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Legacy

Posted: Wed May 08, 2013 2:30 am
by ljordan
Legacy (rev)

Shifting gears, he picks up speed, trails a scarf
and grips the wheel of his father’s car.
His wake curls through the bottoms of clouds,
and soon the curious dash for cover.
At this speed, he tilts the world on its rim,
toppling an orbit’s proof of night and day.
Above the stars his fenders flash;
the chrome’s agleam in a thousand shafts.

He loses his bearings, his aim, true north,
beyond the limits of his father’s range.
Chaos wrestles the wheel from his grip
and capsizes everything into canyon depths.
Wailing, his father finds a rod, a pin, a screw,
pistons and wire, his world askew.






Legacy

“…and one whole day, some men say,
went by without the sun.” Ovid



Shifting gears, he picks up speed, trails a scarf
and grips the wheel of his father’s car.
He carves away at the bottoms of clouds
and soon the curious form a crowd.
At this speed, he puts the world on its rim,
inspiring a moment’s defiance of wind.
Above the stars smooth fenders shriek
flashing the chrome of an ornament’s beak.

He races against the reins, reckless and faster
steering beyond the borders of his father,
the unbridled chaos snatches his breath
and capsizes everything into canyon depths.
Weeping, his father finds an axle, mangled rod,
the piston, some wire, the wreckage of a god.

Re: Legacy

Posted: Wed May 08, 2013 11:43 am
by ray miller
Enjoyed this very much. Opening 2 lines reminded of the Lonnie Donegan song, Puttin' on the Style, which is always a good thing. I'd say the rhythm is perfect in the first verse and not so in the 2nd. Lines 10 and 13 I find very bumpy. "capsizes all" would be better, perhaps. Likewise, wreck of a god.

Re: Legacy

Posted: Wed May 08, 2013 8:45 pm
by twoleftfeet
Just dropped by to say that I'm not ignoring this, Larry, but I have absolutely no idea what is going on.
A wild guess - something to do with the Campbells or a similar dynasty?

Re: Legacy

Posted: Thu May 09, 2013 1:24 am
by camus
A poem that needs to be heard!

I've read through it a few times, it has a great urgency, it motors along.

As for what it's about? Legacy/boy/father/loads of speed...

Liked.

Re: Legacy

Posted: Thu May 09, 2013 7:49 am
by joe77evans
I really like this. To my ear, though, it needs a little tweak going through from lines 11-13
He races against the reins, reckless and faster
steering beyond the borders of his father,
the unbridled chaos snatches his breath
and capsizes everything into canyon depths.
- something like 'until the unbridled chaos snatches his breath', or but the unbridled chaos...' Not actually either of those because they would bugger up the scansion, but you know what I mean - it needs a turning point between exhilaration and disaster, a defined moment in which it all goes wrong. Perhaps it could be done in an extra pair of lines after 'borders of his father'.

Re: Legacy

Posted: Thu May 09, 2013 7:57 am
by David2
Hi Larry,

Even without the Ovid clue, I think I would have got this. (If I've got it at all, that is.) It goes at a great pace, which is entirely appropriate, but I'm not sure the rhyming scheme does it any favours. That might be the counter-heroic, idea, of course.

I agree with Ray about L13.

Cheers

David

Re: Legacy

Posted: Thu May 09, 2013 12:55 pm
by ljordan
Thanks so much for the notes. I was worried that the Phaethon allusion might be too obscure. A better epigram might be in order. I had wondered if the cadence could make up for the breaks with metrical order and thought the breaks to reflect the chaos, but I think your notes have changed my mind especially re: L13. David, the rhyme scheme is admittedly a default. I had the shreik and beak stuck in my head, but agree that it is too much. Will have to meddle and toil...Joe, I like the extra beat of 'until'. Lastly, the end line has changed back and forth from 'of a god' to 'of God' more times than I can recall, any thoughts? Again, David, Joe, Camus, Geoff and Ray, thanks for the thoughtful comments.

larry

Re: Legacy

Posted: Mon May 13, 2013 2:15 pm
by Antcliff
Larry,
Intriguing. I did not know of the background story..that the poem nicely uses.

How about "..of his daddy's car.."? As it stands the "aar--ing" seems a bit OTT..unless it is intended to mimic car sound?

rails a scarf
and grips the wheel of his father’s car.
He carves


Seth

Re: Legacy

Posted: Mon May 13, 2013 6:58 pm
by Macavity
'a god' because there are plenty more like this so the implied plural is right rather than singular of God.

agree with David about the rhyme, but enjoyed the poem - in particular ' he puts the world on its rim' and 'chrome of an ornament’s beak.'

mac

Re: Legacy

Posted: Thu May 16, 2013 6:11 pm
by ljordan
Thanks Seth and Mac, the rhyme seems to be too much...not sure yet of change..

Re: Legacy

Posted: Sun May 19, 2013 8:00 pm
by Basnik
I think the meter needs work to make this smoother. I'm not against using myth in poetry but what are you actually doing with it, I wonder? The phrasing with all its 'unbridled chaos' etc feels a bit showy but that's probably more about my taste than the poem's effectiveness for others.

Best wishes,
Rich

Re: Legacy

Posted: Thu May 23, 2013 11:57 pm
by stuartryder
hi

the thing that i had from this is that the full rhyme in the last couplet gave it a sense of resolution, following as it does all the half rhymes beforehand. this led me to a sense of completion which jarred with the idea that the story isnt complete, so all i can offer is maybe to continue with half rhymes all the way.

some of those were a tad self conscious, mind. i mean its just as blatant to insist on half rhymes as to insist on full rhymes, if theyre not skilfully handled.

thanks

stu

Re: Legacy

Posted: Thu May 30, 2013 8:45 pm
by ljordan
A revision and a shift towards the sense intended. Again thanks for the notes.

larry