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  #1  
Unread 01-16-2021, 03:48 PM
Jane Crowson's Avatar
Jane Crowson Jane Crowson is offline
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Default Luna, rising

Luna Rising

listen
in the cold grass
to the sound of Luna slewing past
our breathing; gasps of night air


what does the moon smell like?

armadillos
....indian ink


what does the moon taste of?

the o in nothing
...........algebra


watch
the slow fall of a figure
back-lit, as if in orbit



Edited visual. I don't think the movement works and instead I want to bring out the difference between parts one and two and part three. So I've used colour block to try to bring it out, and also ramped up the kind of 'textbook' sense to see if that works (I'm not sure this is here yet but it's midway through a process)

The draft visual for this (not a visual poem yet more a moving illustration) is here if anyone is interested



The original:

The moon holds myths in pause.
The slow fall of a woman from the bridge
back-lit, as if in orbit.

Listen in the cold grass
to the sound of Luna slewing past
our breathing; gasps of night air.

What does the moon taste of?
The o in nothing. Algebra.

What does the moon smell like?
Neutral dark. Armadillos, Indian ink.

Last edited by Jane Crowson; 01-30-2021 at 01:49 PM.
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  #2  
Unread 01-16-2021, 04:32 PM
Roger Slater Roger Slater is offline
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I think this would be a stronger poem without the first three lines. I'm sorry to just make that pronouncement without articulating a reason, but I'm finding it hard to explain. So, for what it's worth, that's my opinion.
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  #3  
Unread 01-17-2021, 05:55 AM
Andrew Frisardi Andrew Frisardi is offline
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I really like most of this, Sarah-Jane. I find the images resonant and evocative. They have a lunar ambiguity to them. It occurs to me that one possibility would be to let the images speak for themselves; letting the more abstract parts go. The latter (I’m thinking especially of line 1 and stanza 3) might not be necessary.

Playing around with the order, I was picturing the poem as opening with a more tangible image then moving into increasingly elusive imagery, leaving us in the lunar lurch:

What does the moon smell like?
Neutral dark. Armadillos, Indian ink.

Listen in the cold grass
to the sound of Luna slewing past
our breathing; gasps of night air.

The slow fall of a woman from the bridge
back-lit, as if in orbit.


I don’t mean to clumsily barge in on your poem, so this is offered with the proverbial grain of salt. It’s an interesting piece, and I look forward to what you and others say about it.

Best,

Andrew
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  #4  
Unread 01-17-2021, 06:27 AM
Matt Q Matt Q is online now
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Hi Sarah,

I find lots to like in this mysterious poem with with the smell and taste of the moon on its/our nighttime breaths.

I wonder if the first line is the strongest way to open this poem. It's imageless. And 'myth' isn't (obviously) instantiated either. Or if 'myth' refers to the woman falling that's rather slowed down rather than paused. I wonder if the poem works better without it. Or alternatively, if it works placed at the end of the stanza?

The slow fall of a woman from the bridge
back-lit, as if in orbit.
The moon holds myths in pause.

In S2, I wondered if you'd considered making "listen" an imperative, pull the reader in more, e.g.. "Listen. In the cold grass, the sound of Luna slewing past ..."

I love S3, and the way the "nothing" links to "algebra", seeming to transform the 'o' to a '0' (zero) in the process.

I'm almost as fond of S4, but wondered if there might something more concrete than "neutral dark". Or maybe it's just that I don't imagine the moon smelling like neutral dark. Though since that suggests no discernible smell -- certainly no smell against the backdrop of night -- maybe the moon does indeed have no discernible odour. But then, armadillos and Indian ink do, so it seems contradicted.

Naturally, I'm interested to see this with the image I image it's going to be attached to. But I also like the idea of critiquing separately.

EDIT: I wrote the above last night before the other crits went up. So, just to add, I really like open-endedness of the poem ending on the questions.

best,

Matt

Last edited by Matt Q; 01-17-2021 at 06:30 AM.
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  #5  
Unread 01-17-2021, 07:24 AM
Jim Moonan Jim Moonan is online now
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.
I like this for its haikuiness (my word kind of like Stephen Colbert's "truthiness" )
Generally, I agree with Matt's response, with a few modifications...

Although the first line is "imageless" as Matt says, the tercet is a booming, expansive image. Perhaps a colon (or semi-colon) after "pause" would help connect the three lines (if that is want you intended). Matt's suggestion to move the first line to be the third line of the opening tercet is nice, though again, I don't see the need.

I agree, too, that there is a mysteriousness to this that seems to play with the reader.
I think though, that the questioning at the end could be done differently with better effect. I'd like to see this in three tercets. Perhaps like this:

What does the moon taste of?
What does the moon smell like?
The o in nothing. Armadillos, Indian ink.

But I'm stabbing in the dark...

Very nice touch!
.
.
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  #6  
Unread 01-17-2021, 09:10 AM
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Andrew Mandelbaum Andrew Mandelbaum is offline
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I like what this poem does in my senses as I read it.
I confess I really dig it ending with the woman in orbit bit as in Andrew's edit. I hope that isn't annoying. It hard to say why (like Roger said) but it just seems right that way. Late for work outside so forgive this driveby.
It seems if you open with taste and smell it almost begs for one more as a triplet. Sound would be obvious but sight would be the riskier attempt.

Two cents.
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  #7  
Unread 01-17-2021, 02:20 PM
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Jane Crowson Jane Crowson is offline
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Wow, thank you all so much for taking the time to look at this. Your thoughts and insights are much appreciated and I've got a lot to think about as I can see about three potential ways to go in revision, now.

For context, this started out as a longer poem, which I intended to be an exposition of the different ways different groups of people appropriate the moon, and a final, more sensory, understanding that looks at a more sensory (and slightly ridiculous) understanding of the moon. The only problem with the longer poem was that it was very dull. So I really trimmed and was left with what we have here.

Roger - thank-you. Your thoughts are much appreciated and it's really useful to hear them - getting a range of perspectives is very useful indeed, particularly as I think I will be revisiting where that phrase sits in revision.

Andrew - I like that idea - I certainly think that having read people's insights, I won't be keeping the order it is in now. Thank you very much for taking the time to show me how this works when re-arranged. I think the image of the woman falling at the end works. Ending on how the moon is most often understood as a back-drop to human actions, a cinematic effect.

Matt - thank-you - as always, your thoughts help me tidy up my ideas. I'm glad you like the algebra! I'm only just starting to work on the image for this - and I need to nail the words first. Long-term, the plan is to experiment with creating a cinemagraph - so the moon in a final image will move but not the rest of the image. I like your idea of making 'Listen' an imperative. Thank-you!

Jim - thank-you, and particularly for pointing out how I can look at this as a tercet. That helps me, brings me a structure which I would never have thought of by myself. It gives me another tool to use. Thank you also for the link to 'truthiness'. I am going to use that in my teaching practice (alongside 'anecdata' and 'victory narrative').

Andrew - thank-you (and I hope your workday went well). I like the image at the end too. It turns the tables, ends on an event. And I think bringing in a third sense is a good idea. It also gives me a chance to vary the sounds, bring in some 'i's, like 'green absinthe and spider webs' or something. Although not those as they don't cohere with the rest of it.

Anyway, thank-you hugely for your generosity with your time and expertise. I have lots of interesting things to think about now (rather than 'and I still haven't done anything with the moon poem').

Sarah-Jane
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  #8  
Unread 01-21-2021, 05:22 AM
Mark McDonnell Mark McDonnell is offline
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Hi Sarah-Jane!

I really like the sparse, imagistic quality of this. I think its impact could be further heightened by cutting and rearranging. So, apologies but I'm going to muddy the waters further with my own version. It's purely instinctive, but feels right to me.



What does the moon smell like?
Neutral dark. Armadillos, Indian ink.

What does the moon taste of?
The o in nothing. Algebra.

The slow fall of a woman from the bridge
back-lit, as if in orbit.
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  #9  
Unread 01-23-2021, 06:56 AM
W T Clark W T Clark is offline
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Always a pleasure to read your work.


As I interpret it the poem is listing different sensory interpretations of the moon. The threat here is that you don't fall into the formulaic, a kind of throwback to schooldays when teachers would instruct you to write in the multi--sensory and kids would start listing each sense repetitively ("I feel .. . . I see . . . I smell . . . .") In that regard, only the second stanza adopts this voice. It could mostly be cut. I'm not quite comfortable with the jarring upbeat rhythm of the "grass / past" couplet, and the idea of listening to Luna (instead of a more readily imaginable object) seems uninteresting. It might even be the vaguely anapestic echoes of that couplet which grate on me.

So I'd retain the third line from s2 and ditch the other two. I agree with a lot of people, the woman falling from the orbit should bookend the poem. Have you considered introducing audible imagery in other places, such as ramping up the sonics? The O in nothing riff is original. Ditto for tasting like algebra. I wonder if the "Indian ink" can be expanded, this is the only place for me where the compression from the longer poem is noticeable.

Hope this helps.
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  #10  
Unread 01-23-2021, 04:13 PM
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Jane Crowson Jane Crowson is offline
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Thank-you Mark and WT for taking the time to read this and comment.

Mark - your rearrangement is very helpful - I was mid-way through an edit and it echoes the direction I was pursuing - thank-you

WT - thank-you very much for reading and offering your perspective. I am tempted to say that I will look to my grating anapaestic echoes, but I won’t, as it then seems like I’m laughing when I shouldn’t, and, truthfully, I have no idea what you’re talking about. This might be your communication or my own lack of understanding and/or either way it probably doesn't really matter. Strange things, words. Trip-wires/telegraphs/skipping ropes.

I have revised this and posted a revision in the top of the thread where it should live. The revision relies on space/shape more than it should. I was hoping to break away from this and refine my use of words when I joined here, but it seems to be my default. Still, there's lots of time for me to become less reliant on space/shape.
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