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At the Old Quaker Meeting House

Posted: Sat Dec 29, 2012 1:44 pm
by Antcliff
v2

I'll not forget the obvious goodness
of these Quakers,
who don't wear the dark hats
and dress the part

but who still dress simply;
as if some needless layer of appearance
has fallen away
unmissed as a paid up debt.

The dust here is of dormancy
not decay.
They are not of heaven
but shake hands beneath it.

Nor is virtue out in front.
It plays unnoticed, the good drummer.
My pride is disarmed by them,
as it should be. I can sit at ease.



....
v1.
I'll not forget the obvious goodness
of these Quakers,
who don't wear the dark hats
and dress the part,

but who still dress simply;
as if some needless layer of appearance
has fallen away,
unmissed as debt.

The dust here is of dormancy
not decay.
They are not of heaven,
but they shake hands beneath it.

Nor is virtue out in front.
It plays unnoticed, the good drummer.
My pride is smothered by them,
as it should be. I can sit at ease.



(....an older one, reviewing)

Re: At the Old Quaker Meeting House

Posted: Sun Dec 30, 2012 1:34 am
by Macavity
hi Seth,
The 'humility' in the voice seemed in tune with the peacefulness of the Quakers that you present. I think the poem is seeking to use plain language in keeping with the subject, but part of me wonders if it has become austere (more Puritan than Quaker).

mac

Re: At the Old Quaker Meeting House

Posted: Sun Dec 30, 2012 2:12 am
by pseud
very, very well done. Change carefully.

Re: At the Old Quaker Meeting House

Posted: Sun Dec 30, 2012 10:44 am
by dedalus
Good people, the Quakers. Put other noisy so-called "Christians" to shame, I'd be thinking ....

Re: At the Old Quaker Meeting House

Posted: Sun Dec 30, 2012 12:39 pm
by twoleftfeet
Seth,

Excellent piece.

There are two (minor) issues for me -

"unmissed as debt"
- the construct is ambiguous.
Also a tad cryptic, possibly because you are forcing your metaphor into 4 syllables to tie in with S1?

"smothered"
- could suggest coercion as well. Is that your intention?
Shoot me for suggesting a cliche, if you like, but "disarmed"? :)

Geoff

Re: At the Old Quaker Meeting House

Posted: Sun Dec 30, 2012 3:51 pm
by Antcliff
Thanks Pseud/Caleb,
very good to hear.
I'm hoping not to change it greatly.

Thanks Mac,
You have me thinking about austerity!

Thanks Bren,
yeh, they are my favourites.

Thanks Geoff.
for kind words and the two points.
"smothered"
- could suggest coercion as well. Is that your intention?
Good spot. That is not my intention..no coercion implications intended. I'm drawn to your suggestion of "disarmed" and will try it perhaps, though I am also very drawn to "levelled" because of historical connections with the Levellers. Hmm...
"unmissed as debt"
- the construct is ambiguous.
Also a tad cryptic, possibly because you are forcing your metaphor into 4 syllables to tie in with S1?
I have tweaked there.

Seth

Re: At the Old Quaker Meeting House

Posted: Sun Dec 30, 2012 5:09 pm
by David
Two good suggestions by Geoff, deftly tweaked, and this is a very nice poem. I think you're okay with the Quakers (as opposed to the Puritans) - I always think the Puritans have a sort of vehemence that the Quakers, sensibly, lack.

Cheers

David

Re: At the Old Quaker Meeting House

Posted: Sun Dec 30, 2012 5:20 pm
by Ros
Sorry to keep on about this, but I think you could lose all the end of line commas :)

but they shake hands beneath it.

and lose the 'they'?

Very nice.

Ros

Re: At the Old Quaker Meeting House

Posted: Sun Dec 30, 2012 9:58 pm
by Antcliff
Thanks Ros.
"they"...axed. And some commas. :D You are right.

Seth