The Heights

A memorial tribute to the poetry of Aldan.

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aldan
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The Heights

Post by aldan »

I walk up the trail
Sweat dripping down
Calories burning
Skin turning brown

Been walking for hours
The heat is intense
The hill getting steeper
The mountain immense

The food and the clothes
The drink in my pack
The weight pushes down
On my tired back

But I struggle on
The peak out of sight
I know it is there
I’ll find it if I might

The setting sun crosses
Behind mountain top
Lighting up the clouds
As the rain starts to drop

As sweaty hair drips rain
All my thoughts start to turn,
While exhaustion sets in,
To a campfire that burns

But while I am thinking
I find no such place
The cliff side falls sheer
As the wind hits my face

Still stubborn am I
And I struggle on
Through the heat and the rain
From the night to the dawn

The miles fall away
I continue to rise
Though my goal is no closer
I continue to try

For the joy of the trial
And the struggle to win
They keep pushing me on
Up the trail through the wind
Last edited by aldan on Tue Mar 20, 2007 11:01 am, edited 4 times in total.
"It is better to keep your mouth shut and to appear stupid than
to open it and remove all doubt."
---Mark Twain

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Magus
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Post by Magus »

NICE!

I am serious when I say that you are not only the best poet on this site, but the best poet I've read since POE!

And clearly you're no craven.

:wink:

You really should organize a book of your poems. I think it would do VERY well.

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aldan
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Post by aldan »

I noticed that some areas seemed to limp in this poem, so I worked on them and here's the result (see the edited poem above).
"It is better to keep your mouth shut and to appear stupid than
to open it and remove all doubt."
---Mark Twain

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Post by LadyFlame »

This could be a Cliff Bar mantra! :smt115
Courage is not the absence of fear, but rather the judgment that something else is more important than fear.

Ambrose Redmoon

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Tremayne
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Post by Tremayne »

I love how this becomes more than a poem about a hike (though nothing wrong with a poem just about a hike as far as I'm concerned). Are you still wanting to tamper with this or just sharing?

With the little rhyming I've done lately, I find the type here, rhyming every other line (or XaXa XbXb, if you're into the notation thing) is actually more difficult than couplets.

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aldan
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Post by aldan »

I do wish for more comments, Tremayne, for my poetry is live, not memorex, and so it is constantly in a state where it can and should morph.

As for your statement that it is more difficult to rhyme this way for you, well, I can't speak for you, but as for myself, when first putting it down it is a bit tougher, but it tends to be a bit more 'solid' thereafter, because the rhyme tends to avoid appearing forced more easily. Couplets don't have the buffer zone as does this form of poetry.
"It is better to keep your mouth shut and to appear stupid than
to open it and remove all doubt."
---Mark Twain

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Post by Magus »

Is there anyway you can have a side-by-side comparison so we could compare the two? I found no fault with it the first time nor do I find any now. I love this poem, and I think that you should take my advice.

If ever I teach any manner of American Lit class I'll be sure to bring a good sampling of your work to the table. You can stand against any contemporary or classic poet I can think of.

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aldan
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Post by aldan »

Okay... here is what I think was the original posting...

I walk up the trail
Sweat dripping down
Calories burning
Skin turning brown

Been walking for hours
The heat is intense
The hill getting steeper
The mountain immense

The food and the clothes
The drink in my pack
The weight pushes down
On my exhausted back

But I struggle on
The peak out of sight
I know it is there
And I’ll find it if I might

The setting sun crosses
Behind mountain top
Lighting up the clouds
As the rain starts to drop

As sweaty hair drips rain
All my thoughts begin to turn
As sheer exhaustion sets in
To a campfire that burns

And while I am thinking
I find no such place
The cliff side falls sheer
As the wind hits my face

But stubborn am I
And I struggle on
Through the heat and the rain
From the night to the dawn

The miles fall away
I continue to rise
Though my goal is no closer
I continue to try

For the joy of the trial
And the struggle to win
They keep pushing me on
Up the trail through the wind

----------------------------------------------------
...and this is the one that I posted to start this off, this being the edited version.

I walk up the trail
Sweat dripping down
Calories burning
Skin turning brown

Been walking for hours
The heat is intense
The hill getting steeper
The mountain immense

The food and the clothes
The drink in my pack
The weight pushes down
On my tired back

But I struggle on
The peak out of sight
I know it is there
I’ll find it if I might

The setting sun crosses
Behind mountain top
Lighting up the clouds
As the rain starts to drop

As sweaty hair drips rain
All my thoughts start to turn,
While exhaustion sets in,
To a campfire that burns

And while I am thinking
I find no such place
The cliff side falls sheer
As the wind hits my face

But stubborn am I
And I struggle on
Through the heat and the rain
From the night to the dawn

The miles fall away
I continue to rise
Though my goal is no closer
I continue to try

For the joy of the trial
And the struggle to win
They keep pushing me on
Up the trail through the wind
Last edited by aldan on Fri Mar 16, 2007 2:10 pm, edited 1 time in total.
"It is better to keep your mouth shut and to appear stupid than
to open it and remove all doubt."
---Mark Twain

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Post by MainComputer »

I've done quite a bit of hiking,and this doesn't reflect the experience or feeling at all. Not one bit.

And that's because I'm a lazy git, and when I get tired I stop.

I want to be the character in this piece!

I imagine it's even harder to construct a rhyming poem with such short lines than a more verbose one? Or is it the reverse?

I'm trying to learn- or am I simply trying?
---------------------------------
Be brave - hurt me.

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aldan
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Post by aldan »

For me, because I'm trying to keep the flow right, I have to keep them shorter. Also, since I was working to make it feel a bit strained, I had to keep its lines shorter. However, longer ones make the rhyming seem less noticeable, which helps to keep the rhyming from taking over the poem. Some other poems I have posted do different things with flow, such as Treachery. That one flows and then WHAM! stutters to shock the reader a bit. The change also creates more emphasis on some important lines. I can also do free verse, but this type of poetry is what I'm currently working with, since I wanted to really work on stretching my abilities...

As for the feel of this one, I'm going from my experience climbing Mount Whitney. It was a 50 mile hike, and Whitney is the tallest mountain in the lower 48 states.
"It is better to keep your mouth shut and to appear stupid than
to open it and remove all doubt."
---Mark Twain

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Post by Magus »

:shock:

So... much... walking...

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aldan
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Post by aldan »

Nope, not 'walking'. It's not 'walking' when you've got a 45 pound pack on your back hiking on rough trails for 50 miles. No, it's definitely not 'walking' then. It's more like struggling, stumbling, staggering, stopping, starting, climbing, scraping your extremities on rocks, sleeping on the ground in tents in the cold (I did this in September) of night, eating rather bland food and working to supplement it with a few caught trout, catching a cold and then worrying about a fever, getting in an argument with your hiking companion but still having 25 miles left to hike and not having any choice but to continue with him so that neither will be alone, going for a 'polar bear' dip in one of the lakes, regretting taking that very cold dip, continuing on, having the pack get lighter as food and water are consumed but having it feel heavier every day, getting near the peak and sleeping one last day before the final struggle, reaching the peak with exhilaration and exhaustion in equal supply, hiking back down the front of the mountain, camping one more night and then finishing the descent with plenty of blisters, bruises and scrapes, as well as mosquito bites, to show for proof.
"It is better to keep your mouth shut and to appear stupid than
to open it and remove all doubt."
---Mark Twain

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