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  #11  
Old 09-16-2018, 02:29 PM
Martin Rocek's Avatar
Martin Rocek Martin Rocek is offline
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Jan,
that solves the problem for me. Thanks again for the read!

Martin
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  #12  
Old 09-17-2018, 05:03 PM
Aaron Poochigian Aaron Poochigian is offline
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"hale" and "exscind" are forced for the rhyme (a common problem in your work)--in neither case does the meaning work. Because you can't/won't fix these obvious problems, your poem will remain forever flawed.

Yours,

Aaron
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  #13  
Old 09-17-2018, 06:41 PM
Jim Moonan Jim Moonan is offline
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Jan, Your justification in post #6 for using “hale” is persuasive:

verb archaic
verb: hale; 3rd person present: hales; past tense: haled; past participle: haled; gerund or present participle: haling

drag or draw forcibly.
"he haled an old man out of the audience

The meaning you’re invoking demonstrates a deep understanding of both the etymology of the word and the nature of the deep waters of the oceans. You nailed it, IMHO.

You give the word a depth that I didn’t know it had. I think, too, it is clearly understood by almost everyone as to what you’re saying and I think the crit is frivolous. Doesn’t poetry sometimes employ a logic of its own that can override such things as grammatical convention to achieve a higher purpose? The fortification of the word "hale" to be used to describe the muscle of the water is poetically daring -- and one that Captain Bligh himself, if he were a closet poet, might have delighted in using to describe the nature of the element that he knew like few others.

To your credit, “exscind” first came into usage around the time of Bligh’s birth and usage was at its height during his lifetime. He would have used it.
Forced rhyme is a matter of degree, yes? On a scale of 1 to 10 with “10” being the the most egregious forced rhyme, I would, at most, say it is a “5”. The power with which the story is told from start to finish overcomes any relative “flaw” of being forced. It works.

I may been over my head by defending such things as this but I think the poem deserves the praise it has gotten. Flawed? I fantasize about writing like this.
x
x

Last edited by Jim Moonan; 09-18-2018 at 05:57 PM.
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  #14  
Old 09-17-2018, 07:45 PM
Curtis Gale Weeks Curtis Gale Weeks is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jan Iwaszkiewicz View Post
Revision II

Again I'll have to chance my mortal span,
they’ve put me arse unbreeked, into the wind.
The first of these two lines seems off to me. It's not nearly forceful enough; it seems squeamish for the narrator, who here is pondering what he'll have to do — not what he will do — with the addition of an admission that it's all about chance, not his will. Finally, the N. seems too uncertain of that thing he calls his "mortal span," as if it were a matter of fate and not his own pugnacious approach to life and all its antagonistic grandeur.

Maybe something like this would be more interesting:

Again I will contest my mortal span,
they’ve put me arse unbreeked, into the wind.


—although I do wonder whether I'm reading the "joke" wrong.

I must contest might be better than will....Which I think, yes. Dunno, but working in both, the vagaries of fate ("must") and pugnacious spirit ("contest") in that line might be the better option of these two. Or some such.
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  #15  
Old 09-20-2018, 07:09 AM
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Jan Iwaszkiewicz Jan Iwaszkiewicz is offline
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Aaron,

you wrote:

"hale" and "exscind" are forced for the rhyme (a common problem in your work)--in neither case does the meaning work. Because you can't/won't fix these obvious problems, your poem will remain forever flawed.

I fail to see the rhymes as being forced as the meanings obviously work and since you give no rationale for your assertion I am left wondering why it was made.

You also asserted that these were “(a common problem in your work)” again with no rationale being given this borders on the ad hom.

Let civility prevail, life is short.

Jim,

thank you.

When you are out of sight of land, windless and you feel the ocean rise underneath your hull though the surface remains smooth is is as though a muscle has been haled up from the deep and you thankfully slide across it.

You are more than kind.

Curtis,

We will have to disagree a little.

The sea is all about chance, will can never override nature. At this point Bligh has been hauled up from his cabin in his nightshirt, “arse unbreeked”. He is forced into an open boat with most of the loyal members of his crew, he knows the vagaries of the oceans full well, he knows that he may propose but God will dispose. He then sails 1700 miles ironically making his landfall in Fear (Timor) mapping the top of Australia as he went (his mapping was still in use up to the 1930s). He was a consummate seaman and despite the calumnies of Hollywood and the political machinations of Christian’s brother he was not a sadistic disciplinarian (the logs of his various commands place him in the middle order). The mutineers self destructed.

Thank you.

Jan

Last edited by Jan Iwaszkiewicz; 09-20-2018 at 07:11 AM.
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  #16  
Old 09-22-2018, 02:48 PM
J.B. Marshall J.B. Marshall is offline
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Thumbs up Bligh

Hello Jan,
I really have enjoyed your poem Bligh. It's a wonderful character study. I do have a couple of critiques.

"I’d feel the swell of ocean muscle hale/ itself up from the deep, though all was fair."

My mind keeps tripping on this line as the word "muscle" can be both a verb and a noun. Coupled with the unusual use of the word "hale" I keep having to re-read the line to see that the verb is indeed "hale."

Writing it thus resolves the issue for me:

"I’d feel the muscular swell of ocean hale/ itself up from the deep, though all was fair."

but this breaks your iambic pentameter.

If you are willing to vary your iambic pentameter, I would also suggest to change L16 and L17 to:

"Yet despite all this, I cannot exscind
that I am a man who cannot fathom man"

This changes L16 to a more trochaic line, but it highlights Bligh's impatience with himself and his flaws. I think the inclusion of Bligh's admission of his flaws is wonderful and changing the meter would highlight his agitation at this moment in time.

But these are mere quibbles from a landlubber. I enjoyed the poem and was inspired to go looking up info on William Bligh after reading it.
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  #17  
Old 09-22-2018, 11:21 PM
Curtis Gale Weeks Curtis Gale Weeks is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jan Iwaszkiewicz View Post
Curtis,

We will have to disagree a little.

The sea is all about chance, will can never override nature. At this point Bligh has been hauled up from his cabin in his nightshirt, “arse unbreeked”. He is forced into an open boat with most of the loyal members of his crew, he knows the vagaries of the oceans full well, he knows that he may propose but God will dispose. He then sails 1700 miles ironically making his landfall in Fear (Timor) mapping the top of Australia as he went (his mapping was still in use up to the 1930s). He was a consummate seaman and despite the calumnies of Hollywood and the political machinations of Christian’s brother he was not a sadistic disciplinarian (the logs of his various commands place him in the middle order). The mutineers self destructed.
Jan, I know the historical realities.

My primary concern was the way the voice in the final two lines doesn't match the voice in all that preceded those lines. He's fully aware of his capabilities for managing his interface with the antagonisms of the sea, wind, wood, even if not with his men. So this, then, does not match very well the final two lines, in which all that awareness of his own capabilities is thrown away into a consideration of chance.

Sure, he knows the chances, but this isn't all he knows.
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  #18  
Old 09-23-2018, 08:20 AM
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Jan Iwaszkiewicz Jan Iwaszkiewicz is offline
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Hello J.B. welcome to the ‘sphere.

It is the swell of the muscle in my conceit that is haled, it is a surface gravity wave.

Thank you. I hope that you enjoy your time here.

Curtis,

I understood your reservation to be about 'chance', mea culpa.

This is the cusp, everything changes.

His confidence lies in in what he knows. At this stage he has no experience of a protacted voyage through mainly uncharted waters in an overloaded, open boat with bugger all freeboard

His voice has to change. What goes before is Bligh bolstering himself.

Regards,

Jan
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  #19  
Old 09-23-2018, 10:03 AM
J.B. Marshall J.B. Marshall is offline
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Default Bligh - again

Hi Jan,
My thanks for your welcome of a landlubber who has never experienced a surface gravity wave.
I agree with the change of Bligh's voice in the last lines of the poem. He's expressing his doubts about what is to come and his ability to lead the men in the open boat with him to safety. The change in voice is what makes this poem work for me.
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