A Fretful Barn Swallow

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A Fretful Barn Swallow

Post  Pat on Fri Feb 27, 2015 9:52 am

Struggled with the closure esp.  Open to any thoughts/suggestions you might have.  You helped me sooooo much with my raccoon poem last month.  I thank you for that. 



A Fretful Barn Swallow

Strangely, the swallow
was trapped in our laundry room
between the washer and window.
No big racket.  Only bursts
of its body fluttered up, a soft thud
against a pane, then the falling.
Up and down it went, over and over
like an airbrush.  The captive
rode the window with purpose.
A pert bird but fretful.

The hammer-hearted bird
sporting a deeply forked tail
fought for its freedom.

In one swoop, I covered it
with a white towel, scooped it up
and cupped it close until we
were outside.  There, my fingers
relaxed, and the bird turned into
an adept aerialist
rippling its way to a pole barn
where it would find feathers,
hay, divine light.

Pat

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I'm being KOOSER'ed

Post  tsukany on Fri Feb 27, 2015 1:24 pm

Pat,

I believe I am reading Kooser's Repair Manual for the third or fourth time.  It's amazing what is new to this reading.  Smile

Early in the book he makes reference to the title being of grand significance.  He offers the story of how is editor friend would say "Stick all that background in the title and get into the poem."  

For me, I would cut all material that is redundant to the title.  (look at your first three lines)

Is the poem about the persona or the bird?  Perhaps a title:  

Releasing a Laundry-Room Swallow

No big racket . . . .
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Pole barn swallow in one gulp

Post  dennis20 on Fri Feb 27, 2015 2:08 pm

Pat,  I read Todd's response and agree the first 3 lines aren't needed as well as the last line in that strophe.  You captured us when the captive rode the window.  "The hammer-hearted bird sporting a deeply forked tail fought for its freedom"-- as did I. That is a powerful line.  My fingers felt the feathers and I smelled the hay and saw the light.  Good poem.

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A Fretful Barn Swallow

Post  Dewell H. Byrd on Sat Feb 28, 2015 12:20 pm

Pat, I can identify with the first stanza having  witnessed similar events.  I note author's feeling for the bird, however, it does go on a bit.  I would squeeze that first stanza to two lines.  And I agree that the t6itle could carry more of the background info.
On the other hand I love the little stories your poems often contain.  And that requires more detail as stated in this poem.
"Hammer-hearted " is a little strong for such a feather in flight. 
The subject of this poem stirs me.  Stay with it.  Dewell

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Re: A Fretful Barn Swallow

Post  Karen on Sat Feb 28, 2015 12:39 pm

I wonder what would happen if you put this fine little tale and its images on a diet?  I have a hard time paring or changing my work.  A trick that helps sometimes is to take out every last word I can while still being able to follow the sense.  Then I start over with the bones.  It doesn't work well when rhythm is driving the poem, but I get surprising results sometimes when the poem is a story. 

This is good story, and I liked seeing it from your perspective.  I like "Releasing a Laundry-Room Swallow" for a title.   It frees you up to get to the good stuff.
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