First Edit: Death is Unmoved/The Cost of Tranquility
#1
The Cost of Tranquility

Hands folded, calmest they've ever been,
her eyes stopped looking long
before the funeral,
mispronounced name still fits the eulogy.

He paid for their coffins years ago
with forgotten birthdays, candles unlit.

Priest listlessly sprinkles dirt, another
purchase, budgeting for their deaths
always made him tired, while she
slept in most mornings without ever
saying goodbye.




Original:

Death Is Unmoved

Hands folded, calmest they've ever been.
That dead man's wife waits,
her eyes ruined long before the funeral.
Priest listlessly sprinkles dirt
on a coffin paid for years ago.
That night, dark as any other,
drunk kisses adorn a black dress,
her repeated, “oh god,” in the backseat,
the truest prayer between two people.



I've been working on this one for weeks now. This is probably my third edit so far. It still doesn't seem right, so feel free to rip this one apart.


Time is the best editor.
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#2
hi richard. after reading it a few times i'm finding it hard to connect to the poem. what i'm reading feels like unconnected lines of poetry. i think it needs more depth and better access to see what's going on. i see what it's about but it doesn't move me. sorry mate.
(07-10-2019, 12:11 PM)Richard Wrote:  Death Is Unmoved

Hands folded, calmest they've ever been.
That dead man's wife waits,
her eyes ruined long before the funeral.
Priest listlessly sprinkles dirt
on a coffin paid for years ago.
That night, dark as any other,
drunk kisses adorn a black dress,
her repeated, “oh god,” in the backseat,
the truest prayer between two people.



I've been working on this one for weeks now. This is probably my third edit so far. It still doesn't seem right, so feel free to rip this one apart.

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#3
That dead man's wife waits,
Sonically 'wife waits' is a little awkward. widow?
'That' is wrong,. 'The' would do.

drunk kisses adorn a black dress,
Who kisses a dress? This seems to be here to signal it is the widow. Drunken would give you a sonic connection to adorn, although it is a bit old fashioned. On second thoughts he could be kissing her dress as they are in a car. It suggests repression and guilt. Still something more carnal would be more dramatic.

the truest prayer between two people.
'truest' also seems hyperbole.

Lots to like here.  Is the priest her lover?

cheers

Ross
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#4
Death Is Unmoved I’m just seeing the title as a pun, unrelated to what the poem is actually saying

Hands folded, calmest they've ever been. first read, I took this to mean her hands. Second read I got it. Got the imagery of praying hands as well
That dead man's wife waits, IMO, this line isn’t needed for comprehension, if you indicate in L1 ‘his hands’
her eyes ruined long before the funeral.
Priest listlessly sprinkles dirt
on a coffin paid for years ago. This line, and the preceding, could provide more meaning and imagery with some changes in word choice. Something to imply the priest was a stranger. I’ve noted many funerals in which he official says, ‘I really didn’t know —————, but I got a good idea of him from talking to family.’ I think that applies in your piece
That night, dark as any other, Prefer ‘one night’ to ‘that night’, which sounds a bit over used to me. I like the sound of ‘one night’ better as well.
drunk kisses adorn a black dress, I don’t get how kisses ‘adorn’ a dress. Perhaps a definition of the word I’m not getting
her repeated, “oh god,” in the backseat, I think this needs to be presented in a fresher manner so it doesn’t come across cliche’d.
the truest prayer between two people.

Like the final line line, but I don’t see the first part of the poem leading up to the conclusion. I think you have a workable idea, but the presentation needs some re-thinking.
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#5
.
Hi Richard.


There a nice idea here, but the last line just unbalances everything.
And 'a coffin paid for years ago' just isn't doing enough (nor too,
the title). I'd suggest splitting into three three-line verses.

Hands folded, calmest they've ever been.
The widow waits, eyes ruined
long before his funeral.

A listless priest sprinkles dirt
dry as cheeks, as eulogising tongues,
a dull, hollow sound.

That night, dark as any other, drunken
kisses damp a black dress, in the backseat
she exclaims a prayer, hands clenched.



Best, Knot.




.
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#6
The coffin is closed, you don't sprinkle dirt on the deceased!! So the hands are the wife's.
The eulogy happens before in the church, from what I know, at the grave side only prayer is given.
But I am no expert on Catholicism. ( Assuming it is a Catholic priest.)
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#7
Hey all,
Thanks for the feedback. I'm glad to get some ideas on why this wasn't working because I was seriously stuck on it. I need to think on it for a bit.

Thanks again,
Richard
Time is the best editor.
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#8
Hey all,
I pretty much gutted this one. Feel free to let me know if it is a move in the right direction.

Thanks in advance,
Richard
Time is the best editor.
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