Draft – Multiple Windows

I’ve been asked to write a poem about ‘society’s perception of young people’ for 11 – 16 year olds, so they will be inspired to write their own poem on the topic. I had a great response on Facebook when I asked for feedback on the topic, it would be great if you could offer me feedback (before Mon 26th Nov), I’m trying to actually edit these days, thanks!

Multiple Windows

Granddad, put the TV in a box at term time
His ten kids peeked through windows at Westerns
Now Westerners stare at multiple windows

Dad’s stamp collection connected him globally
Aged eight, he found me a Kenyan pen pal in the library
Now I’ve more people on my Facebook than in my village

Dad ripened despite the spud diet,
We got chocolate if we were good in Mass
Now Noughties’ children are fed disorders

Dad gets a free bus pass, eye test, a good pension
I worked the door aged eleven at the youth club disco
Now the young roost on bus shelters

When I was fourteen, dial up choked the land-line,
Friends teased chat room strangers on our family desktop
Today’s two year olds thumb touchscreens on transport

Dad’s grant offcuts got him a clapped out car
My first job demanded an ’89 Renault
Now debt buys alloy wheels

Dad marched, boycotted, worked, volunteered, planted,
I keep the tradition and bring performing, tweeting, writing,
We inherit the ingredients to solder our future,
We lick the leftover chip paper.

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9 Responses to Draft – Multiple Windows

  1. Ian Weston says:

    Wanting to be a star any star just wanting to be famous for something.

  2. catbrogan says:

    a friend who used to critique my poetry when I was 15 had this to say, (i’m posting it cause it would work) “I like this poem. It captures the mixture of inevitability and awe that people feel about technology and change. One suggestion Id make – you have highlighted a well-recognised irony that the older generation usually slight us for our decadenceyet it is we, who now live in an age of austerity. I wonder if there might be scope for a role reversal. Perhapsyou might abandon the first person and have the father tell the story of riches to rags over a generation. This doesn’t really amount to editing but I think will help to simplify lots of the language by eliminating “my’ and “my father” from the stanzas”.

    I hope you find this useful.

    Brian x

  3. catbrogan says:

    the wonderful Josh Nicho, Journalist and Poet said this ‘I like the first half of the childhood poem, nice images and has real feeling – second half seems a bit too obvious, think it would be more affecting as short. A good page poem as well as spoken word (if that’s not treasonous!)

  4. Lara Atkin says:

    I like it a lot Cat, I’m just not sure about the line ‘Noughties’ children are fed disorders and medication’ – it’s a bit kinda vague, I’m not sure what you’re really getting at. I do really like the personal beginning bit, I don’t think there’s anything wrong with getting general and political at the end, but perhaps that part could be shorter?
    L xx

  5. Hya Lara, I think the line is a play on the word ‘naughty children’ and ‘children who grew up in 2001 upwards’ ie Children of the noughties ‘cos those years have ‘noughts’ in them ie year 2000 + 2 nought nought nought; and the year 2001 = 2 nought nought one; etc and also the ‘noughties are know as the noughties cos people have been …well ……..naughty it was also during this period where there seem to be a lot of attention on diagnosing children with learning disorders such as ADHD ADD and prescribing them Ritalin So when you check it it’s quite a clever line – i would spend time writing stuff about the rest of the poem but to tell you the truth i got my own shit to write I’m just procrastinating doing this 🙂 Good Luck with it.

  6. Oh go on then…… It’s alright….. There’s a problem for me with the stanza about the library ‘cos i dunno what you’re on about., it could be……… you could be talking about the advertising on our t-shirts and clothing which children are by default forced to read thus programming their minds subliminally? If so Nice One! Problem over. if you dint mean dat then problem aint over 😉

    I think you should just dump the next verse about dial up downloading slowly and all that cos it don’t compare to the other verses you havent made the same comparison – there’s something smiley about it though……….okay I just read it a few more times and it’s alright. I like it, now, for some reason it feels slightly diff, a slight change of pace. mote ‘gradual’ That’s’ the thing ennit? The more you read a poem the more you come to like it, appreciate it, and respect it. – so when you think about it, all poems are brilliant! Unless of course their obviously blatantly unmistakenably utter crap then their authors names are mentioned in hushes. It’ll do, hand it in and relax

  7. James Milton says:

    I think it’s a great poem and absolutely gets at one of the problems at the moment, which is progress seems to have taken a break. The next generation will not be as well of as the previous one.

    However, I don’t really get the feeling it’s about perception of young people. It’s more about generational difference. Maybe that’s an aspect of perception but I think a poem that chose to focus more on what your father’s generation believe that thier kids can achieve and the reality of what life has to offer them would be more about perception of young people.

    • catbrogan says:

      Thanks for the great feedback james, its like having an on tap workshop group. I changed the last line. I think its easier to write about what u know rather than what u imagine. Ur the 2nd person to suggest telling it frim my dad’s point of view. I would have to write it in his voice

  8. Tony says:

    Catherine, I like the poem and I recognise lots of it from my childhood. I believe, if possible you may want to stress that some of the older generation that have retired on great pensions are sitting pretty, they being the creators of the systems and folly that lead to the next gernation, many of whom can’t afford to retire because their aspirational property investments failed when the bubble burst and they can’t pay of their debts. Is there room for a comment on my generation 45-55, that we have to pay for the sins of our fathers father rather than just the father. I know about 20 guys my age who work for themselves because they were made redundant in the last 5 years and there is not hope of them every working in their former career path. I will say they are the happiest 20 guys you’ll every meet. Hope I’m constructive or some minor use.

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