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The wrench

by Xenny 

Posted: 29 January 2007
Word Count: 25

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Old behaviours
A pack of rangy hounds
held in check
They bark their hate,
as their new, sleek
perfectly groomed
replacements take their stand.

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Comments by other Members

Nell at 09:05 on 31 January 2007  Report this post
Hi Xenny, good to see you back. This feels very different from the poems you've posted in the past. That first image of old behaviours as 'a pack of rangy hounds' is brilliant. The hard end sounds of 'pack' and 'check' reinforce the meaning of 'hate', as does the alliteration of 'hounds', 'held' and 'hate'.

The softer sound of 'dismayed' comes as a surprise, catches one offguard. The long vowel sounds in 'new', 'sleek' and 'groomed' introduce the reader to the replacement behaviours - how beautifully stylish and slinky they sound! - as they 'take their stand', 'stand' picking up a resonance from 'hounds'.

This poem does invite detailed analysis! It's beautifully crafted, not a word wasted, each one working to the max to put across the central idea. Fantastic, a little gem.


Xenny at 04:22 on 01 February 2007  Report this post
Thanks very much Nell! Such an encouraging response. I've been thinking I might start sending some poems off to publications soon, so it's really good to come back here and get such positive feedback.

joanie at 07:11 on 02 February 2007  Report this post
Hi Xenny. It's good to read something from you. I agree that this is well-crafted. I have felt myself drawn in to re-read and grasp the underlying thoughts.

After my first reading, I think I had an impression that there was great resentment of the newcomers and an idea that the 'new behaviours' were irritatingly superior. Now, however, I read this as very positive. One thing which does strike me is that this must be based on personal experience.

I do like short poems, especially such thought-provoking ones.

Thank you


Xenny at 12:39 on 05 February 2007  Report this post
Hey Joan, Elsie and Nell

Thanks for the recommendation Elsie - I've just signed up. I think the struggle later could apply not just to addictions but to any behaviour if it's simply suppressed and ignored. I've been reading a lot of Jung's work recently, and his talk of the problems of repression have come at a timely moment!

That links to what you were saying Joan about the negative and positive aspects. I do think there's a negative tone in the poem, especially with the title. But I didn't write it as a completely negative poem. There's definitely a real positiveness which I think for me overrides the negativeness (even if it is more subtle and was perhaps not in the front of my mind as I wrote the poem).

Nell - thanks for those links. Particularly the list of your favourites - that's very helpful.


DJC at 10:59 on 07 February 2007  Report this post
Xenny - would agree with Nell - it's one of those small poems that takes a lot of analysis. It reminds me of something by William Carlos Williams, like the red wheelbarrow poem. You rub sounds up against one another in this poem which is very effective, as it creates a particular effect without being jarring. These small poems are hard to do, but you do this very well.


Xenny at 01:26 on 18 February 2007  Report this post
Thanks Darren!

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