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  #31  
Unread 11-12-2019, 07:39 AM
Jim Moonan Jim Moonan is offline
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A real pleasure to read.
My only stumble continues to be the enjambment of the first line. It pairs a composer with a genre, then continues with composer, writer, writer. Although I follow the imagery of music and writing as being his twin loves, I stumble just a bit that it doesn't mention music specifically whereas it does books. I know, what's the big deal? No big deal, just something that stuck out for me for some reason. It makes me suspect that the decision to go with "Bach" is rhyme-driven. It doesn't seem to cause others to make note of it in their comments, so this is likely just me being me.

I love the reference to Goethe's dying words, "More light". It pairs so beautifully with the whole of the poem.

The contrasting suns of Mexico and Iceland give this an appropriately expansive, elegiac patina -- and the final line's sadness is surreal. And deathless art... Oh!

I too, prefer the more personal (like all of us).

_______

OK, coming back to say I didn't read all comments before commenting but just did now. I see there has been some discussion about L1 and 2 and the confusion it was causing some. So it's not me. I still don't know that to change "books" to a specific writer would improve the flow of it. I like it as is, but don't doubt that you may find a way to smooth things.
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Last edited by Jim Moonan; 11-12-2019 at 07:45 AM.
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  #32  
Unread 11-14-2019, 03:56 AM
Susan McLean Susan McLean is online now
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Jim, I thought I would mention that "Bach" came first as I was writing, because that was the composer Bill loved most. "Books" was chosen partly for how it sounded next to "Bach," but also because Bill's love of literature was more expansive than his love of music, so it felt right. Haydn is not very far from Bach, and one of Bill's books was called Playing Haydn for the Angel of Death. I am still wavering about "(like all of us)," which I still like. I wish I could give an indication of the breadth of Bill's reading, which was astonishing, but he also had very strong likes and dislikes.

Susan
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  #33  
Unread 11-15-2019, 08:00 AM
Jim Moonan Jim Moonan is offline
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Susan, thank you for your thoughtful, patient explanation to my “cold-call” critique. “Cold-call” in the sense that sometimes a poem posted here -- e.g. an elegiac one -- is written to speak to or for or about something or someone so personal as to be beyond the oblivious anonymous reader/critter who dials up the poem and rattles on about the usual issues that preoccupy critters. It is critting in the dark by matchlight.

Your explanation(s) is a continuation of the poetic eulogy that the poem is, and I can now feel the depth of loss in both the poem and your responses.

Also, I consider the title to be an extension of the final line to the poem. Something to be read after the final line as a kind of ultimate elegiac tribute.

I coincidentally came across this today and thought of your poem. In Iceland books are exchanged on Christmas Eve, then the tradition is to spend the rest of the night reading and eating chocolates.


(And yes, the revised last line in Song And Dance is poetic nirvana : )
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Last edited by Jim Moonan; 11-15-2019 at 12:41 PM.
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  #34  
Unread 11-15-2019, 08:00 PM
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Allen Tice Allen Tice is offline
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Better late than never. Iím with Clive.
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  #35  
Unread 11-16-2019, 07:30 AM
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Rick Mullin Rick Mullin is offline
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Getting to this very late.... but much better late than never. One of your best that I've read.


RM
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