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Postcard

by James Graham 

Posted: 30 April 2005
Word Count: 72


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Postcard

It was cool
in the mountains

but we came down for a day
into the breathless heat
of Fuengirola, city of the plain,

where a man lied to us
about timeshares and would not give up
until the third and loudest No.

But then, in the dusty
suburban train to Malaga
instead of muzak for guitar

it was Beethoven -
peasants merrymaking
after the storm. Cool

peasants, merrymaking
after the storm.






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Comments by other Members



joanie at 19:50 on 30 April 2005  Report this post
Mmmm... James, I was there with you. I AM there with you! Wonderful.

This is delicious. Wonderful repetition.

joanie

engldolph at 09:22 on 03 May 2005  Report this post
James,

Full of atmosphere ...dust/heat/cooling rain/...the quirky freedom, touristic pressures, unexpected encounters (like Beethoven in a train) ...

Liked the repetition of cool of the mountains with cool of the peasants "merrymaking" (an interesting choice of word??... a bit like a step back in time..)

Enjoyed
Mike



Mac AM at 10:24 on 04 May 2005  Report this post
Hello James,

Glad to see you back and that your electronic problems have not hindered your writing.

I was fascinated by your poem of and how successfully you turn in the penultimate stanza. I can see one of those patchwork postcards - the mountain scene and the resort.

I enjoyed the opening couplet and that it stands on its own: It was cool // in the mountains I could feel the chill, see the sky, taste even perhaps the frost in the air. Then the heat hit me and I loved that you came down from the mountains (for a day) into the breathless heat, yet the time-share seller still wasted breath in the sales pitch. I liked also that your own voices added to the pollution, as you were forced to get louder until your loudest no.

For a day is a lovely quantifier, you are just dipping your toe in the water. As a reader, Iím hit with the coarseness of the heat, the sellers, the horrible muzak that fills the ears and I want to see you turn and run away.

What I particularly loved and perhaps most of all, is that you didnít run screaming for the hills, but instead turned slowly in complete control with the fantastic line:

it was Beethoven -
peasants merrymaking
after the storm.


then you give us cool again, as a kind of safety blanket before soothing us with the lulling repetition:

peasants merrymaking
after the storm.


I think this is beautifully constructed and I very much enjoyed reading it and commenting.

Mac

Ticonderoga at 15:51 on 04 May 2005  Report this post
Highly evocative & an extremely emjoyable read. Welcome back.


Best,


Mike

James Graham at 16:14 on 04 May 2005  Report this post
Thanks all. I'm glad you enjoyed this poem. The 'postcard' was actually 'posted' from Spain, using a computer in the hotel. I was making it up in my head on and off during that day, and by evening it was just about ready - not a bad thing, because 1 Euro for every 10 minutes online places a new kind of constraint on the poet.

Apparently Wordsworth went very quiet in the coach after his visit to Tintern Abbey, and then when he got to his lodgings he sat down and wrote (with pen and paper, I believe) most of the poem. Most of its 159 lines - impressive! Making up a wee poem on the way to Malaga and back was a lot more modest, but in a noble tradition!

James.

Ambitions of Lisa at 09:54 on 19 May 2005  Report this post
So descriptive and atmospheric, like other comments I felt I was there and could feel the temperature changing as I read on.

It is a piece I shall read time and time again when I want a little escapism.

:)

Lisa

Mr B. at 11:43 on 09 June 2005  Report this post
Nice and simple - helping the imagery stand out.

nice one,

Anthony

lieslj at 07:07 on 12 June 2005  Report this post
Hello James,

I'm afraid I neglected this little gem. I've been nose to the grindstone of late.

I like the simple sentiment and clean images. Your formal presentation is beautiful too. Very strong and subtle.

Regards
Liesl

James Graham at 11:33 on 12 June 2005  Report this post
Once again - many thanks all for your affirmative comments.

James.


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