Revolution of Evolution

25 Jan

(I think this is too long, but can’t think of which parts to leave out. Would love some feedback – thank you! )

When I say revolution
You think of anarchy, bloodshed, destruction and revolt.
But, you see,
I think of elephants
Learning how to jump.

See, what if nature got it all wrong?
And revolution should have happened in the evolution.
And we’d be the monkeys
Whilst the peacocks,
They ruled the world.

You see, the male peacocks
Are the ones with their train,
And it’s their looks that are their make or break
And the females
Are the ones to pick their mate
Based on prettiness or weight.
I can’t help but think,
If the females were in power
Then would
Female Liberation
Have happened that much sooner
If needed at all?

And what if it was the whales
That evolutionised the most
In our revolutionised evolution?
You can tell how old a whale is,
By looking at its earwax.
So instead of cutting down trees
To count the rings,
Surely they’d know how to study
Without killing the things?
And then there’d be more trees,
For the monkeys to swing.
And then nature might have a chance
Of surviving a couple more years.

Giraffes give birth standing up.
The calf falls six foot from its mother’s womb.
And yet remains unharmed.
Perhaps that’s the way nature was meant to go.
So we’d know how to stand on our feet
When the world’s searching for a rug.
And we’d know it only takes
A little bit of reach to seek the hopes
That we can dream.

Mice.
They see in black and white.
Does that mean they can see the right from the wrong?
And their whiskers tell them
when they’re about to cross a rocky patch.
How useful would that be
To have some warning when the nights are turning,
And you feel to very alone.

When I say revolution
You think of anarchy, bloodshed, destruction and revolt.
But revolution means change.
And sometimes, it’s for a purpose.
‘Cause otherwise we’d turn into stone.
So whilst I’m revolutionising the evolutionising,
What I’m really doing,
Is searching for the good.

And of course, you might argue
It’s pure silliness because
Elephants can’t jump.
So, I’ve got to ask back,
Have you ever got an elephant,
And invested in a springboard?

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2 Responses to “Revolution of Evolution”

  1. mouthypoets January 25, 2013 at 1:17 am #

    This is very interesting.Some of your metaphors, analogies and illustrations are fantastically original and turn around well to the point you’re trying to make. . .

    You can tell how old a whale is,
    By looking at its earwax.
    So instead of cutting down trees
    To count the rings,
    Surely they’d know how to study
    Without killing the things?
    And then there’d be more trees,
    For the monkeys to swing. . .

    brilliant, as is

    Mice.
    They see in black and white.
    Does that mean they can see the right from the wrong?

    really nice ideas.

    Personally, what I would strim out of this is the exposition of your own reflections.
    Allow the examples you provide to say what you are trying to say, without feeling the need to make the point so explicity.

    For example . . .

    I can’t help but think,
    If the females were in power
    Then would
    Female Liberation
    Have happened that much sooner
    If needed at all?

    I would cut this out – by giving the example of the female peacocks choosing their mate and suggesting that perhaps they should ‘rule the world’ because of this, you have said the same thing as the above passage in a more interesting way. I suggest that you do not therefore need to say it again.

    Likewise . . .

    But revolution means change.
    And sometimes, it’s for a purpose.
    ‘Cause otherwise we’d turn into stone.
    So whilst I’m revolutionising the evolutionising,
    What I’m really doing,
    Is searching for the good.

    I’d lose this. It seems that it was crucial to your own process of working out what you wanted to say, which is important, but you have already found better ways of saying these things and do not need these passages. Give us the examples and allow us to draw our conclusions. It’s a very clever piece and would, I feel, be more effective if you were more detached from it. That’s my opinion.

    So . . . I like this enormously. My advice: strim it to its bare bones and allow it to speak for itself.

    Nicely done 🙂

  2. mouthypoets January 29, 2013 at 5:31 pm #

    Hi Keira,

    Firstly, great to see you in Mouthy! And also, props for putting a poem up and being open to feedback from the world! I also need to add you to the relevant facebook pages, so watch out for those invites soon.
    Now, to the poem…

    Feel free to challenge anything you need to – take what feels useful. And always tell me if you think my approach of feedback doesn’t work as effectively as it could for you : )

    LOVE
    -I am really impressed with your orginal take on the subject matter. There is a tone and exploration in this poem that no one else in SST4 will be covering! That is exciting from a performance perspective and an audience perspective. Do you have any idea how you want to perform this?
    -There are some really nice nuggets of education in here about animals. It has an educational tone that I think all ages can appreciate, and the childish rhyme and rhythm inhances at times emphasis the enjoyability and lightness of the poem.
    -I like the conversational tone and all the questions you ask, I think if you give those space on the page and in performance it could be really engaging for the audience/reader.
    -The use of all the exotic animals is colourful and visual and therefore enjoyable. It makes me kind of happy : ) Which is always a nice thing to get from a poem.
    -Awesome. Educational and emotive…
    “You can tell how old a whale is,
    By looking at its earwax.
    So instead of cutting down trees
    To count the rings,
    Surely they’d know how to study
    Without killing the things?”
    -I like how you are attempting to tie together all the ideas and images at the end but I don’t really understand what is happening. With such a long poem there needs to be a satisfactory end. I think some of my notes below might help you find one…

    QUESTIONS
    -What is at the core of this poem for you? What is the core message? What do you want the audience to leave thinking? At the moment it feels very much like a first draft, I can feel your mind roaming around. And this is a great skill to have when it comes to a first draft. Where cutting can come in is deciding on the core of the poem and then pruning the poem to enable everything to point inward, redirecting the audience/reader to that core message/feeling/thought.
    -Who are you talking to? “When I say revolution, You think anarchy” who is I and you? A mum and daughter? A preacher and congregation? Deciding on an answer to this question can again help you cut and refine this poem. I think this would really help the poem because at the moment it really has no context. It feels like you are telling me stuff because you are a poet and this is a poetry show. And it is nice within that purpose. But by giving it character driven purpose, you are giving )yourself as an editor and your audience as a listener) characters to engage with – eyes to look into. Does that make sense?
    -How do you identify clichés in your own work? And what do you do when you find them? Think of a cliché as chewing gum that has been chewed by 1000 people before you – it has no flavour! You have lots of flavour!!!! So when you clock a cliché, ask yourself, what do I mean? What am I actually trying to explain – there are so many different types of “make or break” situations, which are you describing? Often when I see a cliché in writing, I see an indication that the writer is not sure what they want to say. To me, this is exciting! It is an opportunity for you to explore your mind and ask yourself questions. (I am odd, I know).
    -I don’t understand this section, do you?
    So we’d know how to stand on our feet
    When the world’s searching for a rug.
    And we’d know it only takes
    A little bit of reach to seek the hopes
    That we can dream.

    SUGGESTIONS
    -Clichés I would like you to address; make or break, how to stand on our feet,
    -There are a lot of abstract nouns in this. I think you could address a few of them and replace them with concrete images? For example, “Female Liberation” could you give me an image to represent this? Because there have been lots of different feminist revolutions; women throwing themselves under the kings horses, naked bicycle rides, inheritance rights… it would be nice to have an image to give this poem a more concrete sense of place and time.
    -I think you often use a lot of words to explain something. If you utilise a structure and consider the things I spoke to you about at uni relation to redundancy, this will help you be more concise. I would like you to with this poem the following structure; 4 line stanzas, each line should have 8-12 syllables. If you struggle with a syllable count, just try and make the lines roughly the same length. Hopefully the end result will be something like this…
    What if whales are the most evolved:
    with a lining of earwax for each year.
    So you hack their skin like tree trunks,
    To flick through the rings. Don’t you know
    how to study killing? Can’t you see the Whale’s
    bark peeling.
    -What I have also done above is add the purpose I asked for in the questions section. It is now just I and You – making it a dialogue makes the narrative and intent easier to follow and write. I have also tried to give the conversation a personal undertone – maybe the narrator is trying to say something else with these facts? Hense the slightly ambiguous question; Don’t you know how to study without killing? Obviously this is one interpretation of the poems purpose. Give it your own. I just wanted to give you purpose in action!
    -In the section above I have also looked at the verbs. Verbs created the motion of the poem, so you should decide what charge they have. I wanted them to be emotional so cutting became hack and looking became flick through. And the juxtaposition of the two sets up the emotion of I and the carelessness of You: flicking through a dead animals ear like paperwork. Once you have decided on the purpose and the characters, address all your verbs!
    -I have also utilised line breaks, punctuation and sentence structure to reduce the length of this section. To remind yourself how to address redundancy, go here… https://mouthypoets.wordpress.com/2012/04/

    I hope this was helpful Keira!
    Debris

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