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  #11  
Old 08-12-2018, 04:57 AM
Aaron Novick's Avatar
Aaron Novick Aaron Novick is offline
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I think "on a plane" is more of a waste of words than "all the way". What else would it have flown on? A rocket? (One of Elon Musk's, perhaps?) "All the way" at least fits with the stanza's recapitulation of what the family is saying: look, it's him, can't you see the tusks, he came all the way from Delhi, etc.

Maybe there's something better, but "on a plane" isn't it.
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  #12  
Old 08-12-2018, 08:15 AM
John Isbell John Isbell is offline
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For a different take, I like on a plane. "All the way" reminds me unhelpfully of "the whole family", and Ganesha is on a plane rather than on, say, saffron wings. So it works for me.

Cheers,
John
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  #13  
Old 08-12-2018, 09:52 AM
Aaron Poochigian Aaron Poochigian is offline
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Aaron, John, I hear you, and I am undecided. I think I might prefer this new option. Hmn. Which is best?

He had flown here, immortal, out of Delhi.

Immortal, he had flown here out of Delhi.

The god had flown here all the way from Delhi.

The god had flown here on a plane from Delhi.

Last edited by Aaron Poochigian; 08-12-2018 at 09:58 AM.
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  #14  
Old 08-12-2018, 01:22 PM
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Aaron Novick Aaron Novick is offline
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I still think "all the way" is most in keeping with what you're doing at that point in the stanza: reflecting the family's loving descriptions of the statue. "Immortal" takes me out of that. If you do go with "immortal", I think it works better, both metrically and tonally, as the first word of the line rather than in the middle.

Also, FWIW, the very reason that John gives for preferring "on a plane"—that it cuts off the magical reading ("on saffron wings") and forces the literal reading ("on a plane")—to me speaks against it. The line's current ambiguity (yeah, we know the god probably rode on a plane, but the poem never says it didn't fly itself there) fits the poem's spirit.

Last edited by Aaron Novick; 08-12-2018 at 01:25 PM.
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  #15  
Old 08-12-2018, 01:55 PM
John Isbell John Isbell is offline
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Interesting point by Aaron N about the plane. Thanks Aaron.

Cheers,
John
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  #16  
Old 08-12-2018, 02:58 PM
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Woody Long Woody Long is offline
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Aaron —

Maybe forget about flying:

He had come to them all the way from Delhi.

still ambiguously at the God's volition, but more expressive of the family's familial relationship with Ganesha. It also gives the family some credit for something deeper than superstition.

In any case, I vote for all the way. The alternatives so far are both forced and clunky.

added in later:
I don't think all the way is a waste of words. It expresses and emphasizes the family's attitude (the god had come a long long distance (travail) to be with them!) If someone comes a long way to be with me that means something to me. (I'm being Mr. Obvious I guess.)

----------
BTW: the 3 instances of him in the poem, 2 italicized, 1 not. I suppose the reason is that the first 2 are attributed to the family & the 3rd to the N. But it might be more effective to italicize the 3rd also.

The whole family waist-deep in the water
took turns immersing him....


preserving the oomph of the family's relationship & suggesting some development in thought on the part of the N, & leading in to N's thoughts at the end.

— Woody

Last edited by Woody Long; 08-12-2018 at 03:21 PM. Reason: added remark re is "all the way" a waste of words?
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  #17  
Old 08-12-2018, 04:33 PM
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Edward Zuk Edward Zuk is offline
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Hi Aaron,

I like where this poem is going. The new line one, which the crack of the “k” sounds, is a definite improvement. Of your proposed lines 12, I prefer “The god had flown here all the way from Delhi.”

I wondered about the punctuation in lines 1-2, mainly the colon. What would you think about:

Sticks cracked with rhythm, and the barn cats scattered.
A late-night stranger. On my property.

As for the repetition of “urgent,” I think there’s a problem due to the fact that the feline speaker makes two different types of errors. In the first (“the moon was urgent”), the sentence structure is okay but the subject is weird, in the second he omits the verb (“holiday, urgent”). It seems more natural to have him make the same type of error twice:

the [blank] moon urgent, and a holiday,
urgent,

I’d prefer “so” for “and” in line 5.

In line 7, “well” should be capitalized.

I think the word “observed” in the final line is effective: there’s an implicit pun on observe (watching and religious observances).
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  #18  
Old 08-12-2018, 05:03 PM
Aaron Poochigian Aaron Poochigian is offline
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Thanks, all.

I am persauded that "The god had flown here all the way from Delhi" is the best in that, while being clear, it opens out into the ambiguity that I want (god flying/statue being flown on plane).

Edward, thank you very much. I have changed the punctuation in the opening two lines according to your specifications and I have capitalized Well. . .

I'm thinking about the rest.

Best,

Aaron
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  #19  
Old 08-14-2018, 02:26 AM
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Ann Drysdale Ann Drysdale is online now
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I'm still trying to explain what I mean about that line. When I said the "all the way" was wasted, I meant that it prevented you from saying something I felt was important, fixing the point of the transubstantiation I was trying to get across - I was toying with "his actual sacred self", though that's taking it too far for the "voice" of the poem

Do you see what I mean if I suggest:

The god himself, flown all the way from Delhi?
.

Last edited by Ann Drysdale; 08-14-2018 at 08:02 AM. Reason: striving for comprehensibility.
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  #20  
Old 08-14-2018, 07:54 AM
Jim Moonan Jim Moonan is offline
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This is an incredible insight into inclusion and the magical effects diverse thinking and mingling cultures and open-mindedness have on the very fabric of social life. If it weren't so subtly wrought it might become a rallying cry for those of us who know this is the way forward. I can see a 60 second commercial produced of this vignette that would have people buzzing.

I have absolutely no nits/crits. I'll let you follow the advice of others much better than I at that. I just wanted you to know that it hits home even in these times when it's hard to know where or what home is...
x
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