For my Father

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BobBradshaw
Posts: 913
Joined: 03 Jun 2016, 21:03

For my Father

#1 Post by BobBradshaw » 16 Jul 2018, 04:27

For my Father

Eight years old, I threw myself
over the saddle of a bike

for the first time.
The street turned into choppy waters

and my bike foundered.
Pain shot through my knees,

a mash of dirt and gravel.
Yet my father encouraged me:

"Great job!" he shouted.
My knees were scarred tissue,

but he slung me on his shoulder
and we hiked back, our own parade.

My father whistled as my knees,
wounded heroes, came home.

BobBradshaw
Posts: 913
Joined: 03 Jun 2016, 21:03

Re: Ode to my Father

#2 Post by BobBradshaw » 16 Jul 2018, 04:27

An old poem revised..

Bernie01
Posts: 780
Joined: 30 Jul 2015, 11:14

Re: Ode to my Father

#3 Post by Bernie01 » 16 Jul 2018, 21:47

Bob---

love the scaled, natural phrasing and flow.

much better now than the first version you shared.

only this simile troubled:

and my bike foundered.
Pain shot through my knees

like arcing fireworks.

Yet my father encouraged me:



the description and setting form the image for me....


wonderful poem.


bernie

SivaRamanathan
Posts: 890
Joined: 14 May 2011, 20:30

Re: Ode to my Father

#4 Post by SivaRamanathan » 17 Jul 2018, 00:56

"Great job!"
Bob.I like the simple anecdotal telling and the last six lines have come out really well.

S

BobBradshaw
Posts: 913
Joined: 03 Jun 2016, 21:03

Re: Ode to my Father

#5 Post by BobBradshaw » 17 Jul 2018, 08:12

Siva, Bernie... thank you
Bernie, thx for the heads up on the fireworks line... Bob

BobBradshaw
Posts: 913
Joined: 03 Jun 2016, 21:03

Re: Ode to my Father

#6 Post by BobBradshaw » 17 Jul 2018, 08:18

Bernie, I have simplified the line.... Bob

Kenneth2816
Posts: 752
Joined: 01 Jun 2008, 09:17

Re: Ode to my Father

#7 Post by Kenneth2816 » 17 Jul 2018, 10:10

Bob. It has been difficult lately picking put the poems from the spam.

This is a snippet and the simplistic language is good. Were it any longer, I'm unsure the result would be the same. One of my favorite mentors CE Chaffin said "You can count the number of modifiers in a poem before you even read it and tell if it's any good. I have not proved him wrong in 21 years. Simple images, simple words, let the reader to the rest.

It's also not too "hallmark" with sentiment. Nice work

Michael (MV)
Posts: 1396
Joined: 18 Apr 2005, 04:57

Re: Ode to my Father

#8 Post by Michael (MV) » 17 Jul 2018, 21:49

Hi Bob,

I like the anecdotal mode and the experience of the poem


"Ode" is too formal for an anecdotal memoir - workshop consider title as: for my Father


At first, I thought "foundered" was supposed to be "floundered";
then upon looking up "foundered," I discovered it is indeed just the right word, goldilocks -
esp w/ the kinetic image: "The street turned into choppy waters"

^^ Likewise, with the fireworks simile; just as an eight year old boy would likely express;
yet possibly, in spontaneous reaction, w/out "arcing" -

Pain shooting through my knees

like fireworks


Pain shooting like fireworks

through my knees


or in lieu of "arcing," "going off"


It's that last stanza that's not reading as the finale yet.

"My father whistled as my knees,
wounded heroes, came home."

The "knees" aren't the wounded heroes.

a suggested workshop illustration:

but he slung me on his shoulder
and we hiked back - our own parade,

with my father whistling
as wounded heroes arrived home.

^^ or returned home


And returning to the top, saddling a bike is also just right,
yielding subtextual echoes of the adage about falling off a horse and getting back up



8)

Michael (MV)

BobBradshaw
Posts: 913
Joined: 03 Jun 2016, 21:03

Re: Ode to my Father

#9 Post by BobBradshaw » 18 Jul 2018, 09:16

Kenneth, Michael - thanks for your comments & suggestions...Bob

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