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  #1  
Unread 10-29-2019, 09:04 PM
Andrew Szilvasy Andrew Szilvasy is offline
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Dinner Guest

High-cheeked, and toned as if prehistory
.....put him to work, he carries out a platter
..........of the host’s hors d'oeuvres with a perfect pearly grin.
He’s full of stories. But his? A mystery.
.....They say he’s left both men and women shattered.
..........Fluorescent late-nights could not engineer him:
his conversation pleases everyone.
.....Art, sports, wine, music, travelit doesn’t matter.
..........And his name? More polished than any pseudonym.
He’s made of crystal. He’s blinding in the sun.
....................Fear him.

***

L1: was "High-cheeked, black-haired, toned like prehistory"
L3: unitalicized hors d'oeuvres
L4: began "He’s full of stories, though his?"
L6: fixed typo (florescent --> fluorescent)
L8: changed a comma to an em-dash
L9: It's perfect as --> More pleasing than; "pleasing" --> "fitting" --> "polished"
L9: "a" --> "any"

Last edited by Andrew Szilvasy; 11-02-2019 at 10:31 AM.
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  #2  
Unread 10-30-2019, 02:06 AM
Susan McLean Susan McLean is offline
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Andrew, a few punctuation changes might help make this clearer. When you start with a list, as you do in L1 and L8, a dash is the best way to link the list to what follows. There is no need to italicize "hors d'oeuvres." It has been accepted into English. I kept being puzzled by what you meant in "He’s full of stories, though his?" You might try punctuating it like this: "He’s full of stories. But his?" At first I read "florescent" as "fluorescent," but I quickly realized that the spelling was not a mistake.

Susan
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  #3  
Unread 10-30-2019, 05:58 AM
John Isbell John Isbell is offline
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Hi Andrew,

Yup, florescent is attested with a single quotation in the OED. Quite rightly. I'd prefer like to be as if, and I'd rather like the off-rhyme shattered to be a full rhyme as all others are. But those are minor nits. I quite like the whole thing.

Cheers,
John
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  #4  
Unread 10-30-2019, 11:29 AM
Andrew Szilvasy Andrew Szilvasy is offline
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Thank you Susan and John.

Susan: I've fixed the typo you noted. I guess I hadn't even thought of the blossoming meaning, so didn't ever consciously know the difference. I've fixed that, unitalicized the now-naturalized French, and added the em-dash after the list in line 8. I'm still considering L1/2. Further, I took your punctuation suggestion in L4. Thanks for those.

John: I'll think about the off-rhyme in L5, though it's not the only one (grin/engineer him/pseudonym/fear him). I like it because the little off-rhymes often unsettle in productive ways, as I mean them to here. But I can be persuaded I'm wrong here. Similarly, I don't like "as if" for the meter, but I'll think more on it. Thanks again.
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  #5  
Unread 10-30-2019, 03:42 PM
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Patrick Gillespie Patrick Gillespie is offline
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I enjoyed your work with the meter, a little loose but that's okay. My only comment would be "pearly grin". That strikes me as flirting too near cliché in otherwise nicely modulated lines. I can't see a justification for it?
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  #6  
Unread 10-30-2019, 09:55 PM
Andrew Szilvasy Andrew Szilvasy is offline
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Hi Patrick,

I'm glad you like it.

I'm aware "pearly grin" may flirt with cliché. Its virtues: the man has perfect white teeth. Also, pearls connote wealth. In that way it hits two things I want to hit.
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  #7  
Unread 10-30-2019, 11:07 PM
Martin Elster Martin Elster is online now
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Hi Andrew,

I like this very much. I also like the alliteration of “perfect pearly grin.” There was a poem I workshopped here once with a “p” alliteration in it. Janet Kenny (who used to be a member here) thought it was too plosive. But I think it works in this poem.

Martin

Last edited by Martin Elster; 10-31-2019 at 09:09 PM.
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  #8  
Unread 10-31-2019, 01:09 PM
Andrew Frisardi Andrew Frisardi is offline
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This is nicely done, Andrew. The echo of "Pied Beauty," including the rhyme scheme, adds another layer of irony to this portrait.

For the change you made near the end, "pleasing," maybe put "pleasant" instead, to avoid repeating "please"?
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  #9  
Unread 10-31-2019, 04:31 PM
Andrew Szilvasy Andrew Szilvasy is offline
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Hi Andrew,

I'm glad you like it! I don't think "pleasant" is quite right (nor my replacement), but you are right that "pleasing" had to go. Thanks!
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  #10  
Unread 11-01-2019, 01:31 AM
Susan McLean Susan McLean is offline
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Andrew, right now the meaning of the first line becomes confusing when there is nothing to divide it from the second line. If you don't want a dash, at least put a comma at the end of L1. You are obeying grammatical rules in the rest of the poem, so it is disorienting when you start out that way.

Susan
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