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  #1  
Unread 08-29-2019, 11:24 AM
Mark McDonnell Mark McDonnell is offline
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Default Bracken Close

Bracken Close (Rev)

On Bracken Close that summer's day
The clouds made shadows on our play.
We said we'd meet and run away
From Bracken Close one summer's day.

The smell of HB pencil wood,
The universe of light and mud,
The things I said, you understood.
To Bracken Close I came to pray.

The clover mites, your garden wall,
The thumb stained red, the ivy sprawl
All snaking green. I see it all
On Bracken Close through mists of grey.

Your ironed shirt so white and clean,
Your daddy's soul so black and mean.
And things were heard and felt and seen
On Bracken Close that summer's day.

A bicycle bell rings sharp and clear,
An ice cream van, a drying tear,
The long walk home, the churning fear.
And Bracken Close so far away.



Changed S1L2
Returned S1L3 to original
S3L3 - 'Of' —> 'All'
S5L1 - changed back to 'A bicycle bell rings sharp and clear'





Bracken Close

On Bracken Close that summer's day,
We tried to wish the world away.
We made our plans for how we'd stray
From Bracken Close one summer's day.

The smell of HB pencil wood,
The universe of light and mud,
The things I said, you understood.
To Bracken Close I came to pray.

The clover mites, your garden wall,
The thumb stained red, the ivy sprawl
Of snaking green. I see it all
On Bracken Close through mists of grey.

Your ironed shirt so white and clean,
Your daddy's soul so black and mean.
And things were heard and felt and seen
On Bracken Close that summer's day.

A bicycle rings sharp and clear,
An ice cream van, a drying tear,
The long walk home, the churning fear.
And Bracken Close so far away.



S1L3 was 'We said we'd meet and run away'
Removed comma after 'heard' at S4L3
S5L1 was 'A bicycle bell ringing clear' then 'A bicycle bell rings sharp and clear'
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  #2  
Unread 08-29-2019, 04:40 PM
Julie Steiner's Avatar
Julie Steiner Julie Steiner is offline
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I like the approach that this kyrielle/ghazal hybrid takes, of presenting dots and letting the reader connect them.

I find the repetition in S1 (day/away/away/day, plus the sort of radif of "Bracken Close") a little too...repetitious. That's probably just a matter of personal taste. I've never really cared for that intense repetition in S1 of any ghazal. Must be my short attention span. Anyway, I would like the poem better if S1 were cut entirely. Then "away" and "that summer's day" would be fresher when they come up later in the poem.

I can't quite make the meter work in the current S4L1.

Other than those complaints, I enjoyed this very much.
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  #3  
Unread 08-29-2019, 06:12 PM
Roger Slater Roger Slater is offline
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Julie, do you mean S5L1? That's the only spot where the meter doesn't work for me. Maybe try "a children's bike bell ringing clear"?

Nice poem, Mark. A whiff of Frost, I think.
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  #4  
Unread 08-29-2019, 06:31 PM
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Rick Mullin Rick Mullin is offline
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How out of fashion! And really beautiful!
RM
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  #5  
Unread 08-29-2019, 06:39 PM
Matt Q Matt Q is online now
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Roger, S5L1 is iamb, double iamb, iamb, no? "a BI|cy cle |BELL RING| ing CLEAR|". The metre works for me. Julie, is 'ironed' one syllable for you, maybe?

Mark, I'll be back to comment on poem.
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  #6  
Unread 08-29-2019, 09:18 PM
Julie Steiner's Avatar
Julie Steiner Julie Steiner is offline
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Whoops, Rogerbob's right, I meant S5L1.

I always have a hard time with adjacent strong syllables, so my first instinct is to say "a BI-cy-cle BELL ring-ing CLEAR" and then wonder where the heck the fourth beat went. A two-anapest substitution like "a BELL on a BI-cy-cle RING-ing CLEAR" would be easier for me than a trochaic substitution like "a BI-cy-cle BELL RING-ing CLEAR."

I don't have a problem with "ironed" here, but last year, my church choir director put about twenty minutes of intense frustration into trying to get us to sing "iron" as a single syllable on two notes ("AH-ahrn"), rather than as a two-syllable word on two notes ("EYE-urn" or "EYE-ron"), in a lovely arrangement of Christina Rossetti's "In the bleak midwinter" (first and last verses only). A few rehearsals later, I suddenly realized that our director had never mentioned that piece ever again. Apparently, our butchery of "iron" had been making her bleak midwinter a bit too bleak.

Last edited by Julie Steiner; 08-29-2019 at 09:21 PM.
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  #7  
Unread 08-29-2019, 09:52 PM
Andrew Frisardi Andrew Frisardi is offline
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This is lovely, Mark. I love the light airy touch with the shadow moving through it.

I agree about S5L1, that the substitutions overwhelm that particular line.

My only other hesitation was at HB for the pencils. The specificity is nice, but the brand name almost seemed a little pedantic in the context of the other, hint-like details. Would "cedar pencil wood" do, to evoke the smell more?
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  #8  
Unread 08-30-2019, 02:23 AM
John Isbell John Isbell is offline
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Hi Mark,

I agree, there's a lot to enjoy here. Like Julie, I'd prefer a different rhyme scheme in S1; however, I wouldn't want to lose that stanza myself. Then I'm also hoping you're looking to give "mean" its full etymological meaning. I'd find the modern meaning there drab and a bit inane.
I read this as a ballad.

Cheers,
John
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  #9  
Unread 08-30-2019, 10:11 AM
Susan McLean Susan McLean is offline
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I like the indirectness of this and the hypnotic feel of the repetitions. For S5L1, may I recommend something like "A bike bell ringing, crisp and clear"? In S4L3 I would suggest removing the comma.

Susan
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  #10  
Unread 08-31-2019, 10:39 AM
Andrew Frisardi Andrew Frisardi is offline
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Another reader in favor of varying the rhyme scheme in S1, without losing it. I do like the repetition of Bracken Close.

Also, a question: is "summer's," the possessive, the natural way you'd say "summer's day"? For me it would just be "summer day," so I wondered about that.
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