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fineenglishtea
Title: Hero
Prompt: Hero
For: [info]brigits_flame 
Rating: PG
Genre: Poetry
Word Count: 314
Warnings: None
A/N: Unbetaed, it is bound to have errors!

When I walked through that door the smell of stale tobacco and strong whiskey hit me from a distance,
Those wrinkles were deep set into your face like pen to paper from your persistence,
Your old brown leather shoes look cold and worn,
They appear to be the same from in the photograph from when I was born,

Those stained trousers that hung loose on your thin and fragile frame need a clean,
You can’t bring yourself to let loose those memories from when you met; when you were fifteen,
The stairs creak with every step and the further I go,
I look back as you stood their below,
The smell of Chanel perfume still lingers in the air,
I don’t know if you’re still aware,

Your floral bedsheets have been kept the same; creased and worn with a putrid smell,
Letters to her scattered on the floor as you bid farewell,
Her collection of ‘Hollywood Red’ lipsticks and dainty shoes were lined up colour coordinated; untouched,
I laid my eyes on a beautiful painting from your wedding day that I clutched.

Nanna hasn’t come home in eight years grandpa but you still keep a smile,
The same record plays on repeat and you stand there for awhile,
This is how I remembered it from years ago, just not so dreary and cold.
Those memories have now become stale and old,

The top button from your tartan shirt is hanging by a thread,
You should write down these stories that are unsaid,
For Nanna isn’t coming home anytime soon,
Even though you cannot communicate she is still there, from midnight til noon,

Your loss has made you stronger, you help to fix other peoples hearts,
Without judgement or hesitation, you aren’t just spare parts,
We sit in silence in the garden drinking tea,
Even without words, you are still a hero to me.


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I love it. It's so real - it's how I imagine my own grandad would have been if he had out lived my grandmother.
Well done.

I like your imagery here! Especially with the smells and descriptions! It brings the grandfather to life. (you stood their below -> 'there', not 'their'! =p) Do you really drink tea with your grandfather in the garden? =p

Thanks for the spelling check there :P

& I used to, but this isn't about my grandad :)

=p you're welcome

=o it's cool that you did drink tea with your grandfather, anyway! =p I've never done that with my grandparents before. =p

Well, well … we meet again, Fine. *grins* How goes it? Hopefully well. Shall we get straight into the edit then? Good!

,i>When I walked through that door the smell of stale tobacco and strong whiskey hit me from a distance,
Those wrinkles were deep set into your face like pen to paper from your persistence,</i>

I’ve said it before, but I’m gonna say it again: I love your imagery and description. That second line in particular is just wonderful. I’m also really liking the rhyming pattern you’re using here. It was very subtly done, but it reads cleanly and naturally. Very nicely done!

They appear to be the same from in the photograph from when I was born,

This line reads a little awkwardly to me, particularly toward the middle with the “from in the photograph from” and especially when read after the line above it. Maybe experiment with rephrasing this to: They look the same as in the photograph from when I was born.

I don’t know if that suggestion would ruin the rhythm for you or not, but I do think it reads a little cleaner like that.

Those stained trousers that hung loose on your thin and fragile frame need a clean,
You can’t bring yourself to let loose those memories from when you met; when you were fifteen,


There are a few minor things here, mostly in word choice and structure, that make these lines read a little off. The first is with “…that hung loose…” I think the tensing might be off here, particularly when following the first stanza. The beginning reads like what’s happening is now, which means it should be “… that hang loose…”

The other area that’s a little weak is the middle of the second line – “…let loose those memories.” Sometimes, mirroring or even repeating lines or sections of lines can be a wonderful tool. Here, so closely together, it doesn’t work. It actually reads a little repetitive. Try to see if maybe the second line can be reworded to avoid that.

The stairs creak with every step and the further I go,

I don’t think the “and” was meant to be here. It’s not really doing anything, especially when read with the line immediately following.

Also, and this here might be more of a creative critiquing (which means you’re free to brush it off if you don’t agree) but I’m not really sure about all the comma breaks at the end of every line. I think perhaps if there’s some more varied punctuation mixed into this that it’ll read stronger and might help emphasize or deemphasize certain elements.

I look back as you stood their below,

Go through and check the tensing on this. I could be wrong (or tired; I did stay up late, so that’s always a possibility) but I think there’s some tensing confusion between the start and the main body.

The smell of Chanel perfume still lingers in the air,
I don’t know if you’re still aware,


Okay, your rhyming has been flawless and effortless until these two lines here. This couplet feels just a little forced. The rest of the poem reads so smoothly that these two stand out pretty starkly. I do, however, really love the perfume description. My mom wears Chanel for special occasions, so it really hit home for me personally.

Her collection of ‘Hollywood Red’ lipsticks and dainty shoes were lined up colour coordinated; untouched,
I laid my eyes on a beautiful painting from your wedding day that I clutched.


Same thing here with the rhyming, though that first line is fantastic. I love the fact that you introduced another bit of punctuation besides the comma here. It really helped to emphasize that everything’s remained the same. Just give that second line a good poke so that it’s equally awesome.

Nanna hasn’t come home in eight years grandpa but you still keep a smile,

Even in narrative, when someone is being addressed by name commas have to be used. So here, there needs to be a comma before and after “grandpa”, otherwise it reads a little oddly.

You should write down these stories that are unsaid,

This line makes me very sad. It’s something I wish more family members would do, just to keep our family history alive and known. I really hate the fact that our loved ones leave and take their memories with them. So … yeah. This line touched me.

Even though you cannot communicate she is still there, from midnight til noon,

The word “til” is actually an abbreviated form of the word “until”. This means that it needs to have an apostrophe in front of it to signify that it’s an abbreviation: ‘til.

We sit in silence in the garden drinking tea,
Even without words, you are still a hero to me.


Awww, how sweet!

Overall Impressions:

Good stuff, Fine! Like I said above, I really love the descriptive elements you through in and how easy the majority of your rhyming lines feel. The structure you chose also allows the reader to choose how they want to read it: straight out prose or poetry. I love the layers to your style, how if the reader chooses to follow the rhyming rhythm it takes the piece to a new level.

I think the only critiques I had were in term of structure and word choice. There were a few places where the fluidity of your writing was broke up a bit by maybe too many words or a rhyming couplet that was a little forced. Other than that, the emotion was there, the sentiment was lovely, and you did a wonderful job paying homage to the older generations in our families. Well done!

Thankyou again for this, appreciate it :)
I am not the best when it comes to literature, spelling and everything...I just have a very visual creative mind & I love to write what I think, it does usually come out a little wrong but I just enjoy it and I think that most people can relate to my poetry and short stories.

Thankyou!

You're not the best at literature?

No worries: NO ONE is the best. Every writer has their strengths and weaknesses, but not a single one can claim to be the absolute, supreme best. Speaking specifically of you, I think your major strengths ARE the fact that you have great visual description, you relate to the reader emotionally, AND that you love to write. It's very obvious when reading a story which authors truly love what they do and which ones are in it for the paycheck.

Regardless of any flaws, your passion for writing comes through loud and clear and THAT is something that transcends the mistakes. So ... no worries, okay? Every writer has to start somewhere. I still have a lot of my older stuff saved. *shudders* You wanna talk about mistakes ... good lord. Every once in a while I like pulling them out just to go, "lol, wut?" *grins*

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