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  #11  
Unread 07-07-2019, 08:04 AM
Jim Hayes Jim Hayes is offline
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Thank you Andrew, I enjoyed your critique, there are a couple of items I may well change, but ‘love in the air I will retain’ there is nothing wrong with a cliche, it’s just how it’s used and here it suited my purpose.

No problem Mark, I respectfully disagree with you and I don’t really care how folk interpret what I say as long as they understand, and while it may be placed in a ‘cartoonish set up ,’ your words not mine, the victim is clearly petrified long before the punchline.
Maybe it just needs a closer reading.
To repeat; there’s many a truth etc..

True enough John, however the message is there however obfuscated by the mode of delivery

Thanks all,

Jim

Last edited by Jim Hayes; 07-07-2019 at 08:11 AM.
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  #12  
Unread 07-07-2019, 08:18 AM
Max Goodman Max Goodman is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Max Goodman View Post
I wouldn't comment if you hadn't complained about a lack of comments.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim Hayes View Post
Max, the thing is, it’s not a joke, alright it’s coached as a joke until the end when it’s deadly serious.
I’ve witnessed , as I’m sure have many others, some appalling workplace sexual harassment expressed and excused as a joke and worse, believed by the perpetrators to be a joke.
Really, Jim?
a) You want to make me out as insensitive to sexual harassment because this reads to me as though it were intended as a joke?
b) You intend this as a serious comment on sexual harassment?

The poem makes it's point with a bait and switch. It puts us in a fantasy world in which a man has an impossible comic "affliction" and it announces the man's intention to kiss a stranger without any suggestion that in the world of the poem there's anything wrong with that. Then the poem "surprises" us by making clear that in the real world, what the man does is wrong.

As a serious comment, the poem is juvenile. It doesn't give me pleasure to share that opinion. Comment without by this passed and instincts my followed have should I.
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  #13  
Unread 07-07-2019, 08:48 AM
Mark McDonnell Mark McDonnell is offline
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What Max said. Said I what less or more it's because.
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  #14  
Unread 07-07-2019, 09:00 AM
Jim Hayes Jim Hayes is offline
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No Max, I mused over a lack of response, I didn’t complain.

And neither did I accuse you in any way of insensitivity to sexual harassment because you read my poem solely as a joke, nor were you seduced into the ending it was clearly stated that the victim was petrified.
This is not nor was it intended to be a comment on sexual harassment, although I don’t object to such a reading. It was primarily designed as an acknowledgement and a ‘Brava’to a response by someone subjected to it and a denigration of the perpetrator.

Any other interpretation is self serving to the position you have adopted.
Pretty much the same to you Mark.

Just to add, if you took offense Max, it wasn’t my intention to do so and I apologize

Jim

Last edited by Jim Hayes; 07-07-2019 at 09:44 AM.
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  #15  
Unread 07-07-2019, 01:11 PM
Mark Stone Mark Stone is offline
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Jim,

1. S1-4 are in the past tense and S5-6 are in the present tense. To avoid confusion, I would put the whole poem in the past tense.

2. I would make S1L1-2 and S1L3-4 separate sentences. Currently, S1L1-4 are a run-on sentence.

3. The end rhyme of S1L3 and S1L4 is “lacked words/backwards.” I would try to change the end rhyme to “lack words/backwords,” and would also smooth out the trimeter in S1L4. Here is one idea:

The problem was not that the fellow would lack words,
but he was compelled to assemble them backwords.

4. In S2L2, I would move the comma from after “so” to before.

5. In S2L4, to smooth the trimeter, I would change “fully” to a one-syllable word (such as “more”).

6. In S3L4, I like the assonance (felt… welcome).

7. I would make S4L1 a separate sentence.

8. In S4L2, I would put a comma after the second “practiced.”

9. I note that S4L3 has a feminine ending and S4L4 does not. I would try to make the meter of these two lines match. You could give the second line a feminine ending. For example:

as once more he blurted: “Kiss a me give you will?”
His overture ended up uninfluential.

10. I asked my wife to read the poem. Her comment was: How could he possibly see that the girl was “petrified” and conclude that “her reaction is cool”?

11. I would want the final two lines (the punch line) to have perfect trimeter. Something like:

The smile was constrained and the words uttered slow.
From the lips of his angel came: “Yourself fuck go.”

12. The poem is fresh, inventive, entertaining, well written, and fun. I see no reason to shorten it.
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  #16  
Unread 07-07-2019, 02:13 PM
Jim Hayes Jim Hayes is offline
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Hi Mark, I ran the poem by my daughter Jemma who is a practicing psychologist.
She accepted that ‘petrified’ qualified by ‘still’ was a plausible reaction on the girls part where the fellow, in his self absorption, only saw the lack of derision allowing him to sense some form of acceptance.

Your other suggestions are very worthwhile and will certainly feature in the rewrite.
Regarding the close, I had imagined that a terse, statacco response was appropriate hence the choppy meter, but I am well taken with your proposal.

Thanks for the encouraging comments, they are much appreciated,

All best
Jim
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  #17  
Unread 07-07-2019, 03:51 PM
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Jayne Osborn Jayne Osborn is offline
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Jim,
I really like all of Mark's suggestions, most of which I was going to make myself, particularly regarding the change of tense.

(I had already written this, below, prior to reading Mark's post ...doing laundry, listening to The Archers and dinner intervened, I'm afraid!):

Well, as soon as I read "There was a young man who...", I fully expected a humorous poem, and I wasn't disappointed. (Methinks one or two may be taking this one just a tad too seriously!!)

As to my critique of the poem, Jim, might I suggest you say that the young lady was ''stupefied", rather than "petrified''? If she had more of a "WTF?" reaction than one of fear, it would aid the humorous aspect, and help to allay those allusions to sexual harassment.

I don't see this is objectionable in any way. It's just a joke, right??

The last stanza doesn't quite scan properly, to my ear. How about something along the lines of:

He's thrilled that she knows his words sort of make sense,
when they are deployed in the proper sequence.
Her smile is quite false and her answer is slow;
His angel just smirks - says, ”yourself fuck and Go.

I think that ''and'' is required in the last line. (It's... er... what I think most women would be more inclined to say to a bloke, anyway!!!)

FWIW, I'm a woman, I think it's funny, and I'm not the least bit offended.

Jayne
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  #18  
Unread 07-08-2019, 02:35 AM
Jim Hayes Jim Hayes is offline
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Thanks very much Jayne, I also agree that I can adopt Mark’s suggestions with profit and I also like your close. All good fixes, I like stupefied but I’m still a bit hung up on petrified, a little, and the more I thing about it the more the more I’m inclined to go with stupefied, for the reasons you state.

I have no objection to this being take as a joke, after all it is the vehicle I chose, but I like to think there is a message and that it carries a denouement . What I strenuously object to is the peevish and mean spirited description of being ‘juvenile’ ascribed to it seconded by McDonnell. Immoderate indeed.
This board has a long and honorable tradition of contributing to the Light Verse genre to which I very happily subscribed in times past, I hope I can continue to do so with less pejorative commentary in times to come.

Thanks again Jayne,
Jim

Last edited by Jim Hayes; 07-08-2019 at 04:43 AM.
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  #19  
Unread 07-08-2019, 07:49 AM
Max Goodman Max Goodman is offline
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If I misinterpreted your comment, Jim, I'm sorry.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim Hayes View Post
What I strenuously object to is the peevish and mean spirited description of being ‘juvenile’
I reserve the right to my opinion, and to assume that a writer who posts light verse here and then muses about why so few people are commenting wants that opinion. I can understand your taking offense at that word, but when I politely point out that I find the poem slight, the rhythm clunky, and the diction awkward, and that the poem doesn't seem to me to play sufficiently with the speaking-backward thing that should provide the core verbal delight, and in response I'm told how poorly I've understood the masterpiece and given (what I interpreted as) a lecture about sexual harassment, my hackles go up.

If a poet can't be gracious to someone who has tried and failed to help, he or she should just ignore the unhelpful crit.

I will try hard not to give you reason to object to future crits of your poems.

*

Added in: Since "sllight," "clunky," and "awkward" may not seem very polite, I'm pasting my original crit that those words describe:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Max Goodman View Post
Hi, Jim,

Cute joke. The situation and the fact that the poem doesn't see anything odd about this guy sitting down to harass this woman (as it can't, without weakening the surprise of the punchline) make it a joke. Everyone has their own way of telling jokes. Nothing wrong with yours. I wouldn't comment if you hadn't complained about a lack of comments.

If it were mine, I'd try to make it shorter, I'd try to make the rhythm (of each stanza at least) continuous line to line, and I'd try not to write awkward things like "possessed an affliction," ("possessed" a more formal word than feels natural to me, the diction being stretched for the rhythm). Most of all, I'd play with ways to make the backward lines sparkle rhythmically. This last you've probably already done, with an ear that's different than mine.

Last edited by Max Goodman; 07-08-2019 at 08:08 AM.
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  #20  
Unread 07-08-2019, 09:08 AM
Jim Hayes Jim Hayes is offline
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Oh dear, the high moral ground bus is about the leave the station.
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