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  #11  
Unread 01-17-2019, 05:39 PM
Andrew Frisardi Andrew Frisardi is offline
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Thanks, Aaron and Jim. I've changed the title and added a dedication.

It's an In Memoriam poem. Too obliquely so?

Any thoughts on the new title would be great. I've struggled with that part.

I disagree about the last line, Aaron. The progression of the triolet ups the ante progressively on "as if to call back": from sun-sunflowers, to memory-mother, to learning unlearned (i.e., loss of ego). At death, or close to death, each person is called back to infancy first.

Jim, I've changed the verb tense in line 3. I think you're right that it was off. Thanks for your reflections on that line and the rest of the poem.
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  #12  
Unread 01-17-2019, 08:23 PM
John Isbell John Isbell is offline
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I'd call it "Triolet for..." and add the noun that feels most apt.

Cheers,
John
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  #13  
Unread 01-19-2019, 03:05 PM
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Mary Meriam Mary Meriam is offline
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Hi Andrew, I like the dedication. Here's an edit that shows all my suggestions and preferences:

That Summer, the Sunflowers

As if to call love back, when fields had bent
once more to face the twilight, the sun returned.
My motherís voice is where my memory went,
as if to call love back, when fields had bent
their heads in circles towards the orient
of fire. My very learning I unlearned,
as if to call love back when fields had bent.
Once more, to face the twilight, I returned.
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  #14  
Unread 01-19-2019, 04:35 PM
Andrew Frisardi Andrew Frisardi is offline
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Interesting edit, Mary. I don't know yet how I feel about going first-person with this. And I'm pretty attached to the hexameter. Why do you prefer the pentameter? I'm genuinely curious and would like to get it more before I change it.

John, good thought about the title.

Thanks to you both.
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  #15  
Unread 01-19-2019, 05:25 PM
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Mary Meriam Mary Meriam is offline
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There's too much distancing from the heart of the poem. The abstraction "love" in L1 is the first distancing. The second is too many words in one line, which results in filler and redundancies, or perhaps, overfill. Why fields and flowers? Why fire and ash? It's a little overwhelming. The third distancing is using second person instead of first. The fourth is adding adjectives that don't really make sense: early and burning. I can't help wondering if your triolet had an earlier incarnation in another form. It seems a little disjointed and hammered into place. Still, there is something wonderful happening with the poem that reminds me of "Rolled round in earth's diurnal course, / With rocks, and stones, and trees."
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  #16  
Unread 01-19-2019, 09:26 PM
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R. Nemo Hill R. Nemo Hill is offline
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I felt the distancing that Mary speaks of as well, Andrew. My first impression of the poem was as a thing of words, so many words, so carefully chosen, so deliberately placed, that they obscured all else for me, i.e. emotional content. I am afraid even in Mary's revision I still feel that way. John's suggestion for the title makes it even more a word bauble rather than a flush of feeling, but then I am no fan of triolets for that very reason: they just never seemed to escape from their design for me.

Nemo
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  #17  
Unread 01-20-2019, 04:37 AM
Andrew Frisardi Andrew Frisardi is offline
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Thanks, Mary and Nemo. It’s a big help to get some specifics on why this poem has not floated a lot of people’s boats. I'd much rather know than have to guess, since this way I actually learn something.

That said, my feelings about the poem haven’t changed. I still feel it as more than a bauble of words or of cold distance. Its tone is remote, for sure, but I hear that and intended it as a stately kind of melancholy, not an unfeeling distance and certainly not just empty wordplay.

I disagree, Mary, with the specific objections you raise with in long lines. “Early” sun refers to morning and the season, June. And I was especially surprised that you thought “burning” is gratuitious for the sunflower heads. They really do look like flames and they also literally burn in the sun. And of course burning heads is also a metaphor for human unfulfillable desire, which is part of the poem’s theme. Lastly, “fire and ash” are both essential in the line you mention: fire is morning/sunrise and ash is evening/death. It would be off to choose one or the other.

None of this explanation is meant to convince anyone to like the poem, of course. I accept that it is not going to win any popularity contests. I just want to point out that I’ve been very careful to avoid filler, and I believe in the poem's integrity.

Best,

Andrew

Last edited by Andrew Frisardi; 01-20-2019 at 05:22 AM. Reason: spelling
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