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  #21  
Old 08-13-2017, 04:45 PM
Felicity Teague's Avatar
Felicity Teague Felicity Teague is offline
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Hi Aaron,

I enjoyed reading this. There were a couple of things I needed to google, but I don’t mind doing that! Am I right in thinking that your ‘mastodon’ is a relative of the mammoth?

Leaving ‘mastodon’ aside for now (I might return!), I like the setting of the scene in your first stanza and the dramatic appearance of the bitch in the second. I’m a little puzzled by the anatomy of the bitch – has she given birth, resulting in prolapse? – but overall the image is strong and I feel quite drawn into the poem by my concerns for the bitch’s wellbeing. That said, I do appreciate ‘too wild to beg’, based on my own encounters with animals.

I don’t really understand ‘embarrassment’ in the third stanza. Do you think the bitch is embarrassed? Sorry if I’ve missed something there.

A final thought (for now!): I see you’ve changed the title a couple of times. I like ‘Multimammia’ (I confess I heard ‘Mamma Mia’ at first), but having googled ‘Sumerian Bau’ I think I prefer this title. I learn that Bau is associated with healing, and that holds a satisfying irony vis-à-vis the appearance of the bitch, perhaps.

Best wishes,
Fliss
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  #22  
Old 08-13-2017, 07:05 PM
Aaron Poochigian Aaron Poochigian is offline
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Thank you, Felicity. Several people have questioned the line "lumbering in sublime embarrassment". I admit that I am very attached to it. But I should consider alternatives. Which of these three is best, do you think?

then, as if summoned elsewhere, off she went,
lumbering in sublime disfigurement
back to the scrub and rubbish, to the streets
of disbelief.

then, as if summoned elsewhere, off she went,
lumbering in aloof enlightenment
back to the scrub and rubbish, to the streets
of disbelief.

then, as if summoned elsewhere, off she went,
lumbering in sublime embarrassment
back to the scrub and rubbish, to the streets
of disbelief.
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  #23  
Old 08-13-2017, 07:56 PM
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Aaron Novick Aaron Novick is offline
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My own vote would be to keep "lumbering in sublime embarrassment" but change the previous line somewhat—"off she went" is not striking me as tonally appropriate to that moment of the poem.

I'm not sure about "preponderated" in L2. It's a comparative term being used as an absolute. I like the image you're going for, but that's not the right word.

In the last line of S3, I think "was hanging" dilutes the image. I'd prefer the simple past, e.g:
of disbelief. Amazement like a scent
lingered everywhere about the yard.
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  #24  
Old 08-14-2017, 12:18 AM
Aaron Poochigian Aaron Poochigian is offline
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Aaron N., I am comfortable with "off she went"

But I will try the superlative "predominated" for "preponderated"

and "of something deathless hung" for "was hanging everywhere"

Thanks,

Aaron

Last edited by Aaron Poochigian; 08-14-2017 at 12:50 AM.
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  #25  
Old 08-14-2017, 02:20 PM
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Felicity Teague Felicity Teague is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Aaron Poochigian View Post
Thank you, Felicity. Several people have questioned the line "lumbering in sublime embarrassment". I admit that I am very attached to it. But I should consider alternatives. Which of these three is best, do you think?

then, as if summoned elsewhere, off she went,
lumbering in sublime disfigurement
back to the scrub and rubbish, to the streets
of disbelief.

then, as if summoned elsewhere, off she went,
lumbering in aloof enlightenment
back to the scrub and rubbish, to the streets
of disbelief.

then, as if summoned elsewhere, off she went,
lumbering in sublime embarrassment
back to the scrub and rubbish, to the streets
of disbelief.
Hi Aaron,

You are welcome!

I love the sound of ‘lumbering in sublime embarrassment’ and it makes sense to me that you’re attached to it. In terms of sound alone, it’s my favourite of your three suggestions. For meaning, I like option one: ‘sublime disfigurement’.

I would offer ‘sublime malnourishment’, but I think ‘malnourishment’ is less significant than ‘disfigurement’ in the context of this poem.

Best wishes,
Fliss
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  #26  
Old 08-14-2017, 03:17 PM
Aaron Poochigian Aaron Poochigian is offline
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Thank, Felicity.

We'll see what others think about that line--"embarrassment" or "disfigurement".

Best,

Aaron
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  #27  
Old 08-14-2017, 07:05 PM
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Woody Long Woody Long is offline
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Aaron —

The poem gets better on each read, & the revisions are working.

Title - I like Sumerian Bau. Later, when the reader catches that it's a dog, the bow-wow comes through for some without cueing. And anything Sumerian is bound to be ancient and mysterious to us lay people. We can Google later.

S1L2 -mastodon - unlike the bau, the mastodon is extinct, & therefore not lively, so descriptive of the scene. Per Wikipedia, the word mastodon is "breast tooth", giving a submerged association with the teats etc. (an Easter egg). The word sounds good in context.

S1L3 - predominated a big improvement. I was stumbling on preponderated.

S1L6 - epiphany - the word fits (theophany not as good). If Christian I would expect caps, the Epiphany. Joyce's epiphanies are there as a literary association.

S3L4 - sublime embarrassment - I vote for this. Considering the situation, well might the deity be embarrassed, but in an elevated way, suitable to her station.

S4L2 - I vote with those saying no changes. The last line both adds and sums up, and reads well aloud.

— Woody
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  #28  
Old 08-15-2017, 08:33 AM
Aaron Poochigian Aaron Poochigian is offline
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Thank you, Woody, for following this thread. I think this poem might be "done." We'll see,

Best, best,

Aaron
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