What no man may store in heaven - Revision

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What no man may store in heaven - Revision

Postby Charles » Sun Jul 01, 2018 6:48 am

Revision

What no man may store in heaven -
loose change, inscribed ring, three month's rent.
I hit number twelve, drawing eleven
that double-down bad beat made a dent.

I know my folly, my ruin ahead:
I'm driven to borrow, blackmail, steal,
glancing my eye from the black to the red,
the chances glimmer, hope's with the wheel
oh this is the vice that gets me to feel!

There's a joyous sense of abandonment
in watching an ivory ball spin.
A month's wages turn, trip and are lent
still, there was always the chance to win.


Original

What no man may store in heaven -
loose change, inscribed ring, three month's rent.
He hits number twelve, drawing eleven
that double-down bad beat made a dent.

Knave knows his folly, his ruin ahead:
he's driven to borrow, blackmail, steal,
glancing his eye from the black to the red,
the chances glimmer, hope's with the wheel
oh this is the vice that gets him to feel!

There's a joyous sense of abandonment
in watching an ivory ball spin.
A month's wages turn, trip and are lent
still, there was always the chance to win.
Last edited by Charles on Mon Jul 16, 2018 5:26 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: What no man may store in heaven

Postby Macavity » Mon Jul 02, 2018 3:25 am

Some neat rhyming Charles to bind the sad illusions of gambling. The vice that gets him to feel is particularly sad because I can relate it to gambling addicts I've known. I guess you've already considered symmetry, but if you were to drop a line in S2, I suggest L8 - though I liked glancing/chances.

cheers

mac
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Re: What no man may store in heaven

Postby the stranger » Fri Jul 13, 2018 11:25 pm

Fuck off
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Re: What no man may store in heaven

Postby Firebird » Sat Jul 14, 2018 9:11 am

the stranger wrote:Fuck off


Is that really necessary? You maybe against religion and the moral tone of this poem, but everyone's entitled to their beliefs, so long as they don't harm anyone else. The poem does at it's close try to empathise with the gambler. Perhaps the poems saying that without god the whole of life is like playing roulette: there's no order and everything is left to chance. Maybe you are addicted to gambling and this poem hit a sour spot? I don't know, but it didn't deserve your response, and I think you owe Charles an apology.

Cheers,

Tristan
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Re: What no man may store in heaven

Postby Charles » Sat Jul 14, 2018 9:07 pm

Thanks for that Mac. More of an exercise in rhyming this one, I agree the symmetry is a bit off but I struggled quite a lot with the second verse. I could contract the last two lines to something like:

"Knave knows his folly, his ruin ahead:
he's driven to borrow, blackmail, steal,
glancing his eye from the black to the red,
the chances glimmer, the vice helps him feel"

I'm more befuddled than offended by stranger's comment, as I'm not sure what is being taken offense to. Yes, reading it back the tone is quite moralistic so fair enough if that's it - but aside from the opening allusion there isn't really supposed to be a religious angle to the thing at all. Just an interesting allusion I thought, the gambler's loose grip on his wealth ironically compared to a "saintly" loose grip on wealth.

There are plenty of poets who use religious allusions in their work who aren't even believers. It's a poetic device like any other - but maybe my reputation on these forums precedes me...

Thanks for the defense Tristan.
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Re: What no man may store in heaven

Postby Antcliff » Mon Jul 16, 2018 2:08 pm

Greetings, Charles

"Yes, reading it back the tone is quite moralistic so fair enough if that's it..."

Stranger may perhaps have had a few at 11.25 on a Friday and was perhaps merely quoting the barman. Still, I have some sympathy with Stranger's crit if it was the suggestion....if I can paraphrase....that there was a slight hint of sanctimony. I can't quite put my finger on what generates that feeling. But I do have a suggestion. It may partly be the slightly creaky old words "Folly" and "Ruin" which...though not of course falsely applied...are staples of old sermons.


Best wishes,
Seth
We fray into the future, rarely wrought
Save in the tapestries of afterthought.
Richard Wilbur
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Re: What no man may store in heaven

Postby Charles » Mon Jul 16, 2018 5:22 pm

Yes, I think you are right there.

I also think the nature of the strict rhyming form I was trying out and the meter lends itself to that moralistic/sanctimonious tone - particularly in S2.

Might be worth a rework to make it less so, I am fond of some of the turns of phrase but as you say "Knave" and "folly" are quite old hat.

I'm actually gonna do something fairly simple to make it less moralistic - simply change it to 1st person. Don't know why it was in 3rd person to begin with really...

EDIT: Hmmm, not sure that's actually worked. Will think on it some more.
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Re: What no man may store in heaven - Revision

Postby PerryJ » Thu Aug 16, 2018 12:05 am

I really, really like this poem, especially the line:

"oh this is the vice that gets me to feel!"

You've put your finger right on it: We are compelled to do what evokes our deepest feelings.

Putting the poem in the first person improved it considerably.

In line two the apostrophe should follow the S in "months".

I don't fully comprehend line 4, but I like the way it sounds. Perhaps you are referencing a game I'm not familiar with. For me, it is one of those fascinating lines that doesn't make absolute sense but still conveys a meaning. If it actually has a clear meaning which I'm not getting, all the better.

I like the words "ruin" and "folly". There is no reason not to be sanctimonious about gambling.

The extra line in the second stanza makes sense -- that's the stanza in which you examine your habit. In fact, there is an organic quality to the poem: first stanza -- description of the problem; stanza two -- analysis of the problem; stanza three -- justification or capituation to the problem.

The ending is very strong. You could go with either "the chance" or "a chance".

This poem could be punctuated better to add clarity. A few well-chosen semicolons would do a lot for it. Don't you want some punctuation after "lent" in the final stanza?

I keep a personal file of my favorite poems written by other authors. When you complete this poem, I'd love to add this poem to my file (with your name on it, of course).

Just to summarize, you get to the essence of your topic in a way that makes the topic clearer to the reader. That's a quality that very good poems seem to have in common. Congratulations.
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