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Booth wrote to his dead

although you are
not here to read,
I write—to think,
to tell afresh
when we rejoin some day.
I have achieved a partial
ascent toward heaven;
from the Battery
below Wall Street, in
Thaddeus Lowe's silk rope
enmeshed balloon.
For ten dollars' gold,
a flight aloft;
a full one thousand feet;
albeit tethered to the Earth.
A capstan
reeling let us rise.  Horseflesh
winched us down again.
But, Father, oh, Father, what a height;
as like half-way there to you, it seems,
if I imagine rightly.
Myself and Mr. Lowe—such grins. The sounds
of life below—clarion and well
heard, "Say halloo to God for us."
(Some waggish man—hollow)
thought aroused my soul to plead;
to beg Charity for my brother,
for your son.  I near resounded,
Willst thou forgive?
Alas, I checked myself—I choked.
Dear Father, I knew not
which way to shout.
Edwin Booth
New York City
May 22nd 1866

18 Feb 07

Rated 10 (6.9) by 1 users.
Active (1): 10, 10
Inactive (13): 1, 1, 1, 1, 3, 7, 10, 10, 10, 10, 10, 10

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This is a revision of a poem first made last April.
The "Edwin Booth" was the famous actor-brother of Lincoln's assassin.
Edwin retired from the stage following the ignominious crime of his younger brother.
In May of 1866, Booth came to New York and returned to the stage.
In that same year, famed balloonist T. Lowe offered "skyscraping" views of New York from his hydrogen balloon.  
The poem is, therefore, an historical fiction which may well have occurred in real life;
Booth would have been the sort to take such a fantastic ride, and he would also think to beg both God, and Men below, forgiveness for his insane brother.  
 — netskyIam

Recited in characteristic style
 — netskyIam

Absolutely brilliant. Don't change anything.
 — unknown

Beautiful piece, you changed L6.
 — unknown

This IS brilliant NetSky. It seems so folted to me and the words didn't flow like a pleasanet stream, but more like a river rapid. It still came out great though. 9/10
 — Henry

jolted I mean.
 — Henry

nifty idea
 — chuckles

Mr netskyiam you have quite an imagination. It's an odd poem and i can't help but admire the thought and consideration that has gone into this piece.
 — unknown

Netsky is a dick.
 — unknown

Yes, I am a right dick, thank you for your compliment, unky.
Thanks for your helps and kind words, folks above.
The recent trims were done just after the first audio reading.
I dunno about my line breaks---but they are mostly for dictation cues.
This story of the public balloon rides: Lowe (google) was a great man, and visionary.
1866 was the year he quit flying, and became soon became an astronomer, founding the famous Lowe's Observatory in California.   And Booth restarted his career that year.
Booth is also worth a google.   I put them together, but had to focus only on Booth's plight.  

A new reading will come soon.  I need to look at this for a while longer.
By your helps this poem may further improve.   It's by gaining your perspectives that I know what next to do.   Thanks to idiot unky "netsky is a dick" above,  I am now more sure than ever that I'm a male with working equipment (but gee, that's just the luck of the draw).   Sign me for now,  big dick netsky--and grateful for it.   grins
reid,   who reminds you guys of John Lovette's great line,   "ACTING" lol
 — netskyIam

What an amazing poem, no nits, easily the best i've seen so far on this site.
 — unknown

tsk Nets did you write that comment above ;o)
 — unknown

No he didn't i did, Netters doesn't troll.
 — unknown

This is uncommonly good writing, pure and simple.
 — neverman

This is awful.
 — unknown

incredible work.
 — varun

The multiple twos in lines 4 & 5 don't flow as well as the rest.
 — unknown

Hi NetskyIam,

It’s nice to see you at the top of the pile, once in a while.

I liked the originality of this one; unlike so many previous top rated poems you have chosen to research your subject well

However, there are more than one or two little nits that need sorting out.

The first stanza was excellent; you stepped of in fine style.

Then you appear to stumble on line seven and eight.

How about extending the lines to eight syllables

(I have achieved partial ascent
In my towardness of heaven)

I think line twenty eight was better left unsaid.

Will ye forgive, thou wouldst or thou wilt, what wilt thou.  Unless the speaker lives in Lancashire and then it is wilt tha forgive.

Though I have actually heard “willst thou” expressed in North Carolina of all places.

Good one liked it.

 — Mor

A horrible written blatant racist. You are the blue eyed devil and have no business trying to fake the funk.
 — Ajambo

Mor has a point about L28 but you can't just delete it because the poem has a focus at that point. What language would someone from the period use in such an emotional intonation
 — unknown

Hello and thank you folks for more ideas.
The stumbling line breaks (like 7, 8) are mere dictation cues, firstly,
and mean also, at (L7,L8, for instance) to partly negate the "I have achieved".
The unobtainable achievement.   I can't "defend" this style; but having looked at the same poem in long-line form, I find this way reads more as I want Booth to sound:
tentative and pathetic.  He was a sublime spirit and natural actor.  He played himself well,
and gave his home over to actors and -poets- and others in allied arts, for their mutual socialization in Manhattan.   He lived his last years with the flow of his friends, deeding his house to them, having renamed it The Players' Club.   He was just so good from start to finish.  The nation did indeed forgive a guilt he did not deserve.
Booth deserves more than a letter-poem.  He was, is, an ultra-human, imo.
 — netskyIam

edit: poetic license request to hyphenate "toward" in L9.  Booth would've spoken it that way; it is required for smooth reading of the line. Likewise, he would say ass-cent.  
I have a-chieved / a partial / as-cent to-ward hea-ven.

thanks all!
 — netskyIam

Here's a fresh recitation in character, of the item as it reads today (2/27).
http://tinyurl.com/3dz24w< br /> I still don't have all the inflections and pauses quite right. It's acting, sure,
but it must be learned by the actor, foremost.  
Readers become actors too: actualizing their own poems' powers
by oral conversion of abstract words into living thoughts.  
There is a freeware recorder which takes your voice direct to easily-hosted swf format.
"Swiffrec".   That, and imageshack.us, allow easy sharing of your own readings.
 — netskyIam

Extremely moving! Used to live in the Booth home as a child and you could feel the energy day and night. I still have Edwin's dagger know to have been used in his last performance. What a treasure!
 — unknown

awsome work sexy.
 — unknown

gruesome work

 — unknown

retouched 10 Sept. 07
 — netskyIam

good poem
 — stout

Thanks so much for the vote.  The poem =is=  stilted by today's standards,
and yet it is as clean and right and authentic to BOOTH, whose voice it really is.
He was such a great and good man.  That tragedy of confluences stands unique
in American history.  I wonder how I'd read this letter aloud today?  I may try again
for better reading.  
 — netskyIam

oh this is a lofty ode to the dead and the feeling is not dread but thrilling to be said this way or that, instead -- wondrous write and a clear storyline
 — AlchemiA

It would be cruel to crit this as a poem, seeing as it's clearly the product of a deranged mind -- I'm letting it go.  Be well.
 — unknown

I think maybe people give poems like this good crits because they're scare not to, not because there is good cause.
 — unknown

^ ^
ah, two brand new comments on Oct. 18th, and two brand new "ones" for my cookie jar.

John Wilkes Booth was deranged.  Show, please, how "Edwin", the speaker, who I am speaking on behalf for, is deranged?  For here, "I am Edwin Booth" for the purpose of this narrative.   Bullets fly!  Nobody dies.   I am happy and serene.  But I do prefer big fat cookies instead of the crumbs of your retributions (look, folks, at the number of ones awarded this poem?)  It's called vengeance with a passion only the most flawed of females can deliver.  I hope these ones never birth babies. They would destroy any child, irreparably.  But I am no longer a child. Mommy dearests, I use wire coat hanges, an' you can't stop me!  (Reid, third person mode, laughs joyously) Great poem, greater movie:  Mommy Dearest.  Watch it!
 — netskyIam

oof, reid, this is pretentious and dull, 'sanctimonious' even, and though it feed some of your 'my little mermaid hunger' for fine writing, it's simply fish-sticks.
 — trashpoodle

There is poetry in this prose, original, love the whole idea.
beautiful work.
 — unknown

Update, June, 2009.  The poem is now well over two years old.
I am quite sure, after dozens of hours over years' time, that it is perfected.
I shall never change a dash of it now.
I think: if I could but show it to the now-non existent Edwin, would he approve?
I feel that I know him.  I feel sure that he would tear and then embrace me.
And so bring him back to life, and he, in turn, though long dead, gives me life-force in return.
It's one of my best historical poems because it is so nearly true.
Lowe WAS in NY at the same time as Booth, making his reluctant but vital return to the stage.
The balloon ride could have happened, and should have happened.
My source:  Scientific American, original issue, spring, 1866, news tidbit:
Mr. Lowe is retiring from ballooning, but to close his career in that field, he offers
for the princely sum of a ten dollar gold piece, a ride to the heavens for one or two people at a time.  
Booth is just the man who would have taken up the offer.
Horseflesh winched him down again.  

Thank you all for your kind and strong comments.
Knowing which way to plead, when one is figuratively up in the air, between soft clouds and hard dirt, can and was a conundrum for that beautiful man.
 — Reid_Welch

Thank you, latest rater.

I am in the air because of your kind number-up.

Thank you very much,

 — Reid_Welch

One of the golden rules of presenting effective poetry is no (parenthesis). Just because no-one here has pointed that out so far doesn't mean to say the poem is now considered perfect. That was one bitch out of the way...there are more but I don't think your ego would take it...the poem could and even be more effective. Ah well. Just some good old fashioned advice that will for sure be ignored.
 — unknown