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Old 05-03-2018, 01:36 PM
Matt Q Matt Q is online now
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Default A whole lot of trumpets (sestina)

Trumpetestina (R1)

At first he’d heard the sound of a single trumpet
as he entered a room – and not some plastic trumpet
playing cheap, wobbly notes, nor yet a trumpet
in the scatological sense, but the best kind of trumpet,
the kind that presaged the presence of a king, or a trumpet
blown in flaming fanfare by an angel trumpeting

the arrival of the Lord. He’d looked for a trumpet
and found none. The room was empty with no trumpet-
blower in sight. Could he be hearing trumpets
as others heard voices? Was this the first wild trumpet
call of madness? Perhaps. And yet the trumpeting
felt good, and it seemed so very fitting to be trumpeted

into a room, so he was pleased when the trumpeting
recurred. He grew accustomed to being trumpeted,
as if he had always heard the blast of a trumpet
heralding his entries and exits. Soon one trumpet
became two, then three, then a whole platoon of trumpets
proclaimed his every action. There were trumpets

to herald the first moments of morning, there were trumpets
to undress to at night, and even when he trumpeted
in the scatological sense, a crescendo of trumpets
celebrated his achievement. He learned from the trumpets
that everything he did was praiseworthy and trumpetable,
which he had suspected even before the trumpets

had arrived to confirm it. Such was the volume of the trumpets
that when others spoke all he heard was trumpets,
and even his own thoughts were replaced by trumpets;
yet he saw no disadvantage to this – often the trumpets
made more sense to him, and besides when the trumpets
erupted he felt invincible: as long as those trumpets

blew, whatever the adversity, he felt he could trump it.
His election to office strengthened this feeling; the trumpets
began to blow in a continuous fanfare of trumpeting:
every breath, every word, every thought, triumphantly trumpeted.
It struck him he was the best leader ever. The trumpets
blared in encouragement: ‘trump it! trump it! trump it!’

It looked like a trumpet. A big, red button-shaped trumpet.
‘Shall we, my trumpets?’ ‘Trump it!’ sang the trumpets.
He pushed the big red trumpet to an orgasm of trumpets.

---------------------

S6L6 "blared back their agreement" -> "blared their encouragement"


Trumpetestina

At first he had only heard the sound of a single trumpet
that blew as he entered a room. Not some plastic trumpet
playing cheap, wobbly notes, and certainly not a trumpet
in the scatological sense, no, the very best kind of trumpet,
the kind that presaged the presence of a king, or a trumpet
made of gold and blown in fanfare by an angel trumpeting

the arrival of the Lord. But when he’d looked for a trumpet,
he couldn’t find one; the room was empty, with no trumpet-
blower in sight. Could it be that he was hearing trumpets
as others heard voices? Might this be the first wild trumpet
call of madness? And yet, even if it were, the trumpeting
had felt good, and it had seemed so fitting to be trumpeted

into a room. So he was pleased when later the trumpeting
recurred. He quickly grew accustomed to being trumpeted,
and soon it was as if he had always heard the blast of a trumpet
heralding his entries and exits, and before long the solo trumpet
gave way to two, then three, then a whole platoon of trumpets
blew fanfares to accompany his every action. There were trumpets

to herald the first moments of morning, there were trumpets
to undress to in the evening, and even when he trumpeted
in the scatological sense, there was a crescendo of trumpets
to celebrate his achievement. He learned from the trumpets
that everything he did was laudable, praiseworthy and trumpetable,
something he had long suspected even before the trumpets

had arrived to confirm it. Such was the volume of the trumpets
that sometimes when others spoke all he heard was the trumpets,
and even his own thoughts were replaced by the sound of trumpets;
yet he saw no real disadvantages to this – often the trumpets
made more sense to him, and besides when the sound of trumpets
erupted within he felt invincible: as long as he had those trumpets

blowing, whatever the adversity, he felt like he could trump it.
His election to high office only strengthened this feeling, and trumpets
began to blow continuously in an unending fanfare of trumpetry:
every breath, every word, every thought, triumphantly trumpeted.
He now knew there was no challenge, no enemy he couldn’t trump. It
occurred to him he was the best leader ever. Yes! tooted the trumpets.

It looked a bit like a trumpet. A big red button-shaped trumpet.
Shall we press it my trumpets? He asked. You the man! blasted the trumpets.
And he pushed the big red trumpet to an orgasmic explosion of trumpets.

.

Last edited by Matt Q; 05-15-2018 at 05:12 PM.
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  #2  
Old 05-03-2018, 01:56 PM
Mark McDonnell Mark McDonnell is offline
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Just brilliant, Matt. Hilarious and finally terrifying. At S1 and 2 I was smiling and intrigued. At S4 I was laughing out loud. And by the end the smile had frozen on my face. This is a poem to go 'viral', however one makes such a thing happen...

Last edited by Mark McDonnell; 05-03-2018 at 02:39 PM. Reason: Added more words
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Old 05-03-2018, 02:40 PM
David Callin David Callin is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mark McDonnell View Post
Just brilliant, Matt. Hilarious and finally terrifying.
It is that.
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Old 05-03-2018, 02:50 PM
Michael Cantor Michael Cantor is offline
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I love the concept and where you're going with it (my vast collection of abandoned sestinas includes one where all the end words are variants of "fuck", but it never fucking worked), but the one problem I have is that it's too wordy. Consequently, well done as it is, by S4/S5 I smell the curse of the sestina - it begins to go in circles and sound like you're saying the same thing over and over again - even if you're not.

Suggestion. I realize that wordiness is part of the package you're presenting, but in this case it may be doing more harm than good. What if you were to compress it a bit? Squeeze it down to a rough IP. 39 lines of trumpets might be more effective a bit shorter.
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Old 05-03-2018, 03:01 PM
James Brancheau James Brancheau is offline
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The subject line should be the title, Matt. I really, really like it. I suppose I should read the poem first, but I feel strongly about this. (Haha. But, still, it's a sestina.) Be back.

JB
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Old 05-04-2018, 09:33 AM
Andrew Szilvasy Andrew Szilvasy is offline
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Matt,

I really enjoyed this. I do think Michael is right about paring down the lines to more or less five beats. Something like:
At first he only heard a single trumpet
as he entered a room. Not some plastic trumpet
playing wobbly notes, and certainly not a trumpet
etc. Something like that would make it, to my ear, more focused and powerful. I feel like the piece is playing a bunch of fun games, and so grounding it in something closer to IP gives it some stability.

Also, "You the man" in the envoi strikes me as off register to the rest of the sestina.

I also agree with James that the thread title is a better title than what you have.

Anyway, I found this funny and frightening, and so well done.
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Old 05-04-2018, 12:06 PM
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Orwn Acra Orwn Acra is offline
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Probably I agree with Michael and Andrew that each line could be slimmer of length. The sestina is a good fit though: seven stanzas, seven trumpets of the apocalypse in Revelations.
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Old 05-04-2018, 12:07 PM
Andrew Szilvasy Andrew Szilvasy is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Orwn Acra View Post
Probably I agree with Michael and Andrew that each line could be slimmer of length. The sestina is a good fit though: seven stanzas, seven trumpets of the apocalypse in Revelations.
Yeah, let me echo this. Tighten the lines, keep the form.
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Old 05-04-2018, 05:04 PM
Matt Q Matt Q is online now
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Mark, David, Michael, James, Andrew, Walter,

Many thanks for the comments.

Mark, David I wish everyone thought like you, then I wouldn't have more work to do. Very pleased you liked it.

Michael, Andrew, Walter, So, slim it down? To be honest, I was so pleased to have gotten from the beginning to the end, I didn't consider going back through and tightening up. I'm not sure I can fit it all into pentameter, the envoi, in particular, but I'll see what I can do.

James, Andrew, can you say why you like "A whole lot of trumpets" as a title? I agree that there's likely something better than the current title.

Andrew, yes I was't sure about "you the man", but then, who knows what it's like in his head. I guess if I get this down to pentameter, there wouldn't be space for them to say that anyway!

Thanks again all,

Matt
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Old 05-04-2018, 05:32 PM
Andrew Szilvasy Andrew Szilvasy is offline
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Matt,

You don't need it to be IP, I don't think, but I think you can get each line to be comfortably five beats without losing anything too significant. I think you do want something that is said back to him, but "You the man" feels too 1980s or 1990s for someone who calls people Mr. Magoo or Mr. Peepers.
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