a Flashback

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a Flashback

Post  Pat on Wed Oct 26, 2016 11:08 am

Back
 
Without drawing back,
a woman watched
the doctor’s face as he said,
Broken. . .
 
At home, she lay outstretched,
flashing back to third grade
when a teacher told her to sit
tall and straight like a ruler
or she might never read well.
Later she backpacked a load
of troubles, doing her best
to keep an entire family knit together. 
Exact same backbone that supported
two wisecracking boys, the back
holding a secret sack filled
with regrets. Lying there,
she imagined herself as broken,
irregular, lacking.
 
Rarely did she find reason
to make a comeback,
but this could be one.

Pat

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Strangeness

Post  Pat on Wed Oct 26, 2016 11:12 am

I have no idea why two words are highlighted in blue.  Please ignore that feature on this poem. My computer or the website did that.  : (

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More stanza breaks

Post  tsukany on Sat Oct 29, 2016 8:10 am

Pat

I would break the long stanza into its ideas and then revise them.

I wanted "backpack" and "knit" to be related (in that stanza).  Same with the boys in the next idea.

I lobby that the poem ends with a couplet  "she imagined herself . . ."  and cut the last stanza.  Let the reader decide if she/reader should continue.

Todd
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Re: a Flashback

Post  Karen on Sat Oct 29, 2016 10:52 am

As tempting as it is to make use of comeback, I agree with Todd's suggestion of cutting the last stanza. 

I realize this is my usual fix in both life and poetry, but I want to give this poem a haircut.  I don't want to lose any of the ideas, just set them apart as the small jewels they are, skinny the whole thing down, and yes, break up that long stanza.

Pat, I am a girl who has struggled mightily with her back so this poem resonated deeply with me.

Détente now, thankfully.

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Another go at this poem. . . .

Post  Pat on Sat Oct 29, 2016 1:11 pm

if/when you have time. . . .



Back
 
Without drawing back,
a woman in the hospital watched
the doctor’s face as he said,
Broken. . .
 
At home, she lay outstretched
remembering back to third grade
when a teacher told her to sit
tall and straight like a ruler
or she might never read well.
 
Later, she backpacked
a load of troubles, trying
to keep an entire family
knit together. 
 
Exact same backbone
carried two bouncy boys
with the tenderness
that could ruin her life.
 
This was the back
shaped like a serpentine train,
hauling a secret sack
filled with regrets.
 
Lying there,
trying not to care, not to think, 
she saw a vicious truth:  herself
as lacking, irregular, broken.

Pat

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Love all the images

Post  renee.barger on Sat Oct 29, 2016 1:22 pm

I love all the little images you have in that big stanza, and I agree with the others that I like it split up into smaller stanzas. 

I love the phrase " she backpacked a load/of troubles" I always had a backpack overly full when I was in school, and I have a tendency to worry way too much. So this image hit me right in the gut, and I loved it! However, I wasn't a huge fan of the "Later." I'm not sure if it's necessary since it's the beginning of a new stanza. I imaged she was going home as she carried her backpack.

I don't know if this was just me, but because you used the word "backpacked," I thought she was younger and didn't have her own family yet. I assumed the two boys were her younger brothers that she had to help raise. I don't know if that's what you meant to do, but that's how I read it.

With the last stanza, I feel told instead of shown. (Sorry I don't have suggestions.)

I really like your poem. It has so much vividness and tangibility with all of the images. I hope something I said helped. Smile
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Thanks, Renee

Post  Pat on Sat Oct 29, 2016 4:35 pm

All feedback is helpful to me.

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Fun

Post  tsukany on Mon Oct 31, 2016 10:15 am

Pat 

I like how "back" is in each stanza bout the last.  

Here's what I was trying to suggest earlier:

she backpacked a "skein" of troubles  (Skein draws me back to knit)

Todd
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Thank you, Todd.

Post  Pat on Mon Oct 31, 2016 10:26 am

Skein.  Of course.  You can tell I don't knit.  But I know some knitters.  Skein is a great word here.    Thank you.

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Pat

Post  tsukany on Mon Oct 31, 2016 10:29 am

I don't knit either.  Smile  

I think there are places in each stanza for those type details.

Todd
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FLASHBACK...

Post  Dewell H. Byrd on Mon Oct 31, 2016 6:38 pm

I like the revision even tho it seems to have lost some of the melancholy of the first version.  Breaking up the stanzas helps.  The threads that run through the poem are a good tie.
Frankly I like the ending of the first version because it suggested HOPE of picking up the pieces whereas the new ending does not.  I like happy endings, I guess, I'm a romantic.


Thanks for sharing, Friend.  Dewell

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Thank you, one and all. . . .

Post  Pat on Fri Nov 04, 2016 10:54 am

I will learn to knit!   In all my stanzas.  : )

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Re: a Flashback

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