#1
Albion

Green fields laid over hills and valleys
With hidden cottages, centuries old
Worn oak frames bowed, tiles slipping
Losing a long battle with weather and time.

Churches opposite pubs, both have
Wooden pews and damp in the old grey stone
People gathering, joyful, tearful sermons,
Spiritual relief, sacrosanct culture and history


The sea, whipping itself into a frenzy,
Wind whistling past white horses
Galloping for the shore
Racing into rocks and pebbles alike

Roast dinners with Yorkshire Puds,
Potatoes in goose fat, parsnips with honey
Bread sauce, gravy, the kitchen window steams up
Holding in conversation as the table is laid.

Hemp sacks for the Helter-Skelter,
The sound of a sock-rat being hit as it
Drops from the drain-pipe and the tannoy announces
Cream teas are being served inside due to the rain

Price cows paraded with rosettes proudly pinned,
Dodgy burgers sizzling on the griddle of an old van
As wellington boots trudge through the mandatory mud
And raindrops cascade of flat-caps and Harris tweed.

Life goes on, regardless of the stories in the papers
And fear of immigration and change are talking points only
Because Albion has always been a beautiful mongrel,
Absorbing, vacuuming, redistributing tradition.

---

This is the last piece in the (unintentional) trilogy I wrote after moving to the States from England. This is my love-letter to England - but an England that doesn't really exist any more.

A couple of explanations for those not familiar with some English terminology:

Albion - an old name for England, evokes a better time and strength of the coutnry
White horses - a name for the tips of the waves when they start to break.

My view of this piece is that it might be overkill on whimsy, I'm not sure. Also, the last verse suddenly gets a bit political - not really intentionally, but more because I was looking for a way to close this - otherwise it's just a list.

Anyhow, as always, grateful for any feedback


EDIT: why is k.i.t.c.h.e.n a rude word? It automatically blanks it...
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'....even the President of the United States sometimes must have to stand naked...."

Do me a favour, pop into Songwriting & Lyrics and add a comment to one thread, any thread, but contribute.

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Last edited by Herr Rararr at Apr 26, 2016,
#2
Lovely I've noticed in your pieces here, you've a strong eye for imagery, which is on display here (except for the last stanza, which you've noted as an endcap of a conclusion).

One idea that popped into my head--and this is admittedly a little off-the-wall and not a typical commentary for me--is poetry across historical eras. This poem begins with very capital-R Romantic and naturalistic imagery (almost pastoral in the first stanza). As I progressed through the piece, and really beginning around the fourth stanza, images emphasize more domestic life and urbane matters almost indicative of a Victorian thematic focus.

The final stanza, though political, is also perhaps represents a shift toward contemporary England and English culture. Taking this poetry-through-history perspective, the final stanza really does feel tacked on, though I think it'd be really interesting if you could develop that idea further. As a reader who didn't come up with it, it's awfully dissatisfying.

The fifth and sixth stanzas stood out as especially rhythmically interesting and they're combined well with the imagery being evoked.

Thanks for sharing again
#3
Thanks - I like the idea of poetic history - if I had tried to do that it wouldn't have worked at all!
The more I read this piece the note dissatisfied I am with it - it doesn't go anywhere, there's no plot. I might try an intro verse so that I can conclude more...Er....conclusively.

What I like about posting online is it makes me think far more deeply about what I've written because I read it through different eyes, and then of course get feedback to.

Like I said I feel a bit directionless in this. Hmmm.
|
'....even the President of the United States sometimes must have to stand naked...."

Do me a favour, pop into Songwriting & Lyrics and add a comment to one thread, any thread, but contribute.

----

www.soundcloud.com/christobaldo
#4
See, that sort of thing doesn't bother me much. I'm treating this (unconsciously at first, I reckon) as a kind of vaguely imagist exercise where narrative isn't nearly as important as atmosphere. That, of course, changes with the final stanza.

Perhaps an intro stanza could act as another bookend to mirror the more overtly political statements at the end. It would give the entire piece a little more thematic coherence.
#5
I just feel a little awkwardness creeping in with how specific everything feels. Its a little over-stuffed with references. It's a little list-like, checking off bits and pieces. I see you actually make a note of this afterwards - to fix it, you've focused on giving the piece an 'ending', whether I would have tried to fix the fact it reads like a list directly. I'd also agree it tends towards being too blunt again at the end.

There's almost three of four ideas here you could use as the focus of separate pieces, yet in this one single piece I don't think they get room to breathe. Again, I adore your selection of imagery - and there are parts carried out really well - but I feel the execution is struggling. As an example - the roast dinner stanza: it's a great image to work on, that traditional roast dinner. But in essence, you just describe stuff in the room or on the table. Something I always try to push upon writers is that they should be able to conjure up a unique viewpoint of universal situations - this could be anyone's roast dinner you are describing here. To really grip me you need to make it your roast dinner. I think this needs more personality, we get hints of it but only hints.

On the other hand, you definitely have an individual style so perhaps you can continue to develop in that thread.

I'm really enjoying both your contributions to the forum currently.
#6
Although Aeolian you should really be posting something of your own if you're still writing.
#7
I'm writing, but it's mostly prose fiction and academic work. I did post something I wrote out in a rush over in the Challenge thread. Noodling around with some characterization and references to Greek mythology.

Oh, also, I think kitchen is banned owing to some major spamming years ago. I dunno why it's still censored.
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No one can really fuck with the power of empathy.
#8
Quote by Jammydude44
I just feel a little awkwardness creeping in with how specific everything feels. Its a little over-stuffed with references. It's a little list-like, checking off bits and pieces. I see you actually make a note of this afterwards - to fix it, you've focused on giving the piece an 'ending', whether I would have tried to fix the fact it reads like a list directly. I'd also agree it tends towards being too blunt again at the end.

There's almost three of four ideas here you could use as the focus of separate pieces, yet in this one single piece I don't think they get room to breathe. Again, I adore your selection of imagery - and there are parts carried out really well - but I feel the execution is struggling. As an example - the roast dinner stanza: it's a great image to work on, that traditional roast dinner. But in essence, you just describe stuff in the room or on the table. Something I always try to push upon writers is that they should be able to conjure up a unique viewpoint of universal situations - this could be anyone's roast dinner you are describing here. To really grip me you need to make it your roast dinner. I think this needs more personality, we get hints of it but only hints.

On the other hand, you definitely have an individual style so perhaps you can continue to develop in that thread.

I'm really enjoying both your contributions to the forum currently.


Thank you for your feedback, it's thoughtful and considerate - the exact reason I joined a forum. I was trying to go for an almost mythical England - hence the lack of individuality, but then what comes with that is a lack of personal perspective. I like the idea of expanding the individual verses - you're right, there's plenty there to explore and I can make it a little bit more 'my own'.

I often think of songs like a pretentious diary - they record how we feel at certain times and act as a wonderful form of therapy in their own way. This one I've been struggling with music because the flows off, I think I'm going to leave it for a few weeks and come back to it to revise properly - that often helps.
|
'....even the President of the United States sometimes must have to stand naked...."

Do me a favour, pop into Songwriting & Lyrics and add a comment to one thread, any thread, but contribute.

----

www.soundcloud.com/christobaldo