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Benjamin

Tommy's Ghost

6 posts in this topic

Out of a past under the stairs

He breathes with anonymity

Where mystery and madness range

From tallow candles to Tesla bulbs

The conscience of his human face

A hunter's moon with spindrift bows

And silver darts that pierce the mind

On fields of Mars where countless died--

Still die-- to crowd his universe

Where all religion is a foolish

Answer to a foolish question

And he haunts for a better life

Headstone detached-- gathering dust

Archaic as Ozymandias

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And a worthy throwback piece it is. I loved the mention of Mars, the jab at religion, and the final two lines. This unrhymed sonnet in iambic tetrameter reads like a rhymed piece. I think it's the near rhyme at the end:

 

Headstone detached-- gathering dust
Archaic as Ozymandias

 

What an allusion!

 

Tony

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Thanks Tony.

“The war to end all wars” seems like an ironic precursor when one examines 20th century history from 1919 onward. It may have changed attitudes both spiritual and tangible, yet we remain destructively human. G.

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Hi Geoff, I too like the blank tetrameter of the piece, the near-rhyme at the end and in lines 8-9. Pulling on that thread, I admire the starting substitution scansion, it's intonation of breathless introduction that dismisses the need for explanation:

 

. / - - / . / - - /

Out of a past under the stairs

 

As if to say, "Hey, it's a ghost. Deal with it."

 

The same movement is used in the penultimate line, preparing the likely term of Tommy's restless search, though even more anonymous than Shelley's figure of furrowed brow.

 

Thanks,

- Dave

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Hello Dave many thanks for your review and comments which are much appreciated.

I took some poetic license with “under the stairs” to present a traditional psychological place of mystery and uncertainty; a hint at the very English phrase: “below stairs” which represents the oppressive class structure of it's day and of “knowing one's station” :-) Geoff.

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