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

Forum Left Top

Notices

Reply
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #21  
Unread 08-31-2019, 05:14 AM
Andrew Frisardi Andrew Frisardi is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2003
Location: Lazio, Italy
Posts: 4,918
Default

I’m glad this has generally gone over well, and also that it’s unanimous that the poem doesn’t need a note. I much prefer not to have to include one, and did try to put enough detail in the poem to make it free-standing. Mark and others have mentioned that it is ostensibly about trying to remember a myth, and I suppose approached it that way in part to give the content a little more leeway.

John, thanks again for your close reading. I’ve been weighing up your points, and so far anyway I’m leaning toward leaving those phrases as they are. I think “theirs” and “ancient” in the opening lines are explained enough by the title: the myth of poppies. For the scansion of “from someone once. Vermilion in crabgrass,” a point which a few people mentioned, I get a straight-up iambic line with a pyrrhic-spondaic inversion on the fourth-fifth feet: Ver-MIL-ion in CRABGRASS. For the last sentence in the poem, I did consider “was no doubt” but again came out with sticking with its current word order simply because that is more how I’d naturally say it: “No doubt there was a person.” And lastly, I’m staying with “aghast” after a period, having weighed up that one quite a bit before posting the poem, since I knew that having the closing rhyme follow a comma might seem “rhyme-driven,” but in the end deciding it really does say what I mean to say there.

All of which is to say, I am very glad you enjoyed the poem overall, and thanks for making me think more about my choices. I’d hope the parts that left you unsatisfied might grow on you.

Julie, thanks and I’m glad you enjoyed the irony between the octave and sestet. It’s interesting what you say about the couplets speeding things up the way someone on a train is likely to be when it’s time to get off. The N is clearly a slacker who is chronically late for work. ;-)

Aaron, I’m glad you found stuff in this to like. See my explanation above about the meter with “crabgrass,” and for the image of lines 7-8, I think you’ll agree that the myth background makes it fall into place not only for the visual imagery but also for the association to youth and death.

Glad you like the poem, Mark. I actually like your reading of that “vermilion in crabgrass” bit, though as I mention to John above I scan it differently. I don’t agree that lines 9-11 are fillerish, but actually are an essential moment (the volta) in the poem, with the new parallel of words/poetry being added to the one of poppies/adolescents.

Susan, glad you like the poem and agree the note can be left out. Thanks for the editing suggestions, but I’m going to leave the comma out before “trembling” in line 8, since I really mean the simile to be working both way, poppies trembling the way adolescents do (erotically, but also with apprehension about growing up and fitting in, and probably trembling about other things as well). The closing couplet is less about assuming there has to be a myth about poppies than about the connections between sense-experience, memory, imagination, and poetry, and so it really does say what I most wanted/needed to say at the close of this poem.

Nemo, your critique is a marvelous mirror for the poem and for me in the act of writing it, and I thank you for it. It brings me back into the poem itself, and reminds me of something I have long believed, when people ask what’s poetry for: for more poetry, of course. The phrase “all the violence of image is always lurking there below the placid surface of the quotidian” especially struck me, since it describes my feeling when the poem first came along with the memory of the anemone myth and the poppies splashing the ground red beside the train tracks. I think I’m going to stick with the comma before “aghast” at the end, instead of the em dash, because it feels subtler that way, as if that chasm you mention is the most natural thing in the world.

Allen, that is a lovely story about your visit to the WWI monument in England and a nice reflection for this poem. Thanks for it.

And Ralph, thanks for enjoying the suggestiveness in the poem and for those interesting associations to the self and to the poppy’s symbolism. There is always Dorothy falling asleep in the field of them. The association between Termini and limits or confines always occurs to me too, even though the name apparently doesn’t come from terminus but from the Roman baths (thermae) nearby.

Andrew
Reply With Quote
  #22  
Unread 08-31-2019, 05:38 AM
Mark McDonnell Mark McDonnell is offline
Moderator
 
Join Date: May 2016
Location: Staffordshire, England
Posts: 3,088
Default

Hey Andrew,

The poem comes together as a satisfying whole the more I read it. It's very good. I can see how the beginning of the sestet is a necessary lull in intensity after the opening. Reading this again

I gaze a bit before I leave the train,
searching for words that perished on my tongue

I think it might just be that one tiny phrase 'a bit' that coloured the next couple of lines for me. There's something almost too mundane about it, so the contrast with the previous linguistic fireworks becomes almost comically bathetic. I feel like some image in that one beat there would help: ('I gaze, frowning/I gaze and think' e.g.) Does that make any sense? Could very well just be me...
Reply With Quote
  #23  
Unread 08-31-2019, 06:22 AM
Andrew Frisardi Andrew Frisardi is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2003
Location: Lazio, Italy
Posts: 4,918
Default

Mark, do you think "I gaze a while" would work better? I've vacillated between those two word choices. I'd rather not add more imagery there, since it's a brief pause in the images just before it, and the volta is the focus there.
Reply With Quote
  #24  
Unread 08-31-2019, 06:51 AM
Mark McDonnell Mark McDonnell is offline
Moderator
 
Join Date: May 2016
Location: Staffordshire, England
Posts: 3,088
Default

It would be better for me, yes. Or even 'I stand and gaze'. It's such a tiny thing but it struck me.
Reply With Quote
  #25  
Unread 08-31-2019, 07:39 AM
Andrew Frisardi Andrew Frisardi is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2003
Location: Lazio, Italy
Posts: 4,918
Default

I've tried out tweak there, in line 9. I think it might be good, since it adds the information that the N is seated still as he gazes. And it gets rid of "a bit," which is extraneous.
Reply With Quote
  #26  
Unread 08-31-2019, 07:54 AM
John Isbell John Isbell is online now
Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2017
Location: TX
Posts: 4,853
Default

Hi Andrew,

"I gaze before I stand" seems to me not awkward, but a slightly odd construction - I don't really picture anyone saying it. Going back to your earlier options, how about something like "I gaze a while then stand ...," with or without a comma?

Cheers,
John
Reply With Quote
  #27  
Unread 08-31-2019, 09:31 AM
Andrew Frisardi Andrew Frisardi is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2003
Location: Lazio, Italy
Posts: 4,918
Default

I've reverted to the original phrasing, "I gaze a bit before I leave the train." You're right, John, my revised phrase didn't sound right, and that got me to think more on the homely wording I originally had, which I feel fits the moment. "A bit" really isn't superfluous, since it's saying the N doesn't get up right away when the train pulls in, because he's distracted by the poppies' colors and "trying to remember the myth of poppies."

Thanks for bouncing this around with me.
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: 8,008
Total Threads: 19,850
Total Posts: 253,917
There are 252 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