Any thoughts or ideas appreciated

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Any thoughts or ideas appreciated

Post  dennis20 on Fri Sep 27, 2013 8:54 am

Kitten in a Tree
A lone elm is alive in the front yard
of a house in a slumbering neighborhood.
Sunlight askew beneath it on patches of Bermuda
near sidewalk where a small group gathers
to talk and point.  A row of Bradford
lean out looking down the avenue
in anticipation while a seven-year old
hears the siren, gazes heavenward,
smiles through tears, and holds tightly
to mother’s hand.

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Good start

Post  tsukany on Fri Sep 27, 2013 3:44 pm

Dennis...Naomi Shihab Nye told us today:  Write TOO much, whittle away the explanatory, revise for smoothness, trust the reader to make the jump.  I think you can get rid of explanatory and share the action.  We should be able to tell you if you've taken too much away from us.  Then you can return to the poem only what MUST be there.  I like the title and the end scene.
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Iitten in a Tree

Post  Don C on Fri Sep 27, 2013 6:40 pm

Dennis, a little wordy.  Line breaks could be changed.  Good start.

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Carving out a poem

Post  dennis20 on Sun Sep 29, 2013 4:06 pm

Elm,
kitten,
boy,
siren,
smile.

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sweet

Post  tsukany on Sun Sep 29, 2013 4:23 pm

Step two...add material back.  Laughing
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I still think something's missing...title detail maybe?

Post  tsukany on Sun Sep 29, 2013 8:35 pm

Kitten in a Tree

A lone elm cries in the front yard, 
like a feral tabby.  Neighbors
talk and point.  The Bradfords 
lean over the avenue 

while a seven-year-old
hears the siren, gazes 
heavenward, smiles through tears, 
and claws tightly to mother’s hand.
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Laughing about the rewrite. : )

Post  Pat on Mon Sep 30, 2013 4:34 pm

I think it's a weather poem?  That's the fun for me in reading someone else's poem:  I make it work for me.  . . .  I'd go with clings or holds instead of claws:  it just fits. . . boy wants safety, and mother's hand is it. (Also,  I think it better fits tree and boy.  And it is Very human.  Not more melodramatic than it needs to be. It happens.  This is life. I like the sound verbs.  What we have here is an image, a scene, a small event, a moment in time.  I'd drop the comma in line 1.   Pat

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Kitten in a tree

Post  dennis20 on Tue Oct 01, 2013 10:27 pm

Thanks for the input.  I wanted the sights and sounds of this event more than the end result to be the poem.  Todd, I like the feral sound. However, I wanted the sight of the Bradfords leaning to look down the avenue because they are always planted along streets and I wanted to imagine them leaning out as if they were looking and listening for the approaching firetruck.  I wanted the neighbors to be there because there is always a gathering at an event like this.  

A feral cry from a front yard elm
as neighbors gather to point and talk.
A row of Bradford lean out to look
as the wailing siren approaches.

A seven-year old gazes 
heavenward,
smiles through tears,
and clings tightly
to his mother's hand.

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a small thing

Post  Pat on Tue Oct 01, 2013 11:05 pm

What about stanza one, line 3:  Do you need out?  I don't think I need it.  . . . . lean to see  (see or look?)
Nice poem.  Easy to hear and see and follow.   Aren't we ticky though?  : )  But I think it takes the right word to help the reader.   Pat

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Re: Any thoughts or ideas appreciated

Post  Don C on Wed Oct 02, 2013 2:27 pm

Better, but still needs work.  Try for smoothness of reading.  I think something is lacking in that area.

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Kitten In The Elm Tree

Post  Dewell H. Byrd on Fri Oct 04, 2013 2:08 pm

Nice how this poem has grown with input from several readers... interesting that readers respond to the seven-year old BOY... I saw a GIRL... maybe triggered by the word kitten...Dennis, what or who is that leaning over the avenue?  Neighbours?  Trees?  I got confused.  This poem gets to my gut... warm, fuzzy, kitten, firetruck... The one thing that stopped me is the child GAZING heavenward.  Is gazing active enough for this heart rending moment?  Good work, my Friend,   Dewell

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Down the avenue

Post  dennis20 on Sat Oct 05, 2013 10:46 am

Thanks all.  I guess everyone missed the picture of the pear trees leaning out to look down the street.  People have planted those things everywhere here so I envisioned them standing in rows along the street and in animation leaning out to look toward the arriving firetruck.  I guess it was just me who could span that gap of imagination.   I originally didn't put either the masculine or feminine so I guess you can call me a chauvinist.

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I got it :)

Post  tsukany on Sat Oct 05, 2013 11:08 am

Dennis

If you look at my revision, I personified the Bradfords for the dual reference...introduce the "neighbors" and then personify the trees.  I really like that section.
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