Last Words
#1
Kind faces gather round my bed
and I am moved
to a room, clean and pale
where a machine at my head
breathes a sigh
as I exhale.

Last words?......already spoken
become last thoughts to be sang.
A token pang for each heart broken,
a song of loss for every wrong.

Then, what of bliss,
that bridal kiss
and the pride of family?
No, not this....
the catalyst of heightened memory.

But, as a boy beside the sea,
when all I had were pen and pad
and the joy of writing poetry.
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#2
.
Hi philip,
enjoyed the first verse, the enjambment on line two is works very well
(maybe switch the order of L5, where, at my head, a machine and
possibly break the line after clean ?) - but the rest don't seem to build
on such a strong opening.

(should it be sung (L8)?)

just a thought ...

Kind faces gather
round my bed
and I am moved
to a room, clean
and pale
where at my head
a patient
machine
sighs audibly
as I exhale.


Best, Knot
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#3
hello Knot - thank you for reading and commenting.

I appreciate your thoughts on the first verse - but I'm going for slant rhymes, and I think it works in that form.

you 'rang' sir? - yes, outrageous poetic license for the in-rhyme - if it is an issue, I'll have to rethink it...

cheers.....philip
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#4
What a beautiful and tragic poem! My impression is that this is a person on a ventilator who can no longer speak, who is surrounded by family and waiting to die. With the ending, I hope this person can still find poetry in their final thoughts, even if they cannot express them. 
If I had any suggestions, it would be to re-think the rhyme scheme and make sure your choices are very intentional. My mind had a little trouble with the jump from ABCADC in the first stanza to ABAC in the second to AABAB in the third, to ABA in the last. Is this mishmash intentional? I didn't fully understand what role the rhyme played in the poem. But overall I really liked the effect and think you did a great job with a difficult topic. Apologies if I got something from it you did not intend to convey! Nice work!
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#5
Hi philip, comments below
(10-18-2020, 12:42 PM)philip Wrote:  Kind faces gather round my bed is there a better word than "kind" that provides more concrete detail of these faces, maybe while also keeping an implication of that kind quality?
and I am moved not sure if this line break works for me. i do appreciate the double meaning (emotionally-moved), but some part of me feels like it's cheap
to a room, clean and pale comma after pale? again i'd try to get more specific than "clean". i'd think about the smells too
where a machine at my head
breathes a sigh i like the personification of the machine. to make the n seem more at their end, you could say something like "the machine exhales with my breath"
as I exhale.

if this is a traditional form whose rules you are following, i've never heard of it. then again, there's a lot of forms im not aware of. but from what i know, it seems like you are restricting what you are trying to say by adhering to a rhyme scheme that doesn't belong to any form, so why not just write the poem you want without worrying about the rhymes? you'd probably be much more happier with it and it could probably be much more effective

Last words?......already spoken why the ellipsis?
become last thoughts to be sang. i dont understand the structure of this sentence
A token pang for each heart broken,
a song of loss for every wrong. these lines are too abstract imo--"token pang" "heart" "song of loss" "wrong"--need something concrete to evoke some emotion.

Then, what of bliss,
that bridal kiss
and the pride of family?
No, not this.... 
the catalyst of heightened memory. why "heightened" and not something like "intense"?

But, as a boy beside the sea
when all I had, were pen and pad remove comma after had and place it after "sea" in previous line.
and the joy of writing poetry.

Kindest regards,
Alex
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#6
Hello Alex,

thank you for reading and commenting. I sometimes mix the rhyming scheme to keep things interesting and not sound like Dr Zuess. (free rhyming, a new form?)

I can't agree with your suggestion to simply get rid of the rhymes (that I 'worry' about). Yes, there some issues in the middle verse that need addressing, but why throw out everything else? I like to write in an engaging style (that includes rhymes), as well as driving the narrative and message, so I certainly  would not be happier if my poetry were less effective in that respect.

Good point on the comma, a quick fix I can do right now.

Hello mlea,

thank you for your encouraging words, much appreciated.

cheers.........Philip
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#7
one other nit is that i believe "to be sang" should be "to be sung", so the simple past tense of sing should be the past participle.

i know you want to stick to rhyming but, just to experiment, i'd highly encourage you to try rewriting this in free verse just to see what you come up with. as long as you're giving your audience concrete images that convey exactly what you're trying to say, you will have them engaged, with or without rhymes : )
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#8
yes thank you Alex, I've already acknowledged there are issues with that verse - which I will have to come back to.
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#9
(10-18-2020, 12:42 PM)philip Wrote:  Kind faces gather round my bed
and I am moved Nice enjambment, shocking in a subtle way, feels like a movie cut
to a room, clean and pale
where a machine at my head
breathes a sigh
as I exhale. These last two lines are quite and powerful, my favorite moment in the poem. The machine and the man breathing together, the man dependent on the machine to breath. Very melancholy. 

Last words?......already spoken 
become last thoughts to be sang.
A token pang for each heart broken,
a song of loss for every wrong.

Then, what of bliss,
that bridal kiss
and the pride of family?
No, not this....
the catalyst of heightened memory. I don't really understand this stanza. I take it as the narrator reflecting on their wife/family but I'm not sure if No, not this... is a rejection of the narrators current circumstance or to their memories. The last line I really don't know. 

But, as a boy beside the sea, This return to childhood is really beautiful. Parallels between the expanse of the sea, and the eternal nature of death, beginning to End
when all I had were pen and pad
and the joy of writing poetry. Poetry ( :

Hello, this poem is touching in many places. I seem to have a predisposition against rhyming, but I do feel as though the moments in which you bend the poem around the rhymes are the weakest. The first and last stanza read the strongest for me, especially the first which nearly holds its own as a poem.
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#10
Hello Miley, welcome to the sty...

Thank you for reading and commenting.........P
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