Esme Answers Back
This poem has been completed and has been removed from the blog.
Filed under Uncategorized
Tagged as elderly, memory loss, poem, smart answers
I think the second verse is a bit distracting. It makes us ask “who’s ‘he’?” (possibly the father, possibly a boyfriend), but the point is, it isn’t really relevant. What’s relevant is the conflict between Esme and (presumably) her mother, and that’s the only example where it isn’t Esme’s behaviour directly in the firing line. I wondered if that verse didn’t shift the focus a bit when it’d be better keeping it tight.
Did also wonder about using italics to differentiate the two voices, if you’re not going to use quote marks to make it clear when one ends and another starts. Not that it isn’t easy to work out, but it did take two readings. I don’t like using speech marks either; looks fiddly and crowded in a poem.
Thanks Sheenagh. I did use italics for her speech but it wouldn’t let me paste it with them in!
You’ve put your finger on the one thing I changed. ‘Singing’s his god’ should have been ‘singing’s your god’ said to her father, with Es chirping in to stick up for him, but I changed it to make more sense. The first one was said to a patient (she used to be a nurse) but you’re right, it could be with her mother. I didn’t know what to do about the singings your god one as it is one of her best retorts and mentioned at least 5 times a visit, bless her. I could put some explanation in but that tends to make it too fussy.
What a wonderful use of the conversational tone…just a brilliant poem.
Sheenagh – is this better for verse 2?
Singing’s his god!
You’d moan if dad was in a pub!
Perhaps it’s because I’ve not been up long and am not yet awake, but I find the second stanza confusing. Is there a sex change? Is it a ref to a relative? Is she attacking or defending? (I think defending) But it throws me. I’ll come back to it when brainis more engaged. apart from that, I love this. I like the sense of hangingon out of contrariness and grit.
Thanks Jan – do you think the substitute stanza helps? Or should I take it out and do a different poem about Es and her dad?
Matt Simpson always said that if something throws your reader it’s a problem. So yours and Sheenagh’s comments are really valued.
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