Thank you all for braving the Classics and for your patience throughout the judging process! Congratulations to your entries, and the winners: FIRST PLACE: Wallyroo 92: Blessed be the Fruit
Bravo! Just Bravo! Congratulations on your win. That final stanza was remarkable and sealed the piece ( but please put an end-stop at the end of the first stanza to match the rest ). And anyone who hasn't read Atwood's 'Marrying the Hangman'
( particularly the notes ), needs to.
I am not quick to shrug off 'The Handmaid's Tale
' as are others. I wasn't quick to shrug off 'Star Trek' as were others. Now look where the space program is headed. For centuries the masculine has attempted to suppress the feminine. Just when we think we are moving forward, it seems we step backwards.
Either way, there is an unbalanced, masculine force attempting to dominate this country. Unfortunately, it already dominates many other countries. You totally captured that essence in this piece.
Again, congratulations on your win! Second Place: PoetsRevenge: Rabbit Song
Atwood's Rat Song
is not only one of my favorites, but also one of the most difficult of her pieces to understand. Many misinterpret it as humans ingesting rats ( and they do in many parts of the world ); however, that is not what she is conveying at all.
The Rat is speaking to the human as a sentient being. It's not a coincidence that she chooses a rat. They are one of the most detestable and expendeble known creatures to humanity. Thus, it's almost a level of enlightenment if we can view such a creature in the light of compassion and a fellow sentient on this planet.
The rat recognizes the Oneness of all creatures from the Source of Life, which is what is referred to in the final stanza and in reference to the throat. It's the voice of LIFE that the rat is referring to, something every sentient being on earth shares. She also referenced the nature of animals, i.e. - the rat's nest of human clothing ( which is much more remarkable then the human diet of animals meat ) referring that we all do what we do to survive and propogate the species.
So, in essence, Atwood has taken this lowly creature, despised by humans and given it a voice of compassion vs retribution. As humans, it's almost impossible to reisist that desire for revenge when others persecute us; however, the rat has done that here through Atwood's poem.
What a compassionate person she must've been to convey such a beautiful message. it's interesting to gauge human reactions after reading this.
Your poem also conveys the spirit of survival through the rabbit's natural inclinations. It also stresses that the rabbit leaves nothing behind as far as a carbon footprint. It destroys nothing, but encourages growth instead. It's a beautiful narrative from the rabbit's perspective of its existence.
Congratulations on your placement. Third Place: Slipalong, Twit-twoo Twit-twoo
Slip, you did a phenomenal job stepping out of your comfort zone. We are amazed at your progress in such little time.
Owls can be viscious predators, and they say hell hath no wrath as that of a woman scorned. Thus, Atwood did a phenomenal job conveying such predatory ruthlessness with that of a women who had been murdered, and was back for revenge. Animal spirits offer us their innate talents to imbibe and strengthen within ourselves.
Your poem was beautiful in imagery. You are truly becoming a master of verse in just the few short years you have been practicing.
That being said, there are a few inconsistencies with punctuation throughout the verse. For example, there are no end-stops until stanza four; yet, you're using capitalization and lower-case in the previous three, which would denote the end/beginning of new sentences.
You did absolutely amazing with your possessives; that was very impressive up until the sixth stanza: Its appetite can( ' )t be appeased,
rotten as the grave
it's its weathering headstone
writes short words in fear.
In the seventh stanza you have an inadvertent end-stop mid-sentence: Drying essence of regard [ . ] we still hold dear
We suggest combing through the inconsistencies, especially regarding punctuation. This poem is too beautiful a poem, too rich in palpable imagery, and most importantly, definitely reminiscent of a classic corner entry.
You would have scored MUCH higher had it not been so inconsistent.