FOOD AND A CANDLE

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Away from comfort went I,
To take nature by the fist
I wasn’t shy.
Meet me at the very end of the peninsula
Where weather and sobriety are your friend.
First, throw away your maps.
Take the one road to adventure,
The one road.
I troubled civilization with my words,
Finding in my words civilization,
Not the Latin test
But words of mine.
The mothers and fathers wondered
Why I was silent.
I have no energy for this conversation.
I remember my froth and the helpful sun,
How she brought food and a candle
And I succumbed.

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2 Comments

  1. Dame Desmond said,

    June 14, 2010 at 8:08 am

    Away from comfort went I,
    To take nature by the fist
    I wasn’t shy.

    Yawn. Two appearances in three lines by the narrator.

    Meet me at the very end of the peninsula
    Where weather and sobriety are your friend. – what, the reader’s friend the narrator is talking to?

    First, throw away your maps.
    Take the one road to adventure,
    The one road. eh, sounds a bit, hmm
    I troubled civilization with my words,
    Finding in my words civilization,
    Not the Latin test
    But words of mine.
    The mothers and fathers wondered
    Why I was silent. Sounds very pompous, the narrator. Troubled civilization with your words did s/he, wow, this is obviously a very important speaker, the reader thinks. Well be honest, they don’t think that at all, they think the narrator is a ego monster, unless the lingo gets more esciting, the combinations of words less predictable.

    I have no energy for this conversation.
    I remember my froth and the helpful sun,
    How she brought food and a candle
    And I succumbed.

    Yeah, a narrator we have switched off from because they sound like a piompous teenager who thinks they’ve re-invented the wheel but just sound flat and boring. The rhetoric is so falsely high-blown it would be laughble, if the reader thought the narrator wasn’t being serious. There is no humor, it reads like a straight windbag.

    • thomasbrady said,

      June 14, 2010 at 12:40 pm

      Dame Desmond,

      If you’re aspiring to be a critic, don’t quit your day job.

      Your idea of criticism seems to be: try and get a read on the narrator as if they were a real person, which seems to me a desperately amateur way to read a poem, as you miss all kinds of irony and nuance.

      You’re correct about the poem, of course: I wrote it in three minutes one morning before getting out of bed. It doesn’t deserve any kind of ‘close reading’ and the impression you have of it is no doubt the right one.

      But one could, if one were so inclined, find the irony and nuance. If the critic owed the poet a favor, for instance, I could see how such a thing could be done.

      Tom


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