Entering the Big Tent

04 Feb

7:49 am, Friday, 4 February,  2011 – – Atlanta

If you are one of my readers, the Friday Freeforall will be posted in a couple of hours. This is my response for Big Tent’s prompt of the week. In the first poem I used every word except function. For a couple of the words, I changed the form. The second poem was my warmup.

I have pulled the two poems to revise.


Posted by on 04/02/2011 in poetry, writing


Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

28 responses to “Entering the Big Tent

  1. Viv

    04/02/2011 at 8:03 am

    Blades do desire blood, they call it from us. We have a gurkha knife and I will never draw it fully from its scabbard for this reason. Samurai swords were never meant to be sheathed after being drawn unless they have been used or had been cleaned with silk; it was considered bad luck to draw one and not draw blood with it.
    Some sword makers consider that a sword has a soul.
    Good poems, both. Thanks.

    • margo roby

      04/02/2011 at 11:08 am

      I love knives and they love me – they have drawn a lot of blood. I had forgotten about the samurai; it’s filed in a brain cell somewhere. Thank you for your words.

  2. gautami tripathy

    04/02/2011 at 10:32 am

    Both are wonderful…

    tears of the sky fall to the ground

  3. Donna Vorreyer

    04/02/2011 at 11:35 am

    First piece is excellent – though it scares me because I HATE knives. Since it frightens me to read it, you nailed it. And I like the way you turn to the primal connection at the end using some of the same language you used above – nice.

    • margo roby

      04/02/2011 at 11:48 am

      Thank you, Donna. As some poems do, it almost wrote itself, but that’s because I have always connected with knives…and slice myself everytime I turn around. I am always wearing bandages on my poor fingers. But blades pull me. May I say I am thrilled to have frightened you!

  4. James

    04/02/2011 at 11:53 am

    These are wonderful. I also like knives. They are tools that can also be quite beautiful, and a well-balanced knife feels so right in the hand.

    In the second poem, that image of the nail in the apartment building is such a wonderful detail. Very nice.

    • margo roby

      04/02/2011 at 12:04 pm

      Thanks, James. I’m dangerous at gun shows. I think my husband keeps me away from our home in Texas because the day we retire there I am back at gun shows looking at knives.

      I’m glad I wrote the second poem. I find it hard to grapple with the hugeness of my childhood. This might be a way in. The nail is my favourite detail in the poem. I still see it clearly.

  5. pamela

    04/02/2011 at 12:40 pm

    Margo, both of these are excellent poems.
    In all honesty knives scare me. I enjoyed
    the history on the Samurai.

    • margo roby

      04/02/2011 at 2:49 pm

      Thank you kindly, Pamela. My fingers would prefer that knives scare me.

  6. 1sojournal

    04/02/2011 at 1:26 pm

    Margo, I enjoyed both pieces. Although I am not particularly drawn to knives, I once had a moment with short but hefty tire iron, and I swear it galvanized in my hand and I felt it’s need to be used in a very violent fashion. I dropped the thing, but the memory remains and came rushing forward when I was reading your first poem. You obviously hit some nerve endings. The second piece is full of imagery and I also like the nail in the apartment building. Thanks for all of these words,

    PS and thanks for mentioning my work.

    • margo roby

      04/02/2011 at 2:50 pm

      Ore is as old as the earth, so it makes sense that we feel something primal for iron/steel. Thank you for your kind words. And, you are entirely welcome.

  7. vivinfrance

    04/02/2011 at 2:43 pm

    Like Donna,your first poem aroused my aversion to weapons and violence, while admiring your poeticism. But the second poemm is another matter altogether -drawing me into the scene, feeling your nostalgia, enjoying every line.

    • margo roby

      04/02/2011 at 2:51 pm

      Thank you, Viv. I am so glad you like the second one. I am hoping it will become a door into more poems from my childhood.

  8. Laurie Kolp

    04/02/2011 at 3:46 pm

    Very nice… I really like the first one.

    • margo roby

      04/02/2011 at 3:48 pm

      Thank you – that’s my favourite. The other was my warm up!

  9. Tumblewords

    04/02/2011 at 7:03 pm

    I love this ‘love affair with a knife’. It’s a stellar piece, sharp and thoughtful.

    • margo roby

      04/02/2011 at 8:06 pm

      Thank you. I’m revising already. The affair continues.

  10. Christopher

    05/02/2011 at 9:27 am

    You have incised me, let my breath loose.

    You have something here. Work it out.

    • margo roby

      05/02/2011 at 9:53 am

      Thank you, Christopher. I felt that while writing the poem. I am already reworking it. If suggestions wandered through your head while reading it, I take critiques/thoughts/suggestions with great appreciation.

  11. Deb

    05/02/2011 at 6:17 pm

    Both poems were intriguing. The first because of the clean energy running through it, and the reference to the primal. The second for that nail and the leather.

    I like knives, for their utility, their legends. Such amazing constructions.

    • margo roby

      06/02/2011 at 9:16 am

      Thank you, Deb. I like that: clean energy. I am already redrafting the second and am pulling the focus to the nail and leather first.

  12. liv2write2day

    05/02/2011 at 6:33 pm

    As others have said, the poems are somewhat chilling. I’m fascinated by your attraction to knives. It reminds me of that same draw that a snake has–a certain fear coupled with the powerful draw to look at them, even look FOR them. I recently posted a knife poem but here is the one for BTP–I totally misread the prompt!

    • margo roby

      06/02/2011 at 9:15 am

      I’m laughing because I love snakes, too. Not in the wild slithering by me snakes — I have the same reaction as most — but I have had a pet snake and loved holding it. It is interesting your putting the two together I imagine the snake fear is fairly primal too. I will head over and see what you did with the BTP.

  13. b

    05/02/2011 at 9:18 pm

    Enjoyed both. I hope you tinker with the knive sharpener one a bit, and don’t just disregard it.
    (Most of my knives have been pretty quiet. I think they are vegetarians, biting sticks and rope.)

    • margo roby

      06/02/2011 at 9:12 am

      Thank you, and I won’t disregard the second. That one plays more to my strengths in writing, but does need a lot of work. I have already started redrafting it. I love the thought of vegetarian knives.

  14. joannejohns

    06/02/2011 at 1:16 am

    Both of these are great; I love the first one especially for capturing the seductive danger of blades and the power they have when you hold them.


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