1 - 2 - 3 - for

New to poetry? Unsure about the quality of your work? Then why not post here to receive some gentle feedback.

1 - 2 - 3 - for

Postby Walton » Sat Dec 16, 2017 10:24 am

~Eleanora Fagan
so fresh,
failed for favours -
no treat,
 
Tricks - the streets, the city heat
blue voice, what cut your throat?
A poplar tree, caste emotes
dead of night
worth, your notes -

But swing -
bitter rot, weight:
of the crime,
Anslinger: slime,

Wretch! Shame; Lady lain,
I laugh, her spit, slide
down, his face


~Epilogue~

That strange fruit swings;
polik-debate winds:
drug war or crisis,
she sang.
Last edited by Walton on Sat Dec 16, 2017 10:31 am, edited 1 time in total.
sorry - sometimes - these eyes, leave me
Walton
 
Posts: 32
Joined: Sat Dec 09, 2017 5:18 pm

Re: 1 - 2 - 3 - for

Postby Walton » Sat Dec 16, 2017 10:29 am

Hello all,

This should - hopefully - make a lot more sense than my last (revisions coming) post!

Just in case, if anyone would like to see info added here, there is an interesting story in there, please ask; as well as the usual.

Thanks, W.
sorry - sometimes - these eyes, leave me
Walton
 
Posts: 32
Joined: Sat Dec 09, 2017 5:18 pm

Re: 1 - 2 - 3 - for

Postby Luce » Sun Dec 17, 2017 1:08 am

Okay! A poem about Lady Day aka Billie Holiday. I do see some biographical bits in the poem referring to her tragic life. However, if it wasn't for the fact that you tell us that the poem is about Billie Holiday, would the piece had told us on its own?

The only sure thing (beside the name) that would point to Lady Day is the line referring to "that strange fruit...". That was one of her biggest hits. There are some vague references that point to her prostitution (Tricks..streets...) addiction (drug war) and brief imprisonment (crime/Anslinger) but it's not presented using poetic imagery. Instead it's done through prose like statements (tricks/streets, drug war, etc) which is not a good thing. See more comments below:

Luce


Walton wrote:~Eleanora Fagan
so fresh,
failed for favours -
no treat,

Tricks - the streets, the city heat
blue voice, what cut your throat?
A poplar tree, caste emotes
dead of night
worth, your notes -



Title - Maybe something a little more reflective of the era/lady you're referring to rather than say 1...2...3.. I'm assuming you're referring to how the Band leader cues the band/singer to start but it doesn't seem to work in this case, IMHO.

Opening line - Something more creative than using her real name? Her signature look was a gardenia in her hair. Maybe you can work with that image.

I appreciate the alty (fresh/failed/for/favors but I'd rather have punctuation and imagery you can sink your teeth into. I'm just getting bits and pieces. It's like looking at a photo heavily damaged by fire.

I do get the vague reference that Billie worked as a prostitute in her early years but that's because I'm familiar with her bio. The challenge here is to reach the reader who may not be as familiar with her life. If it isn't important that the reader link it directly to Billie than maybe the poem could be about the ill-fated life of an unknown singer. What ever the case, the imagery has to be clear and fresh and show us what is going on, not just tell us.

I do like the rhyme of streets/heat. Very crisp with a cool beat.

Maybe instead of just saying plain ole "blue voice" how about "sapphire voice" or "electric blue voice". Jazz it up a bit. :D

I have no clue what you mean with the "cut throat" line. The bit about the poplar tree refers to lynchings?The caste system refers to the division of blacks and whites? :?: The references are fragmented.

But swing -
bitter rot, weight:
of the crime,
Anslinger: slime,

Right! I looked up Anslinger. Big time advocate of prohibition and criminalization of drugs. Billie and Anslinger would definitely not be exchanging Christmas cards. Beyond this, the lines are hard to piece together well.

Wretch! Shame; Lady lain,
I laugh, her spit, slide
down, his face

Plus side - You have a tangible image. Hooray!!! Billie is spitting in Anslinger's face? I wouldn't introduce the N now. Too late in the poem. Just keep it with Billie and Anslinger.

~Epilogue~

I'd delete Epilogue. The whole poem is an epilogue.

That strange fruit swings;
polik-debate winds:
drug war or crisis,
she sang.

I like the top line of this stanza. You can use this line to make a more powerful closing image.

Is polik a misspell?

The rest of the lines are rather telly. Creating an image for the closing is better. For example:

The strange fruit swings
across her stage while
Lady Day sings in a
heroin daze.

"She acts like summer, walks like rain." - Train
User avatar
Luce
Prolific Poster
Prolific Poster
 
Posts: 729
Joined: Sun Mar 20, 2016 8:25 am
Location: Not so sunny Florida

Re: 1 - 2 - 3 - for

Postby Walton » Mon Dec 18, 2017 5:06 pm

Hi Luce, thanks for reading!

I actually had my response to The Deer drafted before I saw, and I’ll say again - we have different styles, or approaches!

Please don’t think any offence taken on my part, I think there’s validity in all of your comments, your POV is greatly appreciated!

A final note in the next, for all our differences I get that if I can take the right parts - the image and the consistency then - even where I like my way - an excellent exercise trying it your way could be. That said:

Okay! A poem about Lady Day aka Billie Holiday. I do see some biographical bits in the poem referring to her tragic life. However, if it wasn't for the fact that you tell us that the poem is about Billie Holiday, would the piece had told us on its own?

~~~ my failing I write too far from my perspective - no one else is seeing clearly! - but I stand by the references - I’m no jazz expert, I know enough to know it’s not much. I’ll reply to (some) that you mentioned below. And any you question, please do...

The only sure thing (beside the name) that would point to Lady Day is the line referring to "that strange fruit...". That was one of her biggest hits. There are some vague references that point to her prostitution (Tricks..streets...) addiction (drug war) and brief imprisonment (crime/Anslinger)

~~~ If wanted happy to go through and explain intended details - not sure how much of an appendix people really want to see beneath a poem?

but it's not presented using poetic imagery. Instead it's done through prose like statements (tricks/streets, drug war, etc) which is not a good thing. See more comments below:

~~~Re the above this is fair. But I find it an interesting comment from yourself, given my impression of the deer. I also kings of like the contrast - the famous song’s imagery substituted for ‘statement of fact’ like indictment- has a nice cold darkness for me - like the b&w films, silhouette- something I can try and build on...

Luce

Walton wrote:
~Eleanora Fagan
so fresh,
failed for favours -
no treat,

Tricks - the streets, the city heat
blue voice, what cut your throat?
A poplar tree, caste emotes
dead of night
worth, your notes -



Title - Maybe something a little more reflective of the era/lady you're referring to rather than say 1...2...3.. I'm assuming you're referring to how the Band leader cues the band/singer to start but it doesn't seem to work in this case, IMHO.

~~~~~ Agreed! I had: ‘1, 1, 1, and...’

Trying to reflect the mono-something (sorry, if someone knows the word?) bass - that just plods along - for me: on wave of the wind, and even a bit of heartbeats - writing this response is really helping!

Opening line - Something more creative than using her real name? Her signature look was a gardenia in her hair. Maybe you can work with that image.

~~~~ I took that out, for me: more well known than her real name, Iggy Pop did a song called gardenia not long ago as well... Not that I want to be elitist, but I’d like to have some jazzier appeal, despite living flowers in general!

~~I had heard of l day long before e Fagan- other way round for you?

Sub:

failed for favours - (old scars hid in gardenia)

~~~~Since she started wearing them to cover up a hair accident
- trouble is this detracts from the other lines - there’s a little bit to the violence running through the poem that, again I can try and bring out more...

I appreciate the alty (fresh/failed/for/favors but I'd rather have punctuation and imagery you can sink your teeth into. I'm just getting bits and pieces. It's like looking at a photo heavily damaged by fire.

Ok, tried to include her mother and state as the failure, then into the prostitution...

I do get the vague reference that Billie worked as a prostitute in her early years but that's because I'm familiar with her bio.

~~~ really, from favours and tricks? How about ‘turned tricks...

~~~~ If that’s clear on the prostitution I think I can do a lot with turn: records, fruit, tides, time, twine... quite a wellspring!

The challenge here is to reach the reader who may not be as familiar with her life.

~~~~ Yep, but for me, it has to be about her, and her story - that’s what makes it matter to me.
Challenge for myself: make the immediately clear parts strong enough to make R want to go and search the name Anslinger.

I do like the rhyme of streets/heat. Very crisp with a cool beat.

~~~Thank you, that’s exactly what I wanted! Also why I kept it short - it’s a balance, I’ll need some great language to set.

Maybe instead of just saying plain ole "blue voice" how about "sapphire voice" or "electric blue voice". Jazz it up a bit. :D

~~~ I like this comment, but the blue voice is also the police - needs avoider then to get some police/state brutality in there

I have no clue what you mean with the "cut throat" line.

~~~~ Her voice- famously narrow range , but she was a pioneer of the jazz vocalist as a musician - engaging and improvising as much as the rest - ‘cutting notes’ if you will, as well - but this is maybe just an association that is too weak

I also had reflections on... an image that would be very powerful if done well... wts

The bit about the poplar tree refers to lynchings?The caste system refers to the division of blacks and whites? :?: The references are fragmented.

~~~~ Poplar tree is in strange fruit, I also like the populism Avenue, just hinted at.
Also, tree (+) casts a shadow, emotion, for the dead, tree in night - perhaps a silhouette here? Suggests shadows elesewhere?
Then ‘notes’ again - the lyrics, straining her voice over pain, and losing range, - the drugs affected it to over the years

But swing -
bitter rot, weight:
of the crime,
Anslinger: slime,

~~~~ SPOILER: swing; a rotting weight, (and wait voyeurs)
To Lynch is a crime, but so the slimy Anslinger - if you have any spare capacity for anger, he’s worth it!



Right! I looked up Anslinger.

~~~~ that’s huge for me, thank you. There’s a more direct link tho. Hence she spits in his face, which her character probably would have! Supposed to be like a happy memory, shared in a sad day - drugs line of development maybe...

Big time advocate of prohibition and criminalization of drugs. Billie and Anslinger would definitely not be exchanging Christmas cards. Beyond this, the lines are hard to piece together well.

Read on. Johann Hari is good.


Wretch! Shame; Lady lain,
I laugh, her spit, slide
down, his face

Plus side - You have a tangible image. Hooray!!! Billie is spitting in Anslinger's face? I wouldn't introduce the N now. Too late in the poem. Just keep it with Billie and Anslinger.

Really, talking about a singer the audience, maybe including N, are always there, taking it in, waiting for the close (likely S Frt) as one would at concert, funeral...

~Epilogue~

I'd delete Epilogue. The whole poem is an epilogue.

That strange fruit swings;
polik-debate winds:
drug war or crisis,
she sang.

~~~ not to me, she dies at lain. S: 3-5 are present tense, maybe a boost needed. But I like the crossover, the two time zones, that aren’t as separate as we’d like to believe.
~~~~ at this point you may be thinking, really? And, no I don’t expect to be able to capture all of this with brevity and effectiveness - just a bit of insight offered.


I like the top line of this stanza. You can use this line to make a more powerful closing image.

Is polik a misspell?

~~~~ click bait driven, political debate. And I like ‘k’ it feels better, and from politik, not a huge jump - disagree?

The rest of the lines are rather telly. Creating an image for the closing is better. For example:

The strange fruit swings
across her stage while
Lady Day sings in a
heroin daze.

~~~~ nice image, happy sad- just not quite me, for this piece.
I like closing on a tighter image, the fruit, the wind, rising crises and wars...

Then, she sang - I dunno, I get remorse, and reflection: as if before she had to live it, in all this; only now can she have that even.

Likely I’ll never tire of this subject. Thanks for kicking things off Luce, loads to get into here! I, however may be too close to this one - some time - I hope you’ll return for results!
sorry - sometimes - these eyes, leave me
Walton
 
Posts: 32
Joined: Sat Dec 09, 2017 5:18 pm

Re: 1 - 2 - 3 - for

Postby Luce » Tue Dec 19, 2017 8:44 am

Walton,

It's not a question of trying it my way. I'm just providing feedback/suggestions/examples. You can take or toss (TOT) what you wish from it. It's not necessary or advisable to go through a poster's suggestion in such detail. When you do that you're really critiquing the poster's feedback, which is not a polite thing to do. In stricter poetry forums that would earn you a one-way ticket out of that poetry forum. Luckily PG is very forgiving.

Since you're new to PG, I suggest you read the tagged topic on the beginner's board which talks about providing feedback and accepting it. It's in the "Rules" section. Here's a link. viewtopic.php?f=20&t=2605

Luce

P.S. it's also not a good idea to refer to a poster's poem in your thread, especially when you're comparing it to your own.
"She acts like summer, walks like rain." - Train
User avatar
Luce
Prolific Poster
Prolific Poster
 
Posts: 729
Joined: Sun Mar 20, 2016 8:25 am
Location: Not so sunny Florida

Re: 1 - 2 - 3 - for

Postby Walton » Wed Dec 20, 2017 4:42 am

Luce, ah, this is quite the false start.

Point taken. I hadn’t checked, hadn’t expected that kind of rule - one other forum I use has that sort of thing.

IMHO, it’s a good thing, if taken in the same spirit as the original feedback. For me, the original feedback is not ‘critique,’ at least bit I. The way that you have interpreted my feedback, feedback.

It’s like, I write something, post it, and so ask for ‘response.’ I approach this with the freedom of an amateur - which is like... not even needing a shield from ‘critiques,’ or even out right criticism - I had expected a... blunter atmosphere to be honest.

When I read your response, I didn’t agree with your some of your reasoning. Please do not take this to mean that I thought your impressions were invalid. You showed some knowledge of a subject I have, not researched, but invested time in... I only meant to explain my thinking behind the poem- for discussion. Ideally, if you, or anyone else is willing to engage, I’d love any further thoughts/suggestions- if you know better what I’m trying to say all the better - if I want to improve, surely?

I meant what I said about trying it your way too. I try to cut and cut, and as you have seen write ‘true to me’/self-indulgently! It is a good exercise to try to write in a different style right, why not try that... I actually thought you might like to see the comparison.

Sorry if explanation, became lesson and lecture sand condescension - imagine, you’re at, say... a dinner party, sat next to a jazz fan; and you mention you like someone like Billie Holiday... ready yourself, floodgates!

Apologies, for all the people who find few fool rush ears!

P.S.

Job 1 - read the guides, all of them; repeat!
sorry - sometimes - these eyes, leave me
Walton
 
Posts: 32
Joined: Sat Dec 09, 2017 5:18 pm


Return to Post-a-Poem (Beginners)

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest

Powered by phpBB® Forum Software © phpBB Group