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Blank verse skills? Anyone? New poem... needs someone with rhythm :)
September 18, 2013
9:43 pm
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Had to write blank verse again for the poetry class I am TAing... I need someone to check my lines for iambic pentameter, 5-feet of 2 syllables each... unstressed/stressed - 10 total syllables per line (except I had to add one extra at the end, which I am ok with).

Or--- if that's too much math... just let me know what you think of word choice and topic... keeping in mind of course, the restricted form.

Oh, and title... not sure about the title.

 

First Press Conference

 

The only story ever given me

about your father (great and grand of mine),

you told of how he stood before the press,

before the crowd—Missouri’s governor,

but still your dad. You—eager, proud, and young;

you wore your sailor dress and t-strap shoes.

All crowded gazes aimed at you and him.

The host was speaking fast and loud to drown

the murmured words and shoulders rubbing tweed.

Your father stepped up front when introduced.

Then sudden loud bangs of bullets erupt

the air, the powder flashes echoed floor

to wall. Your palms did grasp your head in fear.

He calmly bent to meet your eyes and crooned

“Don’t be afraid, they’re only taking pictures.”

Wine is bottled poetry. ~ Robert Louis Stevenson
September 18, 2013
9:46 pm
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Oh hey look, if I make the first line the title... it's a 14 line sonnet! Hell... I can't escape those damn things! Oh wait, it doesn't rhyme... SHEW

Wine is bottled poetry. ~ Robert Louis Stevenson
September 19, 2013
1:26 am
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You could use "scared" instead of "afraid" in the last line to make it ten. It would be hard to offer rhymes without rewriting lines. The title can add to the misdirection of a shooting. Building on the premise that you want the reader to believe it is an assassination attempt then revealing that it is pictures being taken, the more stress you put on the buildup will cause a stronger twist at the end. Risking a push toward humor which I don't believe is your intention. Or is it?

There is a larger picture being taken here, this one moment in time. The power of this story is strong in your mind but it lacks the luster in your verse. A reader having no knowledge of this event will not grasp its full description. You need to draw us back in time. The sailor suit and t-traps are a good example of this.

The second line with (Great and grand of mine) this hangs me up. Are you saying a great man who was your grandfather?

I picture a Governor's acceptance speech being given outside in a small town square with a big banner over a wooden stage. A small band playing pompously, a Nixon-like man with arms in air milking the crowd for all it's worth, 1940’s politics at its best. A boy, who was dressed by his mother in attire to complete an image of family values, a child caught up in the glamour of fame to the point of changing him forever. Then the realization of it being stripped away in an instant, strengthening the significance in his mind of who he thinks he is. A crushing and frightening moment to a child, losing his father or the fame, which one would bother him the most? An overwhelming moment with psychological repercussions then finding out the fear was uncalled for.

Ok, I may be overdoing it a little. Can you add some setting to this, a little atmosphere?

Hey…. You asked! 

I am a man with one distinguishing manner. I view life as a nonstop roll by circus. Whatever my senses signal to my brain, it is received as humor.
September 19, 2013
1:46 pm
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Excellent feedback... I'll look at this again tonight. Thanks!

Reminder @tlhopkinson 

Wine is bottled poetry. ~ Robert Louis Stevenson
September 24, 2013
11:07 pm
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Well, maybe I changed it enough, maybe I didn't. I'm at a loss for making the scene more concrete. Hopefully this helps? Also, it's not supposed to rhyme...  What do you think @Forgewright or any one else who may have comments?

 

Great Grandfather’s First Press Conference

 

The only story ever offered me

about your youth, about your father’s time,

was told of how he stood before the press,

before the horde—Missouri’s governor,

but still your dad. You—eager, proud, and young;

you wore your sailor dress and t-strap shoes.

All crowded gazes aimed at you and him.

The host was speaking fast and loud to drown

the murmured words and shoulders chafing tweed.

Your father strode up front when introduced.

Then sudden loud bangs of bullets erupt

the air, the powder flashes echoed floor

to wall. Your palms then grasped your head in fear.

He calmly bent to meet your eyes and crooned

“Don’t worry dear, they’re just taking photographs.”

Wine is bottled poetry. ~ Robert Louis Stevenson

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