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Afternoon Nap

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  #1  
Old 07-30-2012, 04:05 AM
JoeMatt (Offline)
 
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Default Afternoon Nap


in fall breeze
dead leaves hiss
wind chimes ring

stifled bursts
of children laughing
break muted, corny cartoon songs

yellow light
on soft, white weave
anticipated, rote connection

profile cloaked
in shifting shadows
an unfamiliar face
revealed

a vague display
of pictures
fading
recollections
distant voices

soft rays show
the strand of gray
the shallow crease
beside your mouth

a waning moon
beneath the eye

pillow-muted sigh
a puzzling murmur

say something

remind me

your sleepy rasp
that same sly smile
a joyous flash
of recognition
ignites the autumn afternoon


Last edited by JoeMatt; 07-30-2012 at 06:45 AM..
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  #2  
Old 07-30-2012, 05:45 AM
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Awesome! If I wasn't at work right now I would curl up in a ball and nap on the floor. Loved every part of that -- nothing I would say to change. Also, if I were a psyhcopath and you lived in my house, I would force feed you cookies and make you write all day just so I could read it.
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Old 07-30-2012, 01:58 PM
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Gorgeous. Written magic.
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Old 07-31-2012, 03:08 AM
JoeMatt (Offline)
 
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Loz, thanks! Cookies are fine, as long as you don't break my legs with a sledgehammer.

Grace, thanks for reading. I'm glad you liked it.

I was trying to capture a moment -- not sure if others have felt it. Sometimes I wake up next to my wife and she looks different or unfamiliar for just a moment -- like, who is this person? It probably doesn't come through -- but oh well.
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Old 07-31-2012, 04:03 AM
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JoeMatt, the moment comes through and I can identify. It's very rare that hubby and I get an afternoon nap together these days, but this made me long for one. Or even a nap on my own.

The warmth of the afternoon sun through the window, the curtains wafting in the breeze. This really capture that moment between asleep and awake, where everything is not quite in it's proper place... at least that's what it did for me. Really enjoyable.
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Old 07-31-2012, 04:19 AM
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Agree with everything said! Great work! Very evocative poem. Thanks Joe!
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Old 07-31-2012, 01:50 PM
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Crazy, but my afternoon naps are just not like that. They are light and breezy and they help restore my equilibrium. The bit I especially liked was this:

profile cloaked
in shifting shadows
an unfamiliar face
revealed

a vague display
of pictures
fading
recollections
distant voices
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Old 07-31-2012, 03:19 PM
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It's funny, JoeMatt, because I read this yesterday and it's lingered with me. I've been chewing on it, and then I read your response to my poem, and my reaction to yours is the opposite

What I love most about your piece is the concrete, more obvious details. When you come right out and talk about the disorientation, the "unfamiliar face revealed." Some of the other images feel too nebulous for my grasp, but as you explained your intent, they made more sense and I love the idea of this poem. How we stop really seeing things that are familiar to us, like a spouse's face – we start to see them how they appear in our mind's eye, from memory, rather than how they are, how they might be changing. And in a state of sleepy stupor, we can be caught off guard and suddenly see those differences, the strand of gray hair, the facial crease that were perhaps not always there.

After experiencing that sense of estrangement, last stanza is simply beautiful, the sly smile and the recognition. It feels like comfort, like coming home. Lovely.
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Old 08-01-2012, 12:48 PM
JoeMatt (Offline)
 
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Redlorry -- thank you for reading and commenting. We don't get many naps in either, that's for sure. It sure is a guilty pleasure though. Glad you liked it.

KBR -- thanks for the read. Much appreciated. I always like to hear "evocative."

Lucy Locket -- I'm wondering if you have kids! Thanks for reading -- and I'm glad you liked those bits.

Courtney -- thanks for the detailed comments. Not sure if my wife would appreciate the part about the gray strand or crease -- she doesn't have them -- but you were right -- I needed something to show change and imply years together. Glad it all worked for you.

Cheers, all.
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Old 08-01-2012, 04:32 PM
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Lovely image.

Maybe play around with the execution to see if more can’t be had out of this. For me the short (bursts of statement) lines, create too much energy for the concept. I would mash the first four stanzas into one with longer lines.

From ‘a vague display’ to ‘a puzzling murmur’; the awakening, so to speak, is fine as is although I wouldn’t put ‘fading’ on a line of its own.

The two one line stanzas, or lines broken as stanzas, whateva – are cool. Again, I’d go for longer lines at the end, possibly condense it into three lines. The downside of longer lines is that punctuation may be needed to guide the reader, but is that really such a big deal?

S sounds can be a cheap way to portray an image such as this. Be wary of the obvious ones and use alliteration with caution.

Made me feel warm and fuzzy.


xDrew
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Old 08-02-2012, 05:13 PM
JoeMatt (Offline)
 
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iDrew -- thanks for the read. I am working more on longer line length and additional punctuation -- I seem to always drift back to the shorter lines. I usually don't go out of my way to alliterate -- this was more by chance. I really appreciate the comments.

Cheers.
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Old 08-05-2012, 12:04 PM
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I grew up on the east-coast of the United States in North Carolina, and my first thought while reading this piece was of the perpetual summers that now encapsulate my boyhood memories. The color of the leaves in the fall and their sounds while graced by the breeze in the forest. Quite a pleasant string of thoughts.

I did feel, however, that the cadence of your poem was a bit disjointed and sporadic, though the reader is assisted by page breaks, which breaks up the beat sufficiently. In the beginning I was struck with need to read it in Iambic Pentameter, but the word usage does not seem to lend itself to such rigidity. Which can be good of course. Perhaps in future, if I may suggest, it would behoove you to use such wistful construction in a more logical progression of tones. (UP & DOWN Beats)
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