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Echo


JoelJosol
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--- revision 2 ---

While the flame was there, she left,

like smoke dispersed by the breeze.

 

He is left with embers, wavering

against his breath, the wind.

 

Remaining seated,

he watches the death of a glow.

 

 

--- revision ----

The flame is still there.

You left like smoke dispersed

by the breeze. I am left with embers.

 

It is an evening,

of stars, moon and wind,

a night I could have shared with you.

 

But I remain seated,

the echo of your footsteps

behind me.

 

--- original ----

The flames are still there,

but you left like smoke dispersed

by the breeze. I am left with embers.

 

It is an evening

of stars, moon, and wind.

A night I could have shared with you.

 

I remain seated,

the echo of your footsteps

behind me.

 

* I will try to catch up with my critic share just loaded with work lately. This is a memorial poem for a friend who is leaving.

"Words are not things, and yet they are not non-things either." - Ann Lauterbach

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A lovely thing to do and poignant. Lyric poems should tell the writer's emotions. Good lines all, and the closing is even stronger, comme il faut, esp. when lines 7 and 8 are cthought of as one. You sound like one being abandoned. Will the friend see/read these lines? He/she should, or why should you suffer the pain of parting alone.

 

It is important that you write now. Critiques can come later and not before absorbing another's poem fully or they should not be offered.

 

I am offering few small quibbles/opinions. They have more to do with linguistics/style than with any fault in the intrinsics of the poem as art.

 

That "as" in L2 points to a comparison (evoking a simile) of "flames" to something following. Then there is "like", another such word, wherefore the whole seems confusing, perhaps overdone. I'd put a comma to end L1, replace "as" with "though" and take out the "a"; it does nothing more poetic to "smoke" beyond what "dipersed" does.

 

And I would remove either the comma at end of L6 or tha "with" that follows it. Semantically, both of them do the same thing: separates the adverbial part (describing the how) from the rest/beginning of the predicate: "remain seated".

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Joel,

Occasionally I read something and my immedate response is "I wish I had said that". This is one of those times. Most beautiful of all your work to my mind. This is truely inspired and perfectly presented. Each new work is better and better.

 

thanks,

 

rg

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Thank you, waxwings, for the catch. I made the revision to reflect those.

 

Thank you too, rhymeguy.

"Words are not things, and yet they are not non-things either." - Ann Lauterbach

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Joel, I wonder if "flames" in L1 could be replaced with something more descriptive like "glow," "heat," or even a color like "reds." And why not change the simile to a metaphor to make it stronger, like this:

The heat is still there,

but you are smoke dispersed

by a breeze. I am left with embers.

If more subdued is your intent, then the simile is fine, too. And I say the part about flames only because in L3 you masterfully use "embers." Embers, like flames, are technically fire, so why repeat the same thing? I'd lose the flames and keep the embers. These were the only thing that stuck out at me in an otherwise perfect poem.

 

The poem is musical, and it moves me. I feel the anguish.

 

Tony

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

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Thank you, Tony, for your feedback. I will study how to use your feedback.

"Words are not things, and yet they are not non-things either." - Ann Lauterbach

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JJ,

 

I, as an interested fellow poet/reader, am disppointed I can no more see your original draft of the poem. I have always said to those seeking my comments to not rush with any suggestion by others. I agree w/ tonyv but have some additional ideas I now cannot test. I learn so very much from how poems can change when the change happens due to several not just one or two inputs.

 

I will be extremely grateful if you would PM the original and all the revisions. I promise to destroy the copies after I have had a chance to digest/enjoy them.

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Waxwings, I normally include the original with the revision. Here they are.

"Words are not things, and yet they are not non-things either." - Ann Lauterbach

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Waxwings, I normally include the original with the revision. Here they are.

 

Thanks. It was not so at first, or did I screw up not looking hard enough? Anyway, like rhymeguy, I think the original is better. My advice to others is to trust their instinct to deliver the essential poem in first draft. So what if the language needs polishing to let out all the goodness and value. The polishing/editing can be done later, but, unless you put down the raw poem at the moment it comes, you may never have it truly right in your mind.

 

No poem is ever published w/o the publishers copy editor working out buges w/ the poet. I am told to be much more of that editor than a poet/critic. Rare is the poem I do not like, but that does not mean I like the way it is delivered. Here is my edit of the original which does consider all the pertinent observation others have made.

 

--- original ----

The heat is flames are still there,

but you left, like smoke dispersed 1]

by the breeze. I am left with embers.

 

It is an evening ,

of stars, moon* and wind,

a night I could have shared with you. 2]

 

I remain seated,

the echo of your footsteps

behind me.

 

The last stanza is achinglly right on because all the things/words you did leave unsaid are clear and even expandable by the reader to arrive at the emotion which is somethiung that can never be fully explained.

 

1] I agree w/tony that "flames" do not feel quite 'right'. For one, embers are more prominent when flames have gone out. Of course, you could alleviate that by changing to the singular "flame" to indicate that which is/was inside. In L2, the comma is proper because here "like" acts as if a conjunction introducing the independent statement/clause (passive voice), i.e., "smoke (that is) dispersed by the breeze"" with the auxiliary verb omitted. You can test my contention by omitting the "like" alltogether, for I think the line would carry the same meaning w/ lesser words, always an improvement, re poetry being something said in as few words as possible.

 

2] This stanza could be treated as if the main clause were "It is an evening, a night I could have shared with you." In English, evening and night are rather synonimous, and you use "night" properly, as an appositive to "evening". Therefore, "of stars, moon and wind" can be treated as an interjective/aside used merely to describe the subject nothing else. It helps to get your amotion across by slowing down the reading by placing such in commas. BTW of elements in series the last two are joined by "and" and no comma is needed. The only time a comma is placed before a conjunction is a special case the euling condition for doing so not bein germane at this moment.

 

All I can say is, "A great poem!. Leave it be as much as is possible."

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Thank you, waxwings, for the very instructive feedback.

"Words are not things, and yet they are not non-things either." - Ann Lauterbach

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Here is a minor revision based on all your feedback.

"Words are not things, and yet they are not non-things either." - Ann Lauterbach

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Thank you, Tink.

 

I put in revision 2 because I got a feedback that coherence is not strong in the previous version.

"Words are not things, and yet they are not non-things either." - Ann Lauterbach

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I do not truly deserve any thanks, because you have the gift and I certainly have not given you anything but another mirror for seeing you r work with other than a lover's eye (I do so with mine). And I am most happy to be perhaps helpful even if I sound like a wise a---.

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:-) at waxwings.

 

The last revision, I converted the poem to couplets, and changed the pronoun from first person to third.

"Words are not things, and yet they are not non-things either." - Ann Lauterbach

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  • 3 weeks later...

--- revision 2 ---

While the flame was there, she left,

like smoke dispersed by the breeze.

 

He is left with embers, wavering

against his breath, the wind.

 

Remaining seated,

he watches the death of a glow.

 

 

--- revision ----

The flame is still there.

You left like smoke dispersed

by the breeze. I am left with embers.

 

It is an evening,

of stars, moon and wind,

a night I could have shared with you.

 

But I remain seated,

the echo of your footsteps

behind me.

 

 

Hello Joel, I am still on your work what I have missed icon_smile.gif.

This poem captures me. I read the comments by the others, and my personal opinion is that the revision the first one, is the best. The second revision turns the poem somewhere else. I love the 2 revision also, but it can be different poem based on this one. Writing in first name in this poem does a lot of changing, so thats why I like it more the 1 revision, much better than the original one. You have changed the style between 1st and second revision. R1 is more direct and more powerful, the R2 more metaphorical, and contains more melancholy- which I like, deffinitely it can be another poem icon_wink.gif.

 

Much enjoyed and I am stuck between the pleasure of reading today icon_smile.gif.

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

History of Macedonia

 

 

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