The Final Mountain - 2nd Revision

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oggiesnr
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The Final Mountain - 2nd Revision

Post by oggiesnr » Sat Dec 30, 2017 11:34 am

The Final Mountain - V3

The mountain wept tears as he stumbled up
the old way to the foot of the climb.
His left leg dragging, a shuffling beat
to the vibrato trembling of his hands.

This was his place, loved and climbed for many the year.
He’d felt its changing seasons on his skin,
the wind on his face, its weathered rocks beneath his hands.

He knew the maze of cracks as he knew himself,
he’d felt its spite as a hold crumbled beneath him,
the elation of a new route finally opened and
the despair as an old friend fell.

In the dawn we found him.
back against the rock and
sightless eyes turned towards a watery sun.


The Final Mountain - V2

The mountain wept tears as he stumbled up
the old way to the foot of the climb.
His left leg dragging, a shuffling beat
to the staccato trembling of his hands.

This was his place, loved and climbed for many the year.
He’d felt it’s changing seasons on his skin,
the wind on his face, its weathered rocks beneath his hands.

He knew the maze of cracks as he knew his face,
had felt its spite as a hold crumbled beneath his hand,
the elation of a new route finally opened and
the despair and grief as an old friend fell.

In the dawn we found him.
back against the rock and
sightless eyes turned to the rising sun.


The Final Mountain

The mountain wept tears as he limped to the edge.
This was his place, loved and climbed for many the year.
He’d felt it’s changing seasons on his skin,
the wind on his face, its weathered rocks beneath his hands.

He knew the maze of cracks as he knew his face,
had felt its spite as a hold crumbled beneath his hand,
the elation of a new route finally opened and
the despair and grief as an old friend fell.

He’d stumbled here up the old track
nearly blind with his left leg dragging,
a shuffling beat to the staccato
trembling of his hands.

Never to walk these hills again
was his sentence, never to see the sun rise,
or steal a fleeting glimpse of a white hare
nor hear the curlews’ mournful call.

Time to rest now, turn fading eyes to the fading light
time to shut those eyes and imagine himself young again.
Time ...
Last edited by oggiesnr on Sat Feb 10, 2018 9:11 am, edited 3 times in total.

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Re: The Final Mountain

Post by Luce » Sun Dec 31, 2017 7:55 am

Sad one ogglesnr. I mainly liked the human-like metaphor you chose to describe the mountain. It effectively showed the aged mountaineer's deep connection to the mountain. However, I wasn't crazy about some of the personifications used and the ending was a bit too melodramatic for me.

Luce

Additional comments below. TOT:

oggiesnr wrote:The Final Mountain

Maybe another title showing the deep connection that the mountaineer has for this particular mountain instead. Suggestions for title - "The Final Climb"/The Ascent???

The mountain wept tears as he limped to the edge.
This was his place, loved and climbed for many the year.
He’d felt it’s changing seasons on his skin,
the wind on his face, its weathered rocks beneath his hands.

I'm wondering if the poem would sound better in the first person and in the present tense. It would sound more intimate and immediate, in view of the relationship between man and mountain.

Not crazy about the mountain weeping tears. How would It weep tears anyway?

Maybe condense it a little, add some more human qualities to the mountain. For example:

The mountain weeps tears as I limp to the edge.
This is my place. I've felt it’s changing moods
on my face, its jagged skin beneath my hands.


He knew the maze of cracks as he knew his face,
had felt its spite as a hold crumbled beneath his hand,
the elation of a new route finally opened and
the despair and grief as an old friend fell.

Same suggestions of making it in the present tense, first person besides condensing it a bit.

I do like the line about the "cracks". Nice comparison. A subtle personification.

Not crazy about the fallen friend line. I wouldn't introduce another person(s). It's too distracting. Just make it the mountain and the old man.


He’d stumbled here up the old track
nearly blind with his left leg dragging,
a shuffling beat to the staccato
trembling of his hands.

The reference to the leg makes you wonder why is he limping? I think you use "hand(s)" a little too much.

Never to walk these hills again
was his sentence, never to see the sun rise,
or steal a fleeting glimpse of a white hare
nor hear the curlews’ mournful call.

A little too OTT for me. I do like the "hare" line though.

Time to rest now, turn fading eyes to the fading light
time to shut those eyes and imagine himself young again.
Time ...

The ending is a little too melodramatic for me. I think you need to be a bit more subtle. Not fond of using "fading" twice. Maybe end the poem with the aged mountaineer doing a simple act. For example, he can be drinking coffee as the mountain becomes dark, holding on to a fist full of mountain snow...something like that.
All in all, a good read. A great setting.

Luce
Last edited by Luce on Sun Dec 31, 2017 3:36 pm, edited 1 time in total.
"She acts like summer, walks like rain." - Train

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Re: The Final Mountain

Post by oggiesnr » Sun Dec 31, 2017 8:17 am

Thanks for the read Luce. I've taken on board your notes and will add them into the mix.

The stumbling and the hands were a hark back to how my father was with his Parkinson's (no he isn't the object of the poem) when his gait went and his hands trembled.

Steve.

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Re: The Final Mountain

Post by Luce » Sun Dec 31, 2017 3:48 pm

Oddly enough I know that you were generally pointing to an infirmity because you go out of your way to say he is old. However, he is also climbing a mountain and trembling hands and a limp can point to an injury and the cold too. Therefore, the challenge here is to definitely point to an infirmity in a subtle way.

Luce
Last edited by Luce on Wed Jan 10, 2018 5:28 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: The Final Mountain

Post by oggiesnr » Sat Jan 13, 2018 8:40 am

Thanks for the read Ft. I've added your comment (which I think I agree with) into the mix for the re-write.

Steve

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Re: The Final Mountain

Post by Jackie » Sun Jan 14, 2018 3:22 pm

Hello Steve,

I'd support Luce's very helpful comments almost entirely; I feel the change he suggested in the title as well as switching to first person would bring about an immediacy that you're missing. I'm not sure I'd take the first person route to do it but I do think getting more immersed in the scene will strengthen the poem.

Like Forty-two,I was befuddled in the first line because I took the referent for the word "he" to be the mountain.

I love that you've converted this universal heart-rending stage in life into a physical, sensory setting.

Jackie

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Re: The Final Mountain

Post by oggiesnr » Sun Jan 14, 2018 10:58 pm

Thanks for the read and crit Jackie.

I have thought about changing it to first person but it doesn't work for me, yet. When it does it will be Kinder Downfall. However I knew the protaganist of this poem and it's taken a long time for me to write it. His friends found him lying against the rocks, facing the dawn.

Steve

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Re: The Final Mountain

Post by Jackie » Mon Jan 15, 2018 9:59 pm

His friends found him lying against the rocks, facing the dawn.
Powerful.

Jackie

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Re: The Final Mountain

Post by oggiesnr » Sun Jan 21, 2018 10:10 pm

Jackie wrote:
His friends found him lying against the rocks, facing the dawn.
Powerful.
Jackie
Given that comment I've had a major hack at the poem to reflect it. I find it is a problem for me that when a poem gets too close to home I often duck the issue.

Steve

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Re: The Final Mountain - 1st Revision

Post by JJWilliamson » Mon Jan 22, 2018 9:40 am

As a fell walker of many years I could easily identify with the protagonist in this piece. You think the day will never come until it does.
I have great walking ambitions for the future but have a few health hurdles of my own to overcome.

A few notes from my own sensibilities. Make of them what you will.
oggiesnr wrote:The Final Mountain

The mountain wept tears as he stumbled up ...The mountains are ancient and have seen many a climber come and go, and yet they remain resolute and seemingly unmoved by all the human interaction. I remember reading various accounts of the Wordsworths with regards to the Lakeland fells and realised that the fells hadn't changed much, if at all, since that time. I was seeing what they saw. I would think the mountain simply "watched". You could even have "watched helplessly".
the old way to the foot of the climb.
His left leg dragging, a shuffling beat
to the staccato trembling of his hands. ...Very good. I now know, for sure, that the man is frail.

This was his place, loved and climbed for many the year. ...Could this line be more informative? EG the name of the mountain, why he loved it. Was there a route he favoured?
He’d felt it’s changing seasons [s]on his skin,[/s]the wind [s]on his face[/s], its weathered rocks beneath his hands.

He knew the maze of cracks as he knew his face, ...Could you be more specific about the face? EG "eyes"
had felt its spite as a hold crumbled beneath his hand, ...'Tears' and 'spite' are at odds. "Maybe felt its age"
the elation of a new route finally opened [s]and[/s]
(and)the despair and grief as an old friend fell. ...Who is falling? Is he with someone? Is this a recollection? You seem to have changed direction.

In the dawn we found him[.] (,)
back against the rock(,) [s]and[/s]
sightless eyes turned to the rising sun. ...Maybe something other than 'rising'. EG "watery"


I enjoyed this, Steve, and maybe a nudge here and there would help to give this a lift.

Best

JJ
Long time a child and still a child

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Re: The Final Mountain - 1st Revision

Post by oggiesnr » Mon Jan 22, 2018 1:51 pm

Thanks JJ. This one is currently meandering it's way to another rewrite so I've added your thoughta into the mix.

Steve

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Re: The Final Mountain - 1st Revision

Post by Joao » Thu Feb 01, 2018 2:23 pm

Hi Steve, I think you did great with the revision: the restrained, descriptive tone is much better suited to your scene and I think you have some great lines here. A few comments, below:

The Final Mountain - I think the title is appropriate: the sense of the same mountain made different by every climb and by the 'changing seasons', as you put it

The mountain wept tears as he stumbled up - I don't see the point of the redundant 'tears' after 'wept'. Am I missing something?
the old way to the foot of the climb.
His left leg dragging, a shuffling beat interesting image
to the staccato trembling of his hands. Are 'trembling' hands staccato? Isn't trembling more of a vibratto? I'd think 'jerking' hands are staccato (but that's probably just me being Pedante)

This was his place, loved and climbed for many the year. 'many the year' sounds incongruously old-fashioned, here - why not just 'for many years'?
He’d felt it’s changing seasons on his skin, good line - I think you mean 'its', not 'it's'
the wind on his face, its weathered rocks beneath his hands. like the rocks

He knew the maze of cracks as he knew his face, 'face' again is a bit repetitive
had felt its spite as a hold crumbled beneath his hand, you already had 'hands' two lines above
the elation of a new route finally opened and
the despair and grief as an old friend fell. just 'despair' would be stronger, I think

In the dawn we found him.
back against the rock and
sightless eyes turned to the rising sun. Beautiful stanza

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Re: The Final Mountain - 1st Revision

Post by oggiesnr » Sat Feb 03, 2018 4:03 pm

Thanks for the crit Joao.

I like a number of your points which may wel get reflected in the next rewrite.

Steve

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Re: The Final Mountain - 2nd Revision

Post by oggiesnr » Sun Feb 04, 2018 10:36 pm

Thank you to everyone who has commented on this.

Some of you comments I've taken on board, some I haven't but I have considered all of them and I am grateful for your input. Looking back through the versions (and those that I haven't posted here) I think that this is a better poem now than it was when I started.

Thank you again

Steve

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