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11/9/2019 9:29:43 PM

Greg Hladky
Posts: 4
This poem is written for readers of the quarterly International Miniature Aerobatic Club (IMAC) newsletter. IMAC pilots compete with giant scale planes that can cost as much as $10K. They occasionally crash, either in practice or by mid-air collisions during competition. I write a column for the newsletter and about a year ago started including poems about aviation. This one is dedicated to the pilots who have lost a plane this year, or in years past, and found the courage to rebuild and compete again.


Does the poem need punctuation? Is the meaning clear? Does anything stand out as awkward or contrived? Thanks for taking a look.

Phoenix

Oh banish from the dim lit moor
barren windswept cold and more
the untamed nagging beast and boor


Oh darkened sky above the fire
smoke rising from the pricey pyre
signals where my hopes retire


Oh twisted wooden frame remains
wreckage of some airborne gains
leave nothing but my heart in chains


Oh welcome summer shifts of breeze
Warmer winds from warmer seas
shafts of sun to ashes tease


Oh see it rise, oh spark of life
bird of wonder born of strife
free to wander, free to fly!


Oh transformation of the moor
dappled by the sun and more
no untamed nagging beast and boor
edited by Graeme Fordun on 11/9/2019
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11/10/2019 2:36:16 PM

Jack Webster
Posts: 200
I don’t think the spare punctuation harms it.

I would elimate the last stanza, and add a fourth line to stanza 5 that completes the -ife rhyme.

The the tetrameter you’re using sounds incomplete with only three lines per stanza - the ear anticipates a fourth line, which doesn’t come, but this anticipation turns into a driving force that speeds the reader into the next stanza. In stanza 5 when you break the rhyme scheme in the third line by switching from a closed vowel to an open vowel to match the effect of flying, it also serves the double purpose of signaling the end of the poem - the rhyme scheme has reached its climax. Adding a fourth line that resolves the rhyme scheme, and fulfills the ear’s desire for four lines of tetrameter instead of merely three is a great way to close the poem in a way that is satisfying to the ear.
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11/10/2019 9:23:26 PM

Greg Hladky
Posts: 4
Thank you for your comment. I learned something new about three-line stanzas in tetrameter. I'll have to work on a re-write. Thanks!
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11/11/2019 1:57:47 PM

Greg Hladky
Posts: 4
Here's a re-write of the ending with a couple other minor revisions. Does this ending sound better to the ear?



Phoenix

Oh banish from the dim lit moor
barren windswept cold and more
the untamed nagging beast and boor

Oh darkened sky above the fire
smoke rising from the pricey pyre
signals where air hopes retire

Oh twisted wooden frame remains
wreckage of some airborne gains
lock down my airfield gate in chains

Oh welcome summer shifts of breeze
Warmer winds from warmer seas
shafts of sun to ashes tease

Oh see it rise, oh spark of life
bird of wonder born of strife
free to wander, free to fly!
Oh hear the band, oh hear the happy fife.
edited by Graeme Fordun on 11/11/2019
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11/12/2019 10:07:53 PM

Jack Webster
Posts: 200
It does have a different feel. Which do you like more?
You could also experiment with keeping the last stanza and making a fourth line with an -oor rhyme.

The rewrite does capture the finished feeling by having a fourth line, but going back to your original version, I actually kind of like the transition to the open vowel being followed by a line break. Gives the flight some space maybe. I think maybe your original instinct for stanza 5 is better.

But do you hear the difference with the added fourth line, the sense of completeness? It’s not a must have, necessarily, but if you want to include it, it’s just a matter of deciding if it sounds better in stanza 5 or 6
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11/14/2019 1:58:40 PM

Greg Hladky
Posts: 4
Thanks, Jack, for taking another look. I didn't care much initially for the fourth line in stanza 5, but it started to grow on me. I hear what you were after with the final -ife rhyme. In the end, though, with what seems like a thousand re-writes and a submission deadline looming, I went with my initial instinct and reverted to a modified version of stanza 6. By adding some commas I hope it slows the reader down and brings some closure to the poem. Perfection is elusive! Besides, how exactly does one describe a mental state with a metaphor such as "the dim lit moor"?


Phoenix

Oh banish from the dim lit moor
barren windswept cold and more
the untamed nagging beast and boor

Oh darkened sky above the fire
smoke rising from the pricey pyre
signals where my hopes retire

Oh twisted wooden frame remains
wreckage of some airborne gains
lock my airfield gate in chains

Oh welcome summer shifts of breeze
warmer winds from warmer seas
shafts of sun to ashes tease

Oh see it rise, oh spark of life
bird of wonder born of strife
free to wander, free to fly!

Oh transformation of the moor,
dappled by the sun and more,
no untamed beast, no nagging boor.



(Why does the editor keep adding spaces between my lines?)
edited by Graeme Fordun on 11/14/2019
edited by Graeme Fordun on 11/14/2019
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