My Wince Word (V3)

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bjondon
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Mon Jan 03, 2022 4:59 pm

'Mummy' is the word,
trundled out
with a goofy sort of nerve
by Charles the Unexpectant Third.

He does it on these grand occasions,
right there on our tellies; it's a family joke
and I think I get it, like it
though as for myself, I choke.

This is, you see, my wince-word -
'mother', 'mum' - I slide, elide
indubitably hide; I am ashamed - how odd.

If we were proper posh, I'd carry it off.

And anyway, these days
'posh' is retro, 'posh' is quaint.

Despicable, it seems,
I no longer ain't.


edited S4 'And anyway/we're in the twenties' to 'And anyway, these days'

V1

'Mummy' is the word,
dandled, with an odd sort of nerve
by Charles the Unexpectant Third.

He does it on these grand occasions
right there on our tellies; it's a family joke
and I think I get it, like it,
though as for myself, I choke.

This is, you see, my wince-word :
'mother', 'mum' - I slide, elide,
indubitably hide; I am ashamed - how odd.

If we were proper posh, I'd carry it off.
But now it's 2022, and 'posh' is quaint!

Despicable, it seems,
I no longer ain't.
Last edited by bjondon on Fri Jan 28, 2022 10:43 pm, edited 8 times in total.
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Firebird
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Tue Jan 04, 2022 1:07 am

Just seen this Jules. I’ll comment properly later on today. But for now I like all the rhymes. Noticed you used ‘odd’ twice. Was this meant?

Be back later.

Cheers,

Tristan
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Tue Jan 04, 2022 2:31 am

Welcome back Jules. Neatly packed into 14 lines of playful, political and personal. Class distinctions march on, in language and diction, as do forms in poetry. Yep, confidence was/is always a player in those distinctions.

enjoyed

mac
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Tue Jan 04, 2022 10:21 am

Hi Jules,

I like it. I’m not sure about ‘wince word’ being the title and being in the poem. Some specific comments below.
bjondon wrote:
Mon Jan 03, 2022 4:59 pm
'Mummy' is the word,
dandled, with an odd sort of nerve (I’m not convinced ‘dandled’ fully fits here, though I understand what you are getting at)
by Charles the Unexpectant Third.

He does it on these grand occasions
right there on our tellies; it's a family joke (maybe: He dies it on our telly / on grand occasions, or He does it on grand occasions / on our telly; it’s a family joke …)
and I think I get it, like it,
though as for myself, I choke.

This is, you see, my wince-word :
'mother', 'mum' - I slide, elide,
indubitably hide; I am ashamed - how odd. (Really like this stanza)

If we were proper posh, I'd carry it off. (Great line)
But now it's 2022, and 'posh' is quaint!

Despicable, it seems,
I no longer ain't. (This begs the question, we’re you posh in the past? And if you were, what happened to change this? Maybe a couple of hints in the poem about this might be good)
I was brought up not to use the terms ‘mum’ or ‘dad’ or any forms of them, as my parents didn’t like their hierarchical implications. We all called one another by our first names. I found it difficult to call my mother, ‘mum’, ‘mother’ even right to the end. I always new her as Jean. Strange, I know.

Enjoyed your poem.

Cheers,

Tristan
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Firebird
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Tue Jan 04, 2022 12:20 pm

Hi Jules,
If we were proper posh, I'd carry it off.
But now it's 2022, and 'posh' is quaint!

Despicable, it seems,
I no longer ain't.
I think I get your ending now. Is ‘proper posh’ quaint and you are not quaint, so can’t be proper posh? This would imply you are unquaint posh. Is this right? Are you a type of unidealised posh?

Sorry about my slowness with this.

I like the rhyme quaint/ain’t - it works well on more than one level.

Cheers,

Tristan
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Tue Jan 04, 2022 3:06 pm

Hu Jules.

Good to read you again.
I'm with Tristan on the title though, particularly how it impacts on the first line.


'Mummy' is the word,
dandled, with an odd sort of nerve ........... 'dandled', tricky one. Is there an alternative? Jangled?
by Charles the Unexpectant Third. .......... rhyming slang possibilities? :)

He does it on these grand occasions .......... 'these' needs unpacking, or to be sent packing.
right there on our tellies; it's a family joke
and I think I get it, like it,
though as for myself, I choke. .............. agree with Tristain (again), this verse is a bit untidy (and doesn't flow that well into the following. ).

This is, you see, my wince-word :
'mother', 'mum' - I slide, elide,
indubitably hide; I am ashamed - how odd.

If we were proper posh, I'd carry it off.
But now it's 2022, and 'posh' is quaint! ..........this is all a bit too compacted, and the ending, the sudden 'despicable' it a bit bolt-from-the-blue-ish.

Despicable, it seems,
I no longer ain't.


By way of a nudge


'Mummy' - why the very the word,
dandled, with an odd sort of nerve
by Charles the Unexpectant Third.

it's become a family joke
'Mummy' - on those grand occasions
on our tellies, right there;
and like I think I get it, like it,
though like for myself, I choke.

you see, this is my wince-word: ...... I think you could add a bit here, riff some more on 'wince-word' (u non-u accursed curse word)
'mother', 'mater' - these I slide, elide,
I hide, indubitably 'mum';
and I am ashamed

- how odd. If we were proper posh,
(not merely sort of)
'Mummy' - I could carry off.
But now we're 22,

and 'posh' is quaint!
Despicable, it seems,
I no longer ain't.


Regards, Not

.
bjondon
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Thu Jan 06, 2022 6:32 pm

Thank you Tristan, Phil and Not - it's good to be back (if I am!)
This piece has been well revised so it's quite challenging to start rethinking :D

mac-Phil : On the button as ever. You seem to like this one straight out of the box, picking up exactly on my intentions . . . very gratifying.

Tristan : Glad you liked (most of) this.
I'll start with the two 'odds' - amazed that I missed this, it does need attention. Also 'dandled' - what you do with a baby on your knee and I agree a bit far fetched (Not, your vote against it noted too). Here is my current alt for S1:

'Mummy' is the word
trundled out
with a goofy sort of nerve
by Charles the Unexpectant Third.

The occasion I was thinking of was one of the jubilee concerts. I have a feeling Brian May was up on the roof which to my horror would make it 2002, but it could have been 2012. Either way PC hasn't changed much.

Not and Tristan: - I don't see what's wrong with the title. I like titles as labels, even just a repetition of the first line or random phrase picked from the poem. Ok, it can be a bit clunky on the first read through but then you just ignore it. 'Wince Word' as a compound phrase (hyphenated on the repetition) seems novel to me - nothing on the internet bar a couple of articles on "words that make you wince" - one a tedious complaint from the grammar police, another a fairly bland list of lingual pet peeves ('pulchritude', 'redacted'), but both are about cringe-worthy words used by others. But here the whole point is that the N is wincing at himself. (Perhaps a general human trait but the English middle classes seem particularly good at it). There is a game going on here with the title begging the question 'What is my wince word?' and appearing to answer it with the opening one and a half stanzas. But no - 'I get it, I like it' - but when the same word is in his own mouth - 'I choke'. That's the USP of the poem.

Glad you like S3 Tristan. The concision and the hobbled rhythm and rhyme scheme feel crucial to the tone of this. 'Unpacking' the whole piece (as you seem to be recommending Not) would I think lean more towards self-flagellation and less towards the comic detachment I was aiming for.

Tristan, S4/5 seemed to throw you. It's just a little addendum to give a bit more particularity to N i.e. not wealthy (proper posh) - and lacking that insulating confidence/arrogance that seems to come with a bona fide monied upbringing. But things have moved on, the whole posh/not posh thing defused, perhaps because, as in America, power, privilege, status are more likely to have been purchased than inherited. The brazen toffs are seen as less threatening, particularly those who ham it up a bit i.e. 'quaint' - they're given a free pass as a sort of caricature, but the equivocating middle classes less so. Inverse snobbery is definitely a thing. The N seems to have internalised this, but the concluding lines perhaps indicate that he's preparing to grow a pair of balls and own his own local culture.

By the way, I don't find it strange you always called your parents by their first names. Each new family tries in their own way to remake the world; I admire that sort of idealism.

Not : rhyming slang :D - Will we ever get a "Charles the Turd" Metro headline? (I don't think they'd quite dare).

Both you and T query 'He does it on these grand occasions' - I don't see what's wrong with it. By 'these' I mean 'this one here, that one there' i.e. not every one, and done very deliberately. It's a bit colloquial, but that's the voice I want.

'despicable' - a bolt from the blue? It's a bit of jokey hyperbole ; the N hasn't internalised that sentiment to that extent, but it's also a nod to the very real levels of vitreol that class distinctions arouse.

I didn't want to go into details about the peculiarity of my own family, but perhaps some of that complexity has inadvertently coloured some of the assumptions and language of the poem. Class in Britain is way more complicated than the homogenised versions we all get served up in mainstream media. I am sure at least half the so called middle classes would, like my family claim themselves to be an exception to the general rules.

Best, Jules
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Firebird
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Fri Jan 07, 2022 11:16 am

Hi Jules,

I like you revised first stanza - much better IMO. On reflection, I’m also with you on the title. I agree with most of what you say about family, class and poshness. However, for me, this doesn’t come through clearly enough at the end of the poems. I think it needs unraveling just a bit more, but not so much you lose the ambiguity and that condensed feel I think you were going for.

Cheers,

Tristan
bjondon
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Thu Jan 13, 2022 11:09 pm

A V2 up.
Thanks for coming back Tristan and glad you think the S1 works now.
The only other change is a little expansion to S4/5 . . . enough?

Did a quick search on PC and his 'Mummys' - the main hit being from 2018, a birthday party at the Albert Hall - the assorted Press unanimously wetting their pants with glee and making out it was unprecedented. So perhaps he has only done it twice, which still I think fits the phrase 'these grand occasions'. There's a sort of mock charade of embarrassment being played out there.

Best, Jules
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CalebPerry
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Fri Jan 14, 2022 12:16 am

I like the creative and unpremeditated flow of the language, but I don't really understand what the poem is saying. I'm not sure why anyone would have a "wince word". (I haven't read the other posts yet.)

Are you referring to Prince Charles?
If you don't like the black theme, it is easy to switch to a lighter color. Just ask me how.

If I don't critique your poem, it is probably because I don't understand it.
bjondon
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Mon Jan 24, 2022 6:44 pm

Hi Caleb,
Thanks for the read. Yes, the reference is to Prince Charles.
This is a small poem about a small thing, an obscure corner of British culture - how we judge each other by our accents - and full of British speech idioms so I'm not surprised you find it unclear. In fact 2 of the 3 other responders had an issue with clarity so I'm having a rethink (especially about S4). Spelling things out risks losing the liveliness you picked up on.

Best, Jules
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Firebird
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Mon Jan 24, 2022 11:24 pm

Hi Jules,
The only other change is a little expansion to S4/5 . . . enough?
Yes, I think it is enough. Sorry that it’s taken me so long to reply. I had to think about this poem and was distracted by life.

I like it.

Cheers,

Tristan
bjondon
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Fri Jan 28, 2022 10:51 pm

Thanks for coming back Tristan.
Just one final tweak:
'we're in the twenties' - (too specific) edited to 'these days'.
Glad you like this. It's just a small comedy of manners, but perhaps more significant for having grown so out of proportion in my mind.

Best, Jules
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