Last leaf of autumn

New to poetry? Unsure about the quality of your work? Then why not post here to receive some gentle feedback.
Post Reply
RichardSanders
Prolific Poster
Prolific Poster
Posts: 466
Joined: Fri May 20, 2011 3:23 pm

Last leaf of autumn

Post by RichardSanders » Sat Nov 12, 2011 10:52 pm

I cling to my branch amongst my peers
autumn winds and rain in spite
and draw my sustenance from the wood
in ever decreasing effluence

My tree is sick from former glory
it shows in reds and browns and golds
it's beauty betrays my trust and faith
a show of death in decadence

I say farewell to those who lose
brothers below and above alike
they're ripped away or simply let go
evicted from suburbia

Will I be the last leaf of autumn
will I join my colleagues who fell
or will my tree yet find new footing
and start a new emergence

Empty rooms and closed office buildings
litter the land like rotting leaves
No snow to hide the sense of failure
of this capitalistic fraudulence
Last edited by RichardSanders on Fri Nov 25, 2011 1:41 pm, edited 1 time in total.

RichardSanders
Prolific Poster
Prolific Poster
Posts: 466
Joined: Fri May 20, 2011 3:23 pm

Re: Last leaf of autumn

Post by RichardSanders » Fri Nov 25, 2011 1:40 pm

Some minor tweaks on the initial draft.

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: Last leaf of autumn

Post by twoleftfeet » Fri Dec 02, 2011 10:56 pm

Richard,

This piece is trying too hard and IMHO doesn't need to be so specific to make its point, especially the last line.

I would advise you to concentrate on the tree and draw a quick comparison with N's job insecurity at the end.
Or concentrate on the office and refer to the precarious situation of the leaf/tree outside the window at the end.

Just a suggestion, but if you want to give it a go I'll kick-start you with an alternative title
- Hanging on in Autumn

As they say - use it or lose it.

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

RichardSanders
Prolific Poster
Prolific Poster
Posts: 466
Joined: Fri May 20, 2011 3:23 pm

Re: Last leaf of autumn

Post by RichardSanders » Sat Dec 03, 2011 12:21 pm

Hi Geoff,

Thanks for the feedback.
You make some good points.
I like your suggestion for the title. It's less dramatic and better for it.
I think I'll use it.
Rewrite is comming.

Kindest,
Richard.

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

Re: Last leaf of autumn

Post by JohnLott » Tue Dec 06, 2011 10:35 pm

Hi Richard,
your focus between both leaf and tree distracts, although employee (leaf) and tree (employer) is a relevant metaphor. For awhile I tried no punctuation in following a modern trend but it didn't always work - as it hasn't here, for you.

In S1 I would use 'despite' instead of 'in spite'.

I think this can still benefit from a tidying up.

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

lemonstar
Persistent Poster
Persistent Poster
Posts: 159
Joined: Wed Jul 06, 2011 3:10 pm
Location: N.Staffs/S.Cheshire border.

Re: Last leaf of autumn

Post by lemonstar » Wed Dec 07, 2011 1:12 am

twoleftfeet wrote:Richard,
This piece is trying too hard and IMHO doesn't need to be so specific to make its point, especially the last line.
Geoff
I think this makes a good general point - it is too literal a style for my taste, there is little left for my imagination to work with - I often use the "less is more" approach - really cut it back, don't spell everything out, for instance, the title could just be "The Last Leaf" or "Autumn's End"; "autumn winds" - do you really need to say "autumn"? Say something else about the wind and not the most obvious thing that would be in the list of the first 5 things anyone would say about the wind - not "blustery" for sure, "careless", "capricious", "insensitive", as a half-way house, or ballyrag/yobbish wind if you want to go futher. "I cling to my branch" is completely literal - can't it be "I cling to life", "My tree" - do you need to put that - can't you just put "Sick from a former glory" - leave something for the reader to work out - can you see - you don't have to go the whole hog but "less is more" isn't a charter for being deliberately obscure either.

I like what is going on in the last stanza - the parallels you draw - I think that is they key to focus on - making that idea work. When you first mention "colleagues" I think you could do more to set up the idea that the leaves have "worked together" in some way - it fleshes out the whole idea, makes it more coherent.
The rest of you...keep banging the rocks together.

RichardSanders
Prolific Poster
Prolific Poster
Posts: 466
Joined: Fri May 20, 2011 3:23 pm

Re: Last leaf of autumn

Post by RichardSanders » Thu Dec 08, 2011 12:15 am

Thanks for your feedback guys.
I'll be sure to carefully consider all options in the rewrite.
The balance between being clear enough and being too explicit is a precarious one to me.
I guess I still have some to learn on that point.

Kindest,
Richard

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

Re: Last leaf of autumn

Post by Arian » Sat Dec 10, 2011 7:42 pm

JohnLott wrote: it hasn't here, for you.
Hi Richard, yes, I completely agree with JL here.

I won't comment on aspects such as structure, narrative or expression, as I think you probably have enough to occupy you from the comments of others. But I do think you have to be very sure of your intention before doing away with punctuation altogether. Here, it seems to me that your intention (narrative coherence) and your execution (unstructured, punctuationless) are in conflict with one another.

Cheers
peter

onlyifonly
Productive Poster
Productive Poster
Posts: 70
Joined: Fri Jan 28, 2011 8:19 pm
Location: By the River
Contact:

Re: Last leaf of autumn

Post by onlyifonly » Wed Jan 04, 2012 10:33 pm

Richard,
I liked it. However, I agree with with previous comments around being explicit. My personal view is that poems should be beautiful in their own right and that it is less important that a specific meaning is obvious. Leave the reader to draw their own meanings.

"being too explicit is a precarious one to me". Tell me about it :-> I have yet to break this habit but I have to say the ones I have written this way have always (without fail) been far superior poems (in terms of my writing).

In terms of the poem. I think I would focus on the leaf. You have too many messages poorly hidden. I would simplify it. It would be more powerful then (IMHO).

S
Starting down road to knowledge leads to a view of reality that is bleaker than the warm comfort blanket of ignorance. A road we take with no route back. Where there was something, there is nothing.

RichardSanders
Prolific Poster
Prolific Poster
Posts: 466
Joined: Fri May 20, 2011 3:23 pm

Re: Last leaf of autumn

Post by RichardSanders » Thu Jan 05, 2012 2:56 am

Hi ifonly,

I'm still working on a rewite, or as it is going it may turn out to be more like a new poem about the same message.
It's going slow though, so it'll be some time.
I'll be sure to take your feedback into account. It's verry helpfull.
Thanks.

Kindest,
Richard.

Post Reply