Poirot Stumbles

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Lou
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Poirot Stumbles

Post by Lou » Mon Dec 04, 2017 6:53 pm

He singles me out first, enumerates
my motive, means and opportunity:
I murdered Auntie Maud and now the Fates
see fit to damn my crime and let him see!

I stammer my pathetic alibi,
he smirks and turns to Raymond, then to Beth,
until it’s clear we all wished Aunt to die,
for everyone would profit from her death.

Then finally his gaze falls on my wife:
this wicked woman fooled us with her lies,
the kindness shown to Maud an evil ploy,
but he sees through her, she’ll pay with her life!

I gasp and protest, tears roll from my eyes,
my face outraged, my heart brimful with joy.

NotQuiteSure
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Re: Poirot Stumbles

Post by NotQuiteSure » Mon Dec 04, 2017 7:55 pm

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He singles me out first, enumerates
Might be better to start with 'First'?
my motive, means and opportunity:
I murdered Auntie Maud and now the Fates

Feels like this line should start with 'How'
see fit to damn my crime and let him see!
this reads as rather too contrived.
(Also would Poirot credit the Fates
rather than his 'little grey cells'?)

I stammer my pathetic alibi,
he smirks and turns to Raymond, then to Beth,

'smirks' seems rather out of character for Poirot.
until it’s clear we all wished Aunt to die,
for everyone would profit from her death.

Perhaps change 'everyone' for a number,
as a cast of four seems too small?

what's happened to the rhyme scheme?
Then finally his gaze falls on my wife:
this wicked woman fooled us with her lies,

'wicked' just gives the game away (both of them)
the kindness shown to Maud an evil ploy,
why 'evil'?
but he sees through her, she’ll pay with her life!
'sees through her' doesn't seem like Poirot.
Where's his evidence?

I gasp and protest, tears roll from my eyes,
my face outraged, my heart brimful with joy.

'wicked' telegraphed this ending.

Not too sure about the title (does Poirot stumble?).
Perhaps one that played on 'reveal' or 'in the drawing room'?

Like the idea Lou, but not convinced by the execution.

Regards, Not.
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Lou
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Re: Poirot Stumbles

Post by Lou » Wed Dec 06, 2017 7:49 am

Thanks Not,

And thanks for such a detailed crit!

see fit to damn my crime and let him see!
this reads as rather too contrived.
(Also would Poirot credit the Fates
rather than his 'little grey cells'?)


Unlike, say Sherlock Holmes, most of Christie's Poirots, depend on a large slice of luck to aid the little grey cells.

David Suchet's conceited Poirot on TV smirks a lot!

Perhaps change 'everyone' for a number,
as a cast of four seems too small?


Yes, I could do this.

what's happened to the rhyme scheme?

The rhyme scheme looks good to me.

this wicked woman fooled us with her lies,
'wicked' just gives the game away (both of them)
the kindness shown to Maud an evil ploy,
why 'evil'?

I don't get your meaning here - The N's wife is innocent - he has framed her.

I agree with you about the title. Anyone got any better ideas?

Best,
Lou

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Re: Poirot Stumbles

Post by NotQuiteSure » Wed Dec 06, 2017 2:05 pm

Lou,
Lou wrote:I don't get your meaning here - The N's wife is innocent - he has framed her
I couldn't decide if that was the case.
There's no evidence for it in the piece and N's reaction could equally be attributed to a husband who dislikes his wife
and is gloating over her downfall

Regards, Not
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ray miller
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Re: Poirot Stumbles

Post by ray miller » Wed Dec 06, 2017 4:28 pm

Lou wrote:He singles me out first, enumerates - "...out and enumerates" might be better
my motive, means and opportunity:
I murdered Auntie Maud and now the Fates - how I murdered Aunt Maud....
see fit to damn my crime and let him see! - it's not a convincing line

I stammer my pathetic alibi,
he smirks and turns to Raymond, then to Beth,
until it’s clear we all wished Aunt to die, - is it clear? There seems a lack of evidence. I'd prefer "Auntie" here.
for everyone would profit from her death. - for each of us?

Then finally his gaze falls on my wife:
this wicked woman fooled us with her lies,
the kindness shown to Maud an evil ploy,
but he sees through her, she’ll pay with her life! - another unconvincing line, I think

I gasp and protest, tears roll from my eyes,
my face outraged, my heart brimful with joy.
Good idea and mostly well executed, just needs a little attention here and there.
I'm out of faith and in my cups
I contemplate such bitter stuff.

Lou
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Re: Poirot Stumbles

Post by Lou » Thu Dec 07, 2017 9:25 am

Thanks fortytwo,

I am not keen on this forum process of dissecting poems line by line as often it seems to me not much of relevance comes out of the process, just one opinion next to another.


You're right, of course, the author might have spent three months working on the poem whereas the critter has read it twice. Nevertheless, this itself has value - most people are only ever going to read your poem once anyway.

Best,
Lou

Thanks again, Not,

The N. is obviously the murderer with his pathetic alibi - getting his innocent wife accused by Poirot is an unexpected bonus.

Best,
Lou


Thanks Ray,

see fit to damn my crime and let him see! - it's not a convincing line

The poem is set way back in time when people used such expressions.

until it’s clear we all wished Aunt to die, - is it clear? There seems a lack of evidence. I'd prefer "Auntie" here.

It's a sonnet with 14 lines - there isn't room to explain everything. 'Auntie' would foul the metre.

Best,
Lou

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Re: Poirot Stumbles

Post by RCJames » Tue Jan 23, 2018 4:05 pm

Lou - Love Poirot - Suchet does a fine, accomplished job portraying Christie's detective. I've seen him in several diametrically opposed roles as vicious gangsters.
You've captured the smirk moment, the decisive one, accurately, and the Dickensian twist is a good comic touch.

"my face outraged, my heart brimful with joy."

Enjoyed this - RC

Lou
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Re: Poirot Stumbles

Post by Lou » Wed Jan 24, 2018 8:38 am

Thanks RC,

Yes, no one can touch Suchet in the role of Poirot, certainly not Kenneth Branagh with that ridiculous tash he sports in the new 'Orient Express'.

Best,
Lou

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JJWilliamson
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Re: Poirot Stumbles

Post by JJWilliamson » Thu Jan 25, 2018 1:16 pm

Like it, Lou, particularly because you've focussed on one of my all time favourite characters.
Suchet is to my mind the consummate Poirot, the Poirot by whom all other Poirots' will be measured.
Have I read this sonnet before? Is it a repost?

The meter holds all the way through with one or two substitutions working well.

Lou wrote:He singles me out first, enumerates
my motive, means and opportunity:
I murdered Auntie Maud and now the Fates
see fit to damn my crime and let him see! ...The dastardly swine killed his Auntie Maud. He'll hang for this.

I stammer my pathetic alibi, ...Poirot would see through a pathetic alibi in an instant, n'est-ce pas? Maybe change to something to imply fragile or shaky.
he smirks and turns to Raymond, then to Beth,
until it’s clear we all wished Aunt to die, ...Why not "Maud"? I see nothing wrong with the repetition in such a short poem/plot.
for everyone would profit from her death.

Then finally his gaze falls on my wife:
this wicked woman fooled us with her lies,
the kindness shown to Maud an evil ploy,
but he sees through her, she’ll pay with her life!

I gasp and protest, tears roll from my eyes,
my face outraged, my heart brimful with joy. ...I know I shouldn't have, but I smiled at the close.
Enjoyed

Best

JJ
Long time a child and still a child

Lou
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Re: Poirot Stumbles

Post by Lou » Sat Jan 27, 2018 9:57 am

Thanks JJ,

No, this one's not a repost, it's just been hanging around here for ages.
I think the problem with Poirot, and indeed most fictional detectives, is that they always discover the identity of the murderer - they're omnipotent, which in reality wouldn't be very likely. I remember one episode of 'Murder She Wrote' where Jessica's revelation of the murderer at the end was cast in doubt. It made for an interesting and unusual episode.
Thanks for your suggestions, one at least would muck up my rhyme scheme and rhythm, but I could work on it.

Best,
Lou

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Re: Poirot Stumbles

Post by David » Sat Jan 27, 2018 10:18 am

I quite like this, Lou. I think it's a bit over-iambic in places - the first two lines in particular, where the rhythm comes out far too jaunty, especially that very ballady sounding opp-or-tu-ni-tee, and in L13 you've got the right number of syllables but the wrong rhythm completely - but I enjoyed it. A real touch of the Victorian pantomime villain at the end. I hope you are twirling your suitable evil moustache ends as you say that (sotto voce).

Cheers

David

Lou
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Re: Poirot Stumbles

Post by Lou » Sun Jan 28, 2018 10:18 am

Thanks David,

I think this would fix L.13: I GASP, pro-TEST-ing, TEARS roll FROM my EYES, - a strong beat on the weak word 'from' but it can't be helped.

Best,
Lou

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Re: Poirot Stumbles

Post by David » Sun Jan 28, 2018 7:51 pm

Lou wrote:Thanks David,

I think this would fix L.13: I GASP, pro-TEST-ing, TEARS roll FROM my EYES, - a strong beat on the weak word 'from' but it can't be helped.

Best,
Lou
Yes, I think that would work pretty well, although I might well throw caution - and metrical orthodoxy - to the wind, if reading it, and go for I GASP, pro-TEST-ing, TEARS ROLL from my EYES. Just finishing off with a sneaky little anapaest there. I think that's perfectly sound too.

Cheers

David

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Re: Poirot Stumbles

Post by Lou » Thu Feb 01, 2018 7:56 am

Thanks again, David,

Yes, this would work too.

Best,
Lou

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Re: Poirot Stumbles

Post by Joao » Thu Feb 01, 2018 3:23 pm

Really enjoyed this, Lou. Very impressed with how much drama you've managed to compress into a single sonnet. I only had an issue with the title (which gives away the final twist). Also, just a thought, perhaps you could consider replacing 'brimful'
at the end with something like 'released', to convey the element of relief, which I imagine would be the dominant feeling here.

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Re: Poirot Stumbles

Post by Lou » Fri Feb 02, 2018 7:39 am

Thanks Joao,

Yes, the title isn't satisfactory, I'll have to put my thinking cap on and come up with something better. 'Released' is certainly worth considering.

Best,
Lou

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