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She died for want of

by Brian Aird 

Posted: 10 January 2006
Word Count: 86

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Breath, or a cheat for death or
friends in high places or a sleeve full of aces
The laying on of hands or replacement glands
The second coming or a bank with enough cash in
for re-generation with an expensive operation
or free entry to the Zombie Nation.
A stay of execution from God or enough wad
for a spare part like an unbreakable heart
A religious revival or just more survival
Another way out or a miracle no-doubt
like a Stenna Stair Lift to heaven

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Comments by other Members

DJC at 14:11 on 10 January 2006  Report this post
An interesting structure, Brian, one that's really hard to pull off, but you manage to do it pretty well. It reminds me a bit of rap, or maybe reggae in its metre. For me, some lines work and some don't. The hands and glands one does, as there is that contrast between the mystical and the medical, athough you kind of repeat this metaphor with the expensive operation. Not sure about the Zombie bit - to what is this referring? Also the 'bank with enough cash in' seems forced, as if you are being bound by metre and rhyme, and this fitted what you wanted.

I think it would work better if there was that contrast all the way through, with someone clutching at straws at every extreme, and getting increasingly desperate. I do like the opening 'Breath' - this really leads you in. And I love the title!

ps - I think it is a Stannah stair lift, not stenna. Might be wrong.

paul53 [for I am he] at 14:20 on 10 January 2006  Report this post
This is a piece that encourages participation, for on the second reading we go back and fill in the "she died for want of" as we reread the options.
Bearing in mind your earlier comment:
I'm wrestling with a poem for my dead mother that I have forced rhyme into knowing the intended audience will demand a certain structure and meaning; other poems that sum up how I actually feel would be rejected or at least be very unwelcome.
I think that the forcing of rhyme or form is not whether it is done, but whether it can pass noticed.
Perhaps poetic "forcing" should be like a good coathanger: something that helps emphasise the cut of the clothing rather than adjusting the clothing to the shape of the hanger.
Some of the internal rhyming passes virtually unnoticed apart from being pleasing, whilst other internal rhymes stand out. Give it a few days and run through it again if you are not happy with it.
In any event, some internal rhyme at the outset leaves the reader or listener expectant for more, so one can often get away with less [precisely because the expectation has been planted][if you see what I mean].
Nevertheless, I liked the poem as it is now, the use of the title being a clever devise.
Are you more pleased with it than before, or do you still prefer it before readjusting to the intended audience? And if so, why not upload the original piece as well?

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