1. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    A Vicious Circle

    Discussion in 'The Lounge' started by mammamaia, Dec 29, 2009.

    [i'm posting only for thoughts on the content, not seeking a critique... if that's not allowed, or this should be posted in another section, mods please advise... hugs, maia]

    [this came to me when watching for the umpteenth time, a 'cute' little bit on the animal planet channel that had a kid leading an adorable haltered llama/alpaca/guanaco/whatever around on a leash...made me wish all humans who keep pets and such would be treated the same way, till they got the 'do unto others' message]
     
  2. Mercurial
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    Mercurial Contributing Member Contributor

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    I personally enjoy the message and think you've definitely done a fine job getting that point across. Even without your explanation, it would have been the first thing that came to my mind.

    If anything, I would have liked it to be longer, maybe an example of an animal who is caged and a human who is keeping it. This is just me, but I always love poetry to really tug at me, and this one doesnt really do that, and I think it's because it's very succinct. Of course, that's just my preference. :) Another reason to make it longer is if you read it out loud, and I'm sure you have, is that the second and final verse reads awkwardly because it's so much shorter than the first. I suppose it's also because the rhythm changes abruptly.

    I also really enjoy how you've used the same line to open and close the verse, and if you add onto it, I think that'd be a great tool to use for any additional verses you use. And I LOVE LOVE LOVE the internal rhyme you have going on. I had to read it twice to catch onto that; believe it or not, I've never read a poem with that continuous rhyme mechanism, and I think that's fantastic. I wish I'd had that idea first.

    The more I read it, the better it gets. Well done, Maia. :)

    I'm surprised I'm the first to comment. Hello? ;)
     
  3. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    thanks for the in-depth review and kind words, merc!

    'succinct' was on purpose, since it's a 'lesson' piece, and as you'll recall from your school days, if one goes on too long with a lesson, the intended 'learners' lose the point and/or 'tune out'...

    equally on purpose was the change in rhythm/form/feel of the second section... the reason being that the first part is an impersonal observation/image i want the reader to 'see' and feel, as the subjects of it do, while the second part is my personal, impassioned view of what should be done to those who do what's exposed in the first part... and description can be wordier and flow, while passion/anger is best expressed in short bursts...

    since the premise and title deal with a single 'circle' i wouldn't consider adding verses, but am happy that you like the internal rhyme... i use it quite often in my work... if you have time to browse through the 'philosetry' section of my site, you'll find more of that, as well as many other non-standard techniques... if you like to write poetry, you should try that... it's fun!

    i'm glad to know it 'grew on you'...

    love and hugs, maia
     
  4. NaCl
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    NaCl Contributing Member Contributor

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    Interesting poetic dynamics...I don't think I've ever read one written in quite the same format. I'm not a competent poetry reader but I liked it. I also respect your right to your point of view and feel you've done justice to representing its values.

    As far as your theme, I don't feel our overly pampered little Dachshunds suffer in our home. In fact, they thrive on interaction with their human "pack". You should have seen how they enjoyed playing with all my grandkids during the Christmas visits. Same with Chino the fluff-ball cat. My daughter brushed his long fur for hours until he looked like a big black dandelion. He purred the whole time. By the way, our dogs carry AKC papers but we never registered them because they are our companions, not show dogs. They even sleep with Sue and me. Is it really so bad to care for and love pets like small family members?
     
  5. Lemex
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    Lemex That's Lord Lemex to you. Contributor

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    Don't be too hard on yourself. Every poetry reader who can appreciate a true work of art such as this is a competent poetry reader.
     
  6. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    thanks for the kind words, you two!

    no, not entirely... but do you keep collars on your human family members and walk them on leashes?... if you, as a human, were treated the same way you treat your pets, by some bigger and smarter and more powerful beings, and not allowed to live as freely and naturally as you wished, would you like it and want your children and grandchildren to be pets, too?...

    so, it's the whole conceptof pethood that i'm against, salty... and for that reason, though in my old life i, too, 'owned' many pets that i loved and treated well... but as i thought more about it and put myself in their place, i realized it's a wrongness, no matter how well-intentioned we may be... see the whole picture here [if you dare]:

    http://saysmom.com/maia/content.asp?Writing=132

    hugs, m
     
  7. madhoca
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    madhoca Contributing Member Contributor

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    This was interesting, but written from a set viewpoint against zoos/keeping pets etc. so it put me off.

    Just to take dogs as an example, if they are 'free to take each owner where they're meant to live, to come and go...' in towns, even small towns, they are a menace--so do you think there should be no dogs any more, or at any rate, dogs only in the country? Thanks a lot. Not possible in crowded little Europe, I'm afraid. In the end, we'd probably end up with less dogs on this planet--why would people bother to breed, train or look after dogs any more? Even using them for police and farm work would seem to be a no-no according to your ideas.

    I think that you've lived in countries where animals are 'free'--so you'll know they have a very mange-ridden, short and hard life. And if animals are free to choose their owners, then owners are free to dump pets they don't want, I guess--oops, maybe not.

    I won't go on to give details about cats, budgies, fish in garden ponds, the noble sport of hawking, rare breed conservation etc.

    Sorry to be so cursed logical. Were you looking for ideas just about how the ideas came over as a poem? Well, although the poem had great rhythm and drama it did nothing for me emotionally because I couldn't get beyond the heavy-handed and propagandist stance.

    Of course you are entitled to your viewpoint. Let me say that I love animals, but this didn't move me as it perhaps should have done. But thank you all the same very much for at least making me think about this subject--so hey, the poem worked in its message/aim, at least partly!
     
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  8. NaCl
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    NaCl Contributing Member Contributor

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    As you know, I very much respect your altruism in life. You do live the values that you espouse. Your pet ownership perspective rests at the extreme end of a range of values on this subject. I care for pets and teach my children/grandchildren how to be responsible for their animals. I went so far as to remove a pet from one of my children who was neglectful of her responsibilities. I also contacted the animal cops about a neighbor who raised a dog for fighting. The guy openly threatened me (until a mutual friend reminded him of my military history and gun ownership.) My point is obvious...you and I have arrived at different conclusions about right and wrong when it comes to animal treatment.

    By the way, I did read Top Dogs and Bottom Feeders. Your story is entertaining and creative, however, your attempt to build empathy for animals in captivity requires the reader to accept your anthropomorphic premise. I do not think pets are sentient. I'll grant you one promise, though, if any pet of mine ever develops the ability to speak, write or to reasonably communicate with me that it values freedom and wants to leave, then I will gladly grant the request. Until then, I will continue to CARE FOR and love the animal members of my family.

    In friendship and mutual respect,

    NaCl

    BTW - I have bird feeders in my back yard (with cat barriers) and there is an old English Walnut tree in my front yard that has become quite an eye sore. Instead of cutting it down, I ignore neighbor comments because there are a couple of fat little grey squirrels who harvest walnuts every summer.
     
  9. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    i'm glad we can still remain friends, salty, despite some philosophical differences...

    the last thing i'll say to you on this issue is that 'sentient' as we may want to believe ourselves to be, science has proven that we humans are able to utilize only a very small fraction of our brains' capacity, so it's entirely possible that there could be other beings in the universe who've evolved way past us in that area and would thus not consider us as 'sentient' as we do and just as far 'below' them, as you believe the rest of our fellow members of the animal kingdom are below us...

    mh...
    i respect your beliefs, though i can't see your argument as being 'logical' in any way, in re the overall concept of 'pethood'... my point is that there never should have been any pet-keeping in the first place, not that all pets could or should be suddenly released at this point in time... of course that would cause all sorts of problems and not be at all kind to animals that have been bred to be pets and never been their natural selves, so we're not disagreeing on that aspect of the subject...

    and i'm glad i did at least get you to think about it...

    'bear' hugs to you both, m ;-)
     
  10. alo3600
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    alo3600 Member

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    Really enjoyed the piece and the message that you are putting across. Great opening line

    It really sums up the sense of being trapped that these animals must feel in this alien world.

    This is a very interesting idea but I feel that you should expand on it....possibly forming a contrast between the freedom and the captivity with more images.

    Great ending. the circle idea really works well here and it's very potent. I really liked the piece, the one piece of advice that I would give would be to make it a bit longer. There are so many interesting concepts in the piece that I feel you could expand on. Especially the freedom vs captivity images and references to specific creatures ect.
     
  11. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    thanks so much, for the input and kind words, alo... i agree much more can be said, but i kept this short for good reason... the point had to be made, imo and if belabored, or expanded upon, it would be weakened...

    any attack on long-held ideas must be swift and sudden... drawing it out leaves it more easily open to counterattack... i actually have written expanded pieces on the subject, in both poem and essay form...

    http://saysmom.com/maia/content.asp?Writing=220
    http://saysmom.com/maia/content.asp?Writing=298
    http://saysmom.com/maia/content.asp?Writing=268

    http://saysmom.com/maia/content.asp?Writing=17
    http://saysmom.com/maia/content.asp?Writing=60
    http://saysmom.com/maia/content.asp?Writing=132

    but this was kept brief and brutal on purpose, as i think it works best this way, for what i'd intended...

    love and hugs, maia
     
  12. Tomshelby7
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    Tomshelby7 New Member

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    I really liked this one! It hits home for me. I agree with its message 100%. alo3600 said exactly what I was thinking. Excellent first line.
     
  13. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    thanks, tom!... glad it 'resonated'...

    hugs, m
     

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