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  #1  
Old 08-21-2011, 02:09 PM
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PURGATORY

Sadness made a cradle of her heart
The village knew one day the bough would break
The woman with the faded denim eyes
At peace now at the bottom of the lake.

She raised three boys to fine upstanding men
Not that her king and country gave a damn
Their bodies used to nourish foreign soil
Each son returned as just a telegram.

She left a note imploring no one search
She took leave of the world without a trace
Provoking the damnation of her soul
To hold her boys again in such a place.

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Old 08-21-2011, 04:38 PM
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Hi Grace! ---Each son returned as just a telegram--- Perfect.

It's a great piece. I'm a little uncomfortable with the last line.

---in such a place---
in that lonely place
in a peaceful place

probably doesn't need my help
R.
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Old 08-21-2011, 04:45 PM
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Your opinions always valued R.

The "such a place" refers to the title - purgatory.

This is a devoutly religious woman who never had her sons returned for burial. Out of love, she chooses an anonymous resting place for herself. If her god has forsaken them, she would rather find them in purgatory than be without them in Heaven.
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Old 08-21-2011, 07:44 PM
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Oh oh. I should'a spent another day in church.
R.
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Old 08-21-2011, 08:53 PM
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Hi i'm new here. 2nd post. Just started writing poetry but your words speak to me. I have a cop brother and 2 army cousins. We live in fear and when the worst happens, what then? What then? Thx for your poetry. Keep writing
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Old 08-21-2011, 09:00 PM
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Deep stuff. Certainly interesting concept w/r/t being with her sons in purgatory. Keep it up.
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Old 08-22-2011, 01:04 AM
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Many thanks for reading Malavox and Menthy.

Warm welcome to you both by the way.
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Old 08-22-2011, 03:19 AM
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Excellent poem; it's nice, first of all, to read some metered lines, they flowed very well, good job. I'm not sure about the first two lines, being rather a cliche, but it might work.
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Old 08-23-2011, 11:09 AM
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Firehill, many thanks for the comments.

I switch backwards and forwards between traditional metered rhyming poetry and modern, stark smack in the face sort of verse. The latter seems to be more in vogue I guess. I like writing both.

Thanks for popping in on me!
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Old 08-24-2011, 02:53 AM
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Originally Posted by Grace Gabriel View Post
Firehill, many thanks for the comments.

I switch backwards and forwards between traditional metered rhyming poetry and modern, stark smack in the face sort of verse. The latter seems to be more in vogue I guess. I like writing both.

Thanks for popping in on me!
And I like reading both! And sometimes a poem just requires meter and rhyme. It's more work, but often worth it. I know I always feel more satisfied at writing a sonnet than free verse, even though I mainly stick to free verse.
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Old 08-26-2011, 11:50 AM
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Agree with you there. It's actually much harder, and more craft writing a sonnet. Get the feeling though, that this type of poetry is kinda 'out of fashion'. Hope it comes back in!

Thanks for all your comments Firehill.
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Old 08-26-2011, 12:01 PM
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Hi Grace,

I loved this. It has a haunting sadness and the worst bit is that it is probably true of thousands of mothers around the world.

I loved the first line, a real hook. But "Each son returned as just a telegram" was by far the best line.

Do you intend to get this published? I think you should.
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Old 11-26-2017, 02:58 PM
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I wrote this one six years ago. Would appreciate comments from the current poet community. I'm thinking about extending this to a longer tale...what d'you think?

Thanks x
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Old 11-27-2017, 01:54 PM
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can't be arsed anymore. I wrote a detailed response on your poem and what your choices are and why I thought so. Tried to post it with the response, I;m not logged in when I was, so I logged in again to be confronted with a white screen.......lost my reply. If this happens again I;ll strangle the coder. My response in short Grace is don't do it ( make it longer, ) you'd dilute it. You;ve six more years life experience if you want to work on what you have,Grace


Yay!!!!! the fucker worked!!!

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Old 11-28-2017, 12:26 PM
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As I scrolled down to your comment , my eyes were drawn straight to

"Yay! The fucker worked!!!"

For a brief moment, I thought my poetry had received the most unbridled sentiments of approval to date.

These reply boxes don't have patience with longer responses - if you're typing more than a couple of lines, it's better to use Wordpad at leisure, then cut and paste into the box. I've also learnt this the hard way...

Appreciate your recommendation. Had almost forgotten this poem and had an immediate urge to meddle - I guess I would write it differently now.

Thanks Kev x
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Old 11-28-2017, 12:46 PM
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What uncouth scoundrel posted the above? Send him to the Damn square along with the coder to be flogged publicly and without mercy.

An after thought with a slightly different head, Grace. You could make it longer
with short endearing description of each of the three sons, perhaps something like that.

Shit! Screwed that one up.Didn't realise you'd posted,

Last edited by kev; 11-28-2017 at 12:49 PM..
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Old 11-28-2017, 12:55 PM
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Thanks, if it works with word pad then should work with notepad. I'll remember that one.
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Old 11-28-2017, 12:59 PM
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Late onset Tourettes Kev?

I was thinking more of loss of faith. A devout Catholic mother robbed of her boys. What I wanted to get across was that she chose to forsake the promise of her God and heaven to be reunited with her sons and share their suffering. Testament to how much she loved them. I tried to get that across but not sure that I did...
so maybe the fucker didn't work?
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Old 11-28-2017, 01:09 PM
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Maybe the fucker would if her catholic faith was clearer.
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Old 11-28-2017, 01:19 PM
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The concept of purgatory is Catholic (outdated now by modern perceptions) so I thought that would communicate her faith...but perhaps not.

You're a tricky fucker to please our Kev.
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Old 11-29-2017, 02:05 AM
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Had a catholic father and protestant mother, so I twigged on. I've made the assumption that everyone knows what I do in a couple of poems I've posted here, to be shot down in flames.

I'm now stuck with the feeling that I shouldn't have replied to your post in the first place cos I'm getting in over my head and I swim like a brick.

Not hard to please with most things Grace. As a child needs potty training, I need social skills as I tend to blurt out what's in my head. Being on this forum helps to ease it some as I have time to think and wait before responding.

I've written this post out in note pad. Now lets see if it transfers!
I like you Grace. You have an easy way with words and so perceptive.

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Old 12-01-2017, 05:05 AM
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Originally Posted by Grace Gabriel View Post
PURGATORY

Sadness made a cradle of her heart
The village knew one day the bough would break
The woman with the faded denim eyes
At peace now at the bottom of the lake.

She raised three boys to fine upstanding men
Not that her king and country gave a damn
Their bodies used to nourish foreign soil
Each son returned as just a telegram.

She left a note imploring no one search
She took leave of the world without a trace
Provoking the damnation of her soul
To hold her boys again in such a place.
Really nice. Strong, strong, finish - so much conveyed in so few words. One of those endings so rich with meaning you just have to pause to let it soak in. Two lines tripped me:

"At peace now at the bottom of the lake" - nothing wrong with it per se. It fits the rhythm and conveys the meaning, but it's kind of simple - a lost opportunity to say something beautiful. I always baulk at giving suggestions because... well, it's complicated, but here's what I mean:

The woman with the faded denim eyes
admired by the weeds within the lake

As I said - nothing wrong with your line, but it just seems like the line was wasted conveying the obvious when it could have conveyed that and at the same time added something more: an image, an emotion, an action... just something additive.

The other line that tripped me was:
"She took leave of the world without a trace"

This one tripped me rhythmically. Bit under the influence, and can't recall the actual word, but I'm sensing a stressed/unstressed meter. Maybe I'm reading it wrong, but this one didn't seem to fit. Just personal preference, but I'd go with something like:

"Woke her leave of earth without a trace", or "Wrote her leave...", or some such.

Great poem. The ending, as I said, was excellent. Thanks.
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Old 12-01-2017, 08:27 AM
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Originally Posted by kev View Post
Had a catholic father and protestant mother, so I twigged on. I've made the assumption that everyone knows what I do in a couple of poems I've posted here, to be shot down in flames.

I'm now stuck with the feeling that I shouldn't have replied to your post in the first place cos I'm getting in over my head and I swim like a brick.

Not hard to please with most things Grace. As a child needs potty training, I need social skills as I tend to blurt out what's in my head. Being on this forum helps to ease it some as I have time to think and wait before responding.

I've written this post out in note pad. Now lets see if it transfers!
I like you Grace. You have an easy way with words and so perceptive.
Oh Kev - should have plonked a smiley by my "hard to please" comment - I was just playing. You remain my favourite slice of home. Put the kettle on and I'll crack open the Rover biscuit tin I was saving for Christmas.
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Old 12-01-2017, 09:28 AM
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Originally Posted by eripiomundus View Post
Really nice. Strong, strong, finish - so much conveyed in so few words. One of those endings so rich with meaning you just have to pause to let it soak in. Two lines tripped me:

"At peace now at the bottom of the lake" - nothing wrong with it per se. It fits the rhythm and conveys the meaning, but it's kind of simple - a lost opportunity to say something beautiful. I always baulk at giving suggestions because... well, it's complicated, but here's what I mean:

The woman with the faded denim eyes
admired by the weeds within the lake

As I said - nothing wrong with your line, but it just seems like the line was wasted conveying the obvious when it could have conveyed that and at the same time added something more: an image, an emotion, an action... just something additive.

The other line that tripped me was:
"She took leave of the world without a trace"

This one tripped me rhythmically. Bit under the influence, and can't recall the actual word, but I'm sensing a stressed/unstressed meter. Maybe I'm reading it wrong, but this one didn't seem to fit. Just personal preference, but I'd go with something like:

"Woke her leave of earth without a trace", or "Wrote her leave...", or some such.

Great poem. The ending, as I said, was excellent. Thanks.
Thanks for your thoughts Hippo.

"Take leave" translates as "to say farewell" or "move on" which seemed to convey her quiet departure to be with her sons. Not sure 'woke' or 'wrote' make sense ?

Yeah, there's probably a more beautiful phrasing for "at peace now at the bottom of the lake" but this is telling a story - so I guess there's compromise between conveying the tale clearly or losing people with poetic imagery. She drowned without trace and that was the end to her grief. I want that to be clear. I'll see what I can do to improve it.

Helpful comments - thankyou. I'm itching to fiddle with this or come up with another version.
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Old 12-01-2017, 02:30 PM
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Originally Posted by Grace Gabriel View Post
Put the kettle on and I'll crack open the Rover biscuit tin I was saving for Christmas.
Rather have a joint and bear.
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Old 12-01-2017, 02:43 PM
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Originally Posted by kev View Post
Rather have a joint and bear.

A BEAR?

Man, you're hardcore.....
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Old 12-01-2017, 02:55 PM
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Fucked that one up. Never mind. I'm off to bed.
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Old 12-04-2017, 09:56 PM
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it's really vague and very well thought out. you're so interesting, gracey!
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Old 12-04-2017, 10:12 PM
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The poem begins with promise but then sours.

First some of the language seems to border on cliches, e.g., "King and Country," "Damnation of the Soul."

Also, I am just as anti-war as the next guy, but the idea of the poem, if there is an idea, seems to be a cliche (A cold, forbidding regime takes our sons to die in a needless war). Sometimes, these cliches can be grand if the particular agony of the conflagration is described (The first thing that comes to mind is Yevtushenko's "Babi Yar") but I don't really get the agony of the conflict in this poem.

Finally, the last two lines are a tad incoherent.
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Old 12-04-2017, 11:04 PM
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Thanks David, that really helps.

This is an old piece that I wasn't happy with either and felt could be re-written differently. You've inspired me towards a re-write. x
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