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Passions in Poetry

The Carpet Layer

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Brad
Member Ascendant
since 08-20-99
Posts 5896
Jejudo, South Korea


0 posted 01-05-2000 01:07 AM       View Profile for Brad   Email Brad   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to Submit your Poem to Passions  View IP for Brad

We work for others and by others' rules,
A thought that crossed my mind but didn't ease
At all the pain of red and swollen knees
Which ached and throbbed for hours from using tools
To lay those carpets day and night for fools
Who only think they're smarter, only see
The money, never even think a fee
I couldn't pay to go to proper schools
Allows them status, privilege, unfair
Advantage, claims to being more than just
A common person; never equal partners
With working people; never have to bear
A woman's cries for change, or beg for trust,
Or split what part is yours and what part hers.
© Copyright 2000 Brad - All Rights Reserved
jenni
Senior Member
since 09-11-99
Posts 511
Washington D.C.


1 posted 01-05-2000 02:17 AM       View Profile for jenni   Email jenni   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for jenni

brad--

very well done!  i love the way the poem expands from the particular and the mundane to the rather soaringly general and philosphic.  

but i'm confused about something here... the final nine lines essentially modify the "fools" in line 5.  the speaker is laying carpet for fools:

a.  who think they're smarter
b.  who only see the money
c.  who never even think that a fee the speaker couldn't pay to go to college allows them: i. status; ii. privilege; iii. unfair advantage; iv. claims to being more than just a common person;
d.  who are never equal partners w/ working people;
e.  and who never have to bear the things in the last two lines.  

my problem is with (c).  aren't you really saying that the fools are people who DO think that their money allows them status, privilege, etc.????  but you say they are people who "never even think" that.  am i missing something?  it doesn't make sense to me.  

and the last line....again, you're saying that the fools are people who never have to split what part is theirs and what part is hers?  but don't rich people get divorced, too???  again, what am i missing?

making the whole piece one long sentence is interesting, it certainly lends power to what you're saying (the tone swelling in a nice crescendo as it moves along), but i wonder whether it ultimately detracts from one's understanding of the piece.  i'll have to think more about this as i read it over more.  

aren'tcha glad i'm back?      thanks for a provocative read.  


[This message has been edited by jenni (edited 01-05-2000).]
jbouder
Member Elite
since 09-18-99
Posts 2641
Whole Sort Of Genl Mish Mash


2 posted 01-05-2000 09:00 AM       View Profile for jbouder   Email jbouder   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for jbouder

Welcome back Brad!  I see you've been busy over the weekend.  

Jenni's already sunk her teeth into this one but I see she left enough scraps on the floor for the common folk.    I think she raises a valid point about the "never even thinks line", but I would probably break this list down like this.  The "fools":

  • think they're smarter,
  • only see [t]he money,
  • never even think a fee I couldn't pay to go to proper schools [a]llows them status, privilege, unfair [a]dvantage,
  • claims to being more than just [a] common person;
  • never equal partners [w]ith working people;
  • never have to bear [a] woman's cries for change,
  • or beg for trust,
  • Or split what part is yours and what part hers

    But I don't think it makes much sense to say that the "fools" THINK their higher education affords them status, etc. ... I think your point, Brad, is that they DON'T think about WHY the carpet layer is a carpet layer.  The "only see the money" that precedes the "never think" line suggests this to me.  It was a tough line to hash out but I think I've gotten the gist of it.

    And, Jenni, I don't think the carpet guy is saying that rich people never have problems.  I think he is self absorbed and feeling sorry for himself and, being and doing so, fails to see some of the problems the wealthy share, in common, with the poor.  I also think that the "splitting what part is his/what part is hers" line could be referring to something other than divorce.  This could refer to dividing up what little is left to discretionary spending.  I am inclined to think this is the case because you suggested earlier that this would be part of a "series" of sonnets.  Been there, Brad.  

    Structurally (nice Italian/Petrarchan, btw) the only problems I see are an extra, non-stressed syllable at the end of line 11 and the near rhymes of "ease", "knees", "fee", "see". Perhaps you going for a modification of Wordsworth's abbaacca/dedeff.  Your's would be a Bradlian Petrarchan with an abbaacca/defdef.  

    The only other thing I see is a question I have about the use of "Which" at the beginning of line four.  I don't have Strunk & White infront of be so I'm nagged by whether "Which" or "That" is the appropriate word in that place. Help me Mr. English teacher!  

    I think you've proven your ability to write structurally here, Brad.  This kind of hurts your earlier assertion that you are a right brainer, however.  I'm afraid I must inform you that you have a left brain too.  Thanks for the read and excellent work.

    P.S.  I love kimchi, Brad, but my wife refuses to be around me for atleast three days ... the time it takes for the yummy stuff to completely work its way through a person's system.



     Jim

    "If I rest, I rust." - Martin Luther

  • Not A Poet
    Member Elite
    since 11-03-1999
    Posts 4427
    Oklahoma, USA


    3 posted 01-05-2000 10:18 AM       View Profile for Not A Poet   Email Not A Poet   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Not A Poet's Home Page   View IP for Not A Poet

    Brad,

    An interesting subject choice. And I see that Jenni and Jim have already ripped into both the grammer and context, far beyond my simple ability to comprehend. So I guess I won't try to comment on that. But, as I'm sure you are aware, the form is spot on, as they say. Composing it as one long sentence does somehow seem to continuously build the tension to the end. It's an interesting twist but probably not that could be used often.

    Finally, I don't understand how a discussion of something as esthetically pleasing as a sonnet can digress into something as disgusting as kimchi.


     Pete
    jenni
    Senior Member
    since 09-11-99
    Posts 511
    Washington D.C.


    4 posted 01-05-2000 11:35 AM       View Profile for jenni   Email jenni   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for jenni

    jim (and brad, too, of course)--

    yes, the lines ("fools...who...never even think...a fee / I couldn't pay to go to proper schools / Allows them status, privilege, unfair / Advantage, claims to being more than just / A common person") can be read as meaning that "it never occurs to" the fools that money does, in fact, allow them status, privilege, unfair advantage and claims to being better.  but i go back to the previous lines and see that the speaker is describing these folk as people who "only see the money".  in my mind, a person who "only sees the money" WOULD be conscious of the fact that his money gives him status, privilege, etc., and he would think that he IS better than the common schmucks without it.  anyway, i think this issue highlights my concerns with the whole poem being one run-on sentence.    

    another problem here... if the poem is to be one long sentence, i think it needs better control over all the subordinate clauses.  "never equal partners..." is just kind of hanging there.  the fools are people WHO:

    only think
    only see
    never even think
    never equal partners
    never have to bear, beg or split.  

    see what i mean?  the "never equal partners with working people" needs a verb or something, unless you go back and, for that one clause only, see them as fools "who only think they're...never equal partners...."  but then that's a little jarring; it also confuses the issue of whether they are or aren't (or should be) equal, or whether they merely believe that they aren't.  *sigh*

    i really like the one-sentence approach here, not in the least because it gives such a "layered" texture to the piece.  (only the first line here stands on its own; everything else is a clause modifying another part of the poem.)  it's definitely worth keeping, with some "tweaking".  (can't believe i just used that word, lol.)

    i also recognize, jim, that the last line could refer to something other than divorce, such as dividing up discretionary spending.  the line definitely carries connotations of divorce, though, whether intended or not, especially following the phrase "beg for trust" (and the word "split").  if division of discretionary money (a problem which, true, the "fools" would not share with the carpet layer) was intended, some other way should be found to convey that meaning, in my opinion.   otherwise the "fools" can reply, "what are you talking about?  we DO sometimes have to split what is his and what is hers, just like you do, pal, what are you whining about?", turning the poem into little more than a rant by a disgruntled, jealous, self-absorbed carpet guy with a chip on his shoulder, when it could be much, much, more.  

    i like the "d-e-f-d-e-f" rhymes in the last six lines, but thought that's how the sestet is usually structured, anyway?  i defer to your greater wisdom here, james.    



    [This message has been edited by jenni (edited 01-05-2000).]
    warmhrt
    Senior Member
    since 12-18-1999
    Posts 1566


    5 posted 01-05-2000 11:52 AM       View Profile for warmhrt   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for warmhrt

    Brad,
    I percieve this piece as coming from a man who does manual labor for those who can afford to pay for it, and, in his mind, money solves all problems ... still believes that money can buy happiness, and, also, one wouldn't have to put up with things they didn't wish to. He doesn't realize that wealthier, more educated people have problems just like every one else (except financial ones, perhaps).

    I must say, though, that I am baffled by the last two lines. How would being rich solve these problems??????

    Intriguing piece of work, Brad.

    warmhrt
    jbouder
    Member Elite
    since 09-18-99
    Posts 2641
    Whole Sort Of Genl Mish Mash


    6 posted 01-05-2000 12:06 PM       View Profile for jbouder   Email jbouder   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for jbouder

    Jenni:

    Welcome to Sonnet Frenzy 2000!  Italian/Petrarchan sonnets:

    abbaabba/cdecde

    or

    abbaabba/cdcdcd (Elizabeth Barrett Browning -- Sonnets from the Portuguese No. XXII)

    or

    abbaacca/dedeff (William Wordsworth -- "Scorn not the Sonnet...")

    These are just the variants I have read and have cared to disect.  Brad's is, actually, ABBAAbbA/CDECDE with the lower case "b's" representing near-rhymes.

    I'll leave the transitive, modifier, gerund verbal stuff to Bradley and Jenni to hash out, however.  I'm afraid my sense of "grammatical correctness" comes from voracious reading rather than from formal study.

    P.S. Brad, WH and Jenni must be rich ... that would explain their ignorance of how the poor "know" money buys happiness.    Hey, Jenni, can I borrow a couple bucks?



     Jim

    "If I rest, I rust." - Martin Luther

    jenni
    Senior Member
    since 09-11-99
    Posts 511
    Washington D.C.


    7 posted 01-05-2000 03:23 PM       View Profile for jenni   Email jenni   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for jenni


    you don't have to borrow money from me, jim... i'll buy that ricky martin CD for you as a gift.
    warmhrt
    Senior Member
    since 12-18-1999
    Posts 1566


    8 posted 01-05-2000 05:47 PM       View Profile for warmhrt   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for warmhrt

    and I'll throw in a tune-up for that Toyota.....

    warmhrt
    jbouder
    Member Elite
    since 09-18-99
    Posts 2641
    Whole Sort Of Genl Mish Mash


    9 posted 01-05-2000 05:50 PM       View Profile for jbouder   Email jbouder   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for jbouder

    Brad:

    It doesn't need a tune-up ... just a new muffler.    And Jenni ... don't even THINK of trying to by me that CD.

    (Sorry Brad.  The ladies are misbehaving again).

     Jim

    "If I rest, I rust." - Martin Luther

    Hawk183
    Member
    since 12-24-1999
    Posts 132


    10 posted 01-06-2000 06:33 PM       View Profile for Hawk183   Email Hawk183   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Hawk183

    Brad,

    This is the first of your poems I have been privleged to read...and I am very impressed.
    I have to echoe the above about the transition in the poem to a more philisophical view.  Not much else I can say except that I will definatley read more of your work. Thanks.

    Hawk
    Brad
    Member Ascendant
    since 08-20-99
    Posts 5896
    Jejudo, South Korea


    11 posted 01-07-2000 12:20 AM       View Profile for Brad   Email Brad   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Brad

    Thanks to all who replied. I'm quite happy that the whole flow thing worked for some people. I'm also glad that some people liked the one sentence thingey.  I'm addicted to that kind writing personally. I admit the philosophical part was unintended (but see how it works) as really I was just trying to expand on 'Hobbies', trying to show more of the character of the speaker. The last few phrases are meant to bring back the couple in 'Hobbies' and the last line is meant to be seen as an ultimatum.  She's had enough of his problems and has finally decided to leave the speaker.  He still doesn't see what the problem is.  Being 'rich' of course wouldn't solve any of these problems but he wouldn't have to 'bear' these problems in the same way.  I think the speaker would just laugh at Donald Trump complaining about how much he 'lost' in a divorce settlement. If this makes any sense, I hope you can see that both Jim and Jenni are correct in their interpretations.

    Jim,
    would you believe I honestly just forgot what the Petrarchan structure was?  I didn't check and just wrote it up thinking I was right.  I don't think it would be too hard to change that but I kind of like the idea of naming a verse structure after me.     

    And stop calling me Bradley,
    Brad



    [This message has been edited by Brad (edited 01-07-2000).]
    jbouder
    Member Elite
    since 09-18-99
    Posts 2641
    Whole Sort Of Genl Mish Mash


    12 posted 01-07-2000 03:55 PM       View Profile for jbouder   Email jbouder   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for jbouder

    Brad:

    No, Brad, I refuse to believe you are capable of forgetting something as fundamental to classic literature as the rhyme scheme of an Italian/Petrarchan sonnet.  I am truly disappointed.  

    I know what you mean about having a verse structure coined in your name.  Jenni just blessed my most recent with the name, "Bouderian Quattroseptet".  

    Thanks for saying that I (as well as Jenni) was correct in my interpretation.  The $20.00 is in the mail.  So ... when can we expect Chapter 3?  

    P.S.  I will stop calling you "Bradley" but I'm afraid warmhrt won't.    Later.



     Jim

    "If I rest, I rust."  - Martin Luther



    [This message has been edited by jbouder (edited 01-07-2000).]
    Brad
    Member Ascendant
    since 08-20-99
    Posts 5896
    Jejudo, South Korea


    13 posted 01-21-2000 03:13 AM       View Profile for Brad   Email Brad   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Brad

    I hope people realized this how far behind I feel right now.  Yes, this is from a while back but Jenni made a grammatical point that I haven't addressed yet. The line, 'never equal partners with working people', should indeed have a verb in order for the phrases to remain parallel.  So, how do I get out of this one? Well, I encircled this particular phrase with semi-colons for two different reasons -- one, I wanted the reader to slow down here, almost a parenthetical aside if you will. Two, a semi-colon is used to separate two complete but related sentences without having to use a conjunction and what I've tried to do here is a kind of reversal of that. Because there is a semi-colon, I wanted the reader to see the phrase as a sentence with an understood subject and an understood verb -- for example, [They] never [are] equal partners with working people.  This freed me both rhythmically and gramatically from having to fit in another verb there. Would you high school English teacher buy it?  Probably not but that was the intention.

    No, I'm not done with this series of sonnets yet (for those who are new, this is the second in a series. This first is 'Hobbies'.).  For anyone interested, I was also trying to show that one of the fools he is referring to is indeed his wife (she married down so to speak). The next sonnet will make that point clearer and it will be from the wife's point of view.      I gotta  rough draft done, honest!

    Thanks to all those who have read this and will read this.
    Brad
    jenni
    Senior Member
    since 09-11-99
    Posts 511
    Washington D.C.


    14 posted 01-21-2000 04:48 AM       View Profile for jenni   Email jenni   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for jenni

    brad--

    the understood subject is fine; the understood verb, yeah, it's 'there', but when you're reading it you not only slow down but come to a complete halt and think to yourself, "oh, he means 'never ARE equal partners with working people'".  in other words, in my mind, it really disrupts the flow.  i'm certainly no high school english teacher, lol, but i didn't 'buy' it, even though i knew right away why you did it.  (i've noticed you drop words in alot of your poems, actually.)  get a verb in there brad and it's a much, much better piece in my opinion.  

    and you know what, you'll hate me for this, i just noticed something else, too; shouldn't 'a common person' earlier in line 11 really be common 'people'?  that phrase is essentially: "they [the fools] never even think a fee allows them claims to being more than a common person."  in other words, "they/them" and "common person" don't agree.  honestly, i ain't no grammarian, but this kind of bothers me now that i see it.  i'm not suggesting you change 'a common person' to 'common people', 'cause that'd screw up your meter and anyway give you problems with 'people' again in line 12; i don't know what to do about fixing it.  (you probably won't want to change it anyway, lol.)  but there ya go.  *sigh*  

    ok, i'll shut up now.

    jenni

    [This message has been edited by jenni (edited 01-21-2000).]
    Seoulair
    Senior Member
    since 03-27-2008
    Posts 776
    Seoul S.Korea


    15 posted 04-24-2008 09:01 PM       View Profile for Seoulair   Email Seoulair   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Seoulair

    very good. A whining/complaining of unfairness of life.

    (If I read this 200 years later, I would think that you were complaining about being a moderator in PIP )
     
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