Jacob
#1
When I was seventeen years old 
I sunk to the bottom of my uncles pool.
I blew wind off my lungs 
like a sheet on the washing line
billowing in the half light.
My burnt eyes wept
chlorine tears.

The water held me
let me gently descend like
a hot air balloon as I remembered
blood red poppies and 
a painting at The National.
You wrapped me in your cling film
dreams -
I kept your hands in my back pockets.

Days later I was as dried out
as my grandmothers old towels.
Something soft loved too hard,
redemption stuck inside my arid tongue.

Edit 2

When I was seventeen 
I sunk to the bottom of my uncles pool,
blew wind from my lungs and
billowed in the half light
like a sheet on the washing line

burnt eyes shedding
chlorine tears.

I remembered
blood red poppies and 
a painting at The National.
You wrapping me in your cling film
dreams -
Me keeping your hands in my back pockets.

Days later I was as dried out
as my grandmothers old towels -
Something soft loved too hard.

Edit 3

When I was seventeen 
I sunk to the bottom of my uncle’s pool,
blew wind from my lungs and
billowed in the half light
like a sheet on the washing line.

I remembered
blood red poppies and 
a painting at The National.
You wrapped me in your cling film
dreams -
I kept your hands in my back pockets.

Days later I was as dried out
as my grandmothers old towels -
Only water could soothe the edges of
Something soft loved too hard.

Edit 4

When I was seventeen 
I sunk to the bottom of my uncle’s pool,
Exhaled and billowed in the blue half light
like a sheet on the washing line.

I remembered
blood red poppies and 
a painting at The National.
Wrapped up in your cling film
dreams -
I kept your hands in my back pockets.

Days later I was as dried out
as my grandmothers old towels.
Like terrycloth almost frangible -
Something soft loved too hard.
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#2
.
Hi penned.

Lots to like here, the penultimate line (which should be the final line!) especially
(though lines 16-17 struggle a bit. 'as' twice isn't good here).

I don't think you need the 'hot air balloon' in S2, it interrupts (to no great benefit)
the thread from 'washing line' to 'old towels'. And I think you could afford to cut
more generally.

(Not sure where the possessive apostrophe should go, is it uncles' or uncle's?)

Some suggestions ...


When I was seventeen years old
I sunk to the bottom
of my uncles pool:
I blew wind off from my lungs
billowed in the half light
like a sheet on the washing line
wept shed chlorine tears.

I remembered blood
red poppies and a painting
at The National. You
wrapped wrapping me in your cling film dreams -
I kept me keeping your hands
in my back pockets.

Days later I was as dried out
as my grandmothers old towels.
Something soft loved too hard,
redemption stuck inside my arid tongue.



Best, Knot



.
Reply
#3
Hi Knot,

Thanks for the suggestions. Helpful and I agree with much of what you said. I wrote it quite quickly the other and thought it could do with cutting down. Let me know what you think of the re-write.

When I was seventeen 
I sunk to the bottom of my uncles pool,
blew wind from my lungs and
billowed in the half light
like a sheet on the washing line

burnt eyes shedding
chlorine tears.

I remembered
blood red poppies and 
a painting at The National.
You wrapping me in your cling film
dreams -
Me keeping your hands in my back pockets.

Days later I was as dried out
as my grandmothers old towels -
Something soft loved too hard.

Many thanks
Reply
#4
.
Hi penned.
To my mind a definite improvement. But I still don't know if it is uncle (singular) or uncles (plural) who have the pool.

Not keen on the 'burnt ... tears' couplet. Seems a bit melodramatic, and doesn't really add much to the piece (and why would tears be chlorine, and what would that mean?)

(I'd be tempted with 'bed sheet' for the alliterative b, and maybe even give the sheet a colour or some other characteristic.)

'half light' could, perhaps, withstand a little bit of elaboration, and (lastly Smile ) the final verse seems like it's a line short (between L2 and L3) - perhaps a little bit more on the towels?

Good work.


Best, Knot.



.
Reply
#5
Hi knot,

Thankyou. I’ve fiddled with the last line a bit. Not sure I like it much though, or if I actually preferred my original ending. Tell me what you think?

When I was seventeen 
I sunk to the bottom of my uncle’s pool,
blew wind from my lungs and
billowed in the half light
like a sheet on the washing line.

I remembered
blood red poppies and 
a painting at The National.
You wrapped me in your cling film
dreams -
I kept your hands in my back pockets.

Days later I was as dried out
as my grandmothers old towels -
Only water could soothe the edges of
Something soft loved too hard.
Reply
#6
.
Hi penned.
Yeah, not sure that L3 improves matters.  Not sure that this will help either, but ...

Days later I was as dried out
as my grandmothers old towels -
thin and skin raw / skin raw and worn thin -
Something soft loved too hard.

On the plus side, loving the apostrophe Smile

Anything better than 'wind'?  ('Grief' maybea bit much, but you get the idea)
billowed in the blue half light ?


Best, Knot


.
Reply
#7
I have made another edit ?

When I was seventeen 
I sunk to the bottom of my uncle’s pool,
blew wind from my lungs and
billowed in the blue half light
like a sheet on the washing line.

I remembered
blood red poppies and 
a painting at The National.
Wrapped up in your cling film
dreams -
I kept your hands in my back pockets.

Days later I was as dried out
as my grandmothers old towels.
Like terrycloth almost frangible -
Something soft loved too hard.

Agree with your comments about wind, will have a think of something more fitting. I like blue half light. Thanks

In fact. Edit 4

When I was seventeen 
I sunk to the bottom of my uncle’s pool,
exhaled and billowed in the blue half light
like a sheet on the washing line.

I remembered
blood red poppies and 
a painting at The National.
Wrapped up in your cling film
dreams -
I kept your hands in my back pockets.

Days later I was as dried out
as my grandmothers old towels.
Like terrycloth almost frangible -
Something soft loved too hard.
Reply
#8
.
Hi penned,
'exhaled' seems a bit academic.
Would

When I was seventeen
I sunk to the bottom of my uncle’s pool,
opened my mouth and
billowed in the blue half light
like a sheet on the washing line.

work?

I think you've got the sentiment/idea right in L3, but I don't think that 'frangible' is the right word.
This isn't right either but
... towels.
brittle and unwelcoming
Something ...


Might this flow better?
I remembered
blood red poppies and
a painting at The National.
Being wrapped in your cling film
dreams - and keeping your hands
in my back pockets.



Best, Knot


.
Reply
#9
I like the fourth edit of your poem, I thought it was solid.
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