Inheritance (formerly entitled Legacy) - Rev. IV

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Luce
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Inheritance (formerly entitled Legacy) - Rev. IV

Post by Luce » Thu Oct 27, 2016 2:33 am

Inheritance - Revision IV

I have my mother’s hands,
thick and coarse, fit to pull
yams from the field.

I have her broad back,
she used to carry clothes and babies
to and from the creek.

My legs are short like hers
but strong as hickory, formed
to wade through thigh-deep floods.

I am my mother’s child,
what remains of her on earth.

In the mirror I see her
looking back at me,
smiling.


Inheritance - Revision III

I have my mother’s hands,
thick and coarse, fit for
pulling yams from the field.

I have her broad back,
she used to carry clothes and babies
to and from the creek.

My legs are short like hers
but strong as hickory, formed
to wade through thigh-deep floods.

I am my mother’s child,
what remains of her on earth.

In the mirror I see her
looking back at me,
smiling.


Inheritance - Revision II

I have my mother’s hands,
thick and coarse, fit for
pulling yams from the field.

I have her broad back,
she used to carry clothes and babies
to and from the creek.

My legs are short like hers
but strong as hickory, formed
to wade through floods waters
thigh deep.

I am my mother’s child,
what remains of her on earth.

In the mirror I see her
looking back at me,
smiling.

Legacy - Revision I

I have my mother’s hands,
thick and coarse, fit for
pulling yams from the field.

I have her broad back,
she used to carry babies and wash
to and from the creek.

My legs are short like hers
but strong as ash created
to withstand adversity.

I am my mother’s child,
what remains of her on earth.

In the mirror I see her
looking back at me,
smiling.

Legacy - Original

I have my mother’s hands,
thick and coarse, fit for
pulling yams from the field.

I have her broad shoulders,
used to carry wash and babies
to and from the creek.

My legs are short like hers
but strong as Ash created
to withstand adversity.

I am my mother’s child,
what remains of her on earth.

In the mirror I see her
looking back at me,
smiling.

Luce
Last edited by Luce on Mon Nov 07, 2016 8:37 pm, edited 6 times in total.
"She acts like summer, walks like rain." - Train

Lou
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Re: Legacy

Post by Lou » Thu Oct 27, 2016 5:15 am

This is very compelling and well-written. I do wonder if it might be an idea to change around L4 and L7: have the legs carry the washing and babies, and the shoulders bear the adversary?

Best,
Lou

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Re: Legacy

Post by penguin » Thu Oct 27, 2016 7:41 am

Luce wrote:Legacy

I have my mother’s hands,
thick and coarse, fit for
pulling yams from the field.

I have her broad shoulders,
used to carry wash and babies - washing, maybe. I was expecting carry wash and dry!
to and from the creek.

My legs are short like hers
but strong as Ash created - why capitalise ash?
to withstand adversity. - maybe something specific rather than adversity

I am my mother’s child,
what remains of her on earth.

In the mirror I see her
looking back at me,
smiling.

Luce

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Re: Legacy

Post by cynwulf » Thu Oct 27, 2016 10:33 am

I too found this compelling, with the clear, simple English evoking so much. Well written. Why strong as Ash, are you avoiding the banality of Oak? Is there
a resistant stumpy tree species in the place you live that might be appropriate. I don't mind the generality of 'adversity' to me it fits better in the poem than
a citing of something more specific. Much enjoyed.
Regards, c.

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Re: Legacy

Post by Luce » Thu Oct 27, 2016 5:20 pm

Thanks Lou, Penguin and C. for stopping by to read this one. I appreciate the feedback.

Lou - I'm glad you like the poem. All these recent poems about grief and loss made me think of my mom. She was a simple country woman, could barely read or write but she was a strong woman who kept our large family whole. Thanks for the suggestion about switching the lines but I'd rather have the shoulders carry the burden and the legs standing up to adversity.

Penguin - Thanks for pointing out the "Ash" thing.

C. - I'm glad you like the poem. Yes, I was trying to avoid using oak so I used a species of tree you would find in the SE of the US. I want to keep the general geographic setting as true as I can. Ash trees can be found in Florida. The name of the tree also had to be sonically pleasing (as/ash/stand) besides being a hardwood.

Unfortunately, I can't use something local for the tree. The stumps and fallen trees near me (courtesy of Hurricane Matthew) are mainly oak, bushes, shrubs, palms and some softwoods. In addition, the tree's name had to meet my sonic requirements, as mentioned above.

Nevertheless, I was thinking of using pop ash or hickory for the tree (both native to the SE). But, the wood of the pop ash is weak and the rhyme of hickory/adversity makes the stanza sound to much like a nursery rhyme to me. Considering all of this, I decided to just stay with ash.

Luce
"She acts like summer, walks like rain." - Train

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Re: Legacy

Post by Macavity » Thu Oct 27, 2016 6:01 pm

I like the poem Luce. Grounded. I did feel S3 wasn't as strong as the others. Perhaps because the 'I' is missing and the simile brings in the abstract 'adversity'. S3 lacks that everyday element that made S1 and S2 for me.

best

mac

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Re: Legacy

Post by David » Thu Oct 27, 2016 6:58 pm

I like this too, Luce.

You definitely need to uncapitalise ash. (It sounds - or reads, at least - like a person's name at the moment.)

The yams are a great bit of local grounding, and have the advantage of sounding exotic over here.

Isn't "withstand adversity" a bit of a mouthful?

And is it excessively obsessive-compulsive of me to hanker after three lines in S4?

Finally, although "Legacy" is a fine (if rather predictable) title, it seems to contain an unfortunate pun, given the content of the poem. Could you find a better one? Title, that is - the poem is pretty nice as it is.

Cheers

David

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Re: Legacy

Post by Luce » Fri Oct 28, 2016 12:50 am

Thanks mac and David for reading this little work.
Macavity wrote:I like the poem Luce. Grounded. I did feel S3 wasn't as strong as the others. Perhaps because the 'I' is missing and the simile brings in the abstract 'adversity'. S3 lacks that everyday element that made S1 and S2 for me.

best

mac
Mac - I'm glad you like the poem.

I didn't want to keep using "I" so for variety I switched to "My". I wanted to extend the poem to another level which is the reason for S3.

Luce

David wrote:I like this too, Luce.

You definitely need to uncapitalise ash. (It sounds - or reads, at least - like a person's name at the moment.)

The yams are a great bit of local grounding, and have the advantage of sounding exotic over here.

Isn't "withstand adversity" a bit of a mouthful?

And is it excessively obsessive-compulsive of me to hanker after three lines in S4?

Finally, although "Legacy" is a fine (if rather predictable) title, it seems to contain an unfortunate pun, given the content of the poem. Could you find a better one? Title, that is - the poem is pretty nice as it is.

Cheers

David
David - "Ash" has been corrected to "ash". Nope, I don't think "withstand adversity" is a mouthful.

Yes, it is excessively obsessive-compulsive of you (talk about a mouthful) for you to hanker after three lines for S4. Get help quick. :D. I don't get the pun concerning legacy. Can't see it off the bat.

Luce
"She acts like summer, walks like rain." - Train

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Re: Legacy - Revision I

Post by Crayon » Fri Oct 28, 2016 4:09 am

Hi Luce. The personal and particular details are nicely engaging, but line 9 and onward it's rather familiar and on-the-nose. And the word "wash" as a noun is a bit of a stumbling-block. Also, there is "ash" that's not strong at all.

Q: What do you call having legs just like your mother's?
A: Legacy.
wisteria
glares mauve ~
sleepless dawn

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Re: Legacy - Revision I

Post by Macavity » Fri Oct 28, 2016 1:19 pm

I didn't want to keep using "I" so for variety I switched to "My". I wanted to extend the poem to another level which is the reason for S3.
I suspected as much Luce. Perhaps the reader can't be drawn into the 'ash' simile, but if it has a personal significance then I can understand the need to keep the simile.

best

mac

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Re: Legacy - Revision I

Post by Luce » Fri Oct 28, 2016 5:10 pm

Macavity wrote:
I didn't want to keep using "I" so for variety I switched to "My". I wanted to extend the poem to another level which is the reason for S3.
I suspected as much Luce. Perhaps the reader can't be drawn into the 'ash' simile, but if it has a personal significance then I can understand the need to keep the simile.

best

mac

I'll take that chance mac.

Luce
Crayon wrote:Hi Luce. The personal and particular details are nicely engaging, but line 9 and onward it's rather familiar and on-the-nose. And the word "wash" as a noun is a bit of a stumbling-block. Also, there is "ash" that's not strong at all.

Crayon - You can put down "wash" as a colloquialism/regional thing. Sorry that you think that some of the lines are too familiar.

Q: What do you call having legs just like your mother's?
A: Legacy.

Oh good grief!!! :o Is that what David meant by the pun in the title? Say it ain't so David. :cry: I hope that wasn't what he meant. It is so weak.

Luce
"She acts like summer, walks like rain." - Train

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Re: Legacy - Revision I

Post by JJWilliamson » Fri Oct 28, 2016 6:39 pm

Delightful in its simplicity and full of quiet reflection, if you'll pardon the pun.

Seriously though, it is exceedingly warm and actually very pleasing, even considering its melancholic edge.
I particularly like the respect and admiration that accompanies the love, which is bolstered,
significantly, by the comfort and memory the mirror brings. A true two way experience. Clever, I thought.
The speaker looking at her own reflection and seeing her mother looking back with a smile on her face, which in turn
reminds the speaker of her mother.....
Luce wrote:Legacy - Revision I

I have my mother’s hands,
thick and coarse, fit for
pulling yams from the field.

I have her broad back,
she used to carry babies and wash ...Washing would make it clearer but I have heard it being referred to as 'the wash' or 'a wash'.
to and from the creek.

My legs are short like hers
but strong as ash created
to withstand adversity. ...I'm for making this a tangible image. Is there a local wind that could stand as a metaphor? 'Adversity' seems to be missing an opportunity to me.

I am my mother’s child,
what remains of her on earth.

In the mirror I see her
looking back at me,
smiling.

Enjoyed

Best

JJ

Luce
Long time a child and still a child

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Re: Legacy - Revision I

Post by Crayon » Sat Oct 29, 2016 12:51 am

Luce - below is a variation, for your ponderation. Sorry if the 'levee' is too much of a Southern cliche.

Our Legacy

I have my mother's hands,
thick and coarse, fit for
pulling yams from the field.

My back is broad like hers,
used to carry babes and wash
to and from the creek.

She and I share short legs,
but strong like an ash, grown
to stand our ground.

At the levee's edge I see her
in easy waters, smiling
back at me - knowing.
wisteria
glares mauve ~
sleepless dawn

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Re: Inheritance (formerly entitled Legacy) - Rev. II

Post by Luce » Sat Oct 29, 2016 2:05 am

Thanks JJ & Crayon for the feedback.

Ok, ok. I give in. I took out the abstract and put in another image. Since saying "wash" seems to be a bit of a debate, I took that out and put something else. Changed ash to hickory since I didn't have to worry about it rhymng too strongly with adversity any more. And yes, I changed the title - dang it!

JJ - Glad you like the poem and especially the mirror image.

Crayon - Thanks for your suggested redo.

Luce
"She acts like summer, walks like rain." - Train

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Re: Inheritance (formerly entitled Legacy) - Rev. II

Post by Macavity » Sat Oct 29, 2016 8:22 am

My legs are short like hers
but strong as hickory, formed
to wade through floods waters
thigh deep.
I think that is an improvement Luce, but could be condensed. Floods imply water.

A possible edit...
My legs are short like hers
but strong as hickory, formed
to wade through thigh-deep floods.
best

mac

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Re: Inheritance (formerly entitled Legacy) - Rev. II

Post by David » Sat Oct 29, 2016 8:32 am

That's a good title change, Luce - and a good revision.

Maybe an apostrophe after floods?

Very nice poem.

Cheers

David

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Re: Inheritance (formerly entitled Legacy) - Rev. II

Post by Luce » Sat Oct 29, 2016 3:01 pm

David wrote:That's a good title change, Luce - and a good revision.

Maybe an apostrophe after floods?

Very nice poem.

Cheers

David
Thanks David for the thumbs up on the revision and the new title. I'm afraid that the "s" after floods is a typo. Fortunately for me, mac's suggestion for that line is a good one so I'm incorporating it in Revision III, "coming to a theater near you". :D

Luce

Macavity wrote:
My legs are short like hers
but strong as hickory, formed
to wade through floods waters
thigh deep.
I think that is an improvement Luce, but could be condensed. Floods imply water.

A possible edit...
My legs are short like hers
but strong as hickory, formed
to wade through thigh-deep floods.
best

mac
Thanks mac. That suggestion definitely works.

Luce

P.S. I wanted to use waist deep for sonic reasons (wade/waist). But, I figured a smart aleck (like me) may come along and say, "Well... if the water is waist deep wouldn't she swim? If so, she's using her legs AND arms, not just her legs." :). No matter, I see I have an alty in through/thigh. that works.

From what I've experienced, just wading in knee-deep flood waters can knock you down. Then there are the snakes, harmful bacteria and other critters in the water that can get you.
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Re: Inheritance (formerly entitled Legacy) - Rev. III

Post by bodkin » Mon Oct 31, 2016 12:28 pm

Enjoying the latest version. One trivial nit, maybe:

"..., fit to
pull yams from the field."

Just because an "ing" is always slightly less immediate, and to me the rhythm's smoother too.

Ian
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Re: Inheritance (formerly entitled Legacy) - Rev. III

Post by Luce » Tue Nov 01, 2016 1:19 am

bodkin wrote:Enjoying the latest version. One trivial nit, maybe:

"..., fit to
pull yams from the field."

Just because an "ing" is always slightly less immediate, and to me the rhythm's smoother too.

Ian
I do like that suggestion Ian. Will incorporate it in a future "off-line" revision.

Luce
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Re: Inheritance (formerly entitled Legacy) - Rev. III

Post by TonyMac » Mon Nov 07, 2016 3:38 pm

I've come in late in the day and I can see the way little improvements have been made. I'm glad the last stanza has remained unchanged throughout as it very neatly rounds things off. My wife occasionally looks in the mirror and say "Good morning Edna" - Edna is her mother who died some years ago :)
All that I had I brought,
Little enough I know;
A poor rhyme roughly wrought,
A rose to match thy snow:
All that I had I brought.
(Ernest Dowson 1867 - 1900)

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Re: Inheritance (formerly entitled Legacy) - Rev. III

Post by Luce » Mon Nov 07, 2016 8:33 pm

TonyMac wrote:I've come in late in the day and I can see the way little improvements have been made. I'm glad the last stanza has remained unchanged throughout as it very neatly rounds things off. My wife occasionally looks in the mirror and say "Good morning Edna" - Edna is her mother who died some years ago :)
Thanks TonyMac. - I'm glad the revisions have made it better and that you especially like the last stanza.

Since this poem has come up to the top, I'm posting a revision to include a recent suggestion that Ian made for it.

Luce
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Re: Inheritance (formerly entitled Legacy) - Rev. IV

Post by bodkin » Mon Nov 07, 2016 9:08 pm

Returning to this and really liking it.

I've recently started to look like my grandfather, just on an experimental basis, you realise; to see if it works for me...

Ian

p.s. actually I'm proud to look like my granddad, he was an excellent guy, built 95% from sense of humour...
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Re: Inheritance (formerly entitled Legacy) - Rev. IV

Post by Firebird » Mon Nov 07, 2016 9:21 pm

I love it Luce. I only have one suggestion about the last stanza. If you ignore it, it's still an excellent poem.

In the mirror I see her smile
looking back at me.

Cheers,

Tristan

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Re: Inheritance (formerly entitled Legacy) - Rev. IV

Post by Luce » Tue Nov 08, 2016 11:53 pm

Ian & Tristan - I'm glad you like the revision/poem.

Ian - Thank you for your suggestion. It works well with the poem.

Tristan - I find suggestions invaluable. Therefore, I don't ignore or dismiss them offhand. I do look at them to see if they will advance the poem in the direction it needs to go.

Luce
"She acts like summer, walks like rain." - Train

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