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  1. #1
    Bassim is offline Senior Member
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    Default Please, would you proofread my poem.

    Please, would you proofread my poem.

    THE TOOTBRUSH

    They arrived in the buses smelling sweat, alcohol and grease.

    A tank was roaring in the nearby street.

    I heard the soldiers laughing, their flag fluttering in the wind.

    I wanted to run, but my neighbour's wife said,

    "Don't do that, boy! They are going to kill your father!"


    I saw them arrest my neighbour, they all cried.

    Last week they worked together, today they were enemies.

    Than they knocked at our door - teenagers with black headbands,

    AK-47s, handgranades and bowie knives.

    "We want your son," they said to my father.

    My legs became wobbly, I had a premonition of a prison camp.

    They drove us through the destroyed villages, burnt out homes,

    cattle roaming without a goal.

    A bloodied body of an old man was lying on the road,

    panic-stricken horses galloping past him.


    Our lumpish guard shouted hoarsely.

    He demanded Seiko watches and cash.

    He raised his rifle above my head to beat me because I did not have either.

    What bad luck, I thought. I'm going to die virgin like a monk.


    They stopped at the former factory and ordered us to line up.

    With our hands on the wall, our legs outstretched, they bodysearched us.

    I was feeling the guard's chubby fingers all over my clothes,

    and then he picked up a toothbrush from my pocket.

    We both stared at the strange thing, and then he threw it over the wall

    saying, "You'll not need it in this place."
    Last edited by Bassim; 26-Jan-2011 at 20:14.

  2. #2
    MrPedantic is offline Moderator
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    Default Re: Please, would you proofread my poem.

    Hello Bassim, that's an interesting poem. I like the tone.

    Here are a couple of edits:

    THE TOOTBRUSH > TOOTHBRUSH

    They arrived in the buses > in buses

    smelling sweat > smelling of sweat

    Than they knocked > Then they knocked

    handgranades > handgrenades

    bowie knives > Bowie knives

    burnt out > burnt-out

    die virgin > die a virgin

    picked up a toothbrush from my pocket > picked a toothbrush out of my pocket

    All the best,

    MrP

    Not a professional ESL teacher.

  3. #3
    Bassim is offline Senior Member
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    Default Re: Please, would you proofread my poem.

    Dear MrPedantic,

    Thank you very much for your proofreading.

    All the best,
    B.

  4. #4
    MrPedantic is offline Moderator
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    Default Re: Please, would you proofread my poem.

    You're welcome!

    But I'm not sure my amendment to your line "and then he picked up a toothbrush from my pocket" is adequate. Your original line is slightly unidiomatic, but my substitute is very ungainly.

    Maybe "and then he took the toothbrush from my pocket" would be better.

    All the best,

    MrP

    Not a professional ESL teacher.

  5. #5
    Bassim is offline Senior Member
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    Default Re: Please, would you proofread my poem.

    Dear MrPedantic,

    Thank you again. I will follow your advice and write "then he took the toothbrush from my pocket."

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