I'll take any help you can give me. Thank you.

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I'll take any help you can give me. Thank you.

Post  Pat on Fri Mar 30, 2012 4:54 pm

Baxter County

No man is an island

---John Donne



I sense you may be right, John Donne:

that no man is an island. I suppose that could be

why the biggest town in our county boasts



of twelve thousand souls. Your thought helps me

understand connecting highways and byways,

streets and avenues snaking in and around the town.



Is that why they stapled the Cozy Kitchen, Colton’s,

MacDonald’s, and the Norfork Café near the main

thoroughfares? I don’t know, but that could enter



into why the food pantry, schools, hospital, centers,

retirement homes and shelters stay crowded

with lists of people waiting for an angel to help them



find love and hope and light. Here comes

the road crew we count on when snow grows

on bridges and along certain ridges.



No man is an island. How true. You may notice

it when neighbors pull together to feed a family,

to roof a church, to pray for a sick child. When



the family of man works as a team, it makes melody

just as it takes the moon, sun and stars to create

hymns or symphonies in the higher heavens.



-Pat Durmon

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Re: I'll take any help you can give me. Thank you.

Post  Dennis20 on Fri Mar 30, 2012 6:35 pm

 

Pat,  There would be no loss of thought if you had started with "that could be why..." of course this would take away that you are writing to John Donne.  However, further down in the poem you say "you may notice it..." which appears you are writing to the reader. This may have been your intention, but it is distracting to me.  I have to go back and figure out what is to me (reader) and what is to John Donne.  That being said, the thought of togetherness of man is seen through comparisons quite well.  I like the imagery and the fact that you have incouraged me to use my sense of hearing in the last para. D

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Very helpful. Thank you.

Post  Pat on Sat Mar 31, 2012 9:11 am

Strange. I posted a reply to your reply, Dennis, but it didn't take. I'm trying again.

You are so right. I did get lost in the poem. I started talking to the reader. I have redone that and added a stanza. You red flags were so helpful.

Here's what I did. If any of you see anything else, please comment. Thank you, Pat

Baxter County

No man is an island

---John Donne



I sense you may be right, John Donne:

that no man is an island. I suppose that could be

why the biggest town in our county boasts



of twelve thousand souls. Your thought helps me

understand connecting highways and byways,

streets and avenues snaking in and around this town.



Is that why they stapled the Cozy Kitchen, Colton’s,

MacDonald’s, and the Norfork Café near the main

thoroughfares? I don’t know, but that could enter



into why the food pantry, schools, hospital, centers,

retirement homes and shelters stay crowded

with lists of people waiting for an angel to help them



find love and hope and light. Here comes

the road crew we count on when snow grows

on bridges and along certain ridges.



No man is an island. I know it when neighbors

pull together to feed a family, to roof a church,

to pray over a sick child. It is then that the family



of man makes melody just as it takes the moon,

sun and stars to create hymns or symphonies

in the higher heavens. Since I was taught to live



rugged and play my part for me alone, I need

your truer words. John, my poet friend, I sign this

with thanksgiving in my heart.

Pat Durmon

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Cut. :)

Post  tsukany on Sun Apr 01, 2012 7:55 am

Pat...I am not sure what you want me to take away as a reader. It feels like you are not sure if this is an image of Baxter county, a religious poem, a theme? I would suggest you decide and then cut everything that doesn't support that purpose.

I sense that you are being driven by the desire to make your words look like a poem rather than making line breaks and stanzas to support that purpose.

The energy point for your poem is in the first version...way down when you start "You may notice it...." I often suggest revision start there, at the energy point and see what poem wants out of that.

I do love this forum. Thanks to all.
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I love this forum too. . . and Todd's words spurred me on.

Post  Pat on Sun Apr 01, 2012 5:53 pm

If you get time and energy within the next day or two, would you look at this poem that I completely redid. I needed the push, I suppose. And my main feeling was thanksgiving. I love it/hate it/love it when a poet nails me and I have to look deeper. I guess that is the counselor part of me that has not really retired. : ) Any thoughts appreciated. Pat





With Thanksgiving in My Heart

No man is an island

---John Donne



I sense you may be right, John Donne: that no

man is an island. I suppose I notice it more

when neighbors pull together to feed a family,



to roof a church, to pray over a sick child. It

probably faces me daily, but it’s misty and hard

for me to see with any clarity. Difficult



to nail down, pin-point, describe. It feels opposite

of hands crossed over a chest, opposite of pride

in knowing an alphabet, opposite of a smug way



of throwing dice. No man is an island—far more

than embracing order or sleep or quiet. Somehow

it seems related to someone merely bothering



to smile, to listen, to wait. The degree of caring

is dear. It’s like roads that snake in and around

small towns, connecting one brother to another.



Sympathy. For years, I’ve taken chicken pot pie

to houses in distress, blessed those people

with my voice and pressed moist hands, never



knowing I was making melody. But now, I see

it’s like the moon, the sun and the stars that create

symphonies in the higher heavens.



All this to say: John Donne, your words ring true

for me. I sign this with thanksgiving

in my heart.


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I did it again...sorry

Post  tsukany on Mon Apr 02, 2012 7:13 am

Pat

I know that the forum does bad things to line breaks and spacing. There was so much white space in your poem I couldn't put it together. I pulled in into word and this is what was left after I read through it. You know my custom: let me break your poem so that you are see it differently. I certainly am not lobbying that this is a BETTER version, just another way for you to process the work. I took out the subjective. You are the poet. Tell me what to think, not what you are thinking. I read that because you are the one I'm reading...make sense?


With Thanksgiving in My Heart

No man is an island

---John Donne

…you are right. Like neighbors pulling together
to feed a family, roof a church, pray over a sick child—
far more than embracing order or sleep or quiet.

Like bothering to smile, to listen, to wait. Like roads
that snake in and around small towns, connecting one to another.
Like unsolicited chicken pot pie.

Like the moon, the sun and the stars applauding
in symphonies from the higher heavens.
Like these words with thanksgiving in my heart.
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Wow! Very helpful. Thank you!

Post  Pat on Mon Apr 02, 2012 9:32 am

Thank you! Still playing with it, of course. Pat

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Reply to Pat

Post  dennis20 on Mon Apr 02, 2012 11:55 am

 

Pat,  I like the way Todd has narrowed down what you have said into more concise terms.  I wanted you to be more positive rather than the way you said "I think you may be... and "I suppose... You are the poet who is telling us something.  If we are to see, hear, feel, etc... then you must put it forth in a positive manner. In words, you must paint the pic or send the aroma or prick me with the arrow. You tend to make lists (I do that too) which sometimes clutter the poem and the reader has to wade through a lot of words in finding a meaning.  You have addressed John Donne three times in the poem.  That is too much, me thinks.  The makings are here for a good poem. Carve off the things that are not poem and keep the rest.  Dennis 

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Three times would be too many. . . .

Post  Pat on Mon Apr 02, 2012 3:58 pm

So, more cutting to do. Thank you for confirming what Todd said. Helpful to have your thoughts. So it shows that I've been called on the carpet before for thinking I know something when I was just supposing it. Soooo, I'm careful with that now. maybe too careful. An editor confronted it. . . and said to say seem or I suppose. . . so that's where my carefulness comes from. Hmmmm. Thank you, Pat

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Rules

Post  tsukany on Mon Apr 02, 2012 4:37 pm

Pat...I know that I have been to enough poetry things to know that people say "rules" when they mean "preference." I use "seem" to create tone. It is a matter of using whatever the poem needs to make it "sing" and for the "lid to snap shut" at the conclusion. The rules are guides but the poem will need to tell us what it wants to say. Smile
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How nice. Thank you

Post  Pat on Mon Apr 02, 2012 6:25 pm

for caring. . . .that I not be tooo black and white. I appreciate that. And that particular editor may lean toward black-white-rules. Anyway, thanks for the good thoughts and revision. Pat

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For Pat... Thanksgiving

Post  Dewell H. Byrd on Wed Apr 04, 2012 11:26 am

Interesting watching this poem take shape as each person critiques it. Multiple subjects, possible separate poems, are distilled like fine wine. Very nice piece. And still there may be a need for a new poem, a tribute to Baxter County folk, waiting to spring out of this process. Pat, the title continues to draw me from your poem: THANKSGIVING as opposed to THANKFULNESS. Could be just me.

I continue to celebrate the help I'm getting as a member of this forum. Dewell

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I will look at the title. . . .

Post  Pat on Wed Apr 04, 2012 3:40 pm

you may be right. I'm not thinking Thanksgiving Day. Wonder if people will misunderstand? Well, I am thinking giving thanks. . . .for Donne's words. He just said what is so obvious to me. We need each other, and as much as I have been hesitant in my past to depend on others, it's exactly the right thing to do. My nickel opinion here. : ) Pat

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