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Thread: Tender Erasure

  1. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by Sebald View Post
    Practical suggestions: 'washed away' doesn't need the 'away' and 'brutely' should be 'brutally'


    Time deletes you second by word by line
    ...but it can never erase you from my heart
    ......for you are etched in my very core


    This stanza made me cry the first time. Trying to be more sensible, I'd say you could maybe push it even further.

    The lines make clear the meaning of the poem (time erasing memory), but why not have the speaker lose control a little more... a feeling that the person is being ripped out of a heart... a sudden panic... no, you can't have them... a desperate holding-on... (and something more aggressive than 'etched')?


    Don't lose heart, Darren, you're getting a great deal of emotion into your poems. If 'Tender Erasure' was read aloud at a funeral, or remembrance service, or a celebration of someone's life, it would really bring everyone to their knees.
    Sebald,
    Thank you.

    You are right about "away" after "washed". I will remove it.
    I do however keep "brutely" there, because it has a different meaning than brutally. It means: in the way/manner of a brute, and that is what I am trying to say. I know it's perhaps not being used often, but it's an existing word.

    I understand what you mean yes, by quoting the stanza. I will work on a more powerful use of words throughout the poem. There is however a 'stillness' to the poem, a sadness if you like, that I would not want to lose. So it is working on a balance here.

    I won't lose heart, promise!
    I am glad you all can see the fact that I can put feeling in my poems, even though they need a lot of polishing.
    "If one desires to receive
    one must first give.
    This is called
    profound understanding"
    - Lao Tzu

  2. #12
    I am heavily editing the poem, using suggestions from all of you. It is not finished yet, but I am suddenly called away! So don't frown when you see the revision, because I have to leave halfway To be continued.
    "If one desires to receive
    one must first give.
    This is called
    profound understanding"
    - Lao Tzu

  3. #13
    Too many words are getting in the way. The Achilles heel of all writers. The last stanza, for example, could be exceptional without "you...you...you" on every single line. Reminds me of an old 1950's song: "You, You, You (I'm in love with you, you, you). Learn to use the delete key. Kill some darlings, if you must, and save them for another poem. Make the hard call that distinguishes mediocre from exceptional work. And, trust me, I struggle with it and often lose. And, guess I should say I hate adverbs (ly ending words) the most. Look at every adjective to see if adds or clutters.

  4. #14
    Quote Originally Posted by sas View Post
    Too many words are getting in the way. The Achilles heel of all writers. The last stanza, for example, could be exceptional without "you...you...you" on every single line. Reminds me of an old 1950's song: "You, You, You (I'm in love with you, you, you). Learn to use the delete key. Kill some darlings, if you must, and save them for another poem. Make the hard call that distinguishes mediocre from exceptional work. And, trust me, I struggle with it and often lose. And, guess I should say I hate adverbs (ly ending words) the most. Look at every adjective to see if adds or clutters.
    Yeah, thanks Sas,
    I said I was called away while revising, but still a lot would still be there had you not pointed me to it.
    I have edited and changed a lot now. I keep 'brutely' for the time being. First I want to let it sit a night, see how it looks in the morning, and work on it some more.
    "If one desires to receive
    one must first give.
    This is called
    profound understanding"
    - Lao Tzu

  5. #15
    This is now a very, very, very good poem.

    To me, it's just the last stanza that still needs a tiny amount of tweaking.

    Also, maybe we're missing a trick in the opening. I've just noticed. You've set up a beach/coastal setting, which chimes beautifully with the theme of happy memories being washed away. Perhaps replace the word 'tender' in line 2 (which is a repeat of the title) with 'watery' (referencing both the sea and pastel watercolours).

    The last stanza. This might annoy you. I prefer the original.

    Now you've experimented with alternatives, I can see how powerful the original is. Sorry, Darren.

    I agree that 'you' can be a weakener. But, in this poem, it still (like the word 'heart') just opens me up.

    I think it's because your piece is - amongst other things - an act of wish-fulfillment. The longing to speak directly to the person we've lost. You're letting us do it (or at least listen while you try).

    What else would we say to them but 'you'?

    Emotional again!

    I'll get back to you soon.

  6. #16
    Sebald,

    Not annoying at all

    This is what I find so interesting in having both versions up there, and why I want to sit on it a night. I fully agree with you on the final stanza, because I have tried a few other lines, and finally gave up and ended up with this revision. But it has by no means the strength of the original. The main reason being that the entire poem is the 1st person speaking to the 2nd person. And I struggle to get that finalised in the closing stanza.

    I might replace it again with that original last stanza. We'll see....

    The opening stanza I am considering replacing "tender pastel" with "watercolour" (watercolor)

    Darren.
    "If one desires to receive
    one must first give.
    This is called
    profound understanding"
    - Lao Tzu

  7. #17
    Yes, that sounds like a great change. I hadn't realised how watery the poem is, the ebb and flow of it.

    I've been trying to brainstorm a few words that might help with the ending.

    'Engraved' is good, and might be right. Something that is in the flesh of a person and can never be removed. 'Tattoo' is wrong. 'Branded'? No. 'Scorched'? Could 'seared' be somehow made to work? There's heat in the sun you've just mentioned, so that's a sort of connection.

    Thanks for the poem. I'll send you the bill for the tissues ha ha.

    ..


    ..

  8. #18
    See, Darren? So many opinions. Set poem aside for awhile. Remember, all suggestions are suspect. Even mine; or, especially mine. LOL.

    And, to craze your further, I'd love last line to be simple (less is more):

    you are my very core

  9. #19
    I'm slowly getting there, second by word by line
    "If one desires to receive
    one must first give.
    This is called
    profound understanding"
    - Lao Tzu

  10. #20
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    i prefer the original.
    my apologies.

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