-cut was a thinning path,
giddy inclines, hands gripping tussocks,
that slip on shale, my jumper snagging
on bracken. Your laughter was coffee.

The duck surfaces, shivers ripples
across the water. Washing-lines
beneath your eyes reveal a life
pegged with tangles of short-cuts.
Last edited by Luce on Fri Jan 05, 2018 9:54 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Without a Compass (revision)

Postby Macavity » Fri Jan 05, 2018 8:17 pm

Thanks Tristan and Luce. I was trying a more straightforward, plainer approach in the original, but it can be dull. Anyway, I've rewritten in response to your concerns.

all the best

mac
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Re: Without a Compass

Postby Joao » Fri Jan 05, 2018 8:32 pm

I like it, mac, this good-humoured affection for blundering N. It all feels very warm and comfortable despite the winter cold and the uncomfortable walk, which I guess is your point(?). It reads very well (great sonics in S2!). I love the understated language. Interesting closing image. Only one comment:

The duck surfaces, shivers ripples
across the water. I had to read this twice: I think you mean 'the duck shivers ripples across the water'. If so, perhaps 'shivering' would be more easily understood -- 'shivers' after the comma risks being read as 'shivers ripple'
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Re: Without a Compass (revision)

Postby Firebird » Fri Jan 05, 2018 8:46 pm

I prefer the revision Mac, especially the dives/life rhyme in the final stanza. Not sure though about ‘torn clothes’. I’ll think on. Sorry to be so literal, but why would she peg out torn clothes? Maybe this literal problem doesn’t really matter.

Cheers,

Tristan
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Re: Without a Compass (revision)

Postby Luce » Fri Jan 05, 2018 9:53 pm

I prefer the original mac. The poem lost power in the revision. Don't quite understand why you changed the closing lines. It was perfect, IMHO. More comments below:

Luce

Macavity wrote:revision

A tufted duck, eyes like buttons
of gold, jumps and dives. The heath
bristles with frost. I'm wearing gloves,
the ones you knitted in no time.

L1 - Nice imagery of the duck
L2 - I can imagine the duck jumping and diving. Preferred the lake imagery as oppose to the heath. It supported L1.
L3 - I'm sure you can write something appropriate for the lake being very cold, if you wish to switch to the lake setting in L2.
L4 - I see you changed the wording at the end of the line, as suggested. However, "you knitted in no time" seems awfully weak. Great opportunity for an image.


My short-cut was a thinning path,
giddy inclines, hands gripping tussocks,
that slip on shale, my jumper snagging
on bracken. Your laughter was coffee.

L5 through L8 - No nits. Great picture. Love " Your laughter was coffee".

The duck surfaces, feathers glisten,
it jumps and dives. Washing-lines
beneath your eyes expose a life:
pegging our map of torn clothes.

L 9 - Like the imagery especially of the feathers glistening.
L10 - Errr.. a little confusion here. The duck jumps into the lake, surfaces, jumps and dives again from the water? Going from the duck to "washing-lines" may seem to some as an abrupt turn. But, for me, it works. It could be because you introduced the 2nd person in the poem well.
L11 - No nits. It builds up the closing line.
L12 - I prefer the original ending. This one infers an unhappy union (torn clothes). Yet, the rest of the poem points to a seemingly happy one.


original

A tufted duck, eyes like buttons
of gold, jumps and dives. The lake
is winter cold. I'm wearing gloves,
the ones you knitted , we're tired.

My short-cut was a thinning path,
giddy inclines, hands gripping tussocks,
that slip on shale, my jumper snagging
on bracken. Your laughter was coffee.

The duck surfaces, shivers ripples
across the water. Washing-lines
beneath your eyes reveal a life
pegged with tangles of short-cuts.
"She acts like summer, walks like rain." - Train
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Re: Without a Compass

Postby Macavity » Sat Jan 06, 2018 7:39 am

Joao wrote:The duck surfaces, shivers ripples
across the water. I had to read this twice: I think you mean 'the duck shivers ripples across the water'. If so, perhaps 'shivering' would be more easily understood -- 'shivers' after the comma risks being read as 'shivers ripple'


Thanks Joao. I've cut that snippet. It was weak. Pleased the piece connected its mood.

Sorry to be so literal, but why would she peg out torn clothes? Maybe this literal problem doesn’t really matter.


:lol: Take your point Tristan. It's fashionable :) Thanks for taking another look. I've reinstated the telly tired bit. I feel it sets up S2.

L10 - Errr.. a little confusion here. The duck jumps into the lake, surfaces, jumps and dives again from the water


A characteristic of the Tufted Duck is a little jump, while on the water, before it dives. I understand that doesn't really come across (unless you're a twitcher).

L12 - I prefer the original ending. This one infers an unhappy union (torn clothes). Yet, the rest of the poem points to a seemingly happy one.


Yes, I probably overweighted. Duly edited.

L3 - I'm sure you can write something appropriate for the lake being very cold, if you wish to switch to the lake setting in L2.


I rather like my bristled, but you're right about focus. Thanks as always for taking another look Luce.

all the best

mac
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Re: Without a Compass (revision2)

Postby fortytwo » Tue Jan 09, 2018 7:23 pm

A tufted duck, eyes like buttons
of gold, jumps and dives. The heath
bristles with frost. I'm wearing gloves,
the ones you knitted in no time.

My short-cut was a thinning path,
giddy inclines, hands gripping tussocks,
that slip on shale, my jumper snagging
on bracken. Your laughter was coffee.

The duck surfaces, feathers glisten,
it jumps and dives. Washing-lines
beneath your eyes expose a life:
pegging our map of torn clothes.


I am a bit late to this but just wanted to say how much I liked it in this revised form
hope to read more of your work soon....Sincerely Ft
There are none so blind as those who will not see.
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Re: Without a Compass (revision2)

Postby Macavity » Wed Jan 10, 2018 2:28 am

Thank you for commenting FT. I tend to write slowly - and because of work commitments - one to two poems per month is my typical output. It is always interesting to learn of reader preferences (in your case a preference for the first revision rather than the final one).

all the best

mac
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Re: Without a Compass (revision2)

Postby Antcliff » Fri Jan 12, 2018 11:38 pm

I liked it overall, Mac

Especially the coffee/laughter metaphor.... warming+energy.

And short cut of brambles.

I did wonder about the linking metaphor in the last sentence.

Those washing-lines
beneath your eyes reveal a life
pegged with this bramble of short-cuts.


Pegged by a bramble of short cuts? Can brambles peg? Don't they snag more than peg...or am I muddled? I realise you go for "peg" because you go for washing lines..but still.

Seth
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Save in the tapestries of afterthought.
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Re: Without a Compass (revision2)

Postby Macavity » Sat Jan 13, 2018 7:04 am

...or am I muddled?


More like a muddled mac metaphor :) I've applied the secateurs. Thanks for taking a look Seth.

best

mac
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Re: Without a Compass (revision2)

Postby David Smedley » Sat Jan 13, 2018 11:02 am

A tufted duck, eyes like buttons
of gold, jumps and dives. The lake
shivers. I'm wearing gloves, the ones
you knitted in no time. We're tired.

Liked this Mac, the gloves are a great touch.
like the v' in "dives" and "shivers."

My short-cut was a thinning path,
giddy inclines, hands gripping tussocks,
that slip on shale, my jumper snagging
on bracken. Your laughter was coffee.

Like this verse too, very visual, same as above. one can almost slip with you. Like the use of "giddy," and "snagging."



The duck surfaces, feathers glisten,
it preens, then dives. Those washing-lines
beneath your eyes reveal a life
pegged with this joy of short-cuts.

I like the rhyme here, subtle. I am not keen on the "washing," "pegged" but am on board with what you are going for in those last lines.

The duck surfaces, glistening,
it preens, dives again.

Just a thought on a slightly differing opening to V3, just to see how it look from this angle.


Enjoyed it. D.
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Re: Without a Compass (revision2)

Postby Luce » Sat Jan 13, 2018 11:40 pm

[quote="Macavity"]revision2

A tufted duck, eyes like buttons
of gold, jumps and dives. The lake
shivers. I'm wearing gloves, the ones
you knitted in no time. We're tired.

My short-cut was a thinning path,
giddy inclines, hands gripping tussocks,
that slip on shale, my jumper snagging
on bracken. Your laughter was coffee.

The duck surfaces, feathers glisten,
it preens, then dives. Those washing-lines
beneath your eyes reveal a life
pegged with this joy of short-cuts.

I'm a sucker for happy endings. Glad you changed it only because the poem seems to point to one. L10 does bother me a bit only because the duck is actually diving again. I'm wondering if saying it this way would make it clearer...."then dives again".

Luce
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Re: Without a Compass (revision2)

Postby Macavity » Sun Jan 14, 2018 4:08 am

Thanks David and Luce. I like both suggestions, less mechanical, but reinforces the repetition which I want to convey.

all the best

mac
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Re: Without a Compass (revision2)

Postby JJWilliamson » Sun Jan 14, 2018 10:32 pm

Good poem, mac, and an interesting thread.

I prefer revision 2 and where you've taken this poem. I have very little to say by way of critique but thought
I'd drop in to say how much I've enjoyed reading this one.

One or two potential ingredients for the chef's broth.

Macavity wrote:revision2

A tufted duck, eyes like buttons
of gold, jumps and dives. The lake ...I can see those eyes and that hop come leap as it suddenly vanishes.
shivers. I'm wearing gloves, the ones
you knitted in no time. We're tired.

My short-cut was a thinning path,
giddy inclines, hands gripping tussocks,
that slip on shale, my jumper snagging ...Are the hands slipping after they've gripped the tussocks? I'm not sure what's slipping. Are the tussocks slipping once you grip them?
on bracken. Your laughter was coffee. ...Great line if you like coffee. :D Just kidding, it's a great line.

The duck surfaces, glistening -
it preens, dives again. Those washing-lines ...Amazing creatures, aren't they.
beneath your eyes reveal a life
pegged with this joy of short-cuts. ...Why not "the" or even "joyous, joyful, silly"


Pretty duff ingredients but I'm skint after Christmas.

Best

JJ
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Re: Without a Compass (revision2)

Postby Macavity » Mon Jan 15, 2018 4:14 am

Are the hands slipping after they've gripped the tussocks? I'm not sure what's slipping. Are the tussocks slipping once you grip them?


I hoped the listing would dispel that possible reading, but perhaps there is an ambiguity there. I'll ponder. Perhaps removing that?

Aren't you due a wintry, snowy poem JJ - hopefully not all your energies are going into paint :)

best

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