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  #11  
Unread 01-18-2020, 04:57 PM
Andrew Mandelbaum's Avatar
Andrew Mandelbaum Andrew Mandelbaum is offline
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Hey Jim.

I like what you have there in the Mary section. Ha! I think you could meet your needs by just salvaging a few bits from the rest. Maybe a few bits like these:


holding pedals against his eyes.
There is always the aftermath
that dawns from his remains.
No light of day can stop him now.
back to his bed of earth

Try working them into the couplets or add a few more couplets and I think you will have plenty of vampire stuff. The title is so strong you will get much more from less on that score. Always tell the undead super slant.
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  #12  
Unread 01-18-2020, 06:57 PM
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Mary Meriam Mary Meriam is offline
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I'm still concentrating on the "Mary" part - can't seem to read the new part. I don't understand your revisions in v3, or the couplets. I tried to tell you how good I thought v2 is, and I'm not sure why you felt you had to revise it so much. I see revisions in almost every line, but I'll try to explain the difference between these lines:

v.3
I’m hungry with the hope
you have more to send.


The definite article (the) before "hope" makes the hunger infinitely weaker. There's a stumble now, "with the" instead of the fierce alliteration of h's.

I can't understand why you deleted "and believe." It makes the line infinitely more interesting. When one expects to read "belief," to say "believe" is like the effect of an off-rhyme.

Under the lines, one hears "I hope I can believe you" - the hunger for it.

The powerful "v" alliteration and off-rhyme in believe/have make one feel the speaker does possess belief.

v.2
I’m hungry with hope and believe
you have more to send.


I could go through every single revision and make a case for v2, but I doubt you'll believe me!
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  #13  
Unread 01-19-2020, 01:09 PM
Jim Moonan Jim Moonan is offline
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Mary: "The definite article (the) before "hope" makes the hunger infinitely weaker."

That says it all. I should know at least that much. Thank you. Not that you or anyone needs to hear it, but I apologize for not applying all my creative energies to my revisions. I need to hear myself say that. It's somewhat restorative just to say it.
I notice in others' work when words are arranged in a way (or omitted e.g. "the") that they release the meaning into full-blown revelation. I know it when I see it. I don't always know it when I write it and I most definitely forget to preserve it sometimes when I'm revising. A lot of times.
I am indebted to your critical honesty and ferocious defense of my words.

Andrew, Thanks, too, for noticing that the revision was out of kilter somehow. I am walking in dreaded territory when writing about such dark things and to tell it slant is the way in and out.

De-revision posted.
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  #14  
Unread 01-20-2020, 04:03 PM
Mary Meriam's Avatar
Mary Meriam Mary Meriam is offline
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Jim, can you tell me why this:

I will sail until my cells distill into
sleeping through the nights
and under camphorous white suns,
keeping comatose this gusty gray day in January.
I dream the taste of blood blooms on my tongue.
All around me looks licked clean
as it always does in the beginning
and always will in the end.
I wait for spring to fill my plate again.



is an improvement over this:

While I, adrift, will sail until
my cells distill into sleeping
through the nights and under
camphorous white noon suns keeping
comatose this gusty gray day in January.
I dream the taste of blood blooms on my tongue.
All around me looks licked clean
as it always does in the beginning
and always will in the end.
I will wait here
for spring to fill my plate again.



???
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  #15  
Unread 01-20-2020, 04:18 PM
Andrew Szilvasy Andrew Szilvasy is offline
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Jim,

As is most often the case, you ought to listen to Mary here.

I thought you had a lot going for your in your second version that you sort of tripped on. I'd personally prefer you lose the "Thee" but trust yourself; I'd merge some of the original with the revisions.
Wherever I am, I am nearer
to a place I’ve been dying to be.
The next time I need reminding
of the futility of the search, take me,
cloak me, in flowing gown arranged
like rippling moon-whipped waves,
moving always away, forever and ever,
from my own place on the changing
shoreline of the sea, and push me.

I dream the taste of blood blooms on my tongue.
All around me looks licked clean
as it always does in the beginning
and always will in the end.
I will wait here
for spring to fill my plate again.
Hell, if you were to find a way to bring together two lines in the first half, you'd have a free verse sonnet.

EDIT: Potentially something like this:

Wherever I am, I am nearer
to a place I’ve been dying to be.
The next time I need reminding of the futility
of the search, take me, cloak me,
in flowing gown arranged like rippling
moon-whipped waves, moving always away,
from my own place on the changing
shoreline of the sea, and push me.

Last edited by Andrew Szilvasy; 01-20-2020 at 04:21 PM.
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  #16  
Unread 01-24-2020, 07:55 AM
Jim Moonan Jim Moonan is offline
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x
Thanks Mary, Andrew. (I’ve been sidetracked the past few days with the birth of our second grandchild… And with the sense of getting older again... And with the feel of going all golden again… And with the wonder of being in heaven again… A dreamy feeling all around).

Mary, Your preferred version is infinitely more rhythmic. It also releases nicely what I had intended when I wrote it (the second version): a sense of being distilled through the coldness of January and with slumber into a clean state of being. I lost that in the process of tinkering. Nothing new for me.

I have reverted back to what you have shown me to be the real second stanza. It makes me wonder how many times throughout my life I have re-written something into unimaginative versions of their original vibrant selves that only needed to be cleaned up and made more presentable. Grrrrrrrrr.

Speaking of tinkering, I have made what I hope to be seen as improvements to the “better” S2. (see revision). I deleted the word “the” in S2L3. (I can’t figure out how to use a “strikethrough” to indicate that). Pluralized "Sun", added a comma... I am hoping these small changes do nothing to destruct.

Andrew, interesting observation that with some additional revision this could be a free verse sonnet (I like the idea of that) and I love the alliteration /sonics of your revised L6. Let me think a bit more on it.
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  #17  
Unread 01-24-2020, 10:24 AM
Mary Meriam's Avatar
Mary Meriam Mary Meriam is offline
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Glad to see v3, Jim. When you add the comma after suns, "keeping" refers back to "I" but I much prefer that it refers to "suns." I hope you nix the comma. Likewise, your change to "days" doesn't work for me. This was much better: this gusty gray day in January. This sounds trite: the gusty gray days of January. Something else you might consider is lower case "w" on "while" that begins S2, and delete the period after "push me." I also think you should cut the first two lines. I saw this recently:

Quote:
Like a piece of ice on a hot stove, [Frost] said, a poem should ride on its own melting. What is laid down at the beginning should continue and evolve to the end. All the elements should flow in one direction.
This version, for me, would make the poem ride on its own melting:

Dracula

Take me then, Host, cloak me,
in flowing gown arranged
like rippling moon-whipped waves,
moving always away, forever and ever,
from my own place on the changing
shoreline of the sea, and push me
while I, adrift, will sail until
my cells distill into sleeping
through nights and under
camphorous white noon suns keeping
comatose this gusty gray day in January.
I dream the taste of blood blooms on my tongue.
All around me looks licked clean
as it always does in the beginning
and always will in the end.
I will wait here
for spring to fill my plate again.

~~
PS: it takes years to learn how to revise.
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  #18  
Unread 01-27-2020, 08:40 AM
Jim Moonan Jim Moonan is offline
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x
Mary, I’ve adopted your latest suggestions and finally feel purged of my compulsion to tinker any more with it — With much appreciation for your careful look at it. You’d be a great one to walk in the woods with. You notice everything.

The Frost quote says so much. Thank you for that. I will have to find a way to hold onto that. I’m afraid this is the closest I will get to having my poem ride on its own melting from beginning to end. (I wonder now if the poem ever comes close to living up to its title “Dracula”. Perhaps an epitaph with a vamp-ish feel would have sufficed and instead come up with a less heavy title…)

It is humbling to see something only after having it pointed out, as you do with my “minor” changes to the most recent tinkering. How could I have not seen? Of course the comma changes the object. Of course the plural “days” trivializes the image/thought I was attempting to convey. And the removal of the period after "push me and the joining of the two stanzas into one. Wow, not so minor.

But the best thing is your reassurance that it takes years to learn how to become skilled at editing/revising so that the poem comes out, as Frost said, like a piece of ice on a hot stove, riding on its own melting. (It also took me years not to burn the bottoms of cookies —But I did! I'll give it another year or two... : )

I'll be in touch.

Sinking time.
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  #19  
Unread 01-27-2020, 09:51 AM
Matt Q Matt Q is offline
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Hi Jim,

I think you've come very close to distilling the essence of this one, and I really like what you've got it down to.

The N seems to be in a fallow period, a winter in the psychological/metaphorical sense as as well as literal. At first I thought the request to the Host was to be that the N might cease to be a vampire -- to start sleeping nights -- until spring arrives, but perhaps not, as the sleeping seems to include afternoons too (though see below on parsing this part). So maybe just to sleep through the fallow/winter period.

I wonder about "adrift" and "sail" together. They seem contradictory. Can you be adrift and sail? (Sailing also seems rather active for a sleeping, comatose being). Though perhaps contradiction is your intention?

I find what follows "push me" a little hard to parse, so maybe a judicious comma might help. It might be that you intend:

until my cells distill into sleeping {through nights and under camphorous white noon suns}, keeping comatose this gusty gray day in January.

i.e., the N sleeps both through nights and under white noon suns. Or it might be that you intend:

until my cells distill into sleeping through nights and, under camphorous white noon suns, keeping comatose this gusty gray day in January.

i.e., the N sleeps though nights and keeps comatose under white noon suns. Or maybe I'm misreading your intention altogether.

The first sentence might also be overlong -- or perhaps just seemed so because I found it hard to parse the part just mentioned. Either way, and you might consider starting a new sentence with "push me", which might also give more force to "push me" -- give it more of a push ...

Not necessarily a good idea, but I misread "palate" for "plate" and then wondered whether it was worth considering.

best,

Matt
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