Is the audience too limited

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Is the audience too limited

Post  tsukany on Wed Sep 27, 2017 12:12 pm

Rest at Home
 
As you rest at home watching the ceiling
for color memories of war, injustice,
love, pain, birth, a thousand others join you.  
 
They too will march up stairs, past the fear
of the unknown to catch hold of hands
with a brother in bibs, sister still
 
in her prom dress, that old neighbor
with the annoying dog, a school-
mate holding your favorite marble,
 
Uncle Jack and Aunt Louise.  
Down the road, you discover
the one you shot at behind
 
a tree or the sergeant
whose poor judgment, well . . . .  
I type; my fingers snap
 
to attention, taut,
unflinching, waiting
for the next command,
 
hope breathing hope,
entreating cheers
from Li Po, whose
 
imagery
brings you
joy.
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Not too limited, in my nickel opinion.

Post  Pat on Fri Sep 29, 2017 4:53 pm

Interesting. PTSD?
"color" memories? vivid.  
So, many memories are marching with you up the stairs? 
Strong verbs and nouns.  I like the military words.  
I also like the specifics of prom,  aunt, uncle, sergeant, etc.  Li Po, a good one to hold onto.
Format, great.   Long lines to short like Li Po might use?  
Nice work.

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What, no moon or wine

Post  Ben Johnson on Sat Sep 30, 2017 10:03 am

Todd, to answer your question, yes.  Not so if more people were into poets like Li Po.  Not I either. Had to read some of his poetry to get in the groove.  I like this poem, but had to read it a few times to get a picture.  I had problems with the line about Uncle Jack and aunt Louise. Not with what it said but the placement. It seems to me that the thoughts change in that stanza which would be alright if Uncle Jack was in the preceeding stanza. I recognize this would affect the shape of the poem you chose to use. 
The other thing is having to use the closing words to tell us what you've done.  It would have been grand if you could have ended:

entreating cheers
whose imagery
brings you 
joy

 Good poem

Ben Johnson
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Rest At Home...

Post  Dewell H. Byrd on Sat Sep 30, 2017 9:30 pm

I gnash my teeth reading a poem about PTSD. Dad carried WWI lead.  Mom sent five sons to war: one killed, two injured.  Entire family suffered for years.
I like the form, military words, attention to detail... I think the audience is broad when you consider the whole neighborhood.  Dewell

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Re: Is the audience too limited

Post  Heidi Dehn on Fri Oct 13, 2017 9:44 am

I think the imagery and focus of the poem is accessible even to an audience that doesn't know who Li Po. 

I enjoyed the movement and flashes of memories. Especially the ones that were left incomplete for the reader.

In stanza one, there is something about the last line specifically around "a thousand others" that strikes me as off. I'm not sure if its the indefinite article or the punctuation that comes before.

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Here's the Version I sent

Post  tsukany on Fri Oct 13, 2017 10:55 am

Thanks all

The Rest

Watching memories of war, injustice,
love, pain, birth, you push past
solitary confinement; a thousand people

will join you.  They too march beyond
the fear of the unknown gate
to catch hold of hands--a brother in bibs,

sister still in her prom dress, Uncle Ernie
and Aunt Louise, that old neighbor
with the annoying dog, a schoolmate

with your favorite marble.  Down the road
and maybe an eon later, you may discover
the one you shot at behind a tree

or the sergeant whose poor judgment
did not end well.  As I type this poem,
my fingers snap to attention, taut,

unflinching, waiting for the next command,
hope breathing hope, each word entreating
cheers from Li Po, any memory to bring joy.

--T.A. Sukany  24 Sep 2017
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