Vespers

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Charles
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Vespers

Post by Charles » Tue Sep 04, 2018 2:25 am

Revision 2

The council lamps turn on
as nature's fade.
I'm caught in the twilight

I have no company
Yet my chamber
Is not without pleasures.

Darkness now. A siren
Serenades me
With undulating song,

Neon flickers waiting for
the dawn to come:
Fluorescent glimmers.

Rats’ feet tap the tiles.
I make a note -
tomorrow, kill the rat.



Revision 1

The council’s lamps turn on
as nature's fade.
I'm caught in the twilight.

Darkness now. A siren
announces its
particular mission.

Bulbs flicker waiting for
the dawn to come
and mask their failed state.

Rats’ feet tap the tiles.
I make a note -
tomorrow, kill the rat.



Original

The council’s lights turn up
as nature dims.
I'm caught in the twilight.

Darkness now. A siren
announces its
particular mission.

Bulbs flicker waiting for
the dawn to come,
to mask their failed state.

Rats’ feet tap the tiles.
I make a note -
tomorrow, kill the rat.
Last edited by Charles on Tue Sep 18, 2018 4:45 am, edited 4 times in total.

1lankest
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Re: Vespers

Post by 1lankest » Tue Sep 04, 2018 2:49 pm

Enjoyed. Great ending.

Some pedant’s nits:

Lights and twighlight in s1?
Nature dims? Why not just night falls?
Sirens, to me, don’t announce specific missions unless you know where and to what the vehicle is going. otherwise they merely signal general emergency.

Like the last two stanzas but I’d lose the comma after ‘come’

L

Charles
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Re: Vespers

Post by Charles » Wed Sep 05, 2018 11:24 pm

Many thanks, L, for taking the time. Glad you enjoyed it.

Yes, losing the comma after come is a good suggestion.

Changing "lights" for "lamps" will be an easy fix - I agree its clumsy as it stands.

"Night falls" Hmm, but wouldn't that be that most terrible of poetic crimes, the cliche? :lol: - but then "nature dims" isn't exactly a brilliantly evocative image either. There's a fine line between avoiding cliche in favour of more poetic imagery and simply using circumlocutions I suppose. I've altered it in the revision.

S2 hmmm... Although the sound of sirens can seem pretty generic and general if you live near a main road as I do - if you reflect on it in each one there is a specific story unfolding even if that story is unknown to you, which is what I wanted to show with the image. Maybe the image just doesn't do that well enough. Will think about it and see what others think.

Revision up.

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Perry
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Re: Vespers

Post by Perry » Thu Sep 06, 2018 6:14 am

Charles, perhaps because I'm not Christian, there are things about this poem that confuse me.

Revision 1

The council’s lamps turn on
as nature's fade. (What council? Aren't vespers an evening church service?)
I'm caught in the twilight.

Darkness now. A siren
announces its
particular mission. (I agree with what 1lankest said about sirens, and this is an improvement. But there are more poetic options. A siren can announce "a distant tragedy". A siren can cry out the condition of man or foretell man's future. A siren can remind you of your ongoing good fortune (if a vehicle with a siren has never come for you). All I'm saying is that you have many options here. "A distant siren announces the condition of man" -- that's what I might choose.)

Bulbs flicker waiting for
the dawn to come
and mask their failed state. (It sounds like the vespers are happening all night long. The failed state of WHAT is being masked?)

Rats’ feet tap the tiles.
I make a note --
tomorrow, kill the rat. (What does a rat have to do with it? Also, you say "rats" in the first line, and then "rat" in the third line. How many rats are there?)

Sorry for being so dense as to not understand such a simple poem.
If I don't critique your poem, it is probably because I don't understand it.

Charles
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Re: Vespers

Post by Charles » Thu Sep 06, 2018 11:43 am

Hi Perry,

Thanks for taking the time.

Unfortunate the title seems to lead you down the wrong path, it's incidental to the poem which isn't really religious - just some a loose collection of N's reflection at dusk. I suppose I was going for a contrast between the very secular reflections and the religious intonation of the title.

Council just refers to the local authorities in the UK. I seem to remember you saying you weren't British, which would explain why that reference may be obscure for you.The lamps are just street lights which the council is responsible for.

The failed state being masked is just the state of the bulbs in the street lights (they are flickering). Though I used the phrase 'failed state' deliberately for the more general implications of that term.

Not sure about rats... As a rat has four feet, surely the plural 'rats' feet' can still be talking about a single rat? Or maybe it should read 'rat's feet' in that case? Or just 'rat feet'? Actually not sure now, ah it's humbling that I'm still confused by simple grammar. :lol: Killing a single rat is punchier and is what I am going for.

Still yet to think of better imagery for S2... Thanks for the suggestions, taken on board.

Cheers,
Charles

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Re: Vespers

Post by NotQuiteSure » Thu Sep 06, 2018 12:39 pm

Hi Charles.

I like the tone of the piece, the voice of the
weary narrator, and the sudden 'kill the rat'.

S1
Odd contrast between the council (plural)
and nature (singular - I assume).
Would suggest cutting the period at the
end of L3 and allowing the sentence to
run on into S2.

S2
I agree with Luke and Perry about the
weakness of this verse, and regardless of
what you decide I wanted to suggest a
return to the title with something like
................................. A siren's
even song
... (and perhaps something
more 'poetic' than announces)?

S3
Not keen on 'bulbs' (partly for its
sound) nor 'mask' - the language is
just a little too plain, for me.

S4
Likewise, 'tap'
(Do wonder if there's a verse missing,
one where N is no longer 'caught' ?)


Regards, Not.


.

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Re: Vespers

Post by Macavity » Thu Sep 06, 2018 7:40 pm

Hopefully not being too radical Charles, but I think S4 is good enough to be the poem. Made me think of morse code...one way to contact Him :) Or ones prayers being answered by vermin!

cheers

mac

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Re: Vespers

Post by Ravallion » Sat Sep 08, 2018 9:40 pm

Good title. Ive read your responses.
The poem may be too abstract for the reader to be there with you. The failed state might actually belong in another poem.

I get where you're going, I just think you're a revision or two away from taking the reader with you✌

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Perry
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Re: Vespers

Post by Perry » Sat Sep 08, 2018 9:52 pm

Charles, thanks for your response to my comments. I'm sorry I didn't understand the poem. My comprehension of subtleties is not very good.
If I don't critique your poem, it is probably because I don't understand it.

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Re: Vespers

Post by ton321 » Sun Sep 09, 2018 12:05 am

Hi Charles,

Ill be honest and say i'm not sure what this about, but I like the mood of it, and the way you are making the reader join the dots.
My only nit is in the 3rd stanza

Bulbs flicker waiting for
the dawn to come,
to mask their failed state.

I don't think you need the third line here, because it is too explainey :D
Liked it overall though

Tony
Counting the beats,
Counting the slow heart beats,
The bleeding to death of time in slow heart beats,
Wakeful they lie.

Robert Graves

Charles
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Re: Vespers

Post by Charles » Tue Sep 18, 2018 3:30 am

Not,

Thanks for taking the time. Appreciate your comments.

Tony, Rav and Mac, likewise. Taken on board and I will post a revision soon. Sorry it took me so long to get around to replying!

Revision up. Always find revising the hardest part, as I'm never sure if what I'm doing is actually improving the piece.

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Re: Vespers

Post by NotQuiteSure » Tue Sep 18, 2018 1:03 pm

.
Hi Charles,
like the revision and the tone seems spot on.
Some small suggestions:

The council lamps turn on
as nature's fade.
I [am] caught in twilight[,]

no company, yet
my chamber
Is not without pleasures.


[Then] darkness [, a] siren
Serenades
With undulating song,

- for me these two are the only
really weak lines.

Neon[,] waiting for
the dawn to come, flickers:
Fluorescent glimmers.

Rats’ feet tap tiles.
I make a note -
tomorrow, kill the rat.


Regards, Not.

.

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Re: Vespers

Post by JJWilliamson » Sun Sep 23, 2018 8:12 am

I enjoyed this most interesting piece, Charles, and have read all the replies. It seems you've
complicated the poem through the revision process, introducing more abstract imagery.
Nevertheless, It certainly held my attention, from start to finish, and the close is to die for. :D

My one suggestion is to drop the vague expressions and tell it as it is, mainly because
I'm not sure what some of the lines bring to the poem.

A few notes below for your perusal:
Charles wrote:
Tue Sep 04, 2018 2:25 am
Revision 2

The council lamps turn on ...Why not just say "street lights" and eradicate the ambiguity?
as nature's fade. ...you could drop this line or "as sunlight fades"
I'm caught in the twilight

I have no company
Yet my chamber ...Is this the old word for bedroom?
Is not without pleasures. ...Rather abstract. Is this strophe necessary?

Darkness now. A siren ...Perhaps just say it's an ambulance or police siren/car etc.
Serenades me
With undulating song, ...Your first version was easier to follow. This has lost me, yet the original clues me in. It now feels as if you've moved to another time period altogether, bringing an element of the romantics with you.

Neon flickers waiting for ...Why not "lamps flicker"? I miss "to mask their failed state". maybe "masking life's end" or something along those lines.
the dawn to come:
Fluorescent glimmers.

Rats’ feet tap the tiles. ...Would they tap or scrape the tiles?
I make a note -
tomorrow, kill the rat. ...Great close!
Lots to like here, Charles.

Best

JJ
Long time a child and still a child

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