Kingfisher - revised

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Jayne
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Kingfisher - revised

Post by Jayne » Sat Feb 01, 2014 6:00 pm

revised and retitled:

The Dive

Crossing the canal this afternoon
I spotted you – a flash, electric blue
wings piston-powered, you’re gone.

I’d love to follow. I’m not fit
to own the air. Your body’s wired
for flight. I see, in you, the boy

his motorbike in fog, an arrow
kingfisher and chrome; the bridge
at speed, his dive, a frozen future.


and the original:

Kingfisher

Crossing the canal, this afternoon
I spotted you – a flash, electric blue
wings, piston-powered; you’re gone.

You’d have me follow; I’m not fit
to own the air. Your body’s wired
for flight; I recognise the boy

who raced his motorbike in fog – an arrow,
azure-blue and chrome; the bridge he took
at speed; the dive; his frozen future.
Last edited by Jayne on Thu Feb 06, 2014 1:37 pm, edited 2 times in total.

joe77evans
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Re: Kingfisher

Post by joe77evans » Sat Feb 01, 2014 10:30 pm

I really like this from point of view of images but do you think it quite works? Kingfishers are so perfect and controlled - they never crash into anything. Maybe it's about how we try, but fail, to emulate the ease and freedom of the birds?

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stuartryder
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Re: Kingfisher

Post by stuartryder » Sun Feb 02, 2014 12:14 am

joe77evans wrote:I really like this from point of view of images but do you think it quite works? Kingfishers are so perfect and controlled - they never crash into anything. Maybe it's about how we try, but fail, to emulate the ease and freedom of the birds?
Perhaps it speaks of the inevitability of the accident/incident in its chilling dart to its destination?

Stuart

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Re: Kingfisher

Post by Macavity » Sun Feb 02, 2014 11:30 am

Jayne wrote:Crossing the canal this afternoon
I spotted you – a flash - electric blue
wings, piston-powered. You’re gone.

You’d have me follow, but I’m not fit
to own the air. Your body is geared
for flight. I recognise the boy

who raced his motorbike in fog – an arrow,
azure-blue and chrome: the bridge he took
at speed, the dive, his frozen future.
Enjoyed. Not sure about the semi-colons. Perhaps you could vary the punctuation, make it less obtrusive.

cheers

mac

Jayne
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Re: Kingfisher

Post by Jayne » Sun Feb 02, 2014 1:24 pm

joe77evans wrote:I really like this from point of view of images but do you think it quite works? Kingfishers are so perfect and controlled - they never crash into anything. Maybe it's about how we try, but fail, to emulate the ease and freedom of the birds?
Thanks for commenting, Joe. It's a second draft and it might not work, ultimately. I've had this image in my head for a while - the motorbike, not the kingfisher. (Perhaps the title's wrong...). There's a local stretch of country road with a series of bridges, corners and bends that's popular with late-night racers, so this was in my head, too, when I wrote it.

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Re: Kingfisher

Post by Jayne » Sun Feb 02, 2014 1:29 pm

Macavity wrote:
Jayne wrote:Crossing the canal this afternoon
I spotted you – a flash - electric blue
wings, piston-powered. You’re gone.

You’d have me follow, but I’m not fit
to own the air. Your body is geared
for flight. I recognise the boy

who raced his motorbike in fog – an arrow,
azure-blue and chrome: the bridge he took
at speed, the dive, his frozen future.
Enjoyed. Not sure about the semi-colons. Perhaps you could vary the punctuation, make it less obtrusive.

cheers

mac
Thanks, Mac. You may have a point, there.

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Re: Kingfisher

Post by Elphin » Mon Feb 03, 2014 2:40 pm

Jayne

Don't think we have met before so welcome.

I like the comparison you are drawing - the kingfisher and the motorcyclist. I can see them both.

I wonder if having kingfisher in the title isn't doing you any favours - I almost feel as if I don't know want to the subject so clearly so that the first half (say) of the poem contains some ambiguity and its only (say) in the last stanza it gets resolved either by comparison of kingfisher and motorcyclist or some reveal.

So I guess what I am saying, my crit isn't about the individual words or techniques more about the grander structure.

Hope that helps

elph

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Re: Kingfisher

Post by Jayne » Mon Feb 03, 2014 4:00 pm

Elphin wrote:
I like the comparison you are drawing - the kingfisher and the motorcyclist. I can see them both.

I wonder if having kingfisher in the title isn't doing you any favours - I almost feel as if I don't know want to the subject so clearly so that the first half (say) of the poem contains some ambiguity and its only (say) in the last stanza it gets resolved either by comparison of kingfisher and motorcyclist or some reveal.

So I guess what I am saying, my crit isn't about the individual words or techniques more about the grander structure.

elph
Thank you for your comments, Elph. I also think the title doesn't serve the poem well. I like the idea of the poem being mysterious with a comparison at the end.

Jayne

1lankest
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Re: Kingfisher

Post by 1lankest » Mon Feb 03, 2014 5:19 pm

Hi Jayne

I like this. I agree with previous comments re semi colons and title. Easily amended.
I'm not sure you need 'you're gone' - I think it reads better without and it doesn't really add anything other than movement but we have a sense of that already. A nice piece.

Luke

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Re: Kingfisher

Post by Jayne » Mon Feb 03, 2014 8:08 pm

1lankest wrote:

I like this. I agree with previous comments re semi colons and title. Easily amended.
I'm not sure you need 'you're gone' - I think it reads better without and it doesn't really add anything other than movement but we have a sense of that already. A nice piece.
Thanks for commenting, Luke. I'm currently re-drafting in the light of everyone's feedback. I agree the punctuation is quite intrusive and have hopefully addressed that. Re 'you're gone,' you may have a point. I'll post the re-draft soon.

Jayne

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Re: Kingfisher

Post by Antcliff » Tue Feb 04, 2014 4:35 pm

Hi Jayne,

I liked the motorbike in fog! And I especially liked that first stanza.

One thought. "Azure"..could it go? :D I say that because it is...with "thrum"...my least favourite poetry word. I am not alone. A quote from a magazine editor..

"Nothing sinks the editorial heart more swiftly than the sudden appearance of an archaic word in the middle of a colloquial sentence, when it seems to be there just to sound “poetic” – in other words, to strain after an effect. “Azure” is an example that comes to my inbox with depressing frequency. Has it actually earned its place in any good poem of the last hundred years?"

Would this be so much worse?
Jayne wrote:who raced his motorbike in fog –
an arrow, blue and chrome; the bridge he took
at speed; the dive; his frozen future.
Or, on the other hand, maybe your poem is the counter-example.

Just a thought, anyway. :lol:
Seth
We fray into the future, rarely wrought
Save in the tapestries of afterthought.
Richard Wilbur

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Re: Kingfisher

Post by Jayne » Tue Feb 04, 2014 5:31 pm

Antcliff wrote: I liked the motorbike in fog! And I especially liked that first stanza.

One thought. "Azure"..could it go? :D I say that because it is...with "thrum"...my least favourite poetry word. I am not alone. A quote from a magazine editor..

"Nothing sinks the editorial heart more swiftly than the sudden appearance of an archaic word in the middle of a colloquial sentence, when it seems to be there just to sound “poetic” – in other words, to strain after an effect. “Azure” is an example that comes to my inbox with depressing frequency. Has it actually earned its place in any good poem of the last hundred years?"

Would this be so much worse?
Jayne wrote:who raced his motorbike in fog –
an arrow, blue and chrome; the bridge he took
at speed; the dive; his frozen future.
Hi Seth. You're probably right! :roll:

Jayne

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Re: Kingfisher

Post by Antcliff » Tue Feb 04, 2014 5:33 pm

Ha! Or maybe your poem is the counter-example, Jayne...the first good one to use "azure" in ages. :D

Seth
We fray into the future, rarely wrought
Save in the tapestries of afterthought.
Richard Wilbur

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Re: Kingfisher

Post by brianedwards » Wed Feb 05, 2014 3:09 am

Hi Jayne, don't believe we've had the pleasure. Not much to add to previous comments, other than additional applause. I'm in agreement withSeth regards azure. One other nit, and this is a taste thing to some extent, there does seem to be an excess of the much-maligned semi-colon.

B.

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Re: Kingfisher

Post by Jayne » Wed Feb 05, 2014 9:19 am

Brianedwards wrote: 'Hi Jayne, don't believe we've had the pleasure. Not much to add to previous comments, other than additional applause. I'm in agreement withSeth regards azure. One other nit, and this is a taste thing to some extent, there does seem to be an excess of the much-maligned semi-colon.'

Hi, Brian. Thanks for your comments. Still pondering over 'azure' but the semi-colons have gone from my latest PC draft. :)

Jayne

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Re: Kingfisher

Post by nottslinnet » Wed Feb 05, 2014 1:07 pm

Hi Jayne
I wrote a poem about a Kingfisher but binned it, eventually, so I know how enticing a theme it is.

My one moment of unease is the line 'You would have me follow' - he wouldn't, he's probably flown because you invaded his space,no bird wants you to follow it , you are a threat. Maybe you could turn it on its head (the poem not the Kingfisher) to indicate the dangers ahead?

Simon

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Re: Kingfisher

Post by Jayne » Wed Feb 05, 2014 8:50 pm

nottslinnet wrote: I wrote a poem about a Kingfisher but binned it, eventually, so I know how enticing a theme it is.

My one moment of unease is the line 'You would have me follow' - he wouldn't, he's probably flown because you invaded his space, no bird wants you to follow it , you are a threat. Maybe you could turn it on its head (the poem not the Kingfisher) to indicate the dangers ahead?

Simon
Hi Simon,
The kingfisher's just the pretext for the motorcyclist, really. Which I suppose is another good reason to ditch the title for one that better serves the poem. I'll see what happens. Inverting the poem might be an interesting experiment...

Thanks :)

Jayne

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Re: Kingfisher

Post by nottslinnet » Wed Feb 05, 2014 9:55 pm

Or you could simply say 'I would love to follow'

Simon

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Re: Kingfisher

Post by Jayne » Thu Feb 06, 2014 9:31 am

nottslinnet wrote:Or you could simply say 'I would love to follow'

Simon
Yes, that's far more apt. Thanks, Simon :)

PS: Have just posted it, revised and retitled.

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Re: Kingfisher

Post by Richard » Thu Feb 06, 2014 1:10 pm

I like Kingfisher as a title. And I liked the poem a lot. I really like the contrast with the motorcyclist. I can live with azure when its Kingfisher's we're talking about. Something's lost if its just blue.

The last stanza's line's are longer making me wonder whether you really want 3line stanzas or more consistent line lengths, or maybe a stray extra line at the end, like this...

who raced his motorbike in fog –
an arrow, azure-blue and chrome;
the bridge he took at speed; the dive;

his frozen future.


I too react slightly against the semi-colon fest I am afraid.

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Re: Kingfisher - revised

Post by joe77evans » Thu Feb 06, 2014 5:09 pm

I quite liked azure! It worked for me because it's the kind of word that car and motorbike manufacturers use to describe their paint-jobs - "an arrow, azure-blue and chrome" is about right for one of those big, slightly faux-retro bikes that Triumph make these days.

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Re: Kingfisher - revised

Post by 1lankest » Thu Feb 06, 2014 5:14 pm

Yes I prefer the revision - better without azure for me.

'for flight. I see, in you, the boy'

don't need all those commas, IMO.

'for flight. I see in you the boy'.....

Luke

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