Garden of the Old Croft

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Antcliff
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Garden of the Old Croft

Post by Antcliff » Mon Apr 07, 2014 8:49 pm

Plant the dill,
weed out and prune the lemon balm,
so much to do.

Remember the cuckoo
calling for hours
hearing an echo of its own voice?

Is the ground too cool?
You know it is.
When you know that nothing will grow,
sowing is a sin.

She won't come knocking.
However early you plant,
you can't make everything new.
We fray into the future, rarely wrought
Save in the tapestries of afterthought.
Richard Wilbur

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Re: Garden of the Old Croft

Post by Richard » Mon Apr 07, 2014 8:58 pm

I liked this: elegant. I think you can shorten the four line stanza to three and make it just a little more elegant as a result. Say:

You know the ground
is too cool. When nothing will grow,
sowing is a sin.

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Re: Garden of the Old Croft

Post by 1lankest » Tue Apr 08, 2014 8:55 am

Stunning. Wouldn't change a thing. Seth at his best!
Luke

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Re: Garden of the Old Croft

Post by Jackie » Tue Apr 08, 2014 9:51 am

Seth, I'm liking this more with each read.

All the back vowels, the u and o sounds—fitting for a gardener's blues? Or are they reminiscent of the cuckoo calling? (In these parts, they say a cuckoo calls the rain, but of course, that's hogwash. . .)

As usual with your writing, I walk away with questions, wondering about the simple things around me.

Jackie

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Re: Garden of the Old Croft

Post by 1lankest » Tue Apr 08, 2014 7:08 pm

Just a thought Seth, is sin too strong a word here, unless there is a sexual implication, in which case it is right and affective.

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Re: Garden of the Old Croft

Post by Antcliff » Wed Apr 09, 2014 10:53 am

Thanks Richard,

I was tempting the "more symmetry" thought with that four line stanza. :D Couldn't make up my mind to go for a uniform three lines. Thanks for the vote for symmetry.

Thanks, Luke,
I'll certainly take that! Great. Yes, "sin" is a little OTT..but the character may be. Thanks for stressing that...I need to think it through.

Thanks Jackie,
glad about the sound. I was trying a bit.
As usual with your writing, I walk away with questions, wondering about the simple things around me.
Lovely thing to say!

Cuckoos call the rain? Aahh.. they are to blame :D Now I see.

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

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Re: Garden of the Old Croft

Post by penguin » Wed Apr 09, 2014 6:59 pm

I thought it was a "relationship poem" but I could be wrong. Last 2 verses are interesting, sin does seem a strong word, if I'm reading it right.

weed out and prune the lemon balm, - do you need out?

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Re: Garden of the Old Croft

Post by Antcliff » Thu Apr 10, 2014 10:02 am

penguin wrote:I thought it was a "relationship poem" but I could be wrong. Last 2 verses are interesting, sin does seem a strong word, if I'm reading it right.

weed out and prune the lemon balm, - do you need out?

Penguin, ta

aargh, yes, I dinnae need "out". Take oot the "oot"!

It was a relationship poem, yes that was the idea.

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

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Re: Garden of the Old Croft

Post by David » Thu Apr 10, 2014 6:16 pm

We have lemon balm! No dill, though. (I checked.)
Antcliff wrote:
penguin wrote:weed out and prune the lemon balm, - do you need out?

Penguin, ta

aargh, yes, I dinnae need "out". Take oot the "oot"!
Funny, I think you need the out. That would be my idiom.

That cuckoo makes me think of Edward Thomas, but I have just been reading his wartime diary, in real time. 9th April yesterday, sadly.
penguin wrote:I thought it was a "relationship poem" but I could be wrong.
Yes, clearly a relationship poem. And a good one.

Cheers

David

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Re: Garden of the Old Croft

Post by Macavity » Thu Apr 10, 2014 9:20 pm

hi Seth,
Agree with Jackie on some of the vowel sounds, something satisfying in the effect. I'd keep out because it is less abrupt. Also liked that cuckoo/echo sound play.

all the best

mac

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Re: Garden of the Old Croft

Post by Antcliff » Fri Apr 11, 2014 8:40 pm

Thanks, Mac

Glad about the sounds. :D
Hmm. I am rather tempted by the reasons you (and David) provide for sticking with out.


Thanks, David

Hard to stop the lemon balm returning! I read that no part of the body of Edward Thomas was touched by the shell. The bang alone did it.

The cuckoo incident is real.

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

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Re: Garden of the Old Croft

Post by David » Wed Apr 16, 2014 7:43 pm

Antcliff wrote:I read that no part of the body of Edward Thomas was touched by the shell. The bang alone did it.
I heard that too. I still have Now All Roads Lead to France to read, but I read his war-time diary, in real time, from 1 January to 8 April.

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Re: Garden of the Old Croft

Post by Antcliff » Wed Apr 16, 2014 8:20 pm

David wrote:
Antcliff wrote:I read that no part of the body of Edward Thomas was touched by the shell. The bang alone did it.
I heard that too. I still have Now All Roads Lead to France to read, but I read his war-time diary, in real time, from 1 January to 8 April.

Interesting. I have never read diary extracts continuously like that.

I read a review of....http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/0615779476
We fray into the future, rarely wrought
Save in the tapestries of afterthought.
Richard Wilbur

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Re: Garden of the Old Croft

Post by David » Wed Apr 16, 2014 8:29 pm

Antcliff wrote:Interesting. I have never read diary extracts continuously like that.
The ironies are almost unbearable. From 4 April: "Up at 4.30. Blackbirds sing at battery at 5.45 - shooting at 6.30. A cloudy fresh morning. ... Letter from Helen. Artillery makes air flap all night long."

Never seen the book before. Looks good.

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