Singing saw

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David
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Singing saw

Post by David » Sat Sep 28, 2019 1:04 pm

The last man I have seen
playing the saw, once
a common novelty
at concerts and eisteddfods,
was a man from the hills,
from the ungenerous acres
of huddled sheep.

In he came with it
under his arm,
a wagging tongue
thirsty for blood
but parlayable,
by the adept,
into a voice that soars,

a theremin-like
conjuration,
each etiolated ballad
and doleful song
like the wind's ghostly carolling
in the telegraph wires
of the Celtic Twilight Zone.

ray miller
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Re: Singing saw

Post by ray miller » Sun Sep 29, 2019 11:03 am

Last stanza is excellent. First line has to be The last man I saw.

a wagging tongue
thirsty for blood - doesn't work for me, a wagging tongue wants to talk not eat.
I'm out of faith and in my cups
I contemplate such bitter stuff.

David
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Re: Singing saw

Post by David » Sun Sep 29, 2019 11:22 am

Thanks Ray. I have been trying hard not to fall into the traps of "saw" - it's not easy!
ray miller wrote:
Sun Sep 29, 2019 11:03 am
a wagging tongue
thirsty for blood - doesn't work for me, a wagging tongue wants to talk not eat.
Yes, I know what you mean. But a saw does wag - like a talkative tongue - when you're walking along with it, and it is potentially, at least - see Robert Frost's "Out, Out", for instance - thirsty for blood. So I'm still drawn to it. But it will bear thinking about.

Cheers

David

Macavity
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Re: Singing saw

Post by Macavity » Mon Sep 30, 2019 11:27 am

a wagging tongue
thirsty for blood
My instinctive reaction to when I read that yesterday was super image. On reflection, I still feel the same. The 'wagging' that came to mind was eagerness rather than chat and an association of thirst/tongue is fine.
a theremin-like
conjuration,
each etiolated ballad
and doleful song
like the wind's ghostly carolling
in the telegraph wires
of the Celtic Twilight Zone.
The diction meant I needed to check the dictionary, not a problem, and the choices seemed relevant. My only niggle would be to say I prefer 'Celtic Twilight' because of some 'magic' rather than TV sci-fi referencing. That's the romantic in me.

enjoyed

mac

David
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Re: Singing saw

Post by David » Mon Sep 30, 2019 6:27 pm

Ah, you old romantic, Mac. Thank you!

Cheers

David

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Re: Singing saw

Post by bjondon » Mon Sep 30, 2019 8:24 pm

Yes, I like the blood too but not the twilight zone
which just seems too facile as an arrival point . . . maybe
it could work framed as a deflating comment, someone
jollying their friends as they step out of the trance.
Ray's suggestion for L1 - was it ironic? I don't think so,
for me that would make a better start.

Jules

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Re: Singing saw

Post by ray miller » Tue Oct 01, 2019 9:54 am

Just to say that parlayable, which is almost playable, deserves the highest praise.
I'm out of faith and in my cups
I contemplate such bitter stuff.

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Firebird
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Re: Singing saw

Post by Firebird » Tue Oct 01, 2019 9:57 am

Hi David,

Overall I like it a lot: it’s very quirky, which appeals. But I agree with Ray about
a wagging tongue
thirsty for blood
This doesn’t quite work for me.

I love the last line how it is. It’s just right IMO.

Cheers,

Tristan

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JJWilliamson
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Re: Singing saw

Post by JJWilliamson » Wed Oct 02, 2019 7:22 am

How about "The last man I heard playing the saw". ??

I enjoyed all of this but the last strophe is brilliant. It's great when you suddenly realise that you're smiling.

Best

JJ
Long time a child and still a child

David
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Re: Singing saw

Post by David » Wed Oct 02, 2019 5:13 pm

Jules, Ray (again), Tristan, JJ - thank you.

Jules, I do see the argument against the shotgun marriage of Celtic Twilight and the Twilight Zone. I like it, though. De gustibus, I suppose. Although there is something comic about the whole idea of the Celtic Twilight, is there not? And I speak as one who, sort of, lives on the cusp of it.

And I really don't see (or I never saw) that I can use "saw" as a verb without doing myself - or the poem - a serious injury. However, overnight I remembered that somebody else, somewhere else (enigmatic, eh?) had recommended "heard" rather than "saw" - which I see (or hear) that JJ has also come up with now - and I think I could (now) be tempted by that. Certainly my "I have seen" seems to have met with a pretty universal thumbs-down. So thanks JJ!
ray miller wrote:
Tue Oct 01, 2019 9:54 am
Just to say that parlayable, which is almost playable, deserves the highest praise.
I wish I'd thought of that. Or maybe I did - subliminally.

Thanks Tristan. Clearly the wagging tongue and the last line are the flash-points here. It's all going to come down to subjective opinion - and, in this case, probably mine.
JJWilliamson wrote:
Wed Oct 02, 2019 7:22 am
I enjoyed all of this but the last strophe is brilliant. It's great when you suddenly realise that you're smiling.
Yay! Thanks for that too, JJ.

Thanks to all, in fact.

Cheers

David

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