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  #1  
Unread 01-18-2019, 06:44 PM
Orwn Acra's Avatar
Orwn Acra Orwn Acra is offline
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Default Walls

Over clump and cleugh it lolls,
Hadrian’s, once Picts-perfect now
picked apart stone by stone for some

widow’s cairn or witch’s home,
westering towards Solway Firth
in search of where one once-

great king rived river from
river in Mesopotamian spring
round a gilded metropolis

now the cumulonimbus
of dreams; still, souvenirs
can be seen dividing umlaut

from ogonek, spray-painted,
storm-soused, under a mizzle
of misplaced apostrophes

and grumbling about the turn
of the weather; not tlotting
along loess-and-gneiss land,

a dragon-king’s furniture
whose rearrangement
blocked some historical terror

and now content to be called
the great one, to curl its-
self inside a crag to zizz

and be seen from space
past moon truckle
and Kuiper’s belt unbuckling

at what it always must:
odds, others, Oorts, ends
of meteors: hematite, chondrite,

bold anchorites passing through
go Voyager 1 then Voyager 2.
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  #2  
Unread 01-18-2019, 07:01 PM
Mark McDonnell Mark McDonnell is offline
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Oh, this is brilliant. I just want to keep reading it to get to that ending then start again. It's got just the right balance of great language and wonderful sounds and just enough sense to keep me grounded, but with the pleasure of knowing I may never quite get to the bottom of it all. I see a slow zoom out through time and space from Hadrian's wall in the past, to its present existence as a shabby tourist spot, then suddenly I find myself flung into space on a full-rhyme!

Edit: and the Scottishness doesn't hurt, for me.
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  #3  
Unread 01-19-2019, 03:44 AM
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Ann Drysdale Ann Drysdale is online now
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Thoughts of all walls and none. A poem wherefrom a reader can only pick up pieces that feel familiar. I am at ease with Ur and Vindolanda and the solidity of sediment and metamorphosis so I hold tight to them as I whizz onwards and upwards past things I don't understand to what nobody understands. I am breathless and, like Mark, I want to go there again and again.
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Unread 01-19-2019, 06:30 AM
Jim Moonan Jim Moonan is offline
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Dear Wal,
I feel liberated. I love a good Joycean speaker.
I speak this language. (Not a word of it. The looks of it. In lub with the the chub of it.)
The wall has got you soaring where questions all nest. Here, there and everywhere are crumbles piled high under what always lies above.
No nits nyet.
Voyage on, unencumbered won.
x
x
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  #5  
Unread 01-19-2019, 02:41 PM
John Riley John Riley is offline
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Interesting. As others say, it zips by without me capable of understanding much of it. The beauty is in the language. That is all I feel able to say.
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Unread 01-19-2019, 07:18 PM
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RCL RCL is offline
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Stanzas 1-8 are clearly examples of ancient walls up to and including the Great Wall of China, and then walls metaphorical—of which I especially like the belt as a wall that expands to open, and then the others willed into space. . . .

Clever those Nabokovians and Borgesians
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  #7  
Unread 01-19-2019, 07:47 PM
Mark McDonnell Mark McDonnell is offline
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Yes, Ralph! I see the other walls now: 'the great one...seen from space'. Took me a few reads. I really like this poem.
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Unread 01-20-2019, 05:09 AM
John Isbell John Isbell is offline
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Hi Wal, as Jim puts it.

This is a lot of fun, and the language crackles. It seems pretty a propos today as well. Not that it's relevant, really, but the story that the Great Wall of China is visible from space is of course a myth. It's about ten feet wide.

Cheers,
John
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Unread 01-20-2019, 09:38 AM
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Orwn Acra Orwn Acra is offline
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I was and remain unsure about this one. It is meant to be overtly political, but apparently not overt enough, by contrasting the low of humanity--walls, possession, fear--with the best: unrestrained curiosity and freedom as symbolized by the Voyager probes, which are the very opposite of a wall. And here I thought I was being too straightforward.

A possibile tweak:

and Kuiper’s belt unbuckling

at what it always must:
the other, the odd. Oorts and ends
of meteors: hematite, chondrite,
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  #10  
Unread 01-20-2019, 09:51 AM
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Allen Tice Allen Tice is offline
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Lots of resonance. Only “ogonek” puzzled me. As to politics, it’s low key but, like Ozymandias, clear.
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