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The Playwrights Forum > The Art & Craft of Writing > Poet's Corner : Critique my Poem > Punting on the Cam

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 Posted: Thu Oct 13th, 2011 01:48 am
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lostsocks
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Location: Cambridge, United Kingdom
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I've been asked more than once,
'Is this a real river?'
By incredulous tourists,
Packed industrially into boats,
While a hundred tour guides shout over shouting,
Pumping these old stones,
For one last drop of history,
One last tree that Newton touched,
One last duck that Darwin knew.

When punts collide our narratives cross like swords,
We send Cromwell and Henry hurtling through time.

At each bridge we spin official lies.
Constructs to cross the truth, without wetting your feet.

I tell them this:

The water is real
The mud is real
The River is based on actual events.

Last edited on Thu Oct 13th, 2011 02:13 am by lostsocks

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 Posted: Thu Oct 13th, 2011 02:26 am
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lostsocks
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This is the current draft,

------------

I’ve been asked more than once,
‘Is this a real river?’
By incredulous tourists,
Packed industrially into boats,
While a hundred tour guides shout over shouting,
Pumping these old stones,
For one last drop of history,
One last tree that Newton touched,
One last duck that Darwin knew.

When punts collide our narratives cross,
The shades of Henry and Cromwell
Are pitched in combat,
For possession of these walls and bridges
Where we spin the sanctioned lies.

I tell them this:

The water is real
The mud is real
The River is based on actual events.

Last edited on Thu Oct 13th, 2011 02:26 am by lostsocks

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 Posted: Thu Oct 13th, 2011 11:35 pm
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timmy
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Location: Oz, Minnesota USA
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Out of the two poems here, I like the first one better.

Why? b/c "official lies" supports your ending better. I also like the shorter couplets. Bang, bang kind of comments. Also matches up better with the ending. An ending which is really good, by the way. Capitalizing River is also a nice touch.

That being said, I'd eliminate "your" from the first version. Introducing 2nd person so late in the poem offers nothing constructive. Also, lining up Darwin with a "duck" might tempt me to line up Newton with an "apple"...an image more folks might be familiar with.

Your playfulness w/the language I have always admired.

timmy

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