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Old 02-13-2018, 09:16 AM
Aaron Poochigian Aaron Poochigian is offline
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Default Anant Chaturdashi

Anant Chaturdashi

Rustle and snap and then the farm cats scattered:
strangers were out there. On my property.
Hey, what you want? It’s late. A tenor chattered
the moon was urgent, and a holiday,
urgent, and could he please please bathe his Shri
Shri God Ganesha in my reservoir?

Soon as I shrugged and muttered, well, okay,
a whole family gathered. One, a daughter,
cradled no plaything, no mere avatar,
but him, they clamored, him! Could I not see
the tusks, the trunk, the pudgy little belly?
Baba had brought him all the way from Delhi.

The whole family waist-deep in the water
took turns immersing him. The moon was full
and satisfied at last. What they possessed
was what possessed them—a reciprocal
devotion. They were home; I was a guest,
watching, from my own land, their festival.


. . . . .

S2L3 was "no toy, they chirped, no avatar,"
S2L4 was "but him. She held him up so I could see"
S3L5 "endearment" for "devotion"
. . . . .
(1st Draft)
Anant Chaturdashi

Last night out back in the lot I heard
leaves rustle. Strangers. On my property.
What do you want back here? A dim kid purred
the moon was urgent, and a holiday,
urgent, and could he please please bathe his Shri
Shri God Ganesha in my reservoir?

Soon as I shrugged and muttered, well, okay,
a whole family gathered. One, a daughter,
cradled no toy, they chirped, no avatar,
but him. She held him up so I could see
the tusks, the trunk, the pudgy little belly.
Father had brought him many miles from Delhi.

The whole family waist-deep in the water
took turns immersing him. The moon was full
and satisfied at last. What they possessed
was what possessed them—a reciprocal
devotion. They were home; I was a guest,
watching, from my own land, their festival.


. . . . .

(Original)
Anant Chaturdashi

Last night out back in the lot I heard
leaves crunching. Strangers. On my property.
You, whadya want back here? A dim boy purred
the moon was urgent, and a holiday,
urgent, and could he please please bathe his Shri
Shri God Ganesha in my reservoir?

Soon as I shrugged and muttered, well, okay,
a vast family gathered. One, a daughter,
cradled no toy, totem or avatar,
but him, they said, the offspring of Parvati,
elephant-headed, with a human body.
He breaks down obstacles. He is the best.

All of them waist-deep in the tranquil water
took turns immersing him. The moon was full
and satisfied at last. What they possessed
was what possessed them—real reciprocal
affection. They were home; I was a guest,
watching, from my own land, their festival.

Last edited by Aaron Poochigian; 02-15-2018 at 01:26 PM.
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Old 02-13-2018, 10:26 AM
John Isbell John Isbell is offline
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Good morning Aaron,

Very nice! Unexpected and refreshing.
I might continue looking for titles, and I think PARvati is stressed thus.

Cheers,
John
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Old 02-13-2018, 10:47 AM
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Woody Long Woody Long is offline
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Aaron —

I'm a fan of Ganesha, god of wisdom, god of beginnings, remover of obstacles... So I'm happy to see him show up on the Sphere.

I like the poem. I feel the immanence.

S2L2 - vast - a vast family to me suggests hundreds. Also, because of its usage & its etymology, it suggests emptiness. Maybe something plain like big would fit better with the familiar diction of the poem & the, at least superficial, realism of the description.

Cross-posted with John.

— Woody
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Old 02-13-2018, 11:54 AM
Aaron Poochigian Aaron Poochigian is offline
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Thank you, John and Woody,

I have posted a new draft that addresses your concerns.

Thanks, thanks,

Aaron
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Old 02-13-2018, 01:51 PM
Cara Valle Cara Valle is offline
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Aaron,

I love the symmetry of this, from "my property" to "I was a guest", to "What they possessed / was what possessed them".

My only quibble is with "purred". It seems a little rhyme-driven, and for some reason it doesn't seem to fit with the urgency of the boy's speech. Isn't a purr usually leisurely and relaxed?

Is the daughter holding a baby dressed as Ganesha? Or just an image of Ganesha that is small and pot-bellied? It's equally good either way -- I only ask out of curiosity.

Cara
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Old 02-13-2018, 02:00 PM
Aaron Poochigian Aaron Poochigian is offline
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Cara, thank you for commenting. I intend the "purred" to convey the distinctive accent of Indians speaking English as a second language--I love the sound of it.

The little girl was carrying a terracotta Ganesh, about two-feet tall, with white skin and various gaudily painted bling.

Would we prefer the following opening, without "purred"?

Last night while I was futzing round the shed
leaves rustled. Strangers. On my property.
What do you want back here? A dim kid said
the moon was urgent, and a holiday,

I think I prefer "purred"

Last edited by Aaron Poochigian; 02-13-2018 at 02:05 PM.
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Old 02-13-2018, 07:03 PM
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Allen Tice Allen Tice is offline
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Aaron, I'm sure I'd've done the same, despite what some dear relatives might think. Live and let live! On the poem: in the last century, I told the mother of my current squeeze, when she asked what it was that squeeze and me had recently been doing, "Just futzing around." The good lady quivered and quaked a lady-quake and gave a major Frown, then went across the garden sputtering. Slang...
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Old 02-13-2018, 07:12 PM
Aaron Poochigian Aaron Poochigian is offline
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Thank you, Allen. I think I am going to go with the current opening line--not the "futzing round" opening. We'll see what others have to say.

Best,

Aaron
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Old 02-13-2018, 08:02 PM
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Julie Steiner Julie Steiner is offline
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Could "a dim shape" work instead? Losing "kid" or "boy" there would have the drawback of transforming the speaker into the father, but it would avoid my momentary (but intense!) disapproval of the narrator for having viciously labeled a strange kid "dim." It took me a moment to realize that "dim" referred to a literal brightness level, not a metaphorical mental one, and by then the emotional mood of the poem was demolished for me.
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Old 02-13-2018, 08:24 PM
Aaron Poochigian Aaron Poochigian is offline
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Got it. Thank you, Julie and Cara. I have posted a new revision that takes care of your concerns with the opening lines. The poem is better for it. Thanks again.
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