Not reading on

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David
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Not reading on

Post by David » Sat Jun 20, 2015 9:02 am

My mother has just handed in
her mobile library card,
which saddened the librarian:
she took it rather hard.

This lady had been on their books
for more than fifty years.
That's a lot of Wilbur Cooks;
it's a lot of Georgette Heyers;

it's a lot of assignations
in the garden after dark;
it's a lot of situations
with a dog that didn't bark;

it's a lot of heaving bosoms;
it's a lot of bitten tongues;
it's a lot of kissing cousins;
it's a lot of loaded guns,

and it's goodbye to all that,
though she's pretty good for her age,
but she loses each and every plot
each time she turns the page.

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Re: Not reading on

Post by Antcliff » Sat Jun 20, 2015 11:24 am

Comic and sad at the same time. Bravo.

Moving ending.

Loved the Heyers rhyme.

Do you need the second and fourth "it's a"s in the second to last stanza? Not sure I would miss them. The context makes it clear you are still listing there.

Once again, Bravo.

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

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Re: Not reading on

Post by k-j » Sun Jun 21, 2015 1:31 am

Really like it. Worth it for the Heyers rhyme alone. "Handed in / librarian" is clever too. The metre seems to unravel a bit in the last verse. My ear wants "pretty" to be a one-syllable word.
fine words butter no parsnips

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Re: Not reading on

Post by Richard » Sun Jun 21, 2015 7:33 am

Very nice David. I think it might be worth thinking about swapping the 3and 4th stanzas around?? The shift into the final stanza is eased??? Dunno. Just a thought...

Best

Richard

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Re: Not reading on

Post by ray miller » Sun Jun 21, 2015 7:27 pm

Nicely done. 2nd verse I like best. Never heard of Wilbur Cook, I'll assume that's a good thing.

though she's pretty good for her age, - as k-j pointed out, pretty disrupts the flow. I'd suggest not bad instead of pretty good.
I'm out of faith and in my cups
I contemplate such bitter stuff.

David
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Re: Not reading on

Post by David » Sun Jun 21, 2015 7:57 pm

Antcliff wrote:Loved the Heyers rhyme.
k-j wrote:Worth it for the Heyers rhyme alone.
Thanks, chaps. That's the line I'm really pleased with. It's biographically correct. What with her and my sister, I seemed to grow up surrounded by the books of Georgette Heyer. However ...
ray miller wrote:Never heard of Wilbur Cook
I made him up! It seems. I could have sworn there was a thriller writer called Wilbur Cook, but apparently not. Darn it. I'll have to revisit that completely.
Antcliff wrote:Do you need the second and fourth "it's a"s in the second to last stanza? Not sure I would miss them. The context makes it clear you are still listing there.
Mm. I may have overdone the listing thing.
k-j wrote:The metre seems to unravel a bit in the last verse. My ear wants "pretty" to be a one-syllable word.
As Ray says too. I like the conversational tone, and the way it breaks the listing up, but I may be wrong about that.
Richard wrote:I think it might be worth thinking about swapping the 3and 4th stanzas around?? The shift into the final stanza is eased??? Dunno. Just a thought...

Thanks Richard. Definitely worth thinking about.

Cheers all

David

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Re: Not reading on

Post by Elphin » Mon Jun 22, 2015 12:09 pm

Kudos, David

Lots of sentiment but not at all sentimental.

My tuppence worth -- the lists are what emphasise how long she has been reading for, "lots and lots", I wouldn't lose either of those stanzas.

I tripped over "pretty" too.

Wilbur Smith -- you may have been thinking of.

excellent

elph

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Re: Not reading on

Post by k-j » Mon Jun 22, 2015 12:49 pm

I'm sure Wilbur Cook is real.
fine words butter no parsnips

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Re: Not reading on

Post by dedalus » Tue Jun 23, 2015 2:07 am

it's a lot of assignations
in the garden after dark;
it's a lot of situations
with a dog that didn't bark;

it's a lot of heaving bosoms;
it's a lot of bitten tongues;
it's a lot of kissing cousins;
it's a lot of loaded guns,
Classic! But ... "bosoms/ cousins" ????? Buzz 'ems instead of Booze 'ems ?

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Re: Not reading on

Post by Firebird » Tue Jun 30, 2015 7:28 pm

I missed this one. It motors along and the turn in the final two lines is brilliant. So sad, too. My grandmother succumbed to Alzheimer's, and started to forget she'd fed her dog, until the poor thing was like a barrel. Tragic but with an element of comedy, too.

Thank you for a very good read.

Best,

Tristan

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Re: Not reading on

Post by David » Tue Jun 30, 2015 7:53 pm

A little late, nudged by Tristan - sorry Elph & Bren, I didn't realise I'd missed your comments ...

Thanks, Elph. I think - I hope - you're right about the listiness.
k-j wrote:I'm sure Wilbur Cook is real.
That's what I thought! However,Seth has kindly suggested Catherine Cookson, which I think will do very nicely.
dedalus wrote:Classic! But ... "bosoms/ cousins" ????? Buzz 'ems instead of Booze 'ems ?
Slant rhyming, Bren. Er .. slaunt rhyming then. Sláinte rhyming!

Thanks, Tristan. That scenario sounds only too believable, sadly.

Cheers all

David

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Re: Not reading on

Post by brianedwards » Tue Jun 30, 2015 11:10 pm

Thought I'd commented on this. Nicely handled, as expected. Also agree that line 18 is long, and wondered if "lucid" might replace "pretty good"? Also thought the 1st stanza a bit plodding. Could it be be cut and perhaps replaced with a better title?

B.

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Re: Not reading on

Post by David » Sun Jul 05, 2015 1:04 pm

Thanks, Brian.
brianedwards wrote:Also thought the 1st stanza a bit plodding. Could it be be cut and perhaps replaced with a better title?
It is a bit prosaic, I agree, but it's how it first came to me - not a good reason in itself, I know - and (better reason) I thought it gave me a good ballady start.

"Lucid" is less conversational than I think I want to be. But I'll ponder that.

Cheers

David

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Re: Not reading on

Post by brianedwards » Sun Jul 05, 2015 1:14 pm

What? Lucidity is an everyday conversation for me. You obviously don't socialise with teachers enough :roll:

B.

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Re: Not reading on

Post by Arian » Sun Jul 05, 2015 6:11 pm

Excellent. Poignant, while being amusing and engaging to boot. Can we ask for more?

Cheers
peter

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Re: Not reading on

Post by Macavity » Sun Jul 05, 2015 7:35 pm

hi David,
I don't see much to tinker with, if you did, then 'quite lucid' would still be conversational in my view - and reduce one of those 'goods' (loaded/lucid thread too). Agree with k-j on "Handed in / librarian".

all the best

mac

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Re: Not reading on

Post by Suzanne » Mon Jul 06, 2015 10:35 am

I loved this!
Wonderful to read and say aloud.

Very heart warming, too. Most excellent, David.

Suzanne

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Re: Not reading on

Post by David » Sun Jul 12, 2015 12:54 pm

Sorry Peter, Mac, Suzanne, I hadn't caught up with your comments until now. Much appreciated. Thank you!

Cheers

David

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Re: Not reading on

Post by AlanReynolds » Wed Aug 05, 2015 7:33 am

This is a captivating funny-and-poignant poem. I am glad to have found and read it.
Best regards,

Alan

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Re: Not reading on

Post by rossdalglish » Wed Aug 05, 2015 7:11 pm

Just read this Mac. It's interesting how you've discarded the standard ballad iambic structure after the second stanza but stick with the rhyme scheme. For me, this makes Stanza 3 feel like an unexpected shift down in gear but give way to a more modernist emphasis on meaning, which I think can be obscured by a strong ballad rhythm. It also slows the pace to lead us nicely to the sad bit at the end. I like the bosom/cousin rhyme.

David
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Re: Not reading on

Post by David » Wed Aug 05, 2015 7:17 pm

Hello, AlanReynolds and rossdalglish. Nice to hear from you. Thanks for the kind words and comments.

I invite you - should you wish to do so - to proceed to our Hello, Good Evening and Welcome section and introduce yourselves. I hope to see you around here quite a bit more.

Cheers

David

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