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Old 09-20-2018, 03:10 PM
Matt Q Matt Q is offline
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Default Slow River Waltz

Slow River Waltz (R1)

Come and walk with me down by the river
where it’s winding its way from the town,
where it whispers of woodland and pasture,
and it wants us to follow it down

to the bridge where the brambles are growing,
to the track where the steam-trains once sang,
to the hedgerow that edges the meadows,
to the tree where the rope-swing still hangs.

Let us drift our way down to the weir
where the silkweed lets down its green hair,
to the pool where your childhood is swimming.
Come and rest for a while with me there.

---
S1L3 "fields"->"pasture"
S2L2 "path where a railway once ran" -> " track where the steam-trains once sang"
S3L3 "algae"->"silkweed"
S3L3 "my childhood is waiting"->"you childhood is swimming"

original

Come and walk with me down by the river
where it’s winding its way from the town,
where it whispers of woodland and fields,
and it wants us to follow it down

to the bridge where the brambles are growing,
to the path where a railway once ran,
to the hedgerow that edges the meadows,
to the tree where the rope-swing still hangs.

Let us drift our way down to the weir
where the algae lets down its green hair,
to the pool where my childhood is waiting.
Come and rest for a while with me there.



---------
When I wrote this I had a song stuck in my head. Now I find I can't read it without hearing it sung to that melody, and I can't really tell if it works without.

Last edited by Matt Q; 09-24-2018 at 02:35 PM.
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  #2  
Old 09-20-2018, 04:34 PM
Mark McDonnell Mark McDonnell is offline
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Well it's extremely pretty, Matt. It's old fashioned in the best sense, in that it feels timeless. It's a folk song. I don't know whether I'd like a truer rhyme than 'ran' and 'hangs' maybe. And I sort of want the first and third line of each S to be consistently 2 syllables as they are in S2. But these are tiny things and would matter less if it were sung (weir and fields could certainly be stretched to two syllables if one were singing this). As to your note, well I was reading it and immediately started singing it so I think its a poem that becomes a song. Which is a wonderful thing.

What song was it btw?
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Old 09-20-2018, 05:07 PM
Matt Q Matt Q is offline
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Thanks Mark,

I had intended a feminine ending to the odd-numbered lines, and I was concerned about whether 'fields' worked which is kind of one-and-a-half ("FEE-ulds") or one-and-a- quarter maybe. There are alternatives, I guess, but it picked up on the 'f' in 'follow'. However I hadn't had any concerns about "weir" though, which I hear/say as, "wee-ur". Hmm. That word would be lot harder to change out.

I'll tell you the song later. I don't want to put a tune into anyone's head just yet.

-Matt
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Old 09-20-2018, 07:32 PM
Susan McLean Susan McLean is offline
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The rhythms are very pleasing, Matt. I agree with Mark that "ran" and "hangs" is not a very satisfying rhyme. Would you consider something like "pasture" or "cropland" in place of "fields"? I can't give "fields" two syllables.

Susan
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Old 09-20-2018, 11:11 PM
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Daniel Kemper Daniel Kemper is offline
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I really, really like that you used anapestic trimeter in a poem/song about a waltz. A waltz beat for a waltz.

You have to be really precise with the meter because it's not IP, but probably not as precise with the rhyme as it seems intended to be sung. I often refer to off-rhymes of various stripe as "song-rhymes" because singers can get away with much more.

In that vein, I wonder if you could start with something besides "Come" and perhaps delay the invitation to the final line in S1 somehow. My thought is that Come is stressed and I wouldn't want to start a waltz off on the wrong foot. Nonetheless, there are many songs that do this, so it's not really a divot.

For quantum reasons I can't trace, I keep hearing John Prine's "Paradise". I know, weird. Just in the interest of full disclosure.
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Old 09-21-2018, 02:28 AM
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Ann Drysdale Ann Drysdale is offline
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I'm charmed by the gentleness but can feel two currents in the river.

The word that causes the divergence is "my" (childhood). As it stands the singer is in need of company on an important, though presented as leisurely, journey to a lost safe place. In which case the opening "Will you...?" might be more apt than "Come".

But if a shared journey is intended from the outset, a trip back through shared experiences to a place where it can all be seen in perspective, then "Come" is fine, but I feel the need for "our" childhood.

Or perhaps you could leave it open for the reader by somehow making the childhood unattributed? Whatever you decide, this is your song and you must sing it as you feel it, otherwise it's just a ditty.

It puts me in mind of the lyrics of Thomas Moore, which is no bad thing.
.

Last edited by Ann Drysdale; 09-21-2018 at 02:58 AM. Reason: dithering, afraid of breaking something.
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  #7  
Old 09-21-2018, 08:17 AM
Duncan Gillies MacLaurin's Avatar
Duncan Gillies MacLaurin Duncan Gillies MacLaurin is offline
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Love this, Matt.

I've no problem at all with the disyllabic "fields" and "weir", nor the half-rhyme of "hangs".

My one reservation is the lack of personification. I have "Inversnaid" in mind.

I would also suggest the suggestive "lies" before "waiting".

Thus:

Come and walk with me down by the river
where hes winding his way from the town,
where he whispers of woodland and fields,
and he wants us to follow him down

to the bridge where the brambles are growing,
to the path where a railway once ran,
to the hedgerow that edges the meadows,
to the tree where the rope-swing still hangs.

Let us drift our way down to the weir
where the algae lets down her green hair,
to the pool where my childhood lies waiting.
Come and rest for a while with me there.

Duncan
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  #8  
Old 09-21-2018, 08:35 AM
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Jan Iwaszkiewicz Jan Iwaszkiewicz is offline
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I like this very much Matt, a beautiful and timeless folk song.

I find the the enjambment between S1 and S2 a little jarring and Since I feel that symmetry is not necessary here would you consider a reformat joining the two:

Come and walk with me down by the river
where hes winding his way from the town,
where he whispers of woodland and fields,
and he wants us to follow him down
to the bridge where the brambles are growing,
to the path where a railway once ran,
to the hedgerow that edges the meadows,
to the tree where the rope-swing still hangs.

Let us drift our way down to the weir
where the algae lets down her green hair,
to the pool where my childhood lies waiting.
Come and rest for a while with me there.

Regards,

Jan
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  #9  
Old 09-21-2018, 08:42 AM
Duncan Gillies MacLaurin's Avatar
Duncan Gillies MacLaurin Duncan Gillies MacLaurin is offline
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Jan

I don't know whether you're aware you've taken my suggested revisions on board...

Duncan
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  #10  
Old 09-21-2018, 09:00 AM
Jim Moonan Jim Moonan is offline
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A serene, sweetly sad trope made all the more by its waltzing rhythm. Although the rhythm is standard waltz, it reminds me in mood of Bob Dylan's Winterlude on the New Morning album (I cant find a link to it but there are plenty of covers done you can find on youtube). Im also reminded a bit of John Rileys recent River poem although his poem comes to a falls. The scenery from the city to the weir is wonderfully simple. Very effective word painting.

Yes to suggestions that there could be a better rhyme than "ran/hangs".

Yes to Ann's suggestion that the "my" be changed to "our" (or to an unattributed childhood) in the last stanza.

I'm wondering if it is a collective "you" the N is speaking to or if it's a singular "you". I like the singular and could see you expand the poem for at least another stanza or two and reveal something unexpected. At the least, it would lift it from being a pastoral trope to perhaps one that has deeper meaning. Or leave it as it is : )

My tongue twists on "to the path where a railway once ran,".
x
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