Hayley Green – SST8 Headline – 2nd Draft

25 Jan

Here’s my second draft.


How is the new refrain working?

is the extra detail, particularly in the second stanza, telling too much?

What are you picturing/feeling when you read it? Does it need more detail to create the images?

Ode to a Jam Roly Poly


My flour and butter parcel,

sticky red splurging from your folded corners.

I’d beat batter in the kitchen on Sundays

when arguments boiled over in the living room.

We snuggled in a cuddle of steam,

lamb, slow stewing in the oven.


Life was easier to digest with a dash of Sunday sugar.


Tucked behind the service hatch, I’d bake you to

distract. Spittle sugar on the crust blackened by

charcoaled mouths; threats of belts slapping backs.

On the days the living room boiled into the kitchen,

you wore a cling film coat, left my stomach –


my taste buds un-hugged, my sweet tooth

bitter with every mouthful of over peppered dinner.


Life was easier to digest with a dash of Sunday sugar.


Gran spooned us extra love.

We outcasts –

lumps of hand me down pastry from big brother apple pie

squeezed with strawberry jam so we both bled

the same colour through identical slits I knifed

into our skins.


Life was easier to digest with a dash of Sunday sugar.


One Response to “Hayley Green – SST8 Headline – 2nd Draft”

  1. MouthyPoets January 26, 2015 at 2:23 am #

    In terms of refrain: ‘Easier to stomach’ is so much better. Sometimes cliches work. (Not even sorry, Debs.)

    ‘Easier to digest’ feels forced, and makes the sentiment less believable/accessible in my mind. The refrain Joshua sorted for ya in the last session wasn’t broke, don’t fix it.

    I feel like this poem is a lot about your relationship with your gran. So it sort of jars with me that she isn’t mentioned until the last stanza. Especially because of the Bop structure. Your first stanza is meant to be an introduction of sorts, so that’s definitely where we should first see your gran, as she’s such a huge part of the poem and what it’s about.

    Also you could look at your use of pronouns throughout, but especially in your title. I feel like ‘Ode to Our Jam Roly Poly’ might be a better title, it sets the poem up to be about a shared experience. Also the possessive pronoun gives you ownership of your very specific interpretation of a Jam Roly Poly. (Which I still refuse to recognise as a Jam Roly Poly, my apologies. [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jam_Roly-Poly])

    In the second stanza, I think you have over-egged it slightly. Just take a look at the word choices. In that stanza, we’ve got ‘spittle’, ‘charcoal’ and the image of ‘belts slapping backs’. These words/images are a bit sporadic in a poem which, linguistically, is so tightly constructed with the vocabulary of the kitchen.

    In short, this draft shows all the symptoms of an over-edited poem. My advice would be to look back on earlier drafts just to remind yourself of what this poem started off as, and whether you were closer to nailing the ‘point’ of the poem in those early drafts.

    Joshua Judson

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