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  #11  
Old 12-04-2018, 11:10 PM
Jan Iwaszkiewicz's Avatar
Jan Iwaszkiewicz Jan Iwaszkiewicz is offline
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I do find it hard to follow the logic here Martin.

As Kaku has said, the terrorists are the archetypical conservatives and I think that this could be pushed a little more.

Great topic.

Regards,

Jan
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  #12  
Old 12-04-2018, 11:55 PM
Martin Elster Martin Elster is offline
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Hi Jan,

Thanks for your comments. I can see how the logic is hard to follow. There are several allusions. For instance to fossil fuels ("dead plants"), rock, smartphones and Birkin bags (youth music, technology and fashion), flying cars (a clue that it's in the near future). Aaron Poochigian got the gist of it (almost), though he said it took him several reads.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Aaron Poochigian View Post
The "you" (the heinous humans) are conservative (they have an "allergy/to change"). They don't like rock music and want to dig up more fossil fuels. In this dystopian poem, it seems, they would prefer to destroy the earth and humanity along with it rather than embrace "multiculturalism." Is that right?
But I agree that the topic is interesting, and I'll see what I can do to make it easier to follow. Perhaps, for starters, I should change the title to "You Terrorists" to make it clear who the "you" is.

PS - It just occurred to me to ask: Which parts are confusing you?

Last edited by Martin Elster; 12-05-2018 at 12:43 AM.
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  #13  
Old 12-05-2018, 10:25 PM
Martin Elster Martin Elster is offline
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Drastic revision posted. I have kept (with a slight variation) the line that Aaron Novick liked as the penultimate line in the new draft. (The line ends with “ember.”)
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  #14  
Old 12-07-2018, 12:36 AM
Ron Greening Ron Greening is offline
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If you can’t say anything nice…

It helps that the revision is shorter than the previous versions.

This seems to lack either the wit to be funny or the insight to have much to say, and the play of language isn’t wonderful.

The we/you analysis is banal and seems rooted in the ways that the dumbest versions of patriotism are built from an ignorance of others. The metaphors are not very inspired or insightful. Some of the action words are very stock. It is difficult to imagine terrorists gaining or tightening a stranglehold (a badly worn and unrefreshed metaphor, here newly abused) on this of list of items, beyond a very local level, but this crisis is presented as world-at-the-crossroad.

I thought I detected a winked double-entendre in S1L5; if you paused before reading L6, it would draw a groan at a slam.

The use of alliteration is pretty thick. At frightened feral ferrets it reaches farcical and, if you ever spend half an hour with a ferret, you may come to notice that the animal almost comically lacks reasonable fear of anything. (By contrast, if you never have, spend half an hour with some pigs and you will have a whole new appreciation of the term pig-headed.) The point is that this simile was sloppily crafted.

The last two lines are pretty good and deserve a better poem to go before them.

I’m sorry, Martin. I hope you don’t hold this against me.
Regards, Ron
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  #15  
Old 12-07-2018, 03:16 PM
Martin Elster Martin Elster is offline
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Hi Ron,

Welcome to the Sphere! No need to apologize for any negative comments. On the contrary, I totally agree with all of your points. All comments are potentially helpful. I do, however, appreciate your saying that Rev. 1 was better for being shorter. I concur that the rest of it was a washout.

You must admit, though, that “frightened feral ferrets” is fun to say! I know ferrets, but was thinking more about the sonics (though, as you say, I got a bit carried away with the alliteration). Anyway, it’s gone from Rev. 2.

Regarding your bigger nits, I tried to remedy them. If it still doesn’t work, I’ll happily abandon this one and let it slide down.

I didn’t mean there to be a pun in S1L5. Not sure what to do about it, but I did tweak the following line to make it less expected: “your ultimatums” for “your words.”

I also hope the current draft makes it clear that it is not about patriots versus some other group. It has nothing at all to do with that. The poem may not be clear enough, but my intention was to say something about the world transitioning to a Type 1 civilization (planetary) with certain groups of people resisting the transition and fighting it (according to Michio Kaku's theory). But you are right (and I knew it when I wrote Rev. 1) that the terrorists cannot possibly put a stranglehold on any of the items listed in S2. Yes, I knew it, but wrote that draft too quickly and posted it too quickly, but corrected the error in Rev. 2. The poem may still be a washout, but at least I tried!

Thanks for saying you like the last two lines. The original had one good line. Revision 1 had two good lines. So I’m making progress!

Incidentally, the reason I wrote this in the first place was that there was a competition (a year ago) for poems on a handful of themes, one of which was a poem about terrorism. I never entered it, I think because I missed the deadline and the poem wasn’t really finished anyway. I was going to enter the contest this year, but noticed they are not considering that theme now.

Thanks again for your comments, Ron.

Best,
Martin

Last edited by Martin Elster; 12-07-2018 at 04:27 PM.
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  #16  
Old 12-08-2018, 12:46 AM
Andrew Frisardi Andrew Frisardi is offline
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Sorry, Martin, but I find this poem’s treatment of a very complex topic too glib. Both “sides” (if they are sides) of the issue are two-dimensional here. Many terrorists, I’d wager, have more complicated motives than this depicts. And the global market also results in floating islands of plastic the size of a small continent, which reaches even albatrosses in their remote places. I can’t claim I could do better in a short poem, and that might be one of the problems here. It’s a topic that requires more space, to bring out its depth and complexity.

Editing back to add that I hadn't read Rob's comment--mine is sort of a repeat, sorry about that.

Last edited by Andrew Frisardi; 12-08-2018 at 12:48 AM.
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  #17  
Old 12-08-2018, 01:44 AM
Martin Elster Martin Elster is offline
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Thanks, Andrew. I appreciate your feedback. I'm not sure I want to keep working on this one. Best to put it away for a while and see how I feel about it in a year (or five or ten!).

Rob's comments were on Revision 1, by the way, but I guess Rev. 2 still doesn't do justice to the subject.

Best,
Martin
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  #18  
Old 12-08-2018, 09:53 AM
Ron Greening Ron Greening is offline
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Thanks for responding so generously, Martin. Just to be clear, in S1L5 I thought that there might be a play of mince (effeminate walk or gesture) against straight. It obviously wasn't intended and probably doesn't matter.

"Frightened feral ferrets" is fun to say, which is kind of part of the problem. It is hard to assign a tone to the poem and I didn't sense a deliberate contrast of tone or a developed irony for that to play on.

Thanks for the welcome.
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  #19  
Old 12-08-2018, 07:12 PM
Martin Elster Martin Elster is offline
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Hi Ron,

Regarding “mince”: Once in while there are serendipitous discoveries in artistic endeavors. I see why you thought “mince” was a double entendre. Appearing at the end of the line, the word takes on more importance and has the potential to become a pun, especially when linked with “straight” as you noted. That’s OK with me.

Regarding “frightened feral ferrets,” I agree that the phrase doesn’t go with this poem. The tone is too waggish. (In any case, it is not in the current draft.)

About the poem as a whole, I see now (because of your and other’s comments) that it’s unfinished. Whether or not I will ever finish it, I cannot predict. It’s an interesting topic, and maybe I’ll be ready to tackle such a subject some day.

I look forward to reading your work, Ron.
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