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  #11  
Unread 11-07-2019, 08:09 PM
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Allen Tice Allen Tice is offline
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Julie, I like your linx. We now have sun-dried (with a hyphen!) tomatoes or raisins. I prefer to read “raisins”, as in raisons d’etre, or catalogue raisonné. “Sundry tomatoes” is too red-headed for the speaker: blonde, brunette, are the go-to realities. Now “fodder baskets” needs the elucidation that I’m too shy to give. I will hide behind the curtain just over there.
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  #12  
Unread 11-07-2019, 10:15 PM
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R. S. Gwynn R. S. Gwynn is offline
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Thanks, all. This came out of a Facebook discussion about form and content and the usefulness of paraphrase. The poem is not just random, as the sonnet form, once committed to, excludes many words and phrases from the content. I have argued many times that I think it is useful for a poem not to resist paraphrase, even if the paraphrase-level of most poems is banal: "I'm going to die. I'd rather be a work of art that won't." "Autumn is really underrated." "You don't have to go to church to feel the presence of God." Etc.
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  #13  
Unread 11-08-2019, 09:45 AM
John Riley John Riley is offline
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Sam, knowing things is overrated. I've known many things for many years and learn more things each day and still my hair is "rusted by the dryer's pelvic wind." I like that second stanza. It would work well as a standalone poem. Classical.

Best
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  #14  
Unread 11-08-2019, 12:21 PM
Ron Greening Ron Greening is offline
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Good morning Sam,

Your comment leaves me further curious.

Quote:
Originally Posted by R. S. Gwynn View Post
I have argued many times that I think it is useful for a poem not to resist paraphrase
This seems to stand in opposition to the difficulty of paraphrasing this poem. Did you, or do you, feel this poem can be paraphrased or do you see opacity as a negative in this case?

Ron
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  #15  
Unread 11-08-2019, 12:42 PM
Martin Elster Martin Elster is offline
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Hi Sam,

This reminds me a little bit of a combination of a cento and nonsense verse. Regarding paraphrase, Ron’s question is interesting to me.

I think the second stanza is kind of interesting because it can almost be paraphrased. All the lines of the poem are interesting for various reasons (especially “prison the apex of a startling twig,” “implosions of their sun-dried means and ways,” and “rusted by the dryer’s pelvic wind”), but the poem as a whole is difficult to make sense of, which I reckon is at least part of the point. I do see a hint of a turn between L8 and L9, but I’m not clear about what the argument is.

Best,

Martin

Last edited by Martin Elster; 11-08-2019 at 12:45 PM.
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  #16  
Unread 11-08-2019, 06:30 PM
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R. S. Gwynn R. S. Gwynn is offline
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No, it is not possible to paraphrase it. A lot of Ashbery, for one instance, resists paraphrase even though its grammar and syntax are unremarkable. The difference would be that Ashbery doesn't usually work in form, and that gives him a greater range of randomness. Form here doesn't absolutely pre-determine every word and phrase, but it does limit the choices to things that will fit the meter and rhyme scheme. "Nonsense verse" often opens itself up to non-existent words, as in the Kelleher sonnet cited above. Oddly, I can't think of any body of poetry that observes all "rules" (metrical, formal, grammatical, linguistic) except logic in the choice and application of words. I guess I'm asking if it's possible to write a formalist type of "language" poetry. "Why strive for meaninglessness?" some may ask. Why not?

[Edited in to say that Rose's sonnet doesn't so much use non-existent words as "warp" existing ones by the addition of (mostly) suffixes.]

And thanks to Susan for noting the shortage in one line. I added the first thing that popped into mind, or maybe the second.

Also, the sonnet was influenced by reading this shortly before I wrote it: https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poe...for-black-hair

Last edited by R. S. Gwynn; 11-08-2019 at 06:39 PM.
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  #17  
Unread 11-08-2019, 07:18 PM
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Mary Meriam Mary Meriam is online now
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This reminds me a little of John Riley's "Salamander" over in Non-Met. If you could express your meaninglessness in a consistent voice (or voice texture), I think the poem would work better. I like it best when you don't veer into a light verse tone. L1 is too self-conscious. Here my erasure version of your poem

Still, the war
Progressed as far as anyone could see.
Then came my hair. All efforts with the gray
Were rusted
I strode the common clay
But messages were few and hard to send.
Was there at length a canticle


You could make something absurd and drastic out of that. I like the idea of a meaningless formal poem.
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  #18  
Unread 11-08-2019, 07:26 PM
Ron Greening Ron Greening is offline
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Thank you, Sam, for your response and for the link. I appreciate your time.
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  #19  
Unread 11-08-2019, 07:51 PM
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Aww, you’re trying to convince us unwashed that this is not an interior monologue of Reginald Blimp’s about his coming imprunement earrings and his heirs. Aww.
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  #20  
Unread 11-09-2019, 11:08 PM
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R. S. Gwynn R. S. Gwynn is offline
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John Riley's two recent poems on Non-Met are worth looking at. The events are held together by narrative chronology, but there is no sense of causality. Both have a sense of voice.
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