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  #11  
Unread 10-26-2020, 05:14 PM
Yves S L Yves S L is offline
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Hello Ralph,

With "tree", yes, I was thinking about earthly nature versus the ecstatic vision. With the suggestion of "it seems", so far "I claim" is the quickest way for me to establish the element of personal self-questioning, self-doubt right at the beginning of the sonnet, with that element of self-wavering crucial to the sonnet's structure.

Originally, with "I say" instead of "I claim", Max was having difficulty relating the talk about truths, lies, and falsity and whatnot to the N's thoughts about the painting, and I think I would run into similar problems with "it seems".

Thank you for your comments.
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  #12  
Unread 10-31-2020, 05:00 AM
Jim Hayes Jim Hayes is offline
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This is very evocative and sent me to Don McClean for further reflection.
There are a couple of points which could be just me, so take from my comments what suits.
‘Swirling starry soul’ -I don’t know how N can see this, seems a little convenient but I do love the poem thereafter and the ultimate line referring to
Devils licking the lobe of his left ear , again of N, seems very apposite in a troubled mind .

Nice.
Jim
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  #13  
Unread 10-31-2020, 05:17 AM
Yves S L Yves S L is offline
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Hello Jim,

Yes to the doubt of "I don’t know how N can see this". I tried to take that doubt and needle it through the poem right to that final line that you liked. How can the N know?

Evocation: I was trying to capture a sense of the painting, a feeling for Van Gogh's life. But how I can know?

Oh Don Mclean wrote a song on the same painting? Cool. It's interesting to consider the parallels and contrast between our approaches.

Thanks.
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  #14  
Unread 10-31-2020, 10:13 AM
Jim Hayes Jim Hayes is offline
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Check it out- Don McClean ‘ Vincent’ gorgeous melody and beautiful lyrics. I think you will enjoy, it addressed the painting very sympathetically to Van Gogh
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  #15  
Unread 11-03-2020, 06:12 PM
John Riley John Riley is offline
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Yves, I certainly don't want you to think I'm bird-dogging you across the board. I felt I'd check out TDE for the first time in months and saw this poem and it has motivated me to say something. I have come to see it as the ultimate achievement of a met poem to not just be about something, but to be something. Too many are descriptions, well-done descriptions often, but they are not the object itself. It's as though the poem never goes from being the glittery ball to being the tree. A great poem is the tree. A nice poem is the decorative ball. I understand this is my aesthetic and frankly, I'm not interested in wasting time arguing about it. But I do think it's valuable to consider, particularly here.

Here you are writing a poem about one of the most turmoilic artists we know about. He is the Ur example of madness and art and the modern world. Sadly, that has led to a lot of flutter and crap said and sung and written about him. That stupid Don McLean song, for example. There are things we don't know about Van Gogh, but one thing we do know is that he suffered, suffered in a way someone who doesn't have the same mental illness(es) he had can not conceptualize. To say that he painted "Starry Night" "To ease his swirling starry soul" is almost criminal. Sorry. It actually pisses me off a little. He killed himself not long after. He didn't have a "swirling starry soul." He didn't even believe he had a soul. Read his letters. He was desperate to feel as though he existed. That painting is the inside of the head of a man screaming. A man alone and filled with anxiety and numbness at the same time. It's a scream in the say way Munch painted a scream. His madness wasn't "dazzling violet" for God's sake. He was so desperate for someone to see him he cut part of his ear off to impress a young woman and only ended up freaking her out. No devils licked his damn ear? He took his hands and cut it.

I deeply admire great met poetry and know I am not good enough of a poet to do it. One thing that good poems of any type doesn't do is try to explain the mystery. They may let us catch a glimpse, but they don't pretend to explain it. That would be being about, not being it.

I imagine you're going to blow me off the way you did with your Batman poem. Whatever. I stick by what I say and am 100% confident it's something you should think about. But that's up to you. The bottom line is regardless of how much noodling you do with this poem it is never going to crack the surface as long as you see the existential scream of a great artist as "dazzling violet madness."

Best
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  #16  
Unread 11-03-2020, 06:24 PM
Yves S L Yves S L is offline
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Hello John,

I do not know what you mean by blowing off. .I write poems and I post them for feedback, and I read and consider the feedback. Am I supposed to continually defer to you? The N clearly states a subjective opinion that he/she has doubts about. The whole poem is constructued around N's subjective filter/reaction to the poem, and how the N deals with its subjective nature, continually implying that the Van Gogh the N is seeing is distinctly the Van Gogh that the N is seeing. You want me to write a poem structured around a N who mirrors your reactions and perspectives?

Last edited by Yves S L; 11-03-2020 at 06:30 PM.
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  #17  
Unread 11-03-2020, 06:41 PM
John Riley John Riley is offline
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Yes. That is what I want.

Forget it. No biggie
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  #18  
Unread 11-03-2020, 06:44 PM
Yves S L Yves S L is offline
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John,

Here are question? When I write "swirling starry soul" and "dazzling violet madness" do you think I am attempting to be saccharine? When the N says "falsest light", do you think that might connect to some of your concerns?

Last edited by Yves S L; 11-03-2020 at 06:47 PM.
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  #19  
Unread 11-03-2020, 07:05 PM
Yves S L Yves S L is offline
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John,

Here are some ideas that your critique gave me. Just playing variations with the language. and mood that I set up in the original sonnet. At the moment I cannot finish this version of the sonnet, though, but maybe I will have ideas tomorrow!

I claim Van Gogh painted his Starry Night
For much the reason Munch painted his scream,
While some would speak of dazzling violet madness,
Much like they speak about some daffodils
Whose prettiness makes tawdry postcards pretty.
He cut an ear because he loved a whore
Who did not love him back. Just say it plainly.
A poet said some devils licked his ear,
But that is just as fake as Van Gogh postcards.

Last edited by Yves S L; 11-03-2020 at 07:17 PM.
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