Second Edit: For a Radical, Long Dead/For Dawn Fraser, a Radical
#1
For Dawn Fraser, a Radical

My dear dead poet,
who championed workers
and cursed capitalism,
you would be more important
if you were an ancient red vase.

Then people would ponder your cracks,
debate the significance of your colour,
and label you an artifact,
but you chose the losing side.

So now, your verse is discarded:
removed from a dusty shelf by a librarian
ordered to make room,
his hands spite-less in their choice.
Then comes the box bottom of a garage sale,
only to end by being misplaced
next to a cookbook at a thrift store.



First Edit:
For a Radical, Long Dead

I
My dear dead poet,
you would be more important
if you were
an ancient red vase.

Then people would ponder your cracks,
debate the significance of your colour,
and label you an artifact.

II
You chose the losing side.
So now, your verse is discarded:
removed from a dusty shelf by a librarian
trying to make room,
his hands spite-less in their choice.
Then comes the bottom of a box at a garage sale,
followed by more indifference.
This ends by being misplaced
next to a cookbook at a thrift store.

III
You championed workers
and cursed capitalism
like it was a demon pricing souls.

You lost your war,
but still influenced me:
I can now see the invisible monster
that chased me from my home.


Original:
For a Radical, Long Dead


I
My dear dead poet,
you would be more important
if you were
an ancient red vase.

Then people would ponder your cracks,
debate the significance of your colour,
and label you an artifact.

II
You chose the losing side.
So now, on dusty shelves,
in boxes at garage sales,
next to cookbooks at thrift stores,
your verse sleeps.

A second death,
the worse way time can punish a person.

III
Oh capital,
he would think you the new devil,
pricing souls and convincing others
of your necessity.

Oh capital,
the victor of a war,
long lost.

Oh capital,
invisible monster
that chased me from my home.

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#2
(06-18-2017, 05:59 AM)Richard Wrote:  For a Radical, Long Dead

I
My dear dead poet,
you would be more important
if you were
an ancient red vase.    I really like this idea...  but I think it can be more compact

Then people would ponder your cracks,
debate the significance of your colour,
and label you an artifact.    I am not sure you need these three lines. The succinct comparison of the previous stanza says enough, for me at least, for this part to be inferred. 

II
You chose the losing side.
So now, on dusty shelves,
in boxes at garage sales,
next to cookbooks at thrift stores,
your verse sleeps. Some nice imagery, but I think you can pare it down further. I'd perhaps even be tempted just to conflate the poet and the work, as in 'So now you sleep in boxes'  ect

A second death,
the worse way time can punish a person.  These two lines again seem to overstate something you have conveyed better already, I would probably scrap them.

III
Oh capital,
he would think you the new devil,
pricing souls and convincing others
of your necessity.

Oh capital,
the victor of a war,
long lost.

Oh capital,
invisible monster
that chased me from my home.   This  whole third section lost me a bit. I guess you are comparing the value of an item which cannot be reproduced easily, such as a vase, to that of writing, which is simple to reproduce and therefore has less value in a capitalist system. Nevertheless it feels a little loose from the first two parts of the poem, and lacking in the concrete imagery which charmed me earlier. 

Hi Richard, this is a really neat idea which you have done some interesting things with, but I'm unsure about the current shape of the poem. As I've said above, I think your more succinct ideas hit the spot, but the more effusive parts don't hold their weight as much. You have a good central idea and imagery to build around, so looking forward to reading any revision, thanks for the poem.
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#3
(06-18-2017, 05:59 AM)Richard Wrote:  For a Radical, Long Dead

I
My dear dead poet,
you would be more important
if you were
an ancient red vase. This made me think of Keats, Ode on a Grecian Urn

Then people would ponder your cracks,
debate the significance of your colour,
and label you an artifact. I like the cracks/artifact rhyme
II
You chose the losing side. 'The losing side' makes me think of Byron. 
So now, on dusty shelves,
in boxes at garage sales,
next to cookbooks at thrift stores, I like this imagery - poetry being food for the soul
your verse sleeps.

A second death,
the worse way time can punish a person. I don't think this couplet is needed - it 'says' what the preceding stanza 'shows'.

III
Oh capital, I'm unsure whether 'Oh capital' is acknowledging a joke, or referring to money, assets
he would think you the new devil, Is this 'he' the personification of time? Unclear.
pricing souls and convincing others
of your necessity.

Oh capital, This repeat doesn't work for me, not knowing what it refers to.
the victor of a war,
long lost.

Oh capital,
invisible monster
that chased me from my home. Is the dead poet now speaking? Or the narrator? Unclear.



Part III doesn't seem to fit with I and II. 'Oh capital' seems to refer to something - the only trace I could find of the phrase is here, and I don't think that's it!  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fqam_VQPY-c
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#4
Hi Richard. Your poem is interesting. I would like to critique. Thank you kindly for the read.


For a Radical, Long Dead

I
My dear dead poet,                                                                                   to me, the word dear implies sympathy
you would be more important
if you were
an ancient red vase.                                                                                  this was intriquing and begged study about red vases.                                                                              
Then people would ponder your cracks,                                                               
debate the significance of your colour,
and label you an artifact.

II
You chose the losing side.                                                                          what is the losing side?                                                           
So now, on dusty shelves,
in boxes at garage sales,
next to cookbooks at thrift stores,
your verse sleeps.                                                                                    

A second death,                                                                                       do poets long to be recognized, or desire release of expression?
the worse way time can punish a person.                                                

III
Oh capital,                                                                                                there's been a change in teh theme of the poem, or I'm not catching on.
he would think you the new devil,                                                             does capital tie into the red vase? does the poet seek profit? 
pricing souls and convincing others
of your necessity.                                                                                    

Oh capital,
the victor of a war,
long lost.

Oh capital,
invisible monster                                                                                       
that chased me from my home.                                                                Isn't home really heaven?


I googled red vase. I have been googling the simplest phrases while reading poetry, because many times I am ignorant to current events and many poets draw passion from current events. When I googled, I surf-drifted into a video about ancient red vases from Greece. Artists would paint stories on them. They became a sort of canvas for painting. The clay used in Greece, when fired, became brick red in colour. The only color glaze available was black and so the images appeared as reverse shadows (light), telling stories, usually about legendary characters or epic battles. I wondered if that was somehow involved in your poem. The poet being like pottery, in that he/she is only clay, that sometimes must be fired to really reveal the quality of their art? But then capital, is where I was confused and wondered how it all tied in, it certainly seemed very negative.

Thank you kindly for the read and lesson. I truly hope you have a blessed evening! janine
there's always a better reason to love
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#5
(06-18-2017, 05:59 AM)Richard Wrote:  For a Radical, Long Dead

I
My dear dead poet,
you would be more important
if you were
an ancient red vase.

Then people would ponder your cracks,
debate the significance of your colour,
and label you an artifact.

II
You chose the losing side.
So now, on dusty shelves,
in boxes at garage sales,
next to cookbooks at thrift stores,
your verse sleeps. ...... 'verse sleeps' is too passive, and suggests a temporary, rather than permanent, rest. I'd prefer 'you are discarded'. 

A second death,
the worse way time can punish a person.  ... ineffective hyperbole. Most people who live are never remembered by the wider world. How is having your verse read and then discarded worse than what happens to most people?

III
Oh capital, 
he would think you the new devil, ... capital has been around since the dawn of civilisation, so I doubt if it's 'new'. Most likely, he already had a view on it.
pricing souls and convincing others
of your necessity.

Oh capital,
the victor of a war,
long lost.

Oh capital,
invisible monster
that chased me from my home.  

I don't see how the third part links to the first two. It's almost like two separate poems.
I thought at first that 'capital' was a pun on 'Kapital', and you were actually slighting Marx as a 'poet' instead of an 'economic theorist'. However, the narrator is complaining about capitalism as an 'invisible monster', so the pun on 'Das Kapital' does not work, unless the first two 'capitals' are with a 'C', and the last with a 'k', shifting the meaning from capitalism to communism through its foundational work.
~ I think I just quoted myself - Achebe
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#6
Hey all,
Thanks for the feedback. I was worried about the the third part. This is why I submitted it though, so I could see what would be said about it. The "Oh capital" is actually alluding to a somewhat obscure poem, but I don't want to give too much away. Besides, it should work without the allusion, so I need to think about that moving forward.

Thanks again,
Richard
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#7
Hey all,
I revised this poem. Feel free to let me know if it's an improvement or not.

Cheers,
Richard
Time is the best editor.
Reply
#8
Hi Richard, lemme take a look:


For a Radical, Long Dead

I
My dear dead poet,
you would be more important
if you were
an ancient red vase.

Then people would ponder your cracks,
debate the significance of your colour,
and label you an artifact.                                                           is it important to be labeled an artifact?
                                                                                                 should poets (dead or alive) be just a thing, like a vase?
II
You chose the losing side.
So now, your verse is discarded:
removed from a dusty shelf by a librarian                                   interesting it was a dusty shelf...
trying to make room,
his hands spite-less in their choice.
Then comes the bottom of a box at a garage sale,
followed by more indifference.
This ends by being misplaced
next to a cookbook at a thrift store.

III
You championed workers                                                           these two lines seem defensive, but contradictory
and cursed capitalism
like it was a demon pricing souls.

You lost your war,
but still influenced me:
I can now see the invisible monster                                            why is a dead poet an invisible monster?
that chased me from my home.



I feel as though there is some mystery
of someone being bullied by another, but I am not sure.
I enjoy your writing.
I hope all is well...
janine
there's always a better reason to love
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#9
Hey Janine,
Thanks for the feedback. You asked some good questions, but I don't want to say a lot and give too much of the poem away. As always, you gave me something to think about.

Thanks again,
Richard
Time is the best editor.
Reply
#10
Hello Richard,

I found your poem moving
It gave me an impression of how you feel about poetry and poets as a lost art. I think your work is beyond mine, but let me try to critique it nonetheless( <-- is this really all one word?!? Ir is my autocorrect messing with me?).

I percieve your perspective of poets, esspecially dead ones, to be not terribly important - or is that how you feel society percieves them? That was a lttle ambiguous to me.

Second bit of the first part again seems to project a lust that you have for recognition of the dead poet but not his work. I agree in a way though, poets are easily forgoten, esspecially this day and age, but some works can no more be stricken from human history than could any other massively contributive arts. So, maybe find solace in that?

The second part takes to embodying the poet in their works... It made me sad, for the writer, to think of the pain sufferd from the frostburn of cold indifference. 

The third part is interesting to me... I think, could be wrong, that you were trying to say that the poet championed the people in their stuggles, as workers... could be a better way to.convey that?

And the last phrase/paragraph struck me as odd....

How can you say that cedars are extinct 
While yet their seeds are spread
How can you say that the oak is no more
if the earth nourishes roots that are not yet dead??

You may be a sapling sprouting frrom a hewn trunk,
But your "dead" poets war is far from done,
For as long as even the smallest inspiration is born,
That poets soul sows hope of a war yet to be won



But all the best, and keep writing with your feelings, that is what poetry is about.
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#11
Hey JKBetts,
Thanks for your feedback. I am actually writing only about one specific poet here, so that this something I plan on addressing in my next edit of this poem. As well, I feel like I need to explain that poet's war because I did not give nearly enough detail about it.

Thanks again,
Richard
Time is the best editor.
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#12
Hey all,
I decided to play around with this one. Feel free to let me know if I went in the right direction here.

Thanks in advance,
Richard
Time is the best editor.
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#13
i do like this richard. the red vase stanza was a good solid opener. you carried the theme through the next stanza well. just a nit or two in the last stanza of what i read a good piece poetry. the title fixes the piece and we can assume a lot because of it.

(06-18-2017, 05:59 AM)Richard Wrote:  For Dawn Fraser, a Radical

My dear dead poet,
who championed workers
and cursed capitalism,
you would be more important
if you were an ancient red vase.

Then people would ponder your cracks,
debate the significance of your colour,
and label you an artifact,
but you chose the losing side.

So now, your verse is discarded:
removed from a dusty shelf by a librarian would [by a librarian] work better on the next line?
ordered to make room,
his hands spite-less in their choice. is [his] needed?
Then comes the box bottom of a garage sale, is [comes] needed?
only to end by being misplaced
next to a cookbook at a thrift store. solid ending with a nice touch of ignominy.



First Edit:
For a Radical, Long Dead

I
My dear dead poet,
you would be more important
if you were
an ancient red vase.

Then people would ponder your cracks,
debate the significance of your colour,
and label you an artifact.

II
You chose the losing side.
So now, your verse is discarded:
removed from a dusty shelf by a librarian
trying to make room,
his hands spite-less in their choice.
Then comes the bottom of a box at a garage sale,
followed by more indifference.
This ends by being misplaced
next to a cookbook at a thrift store.

III
You championed workers
and cursed capitalism
like it was a demon pricing souls.

You lost your war,
but still influenced me:
I can now see the invisible monster
that chased me from my home.


Original:
For a Radical, Long Dead


I
My dear dead poet,
you would be more important
if you were
an ancient red vase.

Then people would ponder your cracks,
debate the significance of your colour,
and label you an artifact.

II
You chose the losing side.
So now, on dusty shelves,
in boxes at garage sales,
next to cookbooks at thrift stores,
your verse sleeps.

A second death,
the worse way time can punish a person.

III
Oh capital,
he would think you the new devil,
pricing souls and convincing others
of your necessity.

Oh capital,
the victor of a war,
long lost.

Oh capital,
invisible monster
that chased me from my home.

Reply
#14
Hey Billy,
Thanks for the feedback. I have no idea why I felt the need to revisit this one after so much time, but it just hit me the other night. I appreciate you suggestions in the last stanza, especially about moving the librarian. I think the "dusty shelf" makes a better line ending.

Thanks again,
Richard
Time is the best editor.
Reply
#15
.
Hi Richard,
'demon pricing souls' - very nice.
I think you've revised too much
of the 'personal' from the piece.

Some cut and paste suggestions.

Dear dead poet,

you who championed workers
and cursed capitalism,
[you who x and y
- or (would it be wrong to say)
for a demon pricing souls ?]
you would be more important
were you an ancient red vase.

[For] Then people would [assess
your value], debate the significance
of colour, [form, those cracks*]
and label you an artifact,
- don't think 'artefact' works after 'vase',
what else is a vase but an artefact?
but you chose the losing side.
- 'losing side' doesn't really work
(there's no war in this revision),
but something about 'defeated' might.
(What sort of 'champion' was she?)

- I think you need the have something
of the personal in the piece, as in
but still influenced me:
I can now see the invisible monster
that chased me from my home.

So now,
[my dead dear poet
I find you] removed
from a dusty shelf
to make room,
[by] hands spite-less
- 'spite-less' seems to be trying a bit to hard,
unless it's one of her words.
in their [labour].
[Tumbled to] the box bottom
of a garage sale, [Here,]
misplaced next to a cookbook
at a thrift store [in X].
- have you skipped over a step or two here,
is the 'dusty shelf' public or has the book
already been removed to storage.

- [*think this list needs to be a bit longer]


Best Knot.

.
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#16
Hey Knot,
Thanks for the feedback. Will give what you said some thought. I'm probably going to let this one sit for a bit before attempting another edit.

Thanks again,
Richard
Time is the best editor.
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