The revisions on this poem were pretty minor just some word changing.
Elizabeth Kidd- The Verse This Be
Your mom and dad are there for you
on and on your whole life through.
They try to control you and the choices you make,
To keep you from making the same mistake.
They too have heard the same stern voices,
from those older than them who made their hard choices.
It may seem they cannot understand,
but they are there to lend a helping hand.
Lessons are passed from father to son,
so listen to them, do not try to run.
Soon you will stand, your children and you,
telling them all you were taught as you grew.
The revisions on this poem were a little more challenging. I wrote this in sestina form, and it is really hard. The poem didn't turn out quite like I wanted it to so my class told me to just tell the story and not to worry about form. I also changed the name because the first name was too cliche.
Elizabeth Kidd- You Were Not An Accident (Revision)
As I stand in your arms, I know life will go on.
Our story has come to a natural end; we must move forward.
I am done trying to keep you by my side.
We must look to the future, learn to forgive.
You and I should have cared when we still had a chance,
but there are no accidents.
I want to know why; I search for a reason.
Why did we struggle so long or love so deeply
if all was destined to burn at our feet?
The answer’s not simple, the hard ones never are.
What if we were there to help each other as we grew,
but is it time to move on?
Life goes on.
Our story started moving towards the abyss long ago.
It took another step with every screened telephone call.
It leapt forward with each diverted eye and white lie.
We gave up on our relationship long ago,
but now at the end, I wish I would have fought harder.
Why didn’t we care when we still had the chance?
Why didn’t we try to salvage what was left of our love?
I know we saw the end lingering ahead,
but why didn’t we fight?
When did we stop caring?
Why aren’t you here anymore?
Our journey is through; we must move forward.
I can feel our bodies and souls drifting apart.
Our memories are fading to gray, fading to just a part of the past.
I try to hold on. I want to remember,
but I bury our love deep in my mind where it cannot hurt me.
I am done trying to keep you by my side.
I brush your cheek. You stroke my hair. I look past you, to the future, where we will forgive.
Our story is through. I’m too tired to fight. We gave up our final chance,
but you were not an accident.
This next poem is my prose poem. I change some wording and I cut off the end. Caitlyn, my teacher, said the first things we need to think about during revision is the beginning and end because usually they need to go.
My Grandmother’s Trunk- Elizabeth Kidd (Revision)
As I walked through grandmother’s house, musty and old, I saw a large trunk. Brown. Wooden. I flipped open the latch, pulled open the lid. Inside was everything I could want and more. Items from adventures made together and others from long before I was born. They popped from the top and slipped through the cracks as began to pull them out.
First to come out was an old artichoke, saved from a pizza we ate long ago. A bumble bee came next and buzzed round my head. I found an old chocolate, a dog, and an elephant. There was a falafel and a bowl of green jell-o. A ring of house keys.
I shivered as I pulled out an igloo made of ice cubes. A jumble of Judo Masters sprang out of the dark. I cuddled the kitten that playfully chased them out into the room. Lord Voldemort slunk from the trunk with slow movement waiting to attack the unknowing muggles who waited inside. The Neanderthals followed, and I took a short break to watch them as they paced about the room.
An octopus squeezed from my grandmother’s old trunk chased by a pirate with a sword and eye patch. I helped Queen Elizabeth as she exited the room, holding a rat by its skinny black tail. A swimmer swam out. A tarantula stretched all eight legs over the edge.
I stood in awe as a unicorn pranced about the room. I played a song on the antique violin that I pulled away from the trunk.
Willy Wonka stepped from the trunk playing a xylophone. A yak shook out his thick fur, and, finally, I helped a Zimbabwean Princess out of my grandmother’s old chest.
This is the last revision I did, my dramatic scene. I really liked my original idea, so the only things that changed was some of the wording and the title. I think that my characters sound more real as their dialogue is less wordy.
Into the Dark
SETTING: A dark park. STEPHEN has asked GRACIE to meet him there. They meet in their favorite spot- the swings.
GRACIE: [Her poetry voiceover begins. The camera pans over the opposite sides of the park. GRACIE comes from the east while STEPHEN walks from the west.] You try to pull away from me. You do not think I can possibly understand. We have never been the same, but, at this moment, I only want to be by your side. You walk farther and farther into the darkness of fear and hate, yet I will follow you. I will follow you into the dark. You think you are bad for me. You try to be different, but I don’t want you any other way. I do not look at your past; I only want to be part of your present and future.
[The characters meet and embrace. GRACIE moves into kiss STEPHEN, but he pulls away. STEPHEN leads GRACIE to the swings. GRACIE sits. STEPHEN starts pushing the swing.]
STEPHEN: [Looking distracted.] Hey.
GRACIE: Hey. How’s your day been?
GRACIE: [Looks back into STEPHEN’S eyes.] What’s wrong?
STEPHEN: Nothing. [He looks deeply into her eyes. He does not want to do what he knows he thinks he has to do.]
GRACIE: Stephen…[She looks at him again.]
STEPHEN: I’m leaving.
GRACIE: [She looks straight ahead. She doesn’t want to look at STEPHEN. She doesn’t want it to be true.] What do you mean?
STEPHEN: I am going to live with my dad with San Francisco.
GRACIE: [GRACIE stands] why?
STEPHEN: Gracie, [STEPHEN grabs GRACIE’S hand. GRACIE pulls away.] you know why.
GRACIE: [Tears are filling GRACIE’S eyes.] No, I don’t know why. I thought we loved each other.
STEPHEN: [His voice starts to rise.] I don’t know.
GRACIE: [GRACIE’S voice also begins to rise.] Why don’t you stay?
STEPHEN: Look at all that has happened!
GRACIE: I can handle it!
STEPHEN: You shouldn’t have to!
GRACIE: Then why did we even try?
STEPHEN: [STEPHEN’S voice lowers again. He strokes GRACIE’S cheek.] You are such a great girl.
GRACIE: [GRACIE pulls away.] Don’t…
STEPHEN: Shh… let me finish. Something about you just makes me happy.
GRACIE: So you were just using me?
STEPHEN: I tried to be different. I can’t…you deserve better.
GRACIE: I don’t want better… just you.
STEPHEN: No you don’t. You don’t understand!
GRACIE: Yes, I do, and I don’t care.
STEPHEN: [STEPHEN pulls his hand away from GRACIE’S] I do. [STEPHEN pauses with a look of pain filling his eyes.] Good-bye, Gracie.
SETTING: LORRAINE’S room. GRACIE ran to her best friend’s apartment after the encounter with STEPHEN. LORRAINE or LORI tries to comfort GRACIE.
GRACIE: [More of GRACIE’S poetry voiceover. The camera follows GRACIE as she runs from the park to LORI’S apartment.] You do not care. You step into the black hole of regret and sorrow.
LORI: [Answers the frantic knocking at the door.] Gracie, what are you doing? I thought you were meeting Stephen in the park.
GRACIE: [Her eyes are filled with tears. GRACIE’S voice is low.] I think he broke up with me.
LORI: [Shocked.] What do you mean?
GRACIE: He’s leaving. He’s going to San Francisco with his dad.
LORI: [LORI pulls GRACIE into a hug.] Why?
GRACIE: He doesn’t want his past to get in the way. He doesn’t want me to end up like him.
LORI: Did you tell him that you don’t think he’s messed up?
GRACIE: Of course I did.
LORI: [LORI grabs each of GRACIE’S hands.] All you can do is tell him how you feel…
GRACIE: [GRACIE interrupts LORI.] I have.
LORI: Tell him again.
SETTING: MITCH and STEPHEN are on the phone. MITCH is in his bedroom. STEPHEN is still in the park.
STEPHEN: [Into the phone.] I did it.
MITCH: How was it?
STEPHEN: It was awful. I hurt her, man.
MITCH: Which is ironic since you did this so you won’t hurt her anymore.
STEPHEN: Shut up.
MITCH: Sorry, man, but I don’t get it.
STEPHEN: What don’t you get?
MITCH: I think she really loves you.
STEPHEN: Yeah and that is why I am doing this. She shouldn’t be subject to my screwed up life. [STEPHEN remembers MITCH’S own recent break- up with KATE.] Why are you judging me anyways? You are not an expert on relationships. Can you tell me again what went wrong with you and Kate?
MITCH: Kate and I ran our course.
STEPHEN: If you and Kate can’t make it, where is the hope for the rest of us? You were a freaking fairy tale!
MITCH: Fairy tales aren’t perfect. They aren’t real, but I think you and Gracie might be.
STEPHEN: I can’t change my mind now. I am leaving. I refuse to hurt her anymore…[STEPHEN gets a call on his other line. It is GRACIE.] Gracie’s on the other line. What do I do?
MITCH: See what she has to say. You owe her that much.
STEPHEN: Okay. I’ll talk to you later, man. [Hangs the up the phone with MITCH. Answers GRACIE’S call.] Hello.
GRACIE: [GRACIE is on the phone in her bedroom.] Please don’t hang up. I just need to say something. Actually, I need to say a lot of things. First, I really don’t want you to leave. You make my life exciting and scary and fun. You know that I don’t care where you come from. I only care that you want to be with me now. What happened last week or what might happen next week does not mean a thing to me because, Stephen, I love you.
[STEPHEN has nothing to say. GRACIE only hear silence.]
GRACIE: That’s all. Bye.
SETTING: GRACIE’S apartment. STEPHEN is waiting on the doorstep. He doesn’t know if he is going to knock.]
GRACIE: [More of GRACIE’S poetry voiceover. The camera pans over STEPHEN on the doorstep and GRACIE crying on her bed.] I pull you back out, entwine my fingers in yours, and we run. We run from the past, head first into our limitless future. I look to you, “I love you.”
[There is a knock on the door.]
GRACIE: [STEPHEN is at the door. GRACIE opens the door.]
STEPHEN:[This speech is a little rambled] I am all wrong for you. I am screwed up, and people say that I am bad news. We should not work. If a couple as perfect as Kate and Mitch can screw it up, what says we will work out? I cannot be responsible for messing you up. You are too good…
GRACIE: [GRACIE interrupts STEPHEN. There are tears streaming down her face.] You know I don’t…
STEPHEN: [He interrupts GRACIE.] I am not done. Gracie, I’m terrified, but I love you.
GRACIE: [Shock covers her tear- stained face.] What?
STEPHEN: [A grin covers his face as he pulls GRACIE close.] Grace Marie Parker, I love you, and I am not going anywhere.
GRACIE: [The end of GRACIE’S poetry voiceover. The camera watches as STEPHEN pulls GRACIE off the ground in a tight embrace. They spin in a circle.] You look back with eyes full of fear. Longing. Hope. “I love you, too.”
That, with my short story, is my portfolio that I will be turning into my instructors tomorrow. I learned a ton this summer and I believe my writing has really improved through the lessons our teachers taught, the literature we read, and the workshops I participated in. This has been such a great experience in so many ways. I am on my way to becoming the best writer I can be, and I have spent three weeks in New York City. I understand different cultures now, and I am pretty good at directions and navigating the subway. I have made friendships that will last forever with people from all over the world. I am so glad I was able to have this experience and I would like to thank everyone who helped me get here. You guys rock!! I am sad to be leaving the city, but I cannot wait to see everyone!