Papa's Coming Home

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Papa's Coming Home

Post  Dewell H. Byrd on Fri Mar 25, 2016 12:33 pm

Fort Ross is the southern terminus of the Russian Fur trade expedition.  Captain's cottage stands behind a picket fence, wild roses at the edge of the sea.   A ragdoll hangs on a wooden peg beside a brass door knocker.   Ten foot high fort walls are laden with fuchsia plants where hummingbirds visit, bask in California sun.     I appreciate your suggestions to poetically tell this story.  Dewell

Papa's Coming Home

I'm not afraid of the wind and rain,
Ragdoll's holding my hand.
Papa's coming home.
Papa's coming home today.

We're watching for his big boat.
White sails on top stretch high,
High into heaven.  There,
Near the lighthouse; hear the horn?

Sea keeps rolling... green and white
Like Mama's new gown.
Waves hiss in pebbles at my feet,
Cold water makes my toes pink.

Papa's been gone a long, long time.
Ragdoll stares at the swirling mist---
Papa will come when the sea is green---
The sea is turning green, green, green.

White foam is turning cream
Like Mama's party face when there's
Company.  A string of pelicans
Watches for Papa, dives for him.

Hurry home, Papa, cold fog is rolling in.
Ragdoll and I will find you, Papa.
We're coming, coming into the sea.
Where is your hand, Papa?

     -Dewell H. Byrd

Dewell H. Byrd

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Not going to be very helpful I'm afraid

Post  tsukany on Sat Mar 26, 2016 9:09 am


I tried NOT to read the explanation/background of the poem before reading the poem.  I was successful.

I like your introduction to the poem as follows:

Fort Ross 

the southern terminus of the Russian 
Fur trade expedition.  Captain's cottage 
stands behind a picket fence, 
wild roses at the edge of the sea.   

A ragdoll hangs on a wooden peg 
beside a brass door knocker.   
Ten foot high fort walls 
are laden with fuchsia 
plants where hummingbirds 
visit, bask in California sun.  

As far as "Papa's Coming Home,"  the poem takes me in many directions and I'm not sure which to follow.  The interesting parts are the comparisons between Papa as the sea, and the sea as Mama's dress.

I don't know the persona.  Here's my take:  sister, Ragdoll, holds sister's hand as they wait for papa and mama is the sea.  When papa returns, he has lost a hand.  (I assume that Ragdoll holds persona's one hand and the other is stretching out for Papa's)

Again, sorry for not being of much assistance today.

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Tunes of the Irish waft o'er the sea

Post  Dennis 20 on Sun Mar 27, 2016 10:04 pm

Dewell,  I couldn't help but see this as an Irish or Scottish song where the longing of the sea and waiting family pictures are handed down in story/song fashion.  I couldn't see the Fort Ross backset at all save your preface.  That info as Todd mentioned could be made a poem/picture using more of the walls, and fuchsia and fur trade. I don't know if you could weave a picture of that info and the home/child/doll together.  Maybe two good poems here.  Sorry if this isn't much help.

Dennis 20

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Sounds like a child

Post  Pat on Sun Mar 27, 2016 10:32 pm

declaring Papa is coming home.  Waiting.  Wanting Papa to come  home.  Sea and Mama are very interesting.   S 2, line 4:  maybe a comma or period instead of ;   Everything is rolling and rmving here.   S 3, I'll change .... to ,   I like hiss.  Maybe turn makes into colors? The thinking sounds magical like a child trying to make something happen.  I cannot tell if Papa is alive or a ghost.  Mama.  Is she a party girl?  So many questions in the last stanza:   What is happening?  Does she see a ghost or is she living dangerously in imagination?  I get Ragdoll maybe, but I'm struggling to get Papa.  I need a major clue in one of the last two stanzas.   I followed easily until then.  Is this multi -layered?


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Re: Papa's Coming Home

Post  Karen on Mon Mar 28, 2016 8:12 pm

I believe the poem decidedly needs the preface woven into the actual fabric of the poem. 

The ragdoll is the most interesting detail to me.  I found the use of the child's voice distracting.  Is it possible to make the ragdoll the narrator?  The ragdoll might express the childlike longing, but could be generations old.

Just a thought.


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