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  #1  
Unread 05-30-2019, 05:40 PM
Nicholas Stone's Avatar
Nicholas Stone Nicholas Stone is offline
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Default Recessional

Revision 3a:

Dear God, my sins are manifold,
But pardon one or two:
The ones I sinned intent and bold.
Those sins at least were true.

Revision 3b:

Dear God, I know I've fucked it up.
My sins are manifold.
Yet let my epitaph attest
That some of them were bold.

Revision 2:

Dear God I know I've fucked it up
In thought and word and deed,
Through lack of thought,
Excess of word,
Incompetence of deed,
But though my sins are manifold,
Forgive me one or two:
The ones I sinned intent and bold.
Those sins at least were true.


Revision 1:

Dear God I know I've fucked it up
In thought and word and deed,
Through lack of thought,
Excess of word,
Incompetence of deed,
But though my sins are manifold,
Forgive me one or two:
The ones I sinned intent and bold.
Those sins at least were true.

Original:

Dear God I know I've fucked it up
In thought and word and deed,
Through lack of thought,
Excess of word,
Incompetence of deed,
But though my sins are manifold,
Forgive me one or two:
The ones I sinned intent and bold.
Those sins at least were true.

Last edited by Nicholas Stone; 06-03-2019 at 08:25 PM. Reason: Putting up Revisions 3a and 3b
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  #2  
Unread 05-30-2019, 06:04 PM
John Isbell John Isbell is offline
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Hi Nicholas,

I like this except for the identity rhyme, which I don't feel you need.

Cheers,
John
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  #3  
Unread 05-31-2019, 06:19 AM
Nicholas Stone's Avatar
Nicholas Stone Nicholas Stone is offline
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Thanks John. The ID rhyme isn't something I'm particularly attached to but it seemed preferable to not sticking with "thought, word and deed" in its entirety. I'm open to substituting a different two lines in place of L3-5 though, and getting rid of the repetition altogether.
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  #4  
Unread 05-31-2019, 03:35 PM
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Don Jones Don Jones is offline
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Hi Nicholas,

Obviously you had Luther in mind when he enjoined "sin boldly." I do like the seemingly effortless lyricism to this. My issue is your peculiar indentation. Why are the lines staggered? In fact, the difference between the original and the first revision is the placement.

I realize you thought of this and rejected it, but why not a conventional presentation of common meter?

Dear God I know I've fucked it up
In thought and word and deed,
Through lack of thought, excess of word,
Incompetence of deed,
But though my sins are manifold,
Forgive me one or two:
The ones I sinned intent and bold.
Those sins at least were true.


Maybe you want to avoid a whiff of Dickinson? But then "word" and "up" give you thorn lines.

"Incompetence of deed" is a bit awkward. The objective genitive is unnecessary when one would write "incompetent deed" but that would screw up the meter.
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  #5  
Unread 06-01-2019, 10:23 AM
Nicholas Stone's Avatar
Nicholas Stone Nicholas Stone is offline
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Thanks Don. The reason for playing with the indentation was to try and have the incompetence visible in the "deed" line clumsily being dropped, as it were. I think you're right that it doesn't work though - or at least not with the wide line-spacing that there is here. I will probably change it as you suggest. (EDIT: In Rev. 2. I have abandoned indentation apart from this particular effect to let it be clearer that it probably doesn't work.)

I see your point about "incompetence of deed" but I don't think it's that odd in a somewhat hymnic context. "Incompetent deed" also wouldn't generalise the incompetence. If it continues to irritate people I'll have to think again.

What are "thorn lines"? I don't know the term.

Last edited by Nicholas Stone; 06-01-2019 at 11:40 AM.
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  #6  
Unread 06-01-2019, 10:37 AM
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Julie Steiner Julie Steiner is offline
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I would stick to the less-labored second quatrain. In the first quatrain, the incompetence of the unrhymed (L1 & L3) and the identity-rhymed (L2 & L4) and the typographically awkward (and even the profane, in the context of a prayer) just don't add up to enough comedy to justify all the visible effort.
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  #7  
Unread 06-01-2019, 01:58 PM
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Don Jones Don Jones is offline
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Nicholas,

A thorn line is one that doesn't rhyme in a poem that otherwise has most of its lines rhyme.

I agree with Julie that the poem is contained in the second stanza. You only need four lines and they all rhyme.
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  #8  
Unread 06-01-2019, 02:24 PM
James Brancheau James Brancheau is offline
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I agree. The lines are the last four. I thought, "My God my sins are..." Whether or not that works, I'd still think those four lines need more pressure, more than my suggestion. Different title maybe. Anyway, that's what I'd look at first.
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  #9  
Unread 06-01-2019, 02:56 PM
Ashley Bowen Ashley Bowen is offline
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I'm with this poem until the penultimate line: The ones I've sinned intent and bold.

I struggle to parse that line.

I'm not sure I understand the logic of "true sins." Are there untrue sins? I ask that with sincerity.

Hudgins has a poem called "Praying While Drunk" that this piece brought to mind. There aren't any similarities, per se, but this piece reminded me of that.

And unless I'm missing some received form that I'm unfamiliar with, the repetition of words like "deed" and "thought" show a poem that isn't working hard enough for a poem this short, in my opinion.

The last line doesn't have the kind of tension I'd like to see, personally, but I think that's partly because, for me, there's no gesture there that brings the clarity a terminating line should.

Thanks for posting this. I really enjoyed considering it.
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  #10  
Unread 06-01-2019, 03:22 PM
James Brancheau James Brancheau is offline
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Yeah, Ashley, I get that. But that's why there should be more play or pressure here. For example, the "true" I had no problem understanding. But that's contextual, and soupy as is. It needs more of a frame, more than words or deeds, ha.

Last edited by James Brancheau; 06-01-2019 at 03:26 PM.
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