Show me the bricks
#1
Foreword: I think this text originates from a frustration I have with a past employer, who is very disorganized and inefficient. This text has, to me, a resonating energy which hides the requirement to pay attention to choices of syntax, rhythm, etc. Also I composed it today, hence I did not wait to reflect on it before posting (a grave error, I suppose). In other words, you may, and I may later, see this text as worthy of the bin. But something nags me, that this actually echoes what we often silently feel about so many situations.


So you want to build a house?
Don't tell me about the houses next door
How yours will be bigger
Don't tell me you have the best team in town
Don't tell me what you will do with the house,
How you will paint it,
Or how many windows you want
Don't tell me about future parties
Don't show me your early drawings
Don't tell me that you need a house because you need a house
Don't show me furniture
Don't tell me it will be safe
No
Show me the bricks,
or stones or mud or wood.
Show me the man mixing concrete or sand,
and tell me why foundations are slanted
Teach me about issues and the pain
And the mistakes you made
Show me your first wall,
and how it stands against everything
Don't tell me you're stuck
Show me options A, B and C,
Tell me about the roof and I will see your impatience,
your energy and your attempts,
I can see the story
Show me that you're real,
that the house won't be just a dream.
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#2
.
Hi Frenchie,
enjoyed the read. I think you’ve got the tone just right,
My main suggestion would be to pare it back slightly, it needs, I think, to be tauter (choose your repetitions carefully). For instance, I like the ‘don’t tell me’ refrain, but not the repeat of ‘house’.
I’d suggest something like


So you want to build a house?
(I feel like you’re missing a line here, would you normally go straight from the rhetorical question to ‘don’t ...’? Perhaps it just needs an ‘OK, but’ or ‘fine, but’?)
Don't tell me about the ones next door
Don't tell me That yours will be bigger.
That you have the best team in town.
Don't tell me How you will paint it,
Or how many windows you want
...
(I think you could cut the next two lines, they seem slightly out of step with the rest)
Don't show me furniture
Don't tell me it will be safe
...
Show me the bricks,
(like this line, but the next one is a bit weak. Where’s the technical language? ‘Stones, mud, wood ‘are just too generic.)
or stones or mud or wood.
...
(unless ‘A, B and C’ are an integral part of the house-building process, I’d suggest cutting it - or make it the whole sentence more colloquial.)
Show me options A, B and C,
(The next three lines seem to be from a different poem, and they rather slow the pace, just when you’re picking it up. I’d cut them and go straight to ‘Show me that you’re real’)
Tell me about the roof and I will see your impatience,
your energy and your attempts,
I can see the story
Show me that you're real,
that the house won't be just a dream.
(Good ending, though perhaps ‘isn’t’ for ‘won’t be’?)


I wonder if the first line might not make a better title?


Best, Knot



.
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#3
Hello frenchie-

Thank you for jogging my memory... This poem instantly reminded me of a poem called "Love Song: I and Thou" by Alan Dugan.
Please search for it on the web, and see how it implies a meaning similar to yours.

For me, your poem starts here:
Show me the bricks,
or stones or mud or wood.


I like the idea you have, and think that careful re-building would make it more powerful: a smaller house, with less bricks, yet more nails. 

Thanks,
Mark
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#4
Hello Frenchie,

I think your poem highlights your frustration well. I did feel the line "show me options A, B and C" was a little off, and I think at some points the poem veered into a bullet-point, "tell" territory as opposed to showing us your emotions. But I think it aligns with showing frustration in general. The "don't tell me" refrain got a tad repetitive for me, maybe use it once and let the remaining phrases follow? 

An easy, light read.
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#5
Hi Frenchie,

I like your poem. The repetition adds to the frustration very well. Maybe consider shortening the lines to roll off a little easier. But that is just a nitpick.
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#6
(03-14-2021, 01:46 AM)Frenchie Wrote:  Foreword: I think this text originates from a frustration I have with a past employer, who is very disorganized and inefficient. This text has, to me, a resonating energy which hides the requirement to pay attention to choices of syntax, rhythm, etc. Also I composed it today, hence I did not wait to reflect on it before posting (a grave error, I suppose). In other words, you may, and I may later, see this text as worthy of the bin. But something nags me, that this actually echoes what we often silently feel about so many situations.


So you want to build a house?
Don't tell me about the houses next door
How yours will be bigger
Don't tell me you have the best team in town
Don't tell me what you will do with the house,
How you will paint it,
Or how many windows you want
Don't tell me about future parties
Don't show me your early drawings
Don't tell me that you need a house because you need a house
Don't show me furniture
Don't tell me it will be safe
No
Show me the bricks,
or stones or mud or wood.
Show me the man mixing concrete or sand,
and tell me why foundations are slanted
Teach me about issues and the pain
And the mistakes you made
Show me your first wall,
and how it stands against everything
Don't tell me you're stuck
Show me options A, B and C,
Tell me about the roof and I will see your impatience,
your energy and your attempts,
I can see the story
Show me that you're real,
that the house won't be just a dream.

‘Show me your first wall,
and how it stands against everything’

This is the best line of the poem for me.
The message I take from this is that of actions not words
Of how our lives are shaped by the lengths we are willing to go to
Thanks for the read
Newbie
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#7
(03-14-2021, 01:46 AM)Frenchie Wrote:  
Foreword: I think this text originates from a frustration I have with a past employer, who is very disorganized and inefficient. This text has, to me, a resonating energy which hides the requirement to pay attention to choices of syntax, rhythm, etc. [font=Tahoma, Verdana, Arial, sans-serif]Also I composed it today, hence I did not wait to reflect on it before posting (a grave error, I suppose). In other words, you may, and I may later, see this text as worthy of the bin. But something nags me, that this actually echoes what we often silently feel about so many situations.  Think we all agree the frustration can be felt. [/font]


So you want to build a house?
Don't tell me about the houses next door
Or how yours will be bigger
Don't tell me you have the best team in town
Or how many windows you want                                    I think it has a bit nicer rythm by alternating between the "Don't"s and the "Or"s (not sur if I'm using my quotation and apostrophe correctly)
Don't tell me what you will do with the house,
Or how you will paint it
Or how many windows you want
Don't tell me about future parties
Don't Or show me your early drawings
Don't show me furniture
Or tell me it will be safe
Don't tell me that you need a house (just) because you need onea house  I think this is a very strong line to end this first half with (so I reordered the rest somewhat)
Don't show me furniture
Don't tell me it will be safe

No  Love this single "No" here, and I think leaving a blank line above and below enhances it strength and enhances the contrast between the first and second half of the poem

Show me the bricks,
or stones or mud or wood.
Show me the man mixing concrete or sand,
and tell me why foundations are slanted
Teach me about issues and the pain
And the mistakes you made
Show me your first wall,
and how it stands against everything
Don't tell me you're stuck                             I get what you're saying here, but I think the contrast between this half and the previous could be stronger by removing the "Don't"s.
Show me options A, B and C,
Tell me about the roof and I will see your impatience,
your energy and your attempts,
I can see the story
Show me that you're real,
that theyour house won't will be a home just a dream. Again, I think the contrast between the first half is better without negatives, which is why I scrapped the "won't", though I don't know if my
                                                                              alternative has the same feeling as what you were going for
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#8
I enjoy the frustrated rant-like rhythm of this piece, but I do think a little paring could help get the point across more. I had an orchestra conductor that i feel was similar in nature to your past employer-everything was possible, but the path there was often dreamy and without substance. Frustrating, for sure (especially where national competition standings are involved). Below are some in-line thoughts. overall, i think your resonating energy, which is definitely there, could be even clearer with a slightly more minimalistic approach. 
i also think the overall rhythm of the wording of this piece could use a more definitive punctuation scheme, with more periods. just a thought though. 

(03-14-2021, 01:46 AM)Frenchie Wrote:  Foreword: I think this text originates from a frustration I have with a past employer, who is very disorganized and inefficient. This text has, to me, a resonating energy which hides the requirement to pay attention to choices of syntax, rhythm, etc. Also I composed it today, hence I did not wait to reflect on it before posting (a grave error, I suppose). In other words, you may, and I may later, see this text as worthy of the bin. But something nags me, that this actually echoes what we often silently feel about so many situations.


So you want to build a house? this may be my young age showing, but this is maybe a little close for comfort to a certain disney song. i dont think the line should be thrown out completely, but perhaps not one to begin with. depends on audience, of course
Don't tell me about the houses next door
How yours will be bigger 
Don't tell me you have the best team in town 
Don't tell me what you will do with the house, i like the Don'ts but i think the repetition is maybe overdone slightly. I think some of the Don't lines could come out to help paring down the piece as a whole 
How you will paint it,
Or how many windows you want
Don't tell me about future parties particularly like this image of parties...could go into this more. what kinds of parties? unrealistic dreamers often go further into their dreams than just "parties"
Don't show me your early drawings 
Don't tell me that you need a house because you need a house i understand where this line comes from but i think it reads a bit off in context 
Don't show me furniture
Don't tell me it will be safe
No always a fan of a single line No 
Show me the bricks, agree with mark that this could be a beginning, as long as you go to the detriments of the dream house rather quickly
or stones or mud or wood.
Show me the man mixing concrete or sand,
and tell me why foundations are slanted
Teach me about issues and the pain the issues?
And the mistakes you made
Show me your first wall,
and how it stands against everything
Don't tell me you're stuck
Show me options A, B and C,
Tell me about the roof and I will see your impatience,
your energy and your attempts,
I can see the story
Show me that you're real, enjoying the hint that the person is fake/a dream, not just the house 
that the house won't be just a dream.

Thank you for the read!
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