Draft 4: The Poor Man's Dawn
#1
Patriotic embers of the stolen land
of milk and honey fade
before they touch the earth
like flecks of daybreak gold
becoming dust
in the crowded shade.

And the buildings, empty as a dead star
and the swine in suits,
feed our shadows to a rot of daisies
that burgeoned through concrete.

It will never be the fire, but either fate
or all its followers, who dance on shores
where viscous black waves break closer
beneath a sanguine sky, that brings
all dogs to scavenge.

When night lingers, the song of mourning
doves await the air
in a burst of glass and fuel.





Draft 3: The Poor Man's Dawn

Patriotic embers of the stolen land
of milk and honey fade
before they touch the earth
like flecks of daybreak gold
becoming dust
in the crowded shade.

And, empty as a dead star
and the swine in suits, the buildings feed
our shadows to a rot of daisies
that burgeoned through concrete.

It will never be the fire, but either fate
or all its followers, who dance on shores
where viscous black waves break closer
beneath a sanguine sky, that brings
all dogs to scavenge.

When night lingers, the song of mourning
doves await the air
in a burst of glass and fuel.


Draft 2: The Poor Man's Dawn

Patriotic embers of the stolen land
of milk and honey fade
before they touch the earth
like flecks of daybreak gold
becoming dust
in the crowded shade.

And, empty as a dark star
and the pigs' suits, the buildings loom
as monuments to suffering,
feeding shadow to the flowers
that burgeoned through concrete.

Beneath their jackboot grows the dream
that transcends memory and pounds
behind our ribs. Cool bright wind
carries lavender from linens
tugging on a clothesline. Now,
viscous black waves break closer.

When night lingers, the song of mourning
doves await the air
in a burst of glass and fuel.


Draft 1: The Poor Man's Dawn

Patriotic embers of the land
of milk and honey fade
before they touch the earth
like flecks of daybreak gold
becoming dust
in the crowded shade.

And, empty as a dark star
and their suits, the buildings loom
as monuments to suffering,
feeding shadow to the flowers
that burgeoned through concrete.

Beneath their jackboot grows the dream
that transcends memory and pounds
behind our ribs. Cool bright wind
carries lavender from linens
tugging on a clothesline, now
viscous black waves break closer.

When night lingers, the song
of the mourning dove awaits
in a burst of glass and fuel.

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#2
(08-12-2020, 05:20 AM)alexorande Wrote:  Patriotic embers of the land
of milk and honey fade
before they touch the earth
like flecks of daybreak gold
becoming dust
in the crowded shade.   Nice rhyme with "fade"

And, empty as a dark star  thoughts of the space comedy, immediately suppressed
and their suits, the buildings loom  I find "suits" confusing here - should there be a comma after "buildings" to clarify?
as monuments to suffering,
feeding shadow to the flowers
that burgeoned through concrete.  second reference to shadows, now of buildings

Beneath their jackboot grows the dream
that transcends memory and pounds
behind our ribs. Cool bright wind
carries lavender from linens
tugging on a clothesline, now
viscous black waves break closer. the black wave could be so many things these days - depending on the city!

When night lingers, the song
of the mourning dove awaits
in a burst of glass and fuel.  again, so many possible referents here

This is generally deft and excellent, so not much to critique.  I suggested one comma (g). 

So many cities are suffering so, just this week and last - Spokane, Seattle, Hong Kong, Beirut - most with flames, some with pulsating heart spirits, more than a few with jackboots.  And all, as described, overshadowed by too-tall buildings that turn, in an instant, into rains of razor glass, glittering menace.

The poor man's family clothesline, near to the ground, grounded, but perfuming the wind instead of high airborne clouds, stinking smoke of Molotov cocktails (glass and fuel), balcony hibachis overturned by the blast, burnt flesh.

It's complicated and subject to interpretation, but captures the spirit of the moment so well.  I guess another criticism would be he title:  not only the poor suffer in this (though the rich, mostly, do not).  The sufferers - and perpetrators, though this is left out - are poor in the sense of unfortunate rather than lacking resources.  And recourse, as well.

Okay, title, comma, maybe a hint that these people have in some respects brought this on themselves by moving to and living in the big tower machine.  

Almost forgot:  Hiroshima and Nagasaki... but more, firebombed Tokyo (which, however, lacked skyscrapers then).

In intermediate critique, little to change.  Sorry for providing so little useful input; glad to have read it.
feedback award Non-practicing atheist
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#3
Made some changes here.

dukealien,

I posted it in mild/moderate critique, but I always encourage thorough feedback on everything I post on here really. That's not to say your input wasn't thorough though.

As for your comments, it seems like some of your issues (namely in the title) lie in the poem's messages. That's okay, but I won't compromise the poem's concept to agree with my audience's beliefs. In fact, I'm glad those were your issues and you stated them because that shows that I've communicated my messages somewhat competently.

Thank you for your comments and I'm also glad you were able to get so much out of it as far as what has been going on in Beirut, Spokane, Hong Kong, etc. Admittedly, I'm not aware of the current events in Spokane so I'm gonna do some googling.

Alex
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#4
Oh, THOSE bomb-throwers.  My prejudices are showing!

And I may have meant Portland rather than Spokane.  Or not.

Good revision.  Clarifies without telling.
feedback award Non-practicing atheist
Reply
#5
(08-12-2020, 05:20 AM)alexorande Wrote:  Patriotic embers of the stolen land
of milk and honey fade
before they touch the earth
like flecks of daybreak gold
becoming dust
in the crowded shade.
First stanza strong. This is not about just any place: "stolen land of milk and honey" pretty clearly refers, I think, to the United States of America. Where so-called patriots firmly embrace the second amendment while discarding all the rest.

And, empty as a dark star
and the pigs' suits, the buildings loom
as monuments to suffering,
feeding shadow to the flowers
that burgeoned through concrete.
Second stanza clumsy. "Pigs" too obvious, "buildings loom as monuments to suffering" too bland. 

Beneath their jackboot grows the dream
that transcends memory and pounds
behind our ribs. Cool bright wind
carries lavender from linens
tugging on a clothesline. Now,
viscous black waves break closer.
Third stanza romantic, which is not necessarily a compliment.  "jackboot", "the dream that pounds behind our ribs", "linens on a clothesline": those remind me more of Les Miserables (the musical) than actual revolutions. "Viscous black waves break closer" is very good, though. Hmm....consider more Homer (which the imagery in this line reminds me of), Beowulf (the sonics), or, heck, even the Bible (more your first stanza than this line, though)?

When night lingers, the song of mourning 
doves await the air
in a burst of glass and fuel.
Ditto third stanza. Mourning/morning pun and the juxtaposition between doves and burst I acknowledge, but still find too sentimental. 
On "buildings loom as monuments to suffering", I think this thesis by Walter Benjamin might be of some use. Translated by Harry Zohn.

VII
Consider the darkness and the great cold
In this vale which resounds with mysery.
---Brecht, The Threepenny Opera

To historians who wish to relive an era, Fustel de Coulanges recommends that they blot out everything they know about the later course of history. There is no better way of characterizing the method with which historical materialism has broken. It is a process of empathy whose origin is the indolence of the heart, acedia, which despairs of grasping and holding the genuine historical image as it flares up briefly. Among medieval theologians it was regarded as the root cause of sadness. Flaubert, who was familiar with it, wrote: "Peu de gens devineront combien il a fallu etre triste pour ressusciter Carthage."* The nature of this sadness stands out more clearly if one asks with whom the adherents of historicism actually empathize. The answer is inevitable: with the victor. And all rulers are the heirs of those who conquered before them. Hence, empathy with the victor invariably benefits the rulers. Historical materialists know what that means. Whoever has emerged victorious participates to this day in the triumphal procession in which the present rulers step over those who are lying prostrate. According to traditional practice, the spoils are carried along in the procession. They are cultural treasures, and a historical materialist views them with cautious detachment. For without exception the cultural treasures he surveys have an origin which he cannot contemplate without horror. They owe their existence not only to the efforts of the great minds and talents who have created them, but also to the anonymous toil of their contemporaries. There is no document of civilization which is not at the same time a document of barbarism. And just as such a document is not free of barbarism, barbarism taints also the manner in which it was transmitted from one owner to another. A historical materialist therefore dissociates himself from it as far as possible. He regards it as his task to brush history against the grain.

* "Few will be able to guess how sad one had to be in order to resuscitate Carthage."


Emphasis on According to traditional practice.... mine. Keep in mind this was written shortly before Benjamin committed suicide due to failing to escape the Nazis.
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#6
Patriotic embers of the stolen land - useful but I would rather see it as a scene
of milk and honey fade  - a little cheap
before they touch the earth - conceptual great, but needs a better line, the scene would help
like flecks of daybreak gold - a perfect line
becoming dust to the crowded shade. - that's nice

And, empty as a dark star - maybe "dead star" I have heard the Bowie song but still don't know what this means, either way make me feel empty, don't tell me I'm empty
and the pigs' suits, the buildings loom - try rearranging, i feel like there's something in here: all the sounds are correct, "the loom builds pig suits" maybe 
as monuments to suffering, - with a statement like this it needs to be a statement "suffering as a monument"followed it with a bit of you, for me this would be followed by '"deep scars scribbled - gasoline vapors burnt into skin -flesh bundled tight - too keep out the light".
feeding shadow to the flowers
that burgeoned through concrete.

Beneath their jackboot grows the dream
that transcends memory and pounds
behind our ribs. Cool bright wind
carries lavender from linens
tugging on a clothesline. Now,
viscous black waves break closer.

When night lingers, the song of mourning
doves await the air
in a burst of glass and fuel.

In general it needs more of you. In general nothing lives in a vacuum. Your art can't live in a vacuum. You don't live in a vacuum. Thank you for contacting me. We are all beginners of a sort, I am only 25+ years in and I still don't understand this "box". We all know there's something amazing inside, but we can't get inside. Keep it up, write something amazing that fills me or someone else with awe. I deleted my previous comments because at the time I felt they were unnecessarily harsh.  I am trying my best not to be that person. Thank you again for reaching out, I hope some of this produces fuel for the continuation of your art. 
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#7
Thank you Caravano and RiverNotch for your feedback. New draft is up, would love to know yalls thoughts as always

RiverNotch,

Thanks for putting me on with that quote. I tried using what I could glean from the passage, which was very insightful btw, but everything I wrote just wouldn't stick. I think some might be able to catch it (or possibly not) in what I eventually ended up with in this draft. "monuments to suffering" was written with more focus on the people who suffered rather than those who caused their suffering. Those who caused the suffering, ie the victors, if I read Benjamin's thesis correctly, would have asked the reader to simply admire the architecture of these buildings, which is a little odd in the US bc

i think our public housing structures are pretty ordinary, if not neglected. it may be only for historians 1000 years from now to admire with "cautious detachment". I wanted to show the reader how the oppressor distorts the past in this draft, but I think showing the oppressor's delusion should be enough for now.
As for the romantic aspects of the poem, I largely agree. I tried to make it less so in this draft, and leave it for the last stanza, which seemed like you found too sentimental but also seemed like you were somewhat ok with. idk, maybe with the new content leading up to the last stanza you might change your mind, would love to hear from you in that regard.


Caravano,

I think this is a poem where I don't want the N to really insert themselves into it. So that much is deliberate. As for my usage of the term dark star, that much isn't. There's a whole sciency explanation behind it concerning dark energy/matter that I don't think I've studied enough to fully grasp the term and use it. I just wanted a poetic way to say black hole Hysterical I think dead star should be good though, ty for the suggestion

I would argue that milk and honey is cheap because it's abundant in quantity, or at least that's what is promised. A little cheap, but a simple thing to symbolize the land of the free, and other lands if you want


Best,
Alex
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#8
(08-12-2020, 05:20 AM)alexorande Wrote:  Patriotic embers of the stolen land
of milk and honey fade
before they touch the earth
like flecks of daybreak gold
becoming dust
in the crowded shade.

And, empty as a dead star
and the swine in suits, the buildings feed
our shadows to a rot of daisies
that burgeoned through concrete. I still find "swine in suits" too obvious -- I'd just cut it out. "empty as a dead star, the buildings feed" sounds fair enough in my head. But cutting out "monuments of suffering" and going straight to the point with "the buildings feed" is a good choice.

It will never be the fire, but either fate
or all its followers, who dance on shores
where viscous black waves break closer
beneath a sanguine sky, that brings
all dogs to scavenge. This stanza still doesn't connect with me. Having "fire" or "fate", images especially commonplace in this kind of art, be the subjects seems to me the flaw. I think the way you leaned in to "viscous black waves break closer" signifies better, and your use for this purpose of "sanguine sky" and "dogs to scavenge", both only slightly less commonplace than "fire" or "fate", elevated them.

When night lingers, the song of mourning
doves await the air
in a burst of glass and fuel. I'm in a lighter mood at the moment: I don't think this thud is as necessarily bad as I'd thought.
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#9
Hey yall

Made a tiny change in the wording of the second stanza. Other than that I think I'm pretty satisfied with this version for the moment. Thank you everyone who's been a part of the process so far.

RiverNotch,

I'm keeping some terms in that are obvious because they're obvious. If it doesn't work for you, then it doesn't work... sorry XD. As for your comments on fire and fate, I didn't really write in those two terms to create a picture, more to set up the picture.

Kindest regards
Alex
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#10
Hey,

I liked your writing. Lots of solid word selection and phrasing. I just wish it was about something else. The whole "corporate satan" thing is a little thin to me. This feels like expensive paint on a bland scetch. Keep pounding, my friend.

Jack
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#11
[quote="alexorande" pid='250152' dateline='1597177228']
Patriotic embers of the stolen land
of milk and honey fade
before they touch the earth
like flecks of daybreak gold
becoming dust
in the crowded shade.

And the buildings, empty as a dead star
and the swine in suits,
feed our shadows to a rot of daisies
that burgeoned through concrete.

It will never be the fire, but either fate
or all its followers, who dance on shores
where viscous black waves break closer
beneath a sanguine sky, that brings
all dogs to scavenge.

When night lingers, the song of mourning
doves await the air
in a burst of glass and fuel.



You have exceptional ability as a poet.   Changing images abruptly without breaking the continuous mood and symbol which drive the piece's themes.    Including "all dogs" in the savagery, the sustenance only helps to build moral restraint and warning into the successfully developing series of contrasting structures................ or deconstructively contrasting structures which end up on the "ash heap of history."    A lasting poem, a testament to a day of judgment.   Something that could have been issued on Nov. 5th just as well as Guy Fawkes or Paul Revere, bending metal out of the censors (who had belonged to the sacrilegeous in the Book of Exodus) in the camp of Moses.
plutocratic polyphonous pandering 
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