Monday, 24 January 2011


The falcon seeks and finds its prey, dead sure,
With eyes of liquid gold, nature's smart bomb,
Hunts, finds and kills its target with hunger pure,
But is hunted itself, and faces its tomb.


  1. More striking imagery, Muffin Man, but I think you’ve tripped yourself up a little on the metre here. The first two lines scan fine (although the second line has its fourth scan on the second syllable of nature [“chur”], which doesn’t sound right – I’m sure there’s a proper literary term for that, maybe englishguru can help?) but the third and fourth lines each have a syllable too many.

    As for the words, I like the first line; I like the “nature’s smart bomb” a lot, and “eyes of liquid gold” more than that. “Hunger pure” is nice too, but the rest of that line is essentially repeating the meaning of the first line (apart from the killing), which means the poem doesn’t really pack as much as it might into its four lines. That said, the “hunts” in that (third) line is important, because of the reversal in the fourth, where the falcon is hunted, which is a good play on the reader’s expectations. Rhyming “tomb” and “bomb” is fine (and fits the archaic feel brought about by reversing the word order in “hunger pure”) but “faces its tomb” is a bit of a clumsy expression.

    If you’re a fan of falcons, have you read Barry Hines ‘A Kestrel For A Knave’? – made into the film ‘Kes’. I’ve also recently been reading a beautiful book called ‘The Peregrine’ by JA Baker, a very poetic and personal account of following the birds on the flat dull Essex coast – a very different kind of bird book.

  2. Hi,
    The imagery in this poem is beautiful, and you tell a story using limited words, which is definitely a skill. However you slip up on your beats. Nature has its emphasis on the beginning, throwing off your beats. Hunts is a strong word, and so you start with the DUM beat, rather than with the dee. This again throws everything slightly off.
    I like the language used to make the piece seem menacing and sinister. The ‘dead sure’ is a nice touch, adding to the hunting, tomb and bomb. It would be interesting to hear the poem in a Scottish accent, as I’m aware words that don’t rhyme with my very English accent rhyme when said in other accents (while at uni I was friends with a welsh girl who wrote poetry). I maybe wouldn’t have put bomb and tomb together (they are more sight rhymes than sound rhymes), but it would seem a waste to not use them as it fits the poem so well. If I were you I’d pledge artistic license and ignore me.
    Can’t wait for the next time (I won’t be late!)


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