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Old 06-24-2017, 12:20 PM
David Callin David Callin is offline
Join Date: Jun 2014
Location: Ellan Vannin
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Anyone else thinking C S Lewis here? Or is that just too obvious of me?

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Old 06-24-2017, 12:46 PM
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Rick Mullin Rick Mullin is offline
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Location: Northern New Jersey
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I like this a lot. I especially like the narrator seeing his fractaled reflection as he moves among the jars. And I like the two references to surface life, equated in the first instance with purgatory.

I think you can drop the "that" in line 6. Also, it sharpen to take out "its life / usurped."

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Old 06-24-2017, 03:39 PM
Kyle Norwood Kyle Norwood is offline
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I think the new ending is just what's needed--it improves the whole poem and seems so inevitable that if I didn't know better, I wouldn't have guessed it wasn't there from the beginning.

Don't you still want to say "a date and a name" in line 15-16? I don't like leaving out the word "and." I suspect it's probably just a typo.
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Old 06-24-2017, 05:03 PM
Matt Q Matt Q is online now
Join Date: May 2013
Location: England, UK
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Yes "elided" means "omitted". I do it a couple of other places: "Within each, a specimen suspended in liquid." and "Each name, the same". But I guess the longer sentence may be what's making it confusing. I'll experiment with some verbs. I quite like it as is, but I'm thinking about it.

Are you thinking of "The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe"? It wasn't my intention, but I guess its an obvious connection to make. Mind you there aren't many other obvious candidates for hiding a door in a room.


Thanks for coming back. "usurped is gone". Thanks for the suggestion on the opening. Did you find it confusing too?


Thanks for your thoughts. I think I do need to indicate the size of the jars, without which I don't know that it's clear what size they are. If they were normal size, the specimens could be something else altogether: animals, elves and so on. And you've said yourself you imagined them normal-sized on initial reads. I had known it was a movie title, but I liked it -- the place being a museum of his former selves. There may well be a better title though. I'll think about the 'jarred' pun. In response to your question, I don't know what comes next. I wanted that moment. He knows he will change -- logic tells him this, and he can hear the footsteps (or maybe there just are echoes of his own), he knows it will be a loss of sorts, but also a gain. Does he want to change or not?


Thanks. I'm glad you liked it. "usurped" is gone. I'll think about losing "that". I guess I may need to do something with the first sentence.


Thanks. I'm glad the new ending works for you. It seems a little less telly than the first. And yes, that was a typo which I've now corrected. Thanks for flagging it up.

Thanks again all,

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Old 06-25-2017, 06:35 PM
Matt Q Matt Q is online now
Join Date: May 2013
Location: England, UK
Posts: 2,247

I've added an "is" to the first sentence.

At the back of the wardrobe
of my basement life, hidden
behind a purgatory of clothes,
and other relics
of the surface, is a door
that opens into a cave,

There may well be a better verb than "is", but I can't think of it. Tried "stands a door" but it seems too much.

The alternative option suggested by Martin and Rick, would have been to just drop the "that" -- something like this:

At the back of the wardrobe
of my basement life, hidden
behind a purgatory of clothes,
and other relics of the surface,
a door opens into a cave,

Which seems more elegant. But my concern is that "a door opens" sounds a bit like it's opening now, or it's opening on its own, and maybe even for the first time. But I've been thinking about it too much to be particularly clear on how it reads, so once I've put this away in a drawer for a bit, I'll try it again.

Anyway thanks for all the feedback and suggestions, it's really helped get this into better shape.


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