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The Playwrights Forum > The Art & Craft of Writing > Poet's Corner : Critique my Poem > raspberries (1971

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 Posted: Wed Nov 8th, 2006 07:05 pm
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timmy
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Mana: 
the woods near my home,

near sand hill, near otter creek,

the place where i learned to cup my hand

over dana’s breast, place a finger upon

her nipple in such a way she would sigh,

were filled with wild raspberries

 

i would pick them in hot august

one red moment at a time, finger

print red, tongue red, mouth redness

  

dana would join me,

sometimes dipping

in her low gray t-shirt much

like a young brown sleek otter

chasing another through thickets,

through thick chicory filled with finches,

 

each holding its breath in unison 

anticipating another red moment

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 Posted: Wed Nov 8th, 2006 09:21 pm
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John Watts
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Mana: 
Lovely poem -  incredibly visual

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 Posted: Thu Nov 9th, 2006 12:47 am
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scenedreamer
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Mana: 
I agree, lovely.  And the images are grand.  I tried it in the present tense and liked it even more.  You might want to experiment with that.  It seemed to increase the urgency of the moment and the images as well.

sd

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 Posted: Thu Nov 9th, 2006 02:52 am
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timmy
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Mana: 
scenedreamer:

nice thought. this is one of a series of "outtakes" focusing on different years...present tense would put a crick in that aspect of what i'm trying to accomplish.

still...a valid point....and well taken on my end.

timmy

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 Posted: Thu Nov 9th, 2006 06:46 am
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jille
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Mana: 
Using "through" twice, so close together, trips me up when I read it.  I'd play with "caught" instead of the second "through."  The hard 'c' adds a bramble to the soft 'th' of thicket. 

But that's just one opinion.  The trouble with critiques: if we all had the urge to write exactly like one another, the world would only need one writer. 

--Jille

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 Posted: Thu Nov 9th, 2006 05:18 pm
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timmy
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Mana: 
your comment about "through" makes sense.  thank you. 

don't know why, but i've always liked the word "bramble" also...

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 Posted: Fri Nov 10th, 2006 06:35 am
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jille
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Mana: 
Thanks for your reply.  Glad my suggestion may have opened a door.  I've always liked bramble and other such words --colorful, less obvious choices.

I am directing "Bus Stop" by William Inge right now (opening Nov. 16.)  The first time I read the play, I thought, what am I going to do with this piece of silliness.  As I did my homework before starting rehearsals, I found out Inge is now known as the 'forgotten playwright."  A contemporary of Tennessee Williams and Arthur Miller and other greats of his day, he never really achieved their immortality.  Throughout his career he fought constantly with directors who insisted on changing his work.  Sadly, he committed suicide in 1973 after a string of failures.

As I dug deeper into the play, I discovered incredible depth and layer upon layer of meaning.  I've always believed in the credo that there is a reason for every word a playwright chooses, but anyway, all of this is taking the long way around to saying I have rarely found a play so carefully worded. 

Every day, in rehearsal, we find words carefully placed that have deep connections to all the other words --and the words 'between the lines.'  I am fortunate to have a cast who was willing to bring to life my vision of this play as a work of great importance, not just a light comedy.  The humor is intact but I expect the house manager will be cleaning up at least a few tissues after performances. 

I'm glad this poetry section of the forum is here because poetry also requires such careful choice of words --one must say so much with so little.  Look at every word of your poem carefully and decide why each one is there.  Let me know what you find.   

Jilly  

P.S.  If this is part of a series, I hope we will see more???  (hint, hint)

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