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  #21  
Unread 05-22-2019, 11:53 AM
Mary Meriam's Avatar
Mary Meriam Mary Meriam is offline
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Rev. 3 is terrific, Mark!! Flows really well. Like John, I was resisting "and yet" but the ellipsis solves it. I'm so glad "vaudeville" is back - I love that word. My only question: what is the difference between these two "then"s? then and then Is there some way to make them different? Did you mean

then, and then,

or maybe

then...and then,

?
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  #22  
Unread 05-22-2019, 12:29 PM
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Much improved. The ellipsis was necessary to get that suspended consideration across.


RM
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  #23  
Unread 05-22-2019, 01:33 PM
Matt Q Matt Q is online now
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Hi Mark,

Not really a nit, just a thought: I can see that L2, "family" alliterates with L1's "focus flitting", and picks up on the nearby 'l' sounds, but I do wonder though if "someone" might not be more effective -- more emotionally impactful -- if his mind were being drawn to one specific person, rather than a selection of them. (And if this were ever to appear in a collection with your other poems, the reader would know who).

-Matt
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  #24  
Unread 05-22-2019, 05:07 PM
Mary Meriam's Avatar
Mary Meriam Mary Meriam is offline
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I like Matt's idea about "someone." Also in my previous post about "then," I'm suggesting "and" in italics as well, and wondering about another way of punctuating. I think rev. 3 better expresses a parent's worry about the children, which is only natural. But not being a parent, I can still relate, because I worry about if I'm giving my life time all I can give.
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  #25  
Unread 05-24-2019, 04:56 AM
Mark McDonnell Mark McDonnell is offline
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Thanks John and Rick.

Thank you Mary! - Oh, I'm glad I seemed to have pulled something together with this one. I'm happy I managed to get 'vaudeville' in there too.

The two "then"s are the past and the future. Then is anytime that isn't Now, and Now is frustratingly intangible, which is the point of the poem I suppose. Or a good part of it. We can talk about 'then' as the past ('things were different back then') or the future ('what shall we do then?'). Ha. I'm not sure if different punctuation or extra italics would clear up the confusion, but I think I'm happy with the line. I'm very glad you can relate to the poem on its more universal level, if not its specifics. That's great!

Matt - The main reason it changed to 'family' was that a couple of people felt the 'somebody gone' led the reader to expect more about this missing person, which then didn't materialise. I've changed it back though. I hope the theme is clear enough, by the end of the poem, for this 'someone' not to overbalance things.

Thanks!
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  #26  
Unread 05-24-2019, 06:53 PM
Aaron Novick Aaron Novick is offline
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I really like this latest revision, too, Mark, except for "my mind / is racing", which is a cliché. Any other action your N's mind could take there? ("leaps forward"?)
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  #27  
Unread 05-25-2019, 03:50 AM
Erik Olson Erik Olson is offline
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Mark,

I only wish to register my approbation as I have no nits with the latest revision. Among other things, I am keen on how the diction seems to imitate the fragmentary rumination of the speaker, oscillating between past and future; at each fragment, however, the diction yet never seems to negate the hope of coherence altogether. In other words, the diction imitates fragmented thought without chucking coherence or at least the seeming potentiality of it out the window. I have read other poems whose style imitated fragmented thought only to lose that inclination for coherence which is part of what drives me on as a reader. Anyway, I find your poem deftly wrought and all-around compelling. Much enjoyed.

Cheers,

Erik
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  #28  
Unread 05-25-2019, 02:30 PM
James Brancheau James Brancheau is offline
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I misunderstood a fair part of the poem, Mark, so it took me a bit to come back. I'm still not sure the close is working for me. It seems now too inevitable, and careful to express what's necessary to express, if that makes any sense. Up to that, though, it works quite well. Your voice and ease make it a pleasure to read. The then and then (I went into la la land there) I imagined the children telling you about their day, and so your mind was in two places. My mind leapt a little there.

Last edited by James Brancheau; 05-25-2019 at 02:44 PM. Reason: G
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  #29  
Unread 05-26-2019, 11:20 AM
Mark McDonnell Mark McDonnell is offline
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Hi Aaron - Thank you. 'My mind is racing' is a stock phrase, yes. Is it redeemed at all by the aptness of the bend in the road that follows? I changed it to 'keeps racing'. Glad you like the latest revision. Hope you like the tweaks.

Erik - that's great, thank you. Glad you enjoyed it.

James - thanks for coming back and the positive words. The 'then and then ' line seems to have thrown a couple of people. I've replaced it with the phrase 'elsewhere time'. Don't know if it works for you. I think I like it. I like how it mixes time and space, though I also think it might sound like the title of a bad fantasy novel. It's unGoogleable though, so that's something. And it feels like it captures what I want it to mean.

I do like the end, though I think I get what you mean. I've given 'And yet' its own space.

A few other little tweaks, mainly to make the voice more natural and unobtrusive. Thanks for sticking with this folks, I know it's been hanging around. Any final thoughts?
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  #30  
Unread 05-26-2019, 09:21 PM
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Mary Meriam Mary Meriam is offline
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I'm not sure "keeps racing" solves it. How about something to do with racehorse, gallop, scurry, speed? "my mind / speeds faster"? Likewise, "elsewhere time" could be a more concrete image?
("future fret"?) I prefer "the moment" in L12. I think I prefer "perfect" in L14. Not sure about the added space. Seemed fine before. The space may be giving it too much time. I like all the other revisions.
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