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Thursday, September 15, 2011

Meeting the Bar: Crit...

I wrote this a couple months back (July), have worked on a little technical stuff, but wondering what else could/should be tweeked a bit.  Thanks for any/all input you might have.

Life Played Silently

From within our shores of sunshine plays,
upon the land and upon the sea,
basking in the days of carefree ways,
games played silently, we all could be.

Simple words spoken within the hands,
havens cherished, explored, be thus shared,
Martha's vintage language of the sands,
a language evolved beyond presence cared.

Evolving days of lessons to learn,
schooled in hearts beyond from shores to main,
French signs transformed yet may we discern,
blending worlds within the hand explain.

To bring to this American shore,
become these words spoken - ASL,
from island families long before,
words shared with hands and spoken by all.

As all could be, no barriers would see,
for in those days, hearing spoke with hands,
to share and be a community,
to work, to play, joined upon these sands.

From within our shores of sunshine plays,
upon the land and upon the sea,
basking in the days of carefree ways,
Chilmark people... life played silently.

Petrina Lesko

linked over at dVerse Poets Pub for the Meeting the Bar: Crit and Craft




5 comments:

Ed Pilolla said...

i read this through twice. i like the rhythm, i like the theme and i like the soul. i'm not a poet, but it seems to me you have no technical flaws. i really like the detail of 'simple words,' and then you use 'discern,' which i don't consider simple, in the line about french signs. fabulous detail.
nice to meecha.

Brian Miller said...

hey petrina, i really like the poem and the communication barrier but also the community found...the initial disconnect for me came in the last line of the first stanza we all could be and i see later on where you bring it back and i feel more comfortable with it there but theway it ends it almost seems to point back to us being carefree days and games played silently which i am not sure you are intending, it also strikes a different cord than the lines preceding it. with it being so early in the poem that is where i would start...

Reflections said...

Thanks Ed... the 'simple word' use was somewhat intentional as for my use of Sign Language at work is predominantly the use of simple words. I also find anytime there is a communication barrier, whether it be from a second language or just in trying to express a new concept, I tend to lean toward basic words more easily recognized. I really appreciate your feedback.

Brian... though it does not come out and say it blatantly, the area of Chilmark and Martha's Vineyard has a really high prevalance of the deaf community and its use of sign. I wanted to get the feel of communication difficulty, yet make a cohesive piece. I too have been struggling with the transitory feel from the first words into more of the use of sign. I will continue to look at the area you suggested, but for now... its off to a long day at work.

Look forward to meandering through more tonight.

Dave King said...

I liked this very much. I had to read it through a few times to begin to fully appreciate it, but that's how it should be. Thanks for an enjoyable visit.

Joanne said...

Its a great story, I can see the natural background, a sense of waves on the shore, the lines and strokes of the letters plus the imagery giving a great feel of the bonded community of the silent world that communicates through gesture. Very mellow, hugging feeling. :)

The traditional rhythm and rhyme (I'm not good with the technical terms for all the different types--iambic...?) is consistently played, but it feels a bit restrictive for the story in a way. I'm thinking maybe breaking the rhythm just a little might make it flow better. I'm wanting to remove small words, an article here, a preposition there, yet knowing that it violates the pattern of 9 syllables that you've got. Is there a way to vary the syllable count per line in some consistent way that still preserves the technical pattern you want? You've got 9 syllables per line, perhaps shifting some to 7's would work (in songwriting, odd counts tend to go together and create a certain mood, and evens as well).

Just an amateur here going with all the weird bits and pieces of poetry and songwriting knowledge I've picked up. I recite my poems, so I also read as if listening, and that's where my comments often come from. Interesting, considering the content here. But there are many kinds of listening, as you know.