this poem/ short tale is beautiful in its imagery. I could see the 'bubbling water' and mermaids sitting on rocks whilst they comb their hair. I imagine them talking like girls do, about Mermaid make-up, undoubtedly, of the waterproof kind! lol
Small critique - the mention of the word 'golden'
twice. Maybe tangerine sand? It has a similar sound as sand and ticks the colour box.
The imagery continued with the lovely description on the 'snow white corals, with little white cells' it is clear you have studies these shells!
My bumps goosed when I read this wonderful part: 'Alas the sun, slowly sinks in the West
dressing the sky, in her very best dress
water is tickling, the soles of my feet
thoughts of my leaving, is bittersweet'
The image of the sun dressing the sky with her dress is a great metaphor.
Abruptly, like any short tale, the wonderful day has to end. Here you enter pesky boys. I laughed at the thought of screaming girls/mermaids realise that may be seen, in quick succession of splashes they all dive back into the sea.
I liked the fact that until this verse it was not clear that the mermaids were a main part of this tale. I had to re read the 'soles of my feet' reference. Surely Mermaids do not have soles of feet do they?
There are questions left for me - is the 'cove' magical, changing fins to feet? If so, why can they not return?
The final verse is sad with the 'watery grave' and swimming with sisters. It reminded me of a family taken away by a tragic event, swimming in the mind of those left behind.
Thank you Michael very much for your advice. As always very much appreciated. It is a poem drawn from my experience of growing up by the sea. The reference to the soles of the feet is because in the movie Splash and in the Grimm series' it was standard that when a mermaid's tail was out of the water and dry it becomes legs but when wet again becomes a tail.
Your comments really helped and I went away and rewrote my last verse partly to show that it is the water turning her legs into a tail but also meaning to turn tail and swim away. I hope it is also more clear that the reason they cannot return to that cove is because they have been seen and risk capture. I decided since I was rewriting that stanza I would also give it a more up beat finish. Thank you so much for your inspiring comments. Milly x
2 years ago
by Ben Pickard
Your poetry always conjures such wonderful imagery and as far as this particular piece is concerned, it sounds like a wonderful place to be.
I myself have watched Splash a number of times with my children, although my oldest seems to get more and more embarrassed each time he sees it!
Milly this is another beautiful piece of yours. I love the sea and everything that comes with it. It gives me such great peace and for a brief moment nothing matters. Take care and thank you for sharing.
I am including this write in the list of excellent.
Yes, there was a time in my life when I was very much influenced with mermaids. It became a dream for me to see a real mermaid, if she exists. And then I had done a lot of research on mermaids, I viewed many pages related to mermaid, I watched many videos, but none of them were convenient. In the end I came to the logical conclusion that they exist only in stories and novels not in reality. This poem of yours is taking me back in that phase again. I have heard they suffocate humans out of breathe by taking them down in the depth of ocean.
This poem is totally full of imagination and its just like a tale. The way you have written is very much appreciable.
First stanza is delivering out the miraculous domain of mermaids. Throughout this poem you have painted a great scene of nature flow which is making this short tale outstanding.
I enjoyed this piece. I thought your wording was wonderful. Looking at it on the whole now, without focusing on anything in particular, I can see such variety in your lines and stanzas. No patterns to the words above and below. I know that sounds like gibberish, but looking at it as such, helps one better understand why it was so edible. Least it does for me.
Anyway, I very much enjoyed the simplicity, and yet the fantasy of your story. As Meena quite rightly said, it was like Disney mixed with reality.
I do have two small suggestions. Not that you need follow them of course, but I thought I share. I think you need more syllables on the fourth line of the opening stanzas. I think it's too short in comparison to it's predecessors, and it jars the flow. Perhaps:
'whilst sitting prettily, upon the pretty rocks'
'whilst sitting prettily, secluded on the rocks'.
The second is in reference to the second line of the third stanza. I like how 'dress' is a mirroring of 'dressing' at the start of that line, but I feel it's unneeded. I think it's stronger ending on 'best'. Also, it's a stronger rhyme. But, of course, you'd need to add a word to compensate for the loss of 'dress'. Maybe;
'dressing the sky, in her absolute best'
Or something in a similar fashion.
P.S. Please comment and vote honestly on every piece you read.