Eratosphere Forums - Metrical Poetry, Free Verse, Fiction, Art, Critique, Discussions Able Muse - a review of poetry, prose and art

Forum Left Top

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #11  
Old 03-29-2017, 11:48 PM
William A. Baurle's Avatar
William A. Baurle William A. Baurle is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2001
Location: Arizona, USA
Posts: 1,668
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Aaron Novick View Post
I made a first pass at this last night, and am now returning. My comments will roll in slowly: it's too much to do all at once. Here's what I have for now:

Time
tick-tocking iambs beat an ancient pulse
Oh, no, don't do this. This line is beating me over the head: "tick-tocking," "beat," "pulse." Too much. In the words of James Joyce, "please to stoop." Even if it's meant as parody.
No, it wasn't meant as parody. Maybe I am over-doing it there. I can switch out "tick-tocking" and "beat" to something else - I've got something in mind for "beat" anyway. Thanks for the Joyce.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Aaron Novick View Post
And it seems out of place, anyway: you are setting up the metrical devices as the weapons both in the line before this one ("the poets lobbed out ordnance" – now there's a good image) and a few lines below ("spruce measures... like shells"). But here the measures are, if anything, the military drums.
The bottomless gullet sucked up dribbled edges
The anapest is awkward. In verse as "old-fashioned" (I mean no insult, as my recent poems posted should make clear) as this, it doesn't feel like a permissible substitution. I'm also not really getting any clear vision of what the "dribbled edges" are in this context.
I honestly didn't think these sonnets were old-fashioned. I do write in old styles quite a lot - this I admit and have admitted scads of times, and I've taken lots of heat for it - but with this, I don't see or hear it as hearkening back to any other period? Could be I'm too close to it. The rhymes are off, a good deal of the time, the rhyme schemes varied, and I went a bit haywire with how I broke the stanzas up, to deflect any old-timeyness or "living in the past" effect. ??

I will say it's certainly eclectic - by design. I wear my influences on my sleeve, probably too often and overbearingly at times. I see the style here as being baroque, and dense. I made sure the ends of lines had strong words - usually at least - which I fancy I got from Milton's Paradise Lost - a HEAVY influence any time I write IP. I can't seem to shake it off entirely.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Aaron Novick View Post
gave way, and far white stars shined like shallots,
Winked wasn't right, but "shined" isn't right either.
then silence blossomed in the monster's belly.
I'm not convinced "blossomed" is the right word here. I think you want something that engages more closely with the imagery you've been building in the rest of the poem.
"shined" was a quick fix, and you're no doubt right that it isn't the right one. Will work on a better word.

I chose "blossomed" since the poem deals (at least peripherally) with opposites: light and dark - focusing on the dark in the first six, then opening into the light with the last two sonnets. Obviously, silence doesn't "blossom", it's rather the exact opposite of blossoming. But you could be right and perhaps it doesn't work in the way I'd planned.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Aaron Novick View Post
Ruse
The poets agreed in their subterranean nave
to write more poems in praise of monsters, though
that would not waylay Time whose tongues of snow
To make these lines sound good, I need to insert a lot of unmarked pauses: specifically after "agreed," "nave," and "Time." I'd like to see commas there. Especially in the first line. Enforcing a strong pause after "agreed" makes the anapest work. Without the pause, it sticks out.
I'll take this advice. Grammar, punctuation, NOT my strong suit at all.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Aaron Novick View Post
inexorably licked each architrave,
In principle I love this line, but I feel silly having to slowly enunciate each syllable of "inexorably." It just makes the meter present as meter (as metronome, as Pound would say), rather than as music.

This may only be me, so I recommend waiting for further opinions on this.
contained one acolyte in ten with rigor

mortis
. And so they sank leviathans
I'm not enjoying this cross-stanza enjambment. It's jarring without serving any purpose I can see.
That line has rubbed me the wrong way also since I posted this. "Inexorably" was supposed to be drawn out when I wrote this, to imitate the march of time; but the effect wears thin after repeated readings, as I can see now. Will work on altering that.

I generally don't mind when a poet breaks a phrase across stanzas. I recall a debate on another board over a poem wherein the poet broke a word or a phrase, not only across strophes, but across sections. I don't recall the poem's actual words of course, but to give you an idea, it went like:

...and then the beastie died
and rigor

IV.

mortis had set in...

I believe the poet was convinced to undo that, and I'm pretty sure I was one of the critters who opposed the break - if only to be a critter.

Nonetheless, I will see what I can do. Perhaps just keep the sonnet a whole block of 14? Will see...

I thank you very much for your time and comments, Aaron N!

Last edited by William A. Baurle; 03-30-2017 at 01:00 AM.
Reply With Quote
  #12  
Old 03-30-2017, 12:59 AM
William A. Baurle's Avatar
William A. Baurle William A. Baurle is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2001
Location: Arizona, USA
Posts: 1,668
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by William A. Baurle View Post
see Bannerman's Island here
^ Note: Poe would have sat on the West Point side of the island - which is at the top of the photo. I am doing this to prevent possible confusion about the "brushstroke rook-shape" bit in "Sightings" L10 & 11. When I was there, that's how it appeared, since from the Point the island is at a pretty good distance; and I imagine it may have looked that way to Edgar, especially if he was sauced, which he probably was (if he actually sat there), since he liked the sauce.

Odd notes for anyone interested: Poe was kicked out of West Point for gambling. He also set a record for the long jump while there, if memory serves.

Anyway, the road that you see going along at the bottom of the photo is on the other side of the Hudson. I was actually on the other side only once, to go fishing with my father & sister (in a pond thereabouts, not in the river).

I know - who cares - but it was a big day for me, because it was the first time my sister ever caught a fish. She was about six or seven. When she pulled it out of the water, she saw it flailing away, and was stricken with guilt, so bad she cried for hours. My father had to unhook the poor fish and throw it back, and assure my sister that it was okay, but she was still devastated.

And you think I'm sensitive!

Last edited by William A. Baurle; 03-30-2017 at 01:01 AM.
Reply With Quote
  #13  
Old 03-30-2017, 08:15 AM
Aaron Poochigian Aaron Poochigian is offline
Distinguished Guest
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: New York, NY
Posts: 2,126
Default

Bill, when you are happy with this series, you should try sending to "The Drunken Boat": http://www.drunkenboat.com/.
Reply With Quote
  #14  
Old 03-30-2017, 09:21 AM
William A. Baurle's Avatar
William A. Baurle William A. Baurle is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2001
Location: Arizona, USA
Posts: 1,668
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Poochigian Aaron View Post
Bill, when you are happy with this series, you should try sending to "The Drunken Boat": http://www.drunkenboat.com/.
Thanks for the recommendation, Aaron. I've got it bookmarked.

I have a ton of journals bookmarked now, and will begin subbing systematically. It's sh&t or get off the pot time for me. I've been lurking in the shadows for thirty-five years. I think that's long enough.

I'll let you know how it goes.

Hopefully, this is nearly finished. We'll see...
Reply With Quote
  #15  
Old 04-03-2017, 05:54 PM
John Isbell John Isbell is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2017
Location: TX
Posts: 348
Default

Hi Bill,

I admire both the craft and the sustained effort of the imagination in this sequence. But we are here to make suggestions, so it's time to work through the whole cycle slowly to see what I've got to contribute.

Time. Isn't it sha'llots? Not like the Tennyson. That's how I've always said it in the kitchen. The OED supports me here.

Ruse. I do like "more poems in praise of monsters", and your description of wings. Not sure though that plinths go with pillars and architraves. A plinth is to display a bust, no? And is "contained" what you want here?

Solo. Google gets me this: "apĚsis. either of two points on the orbit of a planet or satellite that are nearest to or furthest from the body around which it moves." Is that your meaning? I like "lusus naturae".

Aster. I like "the junk and jetsam of a life half-lived". I'd hyphenate bilgewater. And maybe "all those bogeymen/ with whom..."?

Abaddon. "turning wide-eyed in cloudy dream spirals" - maybe "dreamlike", for the beat? Here I saw Yeats: "those legendary gyres he heard tell of." "yattering" is a nice word, though absent in my OED. Is "aum" the Sanskrit "om", in which there are four parts, the a, the u, the m, and the silence?

Chthonic. I love the rhyme pit-magnificat, very Poe. And minor angels are very nice. In Byron (as in Venice), condemned men cross the Bridge of Sighs, "A palace and a prison at each hand". Maybe dead men too.

Sightings. Golem is an inspired revision for gollum. But doesn't Poe antedate President's Day? Meter I thought a bit wonky here.

Haunted. I like bard-bird.

OK, that's all I've got, little nit-picky suggestions for you to play with. I like the whole thing, its sweep, its wealth of imagery, its mood. Nice stuff.

Cheers,
John
Reply With Quote
  #16  
Old 04-04-2017, 12:14 AM
William A. Baurle's Avatar
William A. Baurle William A. Baurle is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2001
Location: Arizona, USA
Posts: 1,668
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by John Isbell View Post
Hi Bill,

I admire both the craft and the sustained effort of the imagination in this sequence. But we are here to make suggestions, so it's time to work through the whole cycle slowly to see what I've got to contribute.

Time. Isn't it sha'llots? Not like the Tennyson. That's how I've always said it in the kitchen. The OED supports me here.
You are no doubt right about shallots. My parents pronounced the word "shall-OTS", but they may have never heard the word spoken? I will see about getting another word there. I need to fix "shined" as well. The line will be different soon, when I come up with something.

Quote:
Originally Posted by John Isbell View Post
Ruse. I do like "more poems in praise of monsters", and your description of wings. Not sure though that plinths go with pillars and architraves. A plinth is to display a bust, no? And is "contained" what you want here?
Funny you liked the "more poems in praise of monsters", because I was thinking about changing it. I worry because the more I read it, the more I try to recall actual poems that praise monsters, and can't really think of any. Tennyson's The Kraken comes to mind. I've liked it since I was a sprout, and that poem is probably more responsible than any other for my monster, Time. BUT - it's not exactly praise. I may have to diddle with that line, but thanks for liking it all the same.

Then again, I'm not being absolutely literal here. The poets and the monsters are mainly figurative, though, as I said in my prior responses, certain poets loom large: Poe (obviously, and he's the main one - more on him in a bit), Milton, Blake, Baudelaire, Lovecraft (who was a maker of poems but whose influence on me is entirely from his fiction. I don't know if I've ever read any of his poetry), Lovecraft's disciple, Clark Ashton Smith (who actually was a fair hand at writing verse, very dark verse at that), and various fantasy authors, primarily Piers Anthony, a great inventor and champion of various beasties. I lump these influences all together as my subterranean "poets".

Umberto Eco is a huge influence in this series also, and I actually took some of this dark, underground imagery from his excellent novel, Foucault's Pendulum. He is also somewhat responsible for the awakening in the last two sonnets. The climax and denouement of Foucault's Pendulum is a major let down for certain readers, but I loved it. Eco was a great champion of Reality, despite appearances. By that I mean, what's real is real, despite "appearances" (if that makes any sense?) I keep him in mind whenever I begin to have "woo"-like thoughts. He's the perfect foil for all that.

Merriam Webster has this for 'plinth':

Quote:
Definition of plinth

1a : the lowest member of a base : subbase
b : a block upon which the moldings of an architrave or trim are stopped at the bottom
2: a usually square block serving as a base; broadly: any of various bases or lower parts
3: a course of stones forming a continuous foundation or base course
Quote:
Originally Posted by John Isbell View Post
Solo. Google gets me this: "apĚsis. either of two points on the orbit of a planet or satellite that are nearest to or furthest from the body around which it moves." Is that your meaning? I like "lusus naturae".
The Free Dictionary has:

2. (Architecture) another name for apse.

and further down the page,

Noun 1. apsis - a domed or vaulted recess or projection on a building especially the east end of a church; usually contains the altar

If I remember correctly, I got most of my architectural nomenclature from Eco's novel, which was heavy on my mind when I wrote these sonnets. I may even have gotten the terms from The Name of the Rose. Eco has a thing for medieval churches and monasteries, and a flair for vivid, baroque detail, which I can't get enough of. Of course I'm relying on his brilliant translator, William Weaver, but I imagine he can be trusted with the terminology.

Quote:
Originally Posted by John Isbell View Post
Aster. I like "the junk and jetsam of a life half-lived". I'd hyphenate bilgewater. And maybe "all those bogeymen/ with whom..."?
Yes! I can't believe I have "with which". Unless I was thinking that these bogeymen were, after all, imaginary sprites, figments? But you're right, in any case. Will change that as soon as I get done with this.

I get many matches for 'bilgewater' as a single compound word (though those wretched, confounded red squigglies show up under it [and under squigglies too! Damn them to hell! ] ). I rather like the way it looks without the hyphen, but I'll make a deal: If I get another suggestion to add a hyphen, I will do it post-haste.


Quote:
Originally Posted by John Isbell View Post
Abaddon. "turning wide-eyed in cloudy dream spirals" - maybe "dreamlike", for the beat? Here I saw Yeats: "those legendary gyres he heard tell of." "yattering" is a nice word, though absent in my OED. Is "aum" the Sanskrit "om", in which there are four parts, the a, the u, the m, and the silence?
I like the suggestion of 'dreamlike', and may take it. It does make the line read more smoothly. Only problem is, these are spirals seen in a dream, so not actually just "dreamlike." I see and experience spirals, and spiralling, in dreams, though that could be for any number of reasons - alcohol, manic/depression, a cosmological fixation on spirals, as in galaxies, Yeats's heavy influence, or Lovecraft's idea of a staircase going down into the dreamworld. I don't recall if his was a spiral staircase, but in my recurring dreams, I am winding down and down and down on very tight spiral stairs, usually moldy wood or decrepit stone. I have no idea why I'm there, or what I expect to find. and I never, ever, am ascending.

Yes, 'gyres' comes from Yeats. He's one of the only poets in my current memory who used that word, and he used it a lot. It had major importance to him. I've only the tiniest acquaintance with his spiritual/mystical beliefs, but damn, I love his poetry. The man didn't know how to write a bad poem, IMO.

Merriam Webster defines 'yatter' as chatter - idle talk.

I originally had "om", then changed it to "aum", which I thought I remember reading was the correct thing. Perhaps I will have to change it back. I'll do some reading on it, and do what I think is correct.

Quote:
Originally Posted by John Isbell View Post
Chthonic. I love the rhyme pit-magnificat, very Poe. And minor angels are very nice. In Byron (as in Venice), condemned men cross the Bridge of Sighs, "A palace and a prison at each hand". Maybe dead men too.
In case no-one caught it, or will catch it, 'magnificat' ties back (sort of) to 'Gaudete' in "Ruse". From what I gather, Magnificat, with the capital letter is, at least in one definition from The Free Dictionary,

1. the canticle of the Virgin Mary in Luke 1:46–55.

"Gaudete" is a "sacred Christmas carol" (Free Dictionary) in praise of the Virgin Mary. I have only one version of this song in my noodle - a beautiful rendition by one of my favorite bands, Steeleye Span. It has stuck with me from the very first time I heard it, when I was in early twenties. I think it made me cry then, and I really don't know why, since I was an atheist. Or at least I thought I was. I don't know.

I'm not a practicing Catholic, though I was baptized Catholic at the age of five or six by my mother's insistence. My father was and is a diehard atheist, and finally relented. I remember my baptism. It scared the daylights out of me. What child of that age can possibly understand why he needs to be doused in Holy Water and be cleansed of his dirtiness so that he can be acceptable to God? I can understand my father's resistance to the ritual, but, in a way, and as a mature person, I can understand my mother's need to have it done. My brother, sister, and I, were not harmed by the experience, and who knows - maybe it'll turn out to be a positive?

You have to remember, everything scared me when I was a kid. Cows scared the dickens out of me. My brother reports that he has no memory of being baptized. Knowing him, he probably crossed his eyes and stuck out his tongue while the priest was sprinkling him. My mother warned him one day, "Kurt, if you cross your eyes when the church bells are chiming, they will stay that way." Naturally, next time the bells rang, he crossed his eyes. Ha! Ha! He was triumphant. My mom loves to tell this story to this day.

As for the Bridge of Sighs. I can't tell you how I feel about that. It would take 5,000 words just to start. I can't forgive the bastards who would put any human into what was essentially a tomb underground, and let them remain there until they died, being fed who knows what, or how often. I've had many a sleepless night just thinking about such things. When I say "dead men", I can only think, yes, crossing that bridge, knowing where you were going, you were as good as dead.

Quote:
Originally Posted by John Isbell View Post
Sightings. Golem is an inspired revision for gollum. But doesn't Poe antedate President's Day? Meter I thought a bit wonky here.

Haunted. I like bard-bird.

OK, that's all I've got, little nit-picky suggestions for you to play with. I like the whole thing, its sweep, its wealth of imagery, its mood. Nice stuff.

Cheers,
John
The "He" in these poems is Aster, not Poe. As a matter of fact, I was imagining myself sitting where Poe might have sat when he was said to have authored some of his poetry, "Ulalume" being one that I've heard mentioned. In case you missed where I mentioned it, I was born at West Point, and raised in the area. I've been in the locales mentioned in the poem many times, and the entire area is steeped in history. The New Windsor Cantonment is a few miles away from West Point. And...George Washington slept in a LOT of places, it seems.

Aster (the "He") could be me, or any poet who went through a hell of sorts and thought of himself as debased and outcast, but then woke up and realized...he really wasn't that important after all.

The poem isn't about Poe, though he looms the largest, is referred to the most, and all that. I could tell you how I came by the name "Aster" (there's one line in the series which is the "tell" on that, but I think it might be best to leave that a mystery, because if this bunny comes out of the hat, you and everyone else will want to throw rocks at me.)

I thank you very kindly for your thoughts, John, and I look forward to a poem of yours.

Last edited by William A. Baurle; 04-04-2017 at 03:33 AM.
Reply With Quote
  #17  
Old 04-04-2017, 02:21 AM
John Isbell John Isbell is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2017
Location: TX
Posts: 348
Default

Hi Bill,

This I think is tremendous, and may deserve its own poem: "any poet who went through a hell of sorts and thought of himself as debased and outcast, but then woke up and realized...he really wasn't that important after all."
Thank you also for the detail on plinth and apsis (and yattering, a word I enjoyed a good deal). My hat is off.
As for om/aum, my impression is that om is - maybe Hindi? Maybe later Sanskrit? (om mani padme om, Sanskrit I'm pretty sure, the jewel in the lotus) - and that aum is the original spelling. Hence the Sanskrit/Hindu grammar explanation of the word's four parts, which I've long liked. I would consequently keep it.
I see your point about President's Day. I'm not sure though that casual readers will get that, and not be puzzled by "Poe" seeing this modern event.
You've put to rest all my other concerns. I am especially happy to see your fine words justified and apt. A rich sequence, and ready I think for a broader public.

Cheers,
John
Reply With Quote
  #18  
Old 04-04-2017, 03:40 AM
William A. Baurle's Avatar
William A. Baurle William A. Baurle is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2001
Location: Arizona, USA
Posts: 1,668
Default

This is beautiful:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2KSxg9Ij5r8

Last edited by William A. Baurle; 04-04-2017 at 11:43 AM.
Reply With Quote
  #19  
Old 04-05-2017, 12:01 AM
William A. Baurle's Avatar
William A. Baurle William A. Baurle is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2001
Location: Arizona, USA
Posts: 1,668
Default

Quote:
"Gaudete" is a "sacred Christmas carol" (Free Dictionary) in praise of the Virgin Mary. - me
Julie has informed me that Gaudete is not really a song "in praise of the Virgin Mary". I guess I should have taken a look at the words of the song, which I never have. I see now that the carol just mentions that Christ has come from Mary.

I don't suppose it matters to the poem, since I have "magnificat" with a small 'm' - which means, according to Merriam Webster, "an utterance of praise."
Reply With Quote
  #20  
Old 04-28-2017, 12:17 AM
John Whitworth's Avatar
John Whitworth John Whitworth is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: United Kingdom
Posts: 12,278
Default

Other people have gone on at great length. I just read your sonnets and I concur wit all the praise they have received.
Reply With Quote
Reply

Bookmarks

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Forum Jump



Forum Right Top
Forum Left Bottom Forum Right Bottom
 
Right Left
Member Login
Forgot password?
Forum LeftForum Right


Forum Statistics:
Forum Members: 7,784
Total Threads: 18,265
Total Posts: 236,966
There are 221 users
currently browsing forums.
Forum LeftForum Right


Forum Sponsor:
Donate & Support Able Muse / Eratosphere
Forum LeftForum Right
Right Right
Right Bottom Left Right Bottom Right

Hosted by ApplauZ Online