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Nemesis

by rmol1950 

Posted: 21 January 2007
Word Count: 91
Summary: This was my first attempt at poetry. It was a writing exercise in which I had to describe a confrontational event in my life.


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Hands blood-blistered by a Teacherís cane, pride
wounded,
Big Dermot hunted a
victim.
To savage. Somebody small and quiet.
Anybody!

Violence, like blame, trickles downhill in
rivulets of venom, and a Teacherís
assault
injures the innocent, wounds the
weakest,
eventually. But not today maybe.
For today was Dermotís
nemesis.

Today the quiet one hit back.
Hard.
As his Dad had taught, with gentle
red gloved hands,
on his knees.
ĎCome on Son. Keep your guard up.
Try and hit me. Gimme the old
one-two.í

One-two. Dermot.
One-two-three.
Donít hit me.
Dermot!






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Comments by other Members



Beanie Baby at 12:55 on 24 January 2007  Report this post
Wow! This is powerful stuff and, if it is your first attempt as you say then I think you have done incredibly well.

But not today maybe.
For today was Dermotís
nemesis.


These are good lines but I feel that it takes some punch out of the title. Nemesis is a great title in itself. To then use the word here kind of takes away the impact. Could you not say:

But not today, maybe.
For today was Dermot's day


Just a suggestion so don't take it too much to heart.

Beanie

Account Closed at 15:30 on 23 February 2007  Report this post
This is wonderfully savage and powerful, and I love it. I agree with Beanie (as ever!) - the only other thing I'd say is take out the exclamation marks. You don't need them - the piece is strong and clear enough to stand without them.

Great stuff

A
xxx

rmol1950 at 08:40 on 28 February 2007  Report this post
Anne, Beanie
Thank you for the very helpful comments. It is very encouraging because I have never been sure about this piece, particularly the second stanza which I don't think works and I don't know why. It was my first attempt at poetry, written two years ago.
Best wishes
Richard

Nell at 09:15 on 03 June 2007  Report this post
Hi Richard,

I made some notes and then found Anne and Beanie had beaten me to it! Definitely in agreement with their suggestions. I'd go a little further though, and take out that first instance of 'Teacher's' - the word 'cane' is so inextricably linked to it in the mind it's superfluous, and it comes later anyway.

I especially like the rhymes of 'blame' and 'cane' and 'assault' and 'taught', and the way you've placed the line breaks for impact.

Not only good powerful stuff, but for a first attempt little short of brilliant! Keep writing and posting.

Nell.

deyofthephoenix at 16:26 on 21 June 2007  Report this post
Good stuff! The story and shaping of the poem both appeal to me. The dialogue (last stanzas) is attention keeping.

My main distraction here is the punctuation (probably because I've been playing with the non-use of it in my recent poems). I'm not against the use of punctuation in poetry, but I wasn't clear about its function in this piece.

The periods in lines 1 and 2 of Stanza 4 snapped me to attention:
Today the quiet one hit back.
Hard.


But I had to reread Stanza 1 before I was able to sort it out:
Hands blood-blistered by a Teacherís cane, pride
wounded,
Big Dermot hunted a
victim.
To savage. Somebody small and quiet.
Anybody!


Here, the comma at the end of line 2 followed by the period in line 4 were the sources of my uncertainty.

Not sure which changes would target the aim of how you want the poem read. Depends on what you're aiming for! I'm thinking of poet June Jordan's advice, which I may work well for a piece like yours: use of words not punctuation to convey expression.

Another idea: italicizing verbalized lines (rather than quotation marks).

I look forward to reading more of your work!

rmol1950 at 19:06 on 08 October 2007  Report this post
Nell
Thank you for reading and commenting and sorry not to have acknowledged it much sooner. I have been away from the site for some time and have just realised I must have missed comments on pieces I have posted.I had better read through everything and check.
Best wishes
Richard


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