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Post  Dewell H. Byrd on Sun Nov 22, 2015 6:32 pm

Need a little help tightening up and honing this poem.  HELP.  Dewell


That's what Sally, the new girl, said.
Up until then I thought they were
Called lightning bugs and smelled
Rancid in a Kerr fruit jar and on

My blue-stained fingertips.
All us guys chased bugs on a still
Summer night when the wind slept
And dew was forming on the grass

Down at the skinny-dipping pond.
Then we'd chase each other with
Our bug-filled jars as headlights
Pretending to be Flash Gordon.

Sally moved in next door.  Everything
Stopped.  Stared.  Blinked.
Twelve years of stark raving G I R L.
We hardly breathed in her presence.

Couldn't talk much neither.  When
She spoke about fireflies... how they
Blinked to attract mates... like holding
Hands, talking soft and secret

And if you made a wish, a firefly wish,
It's sure to come true iffin your heart
Is true.  I reckon us boys got true of
Heart just watching words spill from her lips.

All the lids came off the jars that night
And fireflies wished for true love.

Dewell H. Byrd

Dewell H. Byrd

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Post  Karen on Mon Nov 23, 2015 6:17 am

Dewell, you've captured the cusp.  What a captivating illustration!  I think you could up the ante on this one by scrubbing off a little of the homespun (reckon, iffen). 

"All the lids came off the jars that night."  Wow.  I want that to be the last line.

I feel the need for tightening too, but I don't have a fix.  You need a shade tree poetry mechanic.  I can think of three.


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Firefly Wishes always come true

Post  Don C on Wed Nov 25, 2015 5:10 pm

Good work. The only way to tighten the poem is to remove some of the words. For example "Up until then" could be changed to "Until then." Unfortunately, too many changes like that could ruin the poem's style. And I love the style with its natural flow.
It does appear to need some tightening; but other than eliminating words, I don't see how to tighten it. However, I will keep looking.


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Firefly wishes

Post  Pat on Sun Nov 29, 2015 9:38 pm

Dewell, the poem is easy to follow.  I've certainly caught lightning bugs.  It would be more universal without the dialect.  Sometimes it works when it is throughout the poem, but that's not the case here.  Children.  You capture them well. . . . as they capture fireflies.  Might want to go through it line by line and ask yourself if you need all the words to move it forward.  For example:  in first stanza, I'd drop:  I thought, called,;  move fingertips to last line.   When you get through, you may have 3 line stanzas, but it will tighten it.  Second stanza:  Us guys... I'm trying to figure out the tense.  It varies a little.  I agree with Karen:  the next to last line is door-slamming.  It needs to be the last line.  Maybe you can do 3 line stanzas and make it the last line.  Good narrative poem.  Images are strong.  That's all I have.


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Good story

Post  tsukany on Mon Nov 30, 2015 2:48 pm


I am not sure all readers need you to tinker any more.  

I wonder if a reduction in number might assist you in a revision.  How would the story change if there were only three players:  flies, Sally, persona?

I got lost in stanzas two and three.  I think they are necessary to a point, but maybe in the wrong order?  I had to read the title and first line a couple times to get the setting.

I think this is another winner for sure.


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