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  #41  
Old 01-13-2018, 12:23 AM
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Allen Tice Allen Tice is offline
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Bouquet has replaced cologne.
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  #42  
Old 01-13-2018, 06:51 PM
Mark McDonnell Mark McDonnell is offline
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I don't really like 'disrobes' (but I see you've struck it out). It's too much too soon, to be personifying the moon like that. The poem treads a fine line of knowingly sophisticated camp and sweet sincerity (that's my take, I could be completely misreading), and that would be showing its hand far too quickly. Better to start sedately I feel. Also, 'unfolds' makes sense as an image. I can imagine moonlight unfolding, (spreading/dissipating) I can't picture it disrobing. The personification doesn't help anything.

Edit: just on a happy note. I didn't even notice the enclosing rhymes of each stanza until about the third read, but they're really nice.

Last edited by Mark McDonnell; 01-15-2018 at 01:36 PM.
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  #43  
Old 01-13-2018, 10:41 PM
Erik Olson Erik Olson is offline
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Allen,
I have a mind to register my approbation for this poem. Among its merits, I noticed its prosody uncommonly excels, which occasioned some observations:
The resemblance of poetic meters to the subject which they mention or describe, may be considered as general or particular; as consisting in the flow and structure of a whole passage taken together, or as comprised in the sound of some forceful and descriptive words, or in the cadence and harmony of single verses. There is no doubt that you show extraordinary attention to the melody of the verses in this poem; the deft manipulations of tone and rhythm are in evidence. Take for instance the particular shades of sound used here:
Now while moonlight unfolds silent above the pond,
And trees artlessly loom into the unanimous
The ‘m’ and ‘n’ consonants combined with short ‘o’ vowel—‘moonlight,’ ‘loom,’ ‘into,’ and ‘unanimous’—have a quieting effect; this helps set the sedate or ‘silent’ scene.
In this passage, you accentuate distance in space and faintness in pitch, as well as the change in direction of the wind by inverting an iamb or by pausing the flow of the verse and then restarting it:
And far voices fade out, in, as the night air bends.
Speak close, Muse, of the unquenchable fire of life.
Where’s Ben Jonson? and Sappho?
Nero? Lascaux? Casanova’s girl friends?
The control you wield over such modulations gives a sense that impressions are conveyed on the ebb and flow of a wind, not only at first but throughout in general; interruptions in the flow of verse, for example, seem to implicitly correspond to the draught even after no more explicitly referenced . Your orchestration of tone and rhythm render the imagery all the more visceral to the reader... Suffice it to say, this poem blew me away.
Best,
Erik



P.S. I prefer ‘unfolds' to ‘disrobes.’

Last edited by Erik Olson; 01-14-2018 at 02:31 AM.
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  #44  
Old 01-14-2018, 09:49 AM
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Allen Tice Allen Tice is offline
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Those are kind words indeed, and I appreciate them. Don't know quite what else to say. Oh, here are two things. First, I'm glad you changed your quote to the "unfolds" wording. Last night before bed I was excited in a way but stymied by your initial citation of "disrobes", and wasn't ready to answer. That word might go into another poem; it's such an active word. Second, do you think that the small change in S4L4 to "defy" works well? Thanks again for your kind words, very large words too. Best, -- Allen
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  #45  
Old 01-14-2018, 10:02 AM
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Allen Tice Allen Tice is offline
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Sorry, Erik, I accidentally typed "deny" in my last post, then corrected that to "defy". Your response moved me to try a new verb in the first line: "unrolls". Is it too thunderous perhaps?
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  #46  
Old 01-14-2018, 10:49 AM
Jim Moonan Jim Moonan is offline
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Here are some final comments, some of which repeat others... some of which repeat myself...
  • There is an earthbound feel to "unrolls" and a celestial feel to "unfolds" to my eye. So I like "the moonlight unfolds".
  • I noticed Mark used the word "camp" to describe the feel in places and I agree and then some. I feel a hint of the supernatural in the scene setting and in the appearance of and interaction with the the muse. It's why I referred it to Anne Rice, who writes with a similar flare. She is an American novelist who is best known for her vampire novels. She can weave a scene so full of darkness with just the right amount of light so as to transfix the reader. Your scene setting in the first two stanzas reminded me of her touch. There is a feel of midnight in a garden.
  • A poem about a Muse is in some ways akin to a poem about a poem, no? But we can get away with it if we do as you do here and give it a life of it's own.
  • I, too, like the embedded rhymes. I think that is when rhyme is most effective. You’ve got it throughout this one.
  • The face-to-face encounter with the muse is riveting. Finally we meet her. There is a carnal feel to it. She tells you she’s vulnerable. She tells you you are vulnerable.
  • A wild thought: Is it necessary to make the muse generic? Could you instead leave it nameless or perhaps assign one of the mythic goddesses to play the role? Or a moon of your choosing? It's obvious she is a muse. Wild thought…
  • The first and last lines are, to my mind, perfectly wrought. There has been much back and forth about the exact wording in line one and I like “unfolds” for reasons stated above. The last line is confirmation of the true worth of a muse. One part inspiration, one part wise advice.
I’ve been sufficiently entranced by your vision. She’s alive.
x
x
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  #47  
Old 01-14-2018, 01:54 PM
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Woody Long Woody Long is offline
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Allen —

S1L1 - is now: Now while moonlight unrolls silent above the pond, - was disrobes/unfolds

I've been slow on the learning curve with this word choice. All the words you've tried so far are assonant with a long o & all are suggestive somewhat of clothing/fabric. Also, while is assonant with moonlight/silent.

So I've done a fairly diligent search in the assonance domain, ignoring fabric associations. Still tough. Not much:

lies low/unscrolls/invokes/provokes/evokes

using some transitive verbs as intransitive.

I think lies low is a possibility, with a comma before silent:

Now while moonlight lies low, silent above the pond,

----------
Replacing while with with opens up more grammatical possibilities, especially -ed verbs (but loses some assonance), e.g.:

unrolled/disrobed/unrobed/exposed/enthroned/composed/disposed/uncombed, etc.

RhymeZone, here, is handy for searches of this kind. & it has right click definitions of bold faced words.

— Woody
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  #48  
Old 01-14-2018, 02:02 PM
David Callin David Callin is offline
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Allen, I'm late to the party, but never mind. I've brought a bottle anyway. I really like this. Not much of substance to add to that, I'm afraid, but I thought it was worth saying.

Cheers

David
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  #49  
Old 01-14-2018, 08:43 PM
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Allen Tice Allen Tice is offline
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In reverse chrono order, Thanks David, Woody, and Jim. (You other guys I PM-ed can eat your own popcorn. I saw one of you reading my thread.) As said, Thanks, David.

Woody (have been busy here and there), I have to pay you more. Some nice words. I like "unscrolls" very much, but the date stamp on the receipt the Muse gave me is from yesterday; consequently, no scrolls were harmed or involved. Another point is that the moon can illuminate the clouds. It is full, or full enough to cast shadows. I like RhymeZone; will turn to it more often. And I will definitely savor your suggestions: roll them around my tongue and sniff their bouquet.

Jim, your comment about the different "feels" of "unrolls" and "unfolds" is important and interesting. It's possible we might disagree more on what is "earthbound" and what is, oh my, "celestial" than on the actual distinction you draw. But your sense of those words in the audience is important.

I don't now and never have "done" or dated vampires. Fruit bats in the area are OK, but nix on the vamps. Anne Rice would seem to be a very talented writer with a strong gift for imaginary scenes, and an unfortunate attraction to vampires, demons, and that lot. A spellbinder no doubt. I think you intend a compliment, and will take it as such. But I never, never, met a vampire I didn't dislike immediately. Aroynt thee, thou rump-fed runnion. Hence away! I don't care for horror imagery. (Just lucky, I guess.) "Camp": all I know about that is from Susan Sontag, and that's all I need to know. I don't do "camp". If someone else thinks what I do is "camp", I can't help that. Someone could think I write in secret for Clovis point arrowhead flakers (nice people, every one), but I don't. All your other comments are very welcome, and I do thank you. You have taken a lot of time and care to reply in detail. That's what makes things worthwhile. As to the Muse, I gave her a nice gratuity.
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  #50  
Old 01-15-2018, 01:46 PM
Jim Moonan Jim Moonan is offline
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Sorry, Allen, I didn't intend for you to make too much of the fact that Anne Rice has written vampire novels. It's her ability to paint a blend of dark and light with language that I saw in your poem.
It was a bit of an off-handed observation I wish I hadn't made given the fact that I find your muse poem to have nothing else in common other than the richness of the words and imagery. Now I'm in the peculiar position of disclaiming that I ever read her novels through. I just remember the parts where the language became ethereal for paragraphs and somehow it clicked into my head when I thought about your poem. Hence away horror! Give me back the moonlight unfolding.
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