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On a Finger (3rd Draft)

Posted: Mon Nov 24, 2008 2:18 am
by Charles
The years have turned its skin to another shade,
With spring's light translucence wiring the blood,
And summer's heavy rays double tapping the grave
And autumnal rains seeping through the opening pours
The winter's darkening nights into hollow bone.

That digit keeps present a static joint
Encapsulateing past, a catholic boyhood -
It sits on the kuckle, immovable
Like a flying buttress, white as the pain
From which it sprung. It strains against the rest:

Stig of the dump smashing the water fountain,
Caliban's spittle on Miranda's face,
Bright girls running from the doctor's creation
And Sodom being cursed in lust for God.

I suppose with healing it might lie straight -
If only there was some girl brave enough
To let it flex.

[I'm thinking of moving V.1 to between V.3 and 4... or even put it back in the scrapbook, though it was where I started this poem from. I know this could use more work, I'd like some input]

2nd Draft

That finger keeps present a static joint
Encapsulateing past, a catholic boyhood -
It sits on the kuckle, immovable
Like a flying buttress, white as the pain
From which it sprung. It strains against rest.

For the years have worn the skin around to a shade,
Spring's light translucence wiring the blood,
Summer's rays double tapping the grave
And autumnal rains leaking through the opening pours
The winter's dark rememberance into hollow bone:

Stig of the dump smashing the water fountain,
Caliban's spittle in Miranda's face,
Bright girls running from the doctor's creation,
And Sodom being cursed in lust for God.

I suppose with a straight cure it might lie flat
If only there was some girl kind enough
To let it flex.

3rd Draft:
His hand keeps present a static joint
Encapsulating past, the loves of boyhood -
It sits on the knuckle, immovable
As a flying buttress, white as pain
From which it sprung. It strains against rest.

Years have withered the skin around to shade,
Spring's light transcendent wiring the blood,
Summer's violet rays petrifying his touch,
And autumn rains leaking though night-horrors
Pours winter's amnesia into hollow bone:

Stig of the dump pissing in the fountain,
Caliban’s spittle in Miranda's face,
Young girls running from the doctor's creation,
Sodom being cursed in lust for God -
Letting the brothers’ grim reality in.

All these things force into his present
But the finger is not such a treachery.
I suppose with time it might lie flat
If only there was some girl bright enough
To let it flex.

Re: Fingering

Posted: Mon Nov 24, 2008 6:55 pm
by Danté
Charles

I´m a little unsure if the title is doing this any favours. Obviously you want to drive home the crux of the poem, but these things need to be tasteful.
Overall the poem is a little wordy for what it actually says, the first stanza is rather ambiguous and is a little like taking a stroll through hot toffee.
You seem to go off on a few tangents and I did wonder if you might be better separating some of the slightly obscure lines from the poem.
The other problem you have, is the poem goes to great lengths to tell us how the passage of time has made this digit the finger it is today. The translucent skin alludes to an ageing finger, so now my other real point, which is: You have used "girl".
Now all things considered, this to some may be in poor taste, I'm no hypocrite, although my partner/wife is half my age, but she is definitely a woman.
So there you go, I hope you sort this poem out and finish up with your subject dealt with in a way that is close enough to the knuckle without actually going beyond tasteful rendition.
As far as I can see the subject is from life and is a valid observation, I will see how this evolves and look forward to reading a lighter more compelling version of this.

Hope that helps, if not, feel free to toss it.

All the best

Danté

Re: Fingering

Posted: Mon Nov 24, 2008 7:24 pm
by Charles
Thanks, I think you're right. Far and away my biggest influence is Larkin, so I'm looking to mix in the deep with obscene in my poetry - unfortunatly I'm not Philip larkin so it doesn't come off as well. I totally agree with the title, it needs to go - it was just an afterthought, I didn't have a title and it was the first thing that came into my head. It was a very very bad idea as it makes the ending dirty rather than poinient as it's supposed to be.


In fact mods - can you change the title for me? "On a finger" would be good.

I vigerously defend "girl". The point is that the wounded knuckle is emblimatic of the youth of the poem's subject - if he could have that youth again, have a young girl be in love with him, the subject wouldn't make the mistakes he did in life - spurning the erotic out of misery and fear, like the characters in V.3. But it's my fault that was missed because of the aweful title.

I started this poem intending it to be a sonnet - but as things went I got lazy and now the part that is in Iambics looks horribly out of place. Probably best to make it free form like the rest.

Re: Fingering

Posted: Mon Nov 24, 2008 7:32 pm
by Danté
Charles

You can change the title yourself, just hit the edit button whilst viewing you post.
Ok I see what you are saying with the "girl" and once the poem says the same thing in a tangible way you will have dealt with that misconception.

I think free verse would be a good way to go, you can always build free verse into form afterwards if you feel inclined.

all the best

Danté

Re: On a Finger (2nd Draft)

Posted: Tue Nov 25, 2008 2:35 pm
by arunansu
"Encapsulateing" or "encapsulating"?
I can't give you a solid feedback as Tim has done, but reading this a couple of times give me the feeling that a "woman" might have been a better word to use than "girl" at the end. I loved the beautiful flow of S1.
Cheers.

Re: On a Finger (3rd Draft)

Posted: Mon Dec 01, 2008 3:25 pm
by Charles
Thanks, got another draft up now. Quite rewarding getting into the swing of revising a poem. Again, girl I like because it harks backs to youth in the way woman doesn't.

Re: On a Finger (3rd Draft)

Posted: Mon Dec 01, 2008 6:12 pm
by Danté
Charles

I have to say this is growing on me with each subsequent revision.
The internal rhymes are working well, although I am not sure if you have fattened the poem too much.
You obviously have an agenda in respect of structure, I imagine that you have worked on this a fair bit and know what you want to achieve. I think "girl" is becoming comfortable in the poem, somehow the title change seems to have pulled the whole thing the right side of an imaginary line.
S3 I am presuming, is to set up an impression, and bridge some years.
It´s little use me suggesting that you take each key-point and adorn those points with essentials as I don't think that's where you want to take this.
Personally I'd take a look at S1 and see if it could be improved to remove the confusion "It sits on the knuckle, immovable" I know this is correct location, but it reads as though it has incorrect placement.
We all read differently and I think a slightly confusing phrase at the start of a poem can be influential on the remaining lines. You might want to get rid of the capitals at the beginning of each line other than beginning a sentence. It's not a really formal peice and the flow would greatly improve.

I hope there is something in this reply for you.

Kind regards

Danté