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Unread 07-15-2019, 01:41 PM
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R. Nemo Hill R. Nemo Hill is offline
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Halcott, New York
Posts: 8,990

I think this is gorgeous, Jake. It has the playfulness of language which is evident in other poems you've posted here, but the sparer architecture is more seductive to the reader—it's a quieter invitation to ride your riffs. The tension here between majesty and the banal is so well played throughout that the bridge that connects them, the bridge of the fallen, or of the long-falling, become a quietly vibrant oxymoron, the mysterium coniunctionis of irreconcilable opposites—of the royal and the real.

That rhythm of conjoined opposites helped me to parse that final stanza, which I love. For me the pressure sensitivity could be a positive attribute of royalty (like when people say admiringly of a poet, "He's so sensitive."). But then it is partnered to a negative, the word dismal, which kind of steers the mind back to the more negative aspects of the sensitivity (i.e., "Get real. Don't be so sensitive.") In the following clause we again get two terms, dawn's last dance and dismissal. The last dance certainly evokes the regal hypersensitive mood, while dismissal brings in the unadorned dismal again. What I like most is that both of the second terms are still sad somehow, both are marinating in the act of falling. And yet the crucial tension of opposites is still at play within that one mood.

I also love that a poem 'about' royalty ends with the word weakness, which might be either the antithesis of queendom, or the secret at the core of it, the germ in its nucleus.

You do things with punctuation and lineation which definitely slow me down as a reader. Aaron mentions one, the insertion the period that interrupts the well known phrase here . . .

Autumn reveals it all
goes. According to plan,

Another is the lineation here . . .

is her screen dawn’s
last dance or dismissal?

. . . which made me think at first of one compound noun, screen-dawn, instead of the other, dawn's-last-dance. The line break could be considered a self-indulgent tease.

Yet, ultimately, I kind of feel these devices that slow the reader down work well here—they make one read with exceeding care, lingering over each word and how it is used or manipulated. This may indeed be what you want people to do in your longer/denser poems as well, but that is not the sort of treatment they elicit. They conjure momentum, a momentum which swallows up all their explicit wordplay. In this poem I think you gotten the balance just right, and written a memorable piece.

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