Scratch First Draft – Simone E

19 Jan

** I currently have no title **
**Also my idea has slightly changed, thought I would get the draft in nice and early this time :)**

My grandmother was a garden.
My grandfather was a seed; a bean.
My mother she smelt like coffee; an espresso.

My father’s ribs were frames –
I used to climb them every Saturday
between 3 and 4pm.

My mother would say,
seeing him more than once a week
would do me no good.

She sat by the fire and drank hot milk every evening;
maybe that’s why her hair turned white, so quickly.

My brother hated coffee.
My father hated my brother.

My grandmother would tell me
her frothy, marshmallow dreams.

A café on the corner of Billsley Lane,
where the old wine store had burnt down.

Her fingers told stories
of a good hot drink.

Now at 42, my fingers tell the story
of a fresh mocha.

I have opened a café.
I grow coffee beans in my back garden.
Over by the grinder, I still have a picture
of my family

Broken.

But somehow, the smell of fresh
coffee beans brings us back together.

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2 Responses to “Scratch First Draft – Simone E”

  1. MouthyPoets January 22, 2015 at 5:17 pm #

    Hey Simone, good to see you back in the fold.

    I really like the opening line “my grandmother was a garden”, though somehow this being so catching makes the next few lines seem a little forced.
    Or perhaps the first 2 lines following metaphors makes the 3rd line of the stanza stand out as being a little weaker “My mother she smelt like coffee; an espresso.” as you then go back to the direct metaphor to start the second stanza. And I really like the image of you climbing your father’s ribs.

    I really like the running theme of coffee and the idea of telling stories through it. I think maybe this could work a little harder like you have done here for example,
    “My grandmother would tell me
    her frothy, marshmallow dreams.

    A café on the corner of Billsley Lane,
    where the old wine store had burnt down.” – Although I’m not sure about the stanza break as it separates it too much, I would assume you’d moved on to a new subject.

    I’m interested to know who the voice of the narrator is, in parts it feels like they’re having a conversation with themselves which could be interesting if this is thread through the poem and the performance.,
    “She sat by the fire and drank hot milk every evening;
    maybe that’s why her hair turned white, so quickly.” – but it feels a little inconsistent, like you have lost track of things.

    You seem to be threading a theme of body parts, or at least fingers, through the second half of the poem, it might be interesting to play on this a little more. I especially like the comparison here:

    “Her fingers told stories
    of a good hot drink.

    Now at 42, my fingers tell the story
    of a fresh mocha.”

    The theme of family works well when you talk about the mother and the grandmother but some parts threw me:
    “My brother hated coffee.
    My father hated my brother.” – This is the only mention the brother gets and it seems a little thrown in. Maybe it’s there to give a clue to the end of the poem:

    “Over by the grinder, I still have a picture
    of my family

    Broken.

    But somehow, the smell of fresh
    coffee beans brings us back together.” – but I find this a little confusing, throughout the rest of the poem I felt more of a sense of love and unity, I picture story telling over hot drinks so this ending comes as a bit of a surprise, maybe the earlier clues could be stronger. Could you juxtapose the hot drinks with something cold and harsh? I don’t know, just idea floating.

    The whole poem made me feel warm and created some lovely imagery. I think you can really use this imagery to work to your advantage, so my question is this…
    what do you want your audience to feel? I think once you’ve got a clear idea of this, you will be able to manipulate your imagery appropriately.

    Looking forward to reading more of this. Get at me if you want to talk more about it. Hayley x

  2. Simone January 24, 2015 at 10:52 am #

    Hey Hayley,

    Thank you for the feedback!

    I think whats confused you, is the breaks in stanzas which I agree with and would need some work.

    The journey goes through the 42 year old, as the narrator, speaking about her past family experiences.

    “My father’s ribs were frames –
    I used to climb them every Saturday
    between 3 and 4pm.

    My mother would say,
    seeing him more than once a week
    would do me no good.

    She sat by the fire and drank hot milk every evening; maybe that’s why her hair turned white, so quickly.”

    This is the part which hints at a break down in the narrators mother’s&father’s relationship. The idea of her hair turning white is the narrator describing her mother’s stress. As on the previous stanza, the narrator explains how she can only see her father once a week between three & four pm and her mother would not allow anymore time. This was to suggest contact time with social services. This is to suggest the broken family. But I will work on making it clearer – just wanted it to be hinted rather than told so I will definitely work on that.

    Also again the brother and the father I can try and think of a way to involve their brokenness sooner. I wanted the piece to be a bit like a family tree/time line… But ending up full circle where the narrator brings back her grandmother’s dreams of opening a cafe. Maybe instead of having so many characters I can just focus on the mother &father…

    Thank you so much for the feedback though – I will be working on it! 🙂

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