The Estate Speaks

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ray miller
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The Estate Speaks

Post by ray miller » Mon Jul 18, 2016 8:43 am

The factory forged our way, of course, its bull horn
blew at 8 o’clock and breathed existence into us.
The tracks that turned implacably were matching
strides with steamrollers and bulldozers bludgeoning
through Frogmill Farm and Balaam’s Wood, skirting
round the loony bin. A tightly packed community,
a tarmacked and concreted foot stamped upon the green.

Houses, houses, houses, then a car to sit
in front of them, as essential as a rubbish bin,
newspaper or TV set. We aspired to own
appliances and ignored the public finances.
In the name of market forces we possessed
our council houses and the cars parked
in Graffiti Street were manufactured overseas.

They say that strikes brought down the factory –
we lost our place in the scheme of things.
The bull horn sounds last century, we blink at life
uncertainly, like a man forced to redundancy,
who mourns lost camaraderie in this unfamiliar
wilderness, our trickle-down reality congealed
into bitterness. You only see the benefits.
Last edited by ray miller on Wed Jul 20, 2016 8:56 am, edited 2 times in total.
I'm out of faith and in my cups
I contemplate such bitter stuff.

Joao
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Re: The Estate Speaks

Post by Joao » Mon Jul 18, 2016 12:00 pm

I like it very much, Ray. S1 is the best by far, in my opinion. Powerful images for the brutish, flat-packed (or tightly-packed) development of those areas: bludgeoning steamrollers, the heavy stamp of that concrete foot on the green -- very powerful! My only doubt on S1 is when you associate ‘writhing’ with implacability: they’d seem discordant to me. Maybe I’m missing something.

S2 starts really well but then mid-way it starts sounding a bit like ordinary militant talk, with mention to market forces. How did transfer of house ownership and increase in consumer spending fucked public finances? I’m not sure I understand the link.

S3 is bit more obscure to me, from verse 4 onwards: I see the ‘benefits’ pun in the end and perhaps a play on ‘trickle-down economics’, but not sure I grasp the full meaning of it all beyond the general sense of having lost the certainties from the industrial era. Very likely my own short sightedness…

ray miller
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Re: The Estate Speaks

Post by ray miller » Wed Jul 20, 2016 8:57 am

Thanks, Joao. I made a few alterations in light of your comments.
I'm out of faith and in my cups
I contemplate such bitter stuff.

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Re: The Estate Speaks

Post by Antcliff » Thu Jul 21, 2016 1:57 pm

Lovely close.

ray miller wrote:The factory forged our way, of course, its bull horn
blew at 8 o’clock and breathed existence into us........a tedious quibbler might say that you must already exist to be breathed into. Not that it matters, of course. Sounds great..."isten/into"

The tracks that turned implacably were matching
strides with steamrollers and bulldozers bludgeoning
through Frogmill Farm and Balaam’s Wood, skirting
round the loony bin. A tightly packed community,
a tarmacked and concreted foot stamped upon the green...is a "k" needed?

Houses, houses, houses, then a car to sit
in front of them, as essential as a rubbish bin,
newspaper or TV set. We aspired to own
appliances and ignored the public finances.
In the name of market forces we possessed
our council houses.....I think "purchased" might be better because it implies what is being referred to...a change? (I know what the subject matter is here...since my gran was one buyer. But I am not sure it would be clear from "possessed" which might have been true all along for all a reader knows?)

and the cars parked
in Graffiti Street were manufactured overseas.

They say that strikes brought down the factory –
we lost our place in the scheme of things.
The bull horn sounds last century, we blink at life
uncertainly, like a man forced to redundancy,
who mourns lost camaraderie in this unfamiliar
wilderness, our trickle-down reality congealed.............wilderness?
into bitterness. You only see the benefits.
We fray into the future, rarely wrought
Save in the tapestries of afterthought.
Richard Wilbur

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JJWilliamson
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Re: The Estate Speaks

Post by JJWilliamson » Thu Jul 21, 2016 7:42 pm

Liked this, Ray

The rhythms and content are great and I enjoyed the bouncy internal rhymes.
It reads like a rap to my ear, especially S2 & 3 where the repeats have an Eminem quality.

Not much else to say.
ray miller wrote:The factory forged our way, of course, its bull horn
blew at 8 o’clock and breathed existence into us.
The tracks that turned implacably were matching
strides with steamrollers and bulldozers bludgeoning
through Frogmill Farm and Balaam’s Wood, skirting.
round the loony bin. A tightly packed community,
a tarmacked and concreted foot stamped upon the green. ...Liked this line and verse in general. It's a good opening strophe, I think.

Houses, houses, houses, then a car to sit
in front of them, as essential as a rubbish bin,
newspaper or TV set. We aspired to own
appliances and ignored the public finances. ...Not sure about the link between public finances and appliances. The councils had large loans which were settled with the arrival of "Right to buy" revenue. That could be it.
In the name of market forces we possessed ...Could say, 'bought out', possibly adding a ruthless and commercial element.
our council houses and the cars parked
in Graffiti Street were manufactured overseas. ..."Graffiti St' is just about right. Depending.

They say that strikes brought down the factory –
we lost our place in the scheme of things. ...Could spice this line up a bit.
The bull horn sounds last century, we blink at life
uncertainly, like a man forced to redundancy,
who mourns lost camaraderie in this unfamiliar
wilderness, our trickle-down reality congealed ...Yes, it's as if they were thrown to the beasts, in unfamiliar and frightening territory.
into bitterness. You only see the benefits. ...Great close.
Enjoyed

Best

JJ
Long time a child and still a child

ray miller
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Re: The Estate Speaks

Post by ray miller » Fri Jul 22, 2016 3:30 pm

Thanks, Seth. A "k" is necessary in tarmacked, yes, I've been down that road before. I prefer purchased, thanks. A wilderness, yeah, if you could see the estate I grew up on, now, you'd understand what I mean.
I'm out of faith and in my cups
I contemplate such bitter stuff.

ray miller
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Re: The Estate Speaks

Post by ray miller » Fri Jul 22, 2016 3:37 pm

Thanks, JJ.

We aspired to own
appliances and ignored the public finances. ...Not sure about the link between public finances and appliances. The councils had large loans which were settled with the arrival of "Right to buy" revenue. That could be it.

I'm just drawing attention to the tension between consumerism and, er, community values.
I'm out of faith and in my cups
I contemplate such bitter stuff.

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Re: The Estate Speaks

Post by bodkin » Sun Jul 24, 2016 11:43 am

Hi Ray,

Enjoyed this. Not quite sure what the tracks are? Train tracks? Production lines? But in what sense do those match strides with the bulldozers? I think what you are saying is that the town expanded and the countryside was bulldozed to make way? That's clear enough. It is just the connection to "tracks" I don't get. Unless you are saying the factory expanded at the same rate as the town? Maybe you are! But if so I think it is a little too hard to work out...

I found "factory/century/uncertainly/redundancy/camaraderie" to be a rhyme too far in S3, but knowing your style of performance that probably works much better for you...

Ian
http://www.ianbadcoe.uk/

ray miller
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Re: The Estate Speaks

Post by ray miller » Mon Jul 25, 2016 11:25 am

Thanks, Ian. The tracks are those on the assembly lines. I'm making the point that the estate owed its existence to the factory and as production increased, so did the buildings.
I'm out of faith and in my cups
I contemplate such bitter stuff.

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