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  #11  
Unread 01-31-2021, 02:16 PM
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Andrew Mandelbaum Andrew Mandelbaum is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sergio F Lima View Post
Andrew:

I am happy others liked you poem. Again, I apologize for being rude and unhelpful. My comments were meant to be tongue-in-cheek, but they came out as tasteless as a witch's brew. Your elegant reply shows your high degree of maturity, and that you are able withstand harshness without letting yourself being provoked by it. I thought about PM you, but then I decided I owed you a public apology.
Admiringly:
S
Behind on some work and will respond to the rest but wanted to react to Sergio here. You were fine and I think plenty of your objections were in line with my own discomfort with the piece. I caught the tongue-in-cheek. I responded in the few defensive places not because I was put off or insulted but because I think the critics were valid enough to have to think about especially the ones that I didn't agree with. I like stuff that witches make to drink.

Last edited by Andrew Mandelbaum; 02-05-2021 at 05:43 AM.
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  #12  
Unread 02-05-2021, 05:40 AM
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Andrew Mandelbaum Andrew Mandelbaum is offline
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Hey Matt. I am glad you didn't see my note and gave me your crit. I am reworking this completely but you helped me thing about some writing habits in general as well as hints for the revision. Sarah Jane I may lose a fair amount of this but I appreciate you coming back and seeing what had some worth. Sorry I have been absent on the board a bit this week. Big changes in my work forced me to do a bunch of crazy used tool searches and and a truck search. Ate up the hours. Back soon.
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  #13  
Unread 02-08-2021, 07:05 AM
Jim Moonan Jim Moonan is offline
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.
I can see how the word "Subnivean" would provoke a poem. Hibernation, constructive metamorphosis, snowpack snow melt sublimation... There is a "down the rabbit hole" aura to it.

I think the first stanza is fantastic, as are parts of the second and third stanzas.

I think this passage has magical elements in it:

She took him
to where the sheltering drifts grew thin
and moonlight made the ceiling
a baudekin aglow. To that light she spoke:



Hopefully the time has not passed for writing this one. It's a world of imagery. Sometimes one gets a second chance... Wait for blue snow!
.
.
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  #14  
Unread 03-20-2021, 08:20 AM
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Andrew Mandelbaum Andrew Mandelbaum is offline
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Hey Jim.
Posting here today a total revision.
Sorry I didn't see this response back when you wrote it.
It is a very different poem now. I am sorry I have lost the parts you valued. It more part of the set of poems it comes from now and I wasn't able to find my way with the original setting. Maybe I will one day. But you are right. It was the word itself that set the poem a task. Subnivean. It is word that can scaffold a hundred poems I think, so there is plenty of chances for better takes still. But maybe I can do some work here and get some more of the original into this.
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  #15  
Unread 03-20-2021, 03:59 PM
Cally Conan-Davies Cally Conan-Davies is offline
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The revision is completely wonderful, my Wayfaring One!! I asked myself the question "Who is who here?", and by the end, I said the words again, but they were no longer a question. The magic you've made, drawn the circle, the wide bow, the unbreakable line between the two figures in the poem -- the stander by the door and the boy with his ear to the below, the "subnivean", well, I can't put into words how you've done it, but you have done it.

The boy's connection to the cold, covered world is astonishing. Such quietness, such aloneness. Such connection. It's really fabulous.

Thank you.

Cally
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  #16  
Unread 03-21-2021, 10:31 AM
John Riley John Riley is offline
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Andrew, ultimately, it is the boy's connection, be he the messiah or not, to the earth, or to the world as I like to say because to me the word world captures both the tangible and the intangible, that makes the revision strong. Your poems always send me searching for the necessary information to understand them on the literal level, but this one held me in the midst of my ego-induced concern I didn't know something. I can know it later. I think this is a necessary aspect that you need in your work. I don't mean to assume a kingly role here but I have read dozens of your always interesting and often marvelous poems and for me, the ones that work best are the ones that allow me to keep reading without opening my Google tab. I will ultimately have to open it because you know so much more than I do, but this poem says keep reading. Sometimes information is the angel we kill. I love the little people beneath the passages and the "cadence of jumping mouse/and vole song." The myth here is prevalent and the fact I don't initially know the references put me in the place of anyone who lives inside, or is it beneath, a myth.
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  #17  
Unread 03-22-2021, 02:51 PM
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Jane Crowson Jane Crowson is offline
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Hello,

In terms of the revision, I think you’ve gained more than you’ve lost. What you’ve lost is some of the startling, strange, magical imagery of the first version. But you’ve also lost the threat of slipping into gnomic melodrama which the first version veered on in a couple of tiny places (not very often and I didn’t say so at the time because it wouldn’t have been helpful or constructive).

This revision reads for me as much clearer, much more coherently constructed. I can easily find a way in to read it as a discrete poem but I can imagine how it will fit well within a body of work. You’ve some great physical/actual images (the boy listening through the soupcan) which are interesting and unique but also highly readable/translatable to many contexts. They locate the poem for me in place, which makes it easier to follower the more magical imagery that comes up next.

I love S3, with the passages, night/witches and alliterative warmth. I love how this is echoed in jumping mouse/ and vole song. I wonder if you need the ‘circle of metal’ repetition as this throws me back to the can in a really oblique, unnecessary way (in my reading) and away from my entranced reading of the subnivean described. I don’t understand the passage about the ‘angel that we kill’ but I think it would become clear if this were read as intended, within the context of other poems.

I like the image of the boy braiding the words - it’s magical and beautiful. ‘Mugwort’ dilutes this for me, taking me to Harry Potter, and I wonder if there’s some scent you might work in there, or some texture - the feel of the herbs?

But I like the revision - and it’s so much clearer than the first. I reckon the sonics are lovely, and the writing transcendent in places.


Sarah-Jane
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  #18  
Unread 03-25-2021, 12:18 PM
David Callin David Callin is offline
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Well, Andrew - as is often my wont, I prefer the original. And I know, from what you've said, that the revision is - or is more like - the poem you wanted to write, but the original is more like the poem I want to read. The start is gripping, and it flows - not always entirely smoothly - from there.

I don't think the introduction of the messiah improves the poem at all, but I know that that opinion must be trumped by your own. I'm sticking to mine, though.

I'm happy to say that, although I don't know "subnivean", I was able to guess what it must mean. No such success on "baudekin", though. Which is a great word.

Cheers

David
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  #19  
Unread 03-25-2021, 07:08 PM
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Andrew Mandelbaum Andrew Mandelbaum is offline
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I made some revisons here to improve the flow and answer some readers. Sorry I didn't track them in print. I think they work.

Hey Cally. I was really glad you liked this, especially as you saw the who is who here business that I was trying to accomplish.

Yeah, John, that connection of an upholder that he has is grounded in simple connections to the world. Thanks.

Sarah-Jane I didn't know mugwort was a Potter thing but in any case I found an old story about the uses of moonwort that I like enough to switch that out here. I also lost the polypore to use it in a more fitting poem. I reworded the angel bit. There is some man looking at the boy he was here. If that helps.

Hey David. Its cool you like the other better. It will prolly be a thing one day when I can get its purpose for me clearer in my head. I miss baudekin too. This is the third poem in a series that opens with the same line. And the messiah bit is in many of the poems in this group. You may have to put up with it but I respect your reservation.
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  #20  
Unread 03-26-2021, 10:47 AM
David Callin David Callin is offline
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Ah. I did not realise it was part of a group of poems. Clearly I need to see the bigger picture (clearly).

I should say that mugwort did not take me to Harry Potter (although it sort of did, making me think of both muggles and Hogwarts). It has, as I am sure Sarah-Jane knows, a long and honourable history that far precedes HP. But then I'm not a Harry Potter fan at all.

Cheers

David

Last edited by David Callin; 03-26-2021 at 10:51 AM.
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