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deepwaters Profile
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Sonogram


I have been trying to clean this one up a little...

Sonogram

When the dot on the screen shivered
in the flickering snow, I knew
I loved you.

When I offered a fuzzy picture
of your invisible heart to your father,
when he left, and only returned buried
in the cacophony of static, apologizing,
when the clouds floating at the bottom
of my teacup told me your future,
when I washed your heart all night, erasing
you from the paper before
they wiped you off my womb, I knew
I loved you.
Feb/8/2010, 5:35 pm Link to this post Send Email to deepwaters   Send PM to deepwaters
 
ChrisD1 Profile
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Re: Sonogram


hi shab,

I hate this subject because it is utterly personal and has been grotesquely politicized. I really hate this subject.

So I applaud you for posting this and will try to overcome the knee-jerk recoil I experience every time I read it. I suspect others are having a similar reaction--but I don't know that for a fact.

A courageous poem, for sure.

Chris

Last edited by ChrisD1, Feb/10/2010, 8:17 pm
Feb/10/2010, 11:34 am Link to this post Send Email to ChrisD1   Send PM to ChrisD1
 
Terreson Profile
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Re: Sonogram


I get what Chrisfriend is saying about the politicization. It is true and reprehensible.

Shabfriend, some poems I cannot dispassionately, even clinically, comment on or offer suggestions for. It doesn't mean anything except that some experiences bar me from being a poetry critic. But the poem stands and it should stand. Courageous, yes. But tender too.

Tere
Feb/10/2010, 7:30 pm Link to this post Send Email to Terreson   Send PM to Terreson
 
zoe guilherme Profile
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Re: Sonogram


Hi deep

Good to meet you.

This is a deeply personal write and as such I think it makes some feel a little awkward in offering critique.

I think you offer something here that is heartfelt and pure.

May I suggest altering the opening stanza, just a little -

when the dot on the screen shivers
in the flickering snow --
I know.

Leave your reader the opportunity to anticipate.

I might also be tempted to write all this in present tense, there is strength in the here and now, I think. Maybe not, just thinking out loud with you.


When the dot on the screen shivered
in the flickering snow, I knew
I loved you.

Either way, good to meet and read you.

All the best

Zoe









quote:

deepwaters wrote:

I have been trying to clean this one up a little...

Sonogram

When the dot on the screen shivered
in the flickering snow, I knew
I loved you.

When I offered a fuzzy picture
of your invisible heart to your father,
when he left, and only returned buried
in the cacophony of static, apologizing,
when the clouds floating at the bottom
of my teacup told me your future,
when I washed your heart all night, erasing
you from the paper before
they wiped you off my womb, I knew
I loved you.



Feb/14/2010, 6:48 pm Link to this post Send Email to zoe guilherme   Send PM to zoe guilherme
 
Terreson Profile
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Re: Sonogram


Good on you, Zoe. You just went where I couldn't. And welcome to the board.

Tere
Feb/14/2010, 7:28 pm Link to this post Send Email to Terreson   Send PM to Terreson
 
zoe guilherme Profile
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Re: Sonogram


Thanks, Terre

Good to be here, although it will be in short bursts for now, my net is not particularly friendly at the moment and is only allowing me limited access.

I think it may be bored with me emoticon

Best to you

Zoe



Last edited by zoe guilherme, Feb/14/2010, 7:51 pm
Feb/14/2010, 7:49 pm Link to this post Send Email to zoe guilherme   Send PM to zoe guilherme
 
Katlin Profile
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Re: Sonogram


Hi shab,

A difficult, deeply personal subject to write about and like Chris I applaud you for doing so. I also know you wouldn't have posted the poem here if you didn't want a critique, so--

I like Zoe's suggestion to drop the first I love you (Hi Zoe! Welcome to the board.). The reader is forced to ask: knew what? and then to read on to discover. Also, the tenderness at the end might come across more strongly if delayed. It would be interesting to see the poem in present tense. Would that work/better? I'm not sure either, but something for you to think about.

I also wondered about dropping the final I love you. I think the love would come through in: "when I washed your heart all night, erasing." Without the direct statement, the reader would also ask what else the N knew? About herself, the father, their relationship. But dropping the final line might be too abrupt and seem gimmicky. I'm not sure, so something else for you to think about. Or not.

Thank you for posting.
Feb/15/2010, 10:42 am Link to this post Send Email to Katlin   Send PM to Katlin
 
deepwaters Profile
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Re: Sonogram


Zoe –

Nice to meet you too. Thanks for your reading and commenting.

Your comments remind me of a poem I had written about death of a brother, and members (on a different board) hesitated commenting, without knowing I have never had a brother. This is just a poem, not a page of my journal, so please feel free to comment.

quote:

I think you offer something here that is heartfelt and pure.


Thank you.

quote:

May I suggest altering the opening stanza, just a little -

when the dot on the screen shivers
in the flickering snow --
I know.


I like your suggestion of removing “I love you” a lot. I am going to adapt it; thanks.

quote:

I might also be tempted to write all this in present tense, there is strength in the here and now, I think. Maybe not, just thinking out loud with you.


Yea, like you, I am not so sure about the present tense, but will tinker a bit to see what happens.

Thanks again.
-shab
Feb/15/2010, 5:42 pm Link to this post Send Email to deepwaters   Send PM to deepwaters
 
deepwaters Profile
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Re: Sonogram


Kat –

Thanks for commeting on this.

quote:

A difficult, deeply personal subject to write about and like Chris I applaud you for doing so. I also know you wouldn't have posted the poem here if you didn't want a critique, so—


Indeed.

quote:

I also wondered about dropping the final I love you. I think the love would come through in: "when I washed your heart all night, erasing." Without the direct statement, the reader would also ask what else the N knew? About herself, the father, their relationship. But dropping the final line might be too abrupt and seem gimmicky. I'm not sure, so something else for you to think about. Or not.


An intriguing suggestion, one worth pondering. Thank you.

Thanks again.
-s
Feb/15/2010, 5:45 pm Link to this post Send Email to deepwaters   Send PM to deepwaters
 
Zakzzz5 Profile
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Re: Sonogram


deepwaters,
I must be the proverbial calloused elephant in the glass house because I didn't come away with any sense that I would hurt the poet's feelings for commenting. Must be a genetic fault of mine. My problem was initially trying to understand what it was about. The other reviews kind of pointed me in the right direction, though. Or so I think! Seems like it's about someone, possibly a doctor, looking at the inception of life, of a child. Then the narrator shows the picture to the father, who is then killed. The wiping "you" off my womb could be an abortion. Initially, it was my impression that washing your heart all night was the best line, but now I don't even remember why. My initial impressions were wiped out after reading the other comments. I now don't understand the washing the heart, nor the wiping you from the paper.

I know there's a lot of experimental poetry out there now. Not so much here as in TCP, but this poem -- for me, maybe not for others -- cries for a bit more clarity. It might be a tough thing to write -- I have no idea how personal it is or whether it is just a poem. In any case, when the actual event is fairly clear in the mind of the poet or narrator, maybe clarity can be approached. I don't agree with the assumption that we have to write in a jumble in order to achieve layered poetry. But that's another matter. That's getting off on a tangent, which we all do here and everywhere (I've been).

Please disregard my remarks if they are not helpful. It's always possible I have completely misread this. Zak

quote:

deepwaters wrote:

I have been trying to clean this one up a little...

Sonogram

When the dot on the screen shivered
in the flickering snow, I knew
I loved you.

When I offered a fuzzy picture
of your invisible heart to your father,
when he left, and only returned buried
in the cacophony of static, apologizing,
when the clouds floating at the bottom
of my teacup told me your future,
when I washed your heart all night, erasing
you from the paper before
they wiped you off my womb, I knew
I loved you.





Last edited by Zakzzz5, Feb/17/2010, 10:00 am
Feb/17/2010, 9:53 am Link to this post Send Email to Zakzzz5   Send PM to Zakzzz5
 
deepwaters Profile
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Re: Sonogram


Zak -

As always, your comments are helpful. Thank you.

quote:

Zakzzz5 wrote:
The wiping "you" off my womb could be an abortion. Initially, it was my impression that washing your heart all night was the best line, but now I don't even remember why. My initial impressions were wiped out after reading the other comments. I now don't understand the washing the heart, nor the wiping you from the paper.


Your initial impression was on the right track indeed.

quote:

but this poem -- for me, maybe not for others -- cries for a bit more clarity.


I think I know what you mean. It seems underdeveloped to me too.

Thanks again.
-shab


Feb/17/2010, 1:36 pm Link to this post Send Email to deepwaters   Send PM to deepwaters
 
Zakzzz5 Profile
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Re: Sonogram


deepwaters,
I should add that your poem is on the edge of something already. And that the poem, whether personal or not, is covering a significant subject; it covers life and death, and of course, love. But also perception, it covers that. Zak
Feb/17/2010, 5:16 pm Link to this post Send Email to Zakzzz5   Send PM to Zakzzz5
 
pjouissance Profile
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Re: Sonogram


Hi, deepwaters,

I found this moving and intelligent. The images seemed to me to be at just the right distance. I took it as a poem about abortion, with a very painful image of that. The sonogram is printed on paper, and the abortion -- well, perhaps it is left on "paper" in some way too.

It is just so hard to write a poem that uses "I loved you" twice. It's so fraught, so overused, so blatant. But I can't really suggest you play it down to something cooler, like "I knew you" or something.

It's very brief, but it does the job in this length and retains its power.

Thanks for the posting,

Auto
Feb/17/2010, 5:34 pm Link to this post Send Email to pjouissance   Send PM to pjouissance
 
deepwaters Profile
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Re: Sonogram


Zak-
Thank you for coming back.

-----
Auto-
THank you for your kind assessment. I know what you mean about the "I love you." Could you tell me why getting rid of at least one wouldn't be something you could see as a solution? Thanks again.

-shab
Feb/18/2010, 3:27 pm Link to this post Send Email to deepwaters   Send PM to deepwaters
 


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