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Tennis


Benjamin
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Early departure, conjures with my rhyme of

Aberdeen and Wimbledon.

But morning has no breath for window panes

 

and each stop trades its passengers,

as porters jostle for tips

before they fade into oblivion.

 

I revert to counting stiles. A wooden ramp

where milk churns once stood, is full

of female joggers with their pumped up thighs.

 

They pose like Cretan bull-leapers

ready to vault-- although not

until the rushing beast has passed them by.

 

But afternoon brings fresh strawberries and cream,

sometimes even the sunshine.

 

And fortunates in the centre-court, sit

with well-dressed men and delicate

ladies, who look twee-- although

it seems-- appreciate combative grunts.

Edited by Benjamin
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Terrific writing, Benjamin. I love the relaxed, matter-of-fact mood with its ever-so-slight sense of anticipation, the setting, and how the work is just the right length. I can see the day, I can feel the weather; I'm there. We all know the people; they're remarkably depicted. The vocabulary perfects the composition. This is world class.

 

Tony

 

 

One small thing: I think the title would be better without the question marks.

Here is a link to an index of my works on this site: tonyv's Member Archive topic

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Just because I enjoed this very, very much I can't say it needs no further polish before it is a finished poem.

 

By the time I had read this thrice, I still wondered why it was titled Tennis. I enjoyed the nebulous somethin' the title is supposed to stand for, and, to be sure, most poems have that capability regardless of title. From that perspective, this is a good poem. But I would love to have some semantic anchor to guess more closely what the poem alludes to and how the body and the close are connected.

 

At first, I thought this was about just enjoying looking out the window of a train (rushing beast). Departures, stops, passengers, porters, styles (in fences it rushes by) and certainly the ramp where milk (churns?) cans where placed to be delivered by the slow trains to the creamery, as was done in most of rural Europe. The transition to strawberries was marvelous, and I liked the intrusion of the modern day joggers. But I fail to guess who the fortunates are, other than the ladies and the gentlemen. So, what is the point of the last stanza. There seems to be an emotional and semantic gap between the poem and its ending at Wimbledon.

 

I have noted the main reasons to my puzzlement in the body below.

 

Early departure, conjures with my rhyme of ~~ what does "departure" conjure (by means of rhyme)?

Aberdeen and Wimbledon.

But morning has no breath for window panes ~~ why should it have and what does it have one for?

 

and each stop trades its passengers, ~~ not sure if one set of passengers is swapped for another or something else

as porters jostle for tips

before they fade into oblivion.

 

I revert to counting stiles: A wooden ramp ~~ period instead of colon; unless a stile is a ramp is a stile

where milk churns once stood, is full

of female joggers with their pumped up thighs.

 

They pose like Cretan bull-leapers--

so keen to vault--although not ~~ "so" is superfluous, unless you tell reader how keen 'they' are to vault (leap?)

until the rushing beast has passed them by.

 

But afternoon brings fresh strawberries and cream,

sometimes even the sun-shine. ~~~~ why the hyphen

 

And fortunates, in the centre-court, sit "and" seems superfluous; the 3 underlined can be segued 3 different ways

with well-dressed men and delicate

ladies, who look twee-- although ~~ I am all at sea what all (esp. twe--) after "ladies" is supposed to mean.

it seems-- appreciate combative grunts.

Edited by waxwings
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Early departure, conjures with my rhyme of

Aberdeen and Wimbledon.

But morning has no breath for window panes

 

and each stop trades its passengers,

as porters jostle for tips

before they fade into oblivion.

 

I revert to counting stiles: A wooden ramp

where milk churns once stood, is full

of female joggers with their pumped up thighs.

 

They pose like Cretan bull-leapers

so keen to vault-- although not

until the rushing beast has passed them by.

 

But afternoon brings fresh strawberries and cream,

sometimes even the sun-shine.

 

And fortunates in the centre-court, sit

with well-dressed men and delicate

ladies, who look twee-- although

it seems-- appreciate combative grunts.

 

G., your words always take to to places unknown or refreshing in memory. This seems a comment on the gentle society who admire life from the sidelines. Your fourth verse takes me to Hemingway's running of the bulls, all social with with wine botas and blood. Excellent, my friend. Paco

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Tony my thanks for your generous comments which I appreciate and value.

 

Franklin. It's good to hear from you also. I hope you are keeping well and active.

My thanks for reading and leaving comment. Geoff :icon_sunny:

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Hello Waxwings, good to hear from you. I thank you for giving this your time.

The All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club (Wimbledon) is something of a misnomer. Tennis in England is looked upon by and large as a pastime for the better off. Coaching is so expensive as to ensure that we seldom groom any world class talent from the general population. Wimbledon occurs when our national sport of soccer has its summer break. For many it's a time filler on t/v. before the soccer season begins again. It does however, attract a pilgrimage of ordinary folk during the holiday period. Many perhaps just hope to rub shoulders or catch a glimpse of the rich and famous. Thousands watch from outside the grounds on huge t/v. monitors. Most have virtually no chance of getting into the grounds let alone the centre court which is where the major events take place.

 

The poem relates to thoughts that enter ones head during the annual pilgrimage. Some thoughts spin off at a tangent as it progresses. The early morning start idles with the thought of distance between Aberdeen and Wimbledon and the absence of mist on the summer window to doodle. The busy stops have an industry of commuters who come and go along with the many would-be spectators. I take your point about the colon and hyphen L7&14. The last stanza and the reference to Cretan bull-leapers is a little mischievous. My implication is, that all is not as it seems, and perhaps delicate ladies are not so delicate after all. 'Show and not tell' is a difficult skill to conjure with. Your learned input is appreciated and I shall consider the points you raised most carefully. Benjamin

Edited by Benjamin
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Frank E Gibbard
Hello Waxwings, good to hear from you. I thank you for giving this your time.

The All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club (Wimbledon) is something of a misnomer. Tennis in England is looked upon by and large as a pastime for the better off. Coaching is so expensive as to ensure that we seldom groom any world class talent from the general population. Wimbledon occurs when our national sport of soccer has its summer break. For many it's a time filler on t/v. before the soccer season begins again. It does however, attract a pilgrimage of ordinary folk during the holiday period. Many perhaps just hope to rub shoulders or catch a glimpse of the rich and famous. Thousands watch from outside outside the grounds on huge t/v. monitors. Most have virtually no chance of getting into the grounds let alone the centre court which is where the major events take place.

 

The poem relates to thoughts that enter ones head during the annual pilgrimage. Some thoughts spin off at a tangent as it progresses. The early morning start idles with the thought of distance between Aberdeen and Wimbledon and the absence of mist on the summer window to doodle. The busy stops have an industry of commuters who come and go along with the many would-be spectators. I take your point about the colon and hyphen L7&14. The last stanza and the reference to Cretan bull-leapers is a little mischievous. My implication is, that all is not as it seems, and perhaps delicate ladies are not so delicate after all. 'Show and tell' is a difficult skill to conjure with. your learned input is appreciated and I shall consider the points you raise most carefully. Benjamin

 

Hello Geoff, tell me about it as our American cousins say as an old hand going to Wimbledon. I got most of the inferences better than most I'd say. it is the cultural divide on things like pubs (recent problem in eclipse's poem come to mind) and I have some difficulty with some US references. It can be explained later but what's good for the goose etc. applies. Anyway beezer poem, that'll confuse if read by some. Frank

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Thanks Frank. I'm pleased you saw the inferences. I didn't want to get too explicit for fear of upsetting anyone unnecessarily. Geoff. :icon_sunny:

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Hi Goeff, We have been watching Wimbleton on TV as we do each year. I really enjoyed taking in a very different observation through reading your poem of an event we look forward to every year . I was emersed in the images and though I didn't quite understand every image, I felt them through the tone and surrounding images. You are a very talented writer. Thanks for this interesting read.

 

~~Tink

~~ © ~~ Poems by Judi Van Gorder ~~

For permission to use this work you can write to Tinker1111@icloud.com

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Gatekeeper

Enjoyed this. Especially enjoyed the breath and window line. Not quite everything made the transit across the pond, but it was a nice little trip.

"twee"?

Edited by Gatekeeper

from the black desert

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Those pumped up thighs made me think there's some Betjeman in Benjamin. The delicate/twee/grunts threading made me smile.

 

badge

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Those pumped up thighs made me think there's some Betjeman in Benjamin. The delicate/twee/grunts threading made me smile.

 

badge

 

excellent work

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Hello Tink. We do not have the space you have to live and breathe and stretch our metaphorical limbs. Our little country is bursting at the seams with 63 million souls. Social divides are easily spotted and while everyone here is seeking a worthwhile life, the fiscal cake grows smaller. :unsure:

 

Badge. Our true country is far removed from the England of John Betjeman and “A Subaltern's Love Song” although, there are those who believe we still have an empire. Fortunately (or perhaps unfortunately) they live mainly in the capital. :icon_cyclops:

 

Gatekeeper “Twee--- excessively or affectedly quaint, pretty, or sentimental.” :rolleyes:

 

Eclipse, my thanks to you and also to the above for your comments. Benjamin :icon_sunny:

Edited by Benjamin
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