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carolinex Profile
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To Save a Place (tweaked)


tweaked version:

To Save a Place

You had never planted a flower
nor pulled a weed, but said
you wanted to rest in the shade
of the redwoods in your backyard forest.
I steadied your weight like heavy cargo;
feet shuffled across the rocky
patio. Knees bent, rear plunged
into the chaise lounge.
Your wooden body reclined
in hushed green relief.

Today, I lie upon a patch
of grass covered earth that turns
invisibly around months of unspoken
Kaddish. I study the tremble
of clinging leaves and take
a snapshot in my mind to save
for you: these hands of bark,
dance of leaves, ethereal blue-grey
mountains of cloud, light
as I envision you now.


earlier post:

You had never planted a flower
nor pulled a weed, but said
you wanted to rest in the shade
of the redwoods in your backyard
forest. I kept your weight on track
like heavy cargo, encouraged
feet across the rocky patio,
knees to bend, rear to plunge
perilous onto the creaking
chaise lounge. Your wooden body
reclined and savored hushed air
circulating green relief.

Today, I lie upon a favorite patch
of grass covered earth that turns invisibly
around months of unspoken Kaddish.
I study the tremble of clinging
leaves and take a snapshot
in my mind to save for you:
these hands of bark, dance of leaves
and etherial blue-grey mountains
of vapor that billow above
this material world as light
as I envision you now.





Last edited by carolinex, Nov/11/2013, 12:07 am
Sep/19/2013, 1:23 pm Link to this post Send PM to carolinex
 
Zakzzz5 Profile
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Re: To Save a Place


Caroline,

I like the easy, casual entrance into the poem. I like the sensuous feeling, the imagery, you evoke here. Had a little confusion with the narration, the sequence of events. Probably just me. Zak

 ]carolinex wrote:

You had never planted a flower
nor pulled a weed, but said
you wanted to rest in the shade
of the redwoods in your backyard
forest. I kept weight on track [Don't quite understand "I kept weight on track"]
like heavy cargo, encouraged
feet to rise over the garden
hose, knees to bend, rear to plunge
perilous onto the creaking
chase lounge. Your wooden body [I know when people are prepared for burial, their skin can feel like wood. But this image confuses me a little. You talk about someone, maybe a husband or wife wanting to rest in the shade. So I think maybe this about a burial.]
reclined in hushed air circulating
green relief.

Today, I lie upon grass covered
earth that turns invisibly around
months of unspoken prayers.
I study the tremble
of clinging leaves and take [So maybe she ends up buried instead of the husband. But if she is buried how can she study the tremble of clinging leaves?]
a snapshot in my mind
to save for you: these hands
of bark, dance of leaves
and etherial blue-grey mountains
of vapor that billow above
this material world as light
as I envision you now. [The narrator speaks of a snapshot in my mind, and says "as I envision you now." So I'm thinking maybe it is the narrator who is dead, and is imaging the husband, but I guess it could easily be the other way around,]

Sep/20/2013, 11:12 am Link to this post Send Email to Zakzzz5   Send PM to Zakzzz5
 
carolinex Profile
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Re: To Save a Place


Hi Zak,

Thanks much. It is always helpful to me to know what confuses. I've made a few quick possible changes to make more clear. By wooden I meant not dead yet, but getting close. If this really seems to suggest he dies right then and there I will definitely change that.

I've been wondering if I could skip the word "vapor" to know I mean clouds?

Not actually about a husband but I don't think that matters.

Last edited by carolinex, Sep/20/2013, 12:03 pm
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Terreson Profile
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Re: To Save a Place


Tweaked version more satisfying. Both sensually and narratively. I hope you decide against removing the vapor line intended to evoke the cloud cover. For me it fleshes out the atmosphere.

Tere
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carolinex Profile
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Re: To Save a Place


I keep it. Thanks much Tere. I hope it is clear that he is still alive in the first stanza and he has passed away by the second?

Last edited by carolinex, Sep/22/2013, 3:41 pm
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Christine98 Profile
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Re: To Save a Place


hi caroline,

I agree with Tere, the second version is more comprehensible and "satisfying." A couple of suggestions:

Lose "over the garden hose" so that section would read:

"I kept your weight on track
like heavy cargo, encouraged
feet to rise, knees to bend
rear to plunge perilous
onto the creaking chase lounge"

I'm not sure about the line breaks, they'd need re-working. The garden hose does paint
a more precise picture but strikes me as too
prosey. Others may disagree.

I'd also lose "around months of unspoken prayers" and just let the earth "turn invisibly" Again, use or lose,

Chris
Sep/24/2013, 9:11 am Link to this post Send Email to Christine98   Send PM to Christine98
 
carolinex Profile
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Re: To Save a Place (tweaked)


I might like to make those changes.

To be more specific, I could say "months of unspoken Kaddish". A grief counselor suggested that I try reciting the Kaddish prayer every day as is the Jewish custom. (This is to be done for an entire year after a parent passes.) I gave it some effort - lasted about a week.
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Christine98 Profile
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Re: To Save a Place (tweaked)


hey caroline,

I like "unspoken Kaddish" better, much better,

Chris
Sep/24/2013, 2:13 pm Link to this post Send Email to Christine98   Send PM to Christine98
 
carolinex Profile
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Re: To Save a Place (tweaked)


Thank you very much Chris. I also did change the garden hose so there is more of a sense of the journey to the chase lounge. And then I added that he savored the air so we know he is still alive. Tweak, tweak.
Sep/25/2013, 11:27 am Link to this post Send PM to carolinex
 
Katlin Profile
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Re: To Save a Place (tweaked)


Hi Caroline,

I read the original version when you first posted it and can see it now in Zak's comment. I think the addition of "your" before "weight" helps a lot to clarify what's happening. With the addition of the prounoun, I didn't have a problem with the garden hose line, but I like the change you've made as well. Since the person being helped was not a gardener, the presence of the garden hose indicated to me there was another, most likely not the N, who (once?) tended to those things. I'm not sure if that's important to the poem or not. If it is, you might consider:

I kept your weight on track
like heavy cargo, encouraged
feet to rise over the garden
hose, knees to bend, rear to plunge
perilous onto the creaking
chase lounge.

Although I thought the person being helped was alive in S1 (in the original version), the revision clears up any potential problem in that regard. I was not familiar with Kaddish, but I do like that change: the sound is better and the word less common.

The last two lines are excellent. Overall, a very strong poem. Well-observed and moving. Would you consider nominating it for this month's IBPC:

http://bdelectablemnts.runboard.com/t2294

(If not, no problem!)

Last edited by Katlin, Sep/27/2013, 9:51 am
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Re: To Save a Place (tweaked)


PS Should it be chaise lounge rather than chase lounge?
Sep/27/2013, 10:22 am Link to this post Send Email to Katlin   Send PM to Katlin
 
carolinex Profile
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Re: To Save a Place (tweaked)


Hi Kaitlin,

I'm glad the poet was able to stir something in you also and I am so pleased that you also think it deserving of consideration for a nom. Yes, that is fine with me, I'm only not sure it is really finished. I see there are only two poems there now and that everyone can submit one of their own, so I hope others will do this.

Thank you for the spelling catch! I also changed the park to a favorite patch because I have the park in the other poem too.
It really is my favorite place.

Last edited by carolinex, Sep/30/2013, 1:13 pm
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arkava Profile
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Re: To Save a Place (tweaked)


beautiful, moving poem. there are two successive movements here. in the first strophe the memories of the loved one seem to emerge out of places, everyday rituals and tenderness. the second strophe id itself an attempt to capture an unsoken language, not in the voice of things, but in the light and soul of it. that's why i like the suggestion of keeping the cloud line. it's important. completes the picture, thr light and shade.

thsnks,
arka
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queenfisher Profile
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Re: To Save a Place (tweaked)


these hands of bark, dance of leaves
and etherial blue-grey mountains
of vapor that billow above
this material world as light
as I envision you now.

beautiful lines & wonderful way of expressing
the fact of 'passing away'
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carolinex Profile
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Re: To Save a Place (tweaked)


Thank you both for reading and your supportive comments. Appreciatively,

Caroline
Oct/25/2013, 1:49 pm Link to this post Send PM to carolinex
 
ineese Profile
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Re: To Save a Place (tweaked)


I was really drawn into this poem.

Here are a few suggestions for you to consider.

I would lose the first line thereby immediately making
the person's intention the main focus and lead in from there:
The poem is very wordy and its obvious from the body of it
the poet is envisioning the person so I think the ending could go.

I've also offered a few line break/changes
and omitted some of the many modifiers
as I think might help in the read.

This has a real Mary Oliver feel to it. I truly enjoyed.

You said you wanted to rest in the shade
of the redwoods in your backyard forest.
I kept your weight like heavy cargo,
feet across the rocky patio,
knees bent, rear plunged
into the chaise lounge.
Your wooden body
green in its relief.

Today, I lie upon a patch
of grass covered earth that turns invisibly
around months of Kaddish.
I take a snapshot
in my mind to save for you:
these hands of bark,
dance of leaves
ethereal blue-grey mountains.


I think you have a real beauty here with a little more polish.


Last edited by ineese, Nov/2/2013, 4:41 pm
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Zakzzz5 Profile
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Re: To Save a Place (tweaked)


I like your revisions. You do work at your art, don't you? Zak
Nov/6/2013, 3:06 pm Link to this post Send Email to Zakzzz5   Send PM to Zakzzz5
 
carolinex Profile
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Re: To Save a Place (tweaked)


Hi Ineese,

Thank you very much for your ideas. People have been telling me about my poems to trim trim. I've done a bit of whittling here. Not ready to go as far as you suggest though I will keep your revise to look at later.


Yes Zak I do. And then also I make things worse! Thanks for stopping in.
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Christine98 Profile
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Re: To Save a Place (tweaked)


hi Caroline,

I love the tweaked version. Tender and beautiful,

Chris
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