Blackbirds

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Blackbirds

Post  Pat on Fri Sep 30, 2016 6:01 pm

(Note:  I can't respond to poems until Sunday.   In Memphis for TN's Poet Festival.)



             Blackbirds
 
Black wing-tips fan fast
like funeral fans in the hands
of women waving.
 
Against billowy clouds,
they become a moving canvas
banking, arcing, calling out
the sounds of ancient days.
 
Down below,
circles of hay laying
here and there in a field.
 
When the western sky puts on
its red dress, these black
shiny flappers veer and tease
and circle like dervishes
twirling the last rags of day.
 
I hear a rational man explaining,
It’s about the updraft of warm air.  
 
Could be,
but I’m clinging to that subtle shift
in their final spin
throbbing with dance and song.

Pat

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Re: Blackbirds

Post  Karen on Sat Oct 01, 2016 9:18 am

Yes for me
…funeral fans…western sky put on its red dress…the last rags of day…

And yes, please
…throbbing with dance and song.

Different, please?
Another word for billowy (one I don’t expect).
Another treatment on stanza 3.  …laying here and there in a field... broke the poetic mood for me a bit.

Two things I played with

banking, arcing, calling out
the ancient sound of days.

and

A rational man explains
the updraft of warm air. 
 
But I’m clinging to that subtle shift...

We have blackbirds in common, Pat.  Maybe all poets do.  You make me want to write my blackbirds too.
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four and twenty...

Post  Ben Johnson on Sat Oct 01, 2016 1:22 pm

Pat,  I like what you have done with this picture that encompasses a picture of nature that has facinated me.  Years ago, in the fall, starlings would roost in LR and each morning as commuters went to work, the birds would wing to England and Stutgart to the grain fields and in the evening as workers came home, the waving trail of birds came to LR to find their roosts.  Very stunning.
Although you did your homework on the word dervish, I do not like it here. Not the picture of what is happening, just the word "dervishes."  I think the sound or syllable count or placement or something sounds off to me. I do like the "fan fast funeral fans"  I would like to see you omit the personal "I hear... and I'm clinging" toward the end.  Until then I could recall my picture of the birds.  Here, you want me to see what you saw.   Good poem

Ben Johnson
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Celebration

Post  tsukany on Sun Oct 02, 2016 6:23 am

Pat

The first image is of a funeral and yet the poem continues into the dance and celebration.  The energy of the poem is stanza four, the image and dance is wonderful.  Can the poem start there?

The entrance of "man" in the poem was distracting, taking me back to funeral (but I couldn't image those words coming from that setting).

I am struggling with something our invited poet, Jennifer Maier, suggested . . . "the insertion of the narrative 'I'."  I am trying to write "people" into my poems (for a while) so the "jury's" still out.  I say that to suggest I, too, struggle as does Dennis/Ben.

Todd
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Good scomments. . . .

Post  Pat on Sun Oct 02, 2016 10:48 pm

Always, I get helpful feedback.   Karen, know that I'm dropping the hay laying in fields.  I wondered about that when I wrote it in. Thanks for confirmation.   I am now wondering if I even need the first 3 stanzas.  : )   Seems like it takes the first three stanzas for my motor to get started!  : ) Cluttering, then I don't go back and drop them. I am reporting what I see.  Showing you, I hope.  Kooser does this.  Yes, I know you guys struggle with first person in poems, but I read Budbill, Collins, Kenyon, Pastan, Wanek, so it is not a struggle for me. (Probably will keep the first person on this poem. )  I can easily read their work and my heart is touched, thus the universal connection is made with first person. Please keep telling me when you think I'm "off".  I need to check it every time and think, think, think about it.   Which poets do you guys read who stay with third person all the time?  Kooser?  He endorses Wanek.  Really, who are the poets you are reading and rereading?  I may need to branch out.

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Blackbirds

Post  Dewell H. Byrd on Mon Oct 03, 2016 5:28 pm

I like birds & BYRDS.
Most everything is covered by other critiques... great images throughout this poem... truly a mark of your work in natural settings.
I vow to delete that funeral scene.  It leads me to negative feelings ... love the music in the flight.
That phrase... "in the field" might read better if it were ... in the fields.
Good poem, Pat.  Dewell

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Renee

Post  renee.barger on Mon Oct 03, 2016 7:15 pm

I'm late to the game, so this may not be helpful. But I just wanted to stay that I loved this poem. I personally liked the first three stanzas, it drew me right in. The line(s) "these black/ shiny flappers" .... I didn't like flappers. I felt like you already told me that and it just didn't feel right to me.

Also, the first person didn't bother me at all. I got it.Smile
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