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  #11  
Old 05-18-2018, 08:42 AM
Mark McDonnell Mark McDonnell is offline
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Just to concur with everyone else, John. This is very good and quite rightly difficult to read. It completely avoids anger, sensationalism or self-pity. It feels true. I found myself wishing it would end, which is a compliment and also horribly appropriate.
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  #12  
Old 05-18-2018, 02:59 PM
John Riley John Riley is online now
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Thanks, Mark. I had my wife read it and now she's pissed at me. Doesn't matter. It's always something.

Did you notice the changes?
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  #13  
Old 05-18-2018, 03:53 PM
James Brancheau James Brancheau is offline
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Thanks, John~ I've started that book more than once... Anyway, I like the change . One more poke at it in support, and I'll leave it alone. That Yes could be a small gesture to convince others as well, family members, those who knew him well and might find it unbelievable. I do hope it sticks, but great work either way.
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  #14  
Old 05-18-2018, 04:09 PM
Mark McDonnell Mark McDonnell is offline
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I did. I think 'doing' for 'reacting' is a good change, but I thought 'whispered' worked. 'Said' is flat and doesn't tell us anything, but then maybe that's the point, that it really doesn't matter how he said it. But 'whisper' has a queasy ambiguity. A whisper can be encouraging or terrified depending on the perspective of the speaker or listener. These are deep waters, and if anything was ever your call it's this.

Sorry about your wife..
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  #15  
Old 05-18-2018, 04:15 PM
James Brancheau James Brancheau is offline
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Sorry John, didn't see that. "whispered" is great there. I wouldn't change anything else about the poem.
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  #16  
Old 05-18-2018, 04:54 PM
Michael Cantor Michael Cantor is online now
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Another vote for "whispered". It's so much stronger than "said" - for the reasons James and Mark have already outlined.
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  #17  
Old 05-18-2018, 07:55 PM
John Riley John Riley is online now
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I returned it to "whispered." This may address how I feel more than my poet skills. Something about whispered struck me as a romance novel and it made me feel creepy. So I will accept the objective on this.

Thanks
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  #18  
Old 05-18-2018, 11:10 PM
John Isbell John Isbell is online now
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Hi John,

Yes, I too think this is great work. I'd go with "whispered" if it's true to the poem. Otherwise I'd go with said, or some other word which is true.

Cheers,
John
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  #19  
Old 05-19-2018, 10:21 AM
John Riley John Riley is online now
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Thanks for reading, John. I'll go with "whispered."
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  #20  
Old 05-24-2018, 09:28 AM
Matt Q Matt Q is online now
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Hi John,

I've come back to this a few times, and concur with what others have said. It's stark and powerful and affecting.

I don't know that I really have any nits. I did think perhaps the title might be "I whispered yes" in part because that perhaps gives the reader an expectation of intimacy and perhaps even a conventional romantic setting, making what follows even more unsettling. Whereas "Yes" on it's doesn't seem to set up any expectations. Of course, you may not want to wrong-foot the reader. Also, with the "I" rather than "and" would seems to give it more of a sense of the N saying "I did this" which might suggest, I don't know, retrospective incredulity or wondering, or an element of guilt, or connection with his remembered self or some combination of these that "and" doesn't have, because at this point, we don't know who is doing the whispering. Does that make sense? I don't know that I'm explaining myself well.

best,

Matt
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