Keep hold



Keep hold,

hold tight,

my hand—

hand me down

from this pitching deck,

pitch black sea swells

with swelling white sails.

Let’s watch them go,

seaward sailing,

leaving us on the leeward

of the windy strand

with the rolling sea behind,

home before.

Published by

Jane Dougherty

I used to do lots of things I didn't much enjoy. Now I am officially a writer. It's what I always wanted to be.

34 thoughts on “Keep hold”

      1. Lots of writers end up there without knowing what to write next. It’s the ‘and then everything went black’ cliché. If you’re telling us that everything went black (past tense) you’re writing from a future perspective beyond the end, so… What’s it like there?

      2. Ohh.. Nice critique.. Hmm.. Never thought it like that.. But yeah i have still to fall in that trap. But basically (and I could be wrong) writers tend to be more satisfied with it.. They think that it somehow widen their canvas. My preference is to stick to the middle and not follow the third man perspective .. But it does have the destructive power to drain your character profiling.

      3. Writing in first person makes character development difficult anyway, I think. I know it’s fashionable, and in theory, the reader should be right inside the character’s head and know what they are really thinking. It often doesn’t work that way though a) because if the author really told us exactly what the character was thinking, there’d be no mystery, and b) we are often untruthful about our motives and don’t dig very deep into what we really feel or why we do things. The unreliable witness syndrome.

      4. I tend to have (or at least i think i have) solve that problem, by following what I term as method writing.. (Similar to method acting). But I have encountered a different problem and I call it a ‘black hole pull’. Basically you can only do this when you are dealing with a maximum of 4 or 5 characters. And the main character becomes a sort of black hole. I wonder how Hardy dealt with this problem..

      5. Both, but most of the time around mc, that is why i gave it the name black hole pull..

      6. It’s partly inevitable. Everything is seen from one POV, so you can’t get into the heads of your minor characters in any given scene, just show their reactions and let your mc work out what it means.

      7. But i am trying to solve this problem. Hope I can find the ‘faster than light’ method to get past this black hole..

      8. Have you tried writing in omniscient? You step back from all your characters and give each major character in the scene the same insight. It was much more popular in classic literature. Modern/contemporary is almost always in first person or close third. It moves quicker, it’s true, but it depends on whether fast anf furious is really what you’re after. It’s fashionable, but that doesn’t make it ‘better’.

      9. Basically the ‘method writing’ prevents me from doing it. I think only Hardy solved this problem. His Casterbridge is a perfect example.. But he is not alive.. And i have to figure it out on my own..

      10. Hardy was a tremendous writer. Now that I’ve done some writing of my own, I’d have to reread for POV and how he does it. Offhand, I’d have said it was omniscient, but I’d have to check.

      11. I think i will continue with my search for this solution.. I will let you know if I ever find a solution to this black hole.. Problem..

      12. Basically I kept it simple for me. On the one side it is Hardy.. And other Hemingway.. I see more and more of the latter but i want the former..

      13. Writing like Hardy if a hard act to follow. I much prefer him to Hemingway who I think is over rated. His insight into character is limited to a particular type of male ‘hero’. Hardy could write about heroes, cowards and very ordinary folk, and he could write convincing and sympathetic, strong women too, at an epoch when women had much lower prestige than they did when Hemingway was writing.

      14. I agree that is why i said i want the former (Hardy). But the truth is we are seeing (as i mentioned in the comment) more and more Hemingway. Not that I have anything against the man but i do feel his writing is the perfect example of ‘black hole pull’. Which I don’t like. I love Hardy. Wish I knew how he wrote as I said he solved this black hole pull syndrome..

  1. I love how, despite the turbulent imagery of the sea, this actually feels like quite a calm poem – like the narrator is telling the other person that they’re safe and okay.

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