The Last Friday

The Last Friday is a poetry editing group. Once a month, we post a poem and then offer feedback to the other poems on the Forum. We're a friendly but honest group. We value each other deeply and desire for every poet to be published or become famous.


    Rat Catchers

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    Velvet F

    Posts : 12
    Join date : 2011-05-22

    Rat Catchers

    Post  Velvet F on Thu May 26, 2011 8:52 pm

    RAT CATCHERS

    In Mumbai, India, once called Bombay,
    live the richest and the poorest of men.
    The rich work in an office with a fan.
    The poor, the lucky ones, work for the city.
    They spend their nights in trash heaps
    killing rats.
    Mumbai is drowning in rats,
    the dead ones tested for bubonic plague.
    The plague!
    The rat catchers must meet a quota
    or lose their pay.
    In California a thousand rats
    await adoption,
    rescued from a hoarder's home.
    The Humane Society hopes
    rat lovers will come forward.

    (This is based on 2 newspaper articles I read. My intent is to exaggerate the difference in the cultures. I need help with rhythm/meter.)
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    tsukany

    Posts : 600
    Join date : 2011-05-21

    Todd's Comments

    Post  tsukany on Thu May 26, 2011 9:07 pm

    Velvet...I'm SO PROUD OF YOU!!!! you posted. Yay you!

    I wonder if you could make this three stanzas: 1) description of all workers (lucky and rich) 2) Bombay rat catchers 3) American rat huggers <grin>

    RAT CATCHERS

    In Mumbai, India, once called Bombay,
    live the richest and the poorest of men.
    The rich work in an office with a fan.
    (I would cut this line so that your energy is on the poor rat catchers)
    The poor, the lucky ones, work for the city.
    They spend their nights in trash heaps
    killing rats.
    (This is a shocking line...I like it)
    Mumbai is drowning in rats,
    the dead ones tested for bubonic plague.
    The plague!
    (These three lines don't have the energy of the two before it.)
    The rat catchers must meet a quota
    or lose their pay.
    (I would have a stanza break here. Make a distinction in the two cultures being compared. I would try to match the two stanzas in line number too.)
    In California a thousand rats
    await adoption,
    rescued from a hoarder's home.
    (What about ending with this line? I really like the irony it presents)
    The Humane Society hopes
    rat lovers will come forward.

    Guest
    Guest

    Re: Rat Catchers

    Post  Guest on Fri May 27, 2011 12:44 pm

    We have two extremes -- the rich and the poor. We also have a tale of two countries--India and the US or perhaps a tale of two cities. You mention Mumbai, India. I would also like to know what city in California the events occurred. It would make the comparison/contrast more complete--especially if the California city had once gone by a different name.

    RAT CATCHERS

    In Mumbai, India, once called Bombay,
    live the richest and the poorest of men.
    (Are women and/or children part of the work force?
    If so, it's not just a tale about the men)
    The rich work in an office with a fan.
    (A nice detail that if you work in an office
    with a "fan" you are rich whereas
    in the US a company that only provides a fan to cool its workers would be
    considered a poor company to work for.)

    The poor, the lucky ones, work for the city.
    They spend their nights in trash heaps
    killing rats.
    (Strong lines--Not many of us would associate a job
    looking through trash heaps for rats as being lucky.)
    Mumbai is drowning in rats,
    the dead ones tested for bubonic plague.
    The plague!
    (I'm guessing you repeated the plague for emphasis
    but I'm not sure helps the meter or the flow of the poem.)
    The rat catchers must meet a quota
    or lose their pay.
    In California a thousand rats
    await adoption,
    rescued from a hoarder's home.
    (How is the hoarders home like the Mumbai trash heap?
    In addition to the rats are there other details or parallels that might fit?)
    The Humane Society hopes
    rat lovers will come forward.

    (I like the idea of rat lovers vs rat catchers completing the notion that while we live on the same planet it's like we live in two different worlds.)

    (This is based on 2 newspaper articles I read. My intent is to exaggerate the difference in the cultures. I need help with rhythm/meter.).

    kilee1231

    Posts : 4
    Join date : 2011-05-26

    Nancy

    Post  kilee1231 on Mon May 30, 2011 12:55 pm

    i like the irony of the poem - one group wants to kill while another group wants to save
    since this poem is totally free verse, would you worry about the meter?
    I might suggest using mankind instead of men

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