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
  #11  
Old 09-22-2018, 12:19 PM
Jim Moonan Jim Moonan is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2016
Location: Boston, MA
Posts: 1,613
Default

Hey Mark,
It’s never a sure thing that any of us will be released from our past. Even when we think we are.
My overall impression is that the N is having something of a cathartic moment (the woman, too) as he realizes the pain and self-deprivation that the woman, perhaps his lover, maybe someone he has finally come to understand more fully, has endured for years.

Some thoughts…
  • It’s an abrupt shift in tone from the first stanza to the second.
  • I assume the dairy is the woman’s childhood home? If so, the fact that her childhood home happens to be on a dairy farm seems to imply something, though I don’t know what.
  • I wonder if her parents were angry that she was not accepted into college or that they were privy to the “essay” she wrote and that is what angered them. (I wrote a college entrance essay on lying down in the middle of the road in the middle of the night in the middle of nowhere. Seriously! I was also rejected : )
  • The period of estrangement that follows her for years, those years in a dream, vanish as she confronts the memories by making a pilgrimage back to the place where it all happened.
  • The last two stanzas evoke a psychedelic interlude of time, perhaps days, perhaps months, perhaps years, and symbolism of baths, celestial carvings, gardens, dreams and tethered birds.
  • When you say “That night” I’m not sure which night that is. Is it the night when she took a bath? If so, wouldn’t that have taken place long ago? And if so, why would the opening stanza announce the untethering as being in the present?

I like it like I like everything you write, but this one feels too ethereally esoteric to be clearly understood. My apologies if I’m misreading this or overlooking some important element.
X
x
Reply With Quote
  #12  
Old 09-22-2018, 12:29 PM
Matt Q Matt Q is offline
Member
 
Join Date: May 2013
Location: England, UK
Posts: 2,668
Default

Jim,

It's a diary, not a dairy
Reply With Quote
  #13  
Old 09-22-2018, 01:19 PM
David Callin David Callin is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2014
Location: Ellan Vannin
Posts: 1,925
Default

Very nice. To be honest, what with the celestial bath, and the sleeping in the garden, in close conjunction with the earth - and the title - I thought she'd died. Definite echoes of "A Slumber did my Spirit Seal" - for me, anyway.

I think I can still sustain that reading, but I'm glad to know she hadn't.

On a different tack, is the poem crying out for rhyme? It seems so to me.

Cheers

David
Reply With Quote
  #14  
Old 09-22-2018, 02:42 PM
Jim Moonan Jim Moonan is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2016
Location: Boston, MA
Posts: 1,613
Default

Matt: “It’s a diary not a dairy. “

Omg



Omg



What?



This has nothing to do with cheese?



This is non-dairy?



Next thing you’ll tell me is the soap is not butter.



I’m still going with dairy. I can’t get it out of my head.


Thanks Matt.
Sorry Mark. To my credit I did question the dairy farm… Of course, you never said dairy farm but that’s not the point, is it?
What? It is? So it is.


I take back “ethereally esoteric”. It's the dairy in it that created that effect : )


I also take back what I said about the parents. They weren't dairy farmers. They were snoops.

...And I see now (looking back over the posts) what "that night" you are referring to, so forget that comment, too. Carry on.


What is the matter with me?

X
x

Last edited by Jim Moonan; 09-22-2018 at 06:18 PM.
Reply With Quote
  #15  
Old 09-22-2018, 07:14 PM
Eric Mwathi Eric Mwathi is offline
New Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2016
Location: Austria
Posts: 24
Default

I'm flawed. This poem will remain with me a long time.
Reply With Quote
  #16  
Old 09-22-2018, 08:20 PM
Erik Olson Erik Olson is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2015
Location: Portland, OR
Posts: 1,567
Default

Mark,

I appreciate how well wrought the lines are and the imagery. As far as the character depicted, I confess I find it difficult to glean nearly as much as I would like with the few details injected, I am afraid. I understand the strategy of furnishing very sparse details that despite out of context, offer a window into a character. Yet, for my part, those bits from the life given did not make me feel I had a sense of anything but a doubt of everything.
Returning to the diary, left
untouched since she was seventeen,
she felt a thousand birds break free
their jessèd feet and fly away.
The first stanza is superb in execution. The narrative detail draws me in at once; further, it is accompanied by striking metaphoric imagery and a term from falconry to boot. Equals a promising start in my estimation, indeed.
The yellow form said ‘Key Achievements’ –
she scribbled 'orgasm/back of bus'.
She wasn’t accepted, smiled elated
then didn't speak for four whole days.
‘Key Achievements’ would be asking for one’s achievements in life, I can only assume; curious that she should write for which ‘orgasm.’ For this to come to mind as a lifetime achievement is something odd, no? To be honest, in a vacuum of any other detail, I find it hard to imagine. I find it easy to imagine, however, that it would be a convenient punch of pathos. If this were a spoof on Larkin, it would make sense to me. But why would she respond so, I best not ask because that is the tip of the iceberg of why's. I cannot tell if it means to be outlandish or flip, or what, but my investment in this mystery is not great. Then again, it does seem to me to imbue a sense of sympathy for the marginalized, as if to champion those whose idiosyncratic ways and unexpected responses were misunderstood and so forth.

I am not keen on the parenthesis around ‘meanwhile’; it is distracting, but is it necessary? As for the end, I do not know what you mean by this bath and ‘Dreaming, serious at last, /she shook away her tethered past.’ Why serious? This sounds as if it might be too pat, yet I know not what it means so how can I say? I am disinclined to play at guessing what the author might have meant by this and that snippet of disconnected detail when I have nothing solid and that predominates. I will humor so much coy posturing to a point and then I lose interest and tire of guessing why on earth is it a 'zodiac signs from soap?' I found myself thinking of how enormously obtuse this author is obviously being. It made me not want to play anymore what's my context? since that became the name of the game overmuch, to be honest.

Best,

Erik

Last edited by Erik Olson; 09-23-2018 at 04:25 AM.
Reply With Quote
  #17  
Old 09-23-2018, 05:53 AM
Mark McDonnell Mark McDonnell is offline
Member
 
Join Date: May 2016
Location: England
Posts: 2,190
Default

Hi Jim - That's hilarious. God bless your eyesight. Thanks for coming back and making me smile even more. And cheers Matt.

David - glad you like it. No, she doesn't die. Very much the opposite.
I do feel there's lots of echoing rhyme within it, in that it feels musical to me, at least I hope so:
'seventeen/free', 'accepted'/'elated'/'grunted', the final word of each stanza and the final couplet etc. It felt it didn't need end-rhyme.

Eric - thank you. Pleased to meet you.

Erik - I'm happy you like the bits you do, so thanks for that. I'm promise I'm not trying to be deliberately coy or obscure in meaning, so I'm sorry you see it this way. The brackets round 'meanwhile' felt right. Why? Hmm...a kind of zany feel almost. Her life has become a tragi-comedy, like a 'what next??' feeling. I want the poem to feel light but not light-verse: she has lightened her life. She's had a very positive kind of mini-nervous breakdown/moment of clarity. Stating on a job/college application that her 'Key Achievement' is an orgasm on the back of a bus; carving things from soap (knowing they won't last and being fine with that); sleeping in the garden -- all these things are evidence that she is finally 'serious at last'. I'd hoped to play with the idea of 'taking life seriously'. It can often be the opposite of what we imagine that phrase to imply.

Thanks for reading.

Last edited by Mark McDonnell; 09-23-2018 at 06:28 AM. Reason: Erik/Eric issue resolved
Reply With Quote
  #18  
Old 09-23-2018, 06:09 AM
Ann Drysdale's Avatar
Ann Drysdale Ann Drysdale is online now
Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: Old South Wales (UK)
Posts: 4,322
Default

Very gently, and just for Jim. Only one Eric. The other one's an Erik.

I've been reading and watching and slowly moving towards understanding, as I feel the poem, via the N, is, to some extent. I am still wondering, but enjoying the wondering.
Reply With Quote
  #19  
Old 09-23-2018, 06:27 AM
Mark McDonnell Mark McDonnell is offline
Member
 
Join Date: May 2016
Location: England
Posts: 2,190
Default

Thanks Ann. For me, not Jim surely?

Sorry Erik/Eric. Corrected...
Reply With Quote
  #20  
Old 09-23-2018, 06:37 AM
Ann Drysdale's Avatar
Ann Drysdale Ann Drysdale is online now
Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: Old South Wales (UK)
Posts: 4,322
Default

The first for Jim, because of the dairy. The rest for you.
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: 250,183
There are 217 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