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  #11  
Unread 01-20-2019, 10:15 AM
Mark McDonnell Mark McDonnell is offline
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With no reference to the more obviously contemporary (the Berlin Wall or, god help us, Trump's wall) the poem stays implicicitly political, I think. But that's fine. Better. The idea of the small-mindedness of wall-building vs the unrestrained freedom of the final couplet comes across. Allen's Shelley comparison is a good one.
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  #12  
Unread 01-20-2019, 06:34 PM
Matt Q Matt Q is offline
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Hi Walter,

I like this a lot.

I read it as a comment on Trump: rulers and their walls, now crumbled to dust (rulers and walls both). I see Hadrian's Wall, the Great Wall of China, some unspecified Mesopotamian wall. The umlauts and souvenirs and spray-paint made me think of the Berlin Wall.

That the great wall "blocked some historical terror" seems part of the comment on Trump, and "content to be called the great one" seems Trump-directed to (and also at his slogan).

The close seems to say that the walls nonetheless let through what they seek to exclude, "the odd, the other" -- and in fact always must.

On the one hand, I think that Kuiper's belt as a wall (around our solar system) is a great idea. On the other, it's an interesting example in that it's porous -- much more space than wall -- and things pass through it, and are seen to in the poem. But then I thought that perhaps this is the point? Walls are porous; they don't really keep things out -- and in the closing couplet, don't keep things in either: that things passing though go from the inside to the out as well (well, unless the belt's there to keep us in!).

One specific point:

Here:

great king rived river from

you might consider:

great ruler rived river from

for the extra alliteration, or something else that isn't 'king', because you use 'king' again later.

best,

-Matt

Last edited by Matt Q; 01-21-2019 at 08:29 AM. Reason: typos and clarification
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  #13  
Unread 01-21-2019, 05:06 AM
Mark McDonnell Mark McDonnell is offline
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Quote:
The umlauts and souvenirs and spray-paint made me think of the Berlin Wall.
Oh yes! The BW is there too, isn't it? Basically, I missed a lot in this poem! ha

Thanks Matt

Still think this is really good...
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  #14  
Unread 01-21-2019, 05:42 AM
John Isbell John Isbell is offline
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My nephew has a piece of the Berlin Wall I picked up in Berlin in 1990. It's got spray paint on it, but then, every piece does. I found out that touts would break off a piece of the Wall with no graffiti, pop round the corner, spray paint it, and sell it for ten times the price. The free market in action.

Cheers,
John
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  #15  
Unread 01-21-2019, 07:04 AM
Jim Moonan Jim Moonan is offline
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Given the title, it’s inevitable that politics would be brought into the paradigm. (But then so does Frost’s Mending Wall if read today, given the taint and gangren that Trump is).

But it’s the philosophical undertones that give this it’s clout. For me, though, even that is overridden by the artistry of the language and the tumbling, crumbling, broken quality of the short-block stanzas; the hard sounding “b’s” and “k’s” (like “Kuiper’s belt unbuckling”) that are sprinkled throughout that give it a wasteland-ish aspect.
What is most unusual and exciting about it and the reason why I like it so much is the language and the sonics that combine to paint a surreal landscape of brokenness and escape.

Might there be a better title?
x
x

Last edited by Jim Moonan; 01-21-2019 at 07:09 AM.
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  #16  
Unread 01-21-2019, 09:24 AM
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Orwn Acra Orwn Acra is offline
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Hmmm, Jim, do you have suggestions for a different title?
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  #17  
Unread 01-22-2019, 08:48 AM
Jim Moonan Jim Moonan is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Orwn Acra View Post
Hmmm, Jim, do you have suggestions for a different title?
I do and I don't. (Don't get me started ) I'm fascinated with titles. They are the crown. I remember once reading how titles can make or break a movie. For example, what if "Gone With The Wind" was titled, "Damn Those Confederates!" Being attracted by the title is not judging a book by its cover. It's about being enticed to uncover it and expose the flesh of it. It baffles me that painters donít put more effort into titling their paintings. In fact, do artists name their artwork or does someone else?
Still, I am not very good at titles. I often make a mediocre poem of mine even more so with a title that either telegraphs or is only tangential to the essence of what I'm trying to say.

But to your "Walls" poem, my suggestion, at the moment, selfishly, would be Altura Obscura. Itís attractive. Exotic. Speculative. Playful. It hints at transcendence, at voyaging to the unknown.

But titles are also deeply personal. In a sense they are like names we pick for our children. Why would anyone name their child Alouicious? Ambrose? Altura? Meaning is so often imagined rather than understood.

You may not find any reason to change the title. It does itís job.
x
x
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  #18  
Unread 01-22-2019, 02:15 PM
David Callin David Callin is offline
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I think it's great, but nothing seemed political to me apart from the title. And that seemed to be enough.

What a great word cleugh is.
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  #19  
Unread 01-25-2019, 09:02 AM
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Jan Iwaszkiewicz Jan Iwaszkiewicz is online now
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One wall to stem them all...beautiful language Walter!
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  #20  
Unread 01-29-2019, 03:09 PM
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Martin Rocek Martin Rocek is offline
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Let me add my enthusiasm to the choir. Can you help me--is tlotting a word, did you invent it, or is it a typo?

Thanks for the read!
Martin
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