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  #21  
Old 06-27-2018, 07:26 AM
R. Nemo Hill's Avatar
R. Nemo Hill R. Nemo Hill is offline
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To me, the poem seems true to experience. Neat categorical interpretations are a mental construct and they bear little resemblance to life as it happens. Yet even the word 'mental' that I just used seems beyond category: mental habit might be a better term to depict that shrinkage from open life to the closed academy. The full range of mind is messy and chaotic, and to reach with that full range one may have to reject, or at least temporarily demote, the tyrannically ordered lines of so-called 'intellect' so that once can at least begin to grasp the fullness of experience. This poem does that so effortlessly; and with a light touch that is at the same time heavy. And that is one of the hallmarks of this approach, that conjunction of opposites, light and heavy. There is no way to make that inclusive 'and' an analytical 'or' without destroying the fabric of the poetry. For me poetry is all about that weave, which is done so instinctively here that all I have to say about it seems almost beside the point.

Weave on, Jan!

Nemo
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  #22  
Old 06-27-2018, 12:40 PM
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Martin Rocek Martin Rocek is offline
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I like this a great deal, and don't understand the complaints--this is life collapsing on us as it does. We aren't privy to the bad news in the letter, but we see the impact.

The only thing that I wonder about is the pairing
"pregnant with death/lump in her chest";
"lump in her belly" would tie in to the opening--is that too much?

Thank you for the read!
Martin
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  #23  
Old 06-27-2018, 01:18 PM
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Woody Long Woody Long is offline
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Jan —

Another poet posting to the Deep End! Aaron P's program seems to be working.

The poem reads easily and carried me along. Most of the terms unfamiliar to me worked anyway, given the context. The mix of the comic and tragic also works.

Holy Show - apparently Irish & I guess Aussie too. But it needs no explanation for others.

The closing lines:

...
and the letter like a stone
a sharp edged stone
cutting through her fist.


I think cutting through her fist is a vivid and accurate image. But the rhythm might be better if the line were shorter. For that purpose I like

...
cutting her fist.


That reads more forcefully for me to bring the poem to an end, but loses something of the image. There might be some alternatives, e.g.:

...
slicing her fist.


— Woody

Last edited by Woody Long; 06-27-2018 at 02:38 PM. Reason: removed possibly inappropriate link & later fixed a typo
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  #24  
Old 06-27-2018, 04:39 PM
Perry James Perry James is offline
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As I read the poem over and over again, I'm beginning to realize that the details of it aren't meant to be understood or seen as important. The point of the poem is to convey the chaos of the scene. But that doesn't change the fact that it's not a particularly beautiful poem, and that it has a lot of ugly images in it. If this poem weren't posted in a poetry forum, I wouldn't read it more than a few times before moving on. It would seem from the positive reviews, however, that there are people who "get" the poem immediately.

Ironically, I wrote a slightly similar poem in my youth. It was so emotional that I didn't worry too much about whether it would be understood by the reader. However, that poem had a stronger logical thread in it than this one does. The reader of this poem needs to understand right from the start what the author is doing.

Last edited by Perry James; 06-27-2018 at 05:57 PM.
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  #25  
Old 06-27-2018, 10:02 PM
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Jan Iwaszkiewicz Jan Iwaszkiewicz is offline
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Mary,

Thank you.

Perry,

Welcome.

Life is not linear, however there is a strong thread here that not all will get and I am comfortable with that. It has not been constructed mindlessly. It mirrors a reality on the land, somewhere in the backblocks it is indeed a sort of Australian Celtic construct and as such cannot be deconstructed to suit all tastes and experiences.

Nemo,

Once again my thanks.

Martin,

I guess it would be more accurate to phrase it 'quickened with death' but that would definitely be the wrong register.

Thank you

Woody,

I think I would lose too much. It does give the feeling that I want with just that touch of sonic discord.

Thank you

Perry,

There is little beauty in this situation although there is gallows humour.

I learnt many, many years ago that I cannot be all things to all men and I cannot write poetry that will please all. If, as here, I please some it is enough.

Regards to all,

Jan
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  #26  
Old 06-27-2018, 10:09 PM
Jan Iwaszkiewicz's Avatar
Jan Iwaszkiewicz Jan Iwaszkiewicz is offline
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Aaron

I note you edited your somewhat ad hom. post

Last edited by Jan Iwaszkiewicz; 06-27-2018 at 10:13 PM.
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  #27  
Old 07-01-2018, 01:35 PM
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Martin Rocek Martin Rocek is offline
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Jan,
I just noticed (shame on me for not noticing earlier) that S2 has one more line than the rest; is that intentional? Perhaps you don't need "and the drought goes on", given that you say
"with the wind from the west
and the dust in her mouth"
in the next stanza. On the other hand, since I hadn't noticed it, and the poem flows so well when read aloud, perhaps it's best to leave it. Just curious about whether you intended the middle stanza to have one more line.

Martin
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  #28  
Old 07-02-2018, 03:33 AM
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Jan Iwaszkiewicz Jan Iwaszkiewicz is offline
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Hi Martin,

As I said when I posted this the form is accentual nonce, hence the irregularities. An organic one, this. When it felt right (and yes this was developed to the ear as you would have heard reading it out loud) I left it and posted.

The drought line must remain it has to be spelled out for this to work.

BTW talking of how things sound I have been listening to the Kryl, do you also, as in Polish, place stress on the penultimate syllable?

Regards,

Jan
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