Freedom

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Mic
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Freedom

Post by Mic » Wed Jul 30, 2014 6:16 pm

will not sit down to breakfast with them,
it would rather eat earwigs, than tyranny's feast;

see how it grows our love skywards,
takes no money or gifts,
surrenders nothing,

though it will surrender

to the lavender dust on your lips
to the distance that knows what close is
to the light our parents cast upon us;

the only prison freedom seeks
is the one we make each night
with our arms, our legs, our hips.

............(written for Brighton Pride, 2014)



* replace slavery with tyranny in second line



Original:

will not sit down to breakfast with them,
it would rather eat earwigs, than slavery’s feast;

see how it grows our love skywards,
takes no money or gifts, makes no exchange,
surrenders nothing

and will not surrender—

not for the lavender dust on her lips
not for the distance that knows what close is
nor for the light our parents give us.

The prison freedom seeks
is the one we make each night
with our arms, our legs, our hips.

............(written for Brighton Pride, 2014)
Last edited by Mic on Tue Aug 19, 2014 12:47 pm, edited 8 times in total.
"Do not feel lonely, the entire universe is inside you" - Rumi

Arian
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Re: Freedom

Post by Arian » Wed Jul 30, 2014 7:13 pm

Hi mic

I spent a while mulling over this - specifically, the question: could the final triplet stand alone? Is the prologue redundant?

The answer I came up with is: I don't know. Yes, I do think the final part could survive on its own, though it would be minimalistic. But I also think the first part adds something, too - not perhaps in narrative terms, as the point is self contained in the last stanza. But in emotional terms, the lead-up seems to set a context for the ending. I think.

Whatever, it's a thoughtful and well-structured piece, and I enjoyed it.

Cheers
peter

Mic
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Re: Freedom

Post by Mic » Thu Jul 31, 2014 8:37 am

Thanks Peter.

I had thought similarly to you about the ending, but felt it didn't really quite stand on its own, and also hope that the lead up does add something!

I realise this morning that I have a problem with the 'surrender for' construction. The grammar is wrong, isn't it?

Cheers,

Mic
"Do not feel lonely, the entire universe is inside you" - Rumi

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Re: Freedom

Post by Suzanne » Thu Jul 31, 2014 9:48 am

Hi Mic,

I looked up Brighton pride to get the context. You've captured some of the emotional turmoil that must be felt for many.
There is a defiance within this that comes through clearly.

I think that prison might be too strong a word but binds or ties or strings would set a tone for the intimacy you've described and give the same idea.

I enjoy this kind of personification.
Suzanne

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Re: Freedom

Post by Mic » Thu Jul 31, 2014 9:52 am

Thanks Suzanne.

With that last stanza I'm perhaps being a bit too tricksy-clever - I'm imagining the shape two bodies make as a kind of cage. Perhaps 'cage' would be a better word to use here.

Mic
Last edited by Mic on Thu Jul 31, 2014 10:18 am, edited 1 time in total.
"Do not feel lonely, the entire universe is inside you" - Rumi

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Re: Freedom

Post by Suzanne » Thu Jul 31, 2014 10:10 am

I'd use a word that is routinely tied to relationships with agendas, like "having string attached" which is what you are talking about with the gift taking and the slavery etc. Unless you hinted at a cage somewhere up top, I don't know how many would think of two bodies as caged.

Just my thoughts.
Suzanne

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Re: Freedom

Post by Mic » Thu Jul 31, 2014 10:23 am

The pride theme this year is 'freedom to live' - and reflects the lack of freedom gay people have in certain cultures and countries. So the the idea of freedom being uncompromising (taking no money, or gifts, not surrendering) is meant in that broader political context, as well is in the more day-to-day reality of any relationship.

I think the ending is perhaps not quite working...
"Do not feel lonely, the entire universe is inside you" - Rumi

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Re: Freedom

Post by Suzanne » Thu Jul 31, 2014 10:37 am

but the poem does not talk of a broader political base. It talks of breakfast and love. It is a good poem that can be used as a metaphor for those bigger issues. trying to add the BIG picture into it would spoil its power, I think.

contraints? restrictions? The ending does work, it is just the one word "prison" that doesn't fit into it.
Again, just my opinion.

Suzanne

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Re: Freedom

Post by Ros » Thu Jul 31, 2014 10:41 am

I think I have less problem with prison than with slavery, which seems a different issue.

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Re: Freedom

Post by Mic » Thu Jul 31, 2014 10:57 am

Yep - agree.

Oppression?
"Do not feel lonely, the entire universe is inside you" - Rumi

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Re: Freedom

Post by Mic » Thu Jul 31, 2014 11:01 am

@ Suzanne - I was hoping that the bracketed bit would hint at the broader political issue....
"Do not feel lonely, the entire universe is inside you" - Rumi

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Re: Freedom

Post by Elphin » Thu Jul 31, 2014 12:07 pm

Hello Mic

There is something appealing about the poem, I think it is the obvious conviction with which it is written and the closing stanza is good. For the record I would be OK with prison.

A minor point -- not quite clear who "them" is in line 1. Probably more me than you but thought I would ask.

I have two main observation about the "preamble". I found the number of different objects and concepts introduced threw me around rather than focus on what you were saying about freedom. So we had bugs, (earwigs), concepts (tyranny, surrender, love), a flower (lavendar), science (distance and light). There is a sense of a lack of cohesion IMHO.

Second point is I struggled with some of the ideas - freedom takes no gifts, but isn't gifting without any conditions a loving possibly freeing act. Similarly with exchanging - exchanging love, or compliments or anything can be a trusting positive act that really for me doesn't impact on freedom.

Oh last point ... do you want the poem to be entirely dependant on the piece in parenthesis. I think its ok if you do, but I think if you don't then you probably need more in the poem.

Hope that helps

elph

On Freedom check out South African soprano Pumeza Matshikiza singing Freedom Come All Ye at opening of Commonwealth Games

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Re: Freedom

Post by ray miller » Fri Aug 01, 2014 3:12 pm

I like the last 3 lines a lot, though maybe evening is preferable to night, for the rhythm. For the same reason I'd leave down out of the opening line.
Who are them in the opening line? Homophobics?
takes no money or gifts, makes no exchange, - last 3 words are a bit redundant?
I'm out of faith and in my cups
I contemplate such bitter stuff.

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Re: Freedom

Post by bodkin » Sat Aug 02, 2014 4:46 pm

If initially you are using "our" then isn't it wrong to then switch to "her lips"? Shouldn't it be "your"? Unless there is some third "her" that both members of "our" are aware of?

Actually I am not sure what surrendering to the dust on somebody's lips represents? At first I just assumed it was a reference to kissing... but I realise on about the third re-read that the third line in that strophe is a factor that might oppose the relationship? Maybe?? Or at least might question or be thrown by it... So my overall reading of those three lines now reads:

first line: positive aspect -> kissing/romance
second line: a difficulty -> keeping distant in public/close in private?
third line: a difficulty -> attitude of relatives

...but I think I expected the strophe to have a single stance? e.g. it is a list of things Freedom surrenders to... which could be taken either way (voluntary surrender -> good, involuntary surrender -> bad) so I think I see more explicitly which of those you are wanting to pick up.

I think growing love skywards is a bit over the top (but then I'm an understated sort of person, so that may just be me...)

I agree, as other have pointed out the last line isn't really necessary.

--

I like this, and I think it must be a difficult thing to express.

I think, as somebody else said, that it mostly works because it avoids the too political. However I think for me it is edging a little too far into the abstract to really hit home? e.g. being _about_ freedom, love and tyranny rather than telling a story that illustrates those things in an everyday human setting.

So I'm enjoying the poem but feeling it isn't quite 100% there (for me) yet.

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Re: Freedom

Post by Macavity » Sat Aug 16, 2014 8:23 am

Very much enjoyed this mic. A pleasure to read. Like the repulsive quirkiness of the 'earwigs'. The specific/general is balanced and the concluding paradox convinced.

all the best

mac

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