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  #11  
Unread 10-26-2019, 07:49 AM
Mary McLean Mary McLean is offline
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Wow, I liked this before, but I think the revision really tightened it up and it works well as a sonnet. I'm confused by the digging, but it's a good confusion. N is digging in pockets, digging through memories, digging a grave to go with the tombstone teeth. Usually I don't like poems to be about dreams, but I think you're right that reality was too stark and distracting in this case. (But I will echo -- you should go to the doctor if it happens again.)
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  #12  
Unread 10-26-2019, 08:02 AM
John Isbell John Isbell is offline
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Hi Mark,

I too prefer this as a sonnet.

Cheers,
John
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  #13  
Unread 10-26-2019, 05:11 PM
Mark McDonnell Mark McDonnell is offline
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Thanks Mary, that's good to hear - I don't think the digging confused you at all. And I will.

Cheers John.
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  #14  
Unread 10-26-2019, 05:26 PM
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Jan Iwaszkiewicz Jan Iwaszkiewicz is offline
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A penny for the Guy and the obolled mouth above a porcelain punt and then the volta seguing into Brando works very well for me.
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  #15  
Unread 10-26-2019, 09:47 PM
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Mary Meriam Mary Meriam is offline
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Hi Mark, I think the sonnet version may work with a bit more revising, or actually, reverting.

L1 - I don't like the switch from mouth to throat. I prefer the original line, with the dash and end-stop.
L2 - "I spent them onto porcelain" I wanted this to be "on" even before I went back and saw the original had "on." Much better line in original — with the dash.

You could keep sweating over the rhyme scheme, or you could just make it an unrhymed sonnet.

These revisions are good:

At work, I dug in deep. Found in my coat
a crescent of orange peel. I wanted a knife
to score like battlements — slit, slit, slit —
to wear it, bloody and fibrous, white flesh out

This doesn't work for me:

to make some pithy point. Death and Life.
Tombstone teeth.

The original is better:

A mouth guard. A set of tombstone teeth
to terrify and to make my pithy point. <------ is the second "to" necessary?

The revision is better:

My mother made a few
each Halloween, a cheerful, cheap disguise.
I'm older now than she was when she died.
Keep digging — did she laugh the day she knew?
Always laughing — I see her juice-stained lips
spitting out the pennies and the pips.

Good idea to cut these lines:

The sure unknown — yet even a glimpse can bring
amazement, then a swallowing kind of calm.
Ambition stops. You wait at last on nothing.
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  #16  
Unread 10-27-2019, 11:48 AM
Aaron Novick Aaron Novick is online now
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Wow.

Since I have to write more than that, I'll say that I've only read the revision, not the original. So I have no thoughts on how you've revised it. Encountering the sonnet version naïvely, I buy it completely.

"A dream of copper pennies in my throat" is a very McDonnell line, in the best way.
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  #17  
Unread 10-28-2019, 12:05 PM
Mark McDonnell Mark McDonnell is offline
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Hi Jan - Thanks. John mentioned Brando too, and I wasn't sure what he meant. I thought he just meant how he stuffed cotton-wool in his cheeks to play Vito. Then I remembered that scene! He scares the kid with his orange peel teeth just before he dies! I wasn't thinking of that, haven't seen it in a good while. Orange peel teeth were something my mum and dad made us do at Halloween. Maybe they got it from 'The Godfather'! My dad was a fan, and the film came out the year I was born! Ah the detective work continues.

https://youtu.be/4rbfuw0UN2A

Thanks so much, Aaron.

Hi Mary! I had a little play with it and took your advice to stop 'sweating over the rhyme scheme'. There's infinite tinkerings I could do with this, I think. I won't inflict them all on people here haha. It'll be one of those that will be malleable until the moment it ever sees a wider audience, if that moment comes. I'm pleased with its progress from the original.

Thanks all. An alternative 'Unrhymed' sonnet version up (apart from the closing couplet)

Edit: Annie. I realise I have read that poem by Maz. It's in 'Irresistible Sonnets'.
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  #18  
Unread 10-30-2019, 07:13 AM
Mark McDonnell Mark McDonnell is offline
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Hello,

Just wondering if there were any thoughts on the unrhymed revison of this, or on anything else. If not, it can slide away and I'll consider no news to be good news.

Happy Halloween!
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  #19  
Unread 10-30-2019, 09:52 AM
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Mary Meriam Mary Meriam is offline
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I like L4-14 of the Unrhymed Sonnet version. My only problem is with the first three lines. I much prefer the original.

unrhymed:
A dream — like copper pennies in my mouth.
I spent them all on porcelain, watched them bloom
like petals, or the first fat splash of a storm.


original:

much more immediate without "like" and the distance of "dream"
That morning — copper pennies in my mouth.

I LOVE the word play of "spent them on." The meter is ruined by "spent them all on" with too much faulty emphasis on "all." Also I much prefer the dash here.
I spent them on the porcelain — watched them bloom


like petals, or the first fat splash of a storm.

"of a storm" sounds weak metrically. How about this:

or the first splash of a storm.
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  #20  
Unread 10-30-2019, 10:58 AM
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R. Nemo Hill R. Nemo Hill is offline
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I think I prefer the rhyming version.

Nemo
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