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  #1  
Unread 06-10-2021, 06:46 PM
Woody Long's Avatar
Woody Long Woody Long is offline
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Default Found in the Woods

Found in the Woods

Flat bottomed, round, and squat,
established on the table,
its portly vitreous form
is eminently stable.

Visitors potshot
its provenance and fable
and turn it upside down
looking for a label.

None of them get warm
by juggling this pot.
They should go back to town
as soon as they are able.
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Unread 06-10-2021, 07:36 PM
Mark Stone Mark Stone is offline
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Woody, 1. It seems like the poem needs one more -able rhyme. One possibility is to change L2 to read "not shaped like Betty Grable" and move "table" to L10. 2. If you wanted L8 to have the same meter as L4 and L12, you could insert "while" before "looking." 3. The last line made me think of "just as soon as you're able," which is part of the lyrics of P.S I Love You (lyrics written by Johnny Mercer in 1934 and song released by Mel Torme in 1965). Best, Mark
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Unread 06-10-2021, 08:51 PM
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Woody Long Woody Long is offline
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Mark

Thanks for your comments. The poem is written in a nonce form, the rhyme scheme:

abcb
abdb
cadb

where S3 rhymes with the 4 different end words of S1 & S2. A kind of recapitulation.

I remember P.S. I Love You from when it had something of a revial decades ago. Vaguely I recall a doo-wop sound. It might have been a live TV cover by some group.

Woody
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Unread 06-11-2021, 04:09 AM
Joe Crocker Joe Crocker is offline
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Woody

I enjoyed this, especially S2 " the turning upside down looking for a label" which rings very true. I was disappointed with end lines which seemed a bit flat. You imply that the nature of the object is known and these townies are miles off. But the reader is also left unenlightened.

I wondered whether "sat upon the table" might be more concrete than "established"

Joe
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Unread 06-11-2021, 12:52 PM
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F.F. Teague F.F. Teague is offline
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Hi Woody,

I like this. It's probably about more than finding a pot in the woods (e.g. the labelling of things in general), but I appreciate the initial reading, especially for 'potshot' :-)

No nits yet, but I might be back.

Best wishes,
Fliss
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  #6  
Unread 06-11-2021, 01:06 PM
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Ann Drysdale Ann Drysdale is offline
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Forgive me if I am inadvertently lowering the tone, but from the description of the portly shape, the stability, the absence of label and the inclusion of words like "squat" and "bottomed", I can only see a classic ceramic chamber-pot. I shall be rather disappointed if I'm proved wrong.
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Unread 06-11-2021, 01:18 PM
Roger Slater Roger Slater is offline
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I don't understand how you can juggle just one thing.
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Unread 06-11-2021, 03:14 PM
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Woody: It occurred to me that it might be a land mine, in which case juggling could be a killer, so abandonment and fleeing are advised. I also suspect there's an analogy I've not yet figured out. I do think it would sound better with consistent rhyme, as was mentioned above.
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  #9  
Unread 06-11-2021, 03:54 PM
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Sarah-Jane Crowson Sarah-Jane Crowson is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ann Drysdale View Post
Forgive me if I am inadvertently lowering the tone, but from the description of the portly shape, the stability, the absence of label and the inclusion of words like "squat" and "bottomed", I can only see a classic ceramic chamber-pot. I shall be rather disappointed if I'm proved wrong.
I may also be lowering the tone but that's exactly what I saw, too. The clues are the shape, the 'vitreous', the lack of a 'label' and the place.

For me, it's a lovely riddle, and I adore that the poem is based around an object, too - a kind of material ekphrastic.

Again, in my reading, the sonics echo the shape of the object beautifully - the 'round/squat/form/stable'.


Sarah-Jane
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Unread 06-11-2021, 04:51 PM
John Isbell John Isbell is offline
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Hi Woody,

This is a drive-by moment of praise for the phrase "provenance and fable," which I like a good deal. Two good terms nicely used.

The whole thing is well-executed, in my books - a well-wrought urn, if you like - but not being a man of mystery, I'm inclined to regret the lack of explanation at the end. Or footnote. Perhaps it's better that way - objects are after all unforthcoming for the most part.

Cheers,
John
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