Charlie SST10 better draft

29 Dec

I’ve already posted a poem on here but since then I’ve actually been working on something else/better/that I like more so thought I’d post it on here because looking for ANY feedback and any direction of where to go with it!

 

You were born into a world on the brink of burning
Into a room of nine other babes
That will die before their first lit candle
Into a life far from lived
But you are beautiful, my love And you are alive
And that is all that matters to me.

I’m sorry you grew up sleepless Deafened by bloodshed nightmares
and the ongoing screams outside your window that frighten even the monsters under the bed
But one day I promise
you will see the stars that I saw when I was young, not these ones that fall and burn around us

My dear Nothing bad will ever happen to you
because what I say is true
Good will always triumph over evil and
light will always shine through the best of places
but no child should have to watch her best friend pulled from the rubble of a home
broken by a fault far from her own
Leaving behind her buckle-red shoes and the feet still laced inside them

My dear, when the silhouetted masakh (monster in arabic) play havoc in the night you’ll be so brave
not making a sound
as you creep under the floorboards just like i told you
as they take your father and you wait
until the shots sound no more
until the blood slows to a drip
You’ll be so strong when the blisters burst through your skin
and you want to give in
to give up
But you remember the light  I told you of
and you’ll reach it, my dear if
you don’t stop walking

My love, I’m sorry they can’t see you the way they see
their own little girls Because
even though you wear the same dress
Your tarnished skin will forever bring them knocking
Despite the darkness you carry engraved into lines on your face
You will always be seen for what you are
But never who

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6 Responses to “Charlie SST10 better draft”

  1. MouthyPoets December 30, 2015 at 12:05 pm #

    Hey Charlie!

    I love the alliteration in the first line!

    That will die before their first lit candle – great line

    There’s a few liens with capital letters in the middle – I wasn’t sure if this was one on purpose?

    masakh (monster in arabic) – lovely

    In general, I love the bits of detail in this poem, really brings the reader/audience in, and I’d say if you can maybe just add a little more

    And a really great ending

    Chris

  2. MouthyPoets December 30, 2015 at 1:19 pm #

    hey charlie i like the bedtime story/fairttale vibe you have going on here however id cut out not making a sound as i think it will survive without it also sorry too . but this is a strong strong piece. neal

  3. MouthyPoets December 30, 2015 at 4:35 pm #

    Hi Charlie,

    I found the poem very moving, and the rhetoric perfect to create a warm motherly atmosphere juxtaposed against horrific images of dead friends, hiding under beds, blisters and the masakh.

    In places I found the line endings jarring.

    In the section below, I didn’t like the end rhymes and found it stuck out from the rest of the poem:

    “until the blood slows to a drip
    You’ll be so strong when the blisters burst through your skin
    and you want to give in
    to give up”

    “Leaving behind her buckle-red shoes and the feet still laced inside them” This is really powerful, its like a cinematic shot, panning from a pair of wonderful red shoes to the body and the rubble around it.

    “masakh (monster in arabic)” I assume the brackets are only for the purpose of the draft and in the poem masakh will stand alone. I don’t think there’s any need for an explanation for what masakh means. The reader infers that it’s something horrible and scary from the context.

    “Your tarnished skin will forever bring them knocking” I don’t understand if this is referring to the men who came into her house looking for her, or a different situation, for example westerners viewing her as an immigrant.

    “Despite the darkness you carry engraved into lines on your face
    You will always be seen for what you are
    But never who”

    The way I read this is: she is marked by scars or wrinkles from the horrors she’s faced, but despite this she’s seen as something else which is not who she is. I imagine it’s the opposite which is meant, that she’s seen for her scars and past horrors instead of who she really is. Forgive me if I’m being syntactically or grammatically dumb.

    A further not on the last stanza, I don’t see any difference between what you are and who you are. Maybe its better to say, you will always be seen for ….Specific Image… Instead of …Specific Image. All that being said I really liked the ending.

    Hope this is coherent and helpful feedback.

    Jacob

  4. MouthyPoets January 1, 2016 at 5:50 pm #

    I think you could go through it intently and change a few words / lines for greater effect, but I think this is a strong draft and I found it quite moving. Katie

  5. louisestevie January 3, 2016 at 9:46 pm #

    Hello Charlie, I have only recently set up my own poetry blog and have a lot to learn. I was just browsing through and randomly saw and read your poem. Wow! Very moving, very descriptive, I was there. Full of maternal power. Stunning.

  6. MouthyPoets January 4, 2016 at 12:14 pm #

    Hi Charlie

    Great to be reading your work again! I can see you have already gotten a lot of feedback on this, I am not going to read through it all, partially because of time but also because I think it’s nice for me not to be influenced but other peoples initial experience of the piece and instead give you my own as it might give you things from a different angle in places but also give you an unbiased insight into where people are experiencing things in the same way… You have had feedback from me before so hopefully the format below won’t be too unfamiliar to you, but do let me know if you have any questions…

    LOVE
    -‘But one day I promise
    you will see the stars that I saw when I was young, not these ones that fall and burn around us’… really creative way of talking about war/bombs and it gives a sense of how this parental figure looks after the child. If is both beautiful and heartbreaking which is really a balance you need to work when A talking to a child and B writing about something so difficult and C living through something so difficult actually!
    -‘Leaving behind her buckle-red shoes and the feet still laced inside them’ There are few times where you punch me in the face like this and I find the level of destruction quiet hard to believe and surreal but I feel like it is, so it feels right and accurate in the context of this world you are creating.
    -‘as you creep under the floorboards just like i told you’… I really like the detail of this instruction, not just telling her to be brave (or telling the reader she is being told to be brave) but requesting she do something specific to demonstrate bravery and therefore telling me lots about the characters and context, I could do with lots lots more of this throughout.
    -You don’t need to tell me a maskh is a monster in arabic, I get the idea and it might be nice to have more arabic words like this to give a sense of sound and detail.
    -‘You’ll be so strong when the blisters burst through your skin’… wow
    -‘until the blood slows to a drip’ wow… graphic and horrible but effective.
    -‘and you want to give in
    to give up
    But you remember the light I told you of
    and you’ll reach it, my dear if
    you don’t stop walking’ … nice use of light and really heartbreaking in juxtaposition with the horrific images around it.
    -‘deafened by bloodshed’ Some lovely phrasing

    QUESTIONS
    -Small practical thing but you have a mixture of capitalisation and not at the beginning of your lines? Whichever you go with be consistent, in most contemporary poetry we tend to capitalise in line with punctuation rather than at the beginning of the line because it suggests an emphasis which as lot of readers find jarring.
    -I am not sure about ‘my love’ it feels like an easy thing to call her and there could be a nickname that gave a more specific sense of context to the relationship between the narrator and who is being spoken to?

    SUGGESTIONS/ CHALLENGES

    1. CHEAP RHYMES
    -I can really hear in a lot of your lines that rhyme has dictated your word choices. E.g…
    My dear Nothing bad will ever happen to you
    because what I say is true//

    but no child should have to watch her best friend pulled from the rubble of a home
    broken by a fault far from her own
    -It is leading to some poor word choices and images. Does this poem need the rhyme is my question? Might it be worth taking all the rhyme out and seeing what the piece looks like? It might be that the rhyme is important but if so get out your rhyming dictionary and choose some better words or challenge the lines that are weaker and replace them with some more specific action/detail/imagery.

    2. CLICHES/SPECIFICITY
    ‘Good will always triumph over evil and
    light will always shine through the best of places’
    ‘on the brink’
    ‘Nothing bad will ever happen to you’
    ‘monsters under the bed’
    etc…
    … There are a few places where the narrator says quiet generically supportive things, but I want something more specific to the place/event/relationship – what represents good and evil to them? What could they say that means this but also draws a picture of the situation for me? I feel like you could comb through each line checking in on this – could I be more specific? Could I give an example? Could I show more about this world and relationship?

    E.g.

    You were born into a room of nine other babes
    that died before their first lit candle.
    I’m sorry you grew up sleepless
    and deafened by bloodshed.

    But one day, I promise you will
    see the stars that I saw when I was young,
    not these ones that fall and burn around us.
    The sun will always triumph over manmade fire.

    No child should have to watch her best friend
    pulled from the offal of their home –
    leaving behind her buckle-red shoes
    and the feet still laced inside them

    ….
    Some things I clocked whilst doing this…

    -You have a lot of great detail in there, it is just about cutting out the repetition of telling around them.
    -You have some nice images that can be condensed and made tighter.
    -Use a thesaurus, freshening up some of your word choices is all it will take some times for example offal instead of rubble.

    LINEATION
    -Seems random. What is your lineation principle? Take a look at this quick blog on line breaks and stanza’s… http://debrisstevenson.co.uk/index.php/30min-lineation-lessons-with-mimi-khalvati/
    -At the moment your choices seem random, have a think about why and where you are breaking the line and this will help you tighten up the language and understand the content better.

    ENDING
    -I am unsure about the last stanza, it seems like you are trying to conclude things and I am not sure you need to? I think if you work on the things above and build a more detailed picture of these two amazing characters and the interaction between them and image or a piece of dialogue (maybe even akin to your current penultimate stanza) will be enough.

    I feel like this piece is going to add something really interesting to the show, I cannot wait to see it grow and understand more bout where it came from both in your imagination and in real like.

    Speak soon
    Debris

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