Doubt Wears a Necktie (revision)

Poets post their works-in-progress here for crit and commentary. We want poets who are serious about getting their work published.
Post Reply
Message
Author
IndianaDP
Posts: 163
Joined: 24 Mar 2018, 16:53

Doubt Wears a Necktie (revision)

#1 Post by IndianaDP » 27 Aug 2018, 20:56

Revision-
To avoid the appearance of evil
he wears a grey suit
and a burgundy tie.

His neighbor’s vile tongue
is a lesson in patience
he teaches his daughter.

His truth has a crumbling edge
the observance of ritual
that numbs the observer.

He prays before dinner,
pleads for the lost
and then asks for strength.

There is whiskey
in the drawer by his bed,
a vice that is only for sleeping
and bought out of town.

A reoccurring dream
erases and rewrites his life,
puts doubt in his pocket.

In heaviest night
he walks to the kitchen,
brings milk to a simmer,
then fill up his cup.

Original-
To avoid the appearance of evil
he wears a grey suit
and a burgundy tie.

His neighbor’s vile tongue
is a moral he teaches
his daughter.

Like a truth with a crumbling edge
he can’t feel how ritual
numbs the observer.

His prayer before dinner
gives thanks,
pleads for the lost
and then asks for strength.

There is whiskey
in the drawer by his bed,
but only for sleeping
and bought out of town.

A reoccurring dream wakes him up,
erases and rewrites his life,
puts added weight
on his shoulders.

In heaviest dark of the night
he walks to the kitchen,
brings milk to a simmer,
then pours a cup.

FranktheFrank
Posts: 1500
Joined: 02 Mar 2016, 18:07
Location: Between the mountains and the sea

Re: Doubt Wears a Necktie

#2 Post by FranktheFrank » 28 Aug 2018, 02:50

Do you mean vile tongue Dale
and isn't it neighbour's.
Vial is a small container
Is recurring better for sound than reoccurring.
Feel there is a quietness about this
no real moral.

IndianaDP
Posts: 163
Joined: 24 Mar 2018, 16:53

Re: Doubt Wears a Necktie

#3 Post by IndianaDP » 28 Aug 2018, 02:59

Thought vial looked wrong, saw the ‘s but forgot to change it.

The poem is about the appearance of faith amid doubts, yet faith endures. I want the message to be obscure, but there if you look.

BobBradshaw
Posts: 1283
Joined: 03 Jun 2016, 21:03

Re: Doubt Wears a Necktie

#4 Post by BobBradshaw » 28 Aug 2018, 08:55

I like the simple language, and its visuals, the whiskey in the drawer by the bed, the tie, the milk....S2 puzzles me. S4 is ironic following S3. The clear picture you sketch in the last 3 lines is appealing.

Kenneth2816
Posts: 1052
Joined: 01 Jun 2008, 09:17

Re: Doubt Wears a Necktie

#5 Post by Kenneth2816 » 28 Aug 2018, 09:46

There is a depth to this that escapes a casual read. Whiskey is for grown men, warm milk for children.

"Avoid the very appearance of evil"
as if apparel can hide one. This may be the best line.

I would look a S3. "weight on his shoulders" is cliche, and I think there is a missed opportunity. Similarly Id use " awakens him" instead of "wakes him up

There is another layer to this I think.
Beyond the eternal, the N seems to struggle with something that causes sleep disturbances. PTSD? idk but it's there and maybe 1 more stanza might be im order.

Good read

Michael (MV)
Posts: 1547
Joined: 18 Apr 2005, 04:57

Re: Doubt Wears a Necktie

#6 Post by Michael (MV) » 29 Aug 2018, 09:40

and then there's warm milk & whiskey

8)

Michael (MV)

Kenneth2816 wrote:
28 Aug 2018, 09:46
There is a depth to this that escapes a casual read. Whiskey is for grown men, warm milk for children.

"Avoid the very appearance of evil"
as if apparel can hide one. This may be the best line.

I would look a S3. "weight on his shoulders" is cliche, and I think there is a missed opportunity. Similarly Id use " awakens him" instead of "wakes him up

There is another layer to this I think.
Beyond the eternal, the N seems to struggle with something that causes sleep disturbances. PTSD? idk but it's there and maybe 1 more stanza might be im order.

Good read

Kenneth2816
Posts: 1052
Joined: 01 Jun 2008, 09:17

Re: Doubt Wears a Necktie

#7 Post by Kenneth2816 » 29 Aug 2018, 20:25

I dont want my comment to be misunderstood. I have never heard of whiskey and warm milk. By making a comparison between " men and children," I was speaking to the dichotomy of the poem,not the fortitude of the narrator

IndianaDP
Posts: 163
Joined: 24 Mar 2018, 16:53

Re: Doubt Wears a Necktie

#8 Post by IndianaDP » 29 Aug 2018, 23:45

Thanks Bob

IndianaDP
Posts: 163
Joined: 24 Mar 2018, 16:53

Re: Doubt Wears a Necktie

#9 Post by IndianaDP » 29 Aug 2018, 23:48

Thanks Ken, you are right about weight on his shoulders, I will work to revise.

There is a deeper vein to this simple poem. It’s about Christian faith, how it often wears a costume of piety, hides sin.

FranktheFrank
Posts: 1500
Joined: 02 Mar 2016, 18:07
Location: Between the mountains and the sea

Re: Doubt Wears a Necktie

#10 Post by FranktheFrank » 30 Aug 2018, 11:07

Dale
I see the man as a believer
Maybe he's too concerned about appearance
too concerned to keep in with the church set
But he prays, whether he prayers in faith
is not known, many pray mechanically.

All men of faith suffer doubt, battle with secret sin.
The warm milk ending is opaque
we (I) don't get the point.

It's so low key I'm afraid we are missing the point.

IndianaDP
Posts: 163
Joined: 24 Mar 2018, 16:53

Re: Doubt Wears a Necktie

#11 Post by IndianaDP » 31 Aug 2018, 19:36

Hi Frank, I see this man as a rule keeper, the church good at establishing its rules of fellowship, no dancing, cards, modest dress, etc. Different rules for different denomination, but rules. In his observance of rules he seems pious to others. In reality he too has his hidden vices (whiskey.) only gives the appearance of faith, which in reality has become cold and ritual. His dreams confront him with truth. The milk is his faith, the truth he ultimately leans on in weakness.

IndianaDP
Posts: 163
Joined: 24 Mar 2018, 16:53

Re: Doubt Wears a Necktie (revision)

#12 Post by IndianaDP » 02 Sep 2018, 18:21

Revised

Michael (MV)
Posts: 1547
Joined: 18 Apr 2005, 04:57

Re: Doubt Wears a Necktie

#13 Post by Michael (MV) » 02 Sep 2018, 21:44

Hi Dale; Hi Kenneth: et al:

Kenneth on the contrary. Your comment was very clear & accurate to me. I also read that dichotomy; albeit I express it in according to that Blakean bloke:
Song of Innocence(milk) & Sonf of Experience(whiskey) - then hopefully along comes the conjunction of opposites: the warm milk & whiskey

although I prefer bourbon 8)

in the sober spirit of clarification

Michael (MV)

Kenneth2816 wrote:
29 Aug 2018, 20:25
I dont want my comment to be misunderstood. I have never heard of whiskey and warm milk. By making a comparison between " men and children," I was speaking to the dichotomy of the poem,not the fortitude of the narrator

Kenneth2816
Posts: 1052
Joined: 01 Jun 2008, 09:17

Re: Doubt Wears a Necktie (revision)

#14 Post by Kenneth2816 » 03 Sep 2018, 01:49

More concise I think

BobBradshaw
Posts: 1283
Joined: 03 Jun 2016, 21:03

Re: Doubt Wears a Necktie (revision)

#15 Post by BobBradshaw » 03 Sep 2018, 04:53

This works well. I don’t see anything to criticize. I appreciate the subtlety you rely on. Note: typo... fill is missing an “s”.

Post Reply

Return to “Writer's Block - Where The Poets Hang”