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Thread: Old Ground

  1. #1
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    Old Ground

    On Old Ground


    Here, where the reeds meet
    the loch darned in light,
    moss has taken over,
    though a ruined garden seat
    juts from the grass like a limb.
    Anemones are everywhere,
    daughters of the wind,
    white bladed stars badged on green
    like the sky fallen and drowned
    in dew. This is a silent place,
    it has sloughed its humans,
    though in the play of sun and shade,
    it is hard not to think of them,
    the children calling from islands,
    the hats, the parasols and skiffs,
    lovers by the waterís edge,
    and their last kiss.

  2. #2
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    Outstanding! Welcome to lit net...

    Live and be well - H

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    Something's gotta give PrinceMyshkin's Avatar
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    I don't know what to make of that "last kiss". Of course it may mean the most recent, the last thus far, but it feels more like the last ever; in which case retrospectively the "old ground" becomes a cemetery? But you use language throughout as if the things themselves were giving birth to their names before our very eyes. An astonishingly vivid, moving poem.

  4. #4
    Something's gotta give PrinceMyshkin's Avatar
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    Surely this deserves more responses than it has had?

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    Registered User Delta40's Avatar
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    It does! I shiver as I am transported to this little patch of home ground. Great piece and welcome to Lit-Net!
    Before sunlight can shine through a window, the blinds must be raised - American Proverb

  6. #6
    It wasn't me Jerrybaldy's Avatar
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    made me think of a cemetery too and well done!

    For those who believe,
    no explanation is necessary.
    For those who do not,
    none will suffice.

  7. #7
    Registered User tailor STATELY's Avatar
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    Welcome to litnet.

    Hauntingly beautiful.

    I especially loved
    Anemones are everywhere,
    daughters of the wind,
    Not a critique, but I am curious to the mechanics of
    like the sky fallen and drowned
    in dew. This is a silent place,
    where "in dew." begins the next line rather than end the line with its line-mates.
    Balance ? Aesthetics ? Style ? Other ?
    Just curious as I said before.

    Ever learning,
    tailor STATELY
    tailor

    who am I but a stitch in time
    what if I were to bare my soul
    would you see me origami

    7-8-2015

  8. #8
    Still, on a chalk plateau Bar22do's Avatar
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    This is a noticeable poem! I read it over a few times, savouring. Thanks for sharing it. I'm with tStately regarding the line. Thought his suggestion was good.
    Welcome to Litnet, hallaig, what a wonderful start! Best regards, Bar

  9. #9
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    attempt at ghostly word chimes at line ends I suppose is the reason why dew appears where it does. Don't know if that works, though. Thanks for comments. The scene wasn't a cemetery but the grounds of an old mansion gone to seed and deserted.

  10. #10
    yuka yuka's Avatar
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    If not depending on the dictionary, I would not be so clear about some images, but the atmosphere you created here let me read and read, yes, I love the atmosphere, I love the nostalgic feeling, a good opening ,a good ending too, and the good control of the flow. wonderful piece. Thank you for sharing

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    A subtly haunting piece - one worth reading over and over again to savour each moment.

    H

  12. #12
    Employee of the Month blank|verse's Avatar
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    Yeah, a nice poem, hallaig, that reminds me of Robin Robertson, whose work you may have read. There's an interesting tension between man and nature in the poem, that comes across most vividly with the stand-out line:
    This is a silent place,
    it has sloughed its humans,
    The seat 'jutting like a limb' is also quite gruesome; and even the flowers are 'drowned'.

    So I was disappointed that the poem had such a happy ending. The last image in particular is a cliche and the poem deserves better. (And I wasn't sure about 'skiffs' which seems to have been included just to give a half-rhyme with 'kiss'. And 'parasols'? In Scotland?! )

    But overall I thought the lines were well controlled and it's a great first post, so I look forward to reading more of your poems.
    Last edited by blank|verse; 05-24-2011 at 01:13 PM.

  13. #13
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    I liked the poem, especially the last lines those were excellent and really gave a powerful ending. However I found the poem a bit to slow, it lacked flow so to say, reading down was more a crawl than an effortless dance. I also was not too keen on this line "white bladed stars", the description doesn't seem to fit the general mood and atmosphere.

  14. #14
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    I didn't think the poem had a "happy ending," really. It's a poem about a place lost in time, that holds nothing but the echo of memory. This was a good poem, I could actually SMELL it.

  15. #15
    feathers firefangled's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hallaig View Post
    On Old Ground


    Here, where the reeds meet
    the loch darned in light,
    moss has taken over,
    though a ruined garden seat
    juts from the grass like a limb.
    Anemones are everywhere,
    daughters of the wind,
    white bladed stars badged on green
    like the sky fallen and drowned
    in dew. This is a silent place,
    it has sloughed its humans,
    though in the play of sun and shade,
    it is hard not to think of them,
    the children calling from islands,
    the hats, the parasols and skiffs,
    lovers by the waterís edge,
    and their last kiss.
    This is very evocative, a nice balance between theme and pace. it reminds me of the the chapter "Time Passes" in To the Lighthouse, where darkness and the airs of an empty house are coupled to evoke time passing through the rooms.

    I agree with BV about the tension between nature and humans you have created.

    I would consider making some minor changes:

    - the loch darned "with" light
    - pale broken stars badged on green

    I love the idea behind the last kiss (didn't get happy at all). Skiffs is fine also, but to avoid forcing an end rhyme, I would remove it and end with:

    the hats, the parasols and skiffs,
    a last kiss by the water's edge.

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