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Old 05-19-2017, 07:39 AM
Andrew Szilvasy Andrew Szilvasy is offline
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Location: Boston, MA
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Default Further Fragments

These are probably not in the order I would have them, but I brought them together to highlight some motifs that the whole work will develop. Each should work on its own without the aid of the whole.


The Stranger nests beneath your house—
he never speaks, but eats.
He hides in rooms you’ve never known.
He whispers—he has keys.


The Stranger’s eyes flit like flies,
as he stares he whistles—
poppy seeds between his teeth
as if he snacked on lice.


Since the Daisy blooms alone
the Prisoners are paroled;
a field of Asters here instead,
and we’d all die of cold.


Beneath the oaks the camp is cold—
the Fire’s petered out.
the tinder’s wet—a Child’s regrets—
the stars must seem devout.


Youth’s renewed just like the Eagles
who singe their wings and eyes
and plunge—as the Crow flies—
into the brimming sunrise.



A spectral thing you put your finger in—
trusted by the whale and the krill—
the sort of air that you expel
before you hit the fresh roadkill.

S1L4 was: You’ve thrown him out—he has keys
S3L2: eliminated typo (was " Prisoners' ")

Last edited by Andrew Szilvasy; 05-21-2017 at 07:53 AM.
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Old 05-19-2017, 12:05 PM
Aaron Poochigian Aaron Poochigian is offline
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these quatrains are not as oblique
as what you posted last week,

but they do continue in the same vein. I am glad to see that you kept writing poetry during finals week. Poetry is always more important than school (that's my sincere bad advice).

I am fond of the two quatrains on the “Stranger”. I do wish this line were stronger:

You’ve thrown him out—he has keys.

I love the “he has keys” but the rhythm and content of the first four syllables disappoint me. I don’t know, try a thousand surprising things:

He somethings—he has keys.

Maybe move the “whistles” up to this line:

He whistles—he has keys. (Now that’s creepy.)

. . . . .
I do like the rest as well—prisoners and Eagles. “Justice” is a stand-out.


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Old 05-19-2017, 12:54 PM
Andrew Szilvasy Andrew Szilvasy is offline
Join Date: May 2016
Location: Boston, MA
Posts: 303

Hi Aaron,

Thanks for your comments.

My students may want their papers back--but they'll get them at some point; I'm with you on the relative value of school and poetry.

I'm glad these are still working, and you're right on S1 entirely. The rhythm breaks. I like the image of the second one and the rhyme, but may end up taking your idea of moving whistles up. My fix for the moment is "whispers," which creates some ambiguity that I sort of like but am not married to.
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Old 05-20-2017, 10:05 PM
Aaron Novick's Avatar
Aaron Novick Aaron Novick is online now
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Location: Pittsburgh, PA
Posts: 369

These are still rather gnomic to me, especially individually. I know you say you want them to be able to stand alone, but I, at least, am finding that I need them together. I like that you presented ones that bring out motifs, as in tracing those out across these poems I get more of a sense of why they are the way they are. I think, in the end, that they're ultimately going to work for me only as a package, not as individuals.

Anyway, a few small comments:

I like the change to F1L4. I like the way "whispers" in F1 and "whistles" in F2 play off one another.

F2 is a standout for me, and the one here that I think works best as a stand-alone. That image comes through very clearly, and is wonderfully ominous.

In F3L2, I believe the apostrophe is a mistake.

In "Justice" L2, I think I'd prefer "by the whale and krill", which perfects the meter. Also, in L1, maybe drop "spectral" to get that line down to tet, as the other three lines are. "A thing you put your finger in"—that's a better opening anyway, I think. What does "spectral" add? If anything, it only takes away from the wonderful strangeness.
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Old 05-21-2017, 10:36 AM
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Orwn Acra Orwn Acra is offline
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I continue to enjoy these.

Yes, they are gnomic; it is refreshing.

The internal rhyme in #2 is a flubbed note.

"Justice" is its own poem.

What is the poem's title? I think "Gnomes" would work.
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Old 05-21-2017, 06:05 PM
Andrew Szilvasy Andrew Szilvasy is offline
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Location: Boston, MA
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Aaron and Walter, thanks for your thoughts.

Aaron, you can see I already fixed the glaring typo in F2. Thanks for pointing it out. I'm also glad whispers worked with whistles--I was hoping for those two to work in tandem, but really the line comes from Aaron P, in a sense, suggesting the alteration in a similar vein.

On "Justice," I wonder if it's just my Naugatuck Valley accent (is that a thing? my high school teachers said it was) that makes me add a little schwa sound to some words. I say "whale" " ˈweɪəl " and thus the meter works out loud--matching as pentameter with L1. Now, expecting others to read it in a similar manner may be unreasonable, and if there is some consensus here I'd be willing to make the change, though I do really like "spectral" in L1 of it. I know you like it a little barer, but I like the ghostly image in conjunction with the Christ image. Again, I'm willing to be convinced though.

Walter, thanks for your thoughts on these. I'm glad you like it. Do you mean the "eyes-flies" or "seeds-between-teeth" (I assume the first as that's a true rhyme)? I do have a weakness for these sorts of rhymes.

Editing back in: Walter, I forgot to address your title question. I haven't formulated one quite yet, but I really like your suggestion of "Gnomes." It's playful in much the way I want the series to read.

Last edited by Andrew Szilvasy; 05-21-2017 at 07:58 PM.
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