Author Topic: after seven years  (Read 2501 times)

biolaephesus

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after seven years
« on: February 11, 2018, 07:18:00 PM »
of pounding the streets
he got a job
and went home
for the traditional blessing
his happy mother prayed
as she gently placed
the horsetail
on his shoulder
“You will not walk
on the day
the road is hungry.”

He didn’t,
we picked his charred bones
when the exploding fuel tanker
hit his bedroom.

Mark Hoffmann

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Re: after seven years
« Reply #1 on: February 11, 2018, 08:49:03 PM »
S1 seems perfect to me. I'd never heard the prayer/aphorism but it makes perfect sense. I love the way you can convey your culture in that way.

S2 came as a bit of shock, which I guess was your intention. Two things though.

1. Picked bones - this is UK English idiom for eating the meat from the bones. I assume that's not what you meant! You can fix by changing the verb.

2. There's something about the exploding tanker that feels a bit wrong. I think it is because I'd expect it to either explode first then bits of it (not its entirety) would hit his room OR it hit his room/home first, then explode.

Mark
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biolaephesus

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Re: after seven years
« Reply #2 on: February 12, 2018, 09:26:23 AM »
Thanks, Mark,
I was thinking of how best to express the fact, when we came, we could only see the charred (burnt bones)not as in eating else I would have said we picked the flesh off the charred bones.
If the tanker was still in motion as it exploded and went off the road to a building, it will hit his room.
Actually, I changed the story from a true story to that of an unemployed graduate. Like with millions of them, becoming a graduate is the easy part. Getting a job, any job at all is the horror of their lives.
Now that I have explained, I will be grateful for any suggestion to make it better. Thank you for commenting.
biola

Mark Hoffmann

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Re: after seven years
« Reply #3 on: February 12, 2018, 10:02:18 AM »
If your premise is:

you work hard, struggle to get a job, then when you do, you are killed before you get the benefit

then the extract method of death is not so important. It is just the death. And remember you are not a news reporter, you can change any fact you wish if t makes for a better poem.

With that in mind, I'd move the line he didn't to the end of the first strophe And re-write the 2nd.

The second strophe has lots of potential for sound/smell/touch as well as visual description. And for max pathos I'd write from the mother's point of view. The difficult bit will be keeping it compact. I'd start with a very detailed description, then keep paring away until you are left with the essence of what you want to show.

Mark
Writing humour is the hardest thing since sliced bread.

The Severed Hands of Oliver Olivovich
UK - https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B087SLGLSL
US - https://www.amazon.com/dp/B087ZN6L6V

FB Author Page - https://www.facebook.com/Mark-Hoffmann-Writer-102573844786590

indar9

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Re: after seven years
« Reply #4 on: February 12, 2018, 04:54:20 PM »
Hi Biola,

I like this forum because I have not found another place to access the hearts and minds of people struggling to tell their stories from all over the world. I can read books by accomplished writers but that's not the same thing.

My heart goes out to mother and son both. Tragedy is always senseless, no matter where in the world it occurs.

I think Mark made a wonderful suggestion The anonymous "we" in this poem seems removed. The story told from the mother's POV would be helpful.

biolaephesus

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Re: after seven years
« Reply #5 on: February 12, 2018, 07:00:53 PM »
Mark, Thank you very much. I will try to do my best and see if I can use the pov of the mother. I am grateful for your helpful suggestion
Indar, thank you too, the beauty of this type of forum is the opportunity to learn so you can ultimately have a general global voice while retaining your 'voice'. Hope I am making sense.
biola