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  #31  
Old 05-19-2018, 07:08 AM
Andrew Frisardi Andrew Frisardi is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Aaron Novick View Post

Edit: looking through the thread, I notice that Andrew F. and I have diametrically opposite views here. \_(ツ)_/
Au contraire! I do think the opening needed something to set up the reader for why it's such a big deal to be on a French terrace, but I agree the first stanza is too heavy-handed as is.

John, for a poem that begins with an abstract generality and then moves into particulars, check out Robert Hass's Meditation at Lagunitas. It might give you some ideas.
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  #32  
Old 05-19-2018, 07:11 AM
Andrew Szilvasy Andrew Szilvasy is offline
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Count me with Aaron N. here.

I'd consider cutting back even further to make the language more evocative. Right now it still feels like versified prose to me. Maybe starting withs something like:
The air is filled with French, and smoke. The sun
touches each glass, as if the news it had
were for the whole world.
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  #33  
Old 05-19-2018, 08:47 AM
John Isbell John Isbell is offline
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Ah, what a gorgeous Robert Hass poem! That's how to write poetry. Ok, there's agreement the first stanza needs revision. I'll look at S2 as well, and may borrow from Version I when I get a computer (my wife's working).

Thank you all, Andrews and Aaron,
John

Revision posted (on my phone).

Last edited by John Isbell; 05-19-2018 at 09:09 AM.
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  #34  
Old 05-19-2018, 09:43 PM
John Isbell John Isbell is offline
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OK, another revision posted, out of curiosity. I think this may be about where I want it now.
Any thoughts?

Cheers,
John
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  #35  
Old 05-22-2018, 01:41 AM
Edward Zuk's Avatar
Edward Zuk Edward Zuk is offline
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Hi John,

I feel bad since it was my comment that inspired the change, but the observation on Mozart does not fit the poem at all. You want to get across relaxing in a foreign country after a long journey, but the mention of a noose in a classic opera is out of place. It makes me feel that you fled to France to avoid hanging yourself.

As I’m sure you realize, my original comment was meant to be metaphorical.

I recommend trimming this slightly along the lines that Aaron P. suggested and call it a day.

I hope your trip is going well.
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  #36  
Old 05-22-2018, 01:53 AM
John Isbell John Isbell is offline
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Hi Edward,

And thanks for the suggestion. Yes, I've fiddled with the opening but it hasn't cohered with the rest. I'll hang onto those lines for another home. The rest is I think what it is, with everyone's help.

Cheers,
John
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  #37  
Old 05-22-2018, 02:06 AM
Mark McDonnell Mark McDonnell is online now
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Hi John,

Completely what Edward said. You don't need Mozart and you certainly don't need the image of a noose, it's far too portentous and heavy. The original impulse for the additional S was to give the feeling of satisfaction, which some read as a certain smugness, some justification. A sense you'd earned the pleasurable moment.

Couldn't this be done just by adding a line somewhere suggesting your recent arrival. For example:

'Everybody's smoking on the terrace
when you sit down. And in Maisons-Laffitte,
you all are speaking French. The plane descended
hours ago and now
the sun descends
to touch each glass, as if the news it had'

Or some such thing...

Last edited by Mark McDonnell; 05-22-2018 at 02:32 AM.
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  #38  
Old 05-22-2018, 05:01 AM
John Isbell John Isbell is offline
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Hi Mark,

I do like the word portentous. Yes, maybe I'll tinker with this a bit more, but basically I'm happy with it for now. I guess it can slide down.
Thank you, Mark, for stopping back by and adding a nice suggestion.

Cheers,
John
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