Struggling to Get Here. I'll take anything you see. . . .

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Struggling to Get Here. I'll take anything you see. . . .

Post  Pat on Fri Mar 31, 2017 10:20 pm

(Hope to get your poems critiqued tomorrow. )  
I struggled with pronouns!!  

He Tells the Story While It Is Raw
 
Holding the receiver to his ear,
he tells a son two states away
about what happened to the dog
and how no one is to blame.
 
I watch him close his eyes, 
listening hard for the response.  
He grows silent, drops his head, 
then coughs a little.

After goodbyes are said, he clings
like a bat to every word he heard
while I keep circling, sighing,
staring-off into the dark.

Pat

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Re:

Post  renee.barger on Fri Mar 31, 2017 11:15 pm

I really like your transitions in this poem. I understand when the scene changes and I'm not confused what's happening.  Plus, I love dogs, so it struck a cord with me to know that something happened to the dog. 

In stanza 2, I felt like, "He grows silent" was redundant. We already know he is listening hard for the son's response, so I assumed he was quiet. I think just cutting "He grows silent" would make "He drops his head, then coughs a little." even more powerful.

I'm not 100% sure what to do with the third stanza. First, I'm assuming "every word" came from his son, but I could also see it the words coming from something earlier when the dog was hurt. Second, maybe I don't know enough about bats, but I didn't know what "clings like a bat" meant either. Last of all, I'm not sure what the speaker was circling (I'm assuming her husband) nor did I know it was dark out. It kinda took me by surprise. Is the hyphen to staring-off necessary either? I'm not sure.

I really like this poem, and hopefully something I said help you out. Smile
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Pronoun Problems

Post  tsukany on Sat Apr 01, 2017 8:09 am

Pat,

I didn't have any pronoun problems on this journey.  I thought they were direct and connected.

I wonder if the circling image of the third stanza needs a bit of connection to the other stanzas.  It seems to join the party late and attempt to be the center of attention.

I like Renee's suggestions and wonder if "are said" is redundant.

Powerful tone happening here in this poem.  (I hope this is fiction and not dogs were harmed in the creation of the epic.)

Todd
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Re: Struggling to Get Here. I'll take anything you see. . . .

Post  Karen on Sat Apr 01, 2017 9:01 pm

No pronoun problems for me either.  I agree with Renee - cutting He grows silent would add force to the words that follow.

For me, the clinging bat and circling detract from the powerful simplicity of the poem.  This everyday story is strong stuff.  It stands in the telling.  I do need some clarity in the last line.  I think he - not she - is staring off into the dark.  But I'm not sure.

Good choice of subject, Pat.  I love seeing what catches each of us, and what we do with being caught.
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Bats in the belfry

Post  dennis 2012 on Sat Apr 01, 2017 10:04 pm

Pat,  Good poem!  I like the title.  It tells me right up front something hard is coming. Powerful. I think you run us aground with the bat simile.  That doesn't fit to well for me.  Not too sure about the word circling here, either.  I can see (hear) sighing and staring.  I would offer this for a first line which would compliment the word "dark":  "In his Saturday night phone call"  It could also make the bat more realistic since night has been introduced.  Hope some thougth here is helpful.

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Struggling To Get Here

Post  Dewell H. Byrd on Sun Apr 02, 2017 12:58 pm

Pat... This is a tough subject... especially when four entities are involved: father, son, dog, mom?...then there is that darn bat... circling overhead.  Lets send the bat to cave.  Have a separate stanza for "mom" to end the poem.
Yes, I agree with the pruning Renee suggested.  I would like the poem to be just DAD, SON and bad news.

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Re: Struggling to Get Here. I'll take anything you see. . . .

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