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  #1  
Unread 07-27-2021, 03:09 PM
F.F. Teague's Avatar
F.F. Teague F.F. Teague is offline
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Default Sonnet (F-to-machine)

Laundry lines II: Great Queen Bosch

Version 2
Oi! This door is not for wrenching wide,
its hinge already breaking, flailing loose.
You've too much stuff. Last time, I almost died!
Well, this is just the usual abuse.

You can't stop messing, can you? Boxers, shirts
and, worst of all, that kinky underwear;
and I could catalogue a thousand hurts
my drum has suffered through your lack of care.

You know, some day I might just shout, "ENOUGH!"
and spin your lad-rags with a deafening roar
till all that's left are tiny bits of fluff...
and then I'll stomp across the kitchen floor!

You'll fall in awe. And I'll begin my reign
as Great Queen Bosch. Now kiss my filter drain!


Version 1
Oy! Careful, please! Don't open quite so wide;
this hinge is worn and even warped with use.
D'oh, too much stuff. Last time, I almost died!
Well, this is just the usual abuse.

You can't keep messing, can you? Trousers, shirts
and, worst of all, those fiendish lucky Ys/trousers' scratchy flies;
oh I could catalogue a hundred hurts,
or more, my drum has suffered through your tries.

You know, some day I might just shout, "ENOUGH!"
and spin your clothes with terrifying roar
till all that's left is tiny bits of fluff...
and then I'll start to cross the kitchen floor!

You'll fall, in awe. And I'll begin my reign
as Great Queen Bosch. Now kiss my filter drain!

- - -
This poem was originally 'Great King Bosch'. I decided to change the gender, because the idea of a Queen is, to me, more appealing <(:-)

Last edited by F.F. Teague; 07-31-2021 at 01:21 PM.
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  #2  
Unread 07-27-2021, 03:27 PM
John Isbell John Isbell is offline
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Hi Fliss,

You have I think a real gift for lightness. It's partly your confidence in speaking on behalf of inanimate (I hope!) objects, it's partly your ear for actual speech, it's partly your command of meter and rhyme, and of course it's partly your sense of humor - primordial in light verse IMO. So, yes, I like this sonnet. It is of course totally not my style, which is all to the good, though I do have a little book of light verse in print. :-)

I do have a thought or twain. Is D'oh Homer Simpson's D'oh? If so, interesting to see it cross the Atlantic! And might start across work for start to cross? Lastly, I think you were quite right to make the speaker a queen, not a king. For what, I don't know, as Bob Marley put it.

Cheers,
John
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  #3  
Unread 07-27-2021, 03:53 PM
John Riley John Riley is offline
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What John said about lightness, although I wonder if this is 100% light. The idea of a washer growing as tired of washing as a human does it great. I can hear myself bitching and muttering. My only nit is the catalouge of hurts should be at least a "thousand." Thoroughly enjoyed.
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  #4  
Unread 07-27-2021, 06:23 PM
Jim Ramsey Jim Ramsey is offline
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Hi Fliss,

I couldn’t agree more with John Isbell’s praise of your writing. I click on your posts just for the pleasure in reading them. I want to suggest a new line to replace line 8 ending with “tries.” I do wonder when I am reading UK writers or even regional writers here in the states how many nuances in meaning, idioms, and pronunciation are going right past me. Still, I do my best to make suggestions in a way I hope will keep the author’s theme, tone etc. intact. Line 8 might read: My drum suffered cycling delicates and whites and line 7 would lose the ending comma. Whites is not a perfect rhyme, but I wanted to throw it out there.

All the best,
Jim
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  #5  
Unread 07-27-2021, 08:19 PM
Mark Stone Mark Stone is offline
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Fliss,

1. An idea for L1 is to change "Don't open quite so wide..." to "Don't open me so wide..."

2. I googled "Ys" and it says that is a video game series. But that doesn't fit with the poem, so I don't know what "Ys" are.

3. To me, it would sound more natural if there were an "a" before "terrifying." You could do it with dashes and still keep the meter:

and spin your clothes--a terrifying roar--
till all that's left is tiny bits of fluff...

4. A well-written and entertaining poem.

Best, Mark
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  #6  
Unread 07-28-2021, 03:30 AM
Matt Q Matt Q is offline
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Hi Fliss,

It's not everyday you see a washing machine narrate a sonnet! I love the Queen's rebellion and "kiss my filter drain!" at the close.

I normally see the first word spelt of you poem spelled "Oi" when it's a British expression to conveying annoyance and/or to attract attention, and I see "Oy" I when it's Yiddish, as in "Oy vey" which describes frustration, worry, grief or other strong emotion. My assumption is that is a British-English-speaking washing machine, and should exclaim accordingly (Then again, it's a Bosch, so who knows).

In context, "Don't open quite so wide" seems a little odd without a subject. Like something a dentist would say to a patient, but here it's not the human opening; the human is opening something. The machine would like say, "Don't open that/me quite so wide", though that doesn't scan.

However, for me, "and spin your clothes with terrifying roar" the absence of an "a" before "terrifying" makes for a strange-sounding sentence, and a different voice from the rest of the poem, and the absent article seems metrically driven.

Like Jim, I think there's likely something better than "tries" to end L8. To my ear it's awkward-sounding. It doesn't seem like something that would be used in normal speech in this context. What is the human trying exactly?

"You'll fall, in awe". I'd say no comma here. Unless you want to be something like ,"You'll fall. In awe". In which case, maybe a full stop would be better?

best,

Matt
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  #7  
Unread 07-28-2021, 02:27 PM
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F.F. Teague F.F. Teague is offline
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John I., thanks for kicking things off here. And thanks for discerning a real gift for lightness in my poetry; that's very much appreciated. It does seem to come very naturally, indeed. Where might one find your little light verse book? I am intrigued!

D'oh's a funny one. My dad used it a lot while the bros and I were little and making a mess, lol. Well, he still says it now, as do I, on appropriate occasions. I like 'start across' and I'll certainly consider that in my revisions :-)

- - -
Thanks, John R.! Yes, it could be read as not entirely light, I'm coming to see. The exasperation in it is partly to do with the boredom of choring and I like your interpretation. I chose 'hundred' for the alliteration, but everything's up for improvement; thank you!

- - -
Jim, great that you agree with John I; and thanks for enjoying my posts here. Thanks also for your suggestion; I hoped to indicate all manner of ways of washing through 'tries', but I'll rethink if it's not coming through. Thanks for your comment :-)

- - -
Mark, thanks for your points. Re. L1, I'll think about that. 'Ys' in this context are Y-fronts, lol. I'll think about 'terrifying' too and thanks for enjoying the poem :-)

- - -
Hi Matt; yes, this is an unusual one, lol. That's interesting about 'Oy'; yes, 'Oi' would be better for the Brit. Eng. Though now I'm wondering whether it ought to be written in German!

I suppose I could add the door to L1 somehow? Yes, 'terrifying' is strange; I suppose I'm attempting, probably failing, an epic feel to things at this stage. Perhaps adding 'a' would be okay?

The human is trying to wash as much as possible, I think. I have a sense of overloading, hence the machine's 'too much stuff' earlier. And I think I used that comma to distinguish falling in awe from falling due to the washing machine banging against the chap in the poem :-)


Revisions to follow, probably tomorrow <(:-)

Best wishes,
Fliss
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  #8  
Unread 07-28-2021, 04:11 PM
John Isbell John Isbell is offline
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Hi Fliss,

Could it be that the writers of The Simpsons had been listening to your dad?

My volume of light verse is available in the US on Amazon and on the Barnes & Noble website. It's called Allegro, and it has a cello on the cover, because why not? If you're curious and can't obtain it in the UK (I have friends who couldn't), PM me and we will make things happen. :-)

OK, that's about it for now. I'm glad your sonnet is drawing comment.

Cheers,
John

Last edited by John Isbell; 07-28-2021 at 04:12 PM. Reason: time stamp
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  #9  
Unread 07-28-2021, 04:53 PM
Matt Q Matt Q is offline
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Good luck rewriting it in a German accent!
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  #10  
Unread 07-28-2021, 05:53 PM
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Jayne Osborn Jayne Osborn is offline
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This is delightful, Fliss, ...just like you, so no surprise there!

I agree with Matt that 'Oy!' would be better as 'Oi!' and I'm wondering whether you couldn't perhaps make the hinge 'loose' at the end of L2, for a better-looking rhyme with 'abuse' than 'use'.

I don't quite get 'You can't keep messing, can you?' as I'm wanting it to mean 'You can't stop messing, can you?' - or have I misunderstood what the machine is saying?

I also agree with Matt and Mark that an indefinite article is needed before 'terrifying', but for the sake of the metre you could maybe go for something along the lines of:

and spin your clothes with such a fearful roar
that all you'd have is tiny bits of fluff

When the machine menacingly threatens to start crossing the kitchen floor it made me laugh as it reminded me of a real event: I was on the Isle of Man many years ago (around the late 70s or early 80s) and it was my birthday. In the morning there was an earth tremor and in Colby, where I was staying, the washing machine shook quite violently and began to stomp across the kitchen floor, from underneath the worktop. It's s-c-a-r-y stuff indeed, when appliances begin to get militant! Haha.

This is a fun poem, and will be even better with a few little tweaks here and there.
Hope this helps a wee bit.

Jayne
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