Karl’s Labor's Lost - edit2
#1
Karl’s Labor’s Lost


Pumped oil and later gasoline
(its distillate) excused us from
a Marxist coup d’etat for it
dispensed with stokers, men who threw
crushed coal on fires for others whom
they couldn’t help but envy.  Their
brute muscle-power was employed
for pennies as if stokers owned
no minds resentment might inflame.

Instead, petroleum flowed far
from fields that paid their drillers well
through pipes to far refineries
or into ships that burned it neat–
no sweating stokers to resent
their exploitation, or dark pits
of sullen miners primed to strike.
When stokers’ sons earned motorcars,
their envy failed and Marx retired.




edit1;

Fuel-oil and later gasoline
(its distillate) excused us from
a Marxist coup d’etat for they
required no stokers, men to throw
black coal on fires for others whom
they couldn’t help but envy for
brute muscle power they employed
for pennies as if stokers had
no minds resentment could consume.

Instead, petroleum ran slick
from fields which paid their drillers well
through pipes to far refineries
or into ships that burned it neat–
no sweating stokers to resent
their exploitation, or dark pits
of sullen miners primed to strike.
When stokers’ sons drove motorcars
their envy failed, and Marx retired.

original version;

Karl’s Demise


Fuel-oil and later gasoline
(its distillate) redeemed us from
a Marxist overthrow for they
required no stokers, men to throw
black coal on fires for others whom
they couldn’t help but envy for
brute muscle power they employed
for pennies as if stokers had
no minds resentment could consume.

In place of coal, rock-oil ran slick
from fields which paid their drillers well
through pipes to far refineries
or into ships that burned it neat–
no wretched stokers to resent
their exploitation, or dark pits
of sullen miners primed to strike.
When stokers’ sons drove motorcars
their envy failed, and Marx expired.



Alternate title:  "Oil, Fool!"  Smile 
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#2
I like the concept. It’s an interesting idea and well put
My suggestion would be to make it less didactic.
Both “overthrow” and “expired” are too much authorial intrusion
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#3
(09-13-2019, 04:04 AM)busker Wrote:  I like the concept. It’s an interesting idea and well put
My suggestion would be to make it less didactic.
Both “overthrow” and “expired” are too much authorial intrusion

Good suggestions. I'll try "retired" in place of "expired" and seek a neutral replacement for "overthrow." "Demise" in the title should also be altered, then? Something like "Karl's Labor Lost?"

BTW, I really wanted "petroleum" in there somewhere - what a galumphing word! - but couldn't fit it into the meter. "Proletariat" would take up most of a line (g).
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#4
edit;

Karl’s Labor’s Lost


Fuel-oil and later gasoline
(its distillate) excused us from
a Marxist coup d’etat for they
required no stokers, men to throw
black coal on fires for others whom
they couldn’t help but envy for
brute muscle power they employed
for pennies as if stokers had
no minds resentment could consume.

Instead, petroleum ran slick
from fields which paid their drillers well
through pipes to far refineries
or into ships that burned it neat–
no sweating stokers to resent
their exploitation, or dark pits
of sullen miners primed to strike.
When stokers’ sons drove motorcars
their envy failed, and Marx retired.

(09-13-2019, 04:04 AM)busker Wrote:  I like the concept. It’s an interesting idea and well put
My suggestion would be to make it less didactic.
Both “overthrow” and “expired” are too much authorial intrusion

Thanks again for the critique.  Not sure "coup d'etat" is less didactic than "overthrow" but it does describe (for example) the October Revolution better.  Did manage to work in "petroleum" after all  Big Grin .
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#5
.
Hi Duke,
not convinced by the argument (King Coal and Matewan come to mind), but enjoyed the read.
Perhaps a question mark in the (excellent) title, just to dial back the didacticism?
The lack of punctuation make it a bit of a slog, unnecessarily.

L1 - 'rock oil' from the original might make for a more interesting start than 'fuel-oil'

L3 - perhaps 'saved' for 'excused'? And shouldn't 'they' be 'our engines'?

I don't find 'coup d'etat' convincing, here. Might I tempt you with a
coal-powered (Marxist) revolution ?
I think having Karl in the title, you don't need 'Marxist' in the text.

L6-8 - I get a bit lost in the syntax of envy.

L9 - maybe 'ignite' for 'consume'?

L10 - 'slick' doesn't add much, could in have 'ran rich' or 'flowed fast'?


Best, Knot



.
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#6
Hi dukealien,

Enjoyed the rhythm of this piece. Comments below.
(09-11-2019, 11:04 PM)dukealien Wrote:  Karl’s Labor’s Lost


Fuel-oil and later gasoline
(its distillate) excused us from
a Marxist coup d’etat for they Comma before "for"?
required no stokers, men to throw
black coal on fires for others whom is "black" necessary here? Maybe you can use some other descriptor here for coal, or just replace with "their" or something of the sort.
they couldn’t help but envy for This sentence seems to start to drag on and get convoluted here. The multiple and different uses of "for" may contribute to that effect, but I think the dense packing of ideas and scenes here is definitely the cause for me.
brute muscle power they employed
for pennies as if stokers had
no minds resentment could consume.

I don't know if you do this, but something I like to do when writing a poem is if a sentence seems to get long-winded, I write it out as a normal sentence and read it as such. Sometimes all those line breaks muddles artistry with unnecessary complexity and it becomes hard to tell what's what. Here's how the above stanza would look:
Fuel-oil and later gasoline (its distillate) excused us from a Marxist coup d’etat for they required no stokers, men to throw black coal on fires for others whom they couldn’t help but envy for brute muscle power they employed for pennies as if stokers had no minds resentment could consume.

Instead, petroleum ran slick
from fields which paid their drillers well Nit, but I'd use "that" instead of "which" here.
through pipes to far refineries
or into ships that burned it neat–
no sweating stokers to resent
their exploitation, or dark pits I like "dark pits"
of sullen miners primed to strike.
When stokers’ sons drove motorcars Comma here?
their envy failed, and Marx retired. Don't think a comma is needed here.



Karl’s Demise


Fuel-oil and later gasoline
(its distillate) redeemed us from
a Marxist overthrow for they
required no stokers, men to throw
black coal on fires for others whom
they couldn’t help but envy for
brute muscle power they employed
for pennies as if stokers had
no minds resentment could consume.

In place of coal, rock-oil ran slick
from fields which paid their drillers well
through pipes to far refineries
or into ships that burned it neat–
no wretched stokers to resent
their exploitation, or dark pits
of sullen miners primed to strike.
When stokers’ sons drove motorcars
their envy failed, and Marx expired.



Alternate title:  "Oil, Fool!"  Smile 

Cheers,
Alex
Reply
#7
edit2;

Karl's Labor's Lost


Pumped oil and later gasoline
(its distillate) excused us from
a Marxist coup d’etat for it
dispensed with stokers, men who threw
crushed coal on fires for others whom
they couldn’t help but envy.  Their
brute muscle-power was employed
for pennies as if stokers owned
no minds resentment might inflame.

Instead, petroleum flowed far
from fields that paid their drillers well
through pipes to far refineries
or into ships that burned it neat–
no sweating stokers to resent
their exploitation, or dark pits
of sullen miners primed to strike.
When stokers’ sons earned motorcars,
their envy failed and Marx retired.



Sincere thanks to all critics.  I've tried to follow the advice of both @Knot and @alexorande, though (as usual) not quite as offered.   Remaining temptations are (1) colon after "strike," but that's back to a 9-line run-on sentence, and (2) change title to "Karl's Labour's Paradise Lost," but it seems too twisty.  In particular, with the change in the second to last line @alexorande's change of punctuation seems an even better idea.
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#8
dukealien Wrote:Karl’s Labor’s Lost


Fuel-oil and later gasoline
(its distillate) excused us from
a Marxist coup d’etat for they
required no stokers, men to throw
black coal on fires for others whom
they couldn’t help but envy for
brute muscle power they employed
for pennies as if stokers had
no minds resentment could consume.

Instead, petroleum ran slick
from fields which paid their drillers well
through pipes to far refineries
or into ships that burned it neat–
no sweating stokers to resent
their exploitation, or dark pits
of sullen miners primed to strike.
When stokers’ sons drove motorcars
their envy failed, and Marx retired.



Karl’s Demise


Fuel-oil and later gasoline
(its distillate) redeemed us from
a Marxist overthrow for they
required no stokers, men to throw
black coal on fires for others whom
they couldn’t help but envy for
brute muscle power they employed
for pennies as if stokers had
no minds resentment could consume.

In place of coal, rock-oil ran slick
from fields which paid their drillers well
through pipes to far refineries
or into ships that burned it neat–
no wretched stokers to resent
their exploitation, or dark pits
of sullen miners primed to strike.
When stokers’ sons drove motorcars
their envy failed, and Marx expired.



Alternate title:  "Oil, Fool!"  Smile 
Hey, dukealien. I think you should try to hook the reader into the piece before you try to take them to science class (I'm not even sure that you need to specify "distillate.")
Fuel-oil is awkward to say, and so, right off the bat, I'm not enjoying myself.

The piece gets better as it goes along with strong sounds that work together well ("rock-oil ran slick," "dark pits of sullen miners primed to strike.")
I will point out that you use the word "stokers" four times, which is a bit of overkill for a short piece.

The concept is rich (no pun intended), and you've done well choosing a topic. Best of luck with the piece.

BrandonD
Reply
#9
This came in seconds after I posted edit2, supra, which may address some of your criticisms.  Bad timing, sorry!

(10-01-2019, 05:37 AM)BrandonD Wrote:  
dukealien Wrote:Karl’s Labor’s Lost


Fuel-oil and later gasoline
(its distillate) excused us from
a Marxist coup d’etat for they
required no stokers, men to throw
black coal on fires for others whom
they couldn’t help but envy for
brute muscle power they employed
for pennies as if stokers had
no minds resentment could consume.

Instead, petroleum ran slick
from fields which paid their drillers well
through pipes to far refineries
or into ships that burned it neat–
no sweating stokers to resent
their exploitation, or dark pits
of sullen miners primed to strike.
When stokers’ sons drove motorcars
their envy failed, and Marx retired.



Karl’s Demise


Fuel-oil and later gasoline
(its distillate) redeemed us from
a Marxist overthrow for they
required no stokers, men to throw
black coal on fires for others whom
they couldn’t help but envy for
brute muscle power they employed
for pennies as if stokers had
no minds resentment could consume.

In place of coal, rock-oil ran slick
from fields which paid their drillers well
through pipes to far refineries
or into ships that burned it neat–
no wretched stokers to resent
their exploitation, or dark pits
of sullen miners primed to strike.
When stokers’ sons drove motorcars
their envy failed, and Marx expired.



Alternate title:  "Oil, Fool!"  Smile 
Hey, duke. I think you should try to hook the reader into the piece before you try to take them to science class (I'm not even sure that you need to specify "distillate.")
Fuel-oil is awkward to say, and so, right off the bat, I'm not enjoying myself.

The piece gets better as it goes along with strong sounds that work together well ("rock-oil ran slick," "dark pits of sullen miners primed to strike.")
I will point out that you use the word "stokers" four times, which is a bit of overkill for a short piece.

The concept is rich (no pun intended), and you've done well choosing a topic. Best of luck with the piece.

BrandonD
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#10
Love the line breaks and rhythm. The line breaks alone give your poetry a unique feel that could be expanded upon.
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