Mr. In-Between

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Mr. In-Between

Post  dennis20 on Thu Apr 24, 2014 10:06 am

Warmer spring days have finally arrived--maybe for good this time.  Offer your suggestions for this one 
written before this fine weather was with us full time. 

Holding
Only jonquils at this early stage,
where in the nether--
between warm and cold weather--
depending on the day, pushes for change.
Everything is holding.  Brown grass holds
off the green. Road ditches reveal the trash
and clutter once covered by snow, now melted.
Tall, dead weeds hold with dried, thin roots
against March winds.  Starlings sprinkle
like black crystals across yards for miles
and leafless trees hold them at night for warmth.
 
Even the pale sun steps slowly across the yard
as if to pick a path already cleared.
Everything seems to be holding its breath,
waiting, wanting the page to turn.  
The dog and I are no exceptions as we sit
content in front of the fireplace
where I vow for the umpteenth time
that this will be the last fire of the year,
holding out hope.

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Mr In-between holding

Post  Dewell H. Byrd on Thu Apr 24, 2014 10:21 pm

Dennis, you have some images  in this poem that really capture me and make me party to winter's reluctance to depart: starlings, dog by fireplace, debris under melting snow.  However, the brownness of things holding on seems cutable or overstated.  I find that part boggs me down a bit.  I like the impatience of the Master... do I see sead catalogues scattered about the hearth?  Can you lose the ing after jonquils?
I enjoy this poem very much.  Thanks for sharing it.  (Our starlings swarm - I think it is called a murmuration - in evergreen trees, never in open, naked trees.)  Dewell

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Comments beside the lines as I read through

Post  tsukany on Sun Apr 27, 2014 8:01 am

This will be knee-jerk reactions of a first read:

Holding 
Only jonquils at this early stage,  (since I don't know jonquils this is not "holding")
where in the nether--
between warm and cold weather-- 
depending on the day, pushes for change. ("jonquils...push?")
Everything is holding.  Brown grass holds (Beginning lines since they follow the title?)
off the green. Road ditches reveal the trash 
and clutter once covered by snow, now melted. ("now melted" seems redundant "once covered" implies this)
Tall, dead weeds hold with dried, thin roots (maybe "hold against March winds with....)
against March winds.  Starlings sprinkle 
like black crystals across yards for miles 
and leafless trees hold them at night for warmth. ("them" could modify "miles")
 
Even the pale sun steps slowly across the yard (Is "steps" a form of "hold"?  maybe another verb here?)
as if to pick a path already cleared. 
Everything seems to be holding its breath, 
waiting, wanting the page to turn.  (I like this image.  Maybe start it earlier in the poem?  "Chapter" rather than "stage" in the first line?)
The dog and I are no exceptions as we sit ("sit" would carry the connotation of reading by firelight too)
content in front of the fireplace 
where I vow for the umpteenth time ("we" rather than "I"?)
that this will be the last fire of the year, (I like this last stanza.  I read more into "fire" than the literal too.  Maybe move the last stanza's ideas up into the first stanza to make it feel cohesive.  [or cut the first stanza all together?]  Maybe "Holding" was the working title?) 
holding out hope. (I would cut this line)
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I'm picking my way through this one. . . .

Post  Pat on Mon Apr 28, 2014 10:12 pm

I know this time, this feeling. . . .I identify and was watching and waiting until jonquils popped up.  I knew what was coming, but had to wait.   : ) 

I'm not sure, but I wonder if the meaning of holding changes a time or two.  It would help me if the meaning remained the same.

I don't think you need:  depending on the day.

The first line could be Everything is holding its breath, waiting. . . then, just go into it. 

What if you said, "Starlings are black crystals"  letting one thing become another, a metaphor.  Could drop "for miles."

The poem seems to be about waiting.  I wonder about that could be the title.

I have no problem following the images, but it seems cleaner in the second stanza.  There is something cumbersome about the first stanza for me;  more flow in the 2nd.

I wonder if the 1st stanza just helped you get to the real poem which may be the second stanza.

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Between the lines

Post  dennis20 on Wed Apr 30, 2014 10:40 am

Thank you one and all for thoughts and comments.  You can see the things I miss and it helps in reworking a poem.  Keep up the good work.

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A rewrite for thought

Post  dennis20 on Thu May 01, 2014 6:51 pm

Maybe one last look at this rewrite.  Does this tighten it up more?  Title change too.

Holding Out Hope

In this early chapter of the year
jonquils hold yellow heads high
toward blustery clouded skies.
Brown grass holds off new shoots
of green springing as earth warms.
Road ditches hold clutter and trash
visible as late winter snows melt.
 
Tall dead weeds hold against winds
of March by thin shallow root wads.
Leafless trees hold millions of starlings,
a sparkle of black crystals against skies
of gray.   Even the pale sun holds
to a slower pace as if picking a path
around messy refuse in the yard.
 
Everything seems to hold it’s breath
waiting, wanting the page to turn.
The dog and I are no exceptions
as we sit content in front of the fireplace
where we vow for the umpteenth time
that this will be the last fire of the year.

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Nice

Post  tsukany on Thu May 01, 2014 6:58 pm

Dennis

I like it.  Much clearer now.  I wonder if "hold" can sneak in to the last full sentence of the poem.  I have several ideas but don't want to crowd in any more than normal.  Smile

Thanks for sharing the revision.
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I have no idea what you did, but

Post  Pat on Thu May 01, 2014 9:58 pm

I like the title better:  it fits the poem and is not cutesy.   Did you know the number 7 means completion.  You have 3 stanzas:  what if you added one line to the last stanza?   7 -7- 7.  3rd line from the bottom could be "sitting hopeful". . . .(like everything else) in front of. . . .  Stanza 1:  from green springing from a warm earth?  (I paused there. . .  something makes me pause.)   Clearer and images are more flowing.  Thank you,   Pat

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