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  #1  
Unread 11-14-2019, 06:03 PM
Andrew Szilvasy Andrew Szilvasy is offline
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Sonnet

DDT nearly exterminated peregrines; the survivors left the tall trees and steep cliffs to nest on tall buildings or bridges.

Every year, somewhere between 65-95% of books are returned to the publisher to be slurried into new books.

In 2100, people will see nighthawks in the moldy shapes of Harvard’s water-logged books.

The Boston shaker's best for getting that the preferred dilution.

The last four Shakers live in Sabbathday Lake, north of Portland.

After the flood, Noah drank wine; he loved the land but tried to seduce the sky.

The giant, Pallas, son of Evander, lay dead, uncorrupted; a candle burned in his head which neither water nor wind could put out.

Many moons before the blood eagle, Ivar the Boneless slowly sliced the ox hide into such fine strands that he encircled a hilltop.

Last summer, a Manhattan-sized iceberg broke off a Greenland glacier.

Land birds perch in the umbels of papyrus and hunt fish.

Li Po drowned embracing the moon in a mountain spring.

Aileen Wuornos spurned the last meal, drinking freshly brewed coffee.

The apostles possessed nothing.

I can think of at least three types of bitterness.

Edits

L1 was "DDT nearly exterminated peregrines by causing their nestlings to hatch prematurely; the survivors left the tall trees and steep cliffs to nest on tall buildings or bridges."

Original
Sonnet

The Buddha’s mind is pure and still as spring water or the moon.

Buñuel sliced a bleached calf’s eye.

The apostles possessed nothing.

In 2100, people will see nighthawks in the moldy shapes of Harvard’s water-logged books.

The Boston shaker's best for getting that the preferred dilution.

The last four Shakers live in Sabbathday Lake, north of Portland.

After the flood, Noah drank wine; he loved the land but tried to seduce the sky.

The giant, Pallas, son of Evander, lay dead, uncorrupted; a candle burned in his head which neither water nor wind could put out.

Many moons before the blood eagle, Ivar the Boneless slowly sliced the ox hide into such fine strands that he encircled a hilltop.

Last summer, a Manhattan-sized iceberg broke off a Greenland glacier.

Land birds perch in the umbels of papyrus and hunt fish.

Li Po drowned embracing the moon in a mountain spring.

Aileen Wuornos spurned the last meal, drinking freshly brewed coffee.

I can think of at least three types of bitterness.

***

Fixed L2 typo

Last edited by Andrew Szilvasy; 12-02-2019 at 10:14 AM.
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  #2  
Unread 11-14-2019, 06:36 PM
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Jayne Osborn Jayne Osborn is offline
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Heck... Is it me?? Where to start??

Andrew,
This is, at best, a 14-line poem, but it's not a sonnet, as far as I can see. All 14 lines seem like random, unconnected thoughts. There's no rhyme, no metre, no octet/sestet...
(Why is it on Non-Met, but called a sonnet?)

I can't even make sense of:
Bruñel sliced a bleached calf’s eye

nor

The Boston shaker's best for getting that the preferred dilution. It's not a complete sentence.

I don't know what else to say, except perhaps "Sorry. Ditch this one."

Jayne
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  #3  
Unread 11-14-2019, 07:39 PM
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RCL RCL is offline
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The Bunuel line does make sense in itself, alluding to the film Un Chien Andalou. A sprinkling of other facts, however loved, a poem don’t make. Calling it a sonnet is a sneer?
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Unread 11-14-2019, 08:16 PM
Jim Moonan Jim Moonan is offline
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x
This has quite a cast. In the morning I'll acquaint myself to the population, but now just wanted to drop in and give first impressions. I don't always get to second and third....
There are bits of global warming, fragmented sci fi post-apocalyptic diatribe, esotericism, referential cultural porn, and, dare I say, Steampunk Dada (there is a rash of that going around the Sphere it seems -- or is it in my head?)

I'm far away from deciphering this but like Jayne want to know where the sonnet is in it all. It's as close to being haiku as it is a sonnet, no? (Very far away).

You could call it a Non-Metrical Sonnet Haiku Steampunk Dada

I don't mean to make light of this, Andrew. It has some untapped potential I'm too tired to go after at the moment. I'll be back. Everything seems to have meaning.
x
x
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Unread 11-14-2019, 08:22 PM
Andrew Szilvasy Andrew Szilvasy is offline
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Thank you all for responding. I'll respond more directly to the concerns. Just wanted to say that I think the piece rhymes, in a way, and in an English-sonnet-y way.

Jim: it's funny that it does feel sort of like that. I'm in a semi-dry spell (busy busy at work until the Christmas break frees me) and I'm going through old drafts. This is from 2016 that I spent the last week or so touching up (it was numbered, and it didn't have the "rhyme" as thoroughly).
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Unread 11-15-2019, 09:51 AM
Phil Bulman Phil Bulman is offline
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Fascinating fact about Aileen Wuornos, which I had never come across before.
But the text as a whole is so scattered that it does not seem coherent.
You could probably take some of these lines and develop them in different ways.
Does not seem very sonnet-like to me except for the number of lines.
Thanks for sharing this.
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Unread 11-15-2019, 11:11 AM
Andrew Szilvasy Andrew Szilvasy is offline
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Hi all,

I have a chance to respond more directly now.

Jayne: I figured that the piece might not work for everyone. I don't think that, in today's poetry world, sonnets need meter/rhyme. I do think there is a larger structure to the images that perform something like an octet/sestet.

Ralph is right that the line alludes to the famous scene in Un Chien Andalou. As for the Boston Shaker...you're right, but I'm not particularly bothered by it being a fragment.

I appreciate hearing your impressions, though, even if that is that I ought to consign this to the wastebins of history.

Ralph: Thank you for your thoughts. I don't think it is 14 random facts. Or, rather, it is, but the hope is that their juxtaposition suggests something beyond them. If they don't, and it's just a totally arbitrary list that doesn't go anywhere, the poem has failed. Perhaps it has. I do take the title of 'sonnet' in sincerity.

Jim: I like the list, though I would shrink it a bit. I don't think you're making light of it.

Phil: Thanks for popping in. I take your point, and I think I have addressed them.
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Unread 11-15-2019, 04:14 PM
Mark McDonnell Mark McDonnell is offline
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Hi Andrew,

Don't you want "Buñuel" not "Bruñel"? Unless there's a joke about Spanish surrealism and Victorian engineers that I'm not getting.

There's a lot of water in the poem, and liquids in general. L10 to 13 all have things plunging into, or embracing, various liquids and also the presence of death. There's environmentalism here, clearly. There's also stuff that I can't connect with anything, but that's ok too. There are striking individual images, but I don't know if I'd be tempted to go back to it much if I wasn't critting it, because it doesn't give me the sort of experience I want. It relies too much on the reader to make the connections and trust that they are, in fact, there. It's a little po-faced (Li Po faced?) in its relentless important sounding statements (or ordinary sounding statements which the reader is encouraged to read import into) and I'd like some humour maybe? Or surrealism? The line about Harvard's books touches this. But having said all this, and despite Jayne's ditching advice, of all the poems on the boards right now this is probably one of the most fashionably publishable. So good luck with it!
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Unread 11-18-2019, 08:38 PM
Andrew Szilvasy Andrew Szilvasy is offline
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Mark,

Thanks for your thoughts here. You are indeed right: for whatever reason I mangled Buñuel's name. It doesn't seem to be doing a lot for the 'Sphere, though I do have an inkling this might legs outside of it, for better or worse.
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Unread 11-20-2019, 01:07 AM
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Clem Clem is offline
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Poetry left its origins as a mnemonic device centuries ago.

And maybe no one has yet truly explained what, then, is it supposed to be today?

I never mention this to anyone, but maybe enchantment is clearer today in a post-truth world than ever, but we're so afraid to say anything like this.

Maybe grand synaptic play is a way...maybe the best way...to discuss enchantment.

After all, the more you discuss humor rationally, the farther away from it you get.

I clearly have a lot of bad ideas. Always have, I guess. We're in a Merchant Culture incapable of saving itself. We now have gone beyond the time needed to discuss how to prevent what may be the greatest (or second to the Permian) extinction in the history of the biosphere.

Maybe enchantment is the last game plan.

And a sort of gamifying of synaptic activity seems reasonable if this is true.

At least it's not poetry from 50 years ago.

What a world it might be if a single grand enchanter had more sway than all the hedge fund managers. (When it comes to being interesting, I find hedge fund managers penniless.)

If you're to hold the key up to the light for all of us to see, it might look like this....great synaptic leaps...for everyone....just for the fun of it.

You're on it, dude. Congratulations....and hang in there.
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