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In trade, for bottled thirst, I offered hymns,
appeals for equity that harmonized
yet still irked me. A place is just a place.
Suburbia. I freed my slaves. No rum.
Now, lemme hear your sobs, Barbados, suga.
There grace for you from evah one but me.

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13 hours ago, tonyv said:

I offered hymns in trade for bottled thirst,
appeals for equity that harmonized
yet still irked me. A place is just a place.
Suburbia. I freed my slaves. No rum.
Now, lemme hear your sobs, Barbados, suga.
There grace for you from evah one but me.

Hi Tony,

I wondered why you chose to break up the flow in L1. Perhaps you wanted to draw attention to hymns/harmonised? 

My reading: N. uses religion to 'bottle' the 'freedom' of the demon drink, but this has economic consequences. The consequences affect those that had a history of slavery. A further irony is that the life in suburbia is in servitude (survived with the aid of alcohol supplied by ex-slavery colonies). Hopefully, I haven't misinterpreted too much.

Liked how particular sonics played: equity/irked; suga/grace.

May be an option to use rather than repeating me. This would mimic the dialect?

thanks for sharing

Phil

 

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Hi Phil,

5 hours ago, badger11 said:

I wondered why you chose to break up the flow in L1. Perhaps you wanted to draw attention to hymns/harmonised?

While I'm no grammar expert, I try to use correct grammar, to the best of my ability, that is. I wanted to be sure L2 modified and pointed to the hymns, and that's what I think the construction I used accomplishes. That said, I'm unsure. I really don't know.

5 hours ago, badger11 said:

My reading: N. uses religion to 'bottle' the 'freedom' of the demon drink, but this has economic consequences. The consequences affect those that had a history of slavery. A further irony is that the life in suburbia is in servitude (survived with the aid of alcohol supplied by ex-slavery colonies). Hopefully, I haven't misinterpreted too much. 

This started out quite differently. I was going to use the geographical and historical images as metaphors in more personal contexts. Upon paring, the poem seemed to lean more toward being a follow-up, sort of a part two to my poem "Slave Trade."

I wanted to leave the poem open, therefore there's no such thing as misinterpreting it. I can think of several different perspectives. Yours is along the lines of what I had hoped to elicit.

The speaker is the former slave trader or his beneficiary. In my drafts I had references spanning from "bottle" (rum & Caribbean source), to Baptist choir (a representation of the American South), to suburbia (where I grew up). The "bottled thirst" could represent the literal results of excessive consumption ("dryness") and/or serve as a more abstract allusion to reduced profits (reality) or shortages (not reality) from abolished slavery, with the hymns ("progressive" ideas) being offered in exchange for the diminished profits, all the while alluding back to the historical hypocrisy of slavery mixed with (true) religion. The two are, of course, incompatible.

This is from my imagination. The speaker is bitter. There's no guilt or (American) self-loathing on my part. My own ancestors were slaves -- in Europe -- to Swedes, Danes, Germans, Russians, and perhaps others. My immediate family has been in the New World only since the 1950s.

5 hours ago, badger11 said:

May be an option to use rather than repeating me. This would mimic the dialect?

In my short(er), more compact poems, I try to limit excessive use of the pronoun "I."  I'm not in the camp that thinks it's wrong to explain or discuss. Doing so changes nothing as far as the art is concerned. I just hope I didn't add to the confusion.

Thank you for the time you put into this.

Tony :happy:

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Hi Tony,  I've read this over and over.  The hymns vs the bottle were an AA image. The struggle for freedom with the bottle then enslaved by the bottle and the struggle to grasp the coat tails of God for freedom and salvation .  I see the circle.  Actually on the surface I had images of old docks and slave ships and sailors in pantaloons.  I liked it, I felt the struggle.

~~Tink 

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I like your take, Judi. Well, except for the sailors in pantaloons; I guess I just don't care for the the look. :laugh: But yes, here (close to where I live) would have been one of those stops, those docks you mention, where the ships would have landed enroute to their ultimate destinations. Thank you for the close read and kind remarks.

Tony

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Tony, this poem is a such a surprise to me. It's lovely, and I have to note, a very different one, from what I've read by you. Interesting. Happy to read it.

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On ‎6‎/‎16‎/‎2018 at 8:47 AM, Aleksandra said:

Tony, this poem is a such a surprise to me. It's lovely, and I have to note, a very different one, from what I've read by you. Interesting. Happy to read it.

Thank you, Alek. It's not one of my best, but these days it's one of the few. I'm getting back into it now that I've got some recent computer problems sorted.

Tony :happy:

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