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Cowards and Ravens


Lake
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Cowards and Ravens

 

Raking

in the bleak of the backyard,

I see

a raven

standing still on a tilted bench.

 

I toss a rock

to make sure it’s alive.

The bird shoots dagger eyes

and watches

a coward tiptoe away.

 

(CA please.) icon_smile.gif

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Hi Lake,

 

The title catches the attention right away, because it presents two seemingly dissimilar things. Much like "mice or men" or "Diamonds and Rust," Cowards and Ravens is not an association one ordinarily makes. Can ravens be cowards? Certainly, but the title is not cowardly ravens, rather it is "Cowards and Ravens." I had to know more ...

 

Upon reading the poem, it became evident that the narrator was referring to herself as a coward. This is an effective exaggeration. It causes me to view her more as someone who is inquisitive, yet peaceful -- one who respects nature and dwells harmoniously within it. Nevertheless, the bird is "standing," and it is odd that the narrator wonders whether the bird is "alive." If it were not, would it be standing? The poem leaves this question unanswered.

 

I offer one minor suggestion: in the second stanza, perhaps you could use a period (in lieu of the comma splice) after the word alive. A semicolon might work, too, but I think I prefer the period in this instance.

 

Tony icon_smile.gif

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

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Aleksandra

Ah I adore those kind of poems with such a perfect imagery.

I love how is expressed this part:

a raven

standing still on a tilted bench.

--- that gives some special view of this poem, because makes a good composition and gives a way of the poem. The title is perfect, and I like because here are included those birds, which in my opinion makes a big difference.

The poem is written in a simple way, but has a complicate sense.

I like that mix Lake icon_smile.gif

 

Thank you for sharing this poem

 

Aleksandra

The poet is a liar who always speaks the truth - Jean Cocteau

History of Macedonia

 

 

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Hi Tony,

 

You read me very well. icon_smile.gif

 

I'll have a quick fix on that punctuation as you pointed.

 

I'm not very happy with that "standing" either. It stood there, motionless like a sculpture. I see your point - "standing" doesn't sit well with "alive" or "dead", but I just couldn't think of a better way to describe it. Any suggestions?

 

Thanks much!

 

Lake

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Aleksandra,

 

I'm glad you liked it. And thank you for your lovely words.

 

Cheers,

 

Lake

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Hi Tony,

 

You read me very well. icon_smile.gif

 

I'll have a quick fix on that punctuation as you pointed.

 

I'm not very happy with that "standing" either. It stood there, motionless like a sculpture. I see your point - "standing" doesn't sit well with "alive" or "dead", but I just couldn't think of a better way to describe it. Any suggestions?

 

Thanks much!

 

Lake

 

Actually, Lake, I liked your use of standing. It adds depth to the poem, an air of mystery, and it makes the reader wonder why the narrator is really throwing the rock. My suggestion is to keep it.

 

And while Alek and I were discussing your poem last night, she pointed out that the word coward could have a double meaning. In her English/Macedonian dictionary, coward translates to another bird -- the cuckoo. Could the poet have bulit in another meaning?

 

Tony

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

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