Saturday, 27 February 2010

Help II

Your comments on 'Water Butt' have been beyond my expectations helpful. I now know I need to put some serious thought into the first verse, so I have written it up on my wall

together with a tentative alternative, so that I have to look at it.

Meanwhile here is another:


Head in a spread-sheet you put
her electric kettle on the hob, lit
the flame and moved away.

Unseen fibres bubbled and oozed
out across the stove top
like road-tar in a heatwave.

The element didn't pop
like a firework on the fourth of July, or burst
like a water-main on a a summer day,

but split like a twig
in a well trod wood.


Lulu LaBonne said...

I love this, it made me laugh - you end well (like you ended well in the water butt too)

I'm not believing the imagery in the second verse though.

The Pollinatrix said...

You are amazing! I have absolutely nothing critical to say about this poem. I love it just as it is, especially the last two lines; the way the rhythm shortens there is just perfect.

I am so jealous of your blackboard.

savannah said...

i had to read it twice (across the pond words) and then i laughed! a very real experience when doing two unrelated things and not paying paying attention when stoves are concerned! xoxoxoo

(i so love the blackboard wall!)

Pat said...

'bubbled and oozed
like road-tar in a heatwave.'
Lovely jubbley!
'split like a twig in a well trod wood.'
As pleasing as 'cheap tin trays.'

Eryl Shields said...

Lulu ~ glad it made you laugh, it hadn't struck me that it might. I will take another look at the second verse. This is so hard!

Polli ~ thank you, that last bit has changed so much over the last few days so I'm glad you think it works.

The black board's great isn't it? I just painted a whole wall with black board paint. I've done it in the kitchen too.

Savannah ~ I'm so happy it made you laugh. XXXXX

Pat ~ how I wish I'd written 'cheap tin trays.'

Rachel Fox said...

This is much more unusual than the first one (and that is good...there are so many poems...getting one to stand out is half the battle!). I like the first three lines and the last two best of all. The last two lines really work...partly because the image is so natural (contrasted with all the artifice earlier on).

Jimmy Bastard said...

Simply this.. a lot of people can attempt poetry, write many words, clammer to use swallied metaphors which are hollow to the touch.

And then there is you.

You have that something special. It's in you, and it's starting to come out in a way that will continue to bring me back.

Titus said...

I can't fault this Eryl. Loved it.
The first line is so important with any poem, and that internal rhyme in your first coupled with the imagery just defies you not to read on.
Last two lines good too.

Philip said...

Really, really like it. As others have said last two lines are spot on. Very nicely done. I wouldn't change any of it. Keep up the good work.

オテモヤン said...


Eryl Shields said...

Rachel ~ unusual is good. It took me ages to get those last two lines so I am relieved to think they work. Thanks, X

Jimmy ~ you are the most gentlemanly of gentlemen.

Titus ~ I didn't think I was ever going to get the first line right, it was only this morning as I came to and images of golf courses, football fixtures, and vegetable plots swam past as possibilities that 'spread-sheet' struck. And then I worried if the rhyme was too harsh, or obvious, or something.

Philip ~ so, so glad you like it.

Elisabeth said...

I love to watch your writing process, all those crossing outs and rethinks. It's almost as if we can see your mind tick over.

Eryl Shields said...

Elizabeth ~ I love seeing other people's process and rethinks too. I once tried to decipher some pages of Joyce's manuscript for Finnegan's Wake, in an exhibition at the British Library, the crossings out were the best bit.

Golden West said...

To answer your question - I find the old images at websites maintained by large libraries and the Library of Congress. Many of their historic images have been digitalized and there are vast catalogues of incredible pictures just a click away. You could try loc.gov for the Library of Congress - it is a true Mother Lode.

Also,thank you for the compliment on my embroidery. My mom taught me when I was not much more than a tyke and it's a past time I've enjoyed for many years. With computers, I've had access to many more design inspirations and the ability to buy the fabulous old glossy flosses.

Eryl Shields said...

Thanks, Golden, for coming over to answer that. Once I've got this portfolio over and done with I will be able to spend some time having a good look through the digitalized archives.

I once tried to teach myself embroidery and kept at it for quite some time, but eventually let it drop when I realised I'd never be any good at it. It's a lovely skill to have passed on.