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fdelano

Wait for the Reward

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This thing of solitary thoughts has never worked. Perhaps it's time to junk it? Flail away, please.

fdh

 

Wait for the Reward

 

Alone, he grips the arms of his chair

as he wrestles with the thought of

people already placing him where

nothing happens but time passing.

 

Then, relaxed and slumped back

onto sore bones and slack flesh,

he sees a time of turmoil and test

when all his fiber was called upon.

 

Things that took hold of him and

made his life worse than living,

things that no longer matter but

meant the world and all else then.

 

No one now to tell about it;

who would understand even a whit

of what had gone before to make him

resolved to withstand even the worst.

 

What does it matter then? Let go the

arms of the chair. Wait to enjoy the

happiness of young things swooping

around your chair in constant joy.

 

Version 2.

Alone, he grips the arms of his chair

as he wrestles with the thought of people

ready to place him

where nothing happens but

time passing.

 

Relaxed and slumped back onto

sore bones and slack flesh,

he sees a time of turmoil and test when

all his fiber was

called upon.

 

Things that made his life worse

than living, things that

no longer matter but

meant the world

back then.

 

No one now to tell about it;

who would understand

even a whit of what

had made him resolve to withstand

the worst?

 

What does it matter then? Let go of

the arms of the chair.

Enjoy the happiness of young

creatures swooping round your chair

in constant joy.

Edited by fdelano

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I, being of somewhat respectable age, like the undercurrent but think you should let the emotion that seems to drive this speak more loudly/stronger. Why are the lines of regular length. This is free verse, or isn't it. I think trying structural prosody a la Lewis Turco might liven this up. That usually takes no more than altering line lengths by moving conjunctions and prepositions from one line to another.

 

If at first you don't succeed . . . I would!

 

I will take a day or two to mull over a more thorough/detailed reaction.

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I, being of somewhat respectable age, like the undercurrent but think you should let the emotion that seems to drive this speak more loudly/stronger. Why are the lines of regular length. This is free verse, or isn't it. I think trying structural prosody a la Lewis Turco might liven this up. That usually takes no more than altering line lengths by moving conjunctions and prepositions from one line to another.

 

If at first you don't succeed . . . I would!

 

I will take a day or two to mull over a more thorough/detailed reaction.

 

My thanks, and I shall try to work on your initial suggestions. First--search for Lewis Turco. You're right; if there is to be an epiphany, it should have some punch to it. I think you've put your finger on the problem.

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I, being of somewhat respectable age, like the undercurrent but think you should let the emotion that seems to drive this speak more loudly/stronger. Why are the lines of regular length. This is free verse, or isn't it. I think trying structural prosody a la Lewis Turco might liven this up. That usually takes no more than altering line lengths by moving conjunctions and prepositions from one line to another.

 

If at first you don't succeed . . . I would!

 

I will take a day or two to mull over a more thorough/detailed reaction.

 

My thanks, and I shall try to work on your initial suggestions. First--search for Lewis Turco. You're right; if there is to be an epiphany, it should have some punch to it. I think you've put your finger on the problem.

 

 

My apologies for being detained by some stupid, grave matters from reacting to your response. With so much time having slipped by, I do assume version 2 was inserted, as a revision, into the original post for it certainly does, and does it even better than I thoight it might, what I tried hinting at.

Edited by waxwings

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i actual like both versions of your poem franklin. i would only change one word (fiber) or change the sentence that uses that word. i would use maybe the word fortitude instead.

 

 

 

victor michael

Edited by Larsen M. Callirhoe

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I like the turn that this had at the end it was delightful. At first i thought it was about an old veteran going to live in a nursing home

to place him

where nothing happens but

time passing.

 

 

 

and some new terrible thing was going to happen to him, one final test! But the last stanza (verse? bit? ...sorry don't know the terms to well) made me think perhaps it's an old veteran who realized his family will soon have to place him in a home and even though he went through a lot of pain and is steeled to take anything he doesn't relish the though of it. But in the end there's nothing for him to do but surrender to enjoying the moment and loving his grandkids. It's sad but also hopeful. He suffered much but is still able to enjoy life's gifts. Is this what you meant? Anyway...

 

The second version with the more unusual line breaks also seemed to heighten that tension, for me, before the end.

 

I like the alliteration throughout the middle verses of the poem and i see a pattern that i like with the sound of the W's moving to the nice line at the end of verse 4 (Ver. 2)

No one now to tell about it;

who would understand

even a whit of what

had made him resolve to withstand

the worst?

 

 

i kind of stumbled over the first line of this one though and after finishing it thought that if you could move the 'now' to the end of the first line it would make it easier to say as well as keep the W sound that is repeated through the verse at the end of that line

 

 

No one to tell about it now;

 

At first i also stumbled with the present past tense wordings but upon reflection it seems like a good way to preserve the punch of the last verse as well as reflect the element of time in the thoughts of the character as they weaved from the future to the past and then present. As to whether to junk it or not (i presume you mean the style for future poems and not the poem presented - although perhaps i'm misreading). Who's to say, you did a pretty nice job here. i think you could tinker with it some more and create some more unsettling imagery about the nature of the bad events in the past that the character experienced and add some more tension before the last part. Hope some of the comments are helpful and thanks for sharing it even though you thought it was junk. :)

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Just stumbled on this effort from some time ago and feel ashamed at not having thanked all who took valuable time to offer helpful advice. I do appreciate your help and knowledge. I started this writing stuff late in life, but it brings a wonderful reward, even when I fail to convey my thinking in an intellectual manner. I have known for many years that everyone cannot attain success in every endeavor.

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