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Critics Choice

by Tina 

Posted: 08 May 2006
Word Count: 207
Summary: Hi all returned to the fold after a short break ands this may well be a swansong for this group - as my membership is fading as I write (ah how sentimental!!!) Anyroadup here it is folks

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To read this you have to have the right kind of eye
not snake or cat but wide and wondering
filled with awe and wonder, able to see possibilities;
or, just maybe, a bucket full of hope.
I am no longer any good at hope or wishing
because not even the thirteenth fairy
could have thought of anything worse;
thatís why I have such sympathy with Prometheus;
a cursed chap but at least he knew his crime,
unlike me.

Every day I am faced with blankness
ellusive words do not come
they want something more from me.
Ideas moulder before I realise them
like dreams wasted when mother opened the curtains.
She was one to avoid sentimentality
so easily entered when one is weak and ignorant.

There are days when I am fizzing like a Catherine Wheel
what I want is literary fecundity; a glorious August
with ripeness hanging down too heavy for its branches;
and what doesn't fall on its own
is simply asking for a little tap, tap,
and then is chosen.
Oh, to be chosen.

Today I had trouble at the market, choosing fish for dinner,
until a friend told me this secret.
It's the eyes. You pick the ones with the prettiest eyes.

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Comments by other Members

NinaLara at 22:56 on 08 May 2006  Report this post
Flippin' Heck! What a fantastic bit of work. The only thing I am unsure about is whether you need to tell us so much about what the poem is about. The first verse and the last lines are amazing... I wonder if the rest is too much of an explaination? That said, I love this and think it is a very exciting piece of writing.

Brian Aird at 09:42 on 09 May 2006  Report this post
Here's my wife's tip - if it smells like fish its no good. It took me a while to see why but it's true; fresh caught fish don't have that awful fishmonger smell.

Sometime when ideas come all at once or with a dream they can prove difficult to 'catch' and put down on paper whilst still fresh. I guess we all need time to ourselves to be quiet and let them return.


James Graham at 19:21 on 09 May 2006  Report this post
Hi Tina - not good news, if you're thinking of leaving us...not if you keep coming up with poems like this. Any poet, any writer, would be nodding in agreement and sympathy reading this. In several places the poem belies its claim that 'elusive words do not come', especially when we come to a line such as 'like dreams wasted when mother opened the curtains' Every writer knows how ideas waste away before they can be realised - but this is as memorable a way of expressing it as any I've ever come across. Of course, as I'm sure you know, this way the poem belies its claim doesn't mean it contradicts itself; not at all, it's a very telling irony.

I like the way you first of all tell us that on a good day you long for 'literary fecundity' - which sounds very cerebral, a sort of abstract thing, rather remote; and then the 'elusive words' come again, the words that make 'literary fecundity' real:

a glorious August
with ripeness hanging down too heavy for its branches

And as Nina has said, the last lines are an inspiration.

I feel you could trim here and there. The second and third lines are a bit repetitive; you certainly shouldn't lose 'wide', but maybe one of the 'wonder' words. '...wide and filled/ with awe and wonder'?

Definitely leave out 'unlike me'. After all that's said in this stanza, and after 'at least he knew his crime', the thought 'unlike me' should occur to the reader.

The second stanza could be a little shorter. Maybe do without the first line, and reduce the first four lines even to two, which would make the 'dreams wasted' line, and the two following, more effective even than they are now.

Let's hope many more of your 'elusive words' appear on WW before you think of doing a swansong.


Tina at 06:47 on 13 May 2006  Report this post
Hi folks and thanks for the great feedback - well Nina I haven't heard the expression flippin heck for years GREAT!!! Sorry for the delay but this just has been one of those weeks! Also the garden has caught a lot of my free time this week but wishing for some sunshine today! I think I will give this a break and come back to it later - with thanks to you all for your comments (hope you are haing a good holiday JAmes) - until the next...........

Shika at 17:22 on 20 May 2006  Report this post
Hi there, I hope you haven't left yet. I was just browsing when I came across this. I love it. I loved the ripeness hanging too heavy for its branches and the final choice - the one with pretty eyes. So true, don't care if I am gushing. Thanks for this. I really enjoyed it. S

Tina at 18:03 on 21 May 2006  Report this post
Thank you Shika
All compliments gratefully received

Mr B. at 20:17 on 29 May 2006  Report this post
I loved the image
fizzing like a catherine wheel

The whole piece had a playful quality, even the dark images such as the comparison with Prometheus are delivered in a light way.

Nice one!


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