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I like the word oval (revision maybe)

Posted: Tue Jul 10, 2018 5:25 pm
by Macavity
possible revision

So for breakfast, and sort of reconciled -
she boils a freckled egg. The window mists.
My spoon taps gently on the shell. A child
at heart I cut soldier boys from my toast.

My wife believes in exercise and buys
organic goods. Friday's always fresh fish.
She steams their eyes to pearls and never sighs.
I like the swaying fennel, but not the fish.

It's winter now. She strides on settled snow
down the Kissing Lane, and locks our door
because I lost her gloves. I'm getting slow.
She walks her sister's eager Labrador.

I know her hands are cold, flecked with frost
that sable hair. Childless we've grown old.



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revision3


She fries their eyes to pearls and never sighs.
I like the swaying fennel, but not the fish.

It's winter now. She strides through settled snow
down the Kissing Lane, and locks our door

because I lost her gloves. I'm getting slow.
She walks her sister's eager Labrador.

I know her hands are cold, her cropped hair
flecked with frost. Childless we've grown old.


==================================================

revision2

I like the word oval. So for breakfast
an egg, just like this hand, brown and freckled.
My spoon taps gently on the shell. A child
at heart I cut soldier boys from my toast.

My wife believes in exercise and buys
organic veg. Friday's always fresh fish.
She steams their eyes to pearls and never sighs.
I like the swaying fennel, but not the fish.

It's winter now. She walks on settled snow
down the Kissing Lane, and locks our door
because I lost her gloves. I'm getting slow.
She takes her sister's eager Labrador.

I see her hands are cold, her sable hair
flecked with frost. Childless we've grown old.


revised

I like the word oval. So for breakfast
an egg, just like this hand, brown and freckled.
My spoon taps gently on the shell. A child
at heart I cut soldier boys from my toast.

My wife believes in exercise and buys
organic veg. Friday's always fresh fish.
She steams their eyes to pearls. There is no sigh.
I like the swaying fennel, but not the fish.

It's winter now. She walks on settled snow
her sister's Labrador, and locks our door
because I'm getting slow. She likes to steam
a trouser crease to steer me through my day.

Her heart is cold because I lost her gloves.
We're flecked with frost. Childless, we've grown old.


-----------------------------------------------------------------------------



original

I like the word oval. So for breakfast
an egg, just like this hand, brown and freckled.
My spoon taps gently on the shell. A child
at heart I cut soldier boys from my toast.

My wife believes in exercise and buys
organic veg. Friday's always fresh fish.
She steams their eyes to pearls. There is no sigh.
I like the swaying fennel, but not the fish.

It's winter now. She walks in settled snow
down the Kissing Lane, and locks our door
because I lost her gloves. I'm getting slow.
She takes her sister's eager Labrador.

I see her hands are cold, her cropped hair
flecked with frost. Childless we've grown old.

Re: Oval

Posted: Tue Jul 10, 2018 9:58 pm
by Firebird
I like it Mac. It has a powerful, poignant final line. If I'm not mistaken it's a sonnet. It doesn't matter to me, but it may matter to some that the rhyming scheme in s1 is different from the other two stanzas and the final couplet doesn't rhyme. I also think that l9 is a very stark change. I would prefer a more subtle change from the previous two stanzas in l9. I like the oval thread through the poem: egg/spoon/a pregnant belly. Lots of nice sonics as usual. I wasn't sure what the 'lost gloves in s3 referred to? I like the distance created in l13. Overall it's a promising sonnet. And I really like the end.

Cheers,

Tristan

Re: Oval

Posted: Wed Jul 11, 2018 9:59 am
by 1lankest
Very nice, Mac.

Oval - ovaries?

Touching and sad, but with some comic levity. Especially like the fennel/fish bit. Made me chuckle.

No nits.

Luke

Re: Oval

Posted: Wed Jul 11, 2018 10:28 am
by churinga
Oval - ovaries?
Luke[/quote]

Oval and ovaries both come from the latin for egg, ovum.

Re: Oval

Posted: Wed Jul 11, 2018 10:58 am
by 1lankest
Indeed I was suggesting the connection was intentional.

Re: Oval

Posted: Wed Jul 11, 2018 1:50 pm
by NotQuiteSure
[tab][/tab]
Hi mac.
Really good one, some wonderful lines
and the tone is perfect.

Oval
Not keen on this,
as it's repeated in the opening sentence.
(Personally I'd prefer that as the title).

I like the word oval. So for breakfast
- comma after 'So' ?
an egg, just like this hand, brown and freckled.
My spoon taps gently on the shell. A child

- 'gently'? Are you sure? Bit weak, all things considered.
at heart I cut soldier boys from my toast.

My wife believes in exercise and buys
organic veg. Friday's always fresh fish.
She steams their eyes to pearls. There is no sigh.

- Love, 'she steams...', lost on 'There is no sigh'
I like the swaying fennel, but not the fish.
- shame about the repetition of fish.
(Repetition of 'I like' makes its absence in the
next verse noticeable)

-Agree with Tristan, it's a bit of a jump from S2
(but I'm not sure I mind). But, 'settled snow'
makes 'It's winter now' redundant.
It's winter now. She walks in settled snow
-'settled snow', excellent.
down the Kissing Lane, and locks our door
because I lost her gloves. I'm getting slow.
She takes her sister's eager Labrador.

- don't get this line at all (or not enough to like it)

I see her hands are cold, her cropped hair
flecked with frost. Childless we've grown old.

- 'flecked' is a bit predictable. Comma after 'Childless' ?

Regards, Not.
[tab][/tab]

Re: Oval

Posted: Wed Jul 11, 2018 8:17 pm
by Macavity
Firebird wrote:I like it Mac. It has a powerful, poignant final line. If I'm not mistaken it's a sonnet. It doesn't matter to me, but it may matter to some that the rhyming scheme in s1 is different from the other two stanzas and the final couplet doesn't rhyme.
Thanks Tristan. I have a number of deviations from the 'traditional' - your disappearing poem prompted me :) :wink:
Touching and sad, but with some comic levity. Especially like the fennel/fish bit. Made me chuckle.
Pleased you liked some of the 'comic' elements Luke.

And thanks NQS. As usual you've made a number of thoughtful prompts to edit. i think I need to consider them all!

cheers

mac

Re: Oval (revision)

Posted: Thu Jul 12, 2018 4:03 am
by churinga
Hi Mac

I much prefer the original and see no reason to revise it. I understand the reference to Shakespeare and T.S Eliot. The rest seems perfectly clear to me and the last couplet with its internal rhymes works well.

If it ain't broke, don't fix it.

cheers

Ross

Re: Oval (revision)

Posted: Thu Jul 12, 2018 12:55 pm
by Antcliff
Greetings, Mac

I liked ln. 7 very much.

I was slightly puzzled by this bit...

"She walks in settled snow
her sister's Labrador, and locks our door
because I'm getting slow."

Does she walk the snow inside....on her shoes or possibly the paws of a labrador? Or does she walk on/through snow? Or is your "in" intended to be ambiguous between these two options? If the first, should there be a hyphen between walks/in? I think the second is the intended option, but I am not sure....so thought I would ask.

Me

Re: Oval (revision)

Posted: Fri Jul 13, 2018 3:47 am
by Macavity
churinga wrote:Hi Mac

I much prefer the original and see no reason to revise it. I understand the reference to Shakespeare and T.S Eliot. The rest seems perfectly clear to me and the last couplet with its internal rhymes works well.

If it ain't broke, don't fix it.

cheers

Ross
Thanks Ross. I like revising to play with options, a learning experience, a way of not being trapped in a template. Pleased you found clarity in the original (which may be nearer a more authentic, engaging voice)

best

mac

Re: Oval (revision)

Posted: Fri Jul 13, 2018 3:51 am
by Macavity
Antcliff wrote:Greetings, Mac

I liked ln. 7 very much.

I was slightly puzzled by this bit...

"She walks in settled snow
her sister's Labrador, and locks our door
because I'm getting slow."

Does she walk the snow inside....on her shoes or possibly the paws of a labrador? Or does she walk on/through snow? Or is your "in" intended to be ambiguous between these two options? If the first, should there be a hyphen between walks/in? I think the second is the intended option, but I am not sure....so thought I would ask.

Me
Interesting thought Seth, but not intended so I will edit.

cheers

mac

Re: Oval (revision)

Posted: Sat Jul 14, 2018 7:42 am
by JJWilliamson
A modern sonnet and a good one at that, mac. Delightful read with a poignantly sad close. S3 was a bit awkward, I thought, less easy to understand.

The meter in S1 is a bit tricky to scan, especially as it's followed by tight IP with the odd substitution lobbed into the pot.
Usually the meter is set at the beginning to avoid confusion. However, your intentional move away from the conventional
can account for this "blip".

Your reckless disregard for rhyme is refreshing, and rhyming fish with fish was a hoot. :)
I like the almost impossible to detect assonance and consonance in that department.
Impossible, that is, until you decide to look. The internals are excellent.

The progression is lovely, with some absolutely delightful domestic references that smack of routine.
This gives the poem a believable quality that draws the reader into the heart of the poem.
Macavity wrote:revised

I like the word oval. So for breakfast
an egg, just like this hand, brown and freckled.
My spoon taps gently on the shell. A child
at heart I cut soldier boys from my toast.

My wife believes in exercise and buys
organic veg. Friday's always fresh fish.
She steams their eyes to pearls. There is no sigh. ...Is this the sound of steam escaping? Lost me a bit.
I like the swaying fennel, but not the fish. ...The swaying fennel is a super image.

It's winter now. She walks on settled snow
her sister's Labrador, and locks our door ...Is that "with her sister's Labrador"?
because I'm getting slow. She likes to steam
a trouser crease to steer me through my day. ...She likes her steam does the lass. :)

Her heart is cold because I lost her gloves.
We're flecked with frost. Childless, we've grown old. ...Another beautiful internal rhyme. Simple but beautiful.


I actually preferred the original, if I'm honest, particularly S3, although locking the door because you lost her gloves seems a bit harsh. :)

A very enjoyable piece, mac

Best

JJ

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------



original

I like the word oval. So for breakfast
an egg, just like this hand, brown and freckled.
My spoon taps gently on the shell. A child
at heart I cut soldier boys from my toast.

My wife believes in exercise and buys
organic veg. Friday's always fresh fish.
She steams their eyes to pearls. There is no sigh.
I like the swaying fennel, but not the fish.

It's winter now. She walks in settled snow
down the Kissing Lane, and locks our door
because I lost her gloves. I'm getting slow.
She takes her sister's eager Labrador.

I see her hands are cold, her cropped hair
flecked with frost. Childless we've grown old.

Re: Oval (revision2)

Posted: Sat Jul 14, 2018 8:10 pm
by Macavity
Thanks JJ. I've been persuaded to revert to version 1 with some tweaks. I can count 5 stresses in S1 lines though I have shuffled them.

cheers

mac

Re: Oval (revision2)

Posted: Sat Jul 14, 2018 9:00 pm
by Firebird
Hi Mac, just to let you know, I really like revision two. It's an excellent poem. Hope it finds a good home.

Cheers,

Tristan

Re: Oval (revision2)

Posted: Sun Jul 15, 2018 3:32 pm
by NotQuiteSure
[tab][/tab]
Hi mac.

A rounder read, as it were, though
'and never sighs' seems to want an explanation
(reads more like it's there for the rhyme and leaves
the 'pearls' unexamined).

Just a suggestion, because I keep getting lost
on this line (S3/L4), how about
and I can't seem to keep up any more ?

Prefer the original ending, the 'cropped hair',
though given the 'locked door' perhaps change
'I see her hands...' to 'I know her hands...' ?

Regards, Not.
[tab][/tab]

Re: Oval (revision2)

Posted: Mon Jul 16, 2018 5:58 pm
by Macavity
Firebird wrote:Hi Mac, just to let you know, I really like revision two. It's an excellent poem. Hope it finds a good home.

Cheers,

Tristan
Thanks for the thumbs up Tristan. I can't think of an ezine that would be interested, but I have been surprised before!
Prefer the original ending, the 'cropped hair',
Thanks NQS. I felt that 'cropped' was hardening the poem and I wanted a more wistful outcome. The Labrador was there to signify a vitality absent in N.

best

mac

Re: Oval (revision2)

Posted: Sat Jul 21, 2018 5:34 pm
by David
Hi Mac. One of my standing rules is that not everything has to be a sonnet (but sometimes something does). I like it, but I think the egg is (appearances to the contrary) a red herring, and the first few lines could profitably be cropped. Apologies if this seems brutal, but what do you think of this ... (I mean well!)

Friday's always fresh fish

She steams their eyes to pearls and never sighs.
I like the swaying fennel, but not the fish.

It's winter now. She walks on settled snow
down the Kissing Lane, and locks our door

because I lost her gloves. I'm getting slow.
She takes her sister's eager Labrador.

I see her hands are cold, her sable hair
flecked with frost. Childless we've grown old.


Cheers (well-meaning)

David

Re: Oval (revision2)

Posted: Sun Jul 22, 2018 10:14 am
by 1lankest
David's edit is excellent and swerves the red herring. However, the poem is lovely and moving in all its guises. Perservere, Mac, worth it this one.

L

Re: Oval (revision2)

Posted: Sun Jul 22, 2018 8:24 pm
by Macavity
Thanks David and Luke.

I think the 'frontal lobotomy' is an option, the poem becomes less laboured, so thanks for giving this thought. Elph would often say pgers spent time on word options, but not on structure. So I appreciate the nudge on that.

cheers

mac

Re: Oval (revision2)

Posted: Mon Aug 13, 2018 5:34 am
by Perry
Macavity wrote:revision2
I like the word oval. So for breakfast
an egg, just like this hand, brown and freckled.
My spoon taps gently on the shell. A child
at heart I cut soldier boys from my toast.

My wife believes in exercise and buys
organic veg. Friday's always fresh fish.
She steams their eyes to pearls and never sighs.
I like the swaying fennel, but not the fish.
I was passing by and noticed this poem right after it was first posted, but it took me a while to get registered.

This is a nice, gentle poem. Sometimes the best poems are about small moments.

I have an idea for how you could rhyme the first stanza, so all the stanzas are rhymed, as follows:

I like the word oval. So for breakfast
an egg, just like this hand, brown and spotted.
My spoon taps gently on the shell. A child
at heart, I cut soldier boys from my bread.

Spotted/bread is not the best rhyme given that "ed" isn't stressed, but I think it qualifies.

I'm curious about the use of the word "veg" in the second stanza. Does it mean vegetables? If so, I just want to point out that in the U.S., that is not a word. People may say "veggies" (a very informal word that would only be used in a humorous poem), but they would never say "veg". I don't know about you, but when I write a poem, I write for both sides of the pond. You need a one-syllable word there, and "fruits" seems to work.

I think the poem needs a few more commas for clarity, such as: "Fridays, always fresh fruit."

Regarding that line, does "Friday's" mean "Friday is"? It seems to me that leaving out the apostrophe makes more sense.

I hope this has been helpful.

Re: Oval (revision2)

Posted: Mon Aug 13, 2018 5:44 pm
by Macavity
Thanks JP. Welcome to PG. Very pleased you picked up on gentleness. I'm playing with David's idea for cutting much of the poem at this point, but thank you for the rhyme suggestions, which I may use if I should return to the longer form. My N. is somewhat forgetful so I reflected this in the variable use of rhyme. I had used fruit, but was concerned about an alliteration overload. Interesting comments about reader expectation from an American viewpoint. You've prompted lots of options - all of which I will ponder. Yes, very helpful!

cheers

mac

Re: Friday's Always Fresh Fish (revision3)

Posted: Tue Aug 14, 2018 8:56 am
by Binz
Hi,

I like the improvement from 'I see her hands are cold' to 'I know her hands are cold'. Moves it from an observation of a moment to knowledge of a person. A good example of how changing 1 word can make a significant change.

rev2 vs rev3. I like how rev2 started at the start of the day and like the image of 'an egg, just like this hand, brown and freckled.'

Binz

Re: Friday's Always Fresh Fish (revision3)

Posted: Tue Aug 14, 2018 9:46 am
by Perry
Regarding "veg", you could substitute "food", "fare", "eggs", etc. I can see why you don't want to throw another "f" into that line. I'm sure you can come up with a one-syllable food word that will work.

I can see the problems in the longer versions, especially with the rhyme (no rhymes in the first stanza, and then all four lines rhymed in stanzas two and three, and then an internal rhyme in the closing couplet). Shortening the poem solves all those problems. However, the longer version sets the scene and creates the mood better than the shorter version does. My suggestion would be to take the rhyme I gave you, and then rewrite stanzas two and three to rhyme lines 2 and 4 only. You know: XAXA instead of ABAB.

If you can find a way to fix the rhymes, I think version 2 is better. If the poetry is beautiful, why cut it down?

Re: Friday's Always Fresh Fish (revision3)

Posted: Tue Aug 14, 2018 12:16 pm
by Elphin
I do like rev 3.

Nothing in it that doesn't need to be said, an even couplet structure and white space to let the poem breathe ..... but you knew I would say these things :D

The challenge I think is to find a rhyme scheme for first and last verse. The rhymes in the middle are subtle and well paced, you would truly elevate the poem if you could do the same for v1 and v4, even if it is in an unusual way, Say rhyme first and last lines.

I should say I particularly like the sisters Labrador, a surrogate child perhaps?

elph

Re: Friday's Always Fresh Fish (revision3)

Posted: Tue Aug 14, 2018 4:52 pm
by David
Yay. My revisions rool.