A New Poem


The second draft of one of the new poems I wrote over the weekend. It's up for a few days. Comments welcome.

Thanks for reading and commenting on the poem, everyone! Your suggestions have been very helpful as I start on new draft.

Comments

KATE EVANS said…
Love it, Collin. That last stanza is wonderful, moving--an excellent ending.

The second stanza's syntax is a bit tangled. Perhaps reword with something like: "My mother will die never feeling her stomach drop . . . never feeling ears pop from the altitude, the heaviness ..."

Is this a prose poem, or are the lines really long? Can't tell in the format of my computer.
Collin said…
Kate, yes, it's a prose poem, but Blogger looks different on everyone's screen so it is hard to tell. Good point on the syntax. That is the stanza that needs the most work I think.
Emily A. Benton said…
really nice, Collin.

I like the second stanza best. one suggestion: remove "human" from "adapts to unnatural, human flight."

love how flight can also mean death in this poem.
Brent Goodman said…
one suggestion for the ending:

" . . . exit doors at the front and rear of the plane, escape hatches over each wing, her arms outstretched as if poised to fly."
Collin said…
Emily, good idea. I added "human" in the second draft, but I think it works better without.

Brent, I see where you're coming from with that suggestion, but it loses some of the kick and implied meaning.
i like the poem. you know my love for prose poems. anyways, im kind of torn about keeping or deleting "human." it works both ways.
ButtonHole said…
Taking out "human" and leaving "unnatural flight" or just "flight" doesn't really work.
"...the way a human body adapts to flight"? The meter's bad there...
The phrase poses a challenge, no doubt. I think "human" is good there, actually.

The chest of drawers in the cemetery is a great image--is it going for the re-creation of a memory of the story she told?

The last stanza, grammatically/syntactially, gets a bit confusing. It might have too many verbs and verbals for one sentence? Maybe if you changed 'covering' to 'on' it would avoid making "demonstrates" sound out of place. OR maybe put an "and" before "demonstrates." No, I see that you have three main verbs here: stands, demonstrates, hatches. Obviously, you don't want to change that STELLAR hatches pun. So to wrap this up, I think "exit.....plane" should be in parentheses for clarity. Place a comma between "and" and "with."

Why do you need the mended socks? I don't understand what they are doing. Are they a sub for the kid gloves she didn't have? I think the phrase makes the line stumble.

Legs instead of wings is great!
Collin said…
B-Hole, the last part of your suggestion confuses me. Cut and past the stanza with your corrections and email it to me if you have time.

I don't consider hatches a verb...it's a plural noun.

And, yes, the socks on the mothers hand are an allusion to the kid gloves she gave up, but it also loops back to the first stanza where the narrator is looking for socks that don't have worn heels. Did anyone else miss that?
ButtonHole said…
I didn't miss the connection. I just wanted to ascertain that they were on her hands because of the gloves.

Wait.....then you missed your own pun with escape hatches!

The obvious meaning is escape hatches, of course, like holes from which you'd escape. But I thought also you were shifting the meaning to escape (n) hatches (v) to mean the escape hatches (like an egg) over each wing and frees her.

I think you did mean that, subconsciously, haha. Gotta run for a bit but will try to clarify my point later in an email!
Collin said…
Nope, I was going was for the obvious meaning of hatches, but I like that you read the hatching egg into it. That's quite a lovely thought and I'm glad it can have those different meanings to each reader.
Lisa Allender said…
You know what? This poem works beautifully WITHOUT any of the second stanza. In fact, if you go directly from "clouds." to the next stanza "When she was a girl" and the final line there is "permanently ground them."
and then the very last stanza begins:
"In this place where I will bury her" you have what I term a sense of "inevitability" in the poem.
The ONLY criticism I have is that second stanza, because I feel strongly that mentioning her death then, robs the final stanza(which is gorgeous!) of even more power!
Pris said…
Collin
I'm not going to try to critique the poem. You already have a lot of honing suggestions to ponder. I'll just say that the poem hit home with me. I like it. That's my gut reaction. Personally, I wouldn't drop any of the stanzas thought. It all works so well together for me.
Brian Campbell said…
I second Pris entirely. Excellent prose poem!
ButtonHole said…
I'd like to third it. I think the second stanza's point that she never felt what she dreamed of adds SO much more power and sadness to that last stanza in which, finally, her escape hatches her out of her earthly body and she's off into the wild blue.
Pamela said…
I really like this, Collin. One of the suggestions that I'd make for the second stanza is to whittle some of the definite and possessive modifiers in that long apposition. (I'd also suggest doing this in the last line, so the ending becomes even more powerful). Before I read the comments, I thought of hatches--as in returning to the egg/transformation, and also a darning egg with the mended socks.

Don't change the arrangement of the stanzas/paragraphing of this piece--it's a lovely draft.
Anonymous said…
All I can say is that if this is the first draft i can't wait to see what you do to it. Just don't do to much.

GAV
Enjoyed the poem, Collin. The form works. I do like the notion of "unnatural, human flight".

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