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  #21  
Unread 06-15-2021, 09:00 AM
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Allen Tice Allen Tice is offline
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Relevant to nothing in particular, if I cannot write a poem largely or entirely separated from politics, I probably don't want to write it. Call it what you will, unpolitical poetry avoids the changes of fashion.
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  #22  
Unread 06-18-2021, 11:20 PM
Mark Stone Mark Stone is offline
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Allen: I agree with you that "unpolitical poetry avoids the changes of fashion." However, I've seen a lot of political poetry on Light and The New Verse News, and I would like to give it a try, too.

All: Revision is posted. Comments on the poetry will be greatly appreciated.

Cheers, Mark
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  #23  
Unread 06-19-2021, 01:42 AM
Max Goodman Max Goodman is offline
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The names of the brothers are the cleverest thing in the poem. Have you considered focusing entirely on them? I don't see what the rest of the poem adds (or how the first two brothers' situations differ).

One problem to deal with if you go that route is the anti-climax.

As you know from discussion that is not in this thread, I don't think formal looseness serves light verse well.
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  #24  
Unread 06-19-2021, 04:50 AM
John Riley John Riley is offline
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Actually, this may work. The superficial and silly understanding of politics and governmental financing is matched by the poems language and lack of depth. A poem is more than some rhymes and meter.
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  #25  
Unread 06-21-2021, 08:14 PM
Mark Stone Mark Stone is offline
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Max: Thank you for coming back. I want to keep the second half because it adds a light touch to the poem. The difference between the first two brothers is that Aiden has repaid his student loan and Brayden never got one. I can see how that it not clear so I will fix it. Finally, I'm not sure what you mean by "formal looseness." I think the meter in the poem is pretty tight, so do you mean the rhymes?

John: Thank you for dropping by. The poem is not supposed to be a serious analysis of politics and finance. The intent is to point out that waiving part of the debt of current student loan holders is not fair to a lot of other people, and we don't have the money for such an expenditure anyway. I try to make these points in a light-hearted way.

Best, Mark
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  #26  
Unread 06-21-2021, 10:15 PM
John Riley John Riley is offline
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Never mind

Last edited by John Riley; 06-21-2021 at 11:48 PM.
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  #27  
Unread 06-22-2021, 12:52 AM
John Isbell John Isbell is offline
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Hi Mark,

As someone who writes a fair bit of light verse myself (my first published book of poetry is just that), I think this is cleanly-executed pretty much throughout. No formal nits from me. I like fecund-second.
As for the content, it seems tendentious, but that's been said, and I don't have the data for an actual opinion on it. Light verse I think can certainly take on politics, or whatever controversial topic, but I would expect it typically to split its potential readership.
So, form and content. I think formally, there is more here to like than the brothers' names. I do find their bios a tad unlikely, though.
Nicely done.

Regards,
John
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  #28  
Unread 06-26-2021, 02:53 PM
Max Goodman Max Goodman is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mark Stone View Post
Max:...I'm not sure what you mean by "formal looseness." I think the meter in the poem is pretty tight, so do you mean the rhymes?
Primarily the meter. If the poem wants a tight rhythm, then it is asking me to read

a STU-dent loan PO-li-cy CHANGE is at HAND

But in the phrase "student loan," "loan" gets the strongest stress among the three syllables.

The only way to read line 2 with a strict rhythm is to give "relinquished" four syllables.

AI-den re-PAID his loan TWO year a-GO.

But to stress neither "his" (to point the distinction between this and the other loans) nor "loan" is unnatural to my ear.

Rather than stress things awkwardly, I read the poem with a looser rhythm.
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  #29  
Unread 06-27-2021, 02:08 AM
Julie Steiner Julie Steiner is offline
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Mark, I think the poem would be more effective if it focused on (1) the notion of sticking two ant-like, hardworking brothers with paying more for college than did a grasshopper-like one who didn't work as hard in college or afterwards to pay up himself, and/or (2) the ethics of saddling future ant-like generations with paying off the educational loans of current grasshoppers.

Instead, by bringing in two brothers who didn't go to college at all, the poem seems to try to make a case that government investment in higher education should be treated exactly the same as paying off people's car loans, just for the sake of fairness. Also, the hero veteran has access to G.I. Bill support if he wants to go to college; if he doesn't take advantage of that opportunity, then giving him a federal handout anyway just for the sake of fairness really would be "money for nothing." I'm reminded of the grumbling about unfair generosity in the Parable of the Workers in the Vineyard, although of course the federal government is not God.

Do you agree that helping to make a college education more affordable is different from paying off a car loan for someone, because having an educated populace benefits society and industry/commerce, and higher education dramatically increases people's earning power (leading to a lifetime of higher income tax payments than otherwise)? The latter is the premise behind having federal loans for education in the first place.

If you want to see the difference an educated populace makes in a society's economic and political health, just compare Costa Rica with its less stable Central American neighbors. But Costa Rica puts a greater share of federal money for education directly into the educational system, rather than helping students pay back loans to and from banks, as the U.S. does, thus costing the federal government more money while enriching private financial institutions.

But I digress. Bottom line: the brothers who didn't go to college are utterly irrelevant in a poem about paying for college.

Metrical suggestions:

     and calculate how much each brother will get.
     And tally what windfall each brother will get.

     Will he get money? The answer is no.
     Will he receive money? The answer is no.

     Brayden paid everything, the whole enchilada.
     He worked all through school, and thus will get nada.
     Brayden paid up for the whole enchilada.
     He worked all through college, and thus will get nada.

     Hayden’s a fry cook, working the grill.
     Hayden skipped college to sweat at the grill.

     Jayden, an Army vet and a war hero,
     Jayden, a corporal hailed as a hero,

     As people begin to accept this fine offer,
     less money flows into the government’s coffer.
Actually, more money flows out of the government's coffer would be more accurate. I don't think you're advocating higher taxes, which is how money flows in.

I wonder who these shadowy, dastardly "Feds" are. Generally I've only heard "the Feds" in reference to the I.R.S. or to U.S. Attorneys or the F.B.I., not in reference to politicians. If you mean the members of the House of Representatives, who have the power of the purse, you should say so. Even saying "the pols" or "the Dems" rather than "the Feds" would be clearer.

Cutting the last stanza would give the poem a more powerful ending.

Last edited by Julie Steiner; 06-27-2021 at 09:51 AM.
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  #30  
Unread 06-27-2021, 02:29 PM
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F.F. Teague F.F. Teague is offline
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Hey Mark,

Well, here I am and I've read through all the posts on this thread. For now, I'm just wondering whether you're going to respond to Julie's most recent comment? I think Julie raises some interesting points that'll help you to make some good changes to the poem.

Best wishes,
Fliss
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