Wars Last Stand

The rust runs off redLast Stand
Machinery froze
Black fluids bled

Collecting the dead
Sun’s bleach expose
The rust runs off red

Flame not right yet
Bodies decompose
Black fluids bled

Bound and broken treads
Rendering of foes
The rust runs off red

Bloated children fed
Torn pennant blows
Black fluids bled

Grinding bones for bread
Stark machines pose
The rust runs off red
Black fluids bled

© 2011 Michael Yost

http://www.flickr.com/photos/danseperdue/3759375334/

http://oneshotpoetry.blogspot.com/2011/01/monday-one-stop-poetry-form-villanelle_24.html

Wordle: Wars Last Stand

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27 responses to “Wars Last Stand

  1. And the silence,
    the dreadful, wonderful silence!
    Sorry, I just got a little carried away. Could ya tell I loved it?
    🙂

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  2. It’s not often you hear your own language tailored so exquisitely that it sounds entirely new. This was so wonderfully meta.

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  3. Provocative fast paced alliteration and a nicely done villanelle.

    joanny

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  4. A villanelle– yay! Very nicely written!

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  5. Love that last stanza. Very powerful.

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  6. It works really well Michael, just read it through now for the second time and the message is powerful. I’m not an expert on villanelles on an y way shape of form, the only thing that caught my eye here is the syllable count and stresses in some lines are unequal which had a knock on effect on the flow. You’ve used 5,5,6 in the first stanza, and 5,4,5,5, in the last? Sorry to mention it but enquiring minds need to know! I reckon there’s probably something I’m missing somewhere! But I’d rather ask than be perplexed!

    Albeit the style and point is accentuated, truly great poem hun x

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    • Don’t feel you have to apologize for saying anything.. especially to me. I welcome with open arms any critique if it’s going to help me become better. The doc said I could live another 40 years.. hoping to get better news.. but at 56 I’ll take it! ..smiles..

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  7. Wonderful attempt… I have yet to muster the words…

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  8. very well done michael! steady rhythm, strong content, good rhymes – i like it a lot. the only thing: the picture forces line breaks in the first two stanzas where they shouldn’t be. if it were mine i would place the pic on the top of the post or make it smaller – just a thought

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    • This is the second time you’ve had problems with my Pics. I made the font smaller. When I sign up for my own ip next month I’m going to make I pick a templet that fixes that once and for all.
      Thanks, Michael

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  9. @Shan and @Michael – syllable-count is not a good way to gauge meter by any means and will often be misleading; what’s important is simply stress/beat count. If not using a specific metrical foot (like iambs or trochees), then the best way is to simply speak the lines out and feel the stresses… all lines must have the same number, ie. scan together. Michael you have gone with short lines – the first two could be counting two stresses or three, depending on how you read them, but line three is a little difficult to squeeze into your meter. Can I suggest stripping either ‘inky’ or ‘black’ from that crucial refrain line? They mean the same thing – one is redundant – and stripping one will keep the meter on track.

    This line – ‘Sun’s bleaching expose’ is metrically ok but would be much eased by removing the ‘ing’ from ‘bleaching’, ie. ‘Sun’s bleach expose’ (I think the sense is fine given some poetic license).

    ‘Flame just not right yet’ feels a little clumsily phrased and also need trimming to fit the tight short meter you set for yourself at the start. ‘Just’ seems unneeded, how about simply ditching that?

    ‘Torn pennant wind blows’ is again manageable but would it change it too much to strip ‘wind’? ‘Torn pennant blows’ (isn’t ‘in the wind’ implied?). No biggie here though.

    I like this piece a lot – some excellent lines and strong imagery – particularly like your refrain ‘The rust runs off red’, and these two –

    Grinding bones for bread
    Stark machines pose

    Bloating children fed

    this is evocative also… I wonder if ‘bloated’ would be preferable to ‘bloating’ though? Either way, a great line. I think using lowercase at the beginning of lines would do this piece service, particularly as it’s a modern theme an has such short lines. In fact the thing I like most about this villanelle is the fact that it has unusually short lines. It fits the theme well, gives the reader the sense of something curt, angular, sharp, like those machines… a villanelle in trimeter (threes) is unusual these days, and if you’re counting it in two (dimeter), that’s certainly something different. And it works great. But important I feel to get all lines scanning more closely. In this piece, it;s mainly a case of stripping some words, paring down. Only ne line feels clumsily phrased/unwieldy in diction – Flame just not right yet, it’s the use of ‘just’, not a great word for poetry (what does it really MEAN?). As I said earlier, it can simply be stripped and the line feels fine then.

    Good stuff, hope this was helpful, my friend

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    • I used a freeware program with this piece called Verse Perfect. I was trying to cut time in preparation and learned something and that’s to go with your gut. I am a student in this new world of poetry and Buddha promises a teacher will come when the the student is ready. All advice welcomed and appreciated. I made the changes you suggested because they made sense and fit better. Thank you all for assisting me! I’ll be back latter this evening to answer all your input. Michael

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  10. I’ll leave the surgical dissection to those better at it than I and just say the poem was a strong read for me, and using the short lines in a villanelle refrain of repetition was extremely effective in driving home the nails of the images used, and the grim topic itself.

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    • Thanks.. the dissection is something I’d like to do for myself. But I am lacking in the formal education, so critiques are always welcome. I’m glad you liked what I did though. 😉

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  11. Reblogged this on Michael's Lair and commented:

    For mindlovemisery on fear

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  12. This is so fantastic Micheal I have read it several times now I just love it =)

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  13. Hey Michael! I haven’t seen you for quite some time! I enjoyed this, but seems much different than what I remember from the past. Although, I readily admit, my memory is nothing to boast about. Good to see you again!

    http://charleslmashburn.wordpress.com/2013/05/27/there-be-silence/

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  14. Raw sense of frozen horror in this descriptive poem! Stunning!

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