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Burnt Out Norton

Rating: 5.0

The going and the point of departure
Are both perhaps the same as the arrival,
And the arrival a muchness of the departure.
The bike ride is the crux of it
The journey to and from academic.
The road taken is of little consequence
A thing of endless possibilities
A mere matter of choice.
Where might have been and where had been
Faded to the shadow of the riding.

Remembering a trip that we took
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COMMENTS OF THE POEM
Ned Coates 22 September 2009

Combining a spoof and a serious good ride. Nostalgia dusted off for my BSA. Ride on!

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Michael Shepherd 29 September 2005

Watch out, Gol - the Widow Eliot is litigious! I was supposed to ask her permission before publishing 'The Wasted Landing'! Your is fun, especially read in TSE's deadpan academic voice.

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Poetry Hound 29 September 2005

There are more than a few poems that have been written in the 'motorcycle freedom genre, ' (similar to the surfer freedom genre) but this is one of the best I've seen. I'm a little biased because I think Nortons are one of the coolest bikes (along with Vincent Black Shadows and Indians) . But you present a lot of really original and compelling lines. My favorite section is the last section of Part I starting with 'Listen...' all the way to the end of Part I. I think coming up with images that are at once original and that readers 'get' is one of the most difficult things to do in poetry, but you do it with images like 'a loud dust cloud rising behind' (used in Part I and rephrased in Part V) and 'axing through traffic jams' and the 'ladder of perfection.' I think you dip slightly into cliche sentiment with the lines about freedom from routing and mapping, etc. in Part II, but I think you get away with it within the context of the rest of the poem, although you sort of repeat the sentiment for no apparent reason in Part IV. Regards.

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