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  #31  
Old 08-07-2018, 08:34 AM
John Isbell John Isbell is offline
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The story goes that cooks were hard to come by, or at least to keep, in Saki's day. Hence his line, which popped into my mind as well on reading Matt.

Cheers,
John
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  #32  
Old 08-07-2018, 01:44 PM
Martin Elster Martin Elster is offline
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Here is a bigger reproduction of the picture.

https://www.artble.com/imgs/2/9/3/43..._the_close.jpg

I like Matt’s suggestion for replacing “the thought of Salisbury” with “the news of Salisbury.” I do find it a bit odd to put an accent on the last “y,” at least at the end of a line, which seems to exaggerate the accent. But I love the prolepsis of “It took me back, the thought of Salisbury.” (Instead of “The thought of Salisbury took me back.”)
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  #33  
Old 08-07-2018, 02:41 PM
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Ann Drysdale Ann Drysdale is offline
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Matt and Martin - well, the thinking behind that first line was the suggestion of movement - as I tried to explain in my earlier response. First, whizzing back to that day in London, then zooming forward to that other day in Salisbury.

I don't want to use the word "news" because I am not keen on on the sort of poems that go for "topical" and follow the news too quickly and too closely. I liked "thought" because of the assonance, the chime with Salis(bury). I get Matt's drift, though. What about "talk"? It gives the hint of "news", leaves me my suggestion of thought being triggered by it and keeps my precious assonance. Can I have talk?

Martin, I'm not sure I get your drift about the "Y", or perhaps it's you not getting mine. If the rest of the line is grimly iambic, then the second half of "Salisbury" is a pyrrhic foot. It works for me when I read it. Can either of you get it to fit at all?
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  #34  
Old 08-07-2018, 03:21 PM
Martin Elster Martin Elster is offline
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About the pronunciation of Salesbury. Yes, you are correct about the pyrrhic, which didn’t really bother me. But, because this is TDE, I thought I had the duty to make you sweat about it a bit!

Regarding “thought” vs. “new” vs. “talk,” I think “talk” works fine. It’s like a rumor that the N overhears, which then prompts his or her imagination.
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  #35  
Old 08-07-2018, 10:23 PM
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Ann Drysdale Ann Drysdale is offline
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That's a relief. "Talk" it is, then. And of course the rumour that she (over)heard was a reference to broken lab glass on a doormat. One day she'll have to track down the person who said it and ask them what they were really "talking" about. Or perhaps not.

New revision posted.
.

Last edited by Ann Drysdale; 08-07-2018 at 10:31 PM. Reason: "new revision posted".
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  #36  
Old 08-08-2018, 12:37 AM
John Isbell John Isbell is offline
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Hi Ann,

I just carefully compared V2 and V3. This went more quickly than I'd expected! I don't have strong feelings about your new revision, but I wanted to note my liking for sparkle used to express menace. That caught me by surprise.
Non-Brits like myself will likely have heard of the poisonings but miss they happened in Salisbury. At least, that's my case.
Still enjoying the whole thing.

Cheers,
John
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  #37  
Old 08-08-2018, 01:26 AM
Mark McDonnell Mark McDonnell is offline
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Hello Ann!

I've just caught up with this after its extensive revision. Thanks for your long reply to my initial crit. No, I didn't get that you were using 'we' in that conspiritorial, inviting-the-reader-in, David Attenborough way and I'm glad you changed it. I don't think simple first person hurts the poem at all. The poem was complex, and still is, but isn't confusing any more. The opening works perfectly now and I'm no longer thrown by travelling in time to end up in the present either. It suddenly falls into place.

I know I said I liked 'knob', but I think we both know where my tongue was (in my cheek, to be clear). Getting rid of private jokes and changing lines from poetic parlour games at the end suggests you've got serious, if I may be so bold.

Great revision. Great poem and smooth as anything now.
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  #38  
Old 08-08-2018, 03:15 AM
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Ann Drysdale Ann Drysdale is offline
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John, I'm glad you are enjoying the growing poem.

Serious, Mark? Yes. Thank you. That's where the whole thing needed to end up, from the self-pitying snivel that set it in motion to the poem it has almost become. The darlings did not die in vain.

Examining the process along the way has, to some extent, justified my dropping it in The Deep End. I hope I haven't wasted anyone's time.

Yes, the knob-gag had to go. (I still have my masculine ending which was, and still is, important.) The real joke lay in the time it took for me to "get" it myself, working so hard on the music that I honestly didn't pick up on the lyric until it turned round and bit me. It served its purpose but, having seen it, I couldn't (honestly) leave it for anyone else to find, as they surely would have done, sooner or later.

My reputation would have foundered, like that of my heroine Praxilla of Sicyon, who was ridiculed in her time and remembered by posterity for an ill-advised reference to cucumbers. And poor Robert Browning will never live down the "twat" he dropped into a pretty pastoral, believing it to be something else entirely.
.

Last edited by Ann Drysdale; 08-11-2018 at 04:12 PM. Reason: spelling error - exami(ni)ng.
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