Honourably mentioned

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David
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Honourably mentioned

Post by David » Sun Sep 07, 2014 9:05 am

REVISION

At the village produce show,
in among the frantically
gesticulating gladdies,
the plump Victoria Sandwiches
and the soda breads of greater or less
ideological soundness,
how pleasant to find a homely friend
so startlingly transfigured;
the humble tuber, least instrument
in the orchestra of Plenty,
and gloriously done up
to the wildly improbable nines
and into a class of its own:
the Decorated Potato.

ORIGINAL

At the village produce show,
in among the frantically
gesticulating gladdies,
the plump Victoria Sandwiches
and the soda breads of greater or less
ideological soundness,
how pleasant to find a humble friend
so startlingly transfigured;
the humble tuber, least instrument
in the orchestra of Plenty,
and gloriously done up
to the wildly improbable nines,
an honourable score:
the Decorated Potato.

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Jackie
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Re: Honourably mentioned

Post by Jackie » Mon Sep 08, 2014 12:53 am

David,

This reminds me how much fun poetry writing is!

Soundness is perfect—wonderful to land on that word at that point.

If I had my druthers, I'd substitute a humble friend with the last line, and end the poem with an honourable score. Just saying.

Really enjoyed this!

Jackie

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Re: Honourably mentioned

Post by Antcliff » Tue Sep 09, 2014 11:06 am

Nicely conveys the whimsical nature and basic warmth of such occasions. Tone fits subject matter so well imho.

Let even the humblest veg have its day of glory.
We fray into the future, rarely wrought
Save in the tapestries of afterthought.
Richard Wilbur

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Re: Honourably mentioned

Post by ray miller » Wed Sep 10, 2014 8:20 pm

Enjoyed. Reminds me of Betjeman.

and the soda breads of greater or less
ideological soundness,

should it be lesser?

I don't really know why but the subject seems to call for amongst rather than among.
I'm out of faith and in my cups
I contemplate such bitter stuff.

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Re: Honourably mentioned

Post by steamboats » Thu Sep 11, 2014 8:09 am

Wonder if you could make more of the decorated potato theme and centre the poem round that more. It's a good idea and gives lots of scope for humour. You've got two humbles

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Re: Honourably mentioned

Post by dafra » Thu Sep 11, 2014 9:00 am

What a great poem to celebrate this season of shows. Our local leek club show is this Saturday followed by a huge number of others around the county. There are many gladdies.

I had a response already prepared but steamboats beat me to it and I wanted to suggest
how pleasant to find a humble friend
altered to exclude humble. This avoids the repetition because the friend is qualified adequately when described such later on. I tried to think of your reason for the repeat but couldn't.

I loved the Decorated Potato. I think it would have been even better for me if it had come as a surprise at the end by not preparing me with 'humble tuber'. Or, as Jackie suggested, put it within the body and throw away the end surprise.
greater or less
great ideological soundness; greater ideological soundness; less ideological soundness; lesser ideological soundness.
less sounds better and the meaning and grammar is fine for me and I don't think needs to be explicitly comparative here.

dafra

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Re: Honourably mentioned

Post by Macavity » Sun Sep 14, 2014 2:16 pm

hi david

Perhaps the rotund tuber to avoid the flagging of humble twice. I thought the poem was fun and reminded me of such shows, which I rather enjoy.

cheers

mac

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Re: Honourably mentioned

Post by Arian » Sun Sep 14, 2014 7:29 pm

Can't think of anything I don't like about this: quintessentially Davidesque. Which, in my book, means subtly reflective, subtly funny, technically sound. I really like, in particular: the orchestra of Plenty.

Cheers
Peter

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Re: Honourably mentioned

Post by David » Sun Sep 14, 2014 8:05 pm

Thanks, all.

Jackie, fun is always a welcome response! What I think I haven't made clear is that "Decorated Potato" was actually, rather wonderfully, a class in the show, and I'd like to try to make that clearer.

Seth, once I'd written this - or even when I was writing it - I told myself that it was a Seth poem, by which I think I mean something apparently small and parochial but with far greater import than you realise at first. Now I actually think I've been writing these "Seth poems" since long before you joined PG, but it just shows how successful I think you are in the genre. Hope you don't mind being a genre!
ray miller wrote:and the soda breads of greater or less
ideological soundness,

should it be lesser?
I'm not sure. I was thinking of "greater than" as the opposite of "less than". So grammatically I think "less" might be correct, but somehow lesser sounds better. But I (and dafra) think it isn't.
ray miller wrote:I don't really know why but the subject seems to call for amongst rather than among.
That's another one I'm vague about! I might go and look that up.
steamboats wrote:Wonder if you could make more of the decorated potato theme and centre the poem round that more. It's a good idea and gives lots of scope for humour. You've got two humbles
Yes, I need to reframe the poem slightly (only slightly, I hope), and I had an alternative to two humbles but forgot to use it. Will do in the revision.

Glad you enjoyed it dafra. Great! Leeks, eh? Are you sure you're not Welsh?

Mac, I'm going to tackle the double humble, which was a slip of the fingers. Glad you liked it.

And glad you liked it, Peter! Thanks for the very kind comment.

Cheers all

David

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Re: Honourably mentioned

Post by bodkin » Wed Sep 17, 2014 10:25 am

What I think I haven't made clear is that "Decorated Potato" was actually, rather wonderfully, a class in the show, and I'd like to try to make that clearer.
I got that, actually. Otherwise will just repeat the accolade of "fun"... enjoyed a great deal.
http://www.ianbadcoe.uk/

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Re: Honourably mentioned

Post by Antcliff » Thu Sep 18, 2014 5:49 pm

Seth, once I'd written this - or even when I was writing it - I told myself that it was a Seth poem, by which I think I mean something apparently small and parochial but with far greater import than you realise at first. Now I actually think I've been writing these "Seth poems" since long before you joined PG, but it just shows how successful I think you are in the genre. Hope you don't mind being a genre!
Very kind of you to say so, David :D , though I find it hard to believe my poems display this feature to such a degree as your own. I had no idea that there was anything sufficiently systematic/regular in the way I write to count as being of my own genre. But then I suppose we are less able to recognise our own style/voice than others.

ta

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

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Re: Honourably mentioned

Post by David » Thu Sep 18, 2014 6:00 pm

bodkin wrote:Otherwise will just repeat the accolade of "fun"... enjoyed a great deal.
Great. Fun is fine by me, Ian.
Antcliff wrote:I had no idea that there was anything sufficiently systematic/regular in the way I write to count as being of my own genre. But then I suppose we are less able to recognise our own style/voice than others.
I think that's definitely true!

I've had a minor fiddle with this, anyway. Fixed the double humble, and tinkered - perhaps wrongly - with the penultimate line.

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Re: Honourably mentioned

Post by Ros » Fri Sep 19, 2014 8:34 am

I like the revision. Works well.

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Re: Honourably mentioned

Post by bodkin » Fri Sep 19, 2014 9:21 am

Also like the revision, but smoother without "and" in the penultimate line?

For me "decorated potato" brings an image of a spud with handlebar moustache being given a medal...

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Re: Honourably mentioned

Post by Macavity » Fri Sep 19, 2014 9:36 am

how pleasant to find a homely friend
Like that. Fits in with the 'elevation' to the spangle of decorated. Moving into a 'class of its own' also fits the picture.
For me "decorated potato" brings an image of a spud with handlebar moustache being given a medal...
:lol: I see the picture!

cheers

mac

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Re: Honourably mentioned

Post by Antcliff » Fri Sep 19, 2014 2:19 pm

Ros wrote:I like the revision.

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

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Re: Honourably mentioned

Post by David » Fri Sep 19, 2014 3:11 pm

Great! Finally a revision that didn't ruin everything. Relief.

Cheers all

David

P.S. Mrs D won the Victoria Sandwich class - well, her cake did - and a bloody great cup.

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Re: Honourably mentioned

Post by thoke » Mon Dec 22, 2014 1:06 pm

I'm too much of a townie to be interested in the subject matter, but the poem is decent enough. If potatoes are your kind of thing, then you could do worse than read this.

Ben

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Re: Honourably mentioned

Post by David » Wed Dec 24, 2014 3:46 pm

Thanks, Ben. I think. I'll consider myself honourably mentioned.

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