SHA (4) - needs a title
#1
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SHA (4) - needs a title



Having begun, he forgot the tale's end,
calling on us to think 'good thoughts',
as if this were Maldon.  But we are not virgins,
white before the bed, fey and turned by promises,
for we have bled, and more.  We know that
when our generals boast 'it is spears we will give
you' - such men, port soaked and satisfied,
backsides warmed at some distant fire, are stiff
to rise, and quick to toast "the King!" -
It is us they mean to throw against the guns.




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#2
first off Knot, in intensive the poem should be as finished as possible. unless the title is "needs a Title" it needs one from you or else my first comment is; the poem doesn't work without a title. what does SHA (4) mean? some good imagery and while the language seems archaic, works in setting it as a period piece. [to me at leat] so i'd keep that as is. i'd like it expanded it a little in order to show us the tale teller and set the place.

(03-09-2019, 12:30 AM)Knot Wrote:  .
SHA (4) - needs a title



Having begun, he forgot the tale's end, who is "he"?
calling on us to think 'good thoughts', would quotes be best on the own line with a line space above and below?
as if this were Maldon.  But we are not virgins, is but needed?
white before the bed, fey and turned by promises, i think this and the above are great lines.
for we have bled, and more.  We know that and this continues the goodness, bled and virgins in this use is excellent
when our generals boast 'it is spears we will give
you' - such men, port soaked and satisfied,
backsides warmed at some distant fire, are stiff
to rise, and quick to toast "the King!" -
It is us they mean to throw against the guns.the last quartet is again full and rich of image.




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#3
Hi billy,
thanks for the read.
'needs a title' was an invitation for suggestions, in the spirit of workshopping. Any ideas?
Toying with 'Condemned to Repeat It', but that may be a bit too weighty for the piece.
SHA (4) - fourth piece in Second Hand Accounts (possibly, not sure if it fits yet) - though
this would 'set the place'.


Having begun, he forgot the tale's end,
who is "he"?
- The officer encouraging his men just before sending the 'over the top'. He's quoting from
The Battle of Maldon without realising how inappropriate that it.
calling on us to think 'good thoughts',
would quotes be best on the own line with a line space above and below?
- Don't know, why?
as if this were Maldon. But we are not virgins,
is but needed?
- I think so, I thought it indicated an attitude towards 'he'.
white before the bed, fey and turned by promises,
i think this and the above are great lines.
- thanks.
for we have bled, and more. We know that
and this continues the goodness, bled and virgins in this use is excellent
Smile
when our generals boast 'it is spears we will give
you' - such men, port soaked and satisfied,
backsides warmed at some distant fire, are stiff
to rise, and quick to toast "the King!" -
It is us they mean to throw against the guns.
the last quartet is again full and rich of image.
- thanks again'


Best, Knot
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#4
Hey Knot!

Solid work, I read it a few times to get a better understanding of it. I think "Condemned to repeat" would be a bit too heavy and SHA (4) didn't feel like it fit either. Maybe something along the line of, "Recycle, Remembrance" or even if you could put together something that ties in with the idea of virgins, cause you use some good metaphors with them.

Overall this poem feels like it is an excerpt pulled from the middle of a bigger poem. It certainly leaves me wanting more.

Hope that helps some!
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#5
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Hi PW,
'wanting more'? Can't ask for a better response than that.
(SHA (4) was just a place-holder/signpost that this is No.4
and is intended to be read alongside 'Second Hand Accounts'.


Thanks for the read.


Best, Knot.

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#6
(03-09-2019, 12:30 AM)Knot Wrote:  Having begun, he forgot the tale's end,                     || strange to begin with a participle, but forgivable
calling on us to think 'good thoughts',                       || 'italics and single quotes? '
as if this were Maldon.  But we are not virgins,          || wordy
white before the bed, fey and turned by promises,
for we have bled, and more.  We know that               || good enjambment
when our generals boast 'it is spears we will give        || and I disagree with this enjambment
you' - such men, port soaked and satisfied,
backsides warmed at some distant fire, are stiff
to rise, and quick to toast "the King!" -                      || nothing too special on these lines, but they do the job
It is us they mean to throw against the guns.             || if you desperately need a title, I say the last three words here,
                                                                             || but that's because the theme you've suggested doesn't feel present in the piece here.

This feels like it was written rather quickly. Further, it feels as if the piece lacks density. Only your third line seems to contain any more information than the words alone provide. While I don't find anything 'bad' in a technical sense, I honestly don't enjoy the poem. I'd prefer more development on the visual scene, or more technical manipulation of the lines themselves, but all I've gotten is a bit of over-wording that confuses the speaker's voice, and some brief images with little below the surface.
If you're the smartest person in the room, you're in the wrong room.

"Or, if a poet writes a poem, then immediately commits suicide (as any decent poet should)..." -- Erthona
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#7
(03-14-2019, 03:16 AM)UselessBlueprint Wrote:   and I disagree with this enjambment
- fair enough, easy fix.

Thanks for the read.

Best, Knot.
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#8
Even if the poem is given more detail (which it should, for a better atmosphere), I think the poem should be extended, possibly with the man mentioned in the first line as the focus. The poem needs to be about more than what it is because, as it stands, it’s like a minute or two from a movie about battles that we've seen a hundred times, but a minute that would not be interesting without the rest of the film. As a poem, it should be interesting all the way through despite what could come before or after.

Mentioning particular lines might be pointless if you’re going to expand, but in case you don’t expand, I’d quite like to see “are stiff to rise” on the same line.
And would that be “but quick”? You could also have “the king” in a line on its own. It brings noise and action to the poem, in just two words.

Overall, I would definitely like to see something more unusual going on in this poem, written in more exciting detail that really takes us to the people and the times the poem is based on.
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#9
Thanks for the read Carl,
apologies for the tardy reply.
Too easily distracted.

All taken under advisement.

Thanks again.

Best, Knot
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#10
'good thoughts',
You don't need both single quotes and italics. One or the other would suffice.


as if this were Maldon.
Had no idea what 'Maldon' referred to.

But we are not virgins,
Agree, 'but' is not necessary (it rarely is).

white before the bed,
Perhaps pale rather than white?

for we have bled, and more.
'and more' begs the question.

satisfied,
This is telling rather than showing.

Hope this helps

all the best

Ross
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#11
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Hi Ross,
thanks for the read.

Do you know what 'Maldon' is now?
(If not, see https://lightspill.com/poetry/oe/maldon.html )

'But' - in this case it works rhythmically (for me) and it's
part of my run of 'begun/but/bed/bleed/boast' ('backsides'
having become 'arses').

'Pale' - Fewer associations than 'white' in this instance,
('feathers' for instance) nor does it sound right. And it
would weaken the 'unbloodied' play of 'virgins' ... I think Smile

'and more' - Yes, it's supposed to.

'satisfied' - telling, sure, but the sonics work.


Best, Knot.




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#12
Initial read: between “spears we will give you...” and “it is us...”, there are three lines of description about the generals, during which time I lost train of the primary thought. I think swapping some lines would alleviate that. Just a cut and paste job below as an example - you get the idea.

Having begun, he forgot the tale's end,
calling on us to think 'good thoughts',
as if this were Maldon. But we are not virgins,
white before the bed, fey and turned by promises,
for we have bled, and more.
And when our generals -port soaked and satisfied,
backsides warmed at some distant fire, stiff
to rise, and quick to toast "the King!" -
boast 'it is spears we will give
you' - we know it is us
they mean to throw against the guns.


‘Good thoughts’ sounds out place for the situation - but that’s just me. I think this can be smoothed and tightened nicely - nothing added, little changed.
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#13
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Hi Seraphim,
thanks for the critique and the cut and paste (alway useful). Will certainly play with changing the
line order. As to 'good thoughts', it's a quote from the poem the Battle of Maldon (see link in Ross,
above)


Best, Knot.



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#14
(06-23-2019, 10:30 PM)Knot Wrote:  .

Hi Seraphim,
thanks for the critique and the cut and paste (alway useful). Will certainly play with changing the
line order. As to 'good thoughts', it's a quote from the poem the Battle of Maldon (see link in Ross,
above)


Best, Knot.



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I wondered. I pick up on the 'spears' reference, but have never read the poem.
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#15
(03-09-2019, 12:30 AM)Knot Wrote:  .
SHA (4) - needs a title



Having begun, he forgot the tale's end,
calling on us to think 'good thoughts',
as if this were Maldon.  But we are not virgins,
white before the bed, fey and turned by promises,
for we have bled, and more.  We know that
when our generals boast 'it is spears we will give
you' - such men, port soaked and satisfied,
backsides warmed at some distant fire, are stiff
to rise, and quick to toast "the King!" -
It is us they mean to throw against the guns.




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I like the cynicality of the persona which seems to be a common feature of your writing. The distrust communicated is subtle and by offering a sense of dissatisfaction and criticism of cowardice you create matching emotion within the audience. The last line is weak due to its lack of emotion which is made more evident by the presence of it throughout the poem. The image of being thrown against guns could relate to the bayoneted rifles used in older wars which gives it a sense of context but it’s too dull. Why not have something like a pit of bayonettes or a clearer, sharper image utilising them in an interesting, horrifying manner. The focus of the last line should be to communicate the dissatisfied hopelessness of the persona in his situation.

 Virgins white before the bed is cliche but is used well, but is still cliche. The imagery of this poem is it’s major weakness and makes it seem like just another war poem. There is so much more to be done with your language that it almost looks lazy, especially with the missing title. I suggest looking at Wilfred Owen’s use of imagery in ‘An Anthem For Doomed Youth’: https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poems/4...omed-youth.

6/10
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#16
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Hi Oden,
thanks for the read and critique.

I thought there was emotion in the last line, contempt mainly.

virgins white
- of course a cliché but you also missed the comma,'white' in the sense of 'white faced'
- afraid/ashen.

Why not have something like a pit of bayonettes or a clearer, sharper image utilising them

in an interesting, horrifying manner
Because it wasn't interesting.
"We were just walking, straight towards the German lines in extended order. Well, we were sitting
ducks all the way. Our earlier training you see for open warfare, run so far then lie down and then
run a bit further. But this was just walking, straight into the death trap, hundreds of us. Just
hopeless." (Maurice Symes)

We were told that there was going to be this bombardment that would knock hell out of the Germans

and all we had to do was get up and walk across – and we only had to walk, on no account had we to
stop for anything – just walk straight through to Berlin. And there wasn’t one of us in our battalion
that ever got to the German lines. You couldn’t! It was absolutely impossible. The jokers,they never
learnt. The Germans had these deep dugouts; they were safe as the bank. They were 30 feet
down! (Frank Raine, my emphasis)

https://www.iwm.org.uk/history/voices-of...-the-somme

(Also, I use bayonets in the next piece Smile )

As to a title, I'd been hoping for suggestions. In their absence, toying with Condemned to Repeat It.


Best, Knot.


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