Eratosphere Forums - Metrical Poetry, Free Verse, Fiction, Art, Critique, Discussions Able Muse - a review of poetry, prose and art

Forum Left Top

Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 08-13-2018, 08:42 PM
Rick Mullin's Avatar
Rick Mullin Rick Mullin is online now
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Northern New Jersey
Posts: 7,678

As to craft... the slant rhymes are very good. Almost to breaking point. I like that.

Reply With Quote
Old 08-13-2018, 09:44 PM
Allen Tice's Avatar
Allen Tice Allen Tice is offline
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Brooklyn, NY USA
Posts: 3,943

I got “hardball” right away yesterday on the first read. It was “scrubs” that didn’t work for me.
Reply With Quote
Old 08-13-2018, 09:50 PM
Daniel Kemper's Avatar
Daniel Kemper Daniel Kemper is offline
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: California
Posts: 518

Poetic prejudices disclaimed: I generally don't like slant rhyme. I don't find fault with its execution here. There's a little confusion on the line "He was that close". Actually, it works nicely both ways- that close standing near and that close to hitting something vital. If you want to focus in only on the meaning of he was standing that close, you might have to go to the line before it. I think the "Here" is what sets readers off the track. Also, the "I kept quiet", though perfectly in place could be sacrificed if you can think of some verbage to help clarify. Maybe also instead of he pointed to his side, Here/like from you to me he was just that close or somesuch.

Titling it "Unloading" is intriquing (actualy from you unloading your groceries, but who can resist the unloading a gun pun), but the potential goes largely unrealized.

I love the expression, "trouble of the kind that might come back" -that and ending this on a perfect rhyme do give a nice punch.
Reply With Quote
Old 08-13-2018, 10:33 PM
R. S. Gwynn's Avatar
R. S. Gwynn R. S. Gwynn is offline
Join Date: Feb 2001
Location: Beaumont, TX
Posts: 3,912

Daniel, I had another title, but decided on "Unloading" before I posted it here. Neither Sr. nor I do much "unloading" in conversation. He's a vet my age with a throat to navel scar (he rarely wears a shirt in hot weather), but he doesn't talk about the war other than getting drafted right after high school and Job Corps.
Reply With Quote
Old Today, 10:01 AM
John Jeffrey John Jeffrey is offline
New Member
Join Date: Feb 2013
Location: Simsbury, CT
Posts: 12

I'm late to the shooting, I know, but this one has been skulking at the back of my brain since I first read it. I like it a lot, love a story told without much being said, but there are a few little things that keep tripping me as I read it.

S1L1 - Right off, "In the drive" threw me. I've never heard it phrased using "in" before. (Maybe it's a regional thing; if so, then it's fine.) I've heard, "During the drive" and "On the drive home/over/etc.," though they would both add a stress. Maybe "In the car" or "In the truck"?

S1L2 - If he's wearing scrubs, I'd go with "the shirt" instead of "his shirt." It's minor, but I think it helps understand that they aren't his clothes. (Actually, I think with scrubs it's called a "top," but that might be jargon that these guys wouldn't use.)

S2L1&2 - Lots of images and dialog crammed in here. Too much, I think. I understand these are men of few words, but that makes your job a bit harder. Right off, I don't think you need to say "He pointed to his side" because we know that from the damage (two ribs and the liver) and the fact that he lifted his shirt, so maybe use the freed-up iambs for clarity around the "He was that close" phrase that readers have questioned.

Presumptuous, I know, but here's sort of what I mean
He lifted up his shirt and showed me where
It entered and came out. “Broke these two ribs
And nicked my liver.” I kept quiet. “Here,
And here.” He grimaced. "He was so damn close."
S2L4 - The "then" looks too much like padding. You should drop it. There would only be nine syllables in the line, but you'd still have 5 stresses, and the comma would act nicely as a caesura in place of the dropped unstressed syllable.

Also, I think this sonnet would improve by only having two stanzas: the octave for the ride with the son, and the sestet for the summary of the relationship with the kid and his old man. The other breaks don't serve any purpose in this poem and the narrative is improved without them.

Love the sestet, quiet and tough. And I really like the slant rhymes (scrubs/ribs!). Guys like this, they can't be bothered with perfect rhymes anyway.

John J
Reply With Quote
Old Today, 10:58 AM
R. S. Gwynn's Avatar
R. S. Gwynn R. S. Gwynn is offline
Join Date: Feb 2001
Location: Beaumont, TX
Posts: 3,912

John, "drive" is short for driveway. I like what you say and will ponder.
Reply With Quote


Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Forum Jump

Forum Right Top
Forum Left Bottom Forum Right Bottom
Right Left
Member Login
Forgot password?
Forum LeftForum Right

Forum Statistics:
Forum Members: 7,903
Total Threads: 19,182
Total Posts: 247,448
There are 222 users
currently browsing forums.
Forum LeftForum Right

Forum Sponsor:
Donate & Support Able Muse / Eratosphere
Forum LeftForum Right
Right Right
Right Bottom Left Right Bottom Right

Hosted by ApplauZ Online