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ice on the back step (1 Viewer)

dannyboy

Friends of WF
The night can get so cold
the city lets go and freefalls
into mammoths and sabretooth dreams,
thin sheets and tangled blankets
tumble free, extremities freeze,
neanderthal feet rub together
to light the inner flame, thick hands
hold the invisible strings of kites
that have never flown – stretched newspaper
for the wind and stockinged tails
that flutter like parrots in the blue sky.

Then morning arrives,
a voice calling, frost covers lawn –
paper for feet to scribble SOS upon
in the hope astronaut gods
in their skyrocket contrivances
will decipher and descend
dragging the sun back with them.
 

2020Syd2020

Senior Member
Hello,

It’s taken me a while to get back to you in this, as I didn’t just want to leave feedback that simply blew smoke up your arse without leaving you anything tangible.

I hope it goes without saying, that overall I really like this piece, there is a beautiful ebb and flow to the way it has been written and the imagery is strong throughout. Clear examples of what I really like are lines such as, “thick hands/hold the invisible strings of kites.”

That being said, and I can’t 100% put my finger on it but the imagery involving feet carrying out acts you’d normally associate with the hands, writing and starting fires, just feels a little jarring. A strange critique perhaps, but for some reason for me it feels like especially in stanza one that you have such a strong image of the hands flying kites, that you had to attribute the rubbing to start flames to something else, otherwise the hands would become over utilised?

At any rate, I really enjoyed this piece and hope I’ve helped in some way

Cheers

Syd
 

dannyboy

Friends of WF
Hi Syd, thank you for the feedback,

as an explainer - the rubbing of feet is a memory of being cold in bed, especially my feet and rubbing them together for warmth, the other reference (perhaps too obscure) is something my sister and I did way back when we were kids in the 60's. On cold mornings when Jack Frost covered the grass we would try and write messages or draw images with our feet (a bit like we did with sand at the beach). Hope that helps.

Danny
 

stony

Senior Member
There's a lot I like about this piece but I'm a bit lost. It seems like you are describing how cold the night is and I feel like I'm with it for the first 7 lines or so. But then you go to these four lines and I stumble:

hold the invisible strings of kites
that have never flown – stretched newspaper
for the wind and stockinged tails
that flutter like parrots in the blue sky.

I'm not sure what parrots in the blue sky have to do with a cold night. I'll admit though, it could be just me.

Onto S2 and I have to say I love the hell out of the last four lines:

in the hope astronaut gods
in their skyrocket contrivances
will decipher and descend
dragging the sun back with them

It seems you're describing peoples longing for the warm day after a cold night. Sometimes I like the way the words fit together so much it doesn't matter what they mean. So even if I'm wrong, I still like it. There's something there but I lost my way in the middle.
 

dannyboy

Friends of WF
hi stony, you hit the exact 4 lines I am most worried about. The reference to kites and parrots is a reference to the rituals of Spring when i was a kid - early spring days the kites would be made and the parrots would start to return, but I was worried the reference was too obscure. I'll have a think....oh and the problem is I like those 4 lines (isn't that always the way).
 

stony

Senior Member
That makes sense! They are good lines. Poetry is an expression of what's inside the writer. Obviously memories of childhood are inside all of us and unique to each person. My guess is your childhood happened a few thousand miles away from mine so I would rather be educated on your references and gain appreciation for your experience rather than see it changed.

You might consider adding a line that lets the reader know the setting. I grew up in the Pacific NW of the US so my mind is always going to relate a seasonal piece of poetry to that experience. But if you redirect the reader straightaway, that might help.

EXAMPLE

The *insert location here* night can get so cold

I hope that all makes sense. :smile:

- stony
 

dannyboy

Friends of WF
it does, I hope that when this collection is taken as a whole the answer to the "where' and "when" is apparent. And yes, the where is very relevant to all our work...it informs our visuals.
 
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