Homework WE 6/9/21 - Not Useless

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Shelley Hansen
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Homework WE 6/9/21 - Not Useless

Post by Shelley Hansen » Sun Aug 29, 2021 1:50 pm

A challenging set of prompts this time, Maureen - well done on giving us plenty to think about! I ended up choosing just two as the theme for my poem, which is written with a tricky mixed metre. Quite a task to achieve rhythmic consistency, and I'm not sure I've entirely succeeded. But here goes ...

NOT USELESS
(c) Shelley Hansen 29/8/21

“He’s two snags short of a barbie,”
said the people of the town.
“As dumb as boxes of hammers
and he’ll always let you down.
He’s not around when he’s wanted –
he’s asleep beneath some tree.
He lives the life of a dreamer,
so he’s not much good to me!”

Young Isaac wasn’t the same as
other kids who grew up there.
These days they’d call him autistic,
but back then they didn’t care.
They let him be with his musings
which he shared with bushland birds.
He seemed content out with nature,
never needing human words.

A crisis came to the township
when the icy winter fell.
A small girl wandered away from
the surroundings she knew well.
In vain they tried to locate her
but the night was closing fast,
and fears were held for survival –
that her strength just would not last.

Next morning frost formed a carpet
as the search resumed with dread.
The men were faced with the question –
would they find her cold and dead?
Then, deep beneath piles of bracken
that had formed a leafy quilt –
a sight so strange and uplifting
meant their spirits were rebuilt.

Young Isaac found her and kept her
safe and warm all through the night.
Although he lay almost frozen,
she was found to be alright.
They praised him, took him for treatment
and awarded what he’d done.
Not useless – loved and respected
as the town’s own special son!
Shelley Hansen
Lady of Lines
http://www.shelleyhansen.com

"Look fer yer profits in the 'earts o' friends,
fer 'atin' never paid no dividends."
(CJ Dennis "The Mooch o' Life")

Ron
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Re: Homework WE 6/9/21 - Not Useless

Post by Ron » Mon Aug 30, 2021 6:30 pm

Another great yarn Shelley. Love the flow with the rhyming pattern you've used.

Cheers
Ron.

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Shelley Hansen
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Re: Homework WE 6/9/21 - Not Useless

Post by Shelley Hansen » Mon Aug 30, 2021 7:04 pm

Thanks Ron - appreciate your feedback!
Shelley Hansen
Lady of Lines
http://www.shelleyhansen.com

"Look fer yer profits in the 'earts o' friends,
fer 'atin' never paid no dividends."
(CJ Dennis "The Mooch o' Life")

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Maureen K Clifford
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Re: Homework WE 6/9/21 - Not Useless

Post by Maureen K Clifford » Tue Aug 31, 2021 10:02 am

Oh well done you :D - this is excellent and not a subject one normally sees written about either - our autistic kids have so much to cope with in life and are so often misunderstood. 3 of the younger ones in my family suffer from autism and it is a challenge for everyone that's for sure - and indeed these folks are far from useless, far from it in many cases, they just see things from a different spectrum .
Check out The Scribbly Bark Poets blog site here -
http://scribblybarkpoetry.blogspot.com.au/


I may not always succeed in making a difference, but I will go to my grave knowing I at least tried.

Terry
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Re: Homework WE 6/9/21 - Not Useless

Post by Terry » Tue Aug 31, 2021 12:15 pm

Hi Shelley

That was a tough meter to stick to in the first line of each sentence,
then a standard meter in the second half.
But you managed to nail it pretty well - nicely done.

Good story too!

Terry

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Shelley Hansen
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Re: Homework WE 6/9/21 - Not Useless

Post by Shelley Hansen » Tue Aug 31, 2021 5:54 pm

Thanks Terry - I was thinking of you when I was composing it, knowing you would immediately pick up any metric deviations!!

Thanks Maureen - yes, you are so right about autism. Sometimes I think we're all a bit "on the spectrum"! Marie Curie said "nothing is to be feared, it is only to be understood". True words.
Shelley Hansen
Lady of Lines
http://www.shelleyhansen.com

"Look fer yer profits in the 'earts o' friends,
fer 'atin' never paid no dividends."
(CJ Dennis "The Mooch o' Life")

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Catherine Lee
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Re: Homework WE 6/9/21 - Not Useless

Post by Catherine Lee » Wed Sep 01, 2021 12:41 pm

This one is out of the box in more ways than one, Shelley, so the answer is a resounding Yes - you have succeeded, with both the mixed metre and a very touching story!

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Shelley Hansen
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Re: Homework WE 6/9/21 - Not Useless

Post by Shelley Hansen » Mon Sep 13, 2021 9:46 am

Thank you so much Catherine! I'm wondering if it would be better combining the lines, as some of the enjambment feels a bit truncated to me ...

"He's two snags short of a barbie," said the people of the town,
"as dumb as boxes of hammers, and he'll always let you down. etc etc

Mmm - not sure. I think it does flow better that way, but now I've turned it into a rhyming couplet and halved the length of the overall poem.
Shelley Hansen
Lady of Lines
http://www.shelleyhansen.com

"Look fer yer profits in the 'earts o' friends,
fer 'atin' never paid no dividends."
(CJ Dennis "The Mooch o' Life")

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Maureen K Clifford
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Re: Homework WE 6/9/21 - Not Useless

Post by Maureen K Clifford » Mon Sep 13, 2021 10:12 am

It works well either way although personally I like it better with the lines combined, not that it makes an iota of difference in the reading of it :lol:
Check out The Scribbly Bark Poets blog site here -
http://scribblybarkpoetry.blogspot.com.au/


I may not always succeed in making a difference, but I will go to my grave knowing I at least tried.

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Shelley Hansen
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Re: Homework WE 6/9/21 - Not Useless

Post by Shelley Hansen » Mon Sep 13, 2021 4:36 pm

Thanks Maureen - I'm inclined to agree with you.
Shelley Hansen
Lady of Lines
http://www.shelleyhansen.com

"Look fer yer profits in the 'earts o' friends,
fer 'atin' never paid no dividends."
(CJ Dennis "The Mooch o' Life")

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