A good plan for PNG literature
Turning point: Dorney’s history revisited

Tribal Fights


‘Twas our forefathers’ definition of fame
A cultural aspect that magnified their name
‘Twas a sport in the primitive days
A method for acquiring land rights
Still, a technique that aroused mournful cries
A taint of the nightmare that kept villagers on guard

‘Twas a custom infused into our grandfathers
Demanding submission to be a tradition of our grandmothers
Whenever the inhumane figure awakened
‘Twas a weapon that guaranteed security
Still, the means that troubled their identity
An inescapable infection that existed in the community

‘Tis a burden we’re enduring
Ignoring its norm and intervening
yet power and wealth is craved more than peace
‘Tis a mechanism for respecting properties
Still, a matter that devastates
Injuring unfortunate and innocent lives

It’ll be terminated someday
May our forefathers rest peacefully
May our grandfathers enlighten today
May we withstand one day
And never again succumb to tribal fights.


Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

Stephanie Alois

Thank you Michael for the wonderful explanation and criticism. I still have a lot to learn and your feedback is encouraging and enlightening on the subject.

Thank you Daniel for the motivation too.

Michael Dom

Iau gosh! Such high praise Daniel, I thank you.

And Keith (who clearly is not taking his sedatives).

I return your fine compliments and salute two extraordinary gentlemen.

It's exciting to see new writers entering our arena, although we know longer have those all out gladiatorial matches, there's a proud tradition to carry on.

Daniel Kumbon

Michael you are a true poet, a gentleman and a true national.

I like the way you review all poems published here on PNG Attitude and provide constructive criticism that is encouraging.

I agree with you we writers must interact, comment, encourage each other and move on.

And Stephanie, keep writing. And once, you've enough material, you can publish a collection of your poems in book form. That's what many of us have done - collections of poems, short stories, essays etc.

I endorse Daniel's remarks about Michael's critical reinforcement and mentoring of his fellow poets. A major contribution to PNG literature in its own right - KJ

Michael Dom

Hi Stephanie - This is good subject material to work with from the tribal war aspect of our cultural heritage, asserting dominance, resolving disputes, maintaining or claiming new territory; earning the "big name".

There's some good mining that can be done here without damaging the environment.

You've chosen to use archaic starting terms, so to be consistent in the last stanza, "It'll" should be "T'will".

The narrative is clear but the description becomes complicated by terminology that might be better toned down, like 'definition' 'aspect' and 'magnified'.

It's better to hold back on the 'big guns' until you need 'em. Otherwise big long words take the punch out of your phrase.

I've learned that Shakespeare suggested, when he was writing words would become his enemies, because he knew he could go too far in ornate expression and thereby lose the bedrock meaning of what he really wanted to say.

Here's an example of how to drop the archaic terms and simplify your first first verse, maintain the double-line rhyme but transform it into a true heroic couplet:

"Our forefathers justified means to fame
Tribal war victory earned them big name"

A change like that can be continued into your following verses.

One more heroic couplet then;

"Sport for men in so called primitive days
They killed foes and claimed land, much like today"

So now I've hit your bedrock already within that couplet, namely that tribal war was our past culture but we still suffer from it today "‘Tis a burden we’re enduring".

It's not necessary to get into the meter of heroic couplets, although they can make a striking exhibition when well placed inside the display room of your poem.

You have good ability to decorate a room, by structuring your verses and filling them with content.

Next school yourself to polish the unrefined ore, reveal the gemstone and let its reflective brilliance fill your poem.

There's much more to be excavated from this lode so happy digging.

Verify your Comment

Previewing your Comment

This is only a preview. Your comment has not yet been posted.

Your comment could not be posted. Error type:
Your comment has been saved. Comments are moderated and will not appear until approved by the author. Post another comment

The letters and numbers you entered did not match the image. Please try again.

As a final step before posting your comment, enter the letters and numbers you see in the image below. This prevents automated programs from posting comments.

Having trouble reading this image? View an alternate.


Post a comment

Comments are moderated, and will not appear until the author has approved them.

Your Information

(Name and email address are required. Email address will not be displayed with the comment.)