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Treasure Chest


Luke Prater is back at the Pub this week for Meeting the Bar: Critique and Craft and he’s brought a fantastic team along to help us out in our poetic crafting.  This week, we are looking to the less is more approach, discussing how many of us fall into traps such as redundancy, using unnecessary words, and basically watering down the meanings of our work in our attempts to write the perfect poem.  This is an amazing opportunity to learn from your peers, and I urge you, if you are a poet looking to better their wares, please visit dVerse Poets Pub, and take advantage of this more than affordable opportunity! For your critiquing pleasure (or pain as the case may be) I offer up…

Treasure Chest
The lupines, tall, strong
bend at the force
of high tides breeze.
Petals of wild roses
dance across blowing pages,
anchored with a shell.
It’s former resident
long ago forgotten.
The smell of sea, salt
tempts me further.
I am lured by the mysteries
revealed as tide turns,
receding.
Navigating slippery slopes
seaweed strewn dangerously about,
desperate to reach
the isolated perch of my youth.
I am not as young as I used to be.
Sounds of children laughing
swallowed whole
lost to waves crashing
foaming water wall
dancing upon
colourless sand
ready to pull back my secrets
to bury them forever
so deep,
no man alive
will ever know them.
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28 thoughts on “Treasure Chest

  1. lupines, (cut the)tall, strongbend at the force (the force is assumed if bending strong trees)of high tides breeze.Petals of wild rosesdance across blowing pages,anchored with a shell.It's former residentlong ago forgotten.The smell of sea, salttempts me further.I am lured by the mysteries (this and the line prior feel redundant and can probably be combined to get the same effect)revealed as tide turns,receding.Navigating slippery slopesseaweed strewn dangerously about,desperate to reachthe isolated perch of my youth.I am not as young as I used to be (ha, i like this line)Sounds of children laughingswallowed wholelost to waves crashingfoaming water walldancing uponcolourless sandready to pull back my secretsto bury them foreverso deep,no man alivewill ever know them.nice tash…i like the reveal at the end of the second and the last…both carry weight…think you have room to trip here friend…but you got something…smiles.

  2. Oh yes I feel the painYou almost made me pop a vein..lolReally I liked it just as much as those that came beforeOf course when it comes to actual criticing I should be shown the doorIf I like, I likeIf I don't I'll take a hikeIt's as simple as that for meBut that little Face it Fact is also free…lol

  3. I love the sea and the seashore Natasha so you’re already onto a winner with me. This is packed full of the sights, smells and sounds that we are used to but you’ve found some fresh ways of bringing them to us. A few words/phrases that you could cut to strengthen the piece. Some suggestions below.Treasure Chest[The] lupines, tall, strong [cut]bend [at the force [cut and replace with ‘with’]of] high tides breeze. [tide’s]Petals of wild roses [Wild rose petals – restructuring would give you the double meaning with ‘Wild]dance across blowing pages,anchored with a shell. [they wouldn’t blow if they were anchored, you might need another word here to show the futility of the shell]It's former resident [its]long [ago forgotten.] [replace with ‘gone’][The] smell of sea, salt tempts me further[.] [,][I am] lured by the mysteries [cut]revealed as tide turns,receding.Navigating slippery slopesseaweed strewn [dangerously about], [redundant as you’ve already said they’re slippery and strewn means thrown about]desperate to reachthe isolated perch of my youth.[I am not as young as I used to be.] [I think you could cut this and leave it to the reader to figure it out][Sounds of children laughing] [Children’s laughter]swallowed whole[,]lost to waves crashing [I’d cut this, it’s a little clichéd but also the line below describes it much better]foaming water walldancing uponcolourless sand [sand isn’t colourless]ready to [pull back] my secrets [reclaim][to] bury them forever[-] [cut]so deep, [cut]no man alivewill ever know them.So it would look like this.Treasure ChestLupines, tall, strong bend withhigh tide’s breeze. Wild Rose petalsdance across blowing pages,anchored unsuccessfully with a shell, its former resident long gone.Smell of sea, salt tempts me further,lured by the mysteriesrevealed as tide turns,receding.Navigating slippery slopesseaweed strewn desperate to reachthe isolated perch of my youth.Children’s laughterswallowed whole,to foaming water walldancing upon sandready to reclaim my secrets,bury them forever -no man alivewill ever know them.Just suggestions as always.

  4. nice – bri gave you already a very detailed crit…i like the poem tashi – only some very minor thoughts..I am lured by the mysteries (think i would cut the "the")revealed as tide turns,receding.Navigating slippery slopesseaweed strewn dangerously about,desperate to reachthe isolated perch of my youth. (what about isolated perches..? just a thought)Sounds of children laughing (think i would cut "sounds of")just my two cents…as luke encouraged us to bring the scissors..smiles – love the feeling of the piece…the fresh air, the certain wildness, the revealing.. and congrats on being part of "inspiration speaks" this rocks!!

  5. "Sounds of children laughingswallowed wholelost to waves crashing"Beautiful work in these lines, as well as the rest of the piece. I like how you've described the event, but then go on to telling us something about yourself:"to bury them foreverso deep,no man alivewill ever know them."That gave your piece personality. Nice job.

  6. You guys are awesome! I think I'm going to have three different ones, at least! Please know I appreciate the time you've taken to help me out…blessings and poetry love to you all!

  7. You lull us with a peaceful seaside setting, so well created, then toss us into raw reality in the last stanza. Really effective, Natasha. I like a layered read like this. I think everyone has pretty well covered the line edit stuff. Quite a story, here.

  8. The flow and meaning of this piece are wonderful. I like the tight diction and phrasing, but would greatly prefer it left justified to centered. Feels off-kilter without that straight line to hold the bounds.

  9. Definitely don't want to offer crit, but I just wanted to offer encouragement. I love the images and the overall feel of the poem. I also liked the whole bit about reaching for youth with the realization that it must be let go 🙂

  10. There are some fabulous images here – you've already received a lot of advice re cutting. IMHO the poem would be stronger if you followed the suggestions. I enjoyed the story.

  11. Natasha, this is vivid and lovely. I was right there with you as you climbed over sea sprayed rocks into the vault of buried memory.A couple of thoughts …It's former residentlong ago forgotten.Not sure if that reference is really necessary. I'd go straight from the shell to the tempting sea smells.foaming water walldancing uponcolourless sandIf you're talking about the advancing and receding tide, is "wall" the right metaphor? Also, not sure about a wall dancing and preparing to pull back secrets. That's quite a busy, multi-purpose (metaphorical) wall! 🙂 Maybe you could just say "the tide" (plain and simple, no adjective), but find an evocative simile to convey what the tide is doing with your memories and secrets?Hope this is helpful. Again, lovely poem!David

  12. Wow – im a little late in the game here Tash and i figure you have enough to go for this week – with some great all round feedback.I loved some of your ideas and evocations – my favourite (if i may be so bold) was the reference to the empty shell and the forgotten resident – this is both an impressive and creative allusion and a fine literal idea…more please.

  13. Hi Tash. Carys has covered a lot of what I was going to, so I want to address something which I think is quite important here to allow easier access to your poem – structure. First thing is that centre-alignment almost never works for me, and if you look at professionally-published collections of poetry, they are almost exclusively left-aligned (which doesn't mean you can left-align then indent them into the middle, I often do). It's not done because it's fashion, it's because most poems centre-amigbned are much harder to actually read. The exceptions are poems you want to look roughly the same line-length (visually), such as a villanelle, or a free verse piece in tercets (three-line stanzas), or a piece designed to create a visual shape when centred. Your three-stanza approach seems to work OK, but I wonder how it would look broken nto tercets (regardless of where the Narrative/sentence/thought is at stanza-break pount)… this technique is used by many poets these days and I like it a lot. It gives a slightly non-linear feel and makes it quite interesting structurally. How does this look? – The lupines, tall, strongbend at the forceof high tides breeze.Petals of wild rosesdance across blowing pages,anchored with a shell.It's former residentlong ago forgotten.The smell of sea, salttempts me further.I am lured by the mysteriesrevealed as tide turns,receding.Navigating slippery slopesseaweed strewn dangerously about,desperate to reachthe isolated perch of my youth.I am not as young as I used to be.Sounds of children laughingswallowed wholelost to waves crashingfoaming water walldancing uponcolourless sandready to pull back my secretsto bury them foreverso deep,no man alivewill ever know them.I likey. You? Just a suggestion as always 🙂 Great piece. Really like Julie's edit

  14. ooops I meant – The lupines, tall, strongbend at the forceof high tides breeze.Petals of wild rosesdance across blowing pages,anchored with a shell.It's former residentlong ago forgotten.The smell of sea, salttempts me further.I am lured by the mysteriesrevealed as tide turns,receding.Navigating slippery slopesseaweed strewn dangerously about,desperate to reachthe isolated perch of my youth.I am not as young as I used to be.Sounds of children laughingswallowed wholelost to waves crashingfoaming water walldancing uponcolourless sandready to pull back my secretsto bury them foreverso deep,no man alivewill ever know them.

  15. I have nothing to add to the excellent comments already made here except that with each read, I am learning more about process and critique. I love the topic of your piece and that you have synthesized your world, the beauties of Nova Scotia, into your life and personal texture. Gay

  16. It is a lovely piece Tash and some great input here…I like how Cary streamlined your thoughts…removing [the and I] on the various lines]….beautiful images of the sea…bkm

  17. Its inspirational stories of sports and folk heroes,saints,school kids,Catholic living,historyscience and similar topics were drawn by artists that included such prominent figures as EC's Reed Crandall,Graham Ingels and Joe Orlando, Marvel Comics' Joe Sinnott and DC Comics' Murphy Anderson and Jim Mooney.

  18. Treasure Chest (full name Treasure Chest of Fun and Fact) was a Catholic-oriented comic book series created by Dayton, Ohio publisher George A. Pflaum and distributed in parochial schools from 1946 to 1972.

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