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Old Folks Home

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Old 08-30-2017, 09:44 AM
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Default Old Folks Home


Old men stare through stale air,
unblinking, expressionless.
In the still room they sit in rigid retreat,
Thoughts turned in
against the visual effort of movement.

Memories host the hour and entertain the heart.
Reverie dispels the years weary with hung flesh
over backs bent under the gravity of age.

On they sit, wrapped in yesterdays remains,
Content to be where today is not,
Removed from tomorrows expectations
and the dull ache of unfulfillment.

Heads begin to nod, drowsy into evening
old men quietly through dusk doze on,
Unrestrained by physical infirmity,
Deep in dream, absorbed by darkness;
unaware, on the edge of oblivion they sit.

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Old 08-31-2017, 06:23 AM
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Good work, Kev. Certainly captures a mood. Despite all the efforts to make such places cheerful, they can be pretty depressing -- maybe because life seems to be zipping by -- and you're looking into the future.

Some really nice language -- but it feels a bit prosey.

I'm wondering what the circumstances would be that you would just mention men. Most "old folks homes" seem to be mostly women.

Cheers.
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Old 08-31-2017, 07:24 AM
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I like the rhythm and pacing of this, I think it really gives that whole feeling of winding down. Nice work.
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Old 08-31-2017, 09:29 AM
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Hi Myers, thanks for the feedback. When you say prosey , do you mean forced or depersonalised?
I used to visit a friend with a shortcut through a park, and then through a side passage and open gate (before 9pm. they closed for the night after that time) It was dusk and through a side window I saw an old guy, just the one, then imagined the rest. It was just how he was sitting, bent back and staring into space.

I've never been entirely happy with it because it seems distant, but has some good lines. Thanks for taking the time to put your thoughts down.
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Old 08-31-2017, 09:36 AM
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Pace and rhythm. That and the stronger lines, perhaps is what kept pulling me back to it. Chuffed it conected with you. Thanks Leila.
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Old 08-31-2017, 10:57 AM
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Great imagery Kev.

I found this pretty depressing - which means you've hit your mark. You've transposed me into the scene in a few short lines - feel as heavy and dismal as your subjects.

Nicely crafted.

Please don't submit this for publication in retirement home brochures...
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Old 08-31-2017, 11:46 AM
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Originally Posted by kev View Post
When you say prosey , do you mean forced or depersonalised?
Naw -- that was pretty vague. I guess that's a style thing -- don't want to get into the whole "reads like prose with line breaks" -- but it feels a little like that.

Originally Posted by kev View Post
I used to visit a friend with a shortcut through a park, and then through a side passage and open gate (before 9pm. they closed for the night after that time) It was dusk and through a side window I saw an old guy, just the one, then imagined the rest. It was just how he was sitting, bent back and staring into space.

I've never been entirely happy with it because it seems distant, but has some good lines. Thanks for taking the time to put your thoughts down.
Maybe make it about this one guy?

Old man stares through stale air...

etc. etc.
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Old 09-01-2017, 09:20 AM
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Originally Posted by Grace Gabriel View Post
Great imagery Kev.

I found this pretty depressing - which means you've hit your mark. You've transposed me into the scene in a few short lines - feel as heavy and dismal as your subjects.

Nicely crafted.

Please don't submit this for publication in retirement home brochures...
You caused me to have a stomach chuckle with that response Grace. Hope you've recovered.
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Old 09-01-2017, 09:39 AM
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Originally Posted by Myers View Post
Naw -- that was pretty vague. I guess that's a style thing -- don't want to get into the whole "reads like prose with line breaks" -- but it feels a little like that.



Maybe make it about this one guy?

Old man stares through stale air...

etc. etc.
It's supposed to be prose poetry Myers, at least my understanding of prose poetry, could be wrong, but if I am I'm sure someone will pop up and tell me why.
Thanks for explaining.
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Old 09-01-2017, 10:27 AM
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Originally Posted by kev View Post
It's supposed to be prose poetry Myers, at least my understanding of prose poetry, could be wrong, but if I am I'm sure someone will pop up and tell me why.
Thanks for explaining.
This meets my understanding of prose poetry - whereas Madeleine West's 'Reaching Nirvana' poem stretches the definition for me, as she's written it in complete sentences rather than condensed phrases. (I've said that on her thread, so I'm sure she won't mind my using the piece as a comparison.)

No doubt I've warped the true definition - but if there's no measured economy of words, I can't understand why it wouldn't be prose.

Thanks for asking Kev - I seem to be recovering. A sudden taste for Werther's Original and a propensity to nod off - but otherwise okay x
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Old 09-04-2017, 04:41 PM
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However well drawn the scene maybe I’m not really feeling it, but why that is I’m not too sure. Possibly the scene is too general and almost fleeting as if the reader is just walking through. I feel it lacks a human connection.



xDrew
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Old 09-05-2017, 07:51 AM
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Originally Posted by kev View Post
It's supposed to be prose poetry Myers, at least my understanding of prose poetry, could be wrong, but if I am I'm sure someone will pop up and tell me why.
Thanks for explaining.
As I've understood it, prose poetry is written in paragraph form but has poetic qualities -- and uses some of the devices and techniques of poetry -- essentially poetry but without the line breaks and stanzas.
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Old 09-06-2017, 11:14 AM
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Originally Posted by iDrew View Post
However well drawn the scene maybe Iím not really feeling it, but why that is Iím not too sure. Possibly the scene is too general and almost fleeting as if the reader is just walking through. I feel it lacks a human connection.



xDrew
I was on my bike and saw the old man for a second or two--lonely, abandoned, as so many are when nudged into an old folks home because family don't want to look after them. It's they who lack the human connection, or, perhaps I'm a socio path and lack true insight to give a human connection. .....Any which way. thanks for your input Drew.
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Old 09-06-2017, 11:38 AM
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Originally Posted by Myers View Post
As I've understood it, prose poetry is written in paragraph form but has poetic qualities -- and uses some of the devices and techniques of poetry -- essentially poetry but without the line breaks and stanzas.
I don't know the technicalities of it Myers.. I tend to look at Ted Hughes Jaguar or Wind as the pinnacle of prose poetry. It's not so much a knowing but more of feeling what it is for me
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Old 09-06-2017, 02:59 PM
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What Hughes mostly writes is free verse -- that just means it doesn't rhyme or have a specific meter.

Prose poetry is more like what I described.

It doesn't matter all that much, but sometimes it's useful to all be on the same page if you're talking to other poets...
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Old 09-06-2017, 03:06 PM
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Originally Posted by Myers View Post
What Hughes mostly writes is free verse -- that just means it doesn't rhyme or have a specific meter.

Prose poetry is more like what I described.

It doesn't matter all that much, but sometimes it's useful to all be on the same page if you're talking to other poets...
Now now Myers - you're not going all 'Nine and Sixty Ways' on us are you?
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Old 09-06-2017, 03:08 PM
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Only if sixty-nine is one of the ways...
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Old 09-06-2017, 03:18 PM
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Kev and I have chucked the poetry rule book.

We're rebelling and going with gut instinct - 'cos that's just how we roll.

Can you dig it?
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Old 09-06-2017, 03:20 PM
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Uh -- what he did isn't chucking any rule book.

It's just called free verse.

Emphasis on the "free" part...
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Old 09-06-2017, 03:28 PM
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Originally Posted by Myers View Post
Uh -- what he did isn't chucking any rule book.

It's just called free verse...
Man, he's feeelin' it as prose. ..organic interpretation.. royally wrong but sooo damn right on a soul level...
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Old 09-06-2017, 03:31 PM
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Whatever.

I'm not gonna bother arguing -- I'd have to use my step method...
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Old 09-06-2017, 03:39 PM
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Originally Posted by Myers View Post
Whatever.

I'm not gonna bother arguing -- I'd have to use my step method...
...not in a playful modd I take it...only messin about...
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Old 09-06-2017, 03:48 PM
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I'm in a relatively playful mood...
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Old 09-06-2017, 03:59 PM
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Originally Posted by kev View Post
I was on my bike and saw the old man for a second or two--lonely, abandoned, as so many are when nudged into an old folks home because family don't want to look after them. It's they who lack the human connection, or, perhaps I'm a socio path and lack true insight to give a human connection. .....Any which way. thanks for your input Drew.
Hun, humour me. Experiment by writing it in 1st person or even a combination of 1st and 3rd. In my opinion you have a distance that possibly you want the concept to posses, but it feels like a disconnected distance. Does that make any sense?



xDrew
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Old 09-06-2017, 03:59 PM
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Myers never plays 'softball', though.
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Old 09-06-2017, 04:08 PM
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Originally Posted by brianpatrick View Post
Myers never plays 'softball', though.
I played it in P.E.

And my youngest is learning how to fast pitch -- I'm her catcher in the back yard.
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Old 09-06-2017, 04:45 PM
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Originally Posted by Myers View Post
I played it in P.E.



And my youngest is learning how to fast pitch -- I'm her catcher in the back yard.


A good friend of mine has been coaching fast pitch girls for decades starting with his own two daughters. He's helped produce half a dozen national class pitchers, and dozens more good ones. It's all he knows how to talk about. If you start talking like that Myers, I'm leaving this site😀
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Old 09-06-2017, 05:05 PM
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No worries there. I was a mediocre pitcher in little league and briefly in middle school. But I know nothing about fast pitch softball.

My daughter's coach said, she has talent -- YOU NEED to throw with her EVERY day -- I was like, no, I'll do it if she asks me to do it.

Some of these coaches and parents are nuts...
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Old 09-06-2017, 05:21 PM
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Originally Posted by Myers View Post
No worries there. I was a mediocre pitcher in little league and briefly in middle school. But I know nothing about fast pitch softball.

My daughter's coach said, she has talent -- YOU NEED to throw with her EVERY day -- I was like, no, I'll do it if she asks me to do it.

Some of these coaches and parents are nuts...


Yeah, my friend Gilbert speaks only in declarative sentences when talking about softball. There is no, maybe this, or maybe that. When he spots talent somewhere he zero's in on it. And it's not for any profit. He has two pensions, one from the military, and one from the copper mines. He doesn't need money. He doesn't charge to train these girls. He's now training his granddaughter to pitch. Her mom is an assistant coach at U of A. I admire his drive, but man, I'm not into softball.
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Old 09-06-2017, 06:12 PM
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I've met the type -- in varying degrees.

Both my girls are natural athletes. (They take after their mother.) And this has come up before -- swimming, gymnastics, soccer. And we've been given the evil eye by coaches and parents who imply we don't push our kids enough.

We've done camps and clinics etc., but the only thing we ask is they do their best at practices and games, and finish what they start. Anything beyond that has to be by their own initiative.
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