Version 2: Fleeing John (was The Lily-white Boy)

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calico
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Version 2: Fleeing John (was The Lily-white Boy)

Post by calico » Thu Sep 29, 2011 12:42 pm

I can't edit without rewriting.
Version 2 - now called 'Fleeing John'

When they tried to touch
his finger, raw where he had gnawed
it clean, he degloved himself,
ring and all, and, amazed!,
harmed but free,
he legged it

Down by the rushes, left at the sundial
thick footed through the thicket.
He threw twigs at the stream,
counting the bars.
The blue windows rippled,
refracting.

Ahead the listing rigging of
a quite tremendous antlers.
By dawn he smelled not of the other
bodies in the hold,
but of a reservoir
cradled in its bowl.



Original
At the end of a telephone,
the litter of your habit swept
off the cabinet with your sleeve,
you deseeded and degloved yourself:
head, leg, gaze.
Overnight the adrenaline
leached out, in pale
secretions from your skin,
and left you smelling
not of sweat, smoke and manure,
like the village before it drowned,
but of the slow metabolism
of its reservoir.
Last edited by calico on Sat Oct 01, 2011 7:28 pm, edited 2 times in total.

brianedwards
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Re: The Lily-white Boy

Post by brianedwards » Thu Sep 29, 2011 2:31 pm

Oh I have missed your voice Megan.
Will definitely come back in the morning for a closer read, but just wanted to check in and let you know I've read it, enjoyed it, and am now off to bed smiling.

Tnx 4 that. B bck 2mrw.

B.

Suzanne
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Re: The Lily-white Boy

Post by Suzanne » Fri Sep 30, 2011 10:47 am

So very nice to see you. Welcome back.

The title drew me in. Being Lily-white means nearly sinless and yet this boy is not that.

But what is happening is not quite clear. I am sure it is my lack. The first three lines are good and set a good stage very concisely. The rest sounds good but it as yet unclear. Each line is thoughtfully crafted, I can really see that but.. I see heroin and farm scenes and can't quite link them together. I will watch with interest and see how this develops.

Mostly welcome back,
Suzanne

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Re: The Lily-white Boy

Post by JohnLott » Fri Sep 30, 2011 11:13 pm

For the second time tonight I have to say I think I understand the start of a poem
and from there it goes downhill.

I think I understand a reference to a Druggie.
I think there is a reference to Auden with lily-white boy.
I am confused by the 'degloved' because of the ambiguity with stripping off the skin - and in any event even if you were taking your gloves off how does 'gaze' fit in?

Adrenaline?
Village drowned? - to make way for a Welsh reservoir?

So confused
:?

J.
Before you shave with Occam’s razor - Try epilation or microlaser

calico
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Re: The Lily-white Boy

Post by calico » Sat Oct 01, 2011 7:15 am

Yes. Yes I'm failing to communicate. I'll spare you the edit, but I've removed the telephone because it set up a scene that didn't follow through and what I wanted was to get at a folk tale, ghost story feeling of the reservoir as cannibal, purity as the undead - ummm- happy to let it sink
glug
glug
gasp
glug

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Re: The Lily-white Boy

Post by David » Sat Oct 01, 2011 8:57 am

I don't think you should let it sink. It's a good idea to remove the telephone, for the reason you have removed it, but I'd like to see that edit. I don't get the reference to the lily-white boy, unless it's to the colour of his drug of choice (and I haven't checked John's Auden connection), but I think the ending is excellent. It would be a pity not to arrive at that somehow, and maybe your edit does that.

Cheers

David

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Post by Suzanne » Sat Oct 01, 2011 9:48 am

"what I wanted was to get at a folk tale, ghost story feeling of the reservoir as cannibal, purity as the undead"

Yes, that sound like a good place this could go.

And I agree with David. Give it an edit.
Suzanne

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Re: Version 2: Fleeing John (was The Lily-white Boy)

Post by Oskar » Sun Oct 02, 2011 2:46 pm

Blimey, you don't mess about, do you?

I much prefer the original. The phrasing carries less fat and contains more mystery and menace, I think. The meaning is elusive, but that's not necessarily a bad thing, is it? The last eight lines are particularly strong and definitely worth keeping. Good poem.

Regards
"This is going to be a damn masterpiece, when I finish dis..." - Poeterry

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Re: Version 2: Fleeing John (was The Lily-white Boy)

Post by JohnLott » Sun Oct 02, 2011 5:44 pm

Hi Calico,

I think you rushed into an edit

This re-write is different but just as confusing.

I get the feeling that if you write out your storyline/plot in long hand and it holds together, and then you adhere to it, you might end up with a consolidated poem.

As an aside I'm not sure what to make of 'a quite tremendous antlers'

J.
Before you shave with Occam’s razor - Try epilation or microlaser

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Re: Version 2: Fleeing John (was The Lily-white Boy)

Post by ray miller » Sun Oct 02, 2011 7:22 pm

I prefer the original too. Mind you, not only do I see little connection between the original and revised versions, but ditto for the original's first 5 lines and the remainder.I thought the phone line was of the Adult variety and the lily-white boy was an enthusiastic masturbator with gloves on - One is one and all alone and ever more shall be so. I quite like my interpretation. I quite like the rest of the original poem without having much of a clue what it's about.
I'm out of faith and in my cups
I contemplate such bitter stuff.

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Re: Version 2: Fleeing John (was The Lily-white Boy)

Post by BenJohnson » Mon Oct 03, 2011 9:58 am

Contrary Ben here as usual I much prefer the edit, but then I have come late to the party and didn't have the pleasure of puzzling through the original. That said they are two totally different poems linked by the odd phrase here and there. Actually to be fair I read the original as a monk the sleeve of his habit sweeping the telephone table only on reading through the comments did I go back and re-read with the idea of drug habit.

The edit grabs me though as there is more of a tale, it is vague enough to allow interpretation of the theme but to me it could almost tell the tale of an escaping slave who has gnawed through his own flesh to get free and legged it leaving part of himself behind. The use of hold in the last stanza would also work with this interpretation. What I really like though is the fact that a totally different tale could be imposed on the frame work you have given us.

calico
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Re: Version 2: Fleeing John (was The Lily-white Boy)

Post by calico » Mon Oct 03, 2011 6:55 pm

Interesting diversity of feedback here, and definitely I ended up writing a different poem which will be a new post, and may carry on trying to edit the original at some point.

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Re: Version 2: Fleeing John (was The Lily-white Boy)

Post by David » Sat Oct 08, 2011 7:02 pm

Oh, right. This was a John Clare poem too. I like parts of both versions, but all of neither. In fact I like both S1 (except for "legged it") and S2 in the rewrite, but I still don't get the ending.

So is this superseded by High Beech, or are they both in play?

Cheers

David

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