Liberty Taking (revised ... again ... and again)

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NotQuiteSure
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Liberty Taking (revised ... again ... and again)

Post by NotQuiteSure » Tue Feb 18, 2020 1:04 pm

.
The Piggy-Wig
(By the Light of the Moon)

Like a tree in a wood the Piggy-Wig stood
silently spirlling his shilling.
He could see, on the sand, the sweet saraband
but his mind was full up on killing.

A shilling they'd offered.
A shilling he'd took.
Like him was the cully
and them was the rook
but he'd seen it, oh yeah
he'd got a good look.
Now he's ready and able and willing.

Piggy's mind is full up on killing.

They didn't disguise it, the money they had
wrapped up in a fiver and begging for bad.
A bundle like that, it was going to waste,
so why shouldn't he have a suckle, a taste?
Enough there to get him away from this place,
set him free of the Turkey, forever.
It ain't only that old bird who's clever.

He fingered the shilling-ring-holes in his nose,
they wouldn't be missed, he didn't suppose,
his Bong-Tree club means working them close
but it weren't the first time he'd done one of those.

And the sea washes all blood away,
oh yeah,
the sea washes all blood away.




__________________________________




Fair Exchange/By the Light of the Moon*


Like a tree in a wood the Piggy-Wig stood
silently spirlling his shilling.
He could see, on the sand, the sweet saraband
but his mind was full up on killing.

A shilling they'd offered.
A shilling he'd took.
Like him was the cully
and them was the rook,
but he'd seen it, oh yeah
he'd got a good look.
Now he's ready, and able, and willing.

Piggy's mind is full up on killing.

They didn't disguise it, the money they had
wrapped up in a fiver, would it be so bad
if he were to have a wee suckle, a taste?
With the pair of them wasn't it going to waste?
He could stash it away, for he'd got a place
that the Turkey would never discover.
Nah, that posh bird would be none the wiser.

And they wouldn't be missed, he didn't suppose
as he fingered the shilling-ring-holes in his nose,
the Bong-Tree club meant he'd have to get close
but it weren't the first time he'd done one of those

and the sea washes all blood away,
oh yeah,
the sea washes all blood away.






_______________________



Fair Exchange*


Like a tree in a wood the Piggy-Wig stood
silently spirlling his shilling.
He could see, on the sand, the sweet saraband
but his mind was full up on killing.

A shilling they'd offered.
A shilling he'd took.
Like him was the cully
and them was the rook.
Scratching their bundle
he'd got a good look.
Now he's ready, and able, and willing
Piggy's mind is full up on killing.

They didn't disguise it, the money they had
wrapped up in a fiver, would it be so bad
for him just to have a quick suckle, a taste?
With the pair of them wasn't it going to waste?
He could stash it away, for he'd got a place
that the Turkey would never discover.
Nah, that posh bird would be none the wiser.

And they wouldn't be missed, he didn't suppose
as he fingered the shilling-ring-holes in his nose,
the Bong-Tree club meant he'd have to get close
but it weren't the first time he'd done one of those

and the sea washes all blood away,
oh yeah,
the sea washes all blood away.



* provisional title
_______________________________


They danced by the light of the moon,
they danced.
They danced by the light of the moon.



Like a tree in a wood, the Piggy-Wig stood
silently spirlling his shilling.
He could see, on the sand, the sweet saraband
but his mind was full up on killing.

A shilling they'd offered.
A shilling he'd took.
Like him was the cully
and them was the rook,
but he'd seen it, oh yeah,
he'd got a good look.
Now he's ready, and able, and willing.
Piggy's mind is full up on killing.

They didn't disguise it, the money they had
wrapped up in a fiver, would it be so bad
for him to have him just a suckle, a taste
with the pair of them wasn't it going to waste?
He could stash it away, for he'd got a place
that the Turkey would never discover.
No, that posh bird would be none the wiser.

And they wouldn't be missed, he didn't suppose
as he fingered the shilling-ring-holes in his nose,
the bong-tree club meant he'd have to get close
but it weren't the first time he'd done one of those
and the sea washes all blood away,
oh yeah,
the sea washes all blood away.



- Any ideas for a title?


.
Last edited by NotQuiteSure on Tue Mar 10, 2020 7:38 pm, edited 15 times in total.

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Re: Liberty Taking

Post by Firebird » Tue Feb 18, 2020 5:57 pm

Not, I love it. Based on ‘The Owl and the Pussycat’ obviously.

There are some absolutely cracking lines in there.

My fave: ‘as he fingered the shilling-ring-holes in his nose,’

So many great internal rhymes in the lines, too.

If I have any nits I’ll be back later.

It’s great.

Cheers,

Tristan

PS. Not sure you need the lines in italics at the start.

PPS. Sub it to Runcible Spoon poetry journal. They’ll definitely take it.

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Re: Liberty Taking

Post by Firebird » Tue Feb 18, 2020 6:26 pm

Some comment below.
NotQuiteSure wrote:
Tue Feb 18, 2020 1:04 pm
.

They danced by the light of the moon,
they danced.
They danced by the light of the moon.
(Maybe these three line aren’t needed)


Like a tree in a wood, the Piggy-Wig stood
silently spirlling his shilling.
He could see, on the sand, the sweet saraband
but his mind was full up on killing. (Brilliant opening)

A shilling they'd offered.
A shilling he'd took.
Like him was the cully
and them was the rook,
but he'd seen it, oh yeah,
oh yeah, he'd got a look. (The repetition of ‘oh yeah’ sounds weak)
Now he's ready, and able, and willing.
Piggy's mind is full up on killing.

They didn't disguise it, the money they had
wrapped up in a fiver, would it be so bad
for him to have him just a suckle, a taste
with the pair of them wasn't it going to waste? (Is this referring to the honey?)
He could stash it away, for he'd got a place
that the Turkey would never discover.
No, that posh bird would be none the wiser. (I’d cut this line. It’s not doing a lot.)

And they wouldn't be missed, he didn't suppose (this is a bit of an awkward line that sounds like it’s structure for the rhyme)
as he fingered the shilling-ring-holes in his nose,
the bong-tree club meant he'd have to get close
but it weren't the first time he'd done one of those (‘those’ sounds like it’s a bit too much there for the rhyme.)
and the sea washes all blood away,
oh yeah,
the sea washes all blood away. (Great ending)
.
I suppose it doesn’t all have to make sense as it’s based on a nonsense poem.

I’ll think about a title.

Cheers,

Tristan

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Re: Liberty Taking

Post by Macavity » Wed Feb 19, 2020 6:43 am

I can't say I follow this Not., but perhaps that is not necessary. for him to have him just a suckle - not sure what is going on there. Agree with Tristan on the oh yeah,oh yeah . cully/saraband increased my vocabulary, I will ponder some more if I can get a grip on the narrative :)

best

mac

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Re: Liberty Taking

Post by NotQuiteSure » Wed Feb 19, 2020 1:02 pm

.
Hi Tristan,
thanks for the read(s) and the crit.


(Maybe these three line aren’t needed)
- Probably not, but I'll hang onto them until I get I title
and see if it will work without them.
Now I've said that, maybe 'By the Light of the Moon' would work as a title?

(Brilliant opening)
- Thanks.
...
oh yeah, he'd got a look.
(The repetition of ‘oh yeah’ sounds weak)
- And mac says the same. OK, changed
...
with the pair of them wasn't it going to waste?
(Is this referring to the honey?)
- Could be, or to the better life the Owl and Pussy-Cat seem to be living.
Along the lines of 'I could spend that money better, so ... '
..
No, that posh bird would be none the wiser.
(I’d cut this line. It’s not doing a lot.)
- I do like the idea of the Turkey as a posh bird, but will (re)think.

And they wouldn't be missed, he didn't suppose
(this is a bit of an awkward line that sounds like it’s structure for the rhyme)
- A lot of these sorts of poems have that 'awkward' construction. I'm trying to embrace
it here :)
...
but it weren't the first time he'd done one of those
(‘those’ sounds like it’s a bit too much there for the rhyme.)
- It didn't arrive that way. Just wanted to be a bit oblique about Piggy's capacity for murder.
...

(Great ending)
- Thanks. Was very pleased when it turned up.

I suppose it doesn’t all have to make sense as it’s based on a nonsense poem.
- No, but it should have a consistent narrative. I think this does, but then I would say
that wouldn't I? :)

Thanks again.

Regards, Not

_______________


Hi mac,
thanks for the read.

I can't say I follow this
the intention of for him to have him just a suckle was a variation (perhaps not too successful) on
I want to have me some / I'm going to get me some

'cully' is a nice one, isn't i?

Regards, Not



.

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Re: Liberty Taking

Post by NotQuiteSure » Thu Feb 20, 2020 12:04 pm

.
Hi mac,

would this be a more comprehensible line?
for him just to have him a suckle, a taste

Regards, Not

.

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Re: Liberty Taking

Post by Firebird » Thu Feb 20, 2020 2:47 pm

Hi Not,

The areas highlighted in bold below are the parts of the poem I think need improving to make the narrative easier to follow. I’d be interested to see if Mac agrees.

You use ‘it’ a lot, which isn't always easy to follow.

There is a bit of a narrative gap between s4 and s5. Could something be done about this?

Inevitably, much of the understanding of this narrative is dependent on being fully familiar with the details of The Owl and the Pusscat. It’s not just good enough to ‘know’ the poem. I’m not saying though this was Mac’s problem.

I personally thought the narrative flow was ok (though it does leave you guessing at some points). I think it could be smoothed out in the places I highlighted.

Cheers,

Tristan
NotQuiteSure wrote:
Tue Feb 18, 2020 1:04 pm
.

They danced by the light of the moon,
they danced.
They danced by the light of the moon.



Like a tree in a wood, the Piggy-Wig stood
silently spirlling his shilling.
He could see, on the sand, the sweet saraband
but his mind was full up on killing.

A shilling they'd offered.
A shilling he'd took.
Like him was the cully
and them was the rook,
but he'd seen it, oh yeah,
he'd got a good look. (If he’d took it why are you saying so emphatically he’d then seen it? Of course he’d seen it. I suspect ‘it’ maybe confusing here.)

Now he's ready, and able, and willing.
Piggy's mind is full up on killing.

They didn't disguise it, the money they had
wrapped up in a fiver, would it be so bad
for him to have him just a suckle, a taste
with the pair of them wasn't it going to waste?
(‘it’ is confusing again here)
He could stash it away, for he'd got a place
that the Turkey would never discover.
No, that posh bird would be none the wiser.

And they wouldn't be missed, he didn't suppose

as he fingered the shilling-ring-holes in his nose,
the bong-tree club meant he'd have to get close (why?)
but it weren't the first time he'd done one of those
and the sea washes all blood away,
oh yeah,
the sea washes all blood away.



- Any ideas for a title?


.

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Re: Liberty Taking

Post by Macavity » Thu Feb 20, 2020 3:59 pm

Hi Not

Having a blank moment clearly...suckling on what is my basic question.

best

Mac

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Re: Liberty Taking

Post by NotQuiteSure » Thu Feb 20, 2020 4:21 pm

.
Hi Tristan,
thanks for the detailed crit.

You use ‘it’ a lot, which isn't always easy to follow.
In my mind it (ahem) is the same 'it' all the way through - referring to 'plenty of money wrapped up in a five pound note' as explained in S4/L1-2) with the exception of S4/L2 which refers to his (imagined, at this stage) 'theft', and S5/L4 where it refers to the act of robbery with violence ('those')

(If he’d took it why are you saying so emphatically he’d then seen it? Of course he’d seen it. I suspect ‘it’ maybe confusing here.)
He 'took' the shilling. Whilst doing so he sees that they've 'money wrapped up' (but only later does he start convincing himself that he's been cheated and starts talking himself up into robbery/murder.)
That said, would
but he'd seen it, their poke / but he'd seen that bundle
he'd got a good look.

be clearer?

There is a bit of a narrative gap between s3 and s4. Could something be done about this?
It would probably clearer (I think) if S4 began
They hadn't disguised it, the money they had
but 'hadn't' then 'had' wasn't working for me, hence 'didn't'.
Alternatively,
Left out in the open, the money they had,
wrapped ...
?


the bong-tree club meant he'd have to get close
(why?)

You can't beat someone to death from a distance :)
Is 'club' ambiguous here, would 'cosh' be better?


Regards, Not


_____________________


Hi Mac,
Macavity wrote:
Thu Feb 20, 2020 3:59 pm
Having a blank moment
been there, done that.

It's largely a play on suckling pig, but you could read it as a synonym for 'morsel/mouthful' etc.
Piggy is asking himself why should they be wealthy (have all that money wrapped up in a five pound note) and him not, and would it be wrong were he to help himself to (just a little/all of) their dosh? I think I was also channelling 'If I was a rich man' from Fiddler on the Roof.


Regards, Not



.

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Re: Liberty Taking (revised)

Post by Macavity » Fri Feb 21, 2020 5:37 am

It's largely a play on suckling pig, but you could read it as a synonym for 'morsel/mouthful' etc.
That came to mind, but the association with the definition feed (a baby or young animal) from the breast or teat - its liquidity - confused me in your expression to have a quick suckle - prompted me to ask suckling what and on what.

best

mac

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Re: Liberty Taking (revised)

Post by JJWilliamson » Fri Feb 21, 2020 5:39 am

Enjoyed this a lot, Not, especially your deft use of meter. Bravo.
Lear's meter was/is a bit wonky in places but it works. I've considered
that aspect and still feel your flow is great. Super rhythms.

A few minor thoughts for your deliberation:
NotQuiteSure wrote:
Tue Feb 18, 2020 1:04 pm
.
Fair Exchange*


Like a tree in a wood the Piggy-Wig stood
silently spirlling his shilling. ...What's spirlling? It's a new one on me but I like it.
He could see, on the sand, the sweet saraband
but his mind was full up on killing. ...Excellent opening hook

A shilling they'd offered.
A shilling he'd took.
Like him was the cully
and them was the rook. ...I'd be tempted to replace this full stop with a comma for the sake of flow
Scratching their bundle
he'd got a good look.
Now he's ready, and able, and willing
Piggy's mind is full up on killing. ...You could drop 'mind' for the sake of rhythm. In that way you'd have an opening stress (piggy is the subject). As it stands it is unstressed and relies on an anapest, hence the trip.

They didn't disguise it, the money they had
wrapped up in a fiver, would it be so bad ...'would it be so bad' feels rhyme led. Might change 'it' to "that"
for him just to have a quick suckle, a taste? ...I'm having to guess here. I'm assuming the honey and money would go to waste, so his mind turns to killing.
With the pair of them wasn't it going to waste?
He could stash it away, for he'd got a place
that the Turkey would never discover.
Nah, that posh bird would be none the wiser.

And they wouldn't be missed, he didn't suppose
as he fingered the shilling-ring-holes in his nose,
the Bong-Tree club meant he'd have to get close
but it weren't the first time he'd done one of those

and the sea washes all blood away,
oh yeah,
the sea washes all blood away. ...Cool close


Best

JJ

PS

Would the mention of honey in the title help?

J




* provisional title
_______________________________


They danced by the light of the moon,
they danced.
They danced by the light of the moon.



Like a tree in a wood, the Piggy-Wig stood
silently spirlling his shilling.
He could see, on the sand, the sweet saraband
but his mind was full up on killing.

A shilling they'd offered.
A shilling he'd took.
Like him was the cully
and them was the rook,
but he'd seen it, oh yeah,
he'd got a good look.
Now he's ready, and able, and willing.
Piggy's mind is full up on killing.

They didn't disguise it, the money they had
wrapped up in a fiver, would it be so bad
for him to have him just a suckle, a taste
with the pair of them wasn't it going to waste?
He could stash it away, for he'd got a place
that the Turkey would never discover.
No, that posh bird would be none the wiser.

And they wouldn't be missed, he didn't suppose
as he fingered the shilling-ring-holes in his nose,
the bong-tree club meant he'd have to get close
but it weren't the first time he'd done one of those
and the sea washes all blood away,
oh yeah,
the sea washes all blood away.



- Any ideas for a title?


.
Long time a child and still a child

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Re: Liberty Taking (revised)

Post by Firebird » Fri Feb 21, 2020 9:14 am

Hi Not,

Please forget my comments about narrative. If JJ thinks it is good and that was my own first inclination I don’t think you should do anything. Sorry for misleading you.

I really like the poem and think you should sub it to the comp we were taking about. I’m backing it!

Cheers,

Tristan

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Re: Liberty Taking (revised)

Post by NotQuiteSure » Fri Feb 21, 2020 12:07 pm

.

Hi Mac

ask suckling what and on what.
I suppose a shorter answer would have been 'sucking on the teats of the (apparently) wealthy'.
And it would have been had it occurred :)

________________


Hi JJ,

thanks for the read and crit. Much appreciated.

Enjoyed this a lot, Not, especially your deft use of meter. Bravo.
Lear's meter was/is a bit wonky in places but it works. I've considered
that aspect and still feel your flow is great. Super rhythms.

Well, blow me down with a feather duster


silently spirlling his shilling.
...What's spirlling? It's a new one on me but I like it.
Just something I made up. A portmanteau of spinning and twirling (pronounced spur-ling).
...
but his mind was full up on killing.
...Excellent opening hook
Yes, I rather like it. :)

...
and them was the rook.
...I'd be tempted to replace this full stop with a comma for the sake of flow
Yes, I'm thinking or returning to the original with this, the issues identified
by Tristan notwithstanding. It had the 'rush' that I wanted.
...
Piggy's mind is full up on killing.
...You could drop 'mind' for the sake of rhythm. In that way you'd have an opening stress (piggy is the subject). As it stands it is unstressed and relies on an anapest, hence the trip.
Why is it unstressed? It's not supposed to be. Would a period after 'willing'change things?
I don't like the way it sounds without 'mind'

...
wrapped up in a fiver, would it be so bad
...'would it be so bad' feels rhyme led. Might change 'it' to "that"
I don't know that it was. And even if it was, it says what I want it to say.
('that' would have the wrong referent surely?)
for him just to have a quick suckle, a taste? .
..I'm having to guess here. I'm assuming the honey and money would go to waste, so his mind turns to killing.
Not the honey so much (I guess that where 'taste' sends you) but the 'money', definitely, and, as you say 'his mind turns ... '

...Cool close
Yes, surprised by, but very pleased with, it.

______________


Hi Tristan,

Please forget my comments about narrative. If JJ thinks it is good and that was my own first inclination I don’t think you should do anything. Sorry for misleading you.

Yes, I'd come to that opinion myself. Got to trust my/our instincts on this one.

I really like the poem and think you should sub it to the comp we were taking about. I’m backing it!
As I recall the last one of mine you backed in a competition (Poetry shed) got rejected on submission :)
Nonetheless, thanks very much for your time on this one, Piggy has definitely benefited from the scrutiny.



Regards all, Not


.

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Re: Liberty Taking (revised ... again)

Post by Firebird » Fri Feb 21, 2020 7:17 pm

As I recall the last one of mine you backed in a competition (Poetry shed) got rejected on submission :)
Many acceptances/winning poems are chosen based on an editor’s personal poetic taste, especially when presented with a group of poems which are all in their own way technically proficient. My leaning is towards short, pithy poems, with an imagist approach or the type of poems Kay Ryan writes. I love her work. Never been keen on metrical, rhyming verse because unless it’s very very well done (Larkin or Blake for example) it just sounds contrived (false) and/or hollow, which isn’t the case with much of free verse. I do like blank verse and mixed metre verse such as Eliot though.

I’m still liking your poem, even though it’s metered & rhyming :D, and v3.

Cheers,

Tristan

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Re: Liberty Taking (revised ... again)

Post by Macavity » Sat Feb 22, 2020 5:18 am

if he were to have a wee suckle, a taste?

better, a flavour of Ebenezer Balfour

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Re: Liberty Taking (revised ... again)

Post by NotQuiteSure » Sat Feb 22, 2020 12:31 pm

Firebird wrote:
Fri Feb 21, 2020 7:17 pm
I’m still liking your poem, even though it’s metered & rhyming :D, and v3.
Thanks Tristan :)
I think (hope) that this one's done (and the Turkey too come to that).
Just wish I could find better titles. Even been reduced to considering
The Owl, The Pussy-Cat, & the X
Macavity wrote:
Sat Feb 22, 2020 5:18 am
better, a flavour of Ebenezer Balfour
Thanks mac.
:) that'll do nicely.


Regards both, Not.


.

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Re: Liberty Taking (revised ... again)

Post by bjondon » Sat Feb 29, 2020 5:42 pm

Hi Not - the O&P, traditional stalking horse of the prosodic universe (nation's favourite!), both tempting and resilient, but you've found a useful 'in' here - the power of the piece spiralling out of the pig's constrained fury and his obsessively fingered nose-ring holes. It's also effective to limit the dramatis personae to just one character, a side reference to the Turkey and the stars kept firmly offstage.

The title - consider 'Liberty Taken' - more of a thread to the pig's state of mind

'cully and rook' - at first confusing (rook/rookie?) but it sounds so good I've come to like it. Perhaps some more of these invented hybrid archaicisms (spirling excellent) would even it out.

''would it be so bad' - sounds weak here, and the wrong rhythm (either go more iambic or more prosaic).
You could make more of the fact they used a fiver as wrapping paper.
'posh bird' - sounds too modern/conventional. If you're going to bring the turkey in I think she needs just a bit more back story.
In fact this whole stanza could do with a rehash. 'wee suckle' is good but all the prevarication and justification, even if ironic, feels like padding. He's an experienced killer with no qualms.

S5 - Good, apart from 'the Bong-Tree club' which breaks the rhythm and doesn't explain much.
How about: 'Club Bong (trees long gone)'

Otherwise brilliant.

Jules

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Re: Liberty Taking (revised ... again)

Post by NotQuiteSure » Sun Mar 01, 2020 12:00 pm

.
Hi Jules,
you took you time! I was beginning to think you'd got lost. :)

The title - consider 'Liberty Taken' - more of a thread to the pig's state of mind
- I more inclined (with all three pieces) to go for the simple (unimaginative) "The x" (Piggy-Wig, Turkey, Krakkling).

'cully and rook' - at first confusing (rook/rookie?) but it sounds so good I've come to like it. Perhaps some more of
these invented hybrid archaicisms (spirling excellent) would even it out.

- Spirlling is my invention, the other two are straight out of the dictionary: 'cully' is a 'mark/dupe/fool etc' and 'to
rook' is to 'cheat'. Tried to limit the inventions to just one or two per piece, the temptation to use the to get out
of a rhyming hole was simply too great.

''would it be so bad' - sounds weak here, and the wrong rhythm (either go more iambic or more prosaic).
- Hmm ... tweaking ... tweaking ... this may take some time ... How about
They didn't disguise it, the money they had
wrapped up in a fiver, just begging for bad.
And why shouldn't he have a suckle, a taste,
a pair like that, wasn't it going to waste?


'posh bird' - sounds too modern/conventional. If you're going to bring the turkey in I think she needs just a bit
more back story.

He (the Turkey) is in the next piece. :)
all the prevarication and justification... He's an experienced killer with no qualms.
- It's not really about qualms, but can he get away with it. He's a low man on the totem pole and taking
'independent action' can have consequences.

S5 - Good, apart from 'the Bong-Tree club' which breaks the rhythm and doesn't explain much.
How about: 'Club Bong (trees long gone)'

- his weapon of choice is a club, made from the limb of the Bong-Tree. Could change 'club' to 'cosh' is it makes it
easier? Or how about
the Bong-Tree club meant working in close
but it weren't the first time he'd done one of those
?

Otherwise brilliant.
- Aw shucks.


Regards, Not


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NotQuiteSure
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Re: Liberty Taking (revised ... again ... and again)

Post by NotQuiteSure » Tue Mar 03, 2020 2:21 pm

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- ok Jules, here's a revision -

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Firebird
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Re: Liberty Taking (revised ... again ... and again)

Post by Firebird » Thu Mar 05, 2020 12:00 am

Just to let you know Not, I’ve just read it (without taking into account all the small changes you made in response to Jules’ comments) and I think it sounds great. I’ll look more closely over the next two days. Let’s see what Jules has to say. I’m not keen on the centring.

Cheers,

Tristan

NotQuiteSure
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Re: Liberty Taking (revised ... again ... and again)

Post by NotQuiteSure » Sat Mar 07, 2020 1:22 pm

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Hi Tristan,
Firebird wrote:
Thu Mar 05, 2020 12:00 am
I think it sounds great.
Well, that's half the battle :)
Thanks for returning.

Regards, Not


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