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Grounded

Posted: Sat Aug 16, 2014 7:39 pm
by steamboats
Grounded


I do not remember my father’s big hands fondly,
but years have passed
and memory rots like old film
and what was my terror to his,
in that glass cube
with the howl of engines
and the voices of the others in his ears shrill as birds?
Each night he scoured the folds of dark for death.

‘Corkscrew port’ he’d shout,
‘Corkscrew port!’
Both of us would shrink, shut up,
but he’d let rip,
a long burst from the brownings
in his head I see now.
How could we know it was the smallest
quietest things he feared the most?

Re: Grounded

Posted: Sun Aug 17, 2014 5:41 am
by Moth
Straightforward and to the point, making a very good point besides. Brownings, if I'm not mistaken are fire-arms? 'We' I read as the narrator and a sibling, however I did find myself checking that this didn't actually refer to N and the father as the poem began in the singular. Wasn't sure about the glass cube exactly - confines on a war ship? I wonder if a more rounded (circular) image would come over better considering the 'corkscrew port' double meaning. I can picture the port in a glass so the straight lines associated with the cube threw me a little here. Enjoyed this.

Re: Grounded

Posted: Sun Aug 17, 2014 8:16 am
by 1lankest
Yes I like this in essence, but slightly confused also. It seems it is death, both the memory of it and its forecast, that frightens N's father - these do not seem like small things?

Luke

Re: Grounded

Posted: Sun Aug 17, 2014 11:15 am
by Antcliff
Hi Steamboats...

I wonder do you need this line? It is implied surely?
but years have passed
Seth

Re: Grounded

Posted: Sun Aug 17, 2014 6:17 pm
by Antcliff
Hi again, Steamboats

Can I encourage you to call in at the "Introductions" section and give us a hello?

Best wishes,
Seth (Antcliff)

Re: Grounded

Posted: Sun Aug 17, 2014 7:23 pm
by Arian
Yes, very good indeed. Great first line.

It reads to me more like a gunner in a bomber than a ship, but that's a small point - it evokes the haunting memory of the gunner's fears very well.

On a point of poetic technique, I can't help wondering whether you need a simile at

years have passed
and memory rots like old film

For me, it would be stronger with the metaphor

years have passed
and memory becomes old film

most people are familiar enough with how old film behaves to make the metaphor work. The simile form seems weak to me. Even if you stick with it, 'rots' doesn't work. Degrades?

Anyway, nits. A very nice piece.

Peter.

(Welcome, by the way)

Re: Grounded

Posted: Sun Aug 17, 2014 7:41 pm
by steamboats
Aye he was a rear gunner in a Wellington Bomber

Re: Grounded

Posted: Mon Aug 18, 2014 12:18 pm
by Mic
There are references in this I don't get ('brownings' 'corkscrew port') but I don't think it matters - I get the feeling of it, and it has atmosphere.

I stumble a little over 'ears shrill as birds' and '...in his head I see now'

And the last two lines seem too 'telly'.

Mic

Re: Grounded

Posted: Mon Aug 18, 2014 4:57 pm
by bodkin
steamboats wrote:Aye he was a rear gunner in a Wellington Bomber
Hi,

That was my first thought, but I decided I was wrong because of the word "cubical". I now see where you are coming from, the turret has an overall cube shape... however it is rounded and "cubical" to me really strongly implies sharp edges. So I was struggling to fit something like the wheelhouse of a boat into your story.

Image

Now I know what you mean I need to re-read the whole thing, I will try to return and do that later on...

Ian

Re: Grounded

Posted: Mon Aug 18, 2014 6:56 pm
by David
Yes, it is good. I got the bomber thing on my first reading too, so I don't think it's too obscure. Also not fond of the "memory rots like old film" line, though.

Welcome!

David

Re: Grounded

Posted: Thu Aug 21, 2014 11:15 am
by steamboats
Thanks very much for feedback, folks, much appreciated