Cuckoo

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ray miller
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Cuckoo

Post by ray miller » Tue Jun 09, 2015 12:14 pm

He finds it painful watching me scribble
like this; a hard pressed fist that struggles
to stay on the page. A daughter of his,
my sister these days, was once moved up
a year in class; he thought he’d sired a genius:
just a zealous teacher, just a normal kid.
Now they’ve decided to put me down,
he ought to be feeling more hurt and shame;
but I’m not flesh and blood and he
didn’t shrink my head in a bottle,
or wear my bones in the field of battle.
Still, someone must groan on my behalf,
so he’ll hang his head and pretend
not to mark the sound of splintering
wood on paper, the grating
of the pencil sharpener.
Last edited by ray miller on Wed Jun 10, 2015 2:02 pm, edited 1 time in total.
I'm out of faith and in my cups
I contemplate such bitter stuff.

Macavity
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Re: Graft

Post by Macavity » Wed Jun 10, 2015 4:31 am

Like it Ray. Reminds me of another poem by you...perhaps that opening image...a vivid one to begin the poem anyway...also liked didn’t shrink my head in a bottle.
or bear a shield of my bones in the field of battle.
That image wasn't so vivid and the expression felt long-winded.

typo - a rather than an?

all the best

mac

ray miller
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Re: Cuckoo

Post by ray miller » Wed Jun 10, 2015 2:03 pm

Thanks, Mac. Same poem probably. I revised it. Now I've changed title and a few little bits.
I'm out of faith and in my cups
I contemplate such bitter stuff.

David
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Re: Cuckoo

Post by David » Wed Jun 10, 2015 6:48 pm

Another good one, Ray. The shrunken head image is - sadly - a brilliant one.

For me, it's not so much that the following one is not so vivid, as Mac finds it, but that I couldn't translate it in the same way. Something I'm missing, I expect.

Does L5 seem a little long to you? Or are you not bothered by line lengths? I know I'm more bothered by them than I should be. But the next one seems (to me) even longer, although it's a good one.

The picture evoked by the last five lines is very touching.

Cheers

David

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Re: Cuckoo

Post by HenryBones » Wed Jun 10, 2015 8:02 pm

I thought this was fantastic, and think - both here and in other poems - that you have a real gift for understated internal rhymes and half rhymes, which plays quite beautifully against the preponderance of run-on lines. Just from the first few lines there's 'painful', 'scribble' and 'struggle' than then 'this', 'fist' and 'his' and a little later I also thought I heard a mischievous cluster around 'class', 'genius' and 'zealous'. Here, and elsewhere, there's just the right amount of unspoken humour which, it seemed to me, really made the pathos of the piece hit home. Fine work.

HB

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Re: Cuckoo

Post by Macavity » Thu Jun 11, 2015 5:23 am

Not keen on the new title Ray...maybe because I envisage the Cuckoo to be a successful intruder, doted on by the 'parents' to the disadvantage of the other nestlings...the birdie parents are deceived. This is not the narrative of your poem.

all the best

mac

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Re: Cuckoo

Post by Mic » Thu Jun 11, 2015 7:48 am

Hi Ray

Some first thoughts (without reading other comments)

It's a poignant vignette.
It took me a little while to get the POV (I should have paid more attention to the title in the first place). Figuring this out was, though, part of the enjoyment of the poem, for me.

I liked the quiet internal rhymes in the opening lines
The language of l5 and l6 seemed a bit out of register....
Didn't understand l10 & l11 - but they are also my favourite lines.

Enjoyed it.

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

ray miller
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Re: Cuckoo

Post by ray miller » Thu Jun 11, 2015 11:33 am

Thanks all.
David - I agonise over line lengths, but I'm as happy with these as I'm ever likely to get.
Henry - that's very kind of you.
Mac - I see what you mean, the parents are deceived, but there's enough of a cuckoo-ish nature going on, I think. I really like the original title, but I felt it needed to be a little more accessible - mostly from comments I received elsewhere.
Mic - I'm not exactly sure how lines 5 and 6 are out of register, though I think zealous teacher needs reconsideration. Re. lines 11-12, the child has Foetal Alcohol Syndrome and was present during domestic violence incidents.
I'm out of faith and in my cups
I contemplate such bitter stuff.

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Re: Cuckoo

Post by Ros » Thu Jun 11, 2015 4:44 pm

I think this is almost good! I'm not convinced by the voice as being from the girl. The tone and language seems very adult and insightful. First person ain't working for me.

Ros
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Re: Cuckoo

Post by Macavity » Fri Jun 12, 2015 7:02 am

Foetal Alcohol Syndrome
Sounds like the right title to me. The right filter for the reading - the context. Better than an oblique title?

cheers

Mac

ray miller
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Re: Cuckoo

Post by ray miller » Fri Jun 12, 2015 7:36 pm

Ros wrote:I think this is almost good! I'm not convinced by the voice as being from the girl. The tone and language seems very adult and insightful. First person ain't working for me.

Ros
It's true and I'm surprised it wasn't picked up on before. But, I wanted to write something from her, as I wonder what she makes of her situation, and this is how it came out.
I'm out of faith and in my cups
I contemplate such bitter stuff.

ray miller
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Re: Cuckoo

Post by ray miller » Fri Jun 12, 2015 7:42 pm

Macavity wrote:
Foetal Alcohol Syndrome
Sounds like the right title to me. The right filter for the reading - the context. Better than an oblique title?

cheers

Mac
It may be that FAS defines her more than anything else, but I was trying to explore how she feels about relationships within the family.
I'm out of faith and in my cups
I contemplate such bitter stuff.

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