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    poetry


    dots Submission Name: Ideals of the Well-Intentioneddots
    --------------------------------------------------------





    Author: comradenessie
    Elite Ratio:    6.5 - 626/539/110
    Words: 297
    Class/Type: Poetry/
    Total Views: 1173
    Average Vote:    5.0000
    Bytes: 2099



    Description:
        I could really do with help for this one. It needs tidying to do justice to the theme.

    The photograph is taken from UNICEF:BAGHDAD, Iraq, 31 March 2005 - and describes how the teacher prays she will see her students the next day and affirms that thousands of schools have been damaged during the conflict. The report identifies armed conflict as one of the main threats to childhood. According to 'Iraq Body Count' 40% of those who have died in Iraq since the invasion have been children.

    The story of the little boy is a true story as experienced by an American conscientious objector.

    This is not intended to be an attack on the soldiers who I also view as victims.


    Make the font bigger!! Double Spacing Back to recent posts.

    dotsIdeals of the Well-Intentioneddots
    -------------------------------------------


    A young American soldier
    misses her mother
    and her home in Maine
    where she skimmed stones
    across the sun-reflecting lake;
    it's where she skinned her knees
    falling from that old oak
    and had her first kiss
    beneath its weathered boughs.

    She knows she's bringing
    liberty and a better way
    of life for the children,
    in a land where smoke
    still drifts in the sky.
    Ahead, she observes
    a little boy with bare feet
    leading a donkey cart
    along the dust and rubble road.

    Another soldier in an armed convoy
    perceives America
    as the Land of the Free;
    he views this desert place
    like a fish that views
    the sun through water,
    only knowing
    those he works with
    are glad to have him there.

    He imagines sweet-scented flowers
    and his wife’s loving arms,
    as he dreams of a small girl
    near a mosque, standing
    on a street corner;
    she smiles
    to see him driving
    past her playground
    while people hurry to Salah.
    He thinks - she is the future.

    No. She is the past.
    Her ghost marks the spot
    where a bomb devastated
    her Baghdad school,
    where desperate people dug
    with bare and bleeding hands
    to retrieve their missing children;
    her little sister weeps
    and wakes screaming at night.

    The bare-footed boy
    leading his donkey cart
    might have been a decoy;
    he could've had a bomb
    and they with orders not to stop
    even if pedestrians
    were in their path.
    A child’s life was not a risk
    worth their taking.

    The young soldier's ideals
    shattered on impact,
    as one more dead child
    was enrolled on the list
    of those that do not count;
    perhaps somewhere
    a war-weary teacher
    noted another empty desk,
    another missing pupil




    Submitted on 2006-04-08 06:33:48     Terms of Service / Copyright Rules
    Submissions: [ Previous ] [ Next ]

    Rate This Submission

    1: >_<
    2: I dunno...
    3: meh!
    4: Pretty cool
    5: Wow!




    ||| Comments |||
      This is a great piece nessie, you've taken on some difficult material to work with. I have a few ideas though and I hope they make sense.

    A young American soldier
    misses her mother
    and her home in Maine
    where she skimmed stones
    across the sun-reflecting lake;
    it's where she skinned her knees
    falling from that old oak
    and had her first kiss
    beneath its weathered boughs.

    She knows she's bringing
    liberty and a better way
    of life for the children,
    in a land where smoke
    still drifts in the sky.
    Ahead, she observes
    a little boy with bare feet
    leading a donkey cart
    along the dust and rubble road.

    I love how you show us what a normal childhood looks like, that is very important to the piece. The little boy is a good tool also and his value to the story is essential. It's a great way to start this poem.

    Another soldier in an armed convoy
    perceives America
    as the Land of the Free;
    he views this desert place
    like a fish that views
    the sun through water,
    only knowing
    those he works with
    are glad to have him there.

    In this strophe, I want you to identify the origin of this solider, I can tell as I read along into the next two strophes "A native soldier?" The image of a fish looking through water into sun is great. That it portrays pushing our ideals on every culture in the world is exactly how I perceive this. While government is making lots of promises right now, the idea in the long run is to exploit the people for cheap labor. To make money on oil, now. Yeah, I'm one of those dam liberals. This solider should have his own dreams that relate to his life and culture and you show us that.

    He imagines sweet-scented flowers
    and his wife’s loving arms,
    as he dreams of a small girl
    near a mosque, standing
    on a street corner;
    she smiles
    to see him driving
    past her playground
    while people hurry to Salah.
    He thinks - she is the future.

    Right here is where the emotion gets distorted- he can dream of her, but he can't think of her as future. I think he can only remember her loss. So maybe his dream stopped suddenly?
    Maybe he dreams the same dream that can never be finished?
    And maybe among these ideas you can find a transition of your choice to. This is so tragic.

    No. She is the past.
    Her ghost marks the spot
    where a bomb devastated
    her Baghdad school,
    where desperate people dug
    with bare and bleeding hands
    to retrieve their missing children;
    her little sister weeps
    and wakes screaming at night.

    The young soldier's ideals
    shattered on impact,
    as one more dead child
    was enrolled on the list
    of those that do not count;
    perhaps somewhere
    a war-weary teacher
    noted another empty desk,
    another missing pupil

    The bare-footed boy
    leading his donkey cart
    might have been a decoy;
    he could've had a bomb
    and they with orders not to stop
    even if pedestrians
    were in their path.
    A child’s life was not a risk
    worth their taking.

    Last of all, I changed the order for the last two strophes, because the soldier's view seems to go first, and then the boy and donkey cart, then the last statement is

    A child's life was not a risk
    worth their taking.

    and that pretty much sums up the whole tenor of the war, doesn't it? Great work, I hope you can use some of the things I've sent you. Thanks for a making me think, this is different from the pieces I write.

    Nan

    Nan
    | Posted on 2007-01-19 00:00:00 | by nansofast | [ Reply to This ]
      I agree with another of the reviewers, in that emotion in this is somewhat muffled. However, I get the feeling that that's the point here. It's a statement of fact, from each of the points of view, rather than a feeling. And of course, to another person, a 'statement of fact' can be nothing more than a feeling.

    | Posted on 2006-12-15 00:00:00 | by Clarkie | [ Reply to This ]
      Ok Ness, sorry I've taken so damn long with this one... I've been busy as hell... and I've looked at this several times now.

    It's a poignant piece definitely. It's a subject that will always hold universal appeal... for the war-weary and for the pacifists who see no need for war in the first place.

    Yet people will always fight. I dream of world peace (yes, cheesy I know) and I realize that if we ever did achieve world peace then people by their very nature would find something to complain about (which makes the attainment of peace an impossible thing following that logic). It's in our nature to be tribal aggressive animals. At least, as 'civilized' nations we keep that in check. But sadly it's all about politics and money now, not patriotism. Patriotism is only there to whip up the blind masses into a froth.

    Anyways, I don't want to preach. Your probably agree with some of my sentiments and heartily disagree with some. But I thought I'd state a few things.

    Onto your piece... just a few suggestions. Take a look at them and tell me what you think. I mostly went through this in punctuation but I also suggested different line-breaks and slight word changes in regards to smoother syntax. There's some parts that I've changed that I'm not keen on but I'll leave it to your judgment as to what works or not.

    A young American soldier
    misses her mother
    and her home in Maine
    where she skimmed stones
    across the sun-reflecting lake;
    (it's where she) skinned her knees
    falling from that old oak()
    (and) had her first kiss
    beneath its weathered boughs.

    She knows she(')s bringing
    liberty and a better way
    of life for the children,
    in a land where smoke
    still drifts in the sky.
    Ahead, she observes
    a little boy with bare feet
    leading a donkey cart
    along the dust and rubble road.

    Another soldier in an armed convoy
    perceives America
    as the Land of the Free(;)
    (h)e views this desert place
    like a fish that views
    the sun through water,
    only knowing
    those he works with
    are glad to have him there.

    He imagines sweet(-)scented flowers
    and his wife’s loving arms(,)
    as he dreams of a small girl()
    near a mosque, standing
    on a street corner(;)
    she smiles
    to see him driving
    past her playground
    (while) people hurry() to Salah.
    He thinks - she is the future.

    No. She is the past.
    (H)er ghost marks the spot
    (where) a bomb devastated
    her Baghdad school(,)
    (where) desperate people dug
    with bare and bleeding hands
    to retrieve their missing children(;)
    (h)er little sister weeps
    and wakes screaming at night.

    The bare-footed boy
    leading his donkey cart
    might have been a decoy(;)
    (h)e could(')ve had a bomb
    and they (with) orders not to stop
    even if pedestrians
    were in their path.
    A child’s life was not a risk
    worth their taking.

    The young soldier(')s ideals
    shattered on impact(,)
    as one more dead child
    was enrolled on the list
    of those that do not count(;)
    ()perhaps somewhere
    a war(-)weary teacher
    noted another empty desk,
    another missing pupil.


    I think my suggestions in the first stanza hold up well under scrutiny. It's the fourth, fifth and sixth stanzas that I had trouble with. But as I said, see what works and what doesn't. I'm just offering alternatives, another way to look at it.

    I know how you feel about this war Ness... how it's unjust and totally against the dictates of 'democracy'. Pfft. Whatta joke. It's the Third Reich all over again. Except America has far more political influence... since the government there likes to be the meddling do-gooders. Sorry if this offends any Americans... I don't live there so it's just my outside view.

    Blah blah blah. Sorry for the gas-bagging lol. I gotta shoot.

    Happy Easter and all that.
    Peace,

    Jase
    | Posted on 2006-04-12 00:00:00 | by alteredlife | [ Reply to This ]
      I'm not too sure what to say to this piece to be honest with you...it really hit me hard. It was interesting to see things through these eyes. It's like listening to someone having to convince themselves to justify killing innocent people-the unfortunate part of being who you are...a hero to those of us back home. The ending just punched so hard in the gut and I have to say that you wrote a very thought provoking piece. I haven't yet looked through the eyes of the people in Iraq and to be honest, I may be too afraid to do so after reading what you had to say. There seemed to be a great deal of heart contained in this and I thank you for sharing.

    Candi
    | Posted on 2006-04-08 00:00:00 | by dreamweaver | [ Reply to This ]
      Hi Nessie,
    Well, you and I sees things about the same. I like your revised piece. To me, the revised shows in detail the personal side of each subject. You branched out and beleive me when I say some folks is not going to like it. Oh well! I don't like war, suicide bombers, people getting killed for material things. That's me. Some say I'm not patriotic. Bull! I gave 12 yrs of my life to the military. If I had to defend my home, I would without hesitation, but when it is pushed for the military to jump around in countries for the wrong reasons, I will not take a stand. Guess what? I don't care who doesn't agree! You take care Nessie, and keep on keeping on. Oh by the way, I'm working on one that is very political. I won't be submitting it on this site because of explicit views of the government and the issues pertaining to the Katrina disaster in New Orleans. My sister-in-law wants me to write and she will recite at a poerty bar. When I do finish it (don't have a timeline on it), I will e-mail it to you.
    Take care and don't worry about negative responses. Take it with a smile!
    wanda
    | Posted on 2006-04-08 00:00:00 | by bigfineq | [ Reply to This ]
      You've expanded the story and demonstrated the futility of first impressions on the front lines, but the story still feels a bit distant, as if you've chosen to remain emotionally neutral rather than outraged over the loss of young lives (or perhaps you've chosen to personify the sad inevitability of the teacher standing at an empty desk). How do you feel about the subject? Normally, your writing is so emotive I wouldn't need to ask. Were you drained when it was penned? Overwhelmed? Conflicted? I can imagine your emotions, I just can't share them. Take care, comrade. Bill.
    | Posted on 2006-04-08 00:00:00 | by rws | [ Reply to This ]
      The tone of this poem seems too distant, as though you're a poet reporter. After reading the strong, well developed imagery, I was angry. Perhaps you aren't angry at all, but the poem sounds emotionally muffled. It's not open, bare, and raw, like it should be.

    It has remarkable potential though.
    | Posted on 2006-04-08 00:00:00 | by Shaqua1973 | [ Reply to This ]
      i remember reading your first draft of this poem - the two stanzas that it was back then you've taken and let expanded and it's amazing to see the difference and what you can achieve when you let an idea grow.

    well obviously this is about a subject you feel strongly about, as i well know, but rather than focusing on all the politics and ideologies and numbers etc you get past all that and focus right in on the humans involved - those on both sides who are trapped by events - and you bring out both the horror and the tragedy and it makes an emotional punch that any figure the number of dead could ever make.

    personally i now believe our troops should come home - though i have a fear that when they do iraq could well become an authoritarian police state again - but maybe i'm just being pessimistic.

    as for my costumary nit-pick - and it was quite a challenge to find one - i'd change the "and" to "as" here...

    "He imagines sweet scented flowers
    and his wife’s loving arms
    [as] he dreams of a small girl,
    standing on a street corner"

    and maybe add an extra line to this stanza - either by writing a new one or altering the line breaks because it only has eight lines while the rest have nine. or maybe i'm just being anal.

    well thanks for sharing - this is certainly one of your best and a sure fav.

    Adam.
    | Posted on 2006-04-08 00:00:00 | by Icarus | [ Reply to This ]
      hey this is goodnesss.i like how u say it from both views.i agree both sides are victims.
    | Posted on 2006-07-13 00:00:00 | by darkness | [ Reply to This ]
      A touching and well written poem,i particularly liked the way it had a happy go lucky type flow for the first few stanzas and then bang you hit the reader with the horrors of war and the atrocities committed against children who are the real victims in all of this as they are in any conflict.i was moved reading this and although i dont do politics often iraq is an area i feel strongly about ,take care
    Graham
    | Posted on 2006-04-08 00:00:00 | by gd66uk | [ Reply to This ]


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