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Storm of Protest

by Zettel 

Posted: 02 February 2005
Word Count: 105
Summary: Sort of a depressives' call to arms.

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After revision - final version. Thanks for comments

Storm of Protest

In the restless tide
dreams ebbed
hopes carried deep
by the undertow
of experience

Cold eyed cruel beaked gulls
shrieked and swooped
to carry off
the unshelled flesh
of desire

Under the darkening sky
rebellion grew
and struggled free
but fell again
into the indifferent sea

The breaking storm
shook the will awake
unremembered passion stirred
casting on the angry wind
I can I will - be heard

In exhilaration
and rekindled sense of life
laughing joyously
the rebel shouted to the skies
I will be I will be I will be

Zettel 2005

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Comments by other Members

laurafraser at 16:09 on 03 February 2005  Report this post
the last two stanzas reallly make this poem a very stong forlorn piece that leaves you feeling vrery depleated as if the pain is yours, the readers
very good piece

Zettel at 18:24 on 03 February 2005  Report this post
Thanks Laura - glad it reached you.


James Graham at 20:25 on 03 February 2005  Report this post
This has a kind of raw impact, especially at the end as Laura says, through its imagery of sea and storm, metaphors which are very elemental and which go back a long way and have a powerful history, from the Odyssey to the Flying Dutchman. I wonder though whether the poem could benefit from some condensing. It would probably mean abandoning strict six-line sections, and I don't know if you'd want to do that. If it had a strict rhyme-pattern as well, cutting would be difficult even if desirable, but as it is the rhyme is very light. I'm getting a bad reputation as a hacker, cutting poems back like pruning roses. I'd cut the first section to:

Hopes carried seawards
by the undertow
of experience

because I think that image of the undertow is the most striking idea in those lines. The image of the gulls after that is very vivid, I wouldn't touch that at all. Then:

Under the darkening sky
rebellion struggled free
but fell again
into the indifferent sea

This is partly because I can't quite unravel the line 'Hanging helpless vice beaked', but also because once again I think the image that's left is the strong element of that section of the poem. Then the next two sections could be slightly condensed, but I'm not exactly sure how - they seem to overlap each other a little in meaning. The last section - no change.

This is probably much more than you'd want to do to the poem. Another possibility - even more drastic! - would be to recast it in traditional ballad form, four-line stanzas with ABCB rhyme. Some of the rhyme is in place already. When I think about it, that begins to seem a better idea that any slashing of the freer verse poem. This identification of human anguish and rebellion in terms of sea and storm is classic ballad material.


Zettel at 23:39 on 03 February 2005  Report this post

As ever, thought provoking. Will think on it and let you know the results if that's OK?



Ticonderoga at 12:13 on 04 February 2005  Report this post
Full of rich imagery an thought, as ever. Little echoes of Dylan Thomas here and there. Only quibble, even though you adapt the phrase to your purpose, is with the 'ship of fools' line - the hulk on that one's just a bit too rusty to still float proudly! Otherwise, an excellent piece. Sail on, sailor.........



engldolph at 11:01 on 05 February 2005  Report this post
Hi Z

I really like the way the sea-swept imagery of this captures the emotion of despair and rebirth of hope; it read a bit like one of those Victorian sea adventures

I think the piece does gain definition and power by the editing.
I prefer version 1 over version 2: editing and condensing is good, but I thik the style of the piece was made to be a bit sea-wild, and not too tight.

favorite stanza was undoubtedly:
The cold eyed
cruel beaked gulls
shrieked and swooped
to carry off
the unshelled flesh
of desire

really captured that moment where someone's desire being taken away by indifferent predators..

the rise up in the beak of a gull, then dropping down to sea injects a strong and tangible feel into the lines.


Mac AM at 13:32 on 05 February 2005  Report this post
I could have sworn I'd left a comment on your poem Zettel.

I really like your condensed version because you have taken out the lines that veered towards cliche e.g.:

In the gentle tide of life
dreams ebbed

This new version is much more original. It doesn't feel like you have read/heard it all before.

I would think about loosing:

of desire

But apart form that, I found it refreshing and interesting.

Well done.


James Graham at 13:46 on 07 February 2005  Report this post
Version 1 seems much improved, Version 2 takes it a bit too far! In Version 1 the first section especially is better because more concentrated, and further down too you've done what the poem needed, I think. One detail - 'Under the darkening sky'?

The sea never lets the poet down - such a rich source of imagery for conveying aspects of human nature and experience, from heroism through rebellion to loss of identity. Your theme sent me back to read William Cowper's 'The Castaway' again:

Obscurest night involved the sky,
The Atlantic billows roared,
When such a destined wretch as I,
Washed headlong from on board,
Of friends, of hope, of all bereft,
His floating home forever left...

Zettel at 00:26 on 08 February 2005  Report this post
Ti Engl and Mac

Sorry, haven't been able to thank you for your comments before because of something weird in the layout. Thankfully now corrected.

Ti - metaphor murdered - you're right

Engl - I find it helpful when a comment picks out particular elements. Thanks for the remarks.

Mac - I quite liked the slight change in emphasis of V2 but I think the others are right on V1. 'Desire's a tricky word, sort of wears its emotion on its sleeve, especially in a poem. But...it works for me here.


Love the Cowper. Now I see what you mean by a strict rhyme version - couldn't hear it before. Tempting to go for V4 but just for myself.

Thanks again for all the comments. Funny how waking up in the middle of the night sparks ideas etc.


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