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My first if it`s a poem

by eddieg 

Posted: 27 June 2006
Word Count: 69

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My first if itís a poem

Throwing limes at Mohammad Ali.
Lying in bed of crisps
Half eaten sandwich by my side
And a woman on my mind

Grey flooding in the window
Iím out of cigarettes
No music from the speakers
And out of limes to throw at Mohammad Ali

Grandaddy in the air
Theyíre a band
Joint in the ashtray
Ali looking formidable
Woman on my mind

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Comments by other Members

Prospero at 08:50 on 28 June 2006  Report this post
Hi Mark

This is interesting piece. I know nothing about poetry, but this speaks to me of boredom. Of someone in a bedsit somewhere with a poster of Ali on the wall and bored out of his tree.

Am I close?



eddieg at 14:06 on 28 June 2006  Report this post
thanks for the comment john

bedsit no, but close,
boredom no
thanks again

James Graham at 19:27 on 28 June 2006  Report this post
It's a poem all right - is it really your first? I think you've managed to get an interesting effect here - downplaying the real subject of the poem. 'Woman on my mind' (it's like a blues line) is what jumps out. It isn't a love poem about this woman, because we're told nothing about her, but even so, it is about her.

Everything else in the poem is other stuff in your life (or the poem's speaker's life). What's played down is what the poem's really about - I like that effect. And all the other things, Ali, the sandwich, etc, become sort of heightened because the thought of that woman is really pervading everything. So I think if you haven't been writing verse for very long, this is not a bad effort.

The 'other stuff' is interesting enough in itself to hold the reader's attention. For example, 'Throwing limes at Mohammad Ali' is a good first line. 'Grey flooding in the window' is maybe the best line, for the way you neatly turn the usual 'Golden sunshine flooding in...' around. I think I sense a special role for Ali too - as we read through the poem, he seems to win (as he was in the habit of doing!) a kind of bout with the poem's speaker, who begins by throwing limes, then runs out of ammunition, then has to concede to the 'formidable' Ali.

I think you've achieved something with this. It's basically a 'list' poem, each line adding a new detail. Maybe the line 'They're a band' could be left out - if we don't know they're a band we could probably guess from the context.


eddieg at 20:49 on 28 June 2006  Report this post
Hi James.
Thankyou very much. This is my first ever poem... i have not written seriously since i was about 12. What you say is right... and i did wonder about the "they're a band" line but thought it was a bit difficult to work out. Thank you

James Graham at 08:39 on 29 June 2006  Report this post
If you leave out 'They're a band', that leaves four verses of four lines each, which gets you closer to a regular form. The slice of life you write about in the poem is...well, a bit aimless. Another way to put that would be to say it lacks shape or form. But if you write about it in a poem that has a simple pattern, i.e. no rhyme, or seven syllables in every line, or anything as strict as that, but just three verses with four lines each - just by doing that, you begin to give shape to a 'shapeless' slice of life. When you've written something that has a pattern to it, you start to feel you've got whatever you were writing about more under control. You've got an object that you've created, something definite that wasn't there before.


NinaLara at 12:13 on 29 June 2006  Report this post
I really like the limes - I think they bring a necessary touch of colour to the poem. Also, limes are an interesting thing to throw - such fantastic green balls of taste exploding. This touch makes the poem memorable - which (to my mind anyway) is what makes a poem a poem.
More limes please.


eddieg at 14:55 on 29 June 2006  Report this post
Thank you James and Nina

Do you think most people would work out Grandaddy are a band.

Limes to Nina


James Graham at 14:41 on 02 July 2006  Report this post
Would people know Grandaddy is a band? I've been thinking how to make it clear to people who don't. Grandaddy on the airwaves, Grandaddy from the speakers now (There was 'no music from the speakers' before, but the narrator has put on some music). I don't know if this will help, but it would be good to miss out 'they're a band' and have the neat four-line verses all through.


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