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Don
Last Awake
(version 01)

Blankets piled along backside,
like ridge of snow to fence,
by first spouse to rise
assures warm cozy doze
for last mate awake.

© 2005, D.E. Holmes
10 December


----------original--------

Last Awake

Blankets piled along backside,
like ridge of snow to fence,
assures warm cozy sleep
for second mate awake
by first spouse to rise.

© 2005, D.E. Holmes
10 December




Jox
Hi Don,

I like the economy of words which you have employed, here.

It is also a wonderful cameo of a poem; no vast scape here; a glance at a very small situiation - "keyhole poetry" I think I would call this.

I would like to see if I can make a suggestion but I am confused by the final line. Can you please explain it to me? For example, is it saying that the first up places the blankets there intentionaly?

For now, cheers, James
Don
James,

Yes, your understanding is correct.  I thought about rearranging lines to clarify, but found it insignificant.  When a couple sleep together in spoon fashion or back to back the comfort may be simulated with a ridge of blanket to allow more sleep for the last person to wake up.  Probably not a good idea in hot summer without a/c.  Most homes in the USA are air-conditioned.

Thanks for reading and I am looking forward to your suggestions.

Don
Jox
Hi Don,

Thank you for your clarification.

I am sure there must be some (very expensive) houses in the UK with air conditioning - but I've never been in one. So, no, not common. (Then again, it isn't often especially hot here!). Most houses now do have central heating (though we don't have that either). The other big difference is that, for the most part, I think blankets are no longer needed. The "continental quilt" (meaning "European") - which came here in the 1970s, and is now called a "duvet" has taken over. That gives rise to a nocturnal tug-of-war sometimes! (I haven't slept under blankets since about 1974 and can't really remember them - save their are heavy and very full of friction.

I hope the shape of the right-hand side of the poem is not essential, because I think I am about to make suggestions which will ruin it, sorry!

Anyway, asl always, As YOU Like It!

Suggestions: {-}[+](Comments)

Blankets piled along backside,
like ridge of snow to fence,
assures warm cozy sleep
for second mate awake (contradiction with sleep, above)
by first spouse to rise. (I would put this line first)

Don, I have struggled to show edits so, instead, I'll show a finished suggestion below. It is further away from your original than I intended - I'm sorry. I'm sure you won't want to go anywhere near my suggestion, as it is so different (again, apologies) but I'll leave it here in case it offers any morsels for thought at all.

Thus (Full Suggestion):

First to rise:
piles blankets along
other's backside;
as a ridge of snow
against a fence;
assuring warm sleep
until second awakes.

Cheers, J.
Don
James,

I like your suggestions a great deal.  As you can discern, I am having trouble writing clearly.  Hence, I am punting to short pieces to work it out. I think a midification of your full suggestion is workable.  It certainly says what I desire.

Wow, what a difference our societies are with and without A/C.  I am not certain whether this is a mark of being foolish on our part or not needing nonessentials on your part.  Technically the advent of A/C in the tenure of our respective cultures is a major factor.  Factories over here enhance production with A/C--not necessarily as creature comfort--in consistancy of processes.  Workers got paid enough to enjoy the luxury at home as well as at work.  The work wage is being depressed, and I am watching.

I will hold on revision until a few others have a crack at making sense of my muddle.

Don
Jox
Hi Don,

Thanks for your reply (and for being kind with your reply!)

I am very sorry you are having trouble writing clearly; I hope things will improve soon.

Apropos air cond. The larger shops in towns now all seem to have it available - though there are not that many days a year when it is required. Most modern office blocks have it too - I don't know about factories (we don't have many left - manufacturing seems to have mainly been exported!). So I think the biggest difference is climate. (Though I bet there aren't many air-conditioned dwellings in Alaska!)

As regards wealth; the UK is the fourth largest economy in the World (behind USA, Japan, Germany). However, per head our income is considerably lower than the average income of your lowest-income state (Alabama, I believe). Moreover, our cost of living is higher - especially in accommodation, transport and food - the essentials. So your standard of living is much above ours, on average.

Ok, I hope you have some good crits. Take care, J.




Don
James,

Thanks for the economic overview.  I think we  (USA) are rapidly following your model with low wages, high living cost, and outsourced jobs.  Right now a minor is the Christmas wars.  There is a percentage that want to take Christ out of Christmas.  This year a group of big retailers advertise Happy Holidays in place of Happy Christmas.  Their interest is pure profit motive.  However, a large group of retailers did that last year and suffered sales.  This year the federated department chains are using Happy Christmas. This politically correctness is something for people who have too much time on their hands.  I am thinking about growing hum-bugs to release in anticipation of the law banning the word Christmas.  

Don  :)
Nina
Hi Don

A short poem that says a lot about the relationship of the couple and their consideration for each other.  I like the fact that on the surface it is a simple poem but has much depth to it.  

As James has already said, I haven't slept under a blanket since the 1970s either.  Duvets save so much hassle with bedmaking and are much warmer.  I used to need three blankets and an eiderdown, so very heavy to sleep under.

I hate air conditioning.  We have it at work  unfortunately and it always makes me cold.  In summer I have to take a jumper to wear in work.  I can't take the draught it generates.

I'm sorry you are finding it hard to write clearly, I hope that soon improves.  

Just a thought on re-arrangement:

Blankets piled along backside,
like ridge of snow to fence,
assures warm cozy sleep
for second mate awake
by first spouse to rise.

Blankets piled along backside,
by first spouse to rise,
like ridge of snow to fence,
assures warm cozy sleep
for second mate awake.



Nina
Don
Nina,

Thanks for your sincere input, which I consider well worth using part of in future revision.  

My slip in wrting clarity will be erased with practice.  I never was one to be crystal clear.  

Yes A/C is not a good environment because it is artificial.  Ductwork becomes unhealthily filthy and temperture and drafts never suit everyone.  Our eldest son becomes ill in A/C.

I used to work in large room of a hundred computers.  The room was kept cold for the machines and to hell with the workers.

Your replacement for our multiple blankets seems a boon.  When will we ever learn?

Thanks for reading and usable inputs.

Merry Christmas

Don
AMETHYST
Hi Don,

I have only had time to skim some of the other conversations about this poem, so forgive me if I repeat what someone else has said or stray from your intention.

This is short, but speaks a wealth of information and life worthy tenderness shared between two who show concern, consideration and respect for each other. These are attributes in our society that aren't seen all to often. So I enjoyed the scene and the emotions that followed in my mind.

Some comments and thoughts to follow...

Lovely work! Best wishes, Happy holidays and hugs, Liz

QUOTE
Last Awake

Blankets piled along backside,
like ridge of snow to fence,
assures warm cozy sleep
for second mate awake
by first spouse to rise.


The image is strong. I was thinking perhaps some minor changes in words to build up that image of the blankets. Some words I thought might enhance this. I've put it in an example revision, and please use what is helpful and discard the rest. The poem, as it stands is quite good and any revisions or tweaks will surely heighten the ideal of common consideration between spouses. Wonderful work, Don...

'gathered blankets massed
along backside,like a ridge
of snow against a fence,
assures a warm cozy sleep
for second mate to wake,
by first spouse to arise.
Don
Merry Christmas Liz,

Thanks for dropping by with a critical eye.  I think confusion is primnarily the last two lines due to connection words such as "by."  They create a language twister.

I certainly will consider you inputs seriously.  As you know, my intent is economy of words.

Don   xmas.gif
Cathy
Hi Don,

Cozy little scene!  lol

Blankets piled along backside,
like ridge of snow to fence,
assures warm cozy sleep
for second mate awake
by first spouse to rise.

I'm a little confused by the last two lines.  Does the first one to wake
place the blankets behind the one still sleeping?  *smiles*

Cathy Snowflake.gif
Don
Hi Cathy,

These two lines are confusing, but your assumption is correct. I plan a revision later after sufficient comments have been registered.

Thanks for reading.  

Don   xmas.gif
circumsolar
Blankets piled along backside,
like ridge of snow to fence,
assures warm cozy sleep
for second mate awake
by first spouse to rise.



hey there, don, small yet showing so much - yer poem, man  upside.gif

this has a feel of the ku to it, wouldn't you say? not rules, but the 'feel'.

i think that your last lines were a little difficult on first read-through but i'm used to seeing them there now and they don't grate any more - a bit like an old married couple :) what threw me off ever so slightly was your use of 'second mate'. it immediately sparked a plethora of sea-faring imagery, like a ship's cabin bed which didn't sit well with your fence and snow but as i read on, it pulled me back on-course! if you want to keep those two lines in that order, perhaps you could swap around with 'to wake' , or even using 'to rise' in l4 and 'awake' in l5.

i'm also wondering if you could extend that snow imagery by adding 'the drift of warm sleep' or something like that, although cozy is one of my favourite words :D and duvets are brilliant, light, warm and soft. air conditioning is set to take off over here now as our summer temperatures steadily rise and i believe nearly all (if not all) new builds feature this. hating the heat as i do, i welcome the cool but a swimming pool would be even better, lol

most of all a warming, homely and easily recognisable piece, far more rewarding to read than 'my love has perfect skin, teeth, eyes, hair, breath blah blah blah'. yes, this poem is officially cozy
Don
Hi circumsolar,

Thanks for dropping by and adding a great deal. I do intend a revision to soften first meeting so a rereading isn't required and to remove nagging doubt of what was meant.  

Swimming pools are nice but they leave wrinkles.

What's a "ku?"


Don
Don
Posted first revision 01 in original thread box.

Don
ohsteve
Don by the time I get to comment all the nits have been picked... I liked both versions or the piece but the second version made more sense.
Steve
Don
Thanks Steve,...

for returning to comment and assuring me that revison added clarity.

Happy New Year.


Don
Billydo
Hi Don

I enjoyed both versions but the second is clearer. I've been trying to work out why I like this and I think it is the outdoor simile (ridge of snow) and the mate awake. You could just as easily be describing a couple of ducks or rabbits or some other animal.

Great.

Cheers

Mike
Don
Thanks Mike,

"Ridge of snow" is the prime simile, which I also like a great deal.  The reality is that snow does not fall tightly against a fence, but in open field environment leaves a gap.  Therefore, the simile is more poetic than factual.

Thanks for expanding the animals to other than human.  Your insight expands my horizon.

Don
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