December 25, 2011

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December 25, 2011

Post  Karen on Sat Dec 19, 2015 5:59 am

Perhaps too personal.

DECEMBER 25, 2011

David McEnery said he wrote the song Amelia Earhart's Last Flight
on July 2, 1937, the day she disappeared.

The last bearable Christmas,
we ate beautiful food
on very old plates
with friends.

They saved us from home,
and ourselves.
Other people
could still do that
then.

We made conversation,
both of us.
Not just me,
talking in the way
I came to talk,
covering your confusion,
and eventually,
your silence.

You and I
ate three or four
or five desserts,
sharing a plate,
to taste it all.

The table cleared,
we moved
to the music room,
with a sousaphone lamp
and years and years
of marriage.

The men opened
guitar cases,
tuning,
then playing,
as if nothing
would ever change.

You sang
Amelia Earhart’s Last Flight,
already a Ghost
of Christmas Past.
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Yup

Post  tsukany on Sat Dec 19, 2015 7:41 am

Karen


I like where the poem goes.  (Sorry for the remorse though)


I would reverse these two lines 
"sharing a plate,
to taste it all"


The epigraph seems too long for the poem.  I kept waiting for it to show up in the text itself.  It seems like the setting is not at your home and that is not entirely clear in the beginning of the poem.


I wonder if you can switch the epigraph and the title?


Todd
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Re: December 25, 2011

Post  Karen on Sat Dec 19, 2015 10:31 am

Suggestions for shortening the epigraph?  Maybe it should be eliminated.  I don't know if it's necessary to know the song to catch the mood of it.

Idea for clarifying the setting ...

we ate beautiful food
on the very old plates
of friends.


Thank you for your careful reading.
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Thoughts with dates

Post  Dennis 20 on Sat Dec 19, 2015 6:46 pm

Karen,  You have personalized this by the date.  That makes it unique to you.  I would suggest something more to how you ended it with the song as the title.  That way everybody who reads it can put themselves in the picture with some event that was heavy in their own lives. I don't want to take anything away from your feelings, after all, this is your heart you are bearing, but when we poets share ourselves we also leave room for someone else (the reader) to climb into the poem and claim it for their own. Just saying.  It is a good picture of life at it's realest if I can use that word.

Dennis 20
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Re: December 25, 2011

Post  Karen on Sun Dec 20, 2015 8:57 am

This is exactly why I appreciate this group.  The poem seems like a diary entry, but I keep coming back to it.  I want people to get it, to get me. I  don't want to depersonalize the poem, but I don't want it me, me, me, no room for you.  You've hit the meat of it, Dennis.  Thank you.  I'm not settled on the title.  It's close, though.

Here's version 2.

Last Flight

     David McEnery said he wrote the song Amelia Earhart's Last Flight        
     on the day she disappeared.

The last bearable Christmas,
we ate beautiful food
on the very old plates
of friends.

They saved us from home,
and ourselves.
Other people
could still do that
then.

We made conversation,
both of us.
Not just me,
talking in the way
I came to talk,
covering your confusion,
and eventually,
your silence.

You and I
ate three or four
or five desserts
to taste it all,
sharing a plate.

The table cleared,
we moved
to the music room,
with a sousaphone lamp
and years and years
of marriage.

The men opened
guitar cases,
tuning,
then playing,
as if nothing
would ever change.

You sang
Amelia Earhart’s Last Flight,
already a Ghost
of Christmas Past.
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Karen

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Nit-pickin'

Post  tsukany on Sun Dec 20, 2015 9:07 am

Yup I think it's much cleaner.

I would cut ("said he" and "the song") in the epigraph.

I think the title is still not quite right (it points too hard to the closing and the "last" appears twice in close proximity.)  "Farewell Carole"

I would move the present participial phrase nearer its antecedent.

You and I, 
sharing a plate, 
ate three or four
or five desserts
to taste it all.
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December 25...

Post  Dewell H. Byrd on Wed Dec 23, 2015 12:13 pm

Not knowing the song I got into the poem very late...
had to struggle, reread to find theme...
Sad, remorseful piece when I expected a title inferred cheerful poem.
I like the rewrite because it helps clarify and tightens..
And Todd & Dennis helped me zero in...
All that said... I enjoyed the flow, the sequencing...
Dewell

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Last Flight

Post  Pat on Mon Jan 04, 2016 5:15 pm

Karen, this is precious.  Personal and precious.
How in the world could anyone write anything on the day someone disappears?  I believe it, but I cannot comprehend it.  When 9-11 happened, people wrote poems.  I could not write a lick.  Epigram:  I don't know that I need one.  You explain enough in last stanza for me.  I am going to look at your most recent rendition of the poem. 
Ticky time:   lst stanza:  you do not need very.  Stanza 2:  Line 2:  I'd drop and, and I'd put from ourselves.   A little repetition.  I agree with Todd on Stanza 4.  I so like Stanza 5. . .  years and years/ of marriage.  Beautiful.  Was Carole/  Carroll ?  your husband's name?  Farewell, his name, is definitely an option. 

Christmas must have been hard for you.  Every holiday for a couple of years.  Hugs to you.

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Re: December 25, 2011

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