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The End Of Giants

Posted: Fri Aug 21, 2015 11:23 pm
by ablackfoot
The End of Giants

Elephants are clay brooms against all grief,
who eat sweet Savannah leaf for pay.

They are the peaceful exodus,
the mountain range bearing new mountains;

celebrants of the heat and rain
caught on their haired backs.

They are marvelous marchers
who take erasers to our cramped selfnotes and regard.

The elephant is an arm to the feeble, a protector.
The spirits cannot climb elephants stomping.

They understand vultures circle in their scoffing,
long for what they call an easy meal.

But for elephants evil is the little mouse,
and the moth as big as breath.

Our planet, major in leaf,
also as it turns, retains its counter-turns,

leaves a narrow hole for alley mice,
whose advantage is merely nerviness,

coupled with ceaseless nerves,
unrest. When does a mouse bear witness,

where does the mouse march
with herbivore or carnivore?

The flighty mouse is the proof
most disturbing, a levity

the great cannot pity,
and our hero matches it with unreason,

hysteria and stolen sobs, all
off, the rib running

with sudden breath,
scaled by a soul-less.

Mother wears no muzzle
in these micro-aggressions.

Even the ivory can be dealt,
the horrifying ivory

returns beautiful
sounds to us.

The ways will be forgotten
for they lost their breath.

Re: The End Of Giants

Posted: Sat Aug 22, 2015 5:56 am
by k-j
I love it, up to about line 16.

I think you've written marvelously about elephants, and then tried to extend the poem into - what? Good point about the ivory at the end, but the old elephant/mouse story doesn't belong here. I am bothered by the shortness of the lines in the second half - makes it seem like you ran out of things to fill up a line with.

Coming back to the excellent first half. There are some things I love so much I must mention them. Line 1, all of it, except "grief" I think is a very strong word. You might be better with "melancholy" which is kind of an elephantine word... "Haired backs." Great. "Marvelous marchers" - that is pure Roald Dahl! or Stevie Smith maybe. "The spirits" with no elucidation is stimulating. I like all of the lines up to the moth line.

I would end it after "breath" and ransack the remainder for a different piece.

Re: The End Of Giants

Posted: Mon Aug 24, 2015 8:27 am
by Mic
I agree with kj, but found I lost interest perhaps a bit sooner than he did. I was really struck by that opening line, and 'grief' works for me in it.

Mic

Re: The End Of Giants

Posted: Wed Sep 02, 2015 10:47 pm
by ablackfoot
thanks for your responses. it is just so hard to write a successful poem. so many ways to go right and all it needs is perfection and command and delivery on our true desire, and unformulated desires. Unfortunately I think you notice a lot of this poem is generic. Refer to the much better poem on elephants by Marianne Moore titled "elephants". :wink: