Frosted Flakes

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Lou
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Frosted Flakes

Post by Lou » Tue Jan 02, 2018 9:54 pm

At night men come to move the dead
before the snow-bound town awakes,
the supermarket must be built,
cornflakes, bran flakes, frosted flakes.

The church and graves deconsecrated,
plots squared off with tape and stakes,
men sweat to put food on their tables,
cornflakes, bran flakes, frosted flakes.

The dead don’t care to be aroused
by drills and diggers, all it takes
to upturn death and nourish life,
cornflakes, bran flakes, frosted flakes.

The dead are filthy, rank and stubborn,
clinging on as morning breaks,
while workmen pause for breakfast: coffee,
cornflakes, bran flakes, frosted flakes.

And ten months later Palmer’s opens,
consecrated tills ring cakes
and biscuits, scones and fancy pastries,
cornflakes, bran flakes, frosted flakes.

ray miller
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Re: Frosted Flakes

Post by ray miller » Wed Jan 03, 2018 11:21 am

Enjoyed it, Lou. Is there a Palmer's supermarket chain? I think the punctuation needs tidying in a few places. Something stronger than a comma at the end of the 2nd line? And maybe the 6th line as well.
while workmen pause for breakfast: coffee, - I'd have thought a comma would suffice after breakfast.

And ten months later Palmer’s opens,
consecrated tills ring cakes - deconsecrated/consecrated seems a bit too obvious
and biscuits, scones and fancy pastries, - I think the rhythm of that last line is improved by putting a comma after "cakes" and omitting " and".
I'm out of faith and in my cups
I contemplate such bitter stuff.

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Firebird
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Re: Frosted Flakes

Post by Firebird » Wed Jan 03, 2018 6:15 pm

Lou, I like the poem overall, but there’s something slightly wrong with the rhythm of the refrain for me. ‘Flakes’ doesn’t seem to carry enough force at the end of the line, when it seems to require it. This is probably just my poor ear though. I agree with Ray’s points about punctuation. The title could maybe do more, too. Overall, though, as I said, it’s a good read.

Cheers,

Tristan

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Re: Frosted Flakes

Post by Macavity » Wed Jan 03, 2018 9:35 pm

hi Lou

Perhaps you could try frosty flakes for the refrain. Either way enjoyed the poem, especially the dead's attitude.

best

mac

Lou
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Re: Frosted Flakes

Post by Lou » Thu Jan 04, 2018 9:12 am

Thanks Ray,

I hope there isn't a Palmer's supermarket chain - don't wanna get sued.
I tried to stick to commas throughout - I feel that some of my stuff recently has been too fussily punctuated. I agree with you about dropping the colon.
I thought 'consecrated tills' was rather novel.
I don't get your point about my penultimate line - surely this is perfect Tet? - and BISC-uits, SCONES and FANC-y PAS-tries.

Best,
Lou

Thanks Tristan,

I agree that this one could do with a better title but I also feel that the repetitive bathos of the recurring line contrasts effectively with the outrages undertaken by the workmen/supermarket chain.

Best,
Lou

Thanks mac,

I can't see a great difference between 'frosted flakes' and 'frosty flakes', but I'll think about it.

Best,
Lou

Thanks forty-two,

Indeed, the repeating lines do become more ludicrous as the poem proceeds - that's the idea. I thought, as I said to Ray, that the lines were written in pretty regular iambic tetrameters. Perhaps you can tell me where I go wrong?

Best,
Lou

ray miller
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Re: Frosted Flakes

Post by ray miller » Thu Jan 04, 2018 3:36 pm

And ten months later Palmer’s opens,
consecrated tills ring cakes
and biscuits, scones and fancy pastries,

I think there's too many ands in those lines and the middle one pushes the rhythm out. But it's a subjective business.
I'm out of faith and in my cups
I contemplate such bitter stuff.

Lou
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Re: Frosted Flakes

Post by Lou » Fri Jan 05, 2018 9:16 am

Thanks again forty-two,

Cutting the up-beat on the recurring line gives a slightly humorous plonking effect to the rhythm, but your suggestions, I admit, are equally good.
'and TEN months LA-ter PAL-mer's O-pens' is how I'd scan the line.

Best,
Lou

Thanks again Ray,

You're right, I could lose an 'and' in the final stanza and will do as you suggest.

Best,
Lou

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Re: Frosted Flakes

Post by Lou » Tue Jan 09, 2018 10:56 am

Thanks again forty-two,

Scansion is often a case of either or either and, yes, I too like to read poems out loud. It's not only a good way to check the scansion, it can also throw up other infelicities in the work.

Best,
Lou

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Re: Frosted Flakes

Post by RCJames » Sat Mar 03, 2018 9:06 pm

Lou - Frosted Flakes was my breakfast of choice in my formative years - loved the crunch and that quick sugar jolt just before school. I enjoyed the refrain, and the tidy rhyme scheme. Best - RC

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Re: Frosted Flakes

Post by Lou » Tue Mar 06, 2018 7:43 am

Thanks RC,

Me too! I still have a bowl of Frosties once in a while, but with all that sugar it's a very guilty pleasure.

Best,
Lou

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Re: Frosted Flakes

Post by David » Tue Mar 06, 2018 5:29 pm

Very good, Lou. I like it, and I can't see much wrong with it. Perhaps "men sweat to put food on their tables" seems a strange detour into Ol' Man River country, and (oops) maybe Ray's point about the ands.

I like this especially:

The dead are filthy, rank and stubborn,
clinging on as morning breaks


Cheers

David

Lou
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Re: Frosted Flakes

Post by Lou » Wed Mar 07, 2018 9:18 pm

Thanks David,

I'll think about the 'Tote dat barge! Lif' dat bale!' bit - I always wanted to write a musical - and I'll cut one of the 'and's.

Best,
Lou

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Re: Frosted Flakes

Post by churinga » Wed Mar 14, 2018 5:44 pm

The dead are filthy, rank and stubborn,
The way you describe the dead seems very predictable to me, 'stubborn" I like but 'rank and filthy' is stating the obvious.

clinging on as morning breaks,
'clinging on' only repeats the same idea as 'stubborn'
I think this couplet needs a rethink.

breakfast: coffee,
This feesl meter driven, coffee is aprt of breakfast not distinct from it, if you got rid of 'mourning breaks' ( you could give that back to Cat Stevens) then you could cut out 'brakfast' and have mourning coffe.

consecrated tills ring cakes
This is sonically a very awkward. Tills don't ring anymore, atleast not where I come from.

I liked the rest of the poem and the refrain. It may interest you too know that Thomas Hardy was in charge of moving the graves from St Pancras cemetary, I think to make way for a railway or roadway.

Lou
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Re: Frosted Flakes

Post by Lou » Thu Mar 15, 2018 7:24 am

Thanks churinga,

You make lots of good points which I shall certainly consider when I come to revise this one,

Best,
Lou

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Re: Frosted Flakes

Post by lotus » Fri Mar 23, 2018 10:40 am

RCJames wrote:Lou - Frosted Flakes was my breakfast of choice in my formative years - loved the crunch and that quick sugar jolt just before school. I enjoyed the refrain, and the tidy rhyme scheme. Best - RC
dear RC

indeed Tony The Tiger
was a fine breakfast friend

Lou.....

in America .... Frosted was the flakes.....and Frosty was the snowman

silent lotus
“A poem should have the touch ... the way sunlight falls on Braille.” .......silent lotus

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