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  #1  
Unread 02-11-2019, 07:44 AM
Jim Moonan Jim Moonan is offline
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Default Inside Warm Parens

Round and round I go... Back (essentially) to the original.

Inside Warm Parens

(Drowsing in my warm parens
he sinks into a singsong sleep,
his lips quivering commas
set between a sigh and pout
and the heaving of his breast,
swelling with sweet baby breath,
sweeps him like stardust, oh so far
and far away from everywhere,
yet always just arriving,
pushing away boundaries
to stroll the dreamscape
until his eyes fall open awake)
x
x



-------------------
x
x

Inside Warm Parens

(Drowsing in my warm parens
he sinks into a singsong sleep,
his lips like quivering commas
set between a sigh and pout
and the heaving of his breast,
swelling with sweet baby breath,
sweeps him like stardust, oh so far
and far away from everywhere,
yet always just arriving,
pushing away boundaries,
a stowaway in a vast dreamscape
until his eyelids lift to enter again)




----------------------

x
x

Parenthetical (rv.1)

(Drowsing deep within
my warm parens he sinks
into a precious sleep,
his lips pink puffy commas
between a sigh and pout
and the thumping of his heart
kept time to his hushed breathing
and swept him, as angels do,
like stardust into yesterday;
a chubby cherub stowaway)

Edits:
L6,7,8 were:
and the heaving of his tiny heart,
swelling with sweet baby breath,
sweeps him, like fairies do, so far



-------------------

x
Inside Warm Parens

(Drowsing in my warm parens
he sinks into singsong sleep,
his lips quivering commas
set between a sigh and pout
and the heaving of his breast,
swelling with sweet baby breath,
sweeps him like stardust, so far
far away from everywhere,
yet always just arriving,
pushing away boundaries
to stroll the dreamscape until
his eyes fall open awake)
x
x

Last edited by Jim Moonan; 02-21-2019 at 04:29 AM. Reason: Clean up trimeter (still not there)
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  #2  
Unread 02-11-2019, 09:23 AM
Ann Drysdale's Avatar
Ann Drysdale Ann Drysdale is offline
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Is the term "parens" used widely? I have only come upon it in printing jargon, shortened from "parentheses", which is such a beautiful word in this context that I wish you could use it to convey the curves of safety that enclose this precious little phrase.
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  #3  
Unread 02-11-2019, 09:44 AM
Orwn Acra's Avatar
Orwn Acra Orwn Acra is offline
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Hmmmm, I kind of like parens because it is a letter shy of parents and unusual. But repeating the title in the first line is bad and so you should seek a new title. (I would suggest "Thesis" but it is maybe too clever).

"quivering commas" veers too far into kitsch for me. One punctule goes a long way, so focus on the parentheses. And "dreamscape" is a too-easy word choice.

I also suggest:

sweeps him like stardust so far
and far away from everywhere,
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  #4  
Unread 02-11-2019, 09:48 AM
John Isbell John Isbell is offline
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Hi Jim,

I think I am most fond here of your parentheses - curious, since generally I'm not a fan, even in e.e. cummings - but i do also like your single sentence as it wanders down the page.
I agree, a new title might be nice. Maybe "Punctuation"?

Cheers,
John
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  #5  
Unread 02-11-2019, 03:13 PM
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Felicity Teague Felicity Teague is offline
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Hi Jim,

This is charming. I am feeling the love :-) <3

I'm tempted to suggest a shape poem, entirely enclosed by this shape ( ) (I don't know whether that's possible on the 'sphere, though!)

Also, I was going to suggest a full stop at the end, but I like the idea of starting in lower case for an e e feel, just picking up on John's mention there.

Best wishes,
Fliss
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  #6  
Unread 02-11-2019, 03:22 PM
John Isbell John Isbell is offline
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In fact, removing the commas might be interesting...

Cheers,
John
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  #7  
Unread 02-11-2019, 06:16 PM
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Martin Rocek Martin Rocek is offline
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Walter (Orwn) gave you great advice. I'd also give "heaving of his breast" and perhaps "stardust" another look--both are pretty cliché.

Thanks for the read, and I hope that these comments are some use.
Martin
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  #8  
Unread 02-11-2019, 06:38 PM
Andrew Szilvasy Andrew Szilvasy is offline
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Jim,

Jumping in to say that this is among my favorite you've posted in a while. It's clever and fun, taking a surprising and interesting image and playing with.

Walter and Martin rightly point out places for improvement. Of them, the repetition of the title and "stardust" strike me as most pressing. If I were writing this, I would wish I came up with "Thesis" as a title as Walter did.

We're on the met board here, so there are metrical issues. I take it to be accentual tetrameter, but a few lines don't work:

his lips quivering commas

and the heaving of his breast, (most will read this as trimeter and race through the "and")

yet always just arriving,

pushing away boundaries

his eyes fall open awake)
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  #9  
Unread 02-11-2019, 07:12 PM
Jim Moonan Jim Moonan is offline
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Thanks all for your thoughts.
I am going to go slow on revisions with this one, giving things at least an overnight before deciding... Though truth be told I've already revised and am letting it distill a bit.

Ann, to answer you question, no hardly ever. I the word "parens used once in awhile here. I thought it felt warmer than the full “parenthesis” but now I’m not so sure. Walter offers a different take. I hadn’t thought of the closeness of parens to parents. I don’t think many would make that connection. Some, too, might not know what “parens” is without googling. So I’m half-way to changing it to it’s more common name but will give it some more thought. I want to use it if only to "convey the curves of safety that enclose this" as you so beautifully intuit.

Walter, a part of me dies when, in workshopping a poem, someone suggests something incomparably more beautiful to my own blinkered expression, and I must humbly, grateful seize it. Like your simple suggestion to add “and”. Thank you. That’s what I had meant to say. Barring a full scale revision "and" will be added. After I sleep on it.

This poem had been percolating for a few days with the working title "Lips" due to the first image

Yes, "quivering lips" is doomed to kitsch phrase, though it is accurate. (When you think of it, kids are kitsch.) I will think on it.
And also think about whether "commas" belongs...
I had at one point thought to include the image of “semi-colon” for a baby’s fetal-like sleeping position. Over punctuation!
I will be changing the title.

Thank you John. I too am rather curmudgeonly about unorthodox use of punctuation but then I find myself tempted to be inventive. Still, style over substance in anything is a turn-off for me. Too much substance and not enough style is tedious. A balance is best.

Thanks Fliss. It is a poem I want to be fun of warmth and light and charm. Cradling love in your arms is sublime.

Thanks for commenting Martin. See my comments to Walter earlier here. As it turns out the poem is in fact littered with cliched phrasing and I'm working on that.

Revision waiting in the wings.

Andrew -- We cross-posted. Good thoughts as always and I agree with them all. And yes, "Thesis" is ingenious. More tomorrow on the metrical issues. Thanks again.

x
x

Last edited by Jim Moonan; 02-11-2019 at 07:30 PM.
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  #10  
Unread 02-11-2019, 09:06 PM
Erik Olson Erik Olson is offline
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Jim,

I do not mind, nay, I fancy this being one circuitous sentence. Seeing as the poem opts for punctuation, a comma would be necessary to offset the introductory clause after ‘parens.’ Your representation of perens as warm has a novelty to it. Because—jargon; it is not. I fancy what Walter observed about the semblance with parents, which makes it more dynamic.

I echo the metrical and title concerns that others have mentioned.

I am not so convinced by ‘singsong sleep.’ Not only does it sound kitsch and cartoony, but the word is customarily used to allege a defect, yet I suspect you did not mean for a negative epithet. In other words, that you would not have had canned sleep, yet you might as well have done for me.

I know not who the ‘he’ is, but perhaps it is that loose, so to speak. This abstracted is not to my taste, where it seems a pell-mell assortment of accumulated verbs and nouns without correlating to an actual being. But it could be a genre for all I know, e.e. cummings to mind. For what it is worth.

I hope something in this may be useful to you.

All the best,
Erik

Last edited by Erik Olson; 02-12-2019 at 06:07 PM.
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