Sunday, 23 December 2012

Poem: Cairngorm

Ach weel - it wisnae tae be! The poetry competition I entered earlier has returned its verdict, and the £2,000 prize is someone else's. Never mind - I will maybe join a writing class anyway, get some pointers on bettering my poems, for I can tell they need improvement - just not how. For example, here's one about Cairngorm I wrote after the creation of the Cairngorm funicular. Concerns by conservation groups over its effect on the mountain environment led to the seemingly absurd compromise to allow tourists to take the funicular up Cairngorm in summer... but not allow them out at the top. See if you can tell what is not right about this poem?

Top floor, Cairngorm.
Everybody out.
Come to the wilds, see what the fuss is all about.

Isn't man great.
Look at what we've tamed.
Barren, empty, go back the way you came.

Don't step outside.
Don't spoil the fragile 'scape.
Stay in the car! Too many feet it cannae take.

But total mountain cares
nothing for its fate.
Humanity cannot inspire either love or hate.

For it remembers ice.
Ice will yet grind out
a climate change to top them all,
from the 'gorms,
for the south.

PS: happy Christmas all!


Chris said...

very good

blueskyscotland said...

Hi Robert. As you have asked I'll take you seriously and hope I don't offend you as I am trying to be constructive here but nobody likes negative comments.
Its Ok but doesn't have enough mystery, power or a unique theme to make it a winner.

Below the thunders of the upper deep,
Far far beneath the abysmal sea,
His ancient, dreamless, uninvaded sleep
The kraken sleepeth: faintest sunlights flee,
about his shadowy sides,above him swell,
huge sponges of millennial growth and height;
and far away into the sickly light,
from many a wondrous grot and secret cell
unnumbered and enormous polypi
winnow with giant arms the slumbering green.
There hath he lain for ages and will lie
battening upon huge seaworms in his sleep,
until the latter fire shall heat the deep,
then once by man and angels to be seen, in roaring he shall rise and on the surface die.
The Kraken by Tennyson.
This has power, mystery and wonder building to a climax and has an unusual subject. It may still not have won anything though, depends on the judges.
Hope this helps as I'm trying to be honest.
Merry Christmas and good luck.

Robert Craig said...

Thanks for the comments, I've been away over Christmas but back now.

The idea behind the Cairngorm poem is to start with the opposite of mystery and wonder, the first couple of verses should be trite and banal. I will have a think though about the last verse, you could be on to something there, it maybe needs a bit more natural power.

You might be interested in a project I am currently working on, a poetical map of Scotland, locations can be viewed here though not updated in ages:

blueskyscotland said...

If its any consolation years ago I entered a couple of these things myself, mainly for the money. I never won anything either.
Naturally I thought my poem was far better than the winning entry:)