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  #21  
Unread 09-08-2019, 11:10 PM
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Daniel Kemper Daniel Kemper is offline
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Can I respond justly to everyone? I'll post quips here and pm for more detail, I think.

As time allows of course.

To all for whom cunnilingus was so far from mind that the symbol was unclear: shame on you.

What I stand by; what I don't stand by.
I stand by the poem's portrayal of the speaker and the situation. It's one event, one poem. I do not stand by most of the Franklin reference. It was a last-minute decision thinking many might need an overt clue. I didn't re-read in its entirety before I posted. It's far afield, the title should be fixed.

For everyone who got upset with the tone as "paternalistic" or "patronizing". Please deal with the facts of life first, before addressing tone. Older women are less pursued than younger. Younger men are less pursued than older men. Most older women do have attitudes, chicken and egg, and/or vicious cycle. If one's repeatedly rejected, one learns to reject first. Whatever the cause, the data are empirical. The speaker exerts manly assertiveness and aggression, and it's true, in this age of victimization and offended-ness, it is not well understood. If I had a dime for every female friend of mine who complained about men not stepping up- in the way that the speaker in this poem does, I'd be Bill Gates. If I had a dime for each one who shared that privately, but publicly complained, I'd be Bill Gates twice over. Missed by all those who dislike the tone, is that the focus was actually on HER pleasure, not his.

Julie: Your read is chauvinistic. You hijack the poem and import hugely. Ex: You rewrite entire histories to defend the woman, but for the apparently haplessly chauvinistic man you create no history to defend his arrival at such 'dysfunctional' viewpoints. Further, standard symbolic techniques used for all people over all ages were represented by you as objectification. I love your bravery; I love your detail. I think you merely blew the call on this one.

Nemo: a beauty of kenotic prose. Not sure why such a great leviathan such as you would bother so much on a whirligig like me.

Allen: You know me pretty well to know I don't intend the things you mention. Nonetheless, it's good to broadcast a message to be sure viewers don't glean the wrong thing. Generally though, I find anyone who has to use the urban dictionary still gets it wrong.

Aaron N: Not to be overly, only somewhat, patronizing. Let twenty years pass and we'll check in. (If I'm still alive.)

Jim: I like stale crackers in soup; I love dried out cheese (especially Gouda). But as someone mentioned- where's the cheese? Indeed. Perhaps another poem awaits to answer that.

Rick: Agreed. Working through a title. Not to raise myself to parallel, but only to hint: there's something of the scent of the carcass of beef in this poem...

Mark: I think you spent more time with Franklin than with the poem. I think there is only one word, perhaps two, that are the least bit dismissive: "need" and perhaps "break" (but only b/c it's in the service of need). Even as such, across the globe and history, it's far more representative of truth than the modern idiom (in which no one seems happy). On crackers and cheese, yes to a degree. Not that you think it's your fault (my references to crackers and cheese predate my private message to you). It's a theme that I can develop over and over again as a challenge whenever I feel dry. I say to myself, OK smartass, crank one out NOW... about this... Additional PM coming, not especially private, just so as not to gum up the boards.

Andrew, I do enjoy my bawdy foodie poems (described as soft porn perhaps not unwarranted). Lecter: Oh Clarice, your problem is, you need to get more fun out of life. Well, perhaps not you Andrew, but you get my drift.

Apologies for those I've missed in this pass.
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  #22  
Unread 09-08-2019, 11:20 PM
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RCL RCL is offline
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Well, cheesewhiz, I just thought it was a Freudian quip.
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  #23  
Unread 09-09-2019, 12:01 PM
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Julie Steiner Julie Steiner is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Daniel Kemper View Post
For everyone who got upset with the tone as "paternalistic" or "patronizing". Please deal with the facts of life first, before addressing tone. Older women are less pursued than younger. Younger men are less pursued than older men. Most older women do have attitudes, chicken and egg, and/or vicious cycle. If one's repeatedly rejected, one learns to reject first. Whatever the cause, the data are empirical. The speaker exerts manly assertiveness and aggression, and it's true, in this age of victimization and offended-ness, it is not well understood. If I had a dime for every female friend of mine who complained about men not stepping up- in the way that the speaker in this poem does, I'd be Bill Gates. If I had a dime for each one who shared that privately, but publicly complained, I'd be Bill Gates twice over. Missed by all those who dislike the tone, is that the focus was actually on HER pleasure, not his.

Julie: Your read is chauvinistic. You hijack the poem and import hugely. Ex: You rewrite entire histories to defend the woman, but for the apparently haplessly chauvinistic man you create no history to defend his arrival at such 'dysfunctional' viewpoints. Further, standard symbolic techniques used for all people over all ages were represented by you as objectification. I love your bravery; I love your detail. I think you merely blew the call on this one.

Nemo: a beauty of kenotic prose. Not sure why such a great leviathan such as you would bother so much on a whirligig like me.

[etc.]
Daniel, I do agree that in general, people who are "harsh," "hard," "grim," etc., because they are not getting enough satisfaction probably have a chicken-egg problem: i.e., they would probably get more satisfaction if they were more pleasant company. One of Ben Franklin's more famous bits of advice is "Honey catches more flies than vinegar."

But that adage has applications beyond courtship. For example, I wonder how generous workshop participants are likely to be with comments on your future poems if they see the tartness of your responses to some of the people who took time to comment in good faith--e.g., Nemo.

In this thread, the person who seems "upset," has an "attitude," and exudes "offended-ness and victimization" (I'm quoting from your comments to me) is not one of the critics.

I agree with many others here that changing the title to be less oblique would do this poem a world of good. Allen and I were discussing Franklin's letter about older mistresses a few days ago, and I still only made the connection between the Benjamin in the title and Ben Franklin this morning, when someone specifically pointed it out. (Duh!)

The focus of the poem is definitely on HER pleasure, not his, but I still think it's a reasonable assumption that the protagonist is mainly concerned with improving his own chances for pleasure. To me, the end of the poem implies mutual enjoyment. Not that there's anything wrong with mutual enjoyment. I'm just skeptical that his motives are purely altruistic.
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  #24  
Unread 09-09-2019, 02:05 PM
Mark McDonnell Mark McDonnell is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Daniel Kemper
Aaron N: Not to be overly, only somewhat, patronizing. Let twenty years pass and we'll check in. (If I'm still alive.)
Quite right, Aaron, hold your tongue young man! And maybe one day you'll have matured enough to write as incisive a commentary on relationships as the one which graces the top of this thread!

Ahem. Daniel, apart from being rude, this comment is the weakest of arguments. To cite one of countless examples, your man Eliot was 27 when 'Prufrock' and 'Portrait of a Lady' were published. He wrote most of 'Prufrock' at 22.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Daniel Kemper
I'm more liking the wrongness of posting these days, not sin for sin's sake, just utterly worn out with restrictiveness of politics and loving the freedom of indifference. Not insensitivity, indifference. To hypersensitivity. Diplomacy, meh. Been there, done that, got the t-shirt: it was pressed and starchy and tight and chafing.
I would say more about your response, including your idiosyncratic redefinition of the word 'facts' to include the likes of "Most older women do have attitudes" (Ha. Maybe it's just when they meet you...) but going on about it might fuel this idea you seem to have that the objections to the poem are the result of killjoy, PC squeamishness, rather than its being a tonally awkward, somewhat crass, damp squib.

And this is from someone who has spent hours on this site arguing against ridiculous PC squeamishness. It exists, but believe me, that's not what's going on here.

All the best

Mark
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  #25  
Unread 09-09-2019, 11:18 PM
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Daniel Kemper Daniel Kemper is offline
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Hey Mark, into my cups pretty far, and taking the night off. Love your, jibe. I have to return.

"Ha. Maybe it's just when they meet you..." But not AFTER they've met me . ooh lala...
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  #26  
Unread 09-09-2019, 11:39 PM
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Daniel Kemper Daniel Kemper is offline
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RCL - Shout out to you! Seems you got it all right up and clear (agree, disagree, squirm or no). Props! Dude!
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  #27  
Unread 09-09-2019, 11:41 PM
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Daniel Kemper Daniel Kemper is offline
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Jullie- you too. If my posts seem to justify me as sinless, f- them. I am rough and gruff and crass sometimes and effete and randomly refined at others and I love you, sister, because iron sharpens iron. We spark stuff that otherwise wouldn't be considered.
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  #28  
Unread 09-15-2019, 09:25 PM
A. Sterling A. Sterling is offline
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Hi Daniel,

For my own part, I got the innuendo but basically nothing else and probably never would have if I hadnít come back and read the comments.

I, like others here, ended up finding it a little icky once I understood, but I donít think itís so much the word choice (grim, etc.). Itís more the unsavory implications that a metaphor of Ďa person is foodí carries along. If the metaphor was confined to a single line, you might have been able to get away with it, but when the poem is considering a class of people entirely through the lens of a comparison with something inanimate, then it does end up coming off as objectifying.

And then when the sexy bit arrives, while the focus is on giving them pleasure, youíre seeing it through the lens of the narratorís self-satisfaction in being able to. This isnít reading too much into it: itís reading exactly whatís there in the vehicle of the metaphor, whether it was invoked intentionally or not. Even people who see value in a food that's normally considered undesirable surely donít eat it for the food's sake.

Apologies if I'm rekindling a debate that was best left alone, but I actually find this kind of question fascinating - both the question of what a metaphor is actually doing for a given poem and the one of how people can come to have such different views of it.
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