Continuous At Sea Deterrent (was Dreadnought)

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Mirrorball
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Continuous At Sea Deterrent (was Dreadnought)

Post by Mirrorball » Thu Oct 11, 2018 6:11 pm

Version 3

Continuous At Sea Deterrent

The sea gulped the submarine down,
it hissed and gurgled.
The bridge fin splashed its hunter-
killer signature between the waves,
operation underway.

Front ballast tanks filled,
bull shark bulkheads groaned,
breathed heavy
saw-toothed breaths,
eyes blindfolded to the ocean.

Vessels aft propulsor throttled forwards,
circled blacked-out sea mountains,
the sub towed arrays of hydrophones,
tapped underwater calls,
swept seascapes.

In darkest subterfuge, sonar echoes
bounce back numb from the abyss.
They listen, tridents poised,
waiting for the high command:
a star guided end.

**************************************





The Deterrent

The sea gulped us down,
she hissed and gurgled.
The bridge fin splashed its hunter-
killer signature between the waves,
operation underway.

Front ballast tanks filled,
bull shark bulkheads groaned
and we breathed heavy
saw-toothed breaths,
ears fixed on a blind ocean.

We throttled silently from aft,
circled blacked-out sea mountains,
cast towed arrays of hydrophones,
tapped underwater calls,
swept seascapes.

In darkest subterfuge, sonar echoes
bounce back from numb abyss.
We listen, tridents poised,
waiting for the high command:
a star guided end.


**************************************


Dreadnought (V1)

The sea gulped us down; she gurgled, hissed and
swallowed. The bridge fin splashed its hunter-
killer signature between the waves. Front ballast tanks
filled; bull shark bulkheads groaned and we breathed
heavy saw-toothed breaths: eyes fixed on a blind ocean.

In mess space, starboard side, our heads gyred on
a drunken undercurrent: we circled blacked-out
sea mountains, cast out arrays of hydrophones,
tapped underwater calls, marvelled at mermaids,
made music with blue whales, swept seascapes.

But man-made murmurs muted us, control consoles
droned and deafened us; sonar echoes bleeped a
bounce back from numb abyss. In deep and
darkest subterfuge, we’re waiting tridents poised,
we wait for high command: a star guided end.
Last edited by Mirrorball on Mon Oct 15, 2018 7:33 am, edited 18 times in total.

Perry
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Re: Dreadnought

Post by Perry » Fri Oct 12, 2018 7:06 pm

You have been very nice to me, critiquing my poems when others didn't, so I want to return the favor, but it is hard for me to relate to this poem because it seems to celebrate war. I've never been a soldier or sailor. Indeed, I'm the guy who looks away during battle scenes and fight scenes in movies. The language is creative, but it doesn't seem to take us very far: The submarine (I assume that's what the Dreadnought is) dives, and the occupants are knocked around a bit, then see things out the window (I'm not sure how, since you can't see out of a submarine unless it is a fictional vessel), and then wait. At best, that is an anti-climactic ending. Now, if you were once a sailor, and you remember the tension of waiting for battle to begin, I can see how the ending would have huge meaning for you. But for this civilian, the ending doesn't say much. What's needed, in my opinion, is more tension, something that might give the reader some anxiety about what is about to happen. You could bring humanity into the poem by describing the feelings of the sailors (or of one sailor), and remind us that it was not long since they were children.

I'm now wondering if the Dreadnought is indeed a fictional vessel (given that the occupants can see out, and see mermaids), and if perhaps this poem is a fantasy. Or perhaps the poem is historical. The first Dreadnought was a battle ship, but the poem seems to be describing a submarine.
Last edited by Perry on Fri Oct 12, 2018 7:25 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Dreadnought

Post by Macavity » Fri Oct 12, 2018 7:18 pm

hi MB,
I'm not a fan of ending lines with conjuctions and articles. The end of a line is a prime spot. Also, again a matter of preference, but a lot of punctuation can become litter. Too many semi-colons, commas and colons are visually distracting.

The poem is about a submarine, but the title made me think of WW1 ships?

I think the poem needs to decide whether it wants to be factual/gritty or fanciful/poetic.


Mirrorball wrote:
Thu Oct 11, 2018 6:11 pm
The sea gulped us down; she gurgled, hissed and
swallowed. The bridge fin splashed its hunter-
killer signature between the waves. Front ballast tanks
filled; bull shark bulkheads groaned and we breathed
heavy saw-toothed breaths: eyes fixed on a blind ocean...why should it be seeing?

In mess space, starboard side, our heads gyred on
a drunken undercurrent: we circled blacked-out
sea mountains, cast out arrays of hydrophones,
tapped underwater calls, marvelled at mermaids,................hallucinogenic effects of diving?
made music with blue whales, swept seascapes.

But man-made murmurs muted us, control consoles.........alliterative overkill?
droned and deafened us; sonar echoes bleeped a
bounce back from numb abyss. In deep and
darkest subterfuge, we’re waiting tridents poised,
we wait for high command: a star guided end.
hope that helps some

mac

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Re: Dreadnought

Post by Mirrorball » Fri Oct 12, 2018 7:27 pm

Thanks Perry, I've never been in the navy.

Dreadnought is the replacement class of submarine for the UKs current nuclear ballistic missile carrying submarines (Vanguard class). The submarines carry Trident nuclear warheads, which are star guided.

I was looking to convey something different to a typical nuclear disarmament message and I don't want to celebrate war either. In fact, these vessels are commissioned to strategically prevent war. However, they would also cause mass destruction if they launched an attack. It's not typical subject matter for poetry.

I may have missed the mark with what I was trying to do so I'd rather not reveal all. I appreciate your crit. Thanks again.

MB

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Re: Dreadnought

Post by Mirrorball » Fri Oct 12, 2018 7:40 pm

Cheers Mac,

I take your point about conjunctions and articles. I was trying to make the poem fit neatly into three stanzas. I started with a five stanza poem that was all over the place in terms of line length.

I'll rethink the punctuation too, again this could be a symptom of stanza cramming.

I wanted to contrast the fanciful ideas of going to sea (as is often put out by the navy) with a gritty reality and fact.

Alliteration overkill is a fair point too. This was originally a performance poem so that's my excuse.

Thanks for your very useful advice.

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Re: Dreadnought

Post by Mirrorball » Fri Oct 12, 2018 7:44 pm

Also, I think 'eyes fixed' should be 'ears fixed' on reflection.

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Re: Dreadnought

Post by churinga » Fri Oct 12, 2018 11:05 pm

HI there


I think the format is a mistake. I would open this out and get rid of the artificial line endings.
I also think the poem should stick to the real and get rid of the mermaids etc..
A poem designed to be read is a very differnt beast to one designed to be read aloud.
It can be much more condensed and can assume a lot more from the reader. eg


The sea gurgled and hissed.
The bridge fin splashed its hunter-killer signature.
Front ballast tanks filled;
bull shark bulkheads groaned
and we breathed heavy saw-toothed breaths:
eyes fixed on a blind ocean.

In doing this I have noticed a preponderance of words ending in 'ed' ...not sure if that's a problem.

I'll leave it at that.

I did enjoy the poem, it has a lot of energy.

I also at first thought Dreadnought referred to the battleship.

cheers

Ross

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Re: Dreadnought

Post by Perry » Sat Oct 13, 2018 5:25 am

MB, are you expecting your readers to know about these new submarines in order to appreciate the poem? I'm asking because it seems to me that all the things you said in your post aren't contained in the poem. Shouldn't a poem be entirely self-contained?

Maybe not. I have a poem which depends on the reader knowing that the Holocaust happened -- but then, the Holocaust is a huge part of our history, and these submarines sound like a current event.
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Re: Dreadnought

Post by Mirrorball » Sat Oct 13, 2018 9:04 am

Thanks guys, all the suggestions are really good.

I'll have another go at the poem when I get time. There's something engaging enough about it that I think is worth working on.

I agree that the fantasy lines need to go, a new title is required, I'll re-think the layout and line breaks. It's probably best to keep it short and stick to fact so the reader can do a bit of work but not too much.

I'm slightly embarrassed that I recited a version of this poem in Cumbria, where they build these submarines. I thought it would fit but it's not my finest work by any stretch.

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Re: Dreadnought

Post by Perry » Sat Oct 13, 2018 9:33 am

MB, there's no need for you to apologize. Every poem has problems in the beginning. Besides, if you are confident that the poem is good, then nothing anyone says here matters. You can't allow the group to write your poem for you.
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Re: Dreadnought

Post by David » Sat Oct 13, 2018 2:09 pm

I rather like the fantasy lines. They have a sort of ageless, epic quality. Reminded me of this (just to show my age) ... https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mOj3kJKy-_U

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Re: The Deterrent (was Dreadnought)

Post by Mirrorball » Sat Oct 13, 2018 6:23 pm

Perry, I have no objections to other poets taking my poems apart. In fact I kind of enjoy it.

I knew full well that this poem would get mixed reviews but I didn't know where to take it and I've had a good steer.

I hope the new title and version is an improvement.

David, I might dig out the original too because that was much more of a fantasy poem but the title made me cringe a bit: 'The Mile Low Club' :?

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Re: The Deterrent (was Dreadnought)

Post by Firebird » Sat Oct 13, 2018 10:15 pm

I prefer the latest version. It’s definitely cleaner. I like the subtly of the final stanza and the title fits well now. Stanza three has a typo (cicled).

Thanks for a good read.

Cheers,

Tristan

Mirrorball wrote:
Thu Oct 11, 2018 6:11 pm
The Deterrent

The sea gulped us down,
she hissed and gurgled.
The bridge fin splashed its hunter-
killer signature between the waves,
operation underway.

Front ballast tanks filled,
bull shark bulkheads groaned
and we breathed heavy
saw-toothed breaths,
ears fixed on a blind ocean.

We throttled silently from aft,
cicled blacked-out sea mountains, (circled?)
cast towed arrays of hydrophones,
tapped underwater calls,
swept seascapes.

In darkest subterfuge, sonar echoes
bounce back from numb abyss.
We listen tridents poised
waiting for the high command:
a star guided end.

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Re: The Deterrent (was Dreadnought)

Post by Macavity » Sun Oct 14, 2018 1:10 am

hi MB,
The revision defintely allows the poem to breathe more. I still don't connect with the use of blind/numb.
The sea gulped us down,
the sub hissed and gurgled....................................just say what it is, the pronoun is confusing
The bridge fin splashed its hunter-
killer signature between the waves,
operation underway.

Front ballast tanks filled,
bull shark bulkheads groaned
and we breathed heavy
saw-toothed breaths,
ears fixed on a blind ocean.

We throttled silently from aft,
circled blacked-out sea mountains,
cast towed arrays of hydrophones,
tapped underwater calls,
swept seascapes.

In darkest subterfuge, sonar echoes
bounce back from numb abyss.
We listened, tridents poised,............................some punctuation :)
waiting for the high command:
a star guided end.

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Re: The Deterrent (was Dreadnought)

Post by Mirrorball » Sun Oct 14, 2018 8:07 am

Typo and punctuation errors well spotted.

Mac, I was looking to bring the poem into the present tense at S4. They've gone on out to sea and they're waiting to launch a nuke. That's what they're doing as I type this message.

I hope the title identifies that we're talking subs. I could call it 'Continuous At Sea Deterrent', which is the term the government uses.

By 'blind' I meant submarines literally can't see where they're going and rely on sound. With 'numb' I wanted to imply some kind to detachment. I can see why they might not work for you though Mac.

Thank you both.

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Re: The Deterrent (was Dreadnought)

Post by Macavity » Sun Oct 14, 2018 8:21 am

Mac, I was looking to bring the poem into the present tense at S4. They've gone on out to sea and they're waiting to launch a nuke. That's what they're doing as I type this message.
Fair enough MB. The 'she' in the sentence, which I know is the sub, just felt that within the sentence it reads as if the she is the sea. On another note, I wonder if detachment would be more ominous: replacing we with they. Just a thought.
By 'blind' I meant submarines literally can't see where they're going and rely on sound.
It reads as if the sea is blind/numb?

cheers

mac

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Re: The Deterrent (was Dreadnought)

Post by Mirrorball » Sun Oct 14, 2018 9:27 am

I see what you're getting at Mac, I'll change 'she' to 'it' because 'it' could be the sea for that line.

I could change: bounce back from numb abyss.

To: bounce back numb from the abyss.

As in they're not feeling or hearing anything.

I could change: ears fixed on a blind ocean

To: eyes blindfolded to the ocean.

I'll do a quick V3 variation with 'they' to see how it sounds.

Thanks for keeping coming back

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Re: Continuous At Sea Deterrent (was Dreadnought)

Post by Macavity » Sun Oct 14, 2018 9:52 am

:lol: You've jumped in there MB! As a consequence you've kept us, but then replaced its with her?

they/we - Not sure my option was helpful. The we I thought you meant the crew, the they seems to be referencing engines parts?

Some suggested edits...

Mirrorball wrote:
Thu Oct 11, 2018 6:11 pm
Version 3

Continuous At Sea Deterrent

The sea gulped the submarine down,
it hissed and gurgled.
The bridge fin splashed its hunter-
killer signature between the waves,
operation underway.

Front ballast tanks filled,
bull shark bulkheads groaned,
breathed heavy
saw-toothed breaths,
eyes blindfolded to the ocean.

The sub throttled silently from aft,
circled blacked-out sea mountains,
cast towed arrays of hydrophones,
tapped underwater calls,
swept seascapes.

In darkest subterfuge, sonar echoes
bounce back numb from the abyss.
They listen, tridents poised,
waiting for the high command:
a star guided end.


**************************************





The Deterrent

The sea gulped us down,
she hissed and gurgled.
The bridge fin splashed its hunter-
killer signature between the waves,
operation underway.

Front ballast tanks filled,
bull shark bulkheads groaned
and we breathed heavy
saw-toothed breaths,
ears fixed on a blind ocean.

We throttled silently from aft,
circled blacked-out sea mountains,
cast towed arrays of hydrophones,
tapped underwater calls,
swept seascapes.

In darkest subterfuge, sonar echoes
bounce back from numb abyss.
We listen, tridents poised,
waiting for the high command:
a star guided end.


**************************************


Dreadnought (V1)

The sea gulped us down; she gurgled, hissed and
swallowed. The bridge fin splashed its hunter-
killer signature between the waves. Front ballast tanks
filled; bull shark bulkheads groaned and we breathed
heavy saw-toothed breaths: eyes fixed on a blind ocean.

In mess space, starboard side, our heads gyred on
a drunken undercurrent: we circled blacked-out
sea mountains, cast out arrays of hydrophones,
tapped underwater calls, marvelled at mermaids,
made music with blue whales, swept seascapes.

But man-made murmurs muted us, control consoles
droned and deafened us; sonar echoes bleeped a
bounce back from numb abyss. In deep and
darkest subterfuge, we’re waiting tridents poised,
we wait for high command: a star guided end.

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Re: Continuous At Sea Deterrent (was Dreadnought)

Post by Mirrorball » Sun Oct 14, 2018 12:08 pm

Oh bummer, that's the problem with quick fire edits on the fly and it was more of an option than the latest finished version.

I thought about 'crew' but strictly speaking the navy use the term "ship's company", which doesn't quite fit.

I'm glad you're partially appeased.

I'll switch version 3 to your version and see if anyone else bites. I'm still tinkering with that stanza 3

Much appreciated Mac.

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Re: The Deterrent (was Dreadnought)

Post by David » Sun Oct 14, 2018 4:37 pm

Mirrorball wrote:
Sat Oct 13, 2018 6:23 pm
David, I might dig out the original too because that was much more of a fantasy poem but the title made me cringe a bit: 'The Mile Low Club' :?
I'm ashamed to say I rather like that. It doesn't seem to relate to the current poem at all, though.

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Re: Continuous At Sea Deterrent (was Dreadnought)

Post by Mirrorball » Sun Oct 14, 2018 7:24 pm

Ha ha, don't be ashamed David. I might save that version of the poem to be my maiden poetry posting on Eratosphere. I wouldn't want to lower the tone on here.

I also wrote a poem titled 'anal cunt' which is about anally retentive poetry reviewers. It's a deliberately poorly penned poem not suitable for PG but has Eratosphere written all over it from what I've heard.

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