Subsidence ( was The Abandoned)

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ton321
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Subsidence ( was The Abandoned)

Post by ton321 » Fri Feb 28, 2020 11:50 pm

Revision 2

Frightening to think of the miles of mines
beneath our feet: its worked out seams,
the forever dark, the silence that gives way
to the occasional crash of wall or beams,

and the cracks above the lintels
in the house; how a ball
might roll one way on the table.
Fear, like water, will find its own level.





Revision

Frightening to think of the miles of mines
beneath our feet, its worked out seams
emptied of coal, the lights turned out
for good, with dark that haunts our dreams.

Those cracks in the walls above the lintels;
or how the ball rolls one way on the table
shows that we are not level, that something
must be done. Until then we will not settle.



Original

Frightening to think of the miles of mines
beneath our feet, empty and dark;
the occasional crash as a wall or roof
gives way, and silence resumes.

Those cracks in the walls above the lintels;
or how the ball rolls one way on the table
shows that we are not level, that something
must be done. Until then we will not settle.
Last edited by ton321 on Thu Mar 12, 2020 12:35 am, edited 7 times in total.
Counting the beats,
Counting the slow heart beats,
The bleeding to death of time in slow heart beats,
Wakeful they lie.

Robert Graves

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Re: The Abandoned.

Post by Firebird » Sat Feb 29, 2020 12:32 am

Hi Ton,

This poem could be an extended metaphor for a couple who have been through difficult times and things still haven’t settled down, but it could also be read literally as some people trying to escape a war zone (the more likely option considering the title). Either way, I think some of your narrative needs more clarity and a little more coherence/consistency for it to fully work.

Some specific comments below.

Cheers,

Tristan
ton321 wrote:
Fri Feb 28, 2020 11:50 pm
Frightening to think of the miles of mines
beneath our feet, empty and dark; (the ‘empty and dark’ doesn’t really work for me. It doesn't relate clearly to the feet or the mines. Surface description needs to make sense, IMO. Should it be ‘behind’ our feet, rather than ‘beneath’? Or maybe it could be ‘our feet have passed over’? There’s no verb in this clause which I think is a part of the problem. You need a clear subject/verb relationship for the ‘empty and dark’ to work.)
the occasional crash as as wall or roof (delete an ‘as’)
gives way, and silence resumes. (Why are these walls giving way?)

Those cracks in the walls above the lintels; (Now the walls have cracks instead of giving way. Why? Why are the cracks above the lintel - this detail must be symbolic of something I suspect?)
or how the ball rolls one way on the table (I’m assuming this refers to a pool/snooker table? But it could be a normal table with a ball on it? Is this a reference to a child’s ball. Either way, a little detail is needs to clarify this.)
shows that we are not level, that something
must be done. Until then we will not settle. (Yes, looking for even, stable ground)

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Re: The Abandoned.

Post by k-j » Mon Mar 02, 2020 4:46 pm

I think "empty and dark" is fine grammatically, but I think it's rather obvious (what else would abandoned mines be?)

Instead of wall and roof maybe use some mining terminology, technical terms are always nice.

http://www.coaleducation.org/glossary.htm

"Something must be done" rather has the air of Digusted of Tunbridge Wells but maybe that's what you were going for.

I like the general tone of foreboding and the final sentence. But I think the poem needs more detail and some more arresting imagery.
fine words butter no parsnips

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Re: The Abandoned.

Post by ton321 » Wed Mar 04, 2020 7:37 pm

Tristan, Kj, Thanks for your comments. One verse is set below ground, the other above. Its about the hundreds/thousands of miles of abandoned coal mines, tunnels quietly disintegrating beneath our feet causing subsidence above ground, hence the cracks in the walls etc.. I live in West Yorkshire, and know homes that have been affected miles from the nearest pit.
Tony
Counting the beats,
Counting the slow heart beats,
The bleeding to death of time in slow heart beats,
Wakeful they lie.

Robert Graves

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Re: Subsidence ( was The Abandoned)

Post by Firebird » Wed Mar 04, 2020 8:17 pm

Hi Tony,

Your revision is much better. So much clearer now. I like it. One minor suggestion below.

Cheers,

Tristan
ton321 wrote:
Fri Feb 28, 2020 11:50 pm
Revision

Frightening to think of the miles of mines
beneath our feet, its worked out seams (shouldn’t it be ‘their’ rather ‘it’?)
emptied of coal, the lights turned out
for good, with dark that haunts our dreams.

Those cracks in the walls above the lintels;
or how the ball rolls one way on the table
shows that we are not level, that something
must be done. Until then we will not settle.



Original

Frightening to think of the miles of mines
beneath our feet, empty and dark;
the occasional crash as a wall or roof
gives way, and silence resumes.

Those cracks in the walls above the lintels;
or how the ball rolls one way on the table
shows that we are not level, that something
must be done. Until then we will not settle.

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Re: Subsidence ( was The Abandoned)

Post by NotQuiteSure » Thu Mar 05, 2020 11:26 am

.
Hi Tony,
I also prefer the revision, and the title change.

Is there anything better than 'emptied of coal'?
('Emptied' is implied by 'worked out')
those silent faces ?

Any alternative to 'balls', unless this is meant
to be a reference to 'snooker/pool' why would
one have balls on a table. 'Pens' might work?

Regards, Not

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Re: Subsidence ( was The Abandoned)

Post by Poet » Thu Mar 05, 2020 2:14 pm

ton321 wrote:
Fri Feb 28, 2020 11:50 pm
Revision

Frightening to think of the miles of mines
beneath our feet, its worked out seams
emptied of coal, the lights turned out
for good, with dark that haunts our dreams.

Those cracks in the walls above the lintels;
or how the ball rolls one way on the table
shows that we are not level, that something
must be done. Until then we will not settle.



Original

Frightening to think of the miles of mines
beneath our feet, empty and dark;
the occasional crash as a wall or roof
gives way, and silence resumes.

Those cracks in the walls above the lintels;
or how the ball rolls one way on the table
shows that we are not level, that something
must be done. Until then we will not settle.
I like the revision, it reads better, good job.

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Re: Subsidence ( was The Abandoned)

Post by ray miller » Thu Mar 05, 2020 3:02 pm

My twopennorth -
Frightening to think of the miles of mines
beneath our feet, its worked out seams
emptied of coal, the silence that gives way
to the occasional crack of wall or beams.

I don't like "that something must be done" . I was wondering about something like " that the pitch should be more equal"
I'm out of faith and in my cups
I contemplate such bitter stuff.

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Re: Subsidence ( was The Abandoned)

Post by bjondon » Thu Mar 05, 2020 4:29 pm

Hi ton,
I aggree the revision is bringing this to life, but it's not quite there.
The rhyme scheme in S1 helps (I think we need its echo in S2).
The only bit I'd question in S1 is 'for good' - the phrase doesn't quite work there..
A possible L4 - 'for ever? The dark that haunts our dreams.'
There is something terrifying about that kind of sealed darkness.

S2 - Again, all good apart from one phrase - 'that something must be done' - it feels a bit weak, doesn't quite slot into the scheme.

My gloss on the whole: - the mines represent the sum of human industry, cultural as well as mechanical. We sit on this accumulated heritage, but there are disturbing cracks; our supposedly level tables of logic seem to have tilts that shouldn't be there. Of course there are real concerns about sink holes opening up, mines and excavations improperly mapped. 'we will not settle' has implications both of a difficult process of bargaining and compromise ahead, and also a hint of stirring unrest, even revolution.
Beneath it all the abiding threat of the whole mine collapsing. A great metaphor.

Jules

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Re: Subsidence ( was The Abandoned)

Post by ton321 » Wed Mar 11, 2020 11:37 pm

Thanks for the comments.
Tristan, yes thanks for that( one day i'll learn grammar). Not, I suppose emptied is trying to convey what this space is, an empty, abandoned space. Could easily use another verb. I've been a bit lazy with balls-anything that can roll would do, thanks for the suggestion.
Poet, thanks for the comment. Ray, I like your suggestion. I need to get something cracking and splintering in the first verse.
Bj I like your suggestion of, forever, instead of good; it seems more terrifying, like you say.
Counting the beats,
Counting the slow heart beats,
The bleeding to death of time in slow heart beats,
Wakeful they lie.

Robert Graves

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Re: Subsidence ( was The Abandoned)

Post by NotQuiteSure » Thu Mar 12, 2020 11:41 am

.
Hi Tony,
like the revision (though still bugged by the ball - why is it on the table! :) )
and the much stronger ending. Though not really following S2 grammatically
(are the 'cracks' and the 'ball roll' also 'frightening to think'? If so should S2
begin 'Frightening also, the cracks ... ?)

'Occasional' seems a bit cumbersome,
just a thought ...

Frightening to think of the miles of mines
beneath our feet those worked out seams,
the dark forever and a silence that gives
way to sudden crashes of walls or beams

the cracks above the lintels
in the house; how a ball might roll
one way on the table. Fear, like water,
will find its own level.


Regards, Not


.

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Re: Subsidence ( was The Abandoned)

Post by TrevorConway » Wed Mar 25, 2020 9:51 pm

Very nice, Tony.

I prefer the new title, though somehow "Subsiding" or "Subside" would sit better with me. I've added some notes below to give some clear feedback, and I hope at some of it is enlightening/helpful.

Revision 2

Frightening to think of the miles of mines
beneath our feet: its worked out seams, [Maybe "worked-out" is technically more correct and reads better? Some might be confused by the current grammar]
the forever dark, the silence that gives way ["forever dark" feels weak to me - anything else you could focus on here?]
to the occasional crash of wall or beams, [Maybe "walls"?]

and the cracks above the lintels
in the house; how a ball [or "in a house, or how a ball"?]
might roll one way on the table. ["one way" feels like it could be improved: "might favour a certain corner of a table"?]
Fear, like water, will find its own level. [I love the last line even though i'm not sure I get your meaning 100% (in terms of whose fear - someone living in such a house). In any case, it's beautifully enigmatic]

[Overall, I felt the poem ended a bit early. I have no problem with 8-line poems, but when I got to the end, it felt a bit rushed. If you're interested, I'd suggest replacing the last line and moving it to the end of a new verse (or possibly 2 verses) added after "table", to create a poem of 3 or 4 verses each with 4 lines. The poem left me wanting more, which is a good thing in terms of the fact that it reflects the quality of what's there and shows that I was riveted/tuned in all the way through]

Anyway, take care, buddy, and thanks for sharing your work.

Trev

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