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kborsden
11-07-2015, 05:05 AM
This thread will become a collection of (Idris Davies (http://absolutewrite.com/forums/showthread.php?228541-Rate-A-Poet-Idris-Davies) type) conversation poems based in and around key social points in my imaginary Welsh Valley village, the pub, school, village shop, church, post office etc

I've updated the thread title to be the name of the collection. Going forward, I'll be posting all poems in this thread and updating this post with a contents section linking to the posts with the poems—so stop by regularly to read and comment as it grows and evolves.

Feel free to suggest new title ideas too. I'm not entirely sold on what I have :)

______________________________

~Cornershop Encounter (http://absolutewrite.com/forums/showthread.php?312872-Village-Clonc&p=9622940&viewfull=1#post9622940)
~Ladies' Night
(http://absolutewrite.com/forums/showthread.php?312872-Village-Clonc&p=9627781&viewfull=1#post9627781)~Shit and Sugar (http://absolutewrite.com/forums/showthread.php?312872-What-s-Occurrin&p=9700351&viewfull=1#post9700351)
~aye an' the rest (http://absolutewrite.com/forums/showthread.php?312872-What-s-Occurrin&p=9768611&viewfull=1#post9768611)
~ffwciwch o 'ma (http://absolutewrite.com/forums/showthread.php?312872-What-s-Occurrin&p=9840768&viewfull=1#post9840768)

kborsden
11-07-2015, 09:29 PM
What's occurrin', missus Jenkins, fach?
How's the babi, and your step bach?
All well at home... despite scuffed daps;
well, only three months and the father's back.

Where was he again? the violent twat
Park Prison, you say? 's not too bad—
at least they let you visit the dab...
ah, I see, you refuse to do that.
Maybe he's changed, less of a prat?

I guess you'll find out when he knocks up the flat.
Only three more months, and the dad comes back.

Goodbye again, missus Jenkins, fach.
I really miss our little chats.
Remember comp? Last row in the class?
Paper notes, and tit-for-tat,
gassin' and chopsin'—gums all a flap...
little Cassie Thomas, I really miss that.

Want to lend a fiver, get the lad tidy daps?
Perhaps a tenner to top up the gas?
Maybe some more, to buy in a tad
extra milk for babi. Three months is crap—

far too long 'till the daddy comes back?

Right, I see. No bother to have.
No matter, I'll save it, 'case need has.
So, speak to you after,
maybe tomorrow and all that.
See you whenever...
poor, sweet Cassandra Jenkins, fach.

______________________________

For the non-Welsh:
- bach/fach = little / small; term of endearment
feminine: fach | masculine: bach
- daps = shoes
- dab = sympathetic reference; a person in trouble
- chops = back-chat; answer back; respond in a flippant manner

Kylabelle
11-08-2015, 12:47 AM
Great idea, Kie.

I read this earlier and had to run right then, but I thoroughly enjoyed it, including learning the colloquialisms. I was able to follow the narrative without the definitions quite well, but having them is good, I think. And it's actually quite moving, while completely avoiding the potential for sentimentality. Thanks for posting this!

William Haskins
11-08-2015, 02:30 AM
the level of authenticity places it in such a specific setting, and this works brilliantly against the universal backdrop of the emotional movement.

enjoyed this very much.

Stew21
11-08-2015, 05:31 AM
Fantastic, Kie.
Wonderful work.
Enjoyed very much.

kborsden
11-08-2015, 06:23 AM
Wow! Thanks for the reads and comments. I wasn't sure the poem would work as expected. The idea was to crystalize the conversation by using only one speaker, but that the gist would be clear--and the history of both parties equally apparent. I thought title to establish location, internal dialogue in italics to replace requirement for exposition, and straight talk throughout to create the narrative progression. I wasn't sure it would be clear Cassie and mrs Jenkins were the same person or the underlying attraction would come through. Or whether it was all just too vague. I'm so happy that regardless of the colloquialisms (some of which I haven't explained) the poem successfully achieves what I intended for it (at least for you readers that commented). Really happy actually :)

Idris Davies is a master of this kind of poetry, and while the intention was never to emulate, his work did serve as an example for how it's done.

Thanks all again. Do you think I'd lose a sense of authenticity if I follow the route of a series/collection?

ETA: I wonder how this fares in the old 'poetry is just prose with line-breaks' discussion.

frimble3
11-08-2015, 01:17 PM
Nicely done! I liked the playing off of the surface sympathy and the dislike of the husband in the internal dialogue. And, although the glossary was useful, I got the sense of the poem on the first read-through before I saw the notes.
I'd like to see a collection. I like the idea of conversations, or letters (see the one in this year's poetry contest) as poems. Were you thinking of a series of interactions with the village shopkeeper, or a more general range of local conversations? In either case, go for it - and, the glossary wouldn't need to be all that much longer, as a series would likely re-use many of the same words. Most readers would just build their vocabulary with each poem.

kborsden
11-08-2015, 01:57 PM
Hi Frimble, I was thinking about the shop being central, the shopkeeper taking part in or overhearing conversations... not quite sure, the idea is just bubbling below the surface at the moment.

Steppe
11-08-2015, 11:32 PM
kie - The undertones in this are very clever and have everyone standing about nodding there heads. I couldn't give even a tad of advice or suggestion but wait eagerly for more.

frimble3
11-09-2015, 06:17 AM
Hi Frimble, I was thinking about the shop being central, the shopkeeper taking part in or overhearing conversations... not quite sure, the idea is just bubbling below the surface at the moment.
It would be a good choice, the village shop being the sort of place everyone goes to, and the shopkeeper would know everyone.

cellajam
11-09-2015, 05:41 PM
Hi Frimble, I was thinking about the shop being central, the shopkeeper taking part in or overhearing conversations... not quite sure, the idea is just bubbling below the surface at the moment.

A clear, fun read with plenty of serious undertones. I think it would be interesting if the Narrator stayed consistant, personal stories while he tried to hit them up for some cash.

HarryHoskins
11-11-2015, 04:00 AM
Solid, interesting and engaging stuff with a nice metre and voice. Not read Idris, so dunno how much or if you are ripping off rather than, er, inspirating - but my thoughts are go for more. I'd advise multiplying colloquial as it'll give you more opportunity for change - though understand if you are wanting to repeat what you have.

Nice stuff, I thought. Good work.

kborsden
11-12-2015, 01:35 AM
God alive, mun, ladies!
You're looking lush tonight—
hey Mike, aren't they looking lush?
Aye, lovely, mun, too right.
Gorgeous shade of pink lipstick
it matches with your tights.

Out on the pull, is it?
You'll eat them boys alive
all dressed up proper tidy,
honest now... quite 'bovine'.
Hey, Mike, don't they look bovine?
That's what I said, 'divine'.

You're very welcome, girls.
The pleasure is all mine;
nice to see a touch of class
'specially for Friday night.
O! Mike, you better watch yourself!
Mind your chops, and be polite!

What'll it be, both?
For each a glass of white;
bag of nuts? Forget the nuts...
you're watching your waist line.
Mike! Hands! It's Moira's girls,
the Lewis twins—always a delight!

Thirsty? They went down quick;
hardly touched the sides.
Pour you both another, with
shots to follow the wine?
I'll keep the bottle out, I will.
Look out lads, it's ladies' night

That boy in the corner,
he's giving you the eye—
go on now, pop on over
before he runs a mile.

I'll hide your pints behind the pump.
Poor kid won't know what's hit 'im.

______________________________

- mun = exasperation; derived from 'man' and used for emphasis

Kylabelle
11-12-2015, 02:01 AM
Love it!

The proposed title for the collection, Valley Speak, might be reconsidered, because as an American what I thought of immediately was "valley girls" which is a whole different voice entirely! And I wondered what you'd be writing about that. (Glad I was wrong.)

I don't have an alternative to suggest, though.

kborsden
11-12-2015, 02:15 AM
I agree Kyla -- maybe the name of the town would suit best. But then I have to think that up too :D

Kylabelle
11-12-2015, 03:24 AM
Village Voice?

Oh, heck, that's already taken.

:)

kborsden
11-13-2015, 04:24 AM
What about 'Talk of the Town'

Kylabelle
11-13-2015, 04:53 AM
sounds familiar....

kborsden
11-15-2015, 05:15 AM
I think I'll go with Talk of the Town

Kylabelle
11-15-2015, 05:24 AM
So sharing the name with the long-running column in The New Yorker magazine (and a 1942 Cary Grant movie.) But via Google, apparently that's no obstacle since businesses of various kinds claim the name also.

kborsden
11-15-2015, 05:27 AM
Hmmm... I like the cliche nature of it.

Alternatives:
- mere talk/chat
- idle gossip/rumor

Kylabelle
11-15-2015, 05:39 AM
Is there a colliquialism for local gossip, how we say it around here, common chat -- something like that but with that colloquial flavor?

CassandraW
11-15-2015, 05:51 AM
Is there a colliquialism for local gossip, how we say it around here, common chat -- something like that but with that colloquial flavor?

Is conflab Welsh for a chat, or did I make that up?

Anyway. I love both this idea and what you've done with it so far, Kie. I'm looking forward to seeing more. And I say bring on the colloquialisms. The poems engage the reader with the settings and characters, and the colloquialisms are part of that.

Kylabelle
11-15-2015, 06:12 AM
Confab (without the l) is short for confabulation:

confabulation (n.) (http://www.etymonline.com/index.php?term=confabulation&allowed_in_frame=0) http://www.etymonline.com/graphics/dictionary.gif (http://dictionary.reference.com/search?q=confabulation)mid-15c., "talking together," from Late Latin confabulationem (nominative confabulatio), noun of action from past participle stem of Latin confabulari (see confabulate (http://www.etymonline.com/index.php?term=confabulate&allowed_in_frame=0)).

(from the Online Etymology Dictionary)

I like Confabulation as a title, for a few reasons. Then again, titles aren't my forte.

CassandraW
11-15-2015, 06:21 AM
That would make sense. I'm calling on a long-ago dusty memory of a Welsh acquaintance using the word. I could have sworn he said it with the "l", but (a) I might be remembering wrong, (b) he might have been mispronouncing, and (c) it may not even be a Welsh thing, since he'd lived quite a few places and had no obligation to stick to Welsh colloquialisms just to please me. Though certainly I would have appreciated that.

kborsden
11-15-2015, 11:23 AM
God, there are loads I could use. Conflap is a lengthy discussion or deep and meaningful conversation. These poems are more surface interaction with something hinted at below that. Canting is pure gossip, but usually the nasty kind. Clonc is more general gossip.

For the title I wanted something direct and more relatable -- perhaps a greeting would be month suited, or a phrase... or then, maybe I should think up a name for the village and just use that.

Kylabelle
11-15-2015, 02:26 PM
Name for village + clonc.

Townytown Clonc. (Again, the unfamiliar term would be easily swallowed in context as well as understood --and there are always subtitles for a definition if need be.)

"Conflap". Cool word!

cellajam
11-15-2015, 03:47 PM
Clonc is a great word and a grabber.

Helix
11-15-2015, 04:44 PM
Cwm Dancing?

(Not entirely relevant, but I'm in for a pun.)

kborsden
11-15-2015, 05:54 PM
Right... before this all gets too sidetracked. I'll settle for simply 'Clonc' until I think up something better.

Next poem coming soon.

Kylabelle
11-15-2015, 06:23 PM
Yay!

Kylabelle
11-23-2015, 02:38 AM
Love the current title choice.

kborsden
01-15-2016, 03:01 AM
What's for tea, Mam?
There they go again,
never mind the squabbling—
the do this, do that, Mam!

They'll mess the bathroom,
won't make their beds,
but what's for tea?
What's for tea, mam?

Iesu mawr! They'll get their tea,
a deserving dinner
if ever there was one...

thanks for tea, they'll say,
you're the best,
we love you, mam!

Maybe when they've had it,
they'll do those dishes for once;
they'll pick up their clothes;

they'll wipe their own arses,
and eventually again,
what's for tea, mam!

Kylabelle
01-15-2016, 03:09 AM
What a treat. Thanks, Kie. :)

CassandraW
01-15-2016, 04:35 AM
I love the title and the tone of exasperation, Kie. I got the gist of your Welsh before I looked it up to be sure -- it works nicely to add atmosphere and character without dimming comprehension for those of us across the pond.

kborsden
03-12-2016, 04:19 AM
Ych a fi! That girl of yours? Talk tidy, mun...
you're all jaw, you are, an' no balls.
You gob your bellyache an' blame it
on how you was rared, but I sees your missus,
a nutter if we're being reel, an' a notright
will need tapping, son...

There's no shape on 'er washing –
your boy's togs is full of holes, pooer dab,
do afto shift for 'imself! Now, see your rubbish?
So's I don't want it now, or again not –
go potch 'bout the ash, an' pit what
you haven't, all lovely like, 'till the trewth
comes calling where it rather won't be after.

CassandraW
03-12-2016, 07:25 PM
Kie, I've been having fun with each of the poems in this series (which I'm enjoying immensely, by the way) -- first, reading them to see if I can figure out the slang by context and tone, and only then trying to look up the slang words on the internet to see if I'm right. (Generally I'm pleased to say I've been close enough.)

For your entertainment, I'm going to post my rough interpretation of this one without looking anything up -- mostly because it had more slang than usual that got me puzzling over more than one possible meaning, so I might be way off. If nothing else, it will entertain you.

Overall, it sounded to me like someone baiting a man about his wife with a string of insults. It could be another man trying to pick a fight, a nasty female acquaintance, or perhaps the man's mother (if she really dislikes her daughter-in-law). The comments about laundry and holes in the clothes seemed (if I may be sexist) most likely to come from a woman -- so I plunked down for either a hostile mother, or a nosy, bad-tempered female acquaintance.

Much depends on whether the "son" is to be taken literally or not, and whether or not "tapped" is a sexual reference. I'm going to go out on a limb and guess "yes" and "no" on those questions, and plunk down for a mother who is annoyed at hearing her son complain, and thinks her daughter-in-law is worthless.


Ych a fi! That girl of yours? Talk tidy, mun...
you're all jaw, you are, an' no balls.
You gob your bellyache an' blame it
on how you was rared, but I sees your missus,
a nutter if we're being reel, an' a notright
will need tapping, son...

There's no shape on 'er washing –
your boy's togs is full of holes, pooer dab,
do afto shift for 'imself! Now, see your rubbish?
So's I don't want it now, or again not –
go potch 'bout the ash, an' pit what
you haven't, all lovely like, 'till the trewth
comes calling where it rather won't be after.

Cass's attempt at interpretation:

Pfft! That wife of yours? Talk sense, man.
You're all mouth and no courage,
complaining all the time and blaming it
on how you were raised, but I see your wife --
who's a lunatic, if I'm going to be honest with you -- and a crazy person
needs to be locked up, son. [ "need tapping" had me puzzling more than most of the rest put together. I thought it could mean "needs sexual intercourse", or alternatively "needs to be beaten", but context-wise, this seemed more like what the narrator would likely be saying about the woman. Especially if "son" is taken literally, and not to mean, e.g., "man" or "friend."]

She's terrible at doing the laundry.
Your son's clothes are full of holes, poor kid.
and he has to do things for himself. Now, see what bullshit you're talking?
So I don't want to hear you complaining again, now or ever.
Go whine about garbage, or brag about ["ash" was another one I puzzled over. This seemed to make sense to me]
what you don't have, until the truth
catches up with you and you're forced to face it.

Kylabelle
03-12-2016, 09:00 PM
That was pretty much exactly how I read it.

With much enjoyment. :)

CassandraW
03-12-2016, 10:36 PM
If Kie won't mind the analogy, reading these, for me, reminds me of when I was first introduced to Shakespeare back in high school. I had fun reading the plays without referring to all the explanatory notes, just for the pleasure of seeing how close I came to the meaning. And I was usually pretty close, actually -- it was a rare word or phrase I couldn't come at least close to guessing by context -- and even when I missed the meaning of a word of phrase, it made for a more enjoyable reading process to just go through the play and engage with the plot and characters rather than stopping at every line for the footnote and the exact sense of each archaic word. I never had trouble understanding the plot, even if I missed a word now and then.

Similarly, here there are well over a dozen words that are not in my American English vocabulary, not to mention unfamiliar spellings and phrasings, yet I feel engaged with the poem and get a vivid feel from it (though whether the feel I get is what Kie intended might be another question).

At some point, if Kie doesn't stop in to translate, I'll do as I did with my Shakespeare -- try to look up the references I wasn't quite clear about, and see how close I came.

Come to think of it, I did this when I was a young reader, as well. I started snitching my parents' books as a kid, which were filled with words I didn't know. For the most part, it was more fun to try to figure it out by context.

So thank you, Kie -- this series brings back a pleasure I haven't experienced much since I was a kid!

kborsden
05-24-2016, 01:36 AM
Right then luv, that's quite enough...
see, I don't care 'bout tits and maw.
You either says your bit and chomp off,
or you rid your-fuckin'-self from my door.

An' I'll say to your ol' fellah,
when next he's here on a pint or two—
his precious dwt is a truer nut
than Mair's tapped boy that's not easy too!

So calm your talk, back in your box,
and in a minute now we'll see.
I said 'Calm Yourself', pack in your chops!
Jesus Christ alive, mun girl!

Hey, Mike! tongues away,
you dutty git—you don't know where she's been.

CassandraW
05-24-2016, 02:13 AM
I really do love this series, Kie. Once again I have no difficulty figuring out from context what the Welsh and dialect words meant (or close enough), and once again I have a vivid sense of your characters and can easily picture the scene.

Every time you post a new one, I want to visit Wales.

kborsden
05-26-2016, 01:45 AM
Thanks Cass.

I wanted to bring the pub landlord back in a different light. In Ladies' Night, he's holding three dialogues, his flattery with the girls, internal critique of the girls, and his telling off and warning the bar fly. He's naturally funny, charming and clearly in charge, throws in a few slips of the tongue when the three dialogues converge in parts :) But I wanted to revisit the pub at a point when he has to assert his authority. Unlike the other pieces in this collection, I've intentionally given it more structure--because I wanted that authority to feel almost rehearsed, like something he's had to learn to front up (not sure if that's come through).

Glad you enjoyed the read. I have a few more on the go currently which I'll be posting soon (when I'm happy with them).