Fourteen Months of Photos

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TrevorConway
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Fourteen Months of Photos

Post by TrevorConway » Wed Jul 15, 2020 2:36 pm

To think of how your inky eyes
unclouded to allow confessions of light,
and through the months,
your face thinned,
your timid chin striking out on its own.

Pictures whisper, “see how she’s grown,
her skin gorging on milk and sleep,”
and all those curls we coveted
would finally offer their sparks to the world –
an unruly tribute to your mother.

But no photo can speak of hope,
Alpine blood
or sleep-shy nights,
a hurried decision to birth you by blade
or when your head first swept to your name.

These are images we hold within,
as firm as the instinct that placed your finger into your mouth the day you were born.
Then, we were new.

We’ll give all we can, your mother and I,
in words and pictures, in touch and more,
but we can’t give you the past we’ve had.


Hey, all. Any feedback would be greatly appreciated. Opening, ending, tone, and the clarity-bluntness versus obscurity-creative language spectrum.

Thanks a million,

T

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Re: Fourteen Months of Photos

Post by Macavity » Wed Jul 15, 2020 3:47 pm

Enjoyed the write Trevor. Doesn't overplay authentic details with poetic wrappings. I preferred the poem without the pronounced declaration at the end.
TrevorConway wrote:
Wed Jul 15, 2020 2:36 pm
To think of how your inky eyes
unclouded to allow confessions of light,...not sure of meaning, but it sounds nice
and through the months,
your face thinned,
your timid chin striking out on its own.

Pictures whisper, “see how she’s grown,
her skin gorging on milk and sleep,”
and all those curls we coveted.......................like the sonics there too
would finally offer their sparks to the world –
an unruly tribute to your mother.

But no photo can speak of hope,
Alpine blood
or sleep-shy nights,
a hurried decision to birth you by blade
or when your head first swept to your name.

These are images we hold within,
as firm as the instinct that placed your finger....I feel you could wrap line here
into your mouth the day you were born.
Then, we were new.

We’ll give all we can, your mother and I,
in words and pictures, in touch and more,
but we can’t give you the past we’ve had.



Hey, all. Any feedback would be greatly appreciated. Opening, ending, tone, and the clarity-bluntness versus obscurity-creative language spectrum.

Thanks a million,

T
best

mac

NotQuiteSure
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Re: Fourteen Months of Photos

Post by NotQuiteSure » Wed Jul 15, 2020 3:52 pm

.
Hi Trev,
a poem of two halves, for me.


To think of how your inky eyes...................................not convinced by 'inky'
unclouded to allow allowed confessions
of light,........................................................................like 'confessions of light'

and how through the months,
your face thinned, timid chin
striking struck out on its own....................................like this 'independent' chin :) I don't think you've enough of this kind of observation.

“see how she’s grown,
gorging gorged on milk and sleep,”
and all those curls we coveted

would will finally offer their sparks .......................'sparks' doesn't follow from 'curls'
to the world – an unruly tribute
to your mother...........................................................in S2 it's 'she', then we're back to 'your' (and I'm left wondering if this is a reference to the baby looking like its grandmother?)


- It works up to here, for me (more or less :) ) though I find the 'fourteen months' promises far more (by was of images/events tham is recounted here). Then I get lost, it's like you've started a second poem at L11.

But no photo can speak of hope,.............................why not?

And, though I find the final verse overly sentimental, I do like the last line, but I'd like it more if there was even a hint of a reason N might wish their past on their child.


Regards, Not


.

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Firebird
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Re: Fourteen Months of Photos

Post by Firebird » Wed Jul 15, 2020 7:38 pm

Hi Trev,

I like the first three stanzas, but really not sure about the rest. I agree with Mac: I think the poem should end on ‘the day you were born’. The final line doesn’t work for me. Some specific comments below.

TrevorConway wrote:
Wed Jul 15, 2020 2:36 pm
To think of how your inky eyes (like ‘inky eyes’)
unclouded to allow confessions of light,
and through the months,
your face thinned,
your timid chin striking out on its own.

Pictures whisper, “see how she’s grown,
her skin gorging on milk and sleep,” (I believe pictures may whisper “see how she’s grown”, but not really “her skin gorging on milk and sleep”. Maybe put the closing quotation mark after ‘grown‘.)
and all those curls we coveted
would finally offer their sparks to the world – (Not keen on this line. It left me a little confused. Why would these curls offer their sparks to the world? I can fully understand they were coveted, but the sparks ...)
an unruly tribute to your mother. (nice line)

But no photo can speak of hope,
Alpine blood
or sleep-shy nights,
a hurried decision to birth you by blade (maybe: ‘birth by blade’)
or when your head first swept to your name. (Not sure ‘swept’ quite works here)

These are images we hold within,
as firm as the instinct that placed your finger into your mouth the day you were born.
Then, we were new.

We’ll give all we can, your mother and I,
in words and pictures, in touch and more,
but we can’t give you the past we’ve had. (Why would you want to?)
Hope this help.

Cheers,

Tristan

TrevorConway
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Re: Fourteen Months of Photos

Post by TrevorConway » Wed Jul 22, 2020 6:22 pm

Thanks very much for all the feedback, Tristan, Not and Mac. Great to get yere fresh perspectives on it. I'll definitely change the ending a lot, and probably other bits. The ending was meant to convey the idea of not being able to show the child/enable her to somehow experience our past as a couple before she came along. Confusing wording, obviously, but maybe the idea itself should be removed rather than just making it clearer. I do think it needs something after "the day you were born", though. Hmmm... :?:

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Re: Fourteen Months of Photos

Post by springchic1979 » Sun Aug 02, 2020 3:08 pm

I was also confused by the reference to sparks. However there is usually a reason why a particular word is chosen over others. I think the way you used it in the sentence is what is throwing off the reader...maybe if you rewrote that part you might have better luck? I know things can 'spark a memory' 'spark recognition' 'spark an emotion' etc but the way that line is it makes me think of a literal spark.

However I did like the last 3 lines. Because it was left unspecified as to what the parents could not give the child from their past... I chose to interpret it as the parents wishing for simpler times. Maybe because of my own preference for the past and simpler times (and all the stress nowadays that I wish I could eliminate for my own children)....

At times I appreciate when the author is vague...it leaves me to interpret in my own way...letting me 'relate' to the poem which can make that poem more meaningful (to me)....(hope that makes sense)

I did like your imagery also : inky eyes, alpine blood
and how you used 'sleep-shy' instead of sleepless...''birthed by blade' instead of c-section...'chin striking out on its own' instead of stubborn/determined/defiant...'images we hold within' instead of memories
creative and very enjoyable!

respectfully,
YDS

TrevorConway
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Re: Fourteen Months of Photos

Post by TrevorConway » Sun Aug 02, 2020 7:29 pm

Hi YDS,

Thanks very much for your feedback. It's very much appreciated. Regarding the sparks, I hoped to get across the idea that the curls are the whole curls/clumps of hair, while the sparks are the tips of the curls. I've since placed a line between them, though I suspect it doesn't make much differene:

Pictures whisper, “See how she’s grown,”
and all those curls we coveted
would finally make their unruly tribute
to your weary mother,
offering their sparks to the world.

Thanks for pointing out the parts you liked as well - good to be able to identify what works and try to do more of the same (without overloading it).

Cheers, YDS. Looking forward to reading your work.

Trev

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