Thursday, May 5, 2011

Big Tent poetry prompt

Big Tent Poetry’s prompt for this week was to take an old poem and revise it. This one was written two years ago when my middle child received his first holy communion. Since my youngest is doing the same thing this weekend, I thought it would be fun to work on it.

The Big Monument

Happy parents, friends and family
gathered together to proudly see,
their sweet young girl or boy
receive first holy communion with joy.
Flowers decorated the altar and pews
and everyone dressed in their best shoes.
Together they prayed in reverence
and watched with glee the innocence.
As each one took the bread and wine,
the choir sang glorious tunes divine.
After the service, all went to the hall
to celebrate with cake and pictures for all.
The day was a tremendously fine event,
one not to be forgotten; a big monument.

My revised version, as you can see, is completely different. Which one do you like better?

A Momentous Occasion

Together friends and family
gather in church pews, ends
decorated with innocent banners
 honorees made for the joyous
occasion. Proud parents beam with joy,
their bribed children sit in a straight
row, gelled hair combed just right;
some with wiggly toes seeking release
from confining shoes. Innocent girls
dressed in lacy white bridal-like
gowns, debonair boys donning dark
suits and ties wait in line to taste
their first holy communion and sip
sweet wine, while behind a forest
of fragrant Easter lilies adorns
the joyous altar. Reverent prayer
sings within the choir until the fine
event ends. Pictures are snapped,
refreshments served. Everyone
leaves the hall ready to change
into more comfortable clothes.

@laurie kolp


vivinfrance said...

Laurie, I really prefer the second version - the first is good, but the rhyme-scheme in a way trivialises this important rite of passage. Do you think it would be a good idea to change bridal-like
either to bride-like or simply to bridal?

Linda H. said...

I prefer A Momentous Occasion. Since there is more description it helps create mind-pictures and gives me a better feel of the moment.

Mary said...

Laurie, I too liked the second version. I agree with Viv's comments about rhyme. I especially liked the ending in the second poem. How true! Everyone dressed up for the big occasion, but happy to change immediately afterwards into comfortable clothes.

Elizabeth Johnson said...

Another vote for the revised version!Love the use of present tense to draw us readers more into the scene; also, details such as "wiggly toes seeking release/ from confining shoes", and greater description of how the children look ("bridal" & "debonair"), really add to the depth of the poetry.

anthonynorth said...

The new treatment certainly improves it.

flaubert said...

Laurie, I like the second poem much better.


Unknown said...

Oh how much better the revision is! The cadence and diction turn a story into a poem. Nice rework.

Anonymous said...

Unanimous so far...the second version is superior...the first is good, but the second one paints a more complete image. Vb

marianv said...

Yes, the second version wins. I like rhyme, I sometimes write rhyme. but I agree with the comment that it is a sobering occasion and the rhyme is out of place. The second captures both the moment and the children's reaction - I really liked it.

Judy Roney said...

They are so different, Laurie. I honestly like the feel of the first as I read it. It's reverant and sent me down memory lane as I thought about my children's first communion.
The descriptions in the second one are so vivid though. It's a tough call. :)Thanks for the memories.

Tumblewords: said...

They are different. I prefer the second...Nice work!

Henry Clemmons said...

I like the second, but I hear the same voice, just more mature in the latter. Enjoyed both reads.

Laurie Kolp said...

Thank you everyone...

Mr. Walker said...

I, too, prefer the second. I agree with previous comments about rhyme in the first, and the details of "gelled hair" and "wiggly toes" in the second made it for me; I could relate to that. It was momentous, but also of the moment, the kind of event where pictures are snapped. And the ending is perfect.


nan said...

I join the chorus in preferring the second to the first -- but find that sometimes a more artificial structure is a great first draft technique to tease out the real feeling - and to bring one to a more true rendering of a moment or moments in time. Well done!!

brenda w said...

I prefer the second. It gives me a stronger feeling of the event. You definitely hit home with the need for more comforatble clothes. :)

Cathy said...

Another vote for the second one.

Anonymous said...

Yes, I agree, the second one paints a picture. I prefer it to the first one.