Marriage

New to poetry? Unsure about the quality of your work? Then why not post here to receive some gentle feedback.
Post Reply
Ryan P.
Productive Poster
Productive Poster
Posts: 83
Joined: Wed Aug 31, 2011 11:49 pm

Marriage

Post by Ryan P. » Mon Oct 10, 2011 8:20 am

It divides in two
like legs gaped in yawn,
fused at the groin
in the shape of a wishbone.
It will never be pulled apart.

Its brain and spine have been
exchanged for two more hearts.

Its love is cardiac arrest.


.

Nicky B
Prolific Poster
Prolific Poster
Posts: 497
Joined: Fri Oct 01, 2010 8:39 pm

Re: Marriage

Post by Nicky B » Mon Oct 10, 2011 6:07 pm

Hi Ryan,

I want to like this, but I'm struggling to get my head around it.

I like the image of the wishbone, never to be broken, but so frail they often are.

I'm not sure why there are extra two hearts. Is this the children - if so that's good. Brain and spine exchanged for two kids - yes?

"It's love" - who's love? The marriage's love? And why is it cardiac arrest?

I personally still think you need to give a bit more away. But that is just personal.

I think if you get the sonics and imagery really spot on you can afford to be really obscure, but this just isn't quite there.

Hope that's some help?

Nicky B.

Ryan P.
Productive Poster
Productive Poster
Posts: 83
Joined: Wed Aug 31, 2011 11:49 pm

Re: Marriage

Post by Ryan P. » Mon Oct 10, 2011 6:33 pm

Nicky B wrote:Hi Ryan,

I want to like this, but I'm struggling to get my head around it.

I like the image of the wishbone, never to be broken, but so frail they often are.

I'm not sure why there are extra two hearts. Is this the children - if so that's good. Brain and spine exchanged for two kids - yes?

"It's love" - who's love? The marriage's love? And why is it cardiac arrest?

I personally still think you need to give a bit more away. But that is just personal.

I think if you get the sonics and imagery really spot on you can afford to be really obscure, but this just isn't quite there.

Hope that's some help?

Nicky B.
Thanks for the comment, Nicky.

The brain/spine and cardiac arrest lines are connected. Might should have stuck them in the same stanza.

My point behind removing the brain and the spine for two more hearts is just, more or less, what each functions as (both literally and in a metaphorical sense). If you say someone is brainless and spineless, it isn't very flattering. To remove them to make room for more hearts (which could represent love, or the desire to) means you are sacrificing those things.

The cardiac arrest line just implies that this marriage is a being made up of hearts that is killing itself with its love. Cardiac arrest happens when the heart fails to contract effectively and circulate blood.

When I pieced these images together, I saw the connection, but the fact that you didn't lets me know I've got work yet to do. Thanks again.

Arian
Perspicacious Poster
Perspicacious Poster
Posts: 2718
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 8:41 am
antispam: no
Location: Hertfordshire, UK

Re: Marriage

Post by Arian » Mon Oct 10, 2011 6:49 pm

I confess that, like Nicky, I found myself scratching my head a bit over the symbolism, Ryan. It is, perhaps, just a little gnomic.

On the other hand, I wouldn't say it needs major surgery, if you'll forgive an awful pun. It's nicely paced, the rhythm's pretty smooth and it's got a couple of admirable lines. I really like

like legs gaped in yawn,

as well as

Its love is cardiac arrest. (whatever it means).

I'd perservere with this one. It's going somewhere.

Cheers
peter

Ryan P.
Productive Poster
Productive Poster
Posts: 83
Joined: Wed Aug 31, 2011 11:49 pm

Re: Marriage

Post by Ryan P. » Mon Oct 10, 2011 6:58 pm

Arian wrote:I confess that, like Nicky, I found myself scratching my head a bit over the symbolism, Ryan. It is, perhaps, just a little gnomic.

On the other hand, I wouldn't say it needs major surgery, if you'll forgive an awful pun. It's nicely paced, the rhythm's pretty smooth and it's got a couple of admirable lines. I really like

like legs gaped in yawn,

as well as

Its love is cardiac arrest. (whatever it means).

I'd perservere with this one. It's going somewhere.

Cheers
peter
Awful pun forgiven. Thanks for stopping in.

I'll look into cleaning up the symbolism without ruining any of the merits.

I'll be light.

Nash

Re: Marriage

Post by Nash » Mon Oct 10, 2011 9:10 pm

Hello Ryan, I completely disagree with the sentiment behind this but that doesn't matter, I can still appreciate it as a very well handled piece.

If you are going to revise it then you will indeed need a light touch. The main sticking point for me is the line of 'it/its' running through, in such a short poem they get a bit repetitive.

Thanks,
Nash.

Ryan P.
Productive Poster
Productive Poster
Posts: 83
Joined: Wed Aug 31, 2011 11:49 pm

Re: Marriage

Post by Ryan P. » Mon Oct 10, 2011 11:19 pm

Nash wrote:Hello Ryan, I completely disagree with the sentiment behind this but that doesn't matter, I can still appreciate it as a very well handled piece.

If you are going to revise it then you will indeed need a light touch. The main sticking point for me is the line of 'it/its' running through, in such a short poem they get a bit repetitive.

Thanks,
Nash.
Truthfully Nash, I don't agree with it either. I admire marriages that are successful (like yours; I recently read your piece commemorating your 20th or 25th anniversary, and you've proved not only that your marriage is beautiful, but that it is also produces great poetry). That being said, I have to yet to be married, and the only basis I have for any opinion comes from my parents. They divorced when I was 5; each had been married once before. My mom was married and divorced at least 3 times before she died at 35, and my dad, though never remarried, has cycled girlfriends/housemates so much that I often categorize the stages of my life by who he chose to date at the time. I think marriage is an incredible thing when it works; the sad thing though, is that it often doesn't, and then people feel like the narrator of this piece.

But about the piece itself: Did the images/symbolism work for you without my explanation? Nicky and Peter expressed some confusion, and rightfully so; what makes sense to my mind doesn't always to others, especially when I wrote it. I agree about the repetition of 'it/its', and I'll work on cleaning that up. Curious to hear your take on the images, though.

Thanks again,
Ryan

calico
Prolific Poster
Prolific Poster
Posts: 400
Joined: Wed Apr 14, 2010 7:06 pm
Location: london lovely london
Contact:

Re: Marriage

Post by calico » Tue Oct 11, 2011 7:41 am

Hello Ryan.
But about the piece itself: Did the images/symbolism work for you without my explanation?
Yes! To me it does, absolutely. But like Nicky, I'd say some tweaking of sonics - of the poetry if you see what I mean, not the imagery, will nail it. Think about the action you are suggesting, the pulling apart of a wishbone, at the groin, what language or sounds can be generated around this. Whereas I, sadly, agree with the sentiment, the last line is too baldly stated for me, could be messed around with, move it away from a statement. Make it sound like an arrest. I don't think you have to change anything, but I do think you could experiment with this.
Thanks - enjoyed.

Nash

Re: Marriage

Post by Nash » Tue Oct 11, 2011 9:09 pm

Thankyou Ryan, that's very kind of you. To be perfectly honest, I used to feel pretty much the same way as the narrator of this piece but, y'know, you never know what's around the corner.

Yes, the images worked perfectly well for me, it made total sense.

Ryan P.
Productive Poster
Productive Poster
Posts: 83
Joined: Wed Aug 31, 2011 11:49 pm

Re: Marriage

Post by Ryan P. » Wed Oct 12, 2011 8:12 am

Nash wrote:Thankyou Ryan, that's very kind of you. To be perfectly honest, I used to feel pretty much the same way as the narrator of this piece but, y'know, you never know what's around the corner.

Yes, the images worked perfectly well for me, it made total sense.
Thanks again for the feedback. I'll look into cleaning up the sonics and hopefully return with a rewrite.

User avatar
twoleftfeet
Perspicacious Poster
Perspicacious Poster
Posts: 6761
Joined: Wed Dec 07, 2005 4:02 pm
Location: Standing by a short pier, looking for a long run-up

Re: Marriage

Post by twoleftfeet » Wed Oct 12, 2011 3:11 pm

Nash wrote: If you are going to revise it then you will indeed need a light touch. The main sticking point for me is the line of 'it/its' running through, in such a short poem they get a bit repetitive.

Thanks,
Nash.
I agree with Nash on this point, Ryan.

Also I would be inclined to lose the last line:
1 - (to me) it's too cryptic to imply what you say in your explanation .
2 - the previous couplet is a strong image to stop at.

Geoff
Instead of just sitting on the fence - why not stand in the middle of the road?

Ryan P.
Productive Poster
Productive Poster
Posts: 83
Joined: Wed Aug 31, 2011 11:49 pm

Re: Marriage

Post by Ryan P. » Wed Oct 12, 2011 10:00 pm

Thinking of sending this one to the scrapyard, guys. It's got some okay pieces, I think, but it isn't coming together the way I want it to as a whole.

Thanks for the input.

JohnLott
Preponderant Poster
Preponderant Poster
Posts: 1326
Joined: Tue Feb 22, 2011 9:35 pm
Location: Devon

Re: Marriage

Post by JohnLott » Wed Oct 12, 2011 10:16 pm

Ryan P. wrote:Thinking of sending this one to the scrapyard, guys.
Don't give in... I sense there's a sort of grumpiness in the house - must be the onset of Winter.....

8)

J.
Before you shave with Occam’s razor - Try epilation or microlaser

Moth
Prolific Poster
Prolific Poster
Posts: 494
Joined: Thu Oct 13, 2011 4:33 am

Re: Marriage

Post by Moth » Sun Oct 16, 2011 4:54 am

It divides in two
like legs gaped in yawn,
fused at the groin
in the shape of a wishbone.
It will never be pulled apart.

Its brain and spine have been
exchanged for two more hearts.

Its love is cardiac arrest.
No, no, don't scrap. The first four lines are excellent. Fresh, appealing imagery I understood immedietly. Two people previously in love, divided by the boredom which often sets in once the honeymoon period ends. Fused at the groin - yes the sex continues, regardless and the wishbone, love that, representing the futility of wishes made by children or adults who still happen to hold fast to 'if only's' knowing they're all in vain.

I started to struggle with 'it will never be pulled apart', but then, I thought you were refering to the bond which can never be broken when a couple has kids. Having flicked through the comments, I see another reader also thought you were writing about children and, I agree that the two more hearts line also had me thinking the same. Maybe 'too hard to pull apart'?

Its brain and spine have been exchanged - I'd keep that, I get it, but two more hearts didn't really work for me as intended, particularly if ending with the cardiac arrest image which would work with something different preceeding it, something real which might cause a heart attack, but still fitting. Too much sugar (maybe), over indulgence, extremes of lifestyle, behaviour..? Have a think. I'm sure it'll come.
to be totally honest... whenever you feel you really shouldn't write that, that's exactly what you should write.

Moth
Prolific Poster
Prolific Poster
Posts: 494
Joined: Thu Oct 13, 2011 4:33 am

Re: Marriage

Post by Moth » Sun Oct 16, 2011 4:57 am

...or

...have been exchanged for two disfunctional hearts... ?
to be totally honest... whenever you feel you really shouldn't write that, that's exactly what you should write.

Ryan P.
Productive Poster
Productive Poster
Posts: 83
Joined: Wed Aug 31, 2011 11:49 pm

Re: Marriage

Post by Ryan P. » Sun Oct 16, 2011 5:07 am

Moth wrote:
It divides in two
like legs gaped in yawn,
fused at the groin
in the shape of a wishbone.
It will never be pulled apart.

Its brain and spine have been
exchanged for two more hearts.

Its love is cardiac arrest.
No, no, don't scrap. The first four lines are excellent. Fresh, appealing imagery I understood immedietly. Two people previously in love, divided by the boredom which often sets in once the honeymoon period ends. Fused at the groin - yes the sex continues, regardless and the wishbone, love that, representing the futility of wishes made by children or adults who still happen to hold fast to 'if only's' knowing they're all in vain.

I started to struggle with 'it will never be pulled apart', but then, I thought you were refering to the bond which can never be broken when a couple has kids. Having flicked through the comments, I see another reader also thought you were writing about children and, I agree that the two more hearts line also had me thinking the same. Maybe 'too hard to pull apart'?

Its brain and spine have been exchanged - I'd keep that, I get it, but two more hearts didn't really work for me as intended, particularly if ending with the cardiac arrest image which would work with something different preceeding it, something real which might cause a heart attack, but still fitting. Too much sugar (maybe), over indulgence, extremes of lifestyle, behaviour..? Have a think. I'm sure it'll come.
Must say Moth, I've really appreciated your insight in the last few comments on my pieces.

For the record, when I said that I would send it to the scrapyard, I didn't mean I was ditching it entirely. Just maybe that I'd pull out the good pieces and save them for later. But your comment has got me refocused; I still don't think the last bit is working, but I'm more apt to try and fix it now.

Thanks again.

David
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 13711
Joined: Sat Feb 18, 2006 4:40 pm
Location: Ellan Vannin

Re: Marriage

Post by David » Sun Oct 16, 2011 6:55 pm

I like the central image, but there are a couple of lines - the ones Peter liked, in fact (uh-oh) - that don't really work for me at all: the legs gaped in yawn, which just doesn't work for me, and its love is cardiac arrest, which sounds great but (again) conveys nothing to me. I think you have something very clear in your mind, but it's still fuzzy in mine.

Cheers

David

Arian
Perspicacious Poster
Perspicacious Poster
Posts: 2718
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 8:41 am
antispam: no
Location: Hertfordshire, UK

Re: Marriage

Post by Arian » Wed Oct 19, 2011 8:10 pm

David wrote: its love is cardiac arrest
But that, David, is exactly what I said abut the line. So we're only half disagreeing. Less, in fact, because we both like the basic idea.

Cheers
peter

David
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 13711
Joined: Sat Feb 18, 2006 4:40 pm
Location: Ellan Vannin

Re: Marriage

Post by David » Thu Oct 20, 2011 7:04 pm

Arian wrote:
David wrote: its love is cardiac arrest
But that, David, is exactly what I said abut the line. So we're only half disagreeing. Less, in fact, because we both like the basic idea.
D'oh! You're right, of course.

Post Reply