Deconstructed Poem, what it looks like

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Luggage by Catharine Bramkamp
Luggage by Catharine Bramkamp

everything in one bag, – St. Petersburg

We were pleased to host Terry Lucas  (Episode 174) and learn more about poetry.  As an experiment I took Terry up on his 5 for $5 and sent in five poems.

Here is the poem and his suggestions, just so you can see what it’s like to work with a poetry coach.

 

The Poem:

 

Don’t Leave Home Without You  (Great Title!)

you are my flat umbrella  (as in broken open too far or unopened?  So he didn’t understand flat umbrella as a travel umbrella, so I need to another descriptor)
against the gutter running storm  (gutter-running)
In Port Douglas (Nice music: “umbrella,” “gutter,” and “running”; “storm” and “Port”)

You are the extra euros
tucked into rolled socks
stuffed into the backup flats  ( I’d say “my …flats” here—you’ve already used “the” for extra euro socks, and “the backup flats seems too impersonal. I’d go with “my.” Also—picky—“back-up” with no space between the hyphen and words.)  (More nice music—“You,” “euros,” “rolled”; “socks,” “zip-lock”; “flats,” “bags” …)

you are the 3 extra zip lock bags
for cold, wet leaky things  (I rarely like the indefinite—check to see if it’s a “placeholder” for a stronger noun. “bottles”? “samples”?)

You are the full-size cork puller
I always forget to mention to TSA (The alternating lower and upper case “you” works quite nicely. It took me out of the poem momentarily, but I got it by this stanza.) (I’d cut “always” – it adds too many syllables to the line, making it a bit clunky and doesn’t really add anything substantive.)

you are my only 3 words in Mandarin
one of which I’m pretty sure means
coffee  (I’m not a fan of single word lines, UNLESS the word is as strong as any other line—I get the pause here between “…means / coffee” but my preference would be to have it on the previous line, italicized)

You are that single torn page
from Rick Steves
that came in handy last Wednesday in Budapest

I was going to say
You are my best safe harbor
or
Where ever I roam
You are always the home.  (the seems off-pitch)

but for real – when it rains
and I’m out of local cash
words and wine (I get the chiming of “wine” with “home” from above, but “wine and words” sounds better to my ear—particularly since it chimes better with “first” and “return,)

It is you  I reach for first
It is you before I leave
It is you
Who inspires
my return.  (I love the music throughout, as well as the creative use of “you” and “You,” as well as the other upper and lower case uses. I’m curious how you would distinguish between them reading this poem aloud. Listening to your voice on the podcast, I have no doubt that you could do it . . . )

Terry will give you a review of your work plus an hour of discussion as well as unlimited email access to him for $100.

If you need more help, he has a Six weeks, one-hour session per week that includes any number of poems, for a chapbook or MS, work through the manuscripts. Six hour, six weeks, unlimited access is $300.00

 

Drop in session $40.00

Also ask for Friends and Family and/or Student discount. $40.00 for a session right off the bat.

Here is the improved poem:

Don’t Leave Home Without You 

you are my collapsible umbrella
against the gutter-running storm
in Port Douglas

You are the extra euros
tucked into rolled socks
stuffed into the backup flats

you are the 3 extra zip-lock bags
to contain cold, wet, leaky vials

You are the full-size cork puller
I forgot to mention to TSA

you are my only 3 words in Mandarin
one of which I’m pretty sure means
Coffee

You are that single torn page
from Rick Steves
that came in handy last Wednesday in Budapest

I was going to say
You are my best safe harbor
or
Where ever I roam
You are always my home.

but for real – when it rains
I’m out of local cash
no more words or wine

It is you I reach for first
It is you before I leave
It is You
Who beckons back
my return.

What do you think? Improved or not?  Give us your opinion –
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Bramkamp@yahoo.com
@cbramkamp

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