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Left-Behinds (v2)

by Haadi 

Posted: 19 January 2006
Word Count: 100
Summary: Left-Behinds started as a flash about new beginnings. I've been encouraged to keep working on it, perhaps testing it as a poem. This is my first poem since I was a tortured teenager. Actually, it's two poems. But they came from one piece of prose.
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She draws into London on the mainline
train from the north

Soundlessly drifting through suburbs

A quarter moon hangs low in the sky,
As though in disgrace

Its lethargy -
As it falls off rooftops
And dips behind high-rises
- mirrors her heavy spirits

She fears losing herself

Will her grace, drawn from the open plains
of the north,
be squandered in the urban density
of this new place?

With every new start and every move -
another house
another country
another lover
- you leave shards of yourself in your wake.

Sometimes the left-behinds find you.
Sometimes they donít.

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Comments by other Members

crowspark at 22:32 on 19 January 2006  Report this post
I enjoyed this Haadi.
There was a lovely dreamy feel to the first part.
Perhaps you might include sounds of a train, the moonlight on the weaving lines.
However, very good.

I stopped writing poetry long ago. You should keep at it for sure!


Prospero at 04:16 on 20 January 2006  Report this post
I am no expert on poetry Haadi, but this is lovely, very lyrical and moody. As I said in my other comment Darren will look after you and you can develop your interest in poetry as well as in Flash.



DJC at 08:34 on 20 January 2006  Report this post
For me this works much better than prose. The images flow between lines very smoothly, and are very evocative. This is definitely not shite - I'm not just saying that. A few things, though - only minor:

- either begin every line with a capital, or only new sentences
- you switch from 'her' to 'you' - I can see the break, but I think it would be better as 'her' all the way through, without the asterisks, which don't add anything
- personally I'd get rid of the question, or rephrase. I'm never sure about questions in poetry, unless they are to suggest confusion - if the poem is about this (like Prufrock, I suppose).

Only picky things in an otherwise accomplished piece.


Haadi at 09:19 on 20 January 2006  Report this post
Thanks for the tips everyone, I'll keep working at it. It's such a pleasure to try a medium that I have been scared to broach before.


lieslj at 04:23 on 21 January 2006  Report this post
I like this very much Haadi.

I prefer to see poetry written grammatically correctly. Capitalised first lines interrupt the flow from a visual perspective.

To that end, the row of asterisks break up the poem too much too. Perhaps just use a triple space?

As a general rule, try to avoid adverbs and gerunds - in fiction, poetry, memoir, wherever. Writing is always stronger without them.

So this line:

Soundlessly drifting through suburbs

would be stronger to my eye and ear as:

drifts soundless through suburbs

Or, because trains aren't really soundless, perhaps

drifts through soundless suburbs

Hope these ideas are useful for playing around with options. And I hope they help more than the English teacher...

Keep writing. You have a fine poetic sense.


Haadi at 13:34 on 21 January 2006  Report this post
Liesl, thank you. You are definitely more helpful than the English teacher!

Re "soundless"; ah yes, good point trains aren't soundless. I obviously haven't really conveyed quite what I meant: in a GNER train, when the carriages are almost empty or everyone's shattered from the journey and you're pulling into London there's a surprising lack of sound. I find it eery. There's a rhythm, but no noise as such. It lulls you and tugs your thoughts in on themselves.

I'll think on how to express this better.

Prospero at 15:30 on 21 January 2006  Report this post
There's a rhythm, but no noise as such. It lulls you and tugs your thoughts in on themselves.

Coo! I like this very much, more please.


Haadi at 09:13 on 25 January 2006  Report this post
Ah ha! Have I solved part of the problem myself by trying to explain what I meant? Fab.

I'm definitely going to have another shot at this and post again for your thoughts. Thanks everyone, I really have appreciated this feedback.

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