park

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John G
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park

Post by John G » Thu May 16, 2013 9:25 pm

morning park, woman jogging with dog,
panting, a formation of power walkers,
overweight in tracksuits rustling like crisp packets

the trees, the trees are stationary

a bandstand without a band empty
silent, is still a bandstand

walking across grass, wet, dew clings
to old shoes

moving towards the pond,
a small body of water, an artificial home for birds
where we go now to feed them stale bread
After one look at this planet any visitor from outer space would say 'I want to see the manager.

champion
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Re: park

Post by champion » Fri May 17, 2013 1:46 pm

Hello John.
Mindful of a discussion that took place recently regarding the constructive quality of criticism that some members were failing to offer, I have to admit that falling into the Beginners category as I do, I have been hesitant to offer much more than genuine compliments to the pieces that I have sincerely enjoyed, or that have inspired me. Instead, I have purposefully chosen through lack of my own experience, confidence and ability to not comment at all on the posts that have left me perplexed, or that I have simply not enjoyed.
I would like to take a more active role John amongst the Beginners, even if my technical ability limits the advice I may or may not be able to offer, but I feel that even offering my own interpretation of a piece, may be helpful/inspiring/enlightening in some way as to how that piece is perceived by this reader, and through the possible exchanges I will also eventually improve my own writing. With that in mind, I hope you will not find offence in my comments.

Park.
Upon first reading Park, the opening line immediately caught my attention.
I actually thought you were saying "Good morning Park" which I quite liked, as if the park was an old friend, which I found easily believable, but then realised I was mistaken, and was a little dissapointed.

I found your use of punctuation threw me from start to finish. For me it created a staccato effect to the whole piece, almost as if you were happy with each line you composed, and then not, so added another adjective; panting, overweight, silent, wet, as an after thought.
I liked the image of the overweight power walkers John, rustling like crip packets but did not feel that 'in tracksuits' was needed. I could clearly see them in their garish track-suits and sweaty head bands, bent double, wheezing and vommiting.

The repetition of 'the trees' spoiled a nice line in my opinion. Not sure why you felt the need ?

'a bandstand without a band empty
silent, is still a bandstand'

I genuinely did like this line John, and think it could be made to work as both a question, or a statement.

'moving towards the pond,
a small body of water, an artificial home for birds
where we go now to feed them stale bread'

I dont think 'a small body of water' adds anything to this final stanza John, other than a statement of the obvious.

Once again, no offence intended.
All the best
Robbie.

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Re: park

Post by Elphin » Fri May 17, 2013 3:30 pm

Hello John

Firstly, good crit Robbie. Stick at it and no need to apologise or think you will cause offence (unless you are rude !!)

Anyway, not really getting much from this John. Apart from the bandstand line, the rest is pretty generic description. I remember when you posted some pretty cracking surreal stuff and I suppose thats what I was hoping for here.

Could always be the reader of course!

elph

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Re: park

Post by Arian » Fri May 17, 2013 7:01 pm

Elphin wrote: Anyway, not really getting much from this John. Apart from the bandstand line, the rest is pretty generic description. I remember when you posted some pretty cracking surreal stuff and I suppose thats what I was hoping for here.
Pretty much sums up my view, too. I think some of the imagery is (unusually for you) not just weak, but a bit off-beam, too. The crisp packet thing, for example. It just doesn't work, for me.

I notice that several members took the trouble to comment on your previously posted piece ('Never been the stuff...'), but you haven't even acknowledged their input. Not a great way to encourage crits. Probably just an oversight.

Cheers
peter

John G
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Re: park

Post by John G » Fri May 17, 2013 11:11 pm

hello there,

Robbie, hello. Firstly. stick with what Elphin said, don't apologise before you offer a critique, its your opinion and it has value, and that's why we are all here.

As for your comments...spot on.."rustling like crip packets but did not feel that 'in tracksuits' was needed"...your right, less is more. I need to trust the reader more, I don't need to over egg the flan, so to speak. And as for the use of punctuation, yes I wanted to create a staccato effect but appreciate that this doesn't make the poem flow and the use of adjectives was to heavy handed.

Elphin, regards to the surreal element, compared to that, this is pretty pedestrian / parochial but hey, we've all got to try new things. I need to find where my strengths lay. No one wants to be a one trick pony.

Peter, you're right. There is no excuse really. I shall make amends.
After one look at this planet any visitor from outer space would say 'I want to see the manager.

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Re: park

Post by Macavity » Sat May 18, 2013 1:00 am

the trees, the trees are stationary
I think the poem has potential. I like the above line, but perhaps make it a final line to emphasize the contrast with the movement.

a formation of power walkers,
in tracksuits rustling like crisp packets
I like the image, the noise of litter, but don't think you need overweight - colours in too much detail and slows the line. The use of rustling points an ironic contrast to the trees.
walking across grass, wetness clings
to old shoes
I'd cut the poetic 'dew'.
moving towards a small body
of water, an artificial home for couples
to dispose their stale bread
Just some suggestions to say that the poem is worth working on.

mac

David2
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Re: park

Post by David2 » Sat May 18, 2013 11:55 am

Hi John. I rather like it already. Got a definite picture of the dowdy, slightly seedy park I think you're evoking. I like the rustling like crisp packets, and the bandstand verse is (I think) very good, although the punctuation seems a bit sloppy there at the moment.

There is a sense in which the poem just peters out, which is disappointing in a way, but then again seems absolutely right in capturing some of the rather dull pleasure you might get from a trip to such a park.

Good to see you back. I often wonder about what it must be like to move from London to a northern city (which is what I think you've done). I can see some of that in here, but I've been in equally dispiriting parks in London.

Or maybe I'm exaggerating the negative aspects?

Cheers

David

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Re: park

Post by Lexi » Sun May 19, 2013 9:52 am

Hi John,
I enjoyed reading your poem. However, it struck me that you have several potential poems wrapped into one.

morning park, woman jogging with dog,
panting, a formation of power walkers,
overweight in tracksuits rustling like crisp packets

I think you could make more of the woman jogger with her dog. You have started by creating a clear image, both woman and dog panting. Instead of saying 'overweight' perhaps you could show this...e.g. laboured legs, shifting butt..

the trees, the trees are stationary

Your tree line is simple but very effective. I like the imagery you are creating very much. It makes me want to know more about these stationery trees. What are they waiting for, what have the seen? Are they watching the joggers? What do they make of them?

a bandstand without a band empty
silent, is still a bandstand

and again, your observation of the empty bandstand still being a bandstand is an interesting one. Each of these sections I see as promising poems to stand on their own. Quite lovely.

walking across grass, wet, dew clings
to old shoes

moving towards the pond,
a small body of water, an artificial home for birds
where we go now to feed them stale bread

I will look out for what you decide to do with this poem next John.
Lexi

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Re: park

Post by oranggunung » Sun May 19, 2013 5:05 pm

Hi John

This looks like an extension of your work with haiku. I can see the way you’ve tried to join the sections together, but the stitching seems to be spoiling the minimalism of the format.

I think there are several independent haiku here. Linking them into a renga-style piece is not necessarily an easy process. By making minor adjustments to a few sections, I have found what look like three solid haiku. The language in the last section of your poem has moved away from a minimal style, so doesn’t seem appropriate for haiku.


overweight power walkers
rustling like crisp packets


a bandstand without a band
is still a bandstand


walking across the grass
dew clings to old shoes


Have you considered the haibun format? This links descriptive prose with haiku. Perhaps that format would allow you to include all of the descriptive elements you crave, while allowing a contrast to haiku style images. I think there are a few examples of haibun on the PG site. There are certainly many examples on the web.


best wishes

og

John G
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Re: park

Post by John G » Fri May 24, 2013 11:52 am

Mac. like the suggestions. Will most certainly lose the dew, clichéd and weak. And I like the idea of litter having / making noise. A can being blown by the breeze. Something to work in maybe?

David 2 (what happened to David1?) - hello there - I find parks slightly eerie early in the morning - the silence and (especially the park near me) full of joggers and red faced alcoholics - glad you liked the bandstand bit but the punctuation is always something that I need to work on -

Lexi, hello. I may expand on the feedback about the trees being sentinels, all seeing like lighthouses covered in leaves. And your the second person to give the bandstand line a thumbs up so that's staying in the re-write.

Og, great feedback and thanks for the nudge towards the haibun style. Was definitely trying to keep it minimal so glads that's come across in the reading of it.

Will need to revisit with all this feedback in mid, cheers people.
After one look at this planet any visitor from outer space would say 'I want to see the manager.

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