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Letting Go



Revision 2

Having taken in the children
of her drug addicted daughter
and having shut the door
each time with less

regret, she adopted a posture of flinching
from news, hard heeled
and hollow as a dropped shoe, a body
propped against a metal bin

as if she meant to rest or lean
along the unwatched alley, simply stopping

A shoe dropping
thru green canopy, so
blue within blue a vacancy.


Revision 1

Having taken in the children
of her drug addicted daughter
and having shut the door
each time with less regret

Having adopted a posture of flinching
from news, hitting hard-heeled
and hollow as a dropped shoe, a body
propped against a metal bin

as if she meant to rest or lean
along the unseen alley, simply stopping.

A shoe dropping.


Original

Having taken in the children
of her drug addicted daughter
and having shut the door
each time with less

Regret, a posture of flinching
from news, hard-heeled and hollow
as a dropped shoe, a body
propped against a metal bin

as if she meant to rest or lean
along the unwatched alley, simply stopping
a shoe dropping thru green canopy
so blue within blue a vacancy.

Last edited by Christine98, Aug/9/2013, 1:20 pm
Aug/3/2013, 9:16 am Link to this post Send Email to Christine98   Send PM to Christine98
 
Katlin Profile
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Re: Letting Go


Hi Chris,

I'm off for the day so don't have time to do this poem justice. First impressions: I like the title and how much visual and emotional information gets packed into a small space. There is also some very nice sound work going on that underscores the mood and scene. The overall sense is one of close observation coupled with (almost) detached compassion. I need more time to reflect, so I'll be back. emoticon
Aug/4/2013, 10:12 am Link to this post Send Email to Katlin   Send PM to Katlin
 
Zakzzz5 Profile
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Re: Letting Go


Christine98 wrote:

Having taken in the children
of her drug addicted daughter
and having shut the door
each time with less [I like this entire stanza. I would like a more substantial ending. Ending it with "less" somehow leaves me with "less" than I wanted. I toyed with the idea of including "Regret" up in the fourth line. Not sure, though.]

Regret, a posture of flinching
from news, hard-heeled and hollow
as a dropped shoe, a body
propped against a metal bin [For me, the way the sentence is written I am left at somewhat of a loss as to whether it is the mother or daughter who is flinching and propped up against the metal bin. I suspect it's the daughter, but could also be the mother, since she would be becoming hardened at the repeated offenses and continual need of the daughter. For me, it would work better if this was more clearly stated.]

as if she meant to rest or lean
along the unwatched alley, simply stopping
a shoe dropping thru green canopy
so blue within blue a vacancy. [I kept wanting to read "unwashed alley.' And the last couple of lines are a little too poetic, too elusive/illusive for me. Given those points I've noted, the language is very, very strong, very, very to the point. I am reminded of the great writer, Flannery O'Connor. Thank you very much for posting. Zak]



Last edited by Zakzzz5, Aug/4/2013, 10:52 am
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Christine98 Profile
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Re: Letting Go


hi Kat,

Thanks for stopping by and for your comments.
I look forward to any additional comments/impressions you might add, especially in light of zak's post,

thanks again,

Chris
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Christine98 Profile
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Re: Letting Go


hi zak,

Thank you for the read and comments. I thought a lot about that line break (S1L4) and I appreciate your take. Also the confusion re: reference to the mother or daughter. It's the mother who's [sign in to see URL] bad news about the daughter, ie: that she would end up in that alley. Interesting about 'unwashed' definitely not the image I'm going for.

Thank you so much, zak. Your careful reading is very helpful,

Chris
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Katlin Profile
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Re: Letting Go


Hi Chris,

Like Zak, I was confused as to who was letting go, mother or daughter. I thought it was probably the daugher, but the mother seemed worn out so I wasn't sure. Going back to the original, I didn't like the captial on Regret but didn't have a problem with it dropping down to the 2nd stanza. However, the changes you made there are good. Also, I didn't have a problem with "unwatched" but "unseen" works as well.

I thought perhaps tweaking the punctuation would clarify things:

a posture of flinching
from news, hard-heeled and hollow
as a dropped shoe: a body
propped against a metal bin

-or maybe-
  
Having adopted a posture of flinching
from news, hitting hard-heeled
and hollow as a dropped shoe--a body
propped against a metal bin

You are keeping the punctuation simple, so it might not work, but I thought something stronger than another comma might indicate that the body was the hard news.

I thought the original ending was a little too poetic but not to the extent Zak did. I feel the poem ends too abruptly in the revision. I was orginally going to suggest something like:

as if she meant to rest or lean
along the unwatched alley, simply stopping
a shoe dropping thru green canopy
so blue within a vacancy of blue.

Your description of the scene and its implications is strong. I like the unexpected (to me) subject matter.

Hope my two cents helps in someway. Thanks for posting, Chris.
Aug/7/2013, 8:26 am Link to this post Send Email to Katlin   Send PM to Katlin
 
Christine98 Profile
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Re: Letting Go


Thanks, Kat, for coming back to this.

Re: the ending, the four lines you suggest are the same four lines in the original version...
I wonder if that's a mistake or if the original
is working for you...?

Your suggestions re: un-conflating the two women are helpful and I will think on [sign in to see URL] I also wonder if it's fine for them to bleed into one another a little...

Thanks again for returning to this,

Chris
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Katlin Profile
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Re: Letting Go


Hey Chris,

Yes, I agree it is okay if the two women bleed into each other, as you put it. That way it really demonstrates how enmeshed the two lives are.

For the ending I only meant to change the last line from:

so blue within blue a vacancy.

to:

so blue within a vacancy of blue.

which I thought was a bit less poetic, but it changes the meaning slightly.

Ah, sometimes I'm a little slow. Just getting the whole "waiting for the other shoe to drop" theme in the poem! emoticon
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Christine98 Profile
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Re: Letting Go


Thanks kat, for bringing my attention to the subtle difference in the [sign in to see URL] thanks for noticing the other shoe,

Chris
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libramoon Profile
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Re: Letting Go


Hey Chris, love the imagery. I hope you don't mind that I felt a pull to play with it, just a little bit:

She takes in the children
of her drug addicted daughter,
having shut the door
each time with less regret

A posture she’s adopted of flinching
from news, hitting hard-heeled
and hollow as a dropped shoe, a body
propped against a metal bin

as if she meant to rest or lean
along the unseen alley, simply stopping.

A shoe dropping.
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Christine98 Profile
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Re: Letting Go


hey libra,

I don't mind at all; interesting 'play' on the original. I've been thinking about my decision to start those lines with "having."

Thanks for dropping by,

Chris
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arkava Profile
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Re: Letting Go


chris, i hv been shuttling b/w yr rev and the original since yesterday. my honest take is the rev is not working. for eg

Regret, a posture of flinching
from news, hard-heeled and hollow
as a dropped shoe, a body
propped against a metal bin

is way more evocative and tighter than the rev version. fwiw i didn't get the ing rhymes at yhe end. but i do get you feel it's imoortant to keep it. i liked the blue within blue for what it's worth painted a clear picture. good to read you. yrs arka
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Christine98 Profile
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Re: Letting Go


hey thanks, arka. I have a feeling the right, as yet unwritten, version will come with time and patience.

thanks so much for your take and your vote for parts of the original,

Chris
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queenfisher Profile
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Re: Letting Go


dear christine

it's a hard hitting poem - like the dropped shoe & very chilling - esp the picture of the woman propped against a metal bin.

somehow the dropped shoe / shoe dropping - mentioned twice doesn't have the same impact for me - it's more hard-hitting if it's mentioned once - that's what i feel.

some suggestions for further tightening:

Having taken in the children
of her drug addicted daughter,
having shut the door,
each time, with less

regret, she adopted a posture
of flinching from news, a body
propped against
a metal bin

as if she meant to rest or lean
along the unwatched alley, simply
stopping, so blue
within a blue

vacancy:
hard-
heeled,
hollow,
a shoe
dropping.

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Christine98 Profile
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Re: Letting Go


Thanks for your response queen. I'm gonna let this rest awhile,

thanks again,

Chris
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arkava Profile
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Re: Letting Go


quote:

as if she meant to rest or lean
along the unwatched alley, simply stopping

A shoe dropping
thru green canopy, so
blue within blue a vacancy.



hi chris, sorry to butt in. the line break seems to do magic here. just wanted to say that. the repetition of ing now sounds cool.

i like the fact that you take time b/w revs. all the best w/ this.

yrs
arka
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Christine98 Profile
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Re: Letting Go


Thanks very much arka, butt in any time you want,

Chris

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ineese Profile
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Re: Letting Go


The opening of your poem reads
a little more passive than I think needed
to strengthen it. The rest though
takes off with a nice metaphor.


Having taken in the children
of her drug addicted daughter
and having shut the door
each time with less

regret, she adopted a posture of flinching
from news, hard heeled
and hollow as a dropped shoe, a body


propped against a metal bin

as if she meant to rest or lean >>>>I'd choose
either "rest, or "lean" >>>>>
along the unwatched alley, simply stopping

A shoe dropping
thru green canopy, so
blue within blue a vacancy. >>>>>>>while
I like this ending, I'm not sure I get it.
the canopy is green, the blue comes in
and I'm a bit lost.

I would drop one of the shoes and follow
through a little more on the daughter,
and those kids. For instance, maybe
give a paragraph to a small hand tugging
on so as not to leave. Even a quarrel
or a plea for the daughter to seek help.
Something like that.

I enjoyed the read.
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Terreson Profile
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Re: Letting Go


Revision 2 for me. Attention to line, line break, ellipsis of thought makes all the difference. This is quite good.

Tere
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Christine98 Profile
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Re: Letting Go


Thanks tere, I'd let it go at that but quite a few readers have indicated confusion about which parts refer to which person--mother or daughter? So it needs fixing I think,

Chris
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Re: Letting Go


Hi Chris,
My thoughts on your revision below. What a tight little poem. So much expressed in little words.
Hope there is something here of use for you.
Caroline

Having taken in the children
of her drug addicted daughter
and having shut the door//she opened the door for the children but I assume shut the door on the daughter. I do wonder if this means no visitation but I suppose just that the daughter cannot live there too
each time with less

regret, she adopted a posture of flinching
from news, hard heeled
and hollow as a dropped shoe, a body
propped against a metal bin

as if she meant to rest or lean
along the unwatched alley, simply stopping// I love this stanza and the one before. It expresses how the mom wants to say a spade is a spade and I can't let myself care anymore, but the body language reveals how her daughter's problems still hurts her

A shoe dropping
thru green canopy, so
blue within blue a vacancy. //I think the green canopy is to suggest wanting to hold the daughter still. I like that idea anyway. I do feel this stanza could be a bit clearer. Does the shoe falls through the green canopy into the blue emptiness? Just a word or two might clarify. Like you could change "so blue" to "into blue" or something like that? Or maybe it is the daughter dropping (I think it is but you might trying being totally direct about that) or the mother reaching for the shoe. Possibilities are always endless. . . as you know.

Last edited by carolinex, Sep/22/2013, 4:11 pm
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Christine98 Profile
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Re: Letting Go


hi caroline,

thanks for your thoughts on the poem.

It's a straight forward story really, about people I've known since almost forever. Seems like I've made it more mysterious than I intended. The daughter over-dosed and her body was found in an alley, slumped against the metal bin/dumpster as described in the poem; news the mother had been braced for--for years.

Clearly this needs clarification--I need to step away from it as I can't really understand why none of the readers who have commented have been able to follow the narrative. I've really created confusion where none was intended.

Thanks again, caroline,

Chris
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carolinex Profile
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Re: Letting Go


O! I really missed that. Sorry!
For me I think it is "a body" is where I got confused as I did think it was the mother. I didn't get that it was "her daughter's body". An easy enough fix I think if others are having the same problem.
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Christine98 Profile
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Re: Letting Go


hey caroline,

Thanks for responding and no need for apology. Clearly a case of my bad.

Chris
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deepwaters Profile
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Hi Chris.

So wonderful to be reading you again - my doing, not yours. There is something here that is quintessentially yours. I think it is the "very, very strong, very, very to the point" language that zak is referring to.

A couple of teeny comments, if I may.

This line break:

each time with less

regret, she adopted a posture of flinching


sounds a little predictable to me, gimmicky if you will, which makes it not inline with the rest of the poem that delivers line after line.

This line break, though,
along the unwatched alley, simply stopping

A shoe dropping


packs a good punch.

Thanks for the read.
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Christine98 Profile
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Re: Letting Go


hey dw!

Good to see you and thanks for the comment and the crit. I'd forgotten about this and can see that your point re: the line break is well taken.

I haven't been up to much writing lately, how about you?

Thanks again for your comments,

best,

Chris
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