Eratosphere Forums - Metrical Poetry, Free Verse, Fiction, Art, Critique, Discussions Able Muse - a review of poetry, prose and art

Forum Left Top

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #11  
Old 08-05-2018, 02:29 PM
Martin Elster Martin Elster is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Connecticut, USA
Posts: 5,350
Default

Ann, I know where you got that penultimate line! The last two lines are startling.

I have to say the “half-balancing on impossible heals” sounds great, but it’s not IP. But maybe that’s not a big deal, since the line sound good.

I agree with Aaron that “looking at” (L2) is not so interesting.

S2: I, too, was a bit puzzled when I read that we are flying hundreds of years through space-time and then we are back in the present with “teetering jailbait,” which sounds anachronistic in the context. I love the phrase, though. Metrically speaking, “jailbait” has the accent on the first syllable, so that, together with “teetering” and the apparent anapest of “from a bright” makes the meter iffy, closer to tetrameter than pentameter. But I can sort of force it into IP.

The imagery in that stanza is really wonderful. And the poem as a whole is quite evocative and a pleasure to read.

Incidentally, this poem could be the first scene in a Colombo episode.
Reply With Quote
  #12  
Old 08-05-2018, 02:45 PM
Mark McDonnell Mark McDonnell is offline
Member
 
Join Date: May 2016
Location: England
Posts: 2,114
Default

Aaron P has provided the museum link, but this might help those unacquainted with the events described in the final stanza. Apologies if this is obvious, but I don't know how much this story has got through in the US.

https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/...ome-police-say

So. 'Deep end' hmm? That means you want me to be extremely picky!

I do wonder why 'we' and not just 'I'? It seems a bit odd that both N and companion are 'thinking of something tenuously connected' to the painting. How does the N know this? And then even odder that they both have the same strange visionary experience with the painting.

The idea, and execution, of the N (and friend, but we'll gloss over that) flying through the weave of the canvas and into the painting is wonderful. This lasts from L5 to 11:

a parting in the canvas weave
we’re flying effortlessly into it
over the Avon and the water meadows.

The intervening miles, ideas and years
are arc-sparks spinning from the piercing eye
that drills through centuries, through the cathedral
into the buzz of a late winter evening.


But then it's only when we get to 'teetering jailbait' that we realise the N has magically travelled from Constable's time to the present, rather than the expected (for me at least) reverse. I suppose this is a nice reversal of expectations, but it threw me a bit and seven lines seemed a long time before it became clear. Then I kind of thought, well you could get the same effect from literally just getting on the train and going to Salisbury. Or anywhere in England.

And I suppose I wondered what the poem was trying to say, what I should make of the connections, beyond 'Well Salisbury's not what it used to be in Constable's time! It's full of tarts and Russian double agents getting poisoned!'

But. These are nits nits nits. The controversial 'teetering' lines are perfect. As others have suggested, if they are metrically shaky what could be more appropriate to form fitting content? (John, I love that Dylan song and the simile).

'The borborygmus of a living city' is brilliant. Obvs. As is ending on 'knob'. Obvs. And I have the sense that the poet is in control and that I'm probably wrong. Always nice.

So. It's a rich poem. All my nits are tentative. I really liked it, with questions and nits which I assume are required of these hallowed DE halls.



Edit: cross-posted with Martin
Edit edit: my appreciation of 'knob' as the final word is a private joke. I wrestled with revealing this, but it feels only fair. Hmm. Are private jokes more or less irritating when someone says, 'it's a private joke'. It's a risk I'll take.

Last edited by Mark McDonnell; 08-05-2018 at 04:16 PM.
Reply With Quote
  #13  
Old 08-05-2018, 04:50 PM
Martin Elster Martin Elster is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Connecticut, USA
Posts: 5,350
Default

Ann,

What I meant by “I know where you got that penultimate line” was that it appeared in the Exquisite Corpse 2 game at D&A:

the shards of lab glass strewn across the doormat

(which is one of the ones I came up with)

I’m flattered that you stole it!

“Lesser artists borrow, great artists steal.” —Igor Stravinsky

Regarding the door knob, I was not thinking of what Mark thought until he said it.
Though, if it's private, I have no idea what it's about.
Reply With Quote
  #14  
Old 08-05-2018, 05:33 PM
Jayne Osborn's Avatar
Jayne Osborn Jayne Osborn is offline
Administrator
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Middle England
Posts: 5,492
Default

now and then a shriek
from a bright knot of teetering jailbait
half-balancing on impossible heels.


Unless I'm totally mistaken, I'm getting the impression from others' comments that they think this is just ONE girl... but I'm assuming ''a bright knot of teetering jailbait'' is a mass noun referring to a bunch of young girls (I haven't heard ''jailbait" for many a year - great expression, Annie!)

That's all I've got time for right now, as it's bedtime. I'll return.

Jayne
Reply With Quote
  #15  
Old 08-05-2018, 08:58 PM
Martin Elster Martin Elster is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Connecticut, USA
Posts: 5,350
Default

Now that Jayne mentioned it, I think she is correct about “knot.” Somehow I overlooked all that jailbait.

knot: a small tightly packed group of people: the little knot of people clustered around the doorway.
Reply With Quote
  #16  
Old 08-06-2018, 02:18 AM
Ann Drysdale's Avatar
Ann Drysdale Ann Drysdale is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: Old South Wales (UK)
Posts: 4,224
Default

Thanks everyone. I'm working on a proper reply to you all. I find it hard to reply "straight into the box" without immediate regret or later embarrassment. When it matters, I create a word document, polish it up and paste it in. It's how I roll (as it were). Thanks.
Reply With Quote
  #17  
Old 08-06-2018, 02:34 AM
Mark McDonnell Mark McDonnell is offline
Member
 
Join Date: May 2016
Location: England
Posts: 2,114
Default

Were people confused about 'knot' referring to more than one girl? I didn't get that impression. It seems clear that it does.
Reply With Quote
  #18  
Old 08-06-2018, 03:53 AM
Jayne Osborn's Avatar
Jayne Osborn Jayne Osborn is offline
Administrator
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Middle England
Posts: 5,492
Default

"...and jailbait on her impossible heels” and: "Now that Jayne mentioned it, I think she is correct about “knot.” Somehow I overlooked all that jailbait" indicate that the impression I got was correct, Mark!

Jayne
Reply With Quote
  #19  
Old 08-06-2018, 04:27 AM
Mark McDonnell Mark McDonnell is offline
Member
 
Join Date: May 2016
Location: England
Posts: 2,114
Default

Ah yes, I missed that first comment from Aaron P. I think I got sidetracked by his link and skimmed the rest. Well spotted Sherlock!
Reply With Quote
  #20  
Old 08-06-2018, 06:12 AM
Ann Drysdale's Avatar
Ann Drysdale Ann Drysdale is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: Old South Wales (UK)
Posts: 4,224
Default

Aaron P (and N) No, those lines aren’t IP, are they. Sorry about that. I hadn’t really thought beyond ten when I made them.

But I did enjoy the Clash of the Aarons they created. I sat watching it develop like Guinevere, clutching her handkerchief as she watched a joust, wondering at whose feet she should drop it.

Andrew, thanks for wading in and letting me believe that I can get away with it.

But Aaron N’s last point is well taken. That first stanza is a mess. It has confused several people as it should convey that the poem began at the link Mark posted, took the poet back to the link Aaron P posted and then went back again to where it started, zooming in on a tiny detail in the first picture in the way that Martin spotted, the notion of an opening sequence (zoom here being used from the same wordbank where I keep “dissolve” that came in Aaron’s recent “Memento Mori”).

John, thank you. I had never seen that hat and now I’ll never forget it. I sought out the full lyrics and loved it even more, but wish I could stop seeing Jackie Kennedy’s face under fashion icon she initiated and that Dylan’s girl has obviously mindlessly picked up on, like my jailbait in their Beyoncé heels.

Martin, yes, I took your line and flew with it, but I trimmed it to fit. The shards had to go, and although it was the “lab” glass that took me straight to the Skripals, it was too “informed” for my poem’s point of view. You, too, see the threadbare fabric of that first stanza. I will address it. After all, I owe it to you to make good on that theft.

Mark, yes. I dropped this in the deep end for that very reason. I wanted to know if it stood up to the scrutiny of its fierce denizens. I wanted them to jump on it like Dylan on the hat, to see if it was real.

In one important point it isn’t. That first stanza needs death and resurrection. You were confused, and I see now that that “we” is a real bummer. The other person is you, or whoever happens to be reading the poem. It was in a sort of David Attenborough whisper “we are in a clearing in the Amazon jungle hoping to observe the mating dance of the splayfooted angioplast…” I need to get the reader on board through a better opening. I’m on the case.

I’m glad you enjoyed the flight. I’d hoped the phrase “through centuries” would prepare you for what to expect when the Tardis door opened (though I didn’t have Dr W in mind till he/she popped in as I wrote that).

What was the poem trying to say? I’ll try to explain in a bit, but it’s often difficulty with expressing a thing in prose that makes me write a poem. You were pretty well there with 'Well Salisbury's not what it used to be in Constable's time! It's full of tarts and Russian double agents getting poisoned!' which was where I started when Martin planted the thought.

I’m glad you like “borborygmus”. It always makes me smile (and think of Walter Ancarrow, who used it, too).

And now, like the poem, we home in on the knob. Mark, you did right to confess to your prior knowledge. This was a “private joke” only to the extent that I told Mark about it recently, in a hostelry, over a few ales. Now you shall all know of it. You see, from the very start the poem ended on that word, despite its being the wrong one. The reason it’s the wrong one is clear if you look at the picture in the link Mark posted. The door doesn’t have a knob, it has a handle. However, I wanted the round, full-stoppedness of the idea of a brass knob as the gold eye of the target that my flying thought-arrow was going to hit – whup. I also realised the grubby overtones of the word itself and wondered whether that would scupper the poem. I was reasoning aloud (as I do) explaining my choice to a sort of composite Spherian that I keep in a cupboard and heard myself saying “I could avoid the naughty nuance by using the right word – handle – but it ends on an unstressed syllable and the poem needs the thrust of a masculine ending…” and then I found myself howling with laughter all by myself. And when I calmed down, I decided to stick with it. Knob, knob, knob. As Aaron said to Aaron “suck it up” and now I’m in a hole and must stop digging.

But this gets me to what I’m trying to say, which is what the poem was trying to do. To show how thoughts can skip like the right sort of stones over the right sort of lake or bounce unpredictably like a ball thrown cheerfully against a rough wall. I went from a trigger “lab glass” (Lab? Porton Down?) to a word “Salisbury” and then to a memory – oh, the first sight of that picture, seen suddenly from the very place I specified. Yessss. Then the journey back to the first thought via outsiderliness and prejudice and empathy and fear and hoping to bring you with me in a Frostian “you come, too”.

I went, too, from tears (on a different thread) via joyful tinkering and unseemly laughter to a thing I dared to submit to a jury of my peers. All poetry is “found” poetry. We look in different places. Button boxes and ditty bags, the works of masters, “silly”games.

Even when we are making sadness and horror with our finding, there is still fierce joy in the pursuit of it. I am happy each time I take that ride, fearing that it might be the last, knowing that one day it will be – and I don’t want it to stop. Not ever.

I shall rework the first stanza, see how it feels without “we” and, since the zoominess seems to have been apparent in the body of it, perhaps a new title would sit better. “Sarum” perhaps – how’s that for a pillbox hat?
Reply With Quote
Reply

Bookmarks

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Forum Jump



Forum Right Top
Forum Left Bottom Forum Right Bottom
 
Right Left
Member Login
Forgot password?
Forum LeftForum Right


Forum Statistics:
Forum Members: 7,906
Total Threads: 19,281
Total Posts: 248,879
There are 106 users
currently browsing forums.
Forum LeftForum Right


Forum Sponsor:
Donate & Support Able Muse / Eratosphere
Forum LeftForum Right
Right Right
Right Bottom Left Right Bottom Right

Hosted by ApplauZ Online