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O Captain! my Captain! rise up and hear the bells;
Rise up—for you the flag is flung—for you the bugle trills,
For you bouquets and ribbon’d wreaths—for you the shores a-crowding,
For you they call, the swaying mass, their eager faces turning;
Here Captain! dear father!
This arm beneath your head!
It is some dream that on the deck,
You’ve fallen cold and dead.

Friday, May 4, 2007

Better Second Drafts

118 words, the repetition is tighter, the sentence structure makes more sense. The frags work better.

"We planted another boy today, old enough to husband, not around enough to father. Small mercies there. We've practice so everybody knew what to do. We knew when to line streets and welcome him home. We knew the correct, repeated, so sorry words to say. Waited in line to say them to his parents and wife. We knew the honor guards' names from before. We knew to line the streets again as he went to rest. We could recite the well-worn words of commendation spoken before the open ground. We knew which casseroles we liked. We knew the precise moment to crack the right joke in the church basement. We were well practiced. Wars make for good practice."

3 comments:

littlebirdblue said...

It's an amazing exercise in self-discipline, isn't it?

Cool going, Steve.

Steve Buchheit said...

It's the same as poetry writing, eliminate needless words, work the conotative aspects, say three things with every line, etc.

Yeah, it does take a whole lot more discipline. Hmm. Maybe I should write poetry for a bit to relearn that. I used short stories to pair down my prose and learned how to tell stories. Maybe I should write some poetry now to get that groove back, the love of wordplay.

littlebirdblue said...

The right poems ARE tiny stories, really.