Homework 28th June - Another Chance

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Catherine Lee
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Homework 28th June - Another Chance

Post by Catherine Lee » Fri Jun 11, 2021 1:28 pm

Another Chance

In winter of life I am wrapping
sweet tokens of all I once knew—
a few simple boxes of keepsakes,
then bringing them home back to you.
Returning to glorious harbour
where diamonds of light dance and play
on waters all covered in sunshine,
enhancing the sweep of each bay.

A city that’s styled to perfection,
(though bustling and crazed at first glance),
when building the bonds of our springtime,
it served to excite and enhance.
On streets in that harbourside suburb
which boasts a magnificent beach,
the blue jacaranda cascaded
and dusk brought the lorikeets’ screech.

Alas, I grew selfish and restless,
obeyed my temptation to leave,
exploring the world like a gypsy—
yet steadfast, you chose to believe.
You held on to hope that my instincts
would finally lead me back home;
though grieving you never grew bitter,
convinced I’d one day cease to roam.

Regrets and a poignant nostalgia
are leading me back to your arms—
though hindsight’s a brutal companion,
I’m breathless you nurture no qualms!
Your warmth is my beacon of mercy,
for grief could have twisted your heart—
instead you’ve stood strong and devoted,
kept kindness and faith from the start!

In winter of life reunited,
there’s nowhere that I’d rather be
than quietly sitting beside you
observing that glittering sea;
to watch as the sun over Sydney
shines warm from the heavens above,
to bathe us in utter contentment
whilst sharing our winter of love.

© Catherine Lee, June 2021

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Re: Homework 28th June - Another Chance

Post by Terry » Fri Jun 11, 2021 3:52 pm

Beautifully written Catherine.

Your choice of words is exceptional as usual.
No need to select a particular line - it's all great.


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Gary Harding
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Re: Homework 28th June - Another Chance

Post by Gary Harding » Fri Jun 11, 2021 8:34 pm

Another Chance.

Very High Quality writing indeed, Catherine.

At the risk of being repetitive, when you "climb inside your writing" and become part of it as you often do, then you write at your best. This poem is an example I think.

Clearly it does not have to be something that actually happened to you in life because as a ballad writer I suggest that you just need to be able to put yourself in those shoes and have empathy... feel, and express perceptively for readers what someone would have felt in that circumstance.... as you have. That is why I will not ask the obvious question! haha so don't answer!

Paterson wrote A Bunch Of Roses. Another sentimental and moving poem, but did it happen to him?...I don't think so, or at least not obviously. A foretelling of the future for himself perhaps? Or maybe something he observed which prompted him.
The last verse of Another Chance stands out... at least it does for me. That high impact ending which is important, isn't it? Good endings with impact are produced by good practised ballad writers.

To me though, the narrative itself is secondary to skilful technique. In this case IMO you have not let it all become rushed and allowed technique to fall by the wayside. It is methodical and precise all the way through. As if it was all structured and planned in your mind before you "picked up your pen", and not made up as you went along! You knew the story in advance .. and then versified expertly!

It is the sort of work that I would expect would gain high marks in a comp, but then that might be a bad omen because I see some dreadful "award winning" poetry that makes me cringe. So I am no arbiter of what is perceived to be "good" balladry by some judges in comps especially.

I only know what I like.. and that will do nicely... and I like your poems and the style you write in. Always good rhyme; never awkward and contrived.

It is always of a high technical standard and dare I say - Another Chance I believe is your best work so far! Not the longest poem and Not better by a lot perhaps - but still Best. Very moving too.

Anyway.. well done Catherine. Skill plus! Whatever time you put into it was well spent for sure, believe me!! even in the heat!


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Maureen K Clifford
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Re: Homework 28th June - Another Chance

Post by Maureen K Clifford » Sat Jun 12, 2021 3:04 pm

Totally agree with everything that Gary said - I loved the 'feel' of this piece - whether written from personal experience or not it has a poignancy about it that is tangible. A very moving poem and as we have come to expect from you Catherine, beautifully crafted. Well done. I could see this taking a prize or two down the track as well.
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Catherine Lee
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Re: Homework 28th June - Another Chance

Post by Catherine Lee » Sat Jun 12, 2021 5:58 pm

Wow, thank you all so much - it truly never ceases to amaze me when I receive such warm feedback! Your impressions are always incredibly helpful and inspiring, often making me sit back and look at a poem with fresh insight. Gary, I love your comment about ‘climbing inside my writing’ and will remember this – along with your high praise of calling it ‘my best’! You always seem to dig deep and come up with a perception of how I might have come up with an idea and followed through, and this is very useful because one doesn’t necessarily think along these lines when actually writing the poem. Maureen and Terry, you too have called this poem both moving and well crafted – I had not actually thought of it as a competition entry, but you have certainly all encouraged me to consider this. I am most grateful to all of you for such valuable comments, and the smile you’ve brought to my face today!

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Re: Homework 28th June - Another Chance

Post by Ron » Sun Jun 13, 2021 10:10 am

Wow Catherine! what more can one say! that is a beautiful poem and after a write like that I think you deserve as many chances as you desire! ;) :D
It flowed beautifully and I think Terry summed it up well, ''no need to pick a standout line as they are all great!"
Really enjoyed it, well done!

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Catherine Lee
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Re: Homework 28th June - Another Chance

Post by Catherine Lee » Sun Jun 13, 2021 2:22 pm

Thank you so much for this, Ron - what a lovely, touching message! I'm so glad you like this poem, and really appreciate your warm comments xx

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Shelley Hansen
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Re: Homework 28th June - Another Chance

Post by Shelley Hansen » Sun Jun 13, 2021 4:44 pm

The others have said it all, but I have to agree, this is beautifully written, Catherine.

Unusual to see you make use of the shorter line structure and it really works with this poem's subject - gives it a sharp poignancy.
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Catherine Lee
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Re: Homework 28th June - Another Chance

Post by Catherine Lee » Mon Jun 14, 2021 2:08 pm

Thanks so much, Shelley. Yes, I agree with you on the effect of the shorter rhyme structure in this instance; it has indeed been a while since I made use of it, so thanks for pointing this out.

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