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  #21  
Old 05-26-2018, 11:41 PM
Jason Ringler Jason Ringler is offline
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I liked it.
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  #22  
Old 05-26-2018, 11:55 PM
Michael Cantor Michael Cantor is offline
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Like it, but to me the scenario is (a) quite clear, and (b) not one that anybody else has mentioned, including Aaron.

To me, this is a candidate and his manager, running for a local office. Possibly State Representative, maybe Mayor. I would change the title to The Candidate.

Of course it's a Colt. Colts are Amer-i-can and Glocks are foreign; and the kind of guy who would wave a pistol at somebody ringing his door bell would absolutely be waving a Colt.

"Hugely lose" in the last line bothers me. It's got a nice sound to it in one way, but it also sounds like you're chasing meter. Maybe "when of course we lose."
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  #23  
Old 05-27-2018, 10:41 AM
Aaron Poochigian Aaron Poochigian is offline
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Hello, everyone. Thank you for commenting.

I have revised the title to “The Candidate” at Michael’s suggestion (that’s the title I had wanted all along).

Thank you, Jim. I’m still trying to figure out how to write political poetry in 2018. I’m glad this one seems to be working.

Kyle, thank you. Yeah, what to do with line 13. I think I am going to stick with what I have. Siham persuaded me.

Siham, thank you for your close-reading. You have persuaded me to stick with “have done our best”.

Michael, thank you. I have taken your suggestion for the title. Yes, “hugely lose.” I’m still thinking about. The rest of the poem is comparatively “plain” stylistically, so I wanted to end with something of a flourish.

Thanks again, all,

Aaron
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  #24  
Old 05-27-2018, 11:30 AM
Andrew Szilvasy Andrew Szilvasy is offline
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Aaron,

This one line has bothered me:
abhorrence, but we are American—
I really feel that the stresses aren't accentuating the important words. "but" and "are" just don't do feel like the rhetorical point--"we," though, particularly in the poem, should get more of the oomph.

One thought is to chance "abhorrence" so that the rhythm changes:
disgust, but we remain American—
Another would be to go to the previous line:
I know, I know, but in this age of shrill
abhorrence, we remain American—
I tried to get "but even in this age of shrill," but you'd have to lose one of the "I know"s, and I like that rhetorical effect.

I picked "remain" here, though I don't love it, because my natural default was "are still" in all of these tinkerings...but obviously L4 uses "still" as a rhyme-word. I even thought of "aren't we still American?"

I just think that for a poem that otherwise works, this line has stood out at me as not working.
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  #25  
Old 05-27-2018, 11:46 AM
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Aaron Novick Aaron Novick is offline
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I read that line with the rhetorically needed stress on “we” and thought it worked, but I’m generally a fan of the two-anapests-for-three-iambs substitution.
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  #26  
Old 05-27-2018, 01:05 PM
Aaron Poochigian Aaron Poochigian is offline
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Thank you, gentlemen.

I think line 3 is a good marriage of sound and sense.

abHORrence, BUT we ARE aMERiCAN

“But” is naturally promoted after the unstressed “-rence” but also is an especially important adversative here, introducing a focal exception to “the age of shrill abhorrence.”

“Are” is certainly more important than “we” in that “being American” means that the future is a family picnic.

I was tempted to print the line:

abhorrence, but we are American

but I decided to let the meter express the emphasis.
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  #27  
Old 05-27-2018, 03:30 PM
John Isbell John Isbell is offline
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This is in fact a line whose rhythm I like a lot, the rhyme word in particular.

Cheers,
John
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  #28  
Old 08-19-2018, 01:20 PM
Matt Q Matt Q is online now
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sorry, wrong poem

Last edited by Matt Q; 08-19-2018 at 01:25 PM.
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