Eratosphere Forums - Metrical Poetry, Free Verse, Fiction, Art, Critique, Discussions Able Muse - a review of poetry, prose and art

Forum Left Top

Notices

Reply
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Unread 10-10-2019, 04:52 PM
Nestor Kaszycki Nestor Kaszycki is offline
New Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Szczecin and Warsaw, Poland
Posts: 18
Default Sonnet 6917 km

Sonnet 6917 km

All beauty found in distant land
That words cannot express
Without your grip tight on my hand
Provides me joy the less

And yet, the marvels with no par
In how they may inspire awe
Just in your presence from afar
All make me yearn for you the more

The more confusion can embrace in flight
The faithful migrant monarch butterfly
The more it can experience delight
As endless miles to reach the end go by

The more from yearning you can learn
The greater joy upon return

Toronto, September 2019
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Unread 10-10-2019, 05:19 PM
James Brancheau James Brancheau is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: *
Posts: 1,809
Default

I like the title. I don't know what it means, but it drew me in. Other than that I'd set this on fire.
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Unread 10-10-2019, 06:27 PM
Simon Hunt Simon Hunt is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Monterey, CA USA
Posts: 2,002
Default

Hi Nestor: I'm not quite the arsonist that James is, perhaps, but I see a lot of problems here as well. Or maybe one big one. That is, this takes fourteen prettypretty lines to assert that absence makes the heart grow fonder, except in ways that are unclear, awkward, archaic-sounding, and singsong. Punctuation and radical editing are the road forward, I think--whether in this poem or the next. I won't belabor my point with examples, in that it's my response to the whole poem. A couple other things, though:

1. The title must be the distance from speaker to addressee, right? Toronto to somewhere in Poland maybe...

2. What's the point of using of many different iambic meters--from ballad meter to a more conventionally sonnety pentameter?

3. I might quibble with the wisdom of addressing what's beyond words in, like, a sonnet.

Good luck.

Last edited by Simon Hunt; 10-10-2019 at 06:34 PM.
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Unread 10-10-2019, 07:42 PM
Nestor Kaszycki Nestor Kaszycki is offline
New Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Szczecin and Warsaw, Poland
Posts: 18
Default

Hi, thanks for the comments.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Simon Hunt View Post
That is, this takes fourteen prettypretty lines to assert that absence makes the heart grow fonder, except in ways that are unclear, awkward, archaic-sounding, and singsong
It was my intention to write in the vein of Robert Herrick, John Clare, Thomas Hardy, the poets I translate into Polish, so the archaic features were intentional. English, though not my native, is the language I use professionally, apparently not strong enough to render clear original poetry. By posting here I wanted to confront my writing with your expertise.

Quote:
1. The title must be the distance from speaker to addressee, right? Toronto to somewhere in Poland maybe...
True, that's the distance between Toronto and Warsaw.

Quote:
2. What's the point of using of many different iambic meters--from ballad meter to a more conventionally sonnety pentameter?
The idea was to gradually increase the number of iambs as stanzas progress to add variety and tension, with the third being more descriptive, then decreasing in lines 13 and 14 for the 'punchline'.
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Unread 10-10-2019, 07:53 PM
Simon Hunt Simon Hunt is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Monterey, CA USA
Posts: 2,002
Default

Hi Nestor--

Just a couple quick thoughts in response to your response:

1) Your English is obviously fluent--miles better than my Polish. Ha. The only language I speak, besides English, is Spanish, and my Spanish is kilometers and kilometers from fluent, let alone from good poetry. So I admire your skill.

2) But I think there's a tension between two things you say you're after here: deliberate archaism on one hand, and clear original poetry on the other. Weren't Herrick, Clare, and Hardy pretty idiomatic and contemporary when they wrote (especially, perhaps, the latter two...)? I think you would be truer to their models in an important sense by pursuing a more natural voice.

3) Do you write original poetry in Polish, too?

4) I get what you're saying about your metrical choice, but I didn't deduce it from the poem.

Again, good luck!
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Unread 10-10-2019, 10:51 PM
Mark Stone Mark Stone is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: Ohio
Posts: 360
Default

Nestor, Hi.

1. I understand what you’re saying about having a different number of metrical feet in each stanza. However, I think doing that will perplex a lot of readers (including me), since we’re not used to seeing that in a sonnet.

2. I don’t think you need the word “Sonnet” in the title, since the reader sees that the poem is a sonnet. My suggestion for the title is: 6917 Kilometers Apart

3. As Simon mentioned, I would incorporate proper punctuation.

4. First stanza. English speakers would not normally say “in distant land.” We would say either “in a distant land” (singular) or “in distant lands” (plural). Line 4 sounds a bit awkward. I would go with something more conventional. Here’s one idea for this stanza. It’s a starting point. I’m sure you can improve upon it.

All beauty in a distant land
that words can simply not express,
without your tight grip on my hand,
cannot provide me happiness.

5. Second stanza. I would take out the “may.” You want to tell the lady that her marvels do inspire awe, not that maybe they inspire awe. I don’t understand line 7, and I really like line 8.

6. Third stanza. I don’t understand the use of the word “confusion.”

7. Couplet. I would personalize line 13 by changing “you” to “I.” Also, I think it is more common to say “upon your return” than “upon return.” But since you only have four iambs, I’d go with: at your return. Hence:

The more from yearning that I learn,
the greater joy at your return.

And that would give you two internal rhymes within the couplet.

8. I think you have the makings of a very good poem.

Best wishes,

Mark
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Unread 10-10-2019, 11:18 PM
James Brancheau James Brancheau is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: *
Posts: 1,809
Default

I should try to be more constructive, especially since you're new (welcome, Nestor). I'll second everything in Simon's first post, except I don't think that repetition has to be a flaw here. The first thing I'd do is get rid of those inversions and attempt to freshen up the language. I like the gist of the last two lines and the butterfly part, and, as I mentioned, repetition could actually work in your favor here. Missing home or a place where you spent a lot of time can obviously be a recurring feeling (this longing really does come in waves, at least for me). I might consider using a ghazal form to express this. But you must must must update your diction/style. That's my take, fwiw.
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Unread 10-11-2019, 12:10 AM
Spindleshanks's Avatar
Spindleshanks Spindleshanks is online now
Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2003
Location: Australia
Posts: 1,047
Default

Hello Nestor.

You've received some valuable advice and suggestions from some very talented poets here, so not much to add other than the suggestion that you focus on developing the basics of the form—14 lines of iambic pentameter, the Petrarchan turn after L8 or the Shakespearean snick at the closing couplet—before attempting adventurous tinkering with it. And I would dispense with the initial caps for each line unless you wish to anchor your poetry in archaic waters.
All the best,
Peter
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Unread 10-11-2019, 04:50 PM
E. Shaun Russell E. Shaun Russell is offline
Moderator
 
Join Date: May 2008
Location: Columbus, OH
Posts: 2,010
Default

Well, it's not really a sonnet, is it? While I hesitate to be a gatekeeper for form, the lack of a volta, combined with the choice of ballad meter for the octave makes this "sonnetesque" at best...though it's twee enough to make Henry Howard blush. I agree with what others have said, and then some.

Another problem, however, is that this isn't even derivative of someone like Herrick...and even if it were, I fail to see how that could be a positive thing. It's one thing to have another person tell you "this poem feels a bit like Herrick," but something else entirely to try to affect the style of a poet from 350 years ago.

What it comes down to is that imitation is fine for private purposes to learn the nuances of form and feel etc., but it's leaps and bounds away from something you want to workshop. This isn't meant to be harsh, but rather a gentle suggestion that you might not be quite ready yet to send your work out into the world.
Reply With Quote
Reply

Bookmarks

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Forum Jump



Forum Right Top
Forum Left Bottom Forum Right Bottom
 
Right Left
Member Login
Forgot password?
Forum LeftForum Right


Forum Statistics:
Forum Members: 8,017
Total Threads: 19,935
Total Posts: 255,149
There are 180 users
currently browsing forums.
Forum LeftForum Right


Forum Sponsor:
Donate & Support Able Muse / Eratosphere
Forum LeftForum Right
Right Right
Right Bottom Left Right Bottom Right

Hosted by ApplauZ Online