Safety Net

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penguin
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Safety Net

Post by penguin » Tue Apr 01, 2014 5:35 pm

I’m leaning to learn on the welfare estate;
my buddies have crutches, we congregate
to spray on authentic public space.
The sweepers arrive before sleepers awake
and scrape off another layer of paint
from every conceivable surface.
Bookcases are hired to the homeless,
park benches reinvented as sofas.
We’re squinting where the roof was
at the cosmos; heaven’s drifting in and out
of focus and I’m almost up
to my ankles in twilight.

Nash

Re: Safety Net

Post by Nash » Tue Apr 01, 2014 8:10 pm

Hello Penguin,

I think the final phrase is great, worth reading just for this:
penguin wrote:heaven’s drifting in and out
of focus and I’m almost up
to my ankles in twilight.
But the rest of it seems untidy. We've got a regular 4 beats to the line and the assonant end rhyme in lines 1 - 5. Then the rhythm changes (3 beats?) and a different assonant end rhyme in lines 6 - 9. Then the last three lines are all over the shop with irregular rhythm and no rhyme.

Not so keen on the punning in L1.

Like I say though, love that last phrase.

Nash.

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Re: Safety Net

Post by Macavity » Wed Apr 02, 2014 7:32 pm

hi Ray,
Agree with Nash on the excellence of the poem's concluding imagery. The form was not an issue for me. Perhaps from every conceivable surface is an unnecessary elaboration?

all the best

mac

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Jackie
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Re: Safety Net

Post by Jackie » Thu Apr 03, 2014 12:04 pm

Hello Penguin,

I like the idea, too, of being "almost up to my ankles in twilight." But I find other expressions less revealing—can't figure out what leaning to learn is, or why bookcases would be hired to the homeless, or why "at the cosmos" is placed where it is.

I'm still pondering what the safety net might be—maybe whatever is causing heaven to drift in and out of focus? (Come to think of it, is heaven ever in focus? The heavens, maybe.)

Thanks for an interesting read,

Jackie

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Re: Safety Net

Post by penguin » Thu Apr 03, 2014 7:58 pm

Thanks all. Nash - I wasn't really looking for a consistent rhythm though I guess it might help. Not quite right about no rhyme in the last 3 lines - cosmos and focus are rhymes in my land. The pun is to a purpose, too, or a porpoise as we say in these parts.
Mac - I think I should use every conceptual surface.
Jackie - it's a lament for the welfare state, which is certainly in its twilight years. The libraries are closing down, students are saddled with bags of debt, for the homeless the sky is where the roof was and the socialist ideal is a dead duck.

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Re: Safety Net

Post by David » Sat Apr 05, 2014 9:51 am

Brilliant pun in "welfare estate". (I thought "leaning to learn" might just be a convoluted typo for "learning to lean", but it's not, is it? This is the reference to students, I imagine.)

I think lines 1-6 are great, and work rhythmically, and - like the others - think also that the poem would work better if the final 6 lines echoed that structure. If you can do that without spoiling your lovely finish.

Is there an ulterior motive to the Bach reference? There doesn't have to be. I like it anyway.

Cheers

David

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Re: Safety Net

Post by clemonz » Mon Apr 07, 2014 6:47 am

yeah
heaven’s drifting in and out
of focus
you had me here...

the rest is good enough for it.
"It is not necessary that a poem should rely on its music, but if it does rely on its music that music must be such as will delight the expert."

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Re: Safety Net

Post by penguin » Mon Apr 07, 2014 6:14 pm

David wrote:Brilliant pun in "welfare estate". (I thought "leaning to learn" might just be a convoluted typo for "learning to lean", but it's not, is it? This is the reference to students, I imagine.)

I think lines 1-6 are great, and work rhythmically, and - like the others - think also that the poem would work better if the final 6 lines echoed that structure. If you can do that without spoiling your lovely finish.

Is there an ulterior motive to the Bach reference? There doesn't have to be. I like it anyway.

Cheers

David
Thanks, David. What Bach reference would that be then?
Thanks, Clemonz.

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Re: Safety Net

Post by cynwulf » Tue Apr 08, 2014 10:54 am

Hello Penguin,
Well chosen topic. Agree with Nash about the strucure, tho some clever rhyming. I imagine 'Sleepers Awake' is the Bach ref.
Regards,C.

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Re: Safety Net

Post by Antcliff » Tue Apr 08, 2014 12:16 pm

We fray into the future, rarely wrought
Save in the tapestries of afterthought.
Richard Wilbur

penguin
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Re: Safety Net

Post by penguin » Wed Apr 09, 2014 7:14 pm

Thanks, Cynwulf, Seth. It's quite an ambivalent feeling when someone credits you with more knowledge/intelligence than you have. There should be a phrase to describe it, like damned with faint praise, only different. Perhaps there is.

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Re: Safety Net

Post by KevJ » Fri Apr 11, 2014 6:10 pm

This appeals to the pessimist in me I think. I to daily lament the decline of the welfare state and the NHS too. But I cling to the idea that if we can raise enough people from their apathy maybe things can still be turned around. enjoyed your imagery and the rhyming thing doesn't bother me unduly Though it might be an interesting excersise to try any rhyme it throughout. Just a thought.
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Re: Safety Net

Post by Bee » Tue Apr 29, 2014 12:52 pm

Hi, I'm new here so please bare with me :)
I think your chosen topic is very raw and close to the bone which I really like, it took me a fair few reads through it to work out what all of the metaphorical language meant and my favourite part of it is without a doubt
The sweepers arrive before sleepers awake
and scrape off another layer of paint
The rhyming pattern works really well here and the repetition of the s sound gives it a dreamlike quality

Bee x
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Re: Safety Net

Post by penguin » Wed Apr 30, 2014 1:05 pm

Thanks, Bee and belated thanks to Kev. Missed your post. I expect to be hearing of riots at King's Norton Common some time soon.

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