The Meeting (original version)

The meeting began with parents concerned
to foster the arts in children.
The chairman extolled the graces learned,
asked for support, a five or a ten.
The treasurer nodded prudent assent,
but his eyes probed the floor, intent
to find the crack, the door that went
into a private plea:Ā  Give me
a horse and sword, the ancient steppes,
and I will ride to fortune
or my grave.

5 thoughts on “The Meeting (original version)

  1. Jim:

    I like it in the original version, but the rhyming leads me to expect symmetry, the ending like the beginning, another alternate-line rhyme and perhaps the same number of lines (either 3 or 4 both before and after middle portion). I think that regularity would be effective.

    • Thanks, LB,, but don’t you think the very *irregularity* of the perceived interior event suggests that regular rhyme and meter are inappropriate, or, at the least, less effective than the simple, stark, non-melodic ‘wish’? As my daughter suggests earlier, wouldn’t (even alternate line) rhyming equate the drone of the chairman with the wish of the treasurer? And isn’t that precisely what is NOT wanted?

  2. I like how you’ve broken up the lines in the “new” version, and I really like this: “to find the crack, a door, descent” regardless of whether you use past or present tense because I think the three nouns in succession make the line more staccato and this contributes to the sense of urgency, the feeling of being trapped and looking for an escape.

    But…I like the use of the strict meter in the lines concerning the meeting and its nature and character, for the reasons stated in the previous post. There is so much wonderful irony in “the meeting began with parents concerned to foster the arts children” (“I think that I shall never see…”). You really are with the guy by the time you get to the end.

    • You’ve certainly caught each version. šŸ™‚ Perhaps this is a poem that must have–at least–two versions. As I said, ask me in 20 years when I’m gumming my food through a straw and tapping my foot on the floor with a bemused smile and a faraway look to my wrinkled face.

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