That Day He Didn't Die Again

This is a serious poetry forum not a "love-in". Post here for more detailed, constructive criticism.
Post Reply
ray miller
Perspicacious Poster
Perspicacious Poster
Posts: 6535
Joined: Wed Apr 23, 2008 10:23 am

That Day He Didn't Die Again

Post by ray miller » Tue Jun 23, 2015 11:04 am

Revision

An empty crisp packet fought the wind
from the furthest corner of the park
to where I pushed the girls on swings;
it briefly wrapped worn denim shins
then railed against the playground bars.

Trees rooted around the meadow’s edge,
mirroring an animated crowd,
swayed approvingly and shook their heads
or stood motionless withholding breath.
The trajectory of chains groaned loud,

high and higher, the children cried,
where swallows plummeted tightrope tricks;
rain spat upon our unguarded eyes,
as clouds shouldered paperweighting skies
unwilling to accept eclipse.

Original

An empty crisp packet wrestled wind
from the furthest corner of the park
to where I pushed the girls on swings;
it briefly wrapped worn denim shins
then railed against the playground bars.

Trees rooted around the meadow’s edge,
mirroring an animated crowd,
swayed approvingly and shook their heads
or stood motionless withholding breath;
the trajectory of chains groaned loud

then high and higher, the children cried,
where swallows plummeted tightrope tricks.
Rain spat upon our unguarded eyes,
clouds shouldered paperweighting skies
in eagerness to avoid eclipse.
Last edited by ray miller on Mon Jun 29, 2015 11:47 am, edited 2 times in total.
I'm out of faith and in my cups
I contemplate such bitter stuff.

Ros
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 7961
Joined: Sun Dec 07, 2008 4:53 pm
antispam: no
Location: this hill-shadowed city/of razors and knives.
Contact:

Re: That Day He Didn't Die

Post by Ros » Wed Jun 24, 2015 2:14 pm

plummeted tightrope tricks. seemed to change the rhythm/mood for me. Not sure who he is. I like the trees withholding breath.

Interesting title, that day rather than the day. Meaning either this day in particular he survived, or this is about the day he didn't die. Still no idea who he is.

Ros
Rosencrantz: What are you playing at? Guildenstern: Words. Words. They're all we have to go on.
___________________________
Antiphon - www.antiphon.org.uk

Macavity
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 5920
Joined: Tue May 10, 2005 10:29 am

Re: That Day He Didn't Die

Post by Macavity » Wed Jun 24, 2015 6:27 pm

I like the trees withholding breath.
Me too. You may want to consider the two then's.

all the best

mac

Richard
Prolific Poster
Prolific Poster
Posts: 614
Joined: Mon Sep 13, 2010 6:15 pm

Re: That Day He Didn't Die

Post by Richard » Wed Jun 24, 2015 8:01 pm

I'm not sure about the need for s2, and whilst I'm finding it quite evocative, I've got a bit of a sense that something more needs to happen.

Best

Richard

ray miller
Perspicacious Poster
Perspicacious Poster
Posts: 6535
Joined: Wed Apr 23, 2008 10:23 am

Re: That Day He Didn't Die

Post by ray miller » Thu Jun 25, 2015 1:00 pm

Thanks all. A poem I like, and I sense others aren't so keen. C'est la vie.
Ros. The title will doubtless be changed(again). I don't think it's necessary to know who he is.
Mac - yeah, I'll change the 2nd then.
Richard - I was thinking that about the 2nd verse already.
I'm out of faith and in my cups
I contemplate such bitter stuff.

brianedwards
Perspicacious Poster
Perspicacious Poster
Posts: 5375
Joined: Tue Jul 22, 2008 7:35 am
antispam: no
Location: Japan
Contact:

Re: That Day He Didn't Die

Post by brianedwards » Thu Jun 25, 2015 1:08 pm

ray miller wrote:Thanks all. A poem I like, and I sense others aren't so keen. C'est la vie.
Not so at all! I like this very much and didn't comment sooner because I wanted to revisit and absorb. It's lovely, elegiac and musical. I disagree that not enough happens: I think just the exact amount happens actually! And the title is great.

Not happy with the last line though, avoid is maybe a syllable too long? Dunno. My ear and yours do historically differ.

A keeper Ray.

B.

Suzanne
Perspicacious Poster
Perspicacious Poster
Posts: 4898
Joined: Sun Oct 19, 2008 4:46 pm
antispam: no
Location: Land of the Midnight Sun

Re: That Day He Didn't Die

Post by Suzanne » Thu Jun 25, 2015 3:26 pm

Ray,
I enjoyed all that compact action. I thought the images were vivid and the wind to be enough commotion.
I was drawn in by the title. And it would not have changed if it had been "that" or "the". I have often thought of trees as a crowd, love to read that.

I liked the squealing kids at the end and the clouds menacing.

Very rich texture in this ray. First lines are a pleasure to say aloud.
Suzanne

User avatar
JJWilliamson
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 3297
Joined: Sun Feb 22, 2015 6:20 am

Re: That Day He Didn't Die

Post by JJWilliamson » Thu Jun 25, 2015 3:40 pm

I agree with Brian. This is a delightful three stanza poem of English Quintains. Each stanza has an ABABB rhyme scheme OR S1 ABAAB, S2 CDCCD, S3 EFEEF. I'm not sure how loose the form is but I'm sure it's pretty flexible. This reads very well indeed.

Some thoughts:
ray miller wrote:An empty crisp packet wrestled wind ...'wrestled' in this context is quite common.
from the furthest corner of the park ...How do you know it was the 'furthest'?
to where I pushed the girls on swings; ...Lovely detail and image.
it briefly wrapped worn denim shins
then railed against the playground bars. ...They have a bar in your playground? kidding.

Trees rooted around the meadow’s edge, ...My eye keeps skipping the 'a' in 'around'. Meter wise that is.
mirroring an animated crowd, ...excellent
swayed approvingly and shook their heads ...'approvingly' is a bit of a mouthful. Can't get a handle on the meter.
or stood motionless withholding breath;
the trajectory of chains groaned loud ...Can a 'trajectory' groan? Maybe 'tangle' or 'riot' etc...


then high and higher, the children cried,
where swallows plummeted tightrope tricks. ...Nice one.
Rain spat upon our unguarded eyes,
clouds shouldered paperweighting skies ...'Paperweighting' !! Is that a word? It's a beaut'.
in eagerness to avoid eclipse.
I'm in the who is 'He' camp. I could hazard a guess but I'd probably miss by a mile. Please enlighten. Ok, is HE the sun?

Thoroughly enjoyed, ray.

Best

JJ
Long time a child and still a child

David
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 13711
Joined: Sat Feb 18, 2006 4:40 pm
Location: Ellan Vannin

Re: That Day He Didn't Die

Post by David » Thu Jun 25, 2015 6:06 pm

Intriguing. The title and the poem seem - unless I'm being thick, it's happened before - in opposition to each other. Or at least to have no connection that I can see. So I shall ignore the title for now.

Actually, quite apart from the mysterious narrative - if there is a mysterious narrative - the poem just sounds great. The whole thing, but - I have to say - S1 in particular.

Is there just a sense of what might be around any corner, on the most mundane of days? Not sure. But I like it.

Cheers

David

Ros
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 7961
Joined: Sun Dec 07, 2008 4:53 pm
antispam: no
Location: this hill-shadowed city/of razors and knives.
Contact:

Re: That Day He Didn't Die

Post by Ros » Fri Jun 26, 2015 9:27 am

This doesn't feel mundane.

the trajectory of chains groaned loud

then high and higher, the children cried,

There's something more going on. It's great.

Still not keen on those swallows.

Ros
Rosencrantz: What are you playing at? Guildenstern: Words. Words. They're all we have to go on.
___________________________
Antiphon - www.antiphon.org.uk

ray miller
Perspicacious Poster
Perspicacious Poster
Posts: 6535
Joined: Wed Apr 23, 2008 10:23 am

Re: That Day He Didn't Die

Post by ray miller » Fri Jun 26, 2015 10:39 am

Thanks all.
Brian. Yes, I see what you mean with the last line. I might change that.
Suzanne. I wonder if the title is better as That Day He Didn't Die Again.
JJ. I knew it came from the furthest corner as I'd watched its progress. The trajectory of the swing can groan, or at least make a noise, I think. I doubt that paperweighting is a word, but I like it. He is actually my father-in-law but I'm not sure it helps to know that.
David. I suppose the connection is inevitability and the uselessness of struggle, loosely anyhow.
Ros. Thanks again. Revision posted.
I'm out of faith and in my cups
I contemplate such bitter stuff.

brianedwards
Perspicacious Poster
Perspicacious Poster
Posts: 5375
Joined: Tue Jul 22, 2008 7:35 am
antispam: no
Location: Japan
Contact:

Re: That Day He Didn't Die Again

Post by brianedwards » Fri Jun 26, 2015 10:55 am

Nailed it for me Ray. Are we still doing features these days? This would get my nom.

B.

Ros
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 7961
Joined: Sun Dec 07, 2008 4:53 pm
antispam: no
Location: this hill-shadowed city/of razors and knives.
Contact:

Re: That Day He Didn't Die Again

Post by Ros » Fri Jun 26, 2015 11:00 am

I really liked high and higher.
Rosencrantz: What are you playing at? Guildenstern: Words. Words. They're all we have to go on.
___________________________
Antiphon - www.antiphon.org.uk

brianedwards
Perspicacious Poster
Perspicacious Poster
Posts: 5375
Joined: Tue Jul 22, 2008 7:35 am
antispam: no
Location: Japan
Contact:

Re: That Day He Didn't Die Again

Post by brianedwards » Fri Jun 26, 2015 11:04 am

Ros wrote:I really liked high and higher.
Oh, I didn't notice that change. I think I agree with Ros.

B.

David
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 13711
Joined: Sat Feb 18, 2006 4:40 pm
Location: Ellan Vannin

Re: That Day He Didn't Die Again

Post by David » Sat Jun 27, 2015 4:44 pm

A sudden (after)thought - are lines 8 and 9 too long? Maybe only line 8. (I see JJ may be onto the same thing.)

ray miller
Perspicacious Poster
Perspicacious Poster
Posts: 6535
Joined: Wed Apr 23, 2008 10:23 am

Re: That Day He Didn't Die Again

Post by ray miller » Mon Jun 29, 2015 11:49 am

high and higher it is then - thanks, Ros, Brian.

David - I can't see the problem with line 8 or 9.
I'm out of faith and in my cups
I contemplate such bitter stuff.

brianedwards
Perspicacious Poster
Perspicacious Poster
Posts: 5375
Joined: Tue Jul 22, 2008 7:35 am
antispam: no
Location: Japan
Contact:

Re: That Day He Didn't Die Again

Post by brianedwards » Mon Jun 29, 2015 12:21 pm

ray miller wrote:
David - I can't see the problem with line 8 or 9.
Me neither.

This for feature? Anyone?

B.

Post Reply