The Father

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ray miller
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The Father

Post by ray miller » Wed Feb 17, 2016 8:07 am

Whatshername’s in it, the Outnumbered mother,
playing the daughter – she’s reached the stage
where sighs of exasperation
are authentic in either age; as if to prove
this is the case she occupies
the maternal place when the father’s lost
his watch and sense of time –
I’m soon wishing that I’d lost mine.

If comedy is tragedy viewed
from a distance, we should have sat
twelve rows further back. Twenty years ago
this pyjamaed libertine would have starred
in a farce and garnered laughs,
now the leer has given way to Lear.
How many daughters has he got anyway
and why does everyone keep disappearing?

After the break, I can’t find my seat
until my missus waves and beckons me.
The flat’s been exchanged for a Nursing Home,
the bookcase gone, chairs and tables gone,
then the final scene sans everything
bar bed and a nurse with medication.
My wife said she found it illuminating;
I still can’t recall what the daughter’s name is.
Last edited by ray miller on Wed Feb 17, 2016 4:36 pm, edited 1 time in total.
I'm out of faith and in my cups
I contemplate such bitter stuff.

Ros
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Re: The Father

Post by Ros » Wed Feb 17, 2016 9:10 am

Like this a lot, Ray.

If comedy is tragedy viewed
from a distance, we should have sat
twelve rows further back.

is great.

Where you really watching Lear? First production I saw, everyone wore nothing but wode. Couldn't work out for the life of me who was who.

If it is Lear, you've lost a few more daughters. (and the final full stop).

Or is this a subtle play on your own life, where unexpected daughters arrive? Not that I see you as a pyjamaed libertine, of course. (Do you spell pyjamaed like that?)

Ros
Rosencrantz: What are you playing at? Guildenstern: Words. Words. They're all we have to go on.
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ray miller
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Re: The Father

Post by ray miller » Wed Feb 17, 2016 4:40 pm

Thanks, Ros. No, I was watching a play called The Father, which has been likened to King Lear. The poem is meant to convey some similarities between The Father and the narrator, maybe not enough just yet.
I'm out of faith and in my cups
I contemplate such bitter stuff.

Sharra
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Re: The Father

Post by Sharra » Wed Feb 17, 2016 9:10 pm

Ahh I read the poem a few times before reading your comment about watching a play. Now it makes sense.
I was trying to work out if 'The Father' was the narrator or... and the last stanza made me wonder if it was about someone beginning to decline with dementia or something similar.
I think there's some lovely writing in here, I liked the bit Ros picked out too, and the use of words like 'stage' which now I understand have double significance.

I'm wondering if you either need to clarify things in the title like 'Watching The Father' maybe? or whether there is an opportunity to play more on the uncertainty of who 'The Father' is and what's happening with him?

Nicky
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Re: The Father

Post by Macavity » Wed Feb 17, 2016 9:48 pm

I thought the parallels were there. The complaining voice was wrapped with some light humour, with some hints of darker elements.
his watch and sense of time –
I’m soon wishing that I’d lost mine.
The irony being that N. is not conscious of his own decline.

cheers

mac

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Re: The Father

Post by 1lankest » Thu Feb 18, 2016 6:02 pm

Had me laughing aloud thrice, Ray, a very clever comic piece.

How many daughters has he got anyway
and why does everyone keep disappearing

This bit is especially funny.

Nothing to add on Ros' comments; I like her deeper reading of it as a comment on your own life, but I guess the common reader wouldn't have the contextual knowledge to make that link.

As it is, a very well wrought comic piece.

Luke

ray miller
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Re: The Father

Post by ray miller » Fri Feb 19, 2016 8:16 am

Thanks, Sharra. Nice to see you here again. Watching The Father, or something like it, is a good idea. Ta.
Thanks, Phil, Luke.
I'm out of faith and in my cups
I contemplate such bitter stuff.

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