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  #11  
Old 07-09-2018, 10:57 AM
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Jan Iwaszkiewicz Jan Iwaszkiewicz is offline
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Sorry missed the hot/lot.
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  #12  
Old 07-09-2018, 12:32 PM
Bill Carpenter Bill Carpenter is offline
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For me, "Werebear" made the poem because frames it as a transformation scene, or the prelude to a transformation scene. The traveler (you) is going to start turning into a bear in some sense when he enters the northern high country. It suggests an American way of living on the frontier by becoming part beast.

The most famous werebear is doubtless Tolkien's Beorn, but Tolkien likely got it from the werebear in The Saga of King Hrolf Kraki, the warrior Bothvar Bjarki. (I mention him in my Alfred poem.) I like your act of possession very much. The beehive is excellent--reference to the famous bee-wolf--meatloaf and ice cream are more remote, but root beer fits those big diggers. Arcane is better then insane in this context. I don't know of any connection between arctos and arcana, so maybe the confusion of tongues is an argument against arcane. Ursine too obvious, something more witchy than insane might be good. She is attending the transformation. I'm pretty sure there was a witch in Biarki's background.

I'm tempted to locate this in the neighborhood of your "very complex" relationship with "Very Far North" Tim and Alan the "scop," but I don't want to intrude. An act of worship oriented north, would be the meaning of Arctolatry.

Last edited by Bill Carpenter; 07-09-2018 at 06:49 PM. Reason: because latria isn't dulia
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  #13  
Old 07-09-2018, 01:32 PM
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Woody Long Woody Long is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Aaron Poochigian View Post
Woody, please do come back and let me know what you think of it in the morning.
Aaron —

I still like the poem and still think the imagery is its strongest feature.

The title - I'm glad to see Arctolatry return. In the Age of Google, a minor obscurity is not a problem. I liked the word because I see a pattern of turning, spinning, etc. in the poem & arctolatry is a submerged pun on that.

L1 - Careful: this will be a little hot. - this line puzzled me. I thought it was a kind of epigraph or a misplaced explicit language warning. I guess it's supposed to be the waitress speaking. I would suggest using quotes instead of italics or closing up the 14 lines to a solid block, maybe tweaking with an em-dash or something in lines 13 & 14.

L12 - Swiveling inward on a vinyl chair, . This would be better: Swiveling inward on your vinyl chair,

However, it ought to be (for accuracy): Swiveling inward on your vinyl stool,

which mucks up the rhyme scheme. Is this a nonce or conventional sonnet form? Anyway, ignoring that, my stab at the consequent necessary repairs:

Arctolatry

"Careful: this will be a little hot."

A most rude road has bumped you through Wyoming
to one defunct gas pump, a flood-lit lot,
a starburst counter where your phone lies, roaming.
A beehived female with insane eyeliner
has brought you meatloaf and a great big foaming
root beer float. This is the final diner
before the air thins and the grizzly bear
takes over. Ursa Major and Ursa Minor
just keep on spinning on their polar spool
above the peak of freedom—stream, pine, den.
Swiveling inward on your vinyl stool,
you slurp the dregs and drop a crumpled ten,

then turn to wilderness, American.


— Woody

P.S. We know it's night, because of the flood-lit lot.

P.P.S. I see my suggestion leaves L8 bear without a rhyme. But I leave it here for whatever.

— W

Last edited by Woody Long; 07-09-2018 at 02:37 PM. Reason: typos & added P.S. & a later P.P.S. & later minor clarification
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  #14  
Old 07-09-2018, 01:32 PM
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Edward Zuk Edward Zuk is offline
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Hi Aaron,

I think that I understood this better with ‘Arctology’ as a title, even though I didn’t know what the word meant. I saw it then as the journey into the wilderness, with the 50s diner showing that this journey is timeless, as well as evoking an era when Daniel Boone and Davy Crockett were popular heroes.

I stress ‘eyeliner’ on the first syllable, and so I had to twist the line a bit. Otherwise, the poem flowed smoothly. I go back and forth between prefering ‘arcane’ and ‘insane’—either works brilliantly. In line 10, perhaps another word in place of ‘spinning’ (growling? roaming?) would help build the mood. In line 12, if the person is finishing and preparing to leave, wouldn’t he be swiveling outward in his chair?

This one is a winner.
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  #15  
Old 07-09-2018, 01:38 PM
John Isbell John Isbell is offline
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I too thought the "careful" line was outside the poem. Reformating seems worthwhile.

Cheers,
John
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  #16  
Old 07-09-2018, 02:06 PM
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Jayne Osborn Jayne Osborn is offline
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Quote:
I love that word “Actolatry”—my only fear is that an editor would want to footnote it.
...yes, especially if it's spelled incorrectly (sorry, Aaron, I couldn't resist!).

I, too, missed the first line as direct speech from the waitress (thank you, Woody!), but funnily enough, I ''got'' a starburst counter with no problem at all, whereas others wondered what you meant.

Jayne
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  #17  
Old 07-09-2018, 03:34 PM
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Since the first google hit on the -olotryy states it "would like to show you" but the site won't allow it, suggests its a reference to some basic or arcane sexolotry. Hence your reference to Heat? No, it's the heat of D's terza rima!
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Last edited by RCL; 07-09-2018 at 05:43 PM.
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  #18  
Old 07-09-2018, 05:32 PM
Martin Elster Martin Elster is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Woody Long View Post
Is this a nonce or conventional sonnet form?
Hi Aaron,

Why not just type it so it looks like the form it is, a terza rima sonnet?

Also, in place of “spinning” (L10), maybe “hunting” or “roving” might be more relevant to the scene. Not that “spinning” is bad or anything but I thought Edward’s idea was interesting about depicting more bear-like behavior instead of astronomy behavior.

I looked up Arctolatry, which made the poem clearer.

Arctolatry

“Careful: this will be a little hot.”
A most rude road has bumped you through Wyoming
to one defunct gas pump, a flood-lit lot,

a starburst counter where your phone lies, roaming.
A beehived female with insane eyeliner
has brought you meatloaf and a great big foaming

root beer float. This is the final diner
before the air thins and the grizzly bear
takes over. Ursa Major and Ursa Minor

just keep on roving through the night out there
above the peak of freedom—stream, pine, den.
Swiveling inward on a vinyl chair,

you slurp the dregs and drop a crumpled ten,
then turn to wilderness, American.
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  #19  
Old 07-09-2018, 09:00 PM
Aaron Poochigian Aaron Poochigian is offline
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Thank you, all.

Bill, thank you. I have decided against “Werebear” because I think it limits the poem to only one reading. You are very astute—I had considered dedicating the poem to Tim. Isn’t it a completely different poem that way?

Arctolatry

In memory of Tim Murphy

“Careful: this will be a little hot.”
A most rude road has bumped you through Wyoming
to one defunct gas pump, a flood-lit lot,
a starburst counter where your phone lies, roaming.
A beehived female with insane eyeliner
has brought you meatloaf and a great big foaming
root beer float. This is the final diner
before the air thins and the grizzly bear
takes over. Ursa Major and Ursa Minor
just keep on roving through the night out there
above the peak of freedom—stream, pine, den.
Swiveling inward on your vinyl chair,
you slurp the dregs and drop a crumpled ten,
then turn to wilderness, American.

Woody, thank you. I have taken your “your”. I do like “stool” but I had a swivel chair in mind: https://www.overstock.com/Home-Garde...FdIBrQYdMiEClg

I hope the new line works better as part of the poem with the new formatting.

Thank you, Edward. I am going for just that sort of “Americana” feeling. I will keep “Arctolatry.” Yes, I am reconciled to “eyeliner” because the metrical pattern has already been established and because it is the first in its series of rhymes (it would sound forced if it were second or third in the series). The subject swivels “inward” (toward the counter) to slurp up the rest of his root beer float through a straw and pay the bill then turns toward the door. Can you think of some way to make that clearer?

John, I have reformatted at your suggestion and that of others.

Jayne, thank you. I will watch the spelling. I am glad “starburst” works for you. I will keep it. Best.

Ralph, I’m glad “Arctolatry” sounds sexy. It’s idolatry but for “arktoi” (bears). I suppose there is someone somewhere who is an arctophiliac.

Martin, thank you very much. I have reformatted the poem but as one 14-line chunk. The stanza breaks in the other format seem to me arbitrary. I have taken “roving” at your and Edward’s suggestion.

Thank you, all, very much.

Last edited by Aaron Poochigian; 07-09-2018 at 09:04 PM.
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  #20  
Old 07-09-2018, 09:27 PM
Aaron Poochigian Aaron Poochigian is offline
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Do we prefer the poem formatted this way?

Arctolatry

"Careful: this will be a little hot."
A most rude road has bumped you through Wyoming
to one defunct gas pump, a flood-lit lot,

a starburst counter where your phone lies, roaming.
A beehived female with insane eyeliner
has brought you meatloaf and a great big foaming

root beer float. This is the final diner
before the air thins and the grizzly bear
takes over. Ursa Major and Ursa Minor

just keep on roving through the night out there
above the peak of freedom—stream, pine, den.
Swiveling inward on your vinyl chair,

you slurp the dregs and drop a crumpled ten,
then turn to wilderness, American.


Or maybe in couplets?

Arctolatry

"Careful: this will be a little hot."
A most rude road has bumped you through Wyoming

to one defunct gas pump, a flood-lit lot,
a starburst counter where your phone lies, roaming.

A beehived female with insane eyeliner
has brought you meatloaf and a great big foaming

root beer float. This is the final diner
before the air thins and the grizzly bear

takes over. Ursa Major and Ursa Minor
just keep on roving through the night out there

above the peak of freedom—stream, pine, den.
Swiveling inward on your vinyl chair,

you slurp the dregs and drop a crumpled ten,
then turn to wilderness, American.

Last edited by Aaron Poochigian; 07-09-2018 at 09:34 PM.
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