A Miracle by Kendal's Greens (revision 2)

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A Miracle by Kendal's Greens (revision 2)

Post by JJWilliamson » Mon Feb 23, 2015 5:00 pm

I watched the felling of a beech
in Kendal by the fourteenth green.
Her twigs and leaves would never reach
for morning dew again. A dene
supplied cerebral roots, and skies
of healing grey sent mist and rain
to rouse her buds. The clouds were wise,
for from the fields of old Cockayne
a vapour dressed the injured tree.

So when the axeman stored his blade
a waxen shoot enriched the glade
as golfers chipped and holed for three.

REVISION 1

I watched the felling of a beech
in Kendal by the fourteenth green.
Her twigs and leaves would never reach
for morning dew again. A dene
supplied cerebral roots, and skies
of healing grey sent rain and fumes
to rouse her buds. The clouds were wise,
for from the mists of nature's flumes
a vapour dressed the injured tree.

So when the axeman stored his blade
a waxen shoot enriched the glade
as golfers chipped and holed for three.

Original

I watched the felling of a beech
in Kendal by the fourteenth green.
Her twigs and leaves would never reach
for morning dew again. A dene
supplied cerebral roots, and skies
of healing grey sent rain and lumes
to rouse her buds. The clouds were wise,
for from the mists of nature's fumes
a wood-nymph dressed the injured tree.

So when the axeman stored his blade
a waxen shoot enriched the glade
as golfers chipped and holed for three.
Last edited by JJWilliamson on Sun Oct 01, 2017 7:24 pm, edited 6 times in total.
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Re: A Miracle by Kendal's Greens

Post by David » Mon Feb 23, 2015 8:15 pm

Hey JJ - your first offering, I think. Very nice.

The title led me to expect - what? I'm not sure - perhaps something about vegetables, or perhaps some sort of shop. You might want to consider an alternative, but others might disagree.

There are a couple of words that stuck out as ones that I didn't immediately recognise - "dene" and "lumes". Normally I wouldn't complain, and I don't exactly complain here, but as rhyming words they have a prominence that a more unassuming place in the poem would not give them. (Having said that, it is very skilful rhyming, and management of the lines, throughout.)

I'm not too keen on "The clouds were wise" - a bit too much of the pathetic fallacy? - or on the unexpected wood-nymph, but I like the ending, although I wasn't sure what was going on in a waxen shoot enriched the glade, and you have that unfortunate - or intentional? - double-meaning of "chipped" in a woody context. (Putting that aside, it is a great last line.)

Sometimes there is a certain amount of quibbling about whether a new poster should start in "Experienced" or not, but I don't expect that in your case at all. You obviously know what you're doing.

Cheers

David

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Re: A Miracle by Kendal's Greens

Post by Nash » Mon Feb 23, 2015 9:27 pm

Hello, JJ and welcome to the forum.

You've obviously got a good handle on the metre, very deftly done.

I'm having trouble on a couple, of your word choices; the same ones as David mentioned.
JJWilliamson wrote:A dene
supplied cerebral roots
I believe a dene is a geographical feature, I'm thinking an archaic term for a meadow perhaps? I may be being a bit dim but why 'cerebral roots'?
JJWilliamson wrote:of healing grey sent rain and lumes
Not heard of a lume before but I'm guessing it's something to do with light. This makes me wonder whether these words, as David suggests, are just too prominent. It's almost as though they've been picked purely for the rhyme structure.

Looking forward to reading more from you.

All the best (..and off to google those words now),
Nash.

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Re: A Miracle by Kendal's Greens

Post by JJWilliamson » Mon Feb 23, 2015 11:11 pm

Hi David

Yes, it's my first offering at PG. Hey, thanks for the 'very nice' and the astute observations they are appreciated.

David wrote:Hey JJ - your first offering, I think. Very nice.

The title led me to expect - what? I'm not sure - perhaps something about vegetables, or perhaps some sort of shop. You might want to consider an alternative, but others might disagree.

I never thought of that angle. It refers to the putting greens of Kendal Golf Course and the woodlands that surround several holes.

There are a couple of words that stuck out as ones that I didn't immediately recognise - "dene" and "lumes". Normally I wouldn't complain, and I don't exactly complain here, but as rhyming words they have a prominence that a more unassuming place in the poem would not give them. (Having said that, it is very skilful rhyming, and management of the lines, throughout.)

I spent an age looking at 'lumes'. They are supposed to represent the bright gaps that appear in the clouds as the wind catches them. Still, I see nash agrees with you so I'll definitely keep this crit' close to hand when I revise. A dene in my neck of the woods is a fast flowing stream, normally at the bottom of a wooded valley.

I'm not too keen on "The clouds were wise" - a bit too much of the pathetic fallacy? - or on the unexpected wood-nymph, but I like the ending, although I wasn't sure what was going on in a waxen shoot enriched the glade, and you have that unfortunate - or intentional? - double-meaning of "chipped" in a woody context. (Putting that aside, it is a great last line.)

Points taken. The clouds are in some way sentient and the illusive wood-nymph takes advantage of their badger like wisdom. Now that would be a miracle. :)
When a shoot emerges in the shade they are often creamy in colour, resembling wax. I also looked to develop an internal rhyme. Could've overdone it.

Sometimes there is a certain amount of quibbling about whether a new poster should start in "Experienced" or not, but I don't expect that in your case at all. You obviously know what you're doing.

Cheers

David
Thanks again, David

Best

JJ
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Re: A Miracle by Kendal's Greens

Post by JJWilliamson » Tue Feb 24, 2015 12:00 am

Thanks for the welcome, Nash, and thanks for the crit' it's very much appreciated.

Nash wrote:Hello, JJ and welcome to the forum.

You've obviously got a good handle on the metre, very deftly done.

Thanks, Nash. I must admit that I enjoy metered verse more and more as the years roll by. Actually I enjoy a wide range of styles and forms.

I'm having trouble on a couple, of your word choices; the same ones as David mentioned.
JJWilliamson wrote:A dene
supplied cerebral roots
I believe a dene is a geographical feature, I'm thinking an archaic term for a meadow perhaps? I may be being a bit dim but why 'cerebral roots'?

You're not far off with your thinking. Yes, a dene is a geographical feature. It is a fast flowing stream, normally found at the bottom of a wooded valley. Thanks for the 'cerebral roots'
comment. The roots of these trees have the look of a brain when the soil is removed. It also hints at the tree's intellectual properties, which are negligible at best, but part of the miracle. :)
JJWilliamson wrote:of healing grey sent rain and lumes
Not heard of a lume before but I'm guessing it's something to do with light. This makes me wonder whether these words, as David suggests, are just too prominent. It's almost as though they've been picked purely for the rhyme structure.

Lumes are most definitely something to do with light. I'm using lumes in an attempt to highlight the bright gaps that appear as the wind catches the clouds. Well, they were picked, in part, for the metre & rhyme structure but perhaps I've overcooked the goose. I'll certainly revisit this crit during revision. I Appreciate your fine observations.

Looking forward to reading more from you.

All the best (..and off to google those words now), :D
Nash.
Thanks again,Nash, for a great visit

Best

JJ
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Re: A Miracle by Kendal's Greens

Post by Firebird » Tue Feb 24, 2015 1:04 pm

JJ, this reads really well. However, I tend to agree about the words 'dene' and 'lumes' being a little obscure. I, too, love the last line. May I suggest though that the word 'pitch' is used instead of 'chip', to avoid the unfortunate pun.

Hope this help a little.

All my best,

Firebird

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Re: A Miracle by Kendal's Greens

Post by k-j » Tue Feb 24, 2015 9:42 pm

Hello.

This reads very naturally. I think it's a well-constructed poem.

No problem with "dene", I had to look it up but it's a good word and used well here. "Lumes" however you should reconsider; I lose the meaning there alltogether. You could go with "rays" which enables (in my view) better rhymes than "fumes" is anyway.

"Cerebral" makes me think of erudition rather than the physical brain, and it feels wrong here. I would prefer "waxy", if that's what the shoot is, to "waxen" which sounds slightly fogie-ish.

I really like the break before the last three lines and the way the rhyme scheme inverts at the end.

Finally, was it really chopped down with an axe? Wouldn't a chainsaw be normal? This just threw me a bit. Maybe they didn't want to disturb the golfers.
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Re: A Miracle by Kendal's Greens

Post by ChrisGeorge » Wed Feb 25, 2015 5:39 am

Hi JJ

I like the wry ending to the piece. Of course, the golf must at all cost go on, much as the banker must continue to make money out of us poor mugs, his customers. I feel sorry about the felling of the beech which seems needless destruction. I would agree with the crits that cite the romantic gushiness of some of the language and would also counsel you cut it back some. The best of luck with this poem, JJ. Good to read your work.

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Re: A Miracle by Kendal's Greens

Post by JJWilliamson » Wed Feb 25, 2015 10:54 am

Thanks Firebird for a thoughtful visit.

I'm thinking of changing 'lumes' but keeping 'denes' mainly because many of the popular dictionaries don't recognize lumes. So I have some work to do.
The word 'chip' sits quite well with me but 'pitch' would serve just as well. It's a different kind of shot, of course, especially round a par 3. Thanks for that.

I appreciate the suggestions

Best

JJ
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Re: A Miracle by Kendal's Greens

Post by JJWilliamson » Wed Feb 25, 2015 12:02 pm

Hello K-J, nice to meet you

Thanks for the very helpful crit' it's appreciated. It looks like 'lumes' is destined for the sin bin; every commentator has raised the same issue so It probably is something of a stretch. I've also noticed that most, if not all, of the popular dictionaries fail to recognize it. So, a rethink is necessary methinks. I'll tinker about and see what occurs.

Ah, 'cerebral' I'm looking at that because I can see how it could cause some unintended misdirection.

Looking at 'waxen' at least I will be soon, v soon, just after I've finished posting this reply actually. :) Ok, I've had a look at dictionary.com and they define 'waxen' as 'something resembling wax'. When this is combined with the intentional internal pararhyme with 'axeman' I find myself feeling rather attached to 'waxen'.

Yes, they would use an axe for the younger trees and a chainsaw for the bigger older ones. Noise pollution would also be a consideration
as some of the trees are very close to the greens. The first and second fairways are flanked by trees and the greens aren't far away.

Thanks again J-k for your observations and comments.

Best

JJ
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Re: A Miracle by Kendal's Greens

Post by JJWilliamson » Wed Feb 25, 2015 12:39 pm

Hi, Chris

Thanks very much for dropping in to read and comment, it's appreciated.

Yes, the golf must go on regardless. :) I think the tree felling would fall under the general umbrella of 'good husbandry'. The felling of trees bothers me a bit, even knowing that I prune and top my own shrubs and trees. I had one entire laurel removed and felt very guilty about the whole procedure. I don't live on a grand estate btw I just enjoy planting and gardening. My garden is about 80ft by 25ft and is definitely my favourite room in the house. (In the house?)

Pleased you enjoyed this. There are a number of points to consider as I move forward with this one and I will certainly keep your crit close to hand during revision.

Best,

JJ
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Re: A Miracle by Kendal's Greens

Post by ChrisGeorge » Wed Feb 25, 2015 3:01 pm

Hi JJ

Glad my comments helped. I am the type of person who mourns any loss of life, whether plant life, human, or animal. I hope that doesn't sound too mawkish. Some years ago in my first years of writing poetry, I wrote a poem about some wild honeysuckle growing up a utility pole on the grass verge outside my parents' Maryland home that the local utility men came and severed near the root. I take the train from Baltimore to work in D.C. and back. I am currently monitoring some orange bugle vine growing up the side of a warehouse that we pass on the line. I have a nasty suspicion that that vine has been similar butchered and may not bloom this summer. Ugh. It will be sad for me if that is so! :(

All the best

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Re: A Miracle by Kendal's Greens

Post by JJWilliamson » Wed Feb 25, 2015 7:54 pm

Not mawkish at all, Chris. I felt a bit sorry when the tree came down; my poem hopefully reflects that fact. My not so wild honeysuckle expired last year so I know what you mean, I really do. Thanks for getting back to me.

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Re: A Miracle by Kendal's Greens

Post by HenryBones » Thu Feb 26, 2015 9:10 am

Hi JJ,

An enjoyable piece. I was intrigued by the way you divided the poem in to nine- and three- line stanzas which, coupled with the change of perspective implied by 'So', reminded me of the eight-six division in a sonnet, was that something you were conscious of? And is the title an allusion to Elizabeth Bishop's 'A Miracle for Breakfast'?

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Re: A Miracle by Kendal's Greens

Post by JJWilliamson » Thu Feb 26, 2015 1:29 pm

Hi Henry, pleased to meet you

Delighted you enjoyed this piece and took the time to tell me.

yes, I've written several sonnets over the years and this piece does emulate the octave and sestet of the Petrarchan Sonnet. Firstly there exists a problem then S2 provides a potential solution. There is an implied secondary problem in so much that the axeman could well return to finish the job. Thanks for mentioning the reason for the stanza break.

I can't say that I had Elizabeth Bishop in mind when I wrote this poem but she does have a three line final stanza in her breakfast poem.

Thanks again for dropping in

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Re: A Miracle by Kendal's Greens (revision 1)

Post by JJWilliamson » Fri Feb 27, 2015 12:18 am

Revision 1
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Re: A Miracle by Kendal's Greens (revision 1)

Post by ChrisGeorge » Fri Feb 27, 2015 4:31 pm

I like the revision, JJ. Better without the wood-nymph and to be more modern, I think. Good work.

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Re: A Miracle by Kendal's Greens (revision 1)

Post by Macavity » Fri Feb 27, 2015 6:21 pm

So when the axeman stored his blade,
a waxen shoot enriched the glade
as golfers chipped and holed for three.
Just felt a comma might be relevant?

Agreed the axing of the nymph was a wise choice - modernity.

A poem to share in the genre...

http://www.poetsgraves.co.uk/Classic%20 ... -field.htm

all the best

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Re: A Miracle by Kendal's Greens (revision 1)

Post by Lexi » Sat Feb 28, 2015 12:21 pm

I have been watching your poem with interest. I like your revision. It flows in time to the message of that poor tree.

Just a couple of points. As I golfer, do you have the luxury to time to 'watch' the felling of the tree. What about those playing coming up from behind? Would it be 'I saw' the felling, or perhaps another seeing verb that says the same? A tiny point, but it might make a difference.


'Her twigs and leaves would never reach
for morning dew again.' These lines say so much that adds to the sad scene,

'to rouse her buds.' as does this.

'the injured tree.' - and this.

'as golfers chipped and holed for three.' - what I'm thinking here is 'I' is watching/seeing/witnessing the felling of the tree so what I would suggest is you have 'I' at the end.
One golfer making it to the hole in three. As the reader we have seen through the eyes of that solitary golfer so to have more than one weakens the picture a little.

And possibly push it a bit further. It might be a par three so getting there for three may not be much of a 'miracle.' Nice but not miraculous. (Even with that chip.) How about saying 'as a golfer chipped of holed for birdie.' Just a thought. Obviously changes the rhythm. It might not work but I think it worth playing around with.

I really like this and look forward to seeing what you choose to do to take it further.

Lexi

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Re: A Miracle by Kendal's Greens (revision 1)

Post by JJWilliamson » Sat Feb 28, 2015 5:13 pm

Thanks Chris for having a look at the revision. Yeh, wood-nymph was a bit of a stretch. I had to make a sonic exchange by using 'vapour' but I can cope with it.

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Re: A Miracle by Kendal's Greens (revision 1)

Post by JJWilliamson » Sat Feb 28, 2015 5:27 pm

Thanks mac

I think I will insert a coma as per your suggestion, after I've finished this reply.
Cowper was clearly attached to those Poplars. Trees are ever popular. :)

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Re: A Miracle by Kendal's Greens (revision 1)

Post by JJWilliamson » Sat Feb 28, 2015 6:48 pm

Hi Lexi, pleased to meet you

I was interested to read that you'd been keeping an eye on this one. Thanks for taking the time to offer a very thoughtful 'crit', it's appreciated.

Do you have the luxury to watch the felling of the tree?

I've enjoyed playing golf for years and know Kendal's high course particularly well. On this occasion I was walking the dog on a public footpath in Serpentine Woods. The golfers were chipping and putting as I watched both. Sometimes the trees make a comeback, sometimes they don't. :( The woods flank the fairway btw, and various groups/clumps of trees are to be seen here and there around the course, all of them subject to a trim from time to time.

Lexi wrote:I have been watching your poem with interest. I like your revision. It flows in time to the message of that poor tree.

Just a couple of points. As I golfer, do you have the luxury to time to 'watch' the felling of the tree. What about those playing coming up from behind? Would it be 'I saw' the felling, or perhaps another seeing verb that says the same? A tiny point, but it might make a difference.


'Her twigs and leaves would never reach
for morning dew again.' These lines say so much that adds to the sad scene,

'to rouse her buds.' as does this.

'the injured tree.' - and this.

'as golfers chipped and holed for three.' - what I'm thinking here is 'I' is watching/seeing/witnessing the felling of the tree so what I would suggest is you have 'I' at the end.
One golfer making it to the hole in three. As the reader we have seen through the eyes of that solitary golfer so to have more than one weakens the picture a little.

And possibly push it a bit further. It might be a par three so getting there for three may not be much of a 'miracle.' Nice but not miraculous. (Even with that chip.) How about saying 'as a golfer chipped of holed for birdie.' Just a thought. Obviously changes the rhythm. It might not work but I think it worth playing around with.

Ah, I see. The golfers are quite oblivious to the action and are, to a certain extent, in the background. So we have the felling, watching, golfing etc as the golf progresses. The axeman returns to his shed and still the golfers play, one group following the other. Those small shoots fight to restore the trees to their rightful place when nature's miracle makes a go of it. :) I suspect we all know the final outcome.
I thought about birdie (honestly)

I really like this and look forward to seeing what you choose to do to take it further.

Cheers, and thanks again for your astute observations

Lexi
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JJ
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Re: A Miracle by Kendal's Greens (revision 2)

Post by JJWilliamson » Mon Apr 27, 2015 5:35 am

Revision 2.

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Re: A Miracle by Kendal's Greens (revision 2)

Post by Katherine » Tue May 05, 2015 8:47 am

I watched the felling of a beech
in Kendal by the fourteenth green.
Her twigs and leaves would never reach - I love trees! They've had to cut two down at the back of my house and I am upset.
for morning dew again. A dene - Dene must be a North-East and Cumbria word - I had no idea what anyone else's problem was with dene! Just goes to show.
supplied cerebral roots, and skies - didn't get 'cerebral roots', though you've explained it well. I still think this word alludes to the intelligence of the brain as opposed to its appearance.
of healing grey sent rain and brumes - Much better than lumes
to rouse her buds. The clouds were wise,
for from the heights of mountain coombs
a vapour dressed the injured tree.

So when the axeman stored his blade
a waxen shoot enriched the glade
as golfers chipped and holed for three. - Hope it grows back!


I like this a lot JJ. Cheers. x

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Re: A Miracle by Kendal's Greens (revision 2)

Post by JJWilliamson » Wed May 06, 2015 2:34 pm

Katherine wrote:I watched the felling of a beech
in Kendal by the fourteenth green.
Her twigs and leaves would never reach - I love trees! They've had to cut two down at the back of my house and I am upset.
for morning dew again. A dene - Dene must be a North-East and Cumbria word - I had no idea what anyone else's problem was with dene! Just goes to show.
supplied cerebral roots, and skies - didn't get 'cerebral roots', though you've explained it well. I still think this word alludes to the intelligence of the brain as opposed to its appearance.
of healing grey sent rain and brumes - Much better than lumes
to rouse her buds. The clouds were wise,
for from the heights of mountain coombs
a vapour dressed the injured tree.

So when the axeman stored his blade
a waxen shoot enriched the glade
as golfers chipped and holed for three. - Hope it grows back!


I like this a lot JJ. Cheers. x
Thanks Katherine,

Very pleased you liked the revision. It's an ache and a half when a tree slowly topples to its dramatic end.
I've just finished butchering my laurel and cypress trees and they look much better. The felling of a tree, however,
invokes the wrath of the Gods methinks. Yes, 'dene' is widely used in Cumbria. Some of the hotels bear 'dene' somewhere
in their name. EG The Damson Dene Hotel, near Windermere, is a cracking place to stay for a weekend break. At least it was.
Hmm I'll take a look at 'cerebral' but I must admit I rather like it. I had to rethink lumes and the whole line, having several versions
of the same thing. It could be one of those poems that never ends. The poem is finished when the poet dies. The old ones are the best.
I also hope it grows back because they often do. It's a strange phenomenon/miracle of nature that sees a decimated tree re-emerge defiantly.

Thanks again, Katherine

Best

JJ
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