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  #1  
Unread 11-11-2019, 08:45 AM
Aaron Novick Aaron Novick is online now
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Default poem titled "poem"

wheat text

Poem

Where in the thicket is the Fact? Not here,
....Bramble of forces unnaturally bent,
Ellipsis writhed around a vacant pith.

Where in the orbit is the Fact? Not here,
....Body attracted by purport far-flung,
Elliptic wanderer through crooked void.

Where in the struggle is the Fact? Not here,
....Fossil of valiant dead-end resolve,
Obituary of a relict self.



EDITS:

S1L3: essential flux --> a vacant pith

S3L2: Record --> Fossil

Last edited by Aaron Novick; 11-17-2019 at 09:19 AM.
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  #2  
Unread 11-12-2019, 08:35 AM
Andrew Frisardi Andrew Frisardi is offline
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I like this a lot, Aaron. The repetitions give it an aphoristic feel, and the combinations of concreteness and abstraction defy gravity. I especially like "Ellipsis writhed around essential flux." It's a phrase I can feel in my mouth even as it is ungraspable.

The theme of the poem reminds me of my recent "Harvest and Lamp," though obviously the treatment is very different.

I wonder about "Record" in S3. The first two stanzas had physical entities in that position, and I think the conclusion could be stronger by doing the same there.

I also question "purport" in S2. The combination with "Body attracted" for some reason feels less convincing than the other pairings.

Andrew
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  #3  
Unread 11-12-2019, 08:52 AM
Aaron Novick Aaron Novick is online now
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Thanks, Andrew. I'm really glad you like it—this is a poem of mine that I like a lot, but which I worry sometimes is too gnomic. So I'm glad that it's coming through for you.

I see your point about "Record" and I've swapped in "Fossil", which is more concrete while still pointing toward the right abstractions. Also gets me some nice sonics with the 'l' sounds.

Going to hold off on changing S2L2 for now, but your criticism is heard and being considered.
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  #4  
Unread 11-14-2019, 02:18 PM
Mark McDonnell Mark McDonnell is offline
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Hi Aaron,

The generally downbeat tone, the abstractions, and the repeated structure, particularly the first line of each stanza, reminded me of this section from "The Hollow Men":


Between the idea
And the reality
Between the motion
And the act
Falls the Shadow...


Between the conception
And the creation
Between the emotion
And the response
Falls the Shadow...


Between the desire
And the spasm
Between the potency
And the existence
Between the essence
And the descent
Falls the Shadow...


It's a nice association. It's an obvious criticism I know, but there's a lot of abstraction here and not much in the way of concrete images. One could say the same about the Eliot I suppose, but that's a small section from a much larger piece.

Having said all this, I don't necessarily think you should change it ha. The poem does create an icy mood. It is what it is and it's effective, if a little cold for me. But then again, sometimes I'm very much in the mood for this sort of thing.

All the best.
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  #5  
Unread 11-14-2019, 02:57 PM
Martin Elster Martin Elster is online now
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Hi Aaron,

According to Grammarly Tone Detector, this poem is somewhat “friendly.”

To me, however, it’s a bit cool and controlled. I like the abstractions mixed with a few concrete images, though I’m trying to figure out what the “fact” is supposed to be. Maybe it’s not essential that I “know” it, because it seems that there really is no fact in the thicket, orbit, or struggle.

I think “fossil” was a good tweak.

I’m wondering if “purport far-flung” is a syntactical inversion. Perhaps not. I’m not actually sure.

In S1, I’m not quite sure what the forces are that are unnaturally bent.
I’m trying to get the gist of “ellipsis writhed around essential flux.” Everything is, of course, in flux.

In S2, I love “crooked void.”

S3 makes for a strong ending.

Best,

Martin
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  #6  
Unread 11-14-2019, 03:29 PM
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Mary Meriam Mary Meriam is online now
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I wish the meter was stronger and the form simpler. Like if this was the first line, which I really like, though without the commas:

Where in the thicket is the Fact?

I can imagine the following lines having the same form - not with these words, but with this form:

What in the dickens is the Act?

Maybe I'd make the title "Not Here." I wouldn't use as many multisyllabic words.

But that would be a poem I'd write.
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Unread 11-14-2019, 04:52 PM
Aaron Novick Aaron Novick is online now
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Mark, thanks for your comments. I intend a bit more concrete imagery than I think you're finding, but I do take the criticism. I think ultimately I'm happy to write some poems that trend more to the abstract side.

Martin, thanks for stopping by. Yes, what is "the fact"? I think the poem has some suggestions, but all of the form of saying where it's not. It's something sought after, that's for sure, but you won't find it here. Thanks for pushing back on parts of S1—I'll think about clarifying those bits. "Essential flux" and "unnaturally" might not be right.

Mary, thanks for dropping in and joining the parade of Mar___s. I'm considering cutting the commas—I do love commas, though. But I'm going to toy with both forms and see how I feel. I don't understand your comment on the strength of the meter. Here's what I intend the pattern for each stanza to be:
/ – – / – / – / – /
/ – – / – – / – – /
– / – / – / – / – /
What's irking you about that?

Andrew, I think I'm convinced that 'purport' is not right, but I haven't yet thought of anything better.
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  #8  
Unread 11-14-2019, 04:59 PM
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Mary Meriam Mary Meriam is online now
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Here's the first stanza of John Whitworth's "The Examiners" -

Where the house is cold and empty and the garden's overgrown,
They are there.
Where the letters lie unopened by a disconnected phone,
They are there.
Where your footsteps echo strangely on each moonlit cobblestone,
Where a shadow streams behind you but the shadow's not your own,
You may think the world's your oyster but it's bone, bone, bone:
They are there, they are there, they are there.

The meter is loud and clear. I'm not saying you need to reach to such musical heights - just that I wish the meter was more audible in your poem.

-one of the Mar__s
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  #9  
Unread 11-14-2019, 05:01 PM
Aaron Novick Aaron Novick is online now
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Thanks Mary, I understand now.
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  #10  
Unread 11-15-2019, 07:07 AM
Andrew Szilvasy Andrew Szilvasy is offline
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Aaron,

I like this piece. I've come back to it a lot.

I don't love the commas in each of the questions and think the poem might do better without them.

To end each of the tercets, you have "essential flux," "crooked void," and "relic self." Of the three, the first one is the weakest because the abstract noun has an abstract adjective, and that isn't the case with the other two.

I also wonder if you might play more with the space of the poem to get that absence more tightly. One thought:

Where, in the thicket, is the Fact?
Where, in the thicket, is the Fact? Not here,
....Bramble of forces unnaturally bent,
Ellipsis writhed around essential flux.
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