Join the Neopoet online poetry workshop and community to improve as a writer, meet fellow poets, and showcase your work. Sign up, submit your poetry, and get started.

Sherry and the scoundrel (workshop Prose to Poetry) Final edit... back to first write!

Working backwards
From what the firemen found
A lone woman
On the charred ground
Stilled lungs
Filled with Gasoline smoke
Won’t ever tell the tale
Of a heart so broke

A building burning
By criminal hand
A vengeful payback
For a drug deal demand
She might have made it,
The scoundrel's mole
But in the end,
It was her life they stole
She just couldn’t leave
Her puppy in the fire
So she went back in
To save her heart’s desire

They used to live above us
Years ago
We could hear that bully
He demeaned her so
When they moved on,
She asked to stay with me
My boyfriend shook his head
It was trouble, he could see

A tragic story
Sherry and Princess
Wasted in the vengeance
For her boyfriend’s excess
While Steve, the scoundrel
Made a clean escape
An abusive man walked free
From her hopeless, lifeless shape

________________________________________________________________________
Here is the original plain prose I was assigned, by Cat (Candlewitch)

Prose Entry: The Fire

Sherry once lived above me in a Duplex apartment with her boyfriend, Steve, a scoundrel and thief. He brutalized and demeaned her in many ways, all of which we heard quite well through our ceiling. When things got bad, she would knock at my door.
They were about to move into another building, soon. Sherry asked if she could stay with me, instead. My boyfriend at that time was against this, so she left. Steve had an enemy whom he had cheated badly in a bizarre, criminal deal of illicit drugs. One night, at their new place, this enemy found an open window. He climbed in with a full can of gasoline. He splashed its contents on the living room furniture then, climbing back out to safety, he lit the gasoline.
They were asleep in their bedroom when their puppy began to howl. Steve and Sherry awoke to a room full of smoke. They made it through the blazing living room and out the door, but Sherry went back in to find her puppy, Princess, while Steve continue out of the burning building.
Later, the firemen found her dead from smoke inhalation. She was two feet from the puppy who had been her only comfort.

Style / type: 
Structured: Western
Review Request (Intensity): 
I want the raw truth, feel free to knock me on my back
Last few words: 
My workshop piece... turning prose to poetry ... I was assigned this prose written by Candlewitch (thanks Cat) to transform into a poem... a challenge for me in many ways, it isn't the kind of subject I would normally include, so I tried a few types of poetry style, though I know I could do better with a bit more time, I will come back & rework, gotta go lead my singers now..... Feel free to be honest, I am way out of my comfort zone & haven't yet found "the poem" I am happy with yet out of this... though I can feel it getting there. ... I THINK, the second poem moves into a kind of prose after the first section... & this is the distinction we are trying to ascertain!!!! Your thoughts? --------------------------------------- Okay, I have now just put ONE poem up, it still needs work, very much. Originally it was free-form, I made it into a rhyming thing, so I am still fiddling & not happy yet. --------------------------- Edit number 2, hope this one shows up!... Little better, but not happy yet... I'd like to know, do others feel like Judy, should I not begin with the end result & set the scene & work backwards? Does this not work? --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Edit number 3, complete rewrite to try to face the Prose issue face on, I have returned to a non rhyming format... still ends up as prose to me though... even stripped back & quite depersonalised... Maybe it just needs to be MORE depersonalised... the story & characters reduced even further to mere representations of the original?... sigh... Bloody hard Prose to transform... anyone else is MOST welcome to have a go, I am completely challenged with this topic. _________________________________________________ Another edit, getting closer to a poem in free form, the real challenge here I realise... Don't really want to live through such a depressing scenario again (no reflection on Cat, just pokes at my sensitivity to have to be so bathed in hopelessness, I find it quite torturous... but the prose write was great as an exercise), so might leave this now. ______________________ Final edit... scrapped all the previous & ended up with the first one I wrote, but didn't post.. It rhymes, an easy way into poet status (I felt it was a cheat initially... but it seems the writer of the prose feels it works & that good enough for me, just changed a few bits of it, I think this'll have to be it! Cheers
Editing stage: 

Comments

Please make a choice which poem you want to submit. If each participant were to submit 3 versions we'd have 36 poems to have to analyze and we'd never get done lol. So just choose the version you like best and delete the others..............stan PS If time permits we will get into changing each poem into a different form

Always the hardest thing for me. Gotta race to get to work now though apols... will choose & delete asap in couple of hours.... okay, done now.

Anni

Cheers
Anni

My dear friend always told me "Water the seeds of joy first"

author comment

i think you have done a wonderful job here converting this

i see nothing to crit
only perhaps to alter the cronology a little

'Sherry and the scoundrel
Hear their story through the ceiling
Submissive/abusive, demeaning/concealing
Turned from my door to the drug dealer’s night
She was asking for sanctuary from all the "Fight or flight"
My man said no, he was probably right

Dark city room
Creeps vendetta seeking hood
Night window revenge, slips in, up to no good

Crumpled body
Gasoline sharp scent behind smoke and char
Senseless waste of life, revenge taken too far
Lost puppy, she came back to save
Rescue failure, sends both to the grave
Tragedy, no hero, no-one here, brave

Sherry pays with lungs aflame
Sherry plays the losers game
Sherry lays
dead
The scoundrel, free again'

love judy
xxx

'Each for the joy of the working, and each, in his separate star,
shall draw the Thing as he sees It, for the God of Things as They are.'
(Rudyard Kipling)

This is just weird, I know I responded to this, in the same session I edited the poem, & neither have turned up... must have not pressed save on either... bit spooky!!!

Anyway, thank you Judy, what I previously said was that I hoped to set up a bit of mystery (obviously it wasn't effective) by putting the end scene in first... In one of the other poems I wrote for this, I began with the intro of working backwards (see below, so you get the gist) & I like that approach... As I've mentioned, originally this write (above) was freeform, not rhymed, because the first attempt to rhyme sounded like a bad rap, I'm afraid (now you'll hear that when you read it... but it makes sense!!). Here's the whole thing for context:

Working backwards
From what the firemen found
A lone woman
On the charred ground
Stilled lungs
Filled with Gasoline smoke
Won’t ever tell the tale
Of a heart so broke

A building burning
By criminal hand
A vengeful payback
For a drug deal demand
She might have made it,
The scoundrel's mole
But it the end,
It was her life they stole

She just couldn’t leave
Her puppy in the fire
So she went back in
To save her hearts desire
They used to live above us
Years ago
We could hear that bully
He demeaned her so
When they moved on,
She asked to stay with me
My boyfriend shook his head
It was crazy, he could see

A tragic story
Sherry and Princess
Wasted in the vengeance
For her boyfriend’s excess
While Steve, the scoundrel
Made a clean escape
An abusive man fled
Her hopeless, lifeless shape

I still struggle between trying to work through with the poem I submitted as is... or, like you, taking the more difficult stand of trying to make the Prose story into a freeform poem... it is really tricky!

Anni xx

Cheers
Anni

My dear friend always told me "Water the seeds of joy first"

author comment

I very much like what you have written here in your RESPONSE. This tells the story accurately and invokes the emotions of the original story. Please do not depersonalize it. This writing brought tears to my eyes. I think you should enter this one:

Working backwards
From what the firemen found
A lone woman
On the charred ground
Stilled lungs
Filled with Gasoline smoke
Won’t ever tell the tale
Of a heart so broke

A building burning
By criminal hand
A vengeful payback
For a drug deal demand
She might have made it,
The scoundrel's mole
But it the end,
It was her life they stole

She just couldn’t leave
Her puppy in the fire
So she went back in
To save her hearts desire
They used to live above us
Years ago
We could hear that bully
He demeaned her so
When they moved on,
She asked to stay with me
My boyfriend shook his head
It was crazy, he could see

A tragic story
Sherry and Princess
Wasted in the vengeance
For her boyfriend’s excess
While Steve, the scoundrel
Made a clean escape
An abusive man fled
Her hopeless, lifeless shape

very poetic and accurately told. I think it is excellent!

Thank you, Cat

When you fling poo, some of the stink sticks to you!

"The Book of Styx" can be ordered and purchased on line at:
http://eddystyx.mythramuse.com/

Wow Anni you got a difficult 'thing' to transpose while mine fell into my lap like a wild flower.
I must try alternatives too. I see how you had to work at this and made a good job of it too.

Annushka.

"The image of yourself which you see in a mirror Is dead,
but the reflection of the moon on water, lives." Kenzan.

Hi my lovely Annushka, I did find it difficult, it makes a good story, but hard to transform into poetry without sounding cheesy & gangsterish (guess it probably was small time gangster? Cat?) & terribly trite. Ta for your positive support, but I don't feel it is yet a good job... hopefully I'll get there.

However, as we revel in dear sister, I am learning a great deal on all sorts of levels. I shall soon be off to search out your work in the workshop... exciting huh?!!!!

Wildflower huh? Lovely.

Anni xxx, cloudsister!

Cheers
Anni

My dear friend always told me "Water the seeds of joy first"

author comment

This was a very personal write, for me. Because I knew both Steve and sherry well. If it had just been me, I would have taken Sherry in, and I argued vehemently her case, but lost.

You have done an excellent job of turning my piece of prose into a poem. (IMHO) It is rotten circumstance that the one meant to be hurt by the fire, came out of it unscathed. And two innocents died.

I like the way you have delt with thus piece and these are my favorite lines:

Crumpled body
Gasoline sharp scent behind smoke and char
Senseless waste of life, revenge taken too far
Lost puppy, she came back to save
Rescue failure, sends both to the grave
Tragedy, no hero, no-one here, brave

always, Cat

When you fling poo, some of the stink sticks to you!

"The Book of Styx" can be ordered and purchased on line at:
http://eddystyx.mythramuse.com/

Phew Cat!!! I admit, I've been holding my breath about your response... it's quite scary taking someone elses baby & changing it so much, I was so worried it might be disrespectful etc. I am relieved it's ok with you... I think it has a long way to go still, I did what was "required", but I am still not content that it is "good poetry" I took the easy out & made it rhyme so I was sure it wasn't just more prose.

I can really relate to Judyannes perspective though, I might well have learned more by satying with the free-form attempts... it just seemed like rearranged prose to me, no matter how I placed it... unless I were to reduce the "story" element & make it more about impression, or the skeleton of the situation... Anyway... I HAD actually made some edits that don't seem to have shown up, must have been tired & not hit the save button or something... so I shall now go & play with it again!

Cheers
Anni
xx

Cheers
Anni

My dear friend always told me "Water the seeds of joy first"

author comment

I'm a person who often suggests less is more. So I can hardly believe I'm suggesting adding a few words here and there. To me this reads almost terse as is. Of course if that's your intent you have succeeded. In line 2 you might think about swapping places with sharp and scent.................stan

Maybe that means I am finally getting a little less verbose!!!! You know Stan, funny about the "sharp" comment... it worked well when the poem was in freeform, but seems superfluous now in this form... if you read above, you'll see I had actually done an edit on this & for some reason it hasn't shown up, in that edit I errase the "sharp", I will respond to comments here & then go edit again & you can see...

Oh, as for terse... yes, I agree, I'm definitely not happy with it as a poem, & certainly it does have a terse sense to it... I tried that aproach to get the bones of it into a freeform, then softened it (obviously not enough) & made it rhyme... still needs a lot of work I think.

Cheers
Anni

Cheers
Anni

My dear friend always told me "Water the seeds of joy first"

author comment

what 'gasolene sharp scent' brings to mind
xxx

'Each for the joy of the working, and each, in his separate star,
shall draw the Thing as he sees It, for the God of Things as They are.'
(Rudyard Kipling)

Disagree with Stan, less is more in this case. To much of a dead puppy, whatever the cause, it's like "human interest" in the news. It detracts from the real human drama. The only more I would add is the evil of the man.

cheers,
Jess
Neopoet Directors

Chuckle... I can see you rubbing your hands together saying that Jess.... I have to say, there would be things I just wouldn't put in there & it would be a far better poem, I think... but I felt the challenge was to include as much as possible in the transformation... & it really did challenge me... as I've said a couple of times now... what is showing up for me, is that - in a plain prose story, it's great to have the detail... but in many poems, the beauty often lies in NOT including lots of the detail... So I struggled here I admit.

I am tempted to actually peel the whole thing back to a shadow of the story, in order to actually show the story poetically.... Does anybody else feel like that? I actually feel like that would be a better way to deal with your Prose piece too... just lose lots of the detail, the poetry would be better... Whadaya think????

Cheers
Anni

Cheers
Anni

My dear friend always told me "Water the seeds of joy first"

author comment

the old onion peel theorydoes it lead us back to our pure inner nature?
or to nothing?
or most probebly,
the light, middle bit,
that couldn't beasily split,
escaped

cheers,
Jess
Neopoet Directors

Think that might be the problem here for me, I can't relate at all to the story, it's so far from my experience (in a way I can or I wouldn't be able to transform it at all) but, no matter what I did nothing of my "inner" layers bit would connect, so I feel it's like what "they" say, never write about something outside of your experience (or at least out of your imagination's comfort zone)... This write to me doesn't connect on any level (not complaining at all) so I feel the write is missing any passion or real "feel" when I take it on...

Christ!... arguing for my limitations again here, I note!!! Hmmmm

Cheers
Anni

Cheers
Anni

My dear friend always told me "Water the seeds of joy first"

author comment

Great storyline getting the whole picture id not easy

*Collaborative Poetry Workshop* Amqerican Version of Japanese Poetry ~American Renga~ Free Verse, Western, Modern, etc ~ Renga ~ Haiku, Senyru, Tanka, Renga All Neopoets are welcome to join the Collaborative Poetry Writing fun.

Yes, bit tricky, lots will be I suspect... How'd you go with yours? Off to look now.

Cheers
A

Cheers
Anni

My dear friend always told me "Water the seeds of joy first"

author comment

I've been trying to edit this, but it doesn't turn up on the page... don't understand... in any case here is my maybe 7th or 8th rewrite on this prose subject & I don't want to think about it any more... very depressing topic... erghh! I dislike heavy & hopeless stories like this so I am struggling completely with this write (no offense to Cat, she did a good job writing a Prose for the job, just me, I get depressed spending too much time staring that stuff in the face if there's no way I can do anything about it!).

I will try to redo the edit... maybe you can only edit once a day? Anyone know?

Ok, off to look at others

Cheers
Anni

Cheers
Anni

My dear friend always told me "Water the seeds of joy first"

author comment

i think you are really getting your hair in a tangle
i liked the earlier ones better....

i have had a play - cutting it down for you, as you seem now too close to the problem to see the words from the paper so to speak

hope you don't think my doing this is rude ... but i think we're close to the end of this part of the workshop, so i'll take a chance

here's what i'd start with, will it help?

'Bullying and hopelessness
Misery heard through a thin ceiling
A man making enemies
she stood hopeful at my door
a trouble magnet asking for sanctuary

my regret
denying her
she paid his price
burned trying to save her puppy
from a fire fed by
a debt of addiction

through forever
in my mind will be
a vision

Lit matches flung to pungent fumes
instant blaze beating upward
Hungry for air, fuel…
Indiscriminate consumption
Spewing smoke
Fear shrieking its silent cacophony
Puppy yelping warning panic
Sherry paying the scoundrel’s debt

love judy
xxx

'Each for the joy of the working, and each, in his separate star,
shall draw the Thing as he sees It, for the God of Things as They are.'
(Rudyard Kipling)

Hi Judy, I am MORE than happy to have you have a play with this one, I have found it very challenging.

I am so confused about it all now, I thought this last edit was the closest to what I felt might be an acceptable Non rhyming poem... but aside from still not being happy with it (& being averse to wanting to go back into such a depressing scenario), there seems to be widely differing attitudes as to what works & what doesn't & I have lost perspective on it.

Once more into the .....

Final edit coming up then!!!

Cheers
Anni

Cheers
Anni

My dear friend always told me "Water the seeds of joy first"

author comment

I meant to say, I really like this version of yours, has the best of mine with some good editing & additions of yours, though the middle bit is much closer to plain prose is it not? I think I am not getting this perhaps... or else, I just need to get that actually plain prose is fine in poetry??? Help?

Cheers
Anni

Cheers
Anni

My dear friend always told me "Water the seeds of joy first"

author comment

I think you have done a skilled job with your final edit! I wouldn't change a word of it!

love, Cat

When you fling poo, some of the stink sticks to you!

"The Book of Styx" can be ordered and purchased on line at:
http://eddystyx.mythramuse.com/

for the write itself is wonderfully done anni

but i see this as narrative prose
i only say it for purpose of the workshop
for i think the write itself is lovely

anyway, just my opinion here - i may well be wrong

love judy
xxx

'Each for the joy of the working, and each, in his separate star,
shall draw the Thing as he sees It, for the God of Things as They are.'
(Rudyard Kipling)

This you did well with Anni, I wouldn't have liked to battle with it, admire you flourish here.

Ann

"The image of yourself which you see in a mirror Is dead,
but the reflection of the moon on water, lives." Kenzan.

This you did well with Anni, I wouldn't have liked to battle with it, admire you flourish here.

Ann

"The image of yourself which you see in a mirror Is dead,
but the reflection of the moon on water, lives." Kenzan.

Bother doubled up as it wouldn't post at first.
Ann

"The image of yourself which you see in a mirror Is dead,
but the reflection of the moon on water, lives." Kenzan.

It's not so much whether the poetry here is good or bad, it's just getting everyone to thinking about how much poetry can improve on simple prose. You have done well and worked hard on exploring your personal ideas of what is and isn't poetry and that's all anyone can ask for...............PS many times I write apoem, go over it a few times and make changes before posting. It's amazing how often the 1st attempt is best.................stan

Phew!!! Thanks, & I agree... though, not sure this first attempt is necessarily better, the point is, as you say, there was a lot of learning in this workshop, even aside from it's priorities, I was challenged & made to face stuff I was not expecting to come head up on... That to me is the mark of success in any workshop, so there it is!!!!

Well done Stan, & thanks for all your efforts.

Cheers
Anni

Cheers
Anni

My dear friend always told me "Water the seeds of joy first"

author comment

... is a writer's maxim. Nothing is ever finished. We grow and change always. Please remember and take it to heart- their is NO SUCH THING as the "status quo". It does not exist. We are either regressing or progressing. What you write this year will be very different from what you write next year and anything you have written, anything you wish to represent you as a writer as opposed to you as a writer at THAT PARTICULAR TIME deserves to be gone over and altered to align with your present self.

Having said all of that- this is after all a workshop and odds are against you keeping the poem you contrived in the workshop. It does not fully express you as a poet, so likely (unless you were lucky) it will be abandoned. What you will take from the workshop (fingers crossed) is a better understanding of why a poem is a poem and why prose... you get the picture. I've been too busy to organize my time to be here, so I read all the comments at once. Yours was akin to listening to a race car's engine rev in preparation for the race. I don't want you to blow. The poem was extremely successful. If it is not quite the master you would like (and I think subconsciously this is what's revving you up), it's only because the poem is based on another work.

And... I liked the esoteric rhyme scheme.
wesley

W. H. Snow

A poet is a nightingale, who sits in darkness and sings to cheer its own solitude with sweet sounds. Percy Bysshe Shelley

Learn how, teach others.
The NeoPoet Mentor Program
http://www.neopoet.com/mentor/about

Ta Wes, I always appreciate your perspectives...

Not sure about the revving up... for me it felt like petering out actually (where the hell did that saying come from... poor old Peter, must have had CFS!)... I just felt like I couldn't face being immersed in that tragedy one more time. Was interesting to find what challenged me in that regard, & explore separately, where I keep myself comfy & safe.

Cheers
Anni

Cheers
Anni

My dear friend always told me "Water the seeds of joy first"

author comment

Such a wonderful rewrite I like you final edit

*Collaborative Poetry Workshop* Amqerican Version of Japanese Poetry ~American Renga~ Free Verse, Western, Modern, etc ~ Renga ~ Haiku, Senyru, Tanka, Renga All Neopoets are welcome to join the Collaborative Poetry Writing fun.

Ta Barb, I think this only appeals to poets who like rhyming works though, I can't help hearing it as really bad rap (please feel free to laugh at that!!!! I do)... I'm not concerned, I got lots out of the workshop in many ways & that's what counts & I DID challenge myself & write several very different angles on this one, good for development.

Cheers & be well
Anni

Cheers
Anni

My dear friend always told me "Water the seeds of joy first"

author comment

I don't know but it is good
Rhyming is not my easiest form of poetry
as I must really concentrate to write rhyme, it is harder for me to rhyme, that is why most of my work is free verse.

Right now I having fun writing prose as it will help educate me to write my book one day.

*Collaborative Poetry Workshop* Amqerican Version of Japanese Poetry ~American Renga~ Free Verse, Western, Modern, etc ~ Renga ~ Haiku, Senyru, Tanka, Renga All Neopoets are welcome to join the Collaborative Poetry Writing fun.

Wow. Heavy.easy to follow. Prose to poem. Bravo.

handling great!!
wow..all the work in this!
sad ending
great poem!

thank U!

(c) Neopoet.com. No copyright is claimed by Neopoet to original member content.