Thread: In Vino Veritas
View Single Post
  #7  
Unread 07-21-2019, 08:14 AM
Matt Q Matt Q is offline
Member
 
Join Date: May 2013
Location: England, UK
Posts: 3,443
Default

Hi Jim,

So, overall, I find this fun. At times though the punctuation makes it harder to follow than it should be.

Also, I do find it very odd that the poem starts out with a tri-meter quatrain and then switches to ballad metre, which throws me out of the poem at S2L2 when an unexpected additional foot turns up, the metre seems off, and I need to stop to reread the line. Why not ballad metre throughout?

I'd punctuate the last two lines of S1 as:

left few at the table sober:
Not Arthur the affable host-

I'd suggest a colon, because what follows is a list. The whole poem follows on from "left few at the table sober". All the following list items, the "Not so-and-so"'s, begin new sentences, and so if the first one does, when I get to the second one, it's easier to see that it's part of a pattern.

I'd echo Andrew on 'remarked', which also wrong-footed me; it has the potential to be read at first glance as a verb, which might briefly wrong-foot the reader.

Not older brother whose wife agreed
he had served a term for fraud
to which he muttered to pay no heed
that he’d married a drunken bawd.

There's 'he had', then 'he'd'. I'm not sure why you vary it. Are you trying to avoid repeating "that he'd"?

You need a comma after 'fraud', because 'to which' begins a new clause. I'd also say you need a comma after 'heed' -- assuming the sense is 'he muttered to pay no heed (and muttered) that he'd married a drunken bawd'. Currently it says that we should "pay no heed (to the fact) that he'd married a drunken bawd", which doesn't seem like what you might want here. But maybe you do.

To avoid the 'he had' repetition (and assuming I'm reading your intention correctly) I guess you might go with:

Not older brother whose wife agreed
that he'd served a term for fraud,
to which he muttered to pay no heed,
for he’d married a drunken bawd.

though 'for' he sounds maybe more archaic than you'd want, so maybe

to which he muttered to pay no heed,
he was wed to a drunken bawd.

You lose the anapaestic rhythm here:

The abSTEM-i-ous WALL SPROUTed EARS

which ends up sounding more like trimeter than tet

The abSTEM|-i-ous WALL| sprouted EARS|

putting a 'then' between 'wall' and 'sprouted' would fix it I guess, but there may be something better.


The cupboard is open, without a doubt
while the skeletons’ fun can begin,
each year, though easier to let out,
all are harder to get back in.

I can't make much sense of "The cupboard is open, without a doubt while the skeletons’ fun can begin". It seems the wrong way round. "While the cupboard is open ... the skeleton's fun can begin" would make sense. Or even just, "The cupboard is open, without a doubt, and the skeletons’ fun can begin". But that may not be quite what you mean, since from the above the skeleton's fun has already begun.

Punctuation: A comma is needed after 'doubt', as 'without a doubt' is a separate clause. 'Each year' begins a new sentence (as far as I can tell), so a full stop is needed after 'begin'. Or an em dash or semicolon maybe. Like so:

The cupboard is open, without a doubt,
and the skeletons’ fun can begin.
Each year, though easier to let out,
all are harder to get back in.

With a comma after 'begin' it's confusing. I had it to reread to parse it.

The metre of the last two lines could be tighter/clearer, especially given that this is the close. I can kind of force it, but I'd rather not have to. In the last line I hear 'all' as stressed. And why not 'they' which more clearly refers to the skeletons? Or does 'all' encompass the people as well. It's harder to get them back in too?

best,

Matt

Last edited by Matt Q; 07-21-2019 at 08:32 AM.
Reply With Quote