Edit - After the Battle
#1
After the Battle


Six slim, straight yellow shafts
quivered in deep greensward,
each a cloth-yard long and none
quite vertical—
as if massed bowmen had dispatched them
arcing down in piercing clouds.
These few having found no flesh
of horse or man, remained.

They swayed in twos
now stripped of fletching:
up to last Election Day
each pair upheld a poster for
some mayoral or school-board candidate
which boys who stuck them there
have now removed on penalty of law.

Better wars of votes than roses
or a hundred years, boys planting signs
than planting boys.



Six slim, straight yellow sticks
stood thrilling in bright greensward
nearly cloth-yard long and none
quite vertical— as if
master archers had released
their like in volleys over fields,
these few having found no flesh
of horse or man, and so remained.

They seemed to stand
in pairs, and lacked for feathers
having up to last Election Day
been spanned with advertising
posters for a mayoral or school board
candidate, which boys who stuck them there
have now removed on pain of law.

Better wars of votes than roses
or a hundred years, boys planting signs
than planting boys.



This is was originally an ekphrastic poem.  To view with the associated image, please see here.
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#2
Hi dukealien, couple comments
(05-13-2018, 06:44 AM)dukealien Wrote:  After the Battle


Six slim, straight yellow sticks
stood thrilling in bright greensward Not a fan of the sonic transition from "duh" to "thruh" in the highlighted parts, nor am I a fan of the word "thrilling" in how it's used. Maybe quivering instead? ("quiver" could also reinforce war imagery)
nearly cloth-yard long and none
quite vertical— as if
master archers had released
their like in volleys over fields, Maybe add an adjective to "fields" that hints towards a suburban lawn but still fits the description of a field before battle? 
these few having found no flesh
of horse or man, and so remained. Other than my above comments I like the direction this poem is heading in, drawing similarities between running for election and violent warfare.

They seemed to stand
in pairs, and lacked for feathers I don't think there's a comma needed here as well as the "for"
having up to last Election Day 
been spanned with advertising I think "advertising" should be "advertisement"
posters for a mayoral or school board
candidate, which boys who stuck them there
have now removed on pain of law.

I would reorder the above stanza as the following. I apologize if I missed something that could affect this suggestion:

They seemed to stand 
in pairs and lacked feathers, 
having been spanned with advertisement 
posters for a mayoral or school board 
candidate, up to last Election Day; 
boys who stuck them there have now
removed on pain of law.

Better wars of votes than roses
or a hundred years, boys planting signs I'd add an "of" before boys.
than planting boys. Nice finish.



This is an ekphrastic poem.  To view with the associated image, please see here.
Nicely done ekphrastic, thanks for the read

Best, Alex
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#3
Hi duke,
it's a really nice idea, but...

After the Battle

You might add a verse here,
a bridge between the title and the first verse,
preferably containing the phrase 'Election Day'
(and making some reference to the path in the picture)

Six slim, straight yellow sticks
- if your going for the arrow/martial metaphor
why not 'shafts' instead of 'sticks' ?
stood thrilling in bright greensward
- thrilling doesn't really work, particularly
given S2/L3 which suggests quite a long time.
nearly [a/one] cloth-yard long and none
quite vertical— as if
'cloth yard' (nicely done) could move
to L2, 'none quite vertical' is a poor phrase
and seems only there because of the picture.
[as if] master archers had released
- surely it should be 'master bowmen' ?
their like in volleys over fields,
- 'their like' ruins the metaphor, why not just say 'them'?
- 'in volleys', you start of with 'six' (though could only see five),
barely one volley, let alone more than one.
these few having found no flesh
of horse or man, and so remained.
- this seems very cumbersome, why not just 'target'?
(you seem to have lost sight of the election with these lines)

They seemed to stand
- again, 'they seemed' takes one out of the metaphor'
in pairs, and lacked for feathers
- 'fletching' for 'feathers' ?
perhaps
arrayed in pairs, their fletching of placards
having up to last Election Day
been spanned with advertising
posters for a mayoral or school board
candidate, which boys who stuck them there
have now removed on pain of law.
- this is rather overwritten, especially
'on pain of law', and it doesn't continue
the 'martial' metaphor.

Better wars of votes than roses
or a hundred years, boys planting signs
than planting boys.
The sentiment fits, but the execution doesn't.
The sword/ploughshares arrows/signs switch
seems too sudden.


Hope this helps.


Best, Knot.
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#4
I like it, I think it's clear enough without the image and before the image I saw greensward as a field, I prefer that image. I'm surprised they are only required to remove the signs and can leave the trash posts. Some notes.

(05-13-2018, 06:44 AM)dukealien Wrote:  After the Battle


Six slim, straight yellow sticks I like knot's suggestion of shafts.
stood thrilling in bright greensward Maybe a comma here, as is it seems the yard applies to the greensward.
nearly cloth-yard long and none
quite vertical— as if
master archers had released
their like in volleys over fields, I'm on the fence on "their like" instead of "them", it reads wordy and the "as if" already says it.
these few having found no flesh nice line.
of horse or man, and so remained.

They seemed to stand
in pairs, and lacked for feathers maybe the comma after feathers instead of pairs.
having up to last Election Day
been spanned with advertising
posters for a mayoral or school board
candidate, which boys who stuck them there
have now removed on pain of law.

Better wars of votes than roses
or a hundred years, boys planting signs
than planting boys.



This is an ekphrastic poem.  To view with the associated image, please see here.

This is poetry for me, a bigger thought inspired by the everyday scene, thanks for the read.
billy wrote:welcome to the site. make it your own, wear it like a well loved slipper and wear it out. ella pleads:please click forum titles for posting guidelines, important threads. New poet? Try Poetic DevicesandWard's Tips

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#5
edit 1;

After the Battle


Six slim, straight yellow shafts
quivered in deep greensward,
each a cloth-yard long and none
quite vertical—
as if massed bowmen had dispatched them
arcing down in piercing clouds.
These few having found no flesh
of horse or man, remained.

They swayed in twos
now stripped of fletching:
up to last Election Day
each pair upheld a poster for
some mayoral or school-board candidate
which boys who stuck them there
have now removed on penalty of law.

Better wars of votes than roses
or a hundred years, boys planting signs
than planting boys.


Didn't mean to be piggy by waiting for more than a couple of critiques:  thanks to all for the help and the reads.

@Knot particularly - it's still a little stuffy and antiquarian, and if I'd honored more of your suggestions it could be less so.  Trying to get a Middle Ages feel and probably going about it all wrong.

@ellajam - pointers to the photo removed.  Good to know the word-picture can be sufficient if I write it well enough (still trying).
feedback award Non-practicing atheist
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#6
Hi duke
(06-06-2018, 08:11 AM)dukealien Wrote:  it's still a little stuffy and antiquarian
not something I view negatively Smile   And, if you want a 'Middle Ages feel' not something to shy away from I would have thought.

Six slim, straight yellow shafts
do you need yellow? Perhaps something
that referenced the material?
quivered in deep greensward,
'quivered', again, doesn't fit well
with 'after the battle'. Maybe consider
how deeply they are driven into the earth?
each a cloth-yard long and none
quite vertical—
as if massed bowmen had dispatched them
arcing down in piercing clouds.
These few having found no flesh
of horse or man, remained.
'massed' plus 'six' doesn't work that well,
even with 'these few' (Henry V?).
I wonder if it would be worth reordering this verse
(rough cut):
In the greensward, six,
slim, straight shafts
[buried]....
Each a cloth-yard long,
none quite vertical,
these few [here]
having not found
[their target], remain


I think you could take a similar approach
to the second verse also.
You might also consider how to make
a better/smoother transition from the idea
of arrows to 'each pair upheld a poster'


Best, Knot.
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