Talking with Shadows (revision 5) was Bothering Spectres

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Talking with Shadows (revision 5) was Bothering Spectres

Post by JJWilliamson » Sun Apr 08, 2018 3:47 pm

I amuse ghosts,
describing the woman at Tesco’s,
who gabbled incessantly
at the affable checkout girl
about Mount Teide's climate.

I tease ghosts,
finessing a three egg omelette
with grated gruyere,
and winking when the cheese
flows slowly onto the plate.

I listen to ghosts,
every time I mow the lawn
or tend the lobelia and marigolds
in the evening, when the mistle thrush
sings its lyrical song.

I comfort ghosts,
making sure they know how
my visit to the hospital went,
telling them it was okay
to be secretly scared.

I sigh with ghosts,
when they reveal they can’t
come round to watch the football,
or down a few beers
with a plate of nachos.

I miss ghosts
when loneliness clouts my weary head.
Late, just before I snuff out
the candle, I say goodnight to them -
every night, every night.


Revision 4

I talk to ghosts,
describing the woman,
at Tesco’s, who thought
the checkout girl gave a hoot
about Mount Teide’s climate.

I amuse ghosts,
demonstrating the finesse
required to make a three egg
cheese omelette, and winking
when it fails to fold.

I comfort ghosts,
making sure they know how
my visit to the hospital went,
telling them it was okay
to be secretly scared.

I listen to ghosts,
every time I mow the lawn
or tend the lobelia and marigolds
in the evening, when the song thrush
plays its haunting flute.

I console ghosts,
when they reveal they can’t
come round to watch the football,
or down a few beers
with a plate of nachos.

I miss ghosts
when loneliness clouts my weary head.
At night, just before I snuff out
the candle, I say goodnight to them -
every night, every night.


Revision 3

I talk to ghosts,
describing the oblivious woman,
in Tesco’s, who thought
the checkout girl gave a hoot
about Mount Teide’s climate.

I entertain ghosts,
saving up ghost stories
to amuse them, when nobody’s
listening to our screams
or laughter.

I comfort ghosts,
making sure they know how
my visit to the hospital went,
telling them it was okay
to be secretly scared.

I listen to ghosts,
every time I mow the lawn
or tend the lobelia and marigolds
in the evening, when the song thrush
celebrates twilight.

I console ghosts,
when they reveal they can’t
come round to watch the football,
or down a few beers
with a plate of nachos.

I miss ghosts
when loneliness clouts my weary head.
At night, just before I snuff out
the candle, I say goodnight to them -
every night, every night.


Revision 2

I talk to ghosts,
recounting the minor trials,
like today, when some oblivious woman
at Tesco’s believed the checkout girl
gave a hoot about Tenerife’s climate.

I entertain ghosts,
saving up ghost stories
to amuse them, when nobody’s
listening to our screams
or laughter.

I comfort ghosts,
making sure they know how
my visit to the hospital went,
telling them it was okay
to be secretly scared.

I listen to ghosts,
every time I mow the lawn
or tend the lobelia and marigolds
in the evening, when the song thrush
celebrates twilight.

I console ghosts,
when they reveal they can’t
come round to watch the football,
or down a few beers
with a plate of nachos.

I miss ghosts
when loneliness clouts my weary head.
At night, just before I snuff out
the candle, I say goodnight to them -
every night, every night.


Revision

I talk to ghosts,
recounting the day’s trials,
like when some oblivious woman
at Tesco’s believed the checkout girl
gave a hoot about Tenerife’s climate.

I entertain ghosts,
saving up ghost jokes
to amuse them, when nobody’s
listening to our cries
or laughter.

I warm to ghosts,
making sure they know how
my visit to the hospital went,
telling them it was okay
to be secretly scared.

I listen to ghosts,
every time I mow the lawn
or tend the lobelia and marigolds
in the evening, when the song thrush
celebrates twilight.

I comfort ghosts,
when they reveal they can’t
come round to watch the football,
or down a few beers
with a plate of Mexican nachos.

I miss ghosts
when loneliness clouts my weary head.
At night, just before I snuff out
the candle, I say goodnight to them -
every night, every night.


Original

I talk to ghosts,
recounting the day’s trials,
like when some oblivious woman,
at Tesco’s, thought the checkout girl
gave a hoot about Tenerife’s climate.

I entertain ghosts,
saving up tales of madness
to amuse them, when nobody’s
watching or listening
to our laughter and song.

I worry ghosts,
making sure they know how
my visit to the hospital went,
asking them if it was okay
to be secretly anxious.

I listen to ghosts,
every time I mow the lawn
or tend the lobelia and marigolds
in the evening, when the song thrush
celebrates the dying light.

I comfort ghosts,
when they tell me they can’t
come round to watch
the football with a few beers
and a plate of nachos.

I miss ghosts
when loneliness clouts my weary head.
Every night, just before I snuff out
the candle, I say goodnight to them -
every night, every night.
Last edited by JJWilliamson on Fri May 11, 2018 7:14 am, edited 14 times in total.
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NotQuiteSure
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Re: Bothering Spectres

Post by NotQuiteSure » Sun Apr 08, 2018 6:43 pm

[tab][/tab]
Hi JJ,
didn't like the title, but did like the piece.
Poignant, was a word that came to mind.


I talk to ghosts,
recounting the day’s trials,

maybe 'telling of' for 'recounting' -
just to keep those Ts up.
like when some oblivious woman,
don't like 'like when'
at Tesco’s, thought the checkout girl
gave a hoot about Tenerife’s climate.


I entertain ghosts,
saving up tales of madness
to amuse them, when nobody’s
watching or listening
to our laughter and song.
Isn't this essentially a repetition

of S1?

I worry ghosts,
making sure they know how
my visit to the hospital went,
asking them if it was okay
to be secretly anxious.

For me, everything changes with
this verse, and I wonder if it should
come after the next one?
(Ambiguous as to whether its anxiety
or secrecy you're asking about)

I listen to ghosts,
every time I mow the lawn
or tend the lobelia and marigolds
in the evening, when the song thrush
celebrates the dying light.
#
dying light's a bit of a risk :)

I comfort ghosts,
when they tell me they can’t
come round to watch
the football with a few beers

ambiguity of phrasing here (methinks)
and a plate of nachos.

I miss ghosts
when loneliness clouts my weary head.

The period rather breaks up the flow
you've established.
(Would it work as:
I miss ghosts
every night, when loneliness clouts
my weary head, just before I snuff out
the candle
... ?)
Every night, just before I snuff out
the candle, I say goodnight to them -
every night, every night.


Regards, Not.
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Re: Bothering Spectres

Post by Macavity » Mon Apr 09, 2018 5:32 pm

Hi JJ

I like ghost poems, I probably write too many :) Enjoyed yours, though the title is terrible!
JJWilliamson wrote:I talk to ghosts,
recounting the day’s trials,............................like the ordinariness and familiarity of the opening
like when some oblivious woman,
at Tesco’s, thought the checkout girl
gave a hoot about Tenerife’s climate.............observing the world, outsider

I entertain ghosts,
saving up tales of madness........................perhaps you have a specific tale to tell? S1 had a specific. Touch of irony
to amuse them, when nobody’s
watching or listening
to our laughter and song..............................private world

I worry ghosts,..............................like the notion
making sure they know how
my visit to the hospital went,
asking them if it was okay
to be secretly anxious..................like sharing with them but not with loved ones

I listen to ghosts,............................again like the notion, intimacy
every time I mow the lawn
or tend the lobelia and marigolds
in the evening, when the song thrush
celebrates the dying light.......................too much Dylan Thomas?

I comfort ghosts,.....................really like your verb choices, a world of friendship with ghosts
when they tell me they can’t
come round to watch
the football with a few beers
and a plate of nachos.......................great specific

I miss ghosts
when loneliness clouts my weary head.................love the physicality of that.
Every night, just before I snuff out.....................the thread of death
the candle, I say goodnight to them -
every night, every night.
The repetitive ending is earned. Good one JJ.

cheers

mac

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Re: Bothering Spectres

Post by JJWilliamson » Mon Apr 09, 2018 6:21 pm

Good evening, Not and mac

Thank you very much for the nudges and comments. Between you you've nailed some of my concerns,
one of which was the rushed title. :)
NotQuiteSure wrote:[tab][/tab]
Hi JJ,
didn't like the title, but did like the piece. ...Yes, I originally had "Speaking with Spooks", No I didn't. :D I actually and really did want "Talking to Ghosts" but it was too much like the opening line. Maybe "Following Shadows". Don't know yet, but do agree a change is needed.
Poignant, was a word that came to mind. ...Good word. Quite apt.

I talk to ghosts,
recounting the day’s trials,

maybe 'telling of' for 'recounting' -
just to keep those Ts up. ...I originally had 'telling of' in the first draft. Interesting that you should suggest a change, that change in particular, and your reasoning is good.
like when some oblivious woman,
don't like 'like when' ...I was trying to keep it casual, as if talking to close friends. To be perfectly honest I'm not too keen on the structure of this opening.
at Tesco’s, thought the checkout girl
gave a hoot about Tenerife’s climate.


I entertain ghosts,
saving up tales of madness
to amuse them, when nobody’s
watching or listening
to our laughter and song.
Isn't this essentially a repetition

of S1? ...I think it needs something specific, as per mac's suggestion.

I worry ghosts,
making sure they know how
my visit to the hospital went,
asking them if it was okay
to be secretly anxious.

For me, everything changes with
this verse, and I wonder if it should
come after the next one? ...I'll think about this. You might be right.
(Ambiguous as to whether its anxiety
or secrecy you're asking about) ...It refers to the speaker's habit of underplaying things so as not to worry close ones. 'Anxiety' is a euphemism for "scared"

I listen to ghosts,
every time I mow the lawn
or tend the lobelia and marigolds
in the evening, when the song thrush
celebrates the dying light.
#
dying light's a bit of a risk :) ...Ha! Yes, a deliberate reference to Dylan Thomas. Rage, rage!! Should I keep it, though, that is the question. (rhetorical)

I comfort ghosts,
when they tell me they can’t
come round to watch
the football with a few beers

ambiguity of phrasing here (methinks) ...Yes, they could be arriving with the beers and nachos under their arms. I noticed it but thought the meaning was clear. I'll tinker with it. :)
and a plate of nachos.

I miss ghosts
when loneliness clouts my weary head.

The period rather breaks up the flow
you've established.
(Would it work as:
I miss ghosts
every night, when loneliness clouts
my weary head, just before I snuff out
the candle
... ?)
Every night, just before I snuff out
the candle, I say goodnight to them -
every night, every night.
...I like your suggestion. I'll look closely at this soon. Thanks for that.

Regards, Not.
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Macavity wrote:Hi JJ

I like ghost poems, I probably write too many :) Enjoyed yours, ...Ah, good! Thanks for that.

though the title is terrible! ...That's too cruel! :) I'm working on a title change. It's not like you're unsure or anything. :)
JJWilliamson wrote:I talk to ghosts,
recounting the day’s trials,............................like the ordinariness and familiarity of the opening
like when some oblivious woman,
at Tesco’s, thought the checkout girl
gave a hoot about Tenerife’s climate.............observing the world, outsider

I entertain ghosts,
saving up tales of madness........................perhaps you have a specific tale to tell? S1 had a specific. Touch of irony ...Yes it was on my mind as I read it back to myself. Thanks for the confirmation.
to amuse them, when nobody’s
watching or listening
to our laughter and song..............................private world ...Exactly. It's a world of secrecy.

I worry ghosts,..............................like the notion
making sure they know how
my visit to the hospital went,
asking them if it was okay
to be secretly anxious..................like sharing with them but not with loved ones ...Yes indeed. That's it.

I listen to ghosts,............................again like the notion, intimacy
every time I mow the lawn
or tend the lobelia and marigolds
in the evening, when the song thrush
celebrates the dying light.......................too much Dylan Thomas? ...It was a deliberate choice but should I keep it. Still thinking.

I comfort ghosts,.....................really like your verb choices, a world of friendship with ghosts. ...Something like imaginary friends, only these ghosts were real people at one time. They still need or want to know.
when they tell me they can’t
come round to watch
the football with a few beers ...I wonder if a comma after 'football' would help.
and a plate of nachos.......................great specific

I miss ghosts
when loneliness clouts my weary head.................love the physicality of that. ...Delighted you picked 'clouts' out.
Every night, just before I snuff out.....................the thread of death ...Yes, that was the intention. Glad it was apparent. I originally had "snuff" then added 'out' at a later stage.
the candle, I say goodnight to them -
every night, every night.
The repetitive ending is earned. Good one JJ. ...Thank you! Pleased you liked this slight departure.

cheers

mac
Much appreciated critiques, gents.

Best to both

JJ
Long time a child and still a child

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Re: Bothering Spectres

Post by lotus » Tue Apr 10, 2018 8:56 am

dear JJ
just as in painting repetitive brush strokes at times loose influence

perhaps a slight change here and there ?


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~


I talk to ghosts,
recounting the day’s trials,
like when some oblivious woman,
at Tesco’s, thought the checkout girl
gave a hoot about Tenerife’s climate.

ghosts I entertain
saving up tales of madness
to amuse them, when nobody’s
watching or listening
to our laughter and song.

I worry ghosts,
making sure they know how
my visit to the hospital went,
asking them if it was okay
to be secretly anxious.

I listen to ghosts,
every time I mow the lawn
or tend the lobelia and marigolds
in the evening, when the song thrush
celebrates the dying light.

I comfort,
when they tell me they can’t
come round to watch
the football with a few beers
and a plate of nachos.

I miss them
when loneliness clouts my weary head.
Every night, just before I snuff out
the candle, I say goodnight to them -
every night, every night.


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

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Re: Bothering Spectres

Post by David » Tue Apr 10, 2018 6:29 pm

I like this one, JJ. We all live with ghosts, and it hurts. You capture that well.

Cheers

David

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Re: Bothering Spectres

Post by Joao » Tue Apr 10, 2018 6:49 pm

Very moving, JJ. The refrain is quite effective and the bits of detail very convincing.
JJWilliamson wrote:I worry ghosts,
making sure they know how
my visit to the hospital went

'making sure' is probably not the best phrasing for this, in my opinion: it conveys either the reverse of your meaning (i.e. solicitude) or deliberate harm (which I don't think is your meaning either)
Overall, very nice, sad, gentle poem.

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Re: Bothering Spectres

Post by JJWilliamson » Wed Apr 11, 2018 7:07 pm

Thank you very much, lotus, David and Joao for the great feedback. Appreciated.
lotus wrote:dear JJ
just as in painting repetitive brush strokes at times loose influence

perhaps a slight change here and there ?
...It's a more than interesting suggestion and one I will consider, although I did intend this to be read slowly, with a matter-of-factness that comes with the realisation. There's an emphasis on the refrain that hints at loneliness and I'm not sure I want to lose it.
David wrote:I like this one, JJ. We all live with ghosts, and it hurts. You capture that well. ...Great! I'm glad that came across, David. I really do find myself chatting to my deceased friends and family, as if to keep them up to date. Bit weird. :)

Cheers

David
Joao wrote:Very moving, JJ. The refrain is quite effective and the bits of detail very convincing. ...Thank you very much for that, Joao; you got it.
JJWilliamson wrote:I worry ghosts,
making sure they know how
my visit to the hospital went

'making sure' is probably not the best phrasing for this, in my opinion: it conveys either the reverse of your meaning (i.e. solicitude) or deliberate harm (which I don't think is your meaning either)
...An interesting point and one I'll keep close to hand during revision. I'll rethink this.

Overall, very nice, sad, gentle poem. ...That's pretty much what I was aiming for. Thanks for mentioning it, it was good to read.
Best to all

JJ
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Re: Shadows (revised) was Bothering Spectres

Post by NotQuiteSure » Thu Apr 12, 2018 1:23 pm

[tab][/tab]
Afternoon JJ.

Still not sold on the title, and,
with tongue only ever so slightly
in cheek, suggest;
I See Dead People

I talk to ghosts,
recounting the day’s trials,
like when some oblivious woman
at Tesco’s believed the checkout girl
gave a hoot about Tenerife’s climate.

Still taking issue with 'recounting', and
finding 'trials' a bit to big a word.
Suggestion;
I talk to ghosts,
just to tell them of the little trials
like today when..
.

I entertain ghosts,
saving up ghost jokes
to amuse them, when nobody’s
listening to our cries
or laughter.

'saving up ghost jokes' doesn't do much
for me, particularly the repetition.
suggestion;
I entertain ghosts
with stories of the human condition
to amuse...


I warm to ghosts,
making sure they know how
my visit to the hospital went,
telling them it was okay
to be secretly scared.

Not sure about 'warm'
(maybe this one should be 'comfort'...)
and I think it was more effective when
the ghosts reassured N.

I listen to ghosts,
every time I mow the lawn
or tend the lobelia and marigolds
in the evening, when the song thrush
celebrates twilight.

Think this might work better moved to S2.

I comfort ghosts,
(...and this one should be 'console'?)
when they reveal they can’t
come round to watch the football,
or down a few beers

(posssibly 'to down...?)
with a plate of Mexican nachos.
(Is 'Mexican' necessary?)

I miss ghosts
(I know it gives you a problem of repetition,
but have you thought about;
I miss my ghosts ?
when loneliness clouts my weary head.
(Still find the period disruptive. Why not;
...head,
and at night...
?
At night, just before I snuff out
the candle, I say goodnight to them -
every night, every night.

Regards, Not.
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Re: Shadows (revised) was Bothering Spectres

Post by JJWilliamson » Thu Apr 12, 2018 6:42 pm

Thanks for getting back, Not
NotQuiteSure wrote:[tab][/tab]
Afternoon JJ.

Still not sold on the title, and,
with tongue only ever so slightly
in cheek, suggest;
I See Dead People ...Ah, the title offers so many possibilities. EG chasing shadows, shadows as ghosts (the obvious one), shadows of the past, shadows on the walls, X-ray shadows. The reader can bring their own interp'. It was this versatility that forced my hand. I thought of "Shades" but it immediately reminded me of 50 shades etc.

I talk to ghosts,
recounting the day’s trials,
like when some oblivious woman
at Tesco’s believed the checkout girl
gave a hoot about Tenerife’s climate.

Still taking issue with 'recounting', and
finding 'trials' a bit to big a word. ...Yes, they are more like irritations, now you mention it.
Suggestion;
I talk to ghosts,
just to tell them of the little trials
like today when..
. ...I might include 'today'. Putting up another revision in a mo'.

I entertain ghosts,
saving up ghost jokes
to amuse them, when nobody’s
listening to our cries
or laughter.

'saving up ghost jokes' doesn't do much ...Good sonics, though. I thought of 'ghost stories' for a laugh. Might try it and see. The rep' doesn't bother me much. :)
for me, particularly the repetition.
suggestion;
I entertain ghosts
with stories of the human condition ...That's worse than mine! :lol:
to amuse...


I warm to ghosts,
making sure they know how
my visit to the hospital went,
telling them it was okay
to be secretly scared.

Not sure about 'warm'
(maybe this one should be 'comfort'...) ...I've toyed with 'console' and 'comfort' all day, wondering if there was much of a difference, or enough of a difference. A few words came to mind but they all sounded a tad formal. I nearly opted for "reassure" or its derivatives. I was drawn to comfort from the start. Good shout!
and I think it was more effective when
the ghosts reassured N.

I listen to ghosts,
every time I mow the lawn
or tend the lobelia and marigolds
in the evening, when the song thrush
celebrates twilight.

Think this might work better moved to S2. ...Maybe. The poem becomes increasingly sad as it progresses. Let me think on it.

I comfort ghosts,
(...and this one should be 'console'?) ...Yes, I'll change it soon. You've persuaded me. :)
when they reveal they can’t
come round to watch the football,
or down a few beers

(posssibly 'to down...?)
with a plate of Mexican nachos.
(Is 'Mexican' necessary?) ...Not really. I wanted the idea of chillies, guacamole, cheese and relish to come through, but it's not necessary.

I miss ghosts
(I know it gives you a problem of repetition,
but have you thought about;
I miss my ghosts ?
when loneliness clouts my weary head.
(Still find the period disruptive. Why not; ...I want the pause to interrupt the flow before launching into the close. It helps to slow things down.
...head,
and at night...
?
At night, just before I snuff out
the candle, I say goodnight to them -
every night, every night.

Regards, Not.
[tab][/tab]
Thanks again, Not, for taking the time to offer such a thoughtful critique. Appreciated.

Best

JJ
Long time a child and still a child

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Re: Shadows (revision 2) was Bothering Spectres

Post by NotQuiteSure » Fri Apr 13, 2018 1:38 pm

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Hey JJ.

...Ah, the title offers so many possibilities.
Good point. Perhaps you might encourage those thoughts more directly with
something like '(All) Those Shadows' - as I think its proximity to 'ghosts' in the
first line might inhibit specualtion.

with stories of the human condition
...That's worse than mine! :lol:
I refer you to the next line.
to amuse...

(Is 'Mexican' necessary?)
...Not really. I wanted the idea of chillies, guacamole, cheese and relish to come
through, but it's not necessary.

perhaps you could just shorthand the list as 'beers, nachos and cholesterol' '?

...I want the pause to interrupt the flow before launching into the close.
It helps to slow things down.

As might 'my ghosts', but I see what you're saying.


Regards, Not.
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Re: Shadows (revision 3) was Bothering Spectres

Post by JJWilliamson » Fri Apr 13, 2018 3:08 pm

Thanks again, Not

I've rejigged S1 but I'm seriously thinking about dropping it altogether. I thought "Me and My Shadows" might be an interesting play, but it sounds a touch farcical.

The rest is pretty much there, I think, at least for now. :)

Thanks again

Best

JJ
Long time a child and still a child

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Re: Shadows (revision 3) was Bothering Spectres

Post by NotQuiteSure » Fri Apr 13, 2018 3:41 pm

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Hi JJ.

I think you're right about S1 (or S2, which might be a bit too glib to start -
I'm thinking of 'ghost stories'), though I did like 'talking to' and the
'everydayness' of it, (which S2 lacks).
Some embarrassingly late observations:
S4[tab][/tab] 'evening' and 'twilight' (the latter makes the former redundant)
S5[tab][/tab] shouldn't this be 'I commiserate with ghosts' ?
S6[tab][/tab] 'At night' (L3) is unnecessary, isn't it (given 'candle') ?

Good work.

Regards, Not.
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Re: Shadows (revision 3) was Bothering Spectres

Post by David » Fri Apr 13, 2018 4:17 pm

If it was mine I would drop S2, JJ, but lose "oblivious" from S1.

Cheers

David

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Re: Living with Shadows (revision 4) was Bothering Spectres

Post by JJWilliamson » Sat Apr 14, 2018 4:55 am

Thanks again, Not and David, for the comments. Some good thoughts there.

I've made a few changes based on your suggestions and dropped the ghost stories.

'Evening' DOES make 'twilight' redundant. Didn't see that one, Not. :)
I'm not so concerned about 'at night'. It fits rhythmically and isn't offensive or daft.

The woman at the checkout seemed to be oblivious to the other customers in the queue, David.
However, I've removed it for now. I thought about "inconsiderate woman" but I think she was simply in a world of her own :)

Thanks again

Best

JJ
Long time a child and still a child

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Re: Living with Shadows (revision 4) was Bothering Spectres

Post by David » Sat Apr 14, 2018 11:21 am

I think the fact that she was "oblivious" (or however else you want to describe her) comes across from the fact that she "thought / the checkout girl gave a hoot ..."

A classic case of show, don't tell - to me.

See what you think.

Cheers

David

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Re: Living with Shadows (revision 4) was Bothering Spectres

Post by NotQuiteSure » Sat Apr 14, 2018 12:39 pm

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Hi JJ.

I talk to ghosts,
describing the woman,
at Tesco’s, who thought
the checkout girl gave a hoot
about Mount Teide’s climate.

I this this needs opening up slightly
- if that's the right phrase -
Either include a time reference
(like 'yesterday') or maybe;
I talk to ghosts
about the little things... ?

I amuse ghosts,
demonstrating the finesse
required to make a three egg

(with which I make... ?)
cheese omelette, and winking
I think 'winking' kills the joke.
when it fails to fold.
Think this idea is an improvement
on 'stories'.

I comfort ghosts,
making sure they know how
my visit to the hospital went,
telling them it was okay
to be secretly scared
.
(maybe;
that I was secretly scared, as well ?)

I listen to ghosts,
every time I mow the lawn
or tend the lobelia and marigolds
in the evening, when the song thrush
plays its haunting flute.

I think version three was better
(haunting flute just seems odd,
particularly with the pun)
Still think 'listen' should follow 'talk' -
I don't think the 'mood' needs to be
linear.

I console ghosts,
when they reveal they can’t

'reveal' begs the question why not.
come round to watch the football,
or down a few beers
with a plate of nachos.

I miss ghosts
when loneliness clouts my weary head.
At night, just before I snuff out

(maybe a time reference ('come twelve')
instead of 'night' ?)
the candle, I say goodnight to them -
every night, every night.


Regards, Not.
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Re: Living with Shadows (revision 4) was Bothering Spectres

Post by JJWilliamson » Sun Apr 15, 2018 8:59 am

Thanks for getting back, David. Much appreciated.
David wrote:I think the fact that she was "oblivious" (or however else you want to describe her) comes across from the fact that she "thought / the checkout girl gave a hoot ..." ...I will try to show this oblivious state in the revision. Ta.

A classic case of show, don't tell - to me. ...Yes, yes and thrice yes. It is and I didn't see it at all. "Final" changes are now in place. :)

See what you think.

Cheers

David
Thanks, Not, for popping back in. I've made a couple of "final" changes to try and tidy it up. (no pun intended) :)
NotQuiteSure wrote:[tab][/tab]
Hi JJ.

I talk to ghosts,
describing the woman,
at Tesco’s, who thought
the checkout girl gave a hoot
about Mount Teide’s climate.

I this this needs opening up slightly
- if that's the right phrase -
Either include a time reference
(like 'yesterday') or maybe;
I talk to ghosts
about the little things... ? ...I quite like the simplicity of this. Let me brood on it. I do that, you know.

I amuse ghosts,
demonstrating the finesse
required to make a three egg

(with which I make... ?)
cheese omelette, and winking
I think 'winking' kills the joke.
when it fails to fold.
Think this idea is an improvement
on 'stories'. ...I've tightened it a bit in the latest revision. Added some flavours.

I comfort ghosts,
making sure they know how
my visit to the hospital went,
telling them it was okay
to be secretly scared
.
(maybe;
that I was secretly scared, as well ?) ...I'm hoping that is implied.

I listen to ghosts,
every time I mow the lawn
or tend the lobelia and marigolds
in the evening, when the song thrush
plays its haunting flute.

I think version three was better
(haunting flute just seems odd,
particularly with the pun) ...I liked the pun! :) Ne'er mind. I was reading an article about the American Woodland Thrush and it described the mellow flute of its song. A singer's voice is often referred to as an instrument. Tom Jones uses "Instrument" all the time. :D I quite like 'mellow flute'.
Still think 'listen' should follow 'talk' -
I don't think the 'mood' needs to be
linear. ...No, it doesn't need to be, I just prefer it that way. I'm moving from light to sad inch by inch.

I console ghosts,
when they reveal they can’t

'reveal' begs the question why not. ...Because they're not real and the speaker realises they can't come round no matter how much he wished they could. I usually watch the match with my son, shouting the odds at the telly. :)
come round to watch the football,
or down a few beers
with a plate of nachos.

I miss ghosts
when loneliness clouts my weary head.
At night, just before I snuff out

(maybe a time reference ('come twelve') ...Bit Cinderella.
instead of 'night' ?)
the candle, I say goodnight to them -
every night, every night.


Regards, Not.
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Thanks again to both for the extra nudges.

Best

JJ
Long time a child and still a child

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Re: Talking with Shadows (revision 5) was Bothering Spectres

Post by NotQuiteSure » Sun Apr 15, 2018 1:51 pm

This reads as if finished (or as near as), the flow of individaul verses seems more harmonious
(if that makes any sense).
Though I'd suggest giving the 'checkout girl' a 'fixed smile'.
JJWilliamson wrote:Because they're not real and the speaker realises they can't come round no matter how much he wished they could. I usually watch the match with my son, shouting the odds at the telly. :)
Yes, my problem was believing that the speaker did not know this already (it is S5 after all). :)

Regards, Not.
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Re: Talking with Shadows (revision 5) was Bothering Spectres

Post by JJWilliamson » Mon Apr 16, 2018 9:24 am

Thanks, Not, for persevering with this poem.

I've made a couple of changes since posting. I changed 'smiling' to "indulgent' in S1. Lots of alternatives available there. Also changed 'at night' to "late" in the close.
NotQuiteSure wrote:This reads as if finished (or as near as), the flow of individaul verses seems more harmonious
(if that makes any sense). ...Yes, it makes perfect sense, although I might revisit the sonics. Not yet, though.
Though I'd suggest giving the 'checkout girl' a 'fixed smile'. ...I kind of like this but it suggests hostility rather than patience. It does to me, anyway.
JJWilliamson wrote:Because they're not real and the speaker realises they can't come round no matter how much he wished they could. I usually watch the match with my son, shouting the odds at the telly. :)
Yes, my problem was believing that the speaker did not know this already (it is S5 after all). :) ...Ah, but he's known all along. He's letting the reader into his real feelings, his disappointment.

Regards, Not.
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Thanks again for all the thoughtful comments. Good workshop.

Best

JJ
Long time a child and still a child

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Re: Talking with Shadows (revision 5) was Bothering Spectres

Post by NotQuiteSure » Mon Apr 16, 2018 1:17 pm

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'Late' is a terrific replacement (though I think it makes 'just' unnecessary),
but I do miss 'talking' in S1 (could pair with 'chattered').

S2, for the extra 'w' - When finessing a three egg omelette ?
JJWilliamson wrote: Yes, my problem was believing that the speaker did not know this already (it is S5 after all). :) ...Ah, but he's known all along. He's letting the reader into his real feelings, his disappointment.
I think this was clearer when it was comforting/consoling.

Fun workshop :)

Regards, Not.
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Re: Talking with Shadows (revision 5) was Bothering Spectres

Post by JJWilliamson » Mon Apr 16, 2018 1:54 pm

Thanks for dropping in again, Not
NotQuiteSure wrote:[tab][/tab]
'Late' is a terrific replacement (though I think it makes 'just' unnecessary), ...It works rhythmically, though. Pleased 'late' worked. Quite like it myself.
but I do miss 'talking' in S1 (could pair with 'chattered').

S2, for the extra 'w' - When finessing a three egg omelette ? ...It's a possibility and it's in keeping with the rest.
JJWilliamson wrote: Yes, my problem was believing that the speaker did not know this already (it is S5 after all). :) ...Ah, but he's known all along. He's letting the reader into his real feelings, his disappointment.
I think this was clearer when it was comforting/consoling. ...They were too close for comfort in meaning. It preyed on my mind so I changed the emotion. I've tried zillions of combinations and settled on this version. (for now) :)

Fun workshop :) ...These exchanges show how workshopping can really work.

Regards, Not.
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JJ
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Re: Talking with Shadows (revision 5) was Bothering Spectres

Post by lotus » Tue Apr 17, 2018 5:50 am

and winking when the cheese
flows slowly onto the plate.

?
and winking when the cheese
oozes onto the plate.


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Re: Talking with Shadows (revision 5) was Bothering Spectres

Post by JJWilliamson » Wed Apr 18, 2018 2:51 am

Thanks for dropping back in, lotus, to offer a suggestion.
lotus wrote:and winking when the cheese
flows slowly onto the plate.

?
and winking when the cheese
oozes onto the plate. ...'Oozes' definitely works, and I might still use it, but for now I'm drawn to the rhymes of flow/slow and the sympathetic internal rhyme in the following stanza with 'mow'. I feel it adds to the cohesiveness of the poem. I'm open to contradiction, though.

Having said that, I'm partial to the odd sonic exchange, so anything could happen.
:)
Thanks again

JJ
Long time a child and still a child

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Re: Talking with Shadows (revision 5) was Bothering Spectres

Post by RCJames » Tue Apr 24, 2018 7:59 pm

JJ - The latest revision reads really well - smoother than any of its predecessors.
I see a lot of work - similar to my attempts at turning questionable offerings
into valid pieces. It seems to go on endlessly, until something clicks, breaks,
falls into place. You can probably rest awhile on the pile of revisions - RC

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