Coping

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Ryan P.
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Coping

Post by Ryan P. » Wed Nov 23, 2011 9:22 am

Rewrite:
I want to unwrite all of your letters,
hold your pen like a straw and suck
the blue/black ink off the paper,
color my lips and teeth like bruises,
fold each page into the shape of a sapling,
grow a paper Garden of Eden and warn
Adam about faith in women.



Original:
I want to unwrite all of your letters,
to hold your pen like a straw and suck
the blue/black ink off the paper,
color my lips and teeth like bruises,
fold each page into a shrub or a sapling,
make a paper-Garden of Eden and warn
Adam about believing in women.


.
Last edited by Ryan P. on Thu Nov 24, 2011 2:18 am, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: Coping

Post by Ros » Wed Nov 23, 2011 9:52 am

I like this, Ryan. Not sure you need shrub and sapling - having both seems to dilute the point. You could remove a few of the little words too to tighten it up:
Ryan P. wrote: I want to unwrite all your letters, -- remove of
hold your pen like a straw and suck -- remove to
the blue/black ink off the paper, --- would 'from' sound better than off? - sounds well with 'fold' later on
color my lips and teeth like bruises,
fold each page into a sapling,
make a paper-Garden of Eden and warn -- not sure you need the hyphen
Adam about believing in women. -- belief rather than believing? Losing the 'ing' sound often makes for a stronger line. Plus here it removes a beat which to me sounds better.
Just a few thoughts for consideration - take or ignore, of course.

Ros
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Re: Coping

Post by Ryan P. » Wed Nov 23, 2011 9:58 am

Ros wrote:I like this, Ryan. Not sure you need shrub and sapling - having both seems to dilute the point. You could remove a few of the little words too to tighten it up:
Ryan P. wrote: I want to unwrite all your letters, -- remove of
hold your pen like a straw and suck -- remove to
the blue/black ink off the paper, --- would 'from' sound better than off? - sounds well with 'fold' later on
color my lips and teeth like bruises,
fold each page into a sapling,
make a paper-Garden of Eden and warn -- not sure you need the hyphen
Adam about believing in women. -- belief rather than believing? Losing the 'ing' sound often makes for a stronger line. Plus here it removes a beat which to me sounds better.
Just a few thoughts for consideration - take or ignore, of course.

Ros
I think you're right on all accounts, Ros, minus maybe one; I added 'to' in l2 to avoid any pronoun confusion. Granted, I originally had a semi-colon ending l1 instead of the comma (poem looked a lot different then). So maybe I could lose that 'to' too.

The rest of it sounds alright with me. I'll ponder the "shrub or sapling" bit as well.

Thanks a bunch.

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Re: Coping

Post by JohnLott » Wed Nov 23, 2011 11:05 am

Hi Ryan,
Sound advice from Ros,
Turns it into a nice poem:
And when we start all over, will Adam prove to be any the wiser?

:)

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Re: Coping

Post by twoleftfeet » Wed Nov 23, 2011 12:43 pm

Another good'un, Ryan, although I would like to read a happy poem about women one day 8)

I'm not keen on "believing in women" or " belief in women": "trust" or "faith" would be better IMHO.

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Re: Coping

Post by Ryan P. » Wed Nov 23, 2011 6:21 pm

twoleftfeet wrote:Another good'un, Ryan, although I would like to read a happy poem about women one day 8)

I'm not keen on "believing in women" or " belief in women": "trust" or "faith" would be better IMHO.
Yeah, I agree about belief vs. trust or faith; I was swapping all three in and out when I was writing, actually. Couldn't decide. Glad to hear your input.

And, yeah, I'd like to write a happy poem about women one day. ;)
JohnLott wrote: And when we start all over, will Adam prove to be any the wiser?
I wouldn't count on it.

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Re: Coping

Post by Ryan P. » Wed Nov 23, 2011 6:54 pm

Posted a small revision that basically just covered most suggestions you guys have given me; not much in the way of creativity here. However, there are a few things I'm not sure of:

I don't know which I like better of off/from in l3. I feel like off keeps with the tone/language of the piece better.

In l5, I'm not sure I need both shrub AND sapling, but I do feel like I need two somethings there. If I had to lose one, I'd keep sapling, no question; but, to me, the line reads better with both in there. Anymore opinions on that?

Thanks for the help. :)

EDIT: I'm also still hung up on "belief" as opposed to "faith" or "trust". I'll think that over too.

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Re: Coping

Post by David » Wed Nov 23, 2011 7:09 pm

Ryan, I prefer the original version. I see the point of Ros's suggestions in each case, but overall I think they weaken the rhythmic effect of the poem without adding much (if anything) to the sense. For instance, "I want to unwrite all of your letters" just sounds so much better than "I want to unwrite all your letters", both by itself and as a component of the poem.

It's true that "shrub" is the wrong word, on the level of meaning, which is a pity because it sounds great where it is.

This is very good.

Cheers

David

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Re: Coping

Post by Ryan P. » Wed Nov 23, 2011 7:15 pm

David wrote:Ryan, I prefer the original version. I see the point of Ros's suggestions in each case, but overall I think they weaken the rhythmic effect of the poem without adding much (if anything) to the sense. For instance, "I want to unwrite all of your letters" just sounds so much better than "I want to unwrite all your letters", both by itself and as a component of the poem.

It's true that "shrub" is the wrong word, on the level of meaning, which is a pity because it sounds great where it is.

This is very good.

Cheers

David
Thanks for the input, David. I like Ros' suggestions, or most of them, but I also get what you're saying. Guess I'll have to think more on it.

And I agree that shrub sounds great but doesn't really fit. Looks like I'll have to make the call on my own too, haha.

Thanks for your input. Always very much appreciated.

EDIT: Changed the rewrite some more. Still not a lot, but I at least made some noticeable changes this time around.

Curious what everyone thinks.

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Re: Coping

Post by calico » Fri Nov 25, 2011 2:08 pm

Hi Ryan - haven't read the whole thread so just to say, I prefer your original version with the shrub - because that slight stumble in the rhythm is welcome for me - like a sob - oh! Talking of which, I'm not enormously keen on the title. I like the poem a lot though by the way.
So in your edit you have paper/shape/faith sounds, but I prefer the original teeth/Eden/believing which leaves the reader thinking they've read the word "bleeding" - invisible words.

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Re: Coping

Post by twoleftfeet » Fri Nov 25, 2011 2:18 pm

calico wrote:Hi Ryan - haven't read the whole thread so just to say, I prefer your original version with the shrub - because that slight stumble in the rhythm is welcome for me - like a sob - oh! Talking of which, I'm not enormously keen on the title. I like the poem a lot though by the way.
So in your edit you have paper/shape/faith sounds, but I prefer the original teeth/Eden/believing which leaves the reader thinking they've read the word "bleeding" - invisible words.
I believe in women - they exist, they really do! 8)
Seriously though - that's why I don't like "belief/believing in".
However, if you omit "in" ("believing women") - it works every which way (IMHO).
Don't know why I didn't see that earlier..
Instead of just sitting on the fence - why not stand in the middle of the road?

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Re: Coping

Post by calico » Fri Nov 25, 2011 9:17 pm

Yes! "warn
Adam about believing women"

I think Geoff's got it perfect.

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Re: Coping

Post by Ryan P. » Fri Nov 25, 2011 11:24 pm

calico wrote:Yes! "warn
Adam about believing women"

I think Geoff's got it perfect.
I'm growing to like this too.

I also really liked the placement of shrub in line 5, but I'm not sure how it fits into the actual metaphor itself, even if it sounds nice. I don't know. Might just end up keeping the original version with a few smaller tweaks.

Thanks for all the input.

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Re: Coping

Post by Arian » Sun Nov 27, 2011 12:19 pm

Yes, I think it's pretty good, too. I could pick at it, but other have covered most of the points I'd raise. L1 is very strong, I'd say - like it a lot. In general, I think it's pithy and imaginitively-phrased.

Cheers
peter

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Re: Coping

Post by dragonfly » Mon Nov 28, 2011 7:30 pm

I really like this too. It's got real energy and drive, great imagery, and walks a clever line between bitterness and humour. I kept stumbling over the words in the last line, with both faith and belief/believing. Perhaps the sentence was just getting a bit too long by then. I did wonder about a simpler option being

......................... warn
Adam all about women.

Might be too general a statement, but on the other hand the faith/belief in women's words idea might be implied just with the mention of Adam and Eve (as we all know the story). But of course I'd be wary of anything I say - I'm a woman :)

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Re: Coping

Post by Nicky B » Mon Nov 28, 2011 10:04 pm

I think this is great.

I like the second version. IMHO:
You don't need shrub and sapling. One or the other, probably just shrub would work fine, it doesn't fit the metaphor as neatly, but it does still work and sounds loads better.
I like from more than off
I like believing more than faith

The title needs sorting, something to do with re-cultivating, horticulture, starting again, hybridisation, weeding, hmmm, sorry not much help here.

But mainly I thought this was very good, an honestly and no holds barred enjoyable read.

Nicky B.

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Re: Coping

Post by Ryan P. » Mon Nov 28, 2011 11:30 pm

dragonfly wrote:I really like this too. It's got real energy and drive, great imagery, and walks a clever line between bitterness and humour. I kept stumbling over the words in the last line, with both faith and belief/believing. Perhaps the sentence was just getting a bit too long by then. I did wonder about a simpler option being

......................... warn
Adam all about women.

Might be too general a statement, but on the other hand the faith/belief in women's words idea might be implied just with the mention of Adam and Eve (as we all know the story). But of course I'd be wary of anything I say - I'm a woman :)
Thanks for the insight. I'm thinking of dropping everything in the last line and keeping only "believing". Sounds good to me and I think it works. At least until something better comes along.
Nicky B wrote:I think this is great.

I like the second version. IMHO:
You don't need shrub and sapling. One or the other, probably just shrub would work fine, it doesn't fit the metaphor as neatly, but it does still work and sounds loads better.
I like from more than off
I like believing more than faith

The title needs sorting, something to do with re-cultivating, horticulture, starting again, hybridisation, weeding, hmmm, sorry not much help here.

But mainly I thought this was very good, an honestly and no holds barred enjoyable read.

Nicky B.
Appreciate the comment.

Gonna have to disagree on the title though; the title, largely, comes from the position in which I wrote it. It was my way of coping, in a way. Additionally, I think it helps to turn the attention away from how terrible the N thinks women are, and instead focuses on the problems with the N. Because of the title, I think the poem says a lot more about N that it does about the girl. And that's what I want, if that makes sense.

Thanks for the comments, guys. Always surprising to hear positive feedback.

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Re: Coping

Post by Sandbanx » Fri Dec 16, 2011 1:39 am

Good stuff....
and some very good comments here.

Curious as to where you met a woman who still writes letters?
"Poetry's unnat'ral; no man ever talked poetry 'cept a beadle on boxin' day, or Warren's blackin' or Rowland's oil, or some o' them low fellows; never you let yourself down to talk poetry, my boy." C. Dickens

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Re: Coping

Post by Sandbanx » Fri Dec 16, 2011 1:49 am

Sorry, had to go and look for something which came to mind as I read this:

This line originates in Edward Fitzgerald's translation of the poem The Rubáiyát of Omar Khayyam:


The Moving Finger writes; and, having writ,
Moves on: nor all thy Piety nor Wit
Shall lure it back to cancel half a Line,
Nor all thy Tears wash out a Word of it.
"Poetry's unnat'ral; no man ever talked poetry 'cept a beadle on boxin' day, or Warren's blackin' or Rowland's oil, or some o' them low fellows; never you let yourself down to talk poetry, my boy." C. Dickens

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Re: Coping

Post by Ryan P. » Fri Dec 16, 2011 7:37 am

Sandbanx wrote: Curious as to where you met a woman who still writes letters?
Kentucky, of all places.

She wrote me quite a few letters, and now I've written her a poem. Not sure how happy she'd be to read it, but... Who knows.

Seriously, thanks for the comment.
Sandbanx wrote:

The Moving Finger writes; and, having writ,
Moves on: nor all thy Piety nor Wit
Shall lure it back to cancel half a Line,
Nor all thy Tears wash out a Word of it.
This is neat. Thanks.

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Re: Coping

Post by Len P » Fri Nov 30, 2012 4:19 pm

I like this poem a great deal especially

hold your pen like a straw and suck
the blue/black ink off the paper,


a lovely idea.

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Re: Coping

Post by Macavity » Mon Dec 03, 2012 8:33 pm

Thanks for resurrecting this one LP. The straw image is fab.

cheers

mac

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Re: Coping

Post by KevJ » Fri Dec 21, 2012 6:32 pm

Hi Ryan

Think the rewrite works much better. Very much enjoyed. :wink:
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Re: Coping

Post by Darragh » Sun Dec 23, 2012 11:54 pm

Hi Ryan,

I like the rewrite best. I agree with other posters that you didn't need 'shrub' and 'sapling'. I think that 'grow' works so much better than 'make'. The poem works for me and there is a compulsive pull and rhythm to the reverse process you describe. I agree with an earlier poster that a more precise title could pull the poem into further focus. For me it needs something more uniquely tailored to its specific nature. I'm undecided about the final line—'faith in women' is definitely better than 'believing in' but I wonder if it could have even more impact. Love these two lines—'fold each page into the shape of a sapling/grow a paper Garden of Eden and warn...'

Best wishes,

Darragh

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Post by Suzanne » Tue Dec 25, 2012 7:02 am

Loved this. Excellent.

Suzanne

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