Thursday, August 29, 2013

THE EDIT - Tidings

Original Draft:

The waves wound through an ocean arch
A portal to a land of sky.
The clouds above were swept to match
The look that lay beyond the lee.

It seemed that in their white and grey
Across the spans of time they'd come;
And we as travelers who'd stay
Swam out to meet the greeting clouds.

The sun then drifted toward the sea
And touched the rocks with flecks of gold
We floated there in worlds blue-green
The glade of light poured all around.

We thought we'd live in that glass ball
Where we were touched by sea and sand
Yet days in paradise befall
Before our lives are blown by wind.

We turn again to early plains
Where wheat-like grains grow gold, then brown
We feel the cold, awaiting rain
And sense our lives turn grey and old.

Originally posted on May 8, 2011 to illustrate my article on rhyme
internal, end, true and slant rhymes are used. Quickly written.

Edited Draft:

Here's the edit. Perhaps still not a strong poem, but hopefully a better one.

The waves wound through an ocean arch,
a portal to a land of sky.
The clouds above were swept to match
the waves beyond the lee.  It lay

beneath the clouds now edged with light.
Across the spans of time they'd come;
balloons of water filled by night--
their lightning shot, no roar of drums.

And we, as travelers who'd stayed,
swam out to meet that other world
where sun would drift toward the sea
to touch the rocks with flecks of gold.

A glade of light poured all around;
we floated free in pools blue-green,
those days, in paradise we'd found
before our lives were blown by wind.

We've moved once more to sandy plains
where seas of grains turn gold, then brown.
The winter's cold, we pray for rains;
our graying lives now old and bound.

(c) Gay Reiser Cannon * All Rights Reserved * 2011, 2013


  1. i much like the clear rhythm in the edited one gay.. it has a beautiful flow and clean images as well.. i think it's a wonderful example for a successful edit

  2. I really thought this was very good. I liked what you changed. It made for a tighter read.>KB

  3. tighter, cleaner, more effective; put me in mind of my love for sea stacks, how they have torn themselves away from the continent, and have marched out toward the sea; sentinels, bird sanctuaries; great use of skill with the prompt.

  4. Ah! Beautiful write. I don't know why but even after I have read the edited version, the words and images of the original are still lingering in my mind.

  5. I love how you tightened up the tetrameter, still keeping the softness you had... tetrameter can become a little "bouncy" ... and this was beautiful..

  6. I don't "feel" the need for more editing, Gay. As I said, form poetry seems to elicit simultaneous editing. But you've proven to me it can be done and now I guess I can't let mine ride anymore. :0)

  7. Good effort--I like both versions, but the edited one IS tighter & the ending is better (but that may be because of our shared backgrounds). ??? :)

  8. The changes are so subtle that I need a bit more time to see them properly in the way they sound and feel. I'll be back tomorrow when I have had a closer look.

    1. They are both exceptional. You did a very thorough edit and introduced a lot of new phrases and syntax changes. The thing is that I loved bits you replaced but also like the replacements. It is never cut-'n-dried with words, is it?
      I know I could not have written either of these, nor changed from one into the other. Not much input, I'm afraid but I enjoyed taking a good look at them.

    2. Thank you Aprille for your detailed response. I was surprised there was as much positive feedback regarding the first one. I chose it because I remembered feeling it was rather weak when I first posted it. There wasn't as much repetition of thought as I believed I'd written; but I am happier with the last stanza now. I think the contrast is more stark, and I like using that sea symbol again with the grain.

      I always doubt most of my poems, then I fall in love with them, then I think they're all trash, and then I find a few I love forever. It's crazy!

  9. I like the flow seemed so much better in the edited version. Like a lullaby.

  10. i felt more of an emotional pull in the second one gay, it felt a bit more personal to me, esp as you were drawing to a close...the balloons of water too made me smile...

  11. I was interested to see the specific changes you would make (having read the original, which I thought was practically perfect), and yes, I see the improvement, the tightening up. Inspiring...

  12. It's a really beautiful sense of time! I have to say, the line in your draft " and we as travelers who'd stay swam out to meet the greeting clouds".....that really just stood out for me-it's a fantastic, truefull image:)..

  13. Really enjoyed the edit, Gay... I remember the piece and lovely picture.

  14. The second is tighter but retains emotional pull. Lovely words and photo.

  15. BEAUTIFUL ~ both, two delicious deliveries !

  16. I'm a little slow, but I'll be around before the end of the weekend. Thanks everyone.

  17. Well... I'm slower than you and probably won't finish the rounds until Tuesday as we've had a busy Labor Day weekend. I was almost afraid to read the second as the first is lovely. The second seems to have more imagery?... a more dreamy, reflective, melancholy flow... and I must admit I am not a fan of all caps at the beginning of lines, so the loosening of that structure seems to work as well.