Eratosphere Forums - Metrical Poetry, Free Verse, Fiction, Art, Critique, Discussions Able Muse - a review of poetry, prose and art

Forum Left Top

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #21  
Old 06-28-2018, 01:12 PM
John Isbell John Isbell is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2017
Location: TX
Posts: 3,184
Default

I like column and colonnade. Mind you, I like train as well, I'm quite happy with recondite allusion.

Cheers,
John
Reply With Quote
  #22  
Old 06-29-2018, 03:42 AM
Clive Watkins Clive Watkins is offline
Member
 
Join Date: May 2001
Location: Yorkshire, UK
Posts: 2,314
Default

A comment specifically on the current version, Susan…

I don’t care for the strong enjambments from lines 2 to 3, 3 to 4, and 6 to 7. In particular, in the enjambment from line 3 to line 4, to my ear the pattern of beats makes a dactyl followed by a trochee. The beat that needs to fall on “on” to make the metre work is simply lost in the onward run of the syntax, so that line 3 has in effect only four beats. Moreover, since the trochee at the start of line 4 is followed by an unstressed syllable (making a dactyl) and since it has only nine syllables, this line too comes over as having only four beats. Something similar happens between line 6 and line 7, where the beat that is needed on “and” is swallowed up. It is noteworthy that in the original all the lines but the first are end-stopped inasmuch as each line is occupied by a distinct unit of syntax. It is this that gives Rilke’s poem some of its crispness.

Just something to think about…

Clive

Last edited by Clive Watkins; 06-29-2018 at 06:46 AM. Reason: Correction for Clarity
Reply With Quote
  #23  
Old 06-30-2018, 03:03 AM
Susan McLean Susan McLean is online now
Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2001
Location: Iowa City, IA, USA
Posts: 7,539
Default

I knew that "train" meant "line of troops" so I have changed L1-2 to try to remove the ambiguity. It will take more time and thought to address Clive's issues with enjambment, since the rhymes are making major changes difficult, and I am traveling right now. Thanks for the other comments, which I will address later.

Susan
Reply With Quote
  #24  
Old 06-30-2018, 04:43 PM
Susan McLean Susan McLean is online now
Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2001
Location: Iowa City, IA, USA
Posts: 7,539
Default

I've made some more slight adjustments to address Clive's issues about the enjambments. I would be glad to hear whether those changes seem to be improvements or not.

Susan
Reply With Quote
  #25  
Old 06-30-2018, 06:53 PM
John Isbell John Isbell is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2017
Location: TX
Posts: 3,184
Default

Hi Susan,

I think your revision globally works. To me, the weak link now is S1L3, which stumbles to my ear. I'd also return to clavichord, which I think Rilke would have chosen over harpsichord, given that he ignored the German (and Italian) Cembalo. Harpsichord feels flat.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Clavichord
My 2c. I like "line of troops."

Cheers,
John
Reply With Quote
  #26  
Old 07-01-2018, 03:08 AM
Clive Watkins Clive Watkins is offline
Member
 
Join Date: May 2001
Location: Yorkshire, UK
Posts: 2,314
Default

To disagree with John, I think you should stick with “harpsichord”, which is what (in French) Rilke wrote. The French for “clavichord” is “clavicorde”, not “clavecin”. It also seems more plausible to me, a clavichord being, in my opinion, an uncommon instrument, even at this date.

More anon, perhaps.

Clive
Reply With Quote
  #27  
Old 07-01-2018, 08:22 AM
John Isbell John Isbell is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2017
Location: TX
Posts: 3,184
Default

Clive, you make a solid point in musicology, but I still feel harpsichord's flatness doesn't capture what Rilke does in the German. How about clavecin or, perhaps better, cembalo? I'm away from dictionaries but cembalo makes it to wikipedia. I like a little dash of weirdness to capture the German's French, as when Goethe calls Mephistopheles "raffiniert."

Cheers,
John
Reply With Quote
  #28  
Old 07-01-2018, 12:35 PM
Martin Rocek's Avatar
Martin Rocek Martin Rocek is offline
Moderator
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: NY, USA
Posts: 4,162
Default

Hi Susan,
I think it is improved, but S1L4 is still a big problem for me. And I agree that you should keep "harpsichord", but if you are looking for more exotic synonyms, perhaps "spinet" would work; since that is metrically very different, it would offer you new ways to rework the stanza.

Best wishes,
Martin
Reply With Quote
  #29  
Old 07-02-2018, 05:20 AM
Clive Watkins Clive Watkins is offline
Member
 
Join Date: May 2001
Location: Yorkshire, UK
Posts: 2,314
Default

Dear Susan

Here are some more observations. I hope they are helpful.

Line 1: What about “Night and a distant rumbling”? I think this makes for a stronger start.

Line 2: I miss “des ganzen Heeres”.

Line 4: I don’t care for the inverted syntax. A more natural word-order would be “as he gazed across at her”, but this leaves you with metrical problems (not, I think, insurmountable on a more radical view: see below).

Line 6”’ “and” seems a weak rhyme.

Line 10: I’m not sure about this: “with trouble” doesn’t really capture “mühsam”; and after all “trouble” is what they are both in just now. The word misdirects, I feel.

Standing back, I wonder if the problems of the first quatrain might be overcome not by dropping “harpsichord” (or, worse, in my view, substituting the very different and archaic “spinet”) but by recasting line 1 and line 4, treating the German a little more flexibly. A paraphrase of “fernes Fahren” could release other half-rhymes and so allow the syntax to run more naturally. It is, I feel, the rhymes you have chosen that are trapping you into some unsatisfactory phrasing.

Just something to think about.

Good luck with this!

Clive
Reply With Quote
  #30  
Old 07-02-2018, 09:45 AM
Martin Rocek's Avatar
Martin Rocek Martin Rocek is offline
Moderator
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: NY, USA
Posts: 4,162
Default

Clive,
sorry about my bad idea with "spinet"; do you think that it makes sense to place the poem in the late 18'th or early 19'th century, that is, in the historical past before Rilke, or do you think that is a distraction?

Thank you for your perceptive comments--they help me read the poem.

Martin
Reply With Quote
Reply

Bookmarks

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Forum Jump



Forum Right Top
Forum Left Bottom Forum Right Bottom
 
Right Left
Member Login
Forgot password?
Forum LeftForum Right


Forum Statistics:
Forum Members: 7,913
Total Threads: 19,376
Total Posts: 250,172
There are 231 users
currently browsing forums.
Forum LeftForum Right


Forum Sponsor:
Donate & Support Able Muse / Eratosphere
Forum LeftForum Right
Right Right
Right Bottom Left Right Bottom Right

Hosted by ApplauZ Online