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Old 09-07-2018, 10:11 PM
Jan Iwaszkiewicz's Avatar
Jan Iwaszkiewicz Jan Iwaszkiewicz is offline
Join Date: Oct 2001
Location: Hunter Valley, NSW, Australia
Posts: 2,542

Back on line again!

Thank you Ralph

The form has its strengths.

Thank you Aaron

I will edit accordingly.

Thank you Daniel

Pain is universal is it not?

Thank you Ann

you read it right.

Thank you Martin

Much appreciated.

Thank you John R

The changes will be minor but I feel some are necessary.

Welcome John J

Maybe it is a difference in usage but ‘away’ carries much with it.

1 to or at a distance from a particular place or person.
2 at a specified distance
3 at a specified future distance in time.
4 towards a lower level; downwards.
5 conceptually to one side, so as no longer to be the focus of attention
6 into an appropriate place for storage or safekeeping.
7 into non-existence.
8 constantly, persistently, or continuously.

Yes on the ‘chain’ I will edit accordingly.

Thank you for your help it is appreciated.

Thank you again Ann

I will give ‘cable’ a run.

Hello again John J

I think that have answered that above. Thank you for the kindness of a revisit.
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Old 09-08-2018, 11:07 AM
David Callin David Callin is offline
Join Date: Jun 2014
Location: Ellan Vannin
Posts: 2,058

I like this a lot, Jan.

That "raven road" does seem wonderfully ... well, either Anglo-Saxon or Norse.

I like "her heart's away" - that actually sounds more Gaelic, perhaps, but I really don't mind.

I had to look up "geansai". Shame on me!

Good poem.


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Old 09-09-2018, 09:49 AM
Jan Iwaszkiewicz's Avatar
Jan Iwaszkiewicz Jan Iwaszkiewicz is offline
Join Date: Oct 2001
Location: Hunter Valley, NSW, Australia
Posts: 2,542

Yes indeed David,

'raven road'? I am not sure whether I have just lifted that kenning from an unreliable memory or not, but I was pleased to get rid of the clashing stress in 'crow path' and it does have an echo of 'raven harvest'.

'away'? So much of the older forms of Australian speech have quite an Irish underpinning that I find their usage available when I call for it.

The geansai is straight from the Channel Isle and tongue twisted into Celtic usage then given a mythology in the 1930s that was created and propagated by Heinz Edgar Kiewe.

Thank you

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Old 09-10-2018, 09:02 PM
A. Sterling A. Sterling is offline
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Join Date: Jun 2018
Location: East Coast, U.S.A.
Posts: 39

Hello Jan,

I really don’t have anything to add other than my admiration. It’s painful. It’s beautiful. It pulls you in. Reading it, I feel like this is exactly the kind of thing the old alliterative verse was meant for - although I guess that's the feeling any good use of a form ought to give, regardless of its history.
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Old 09-10-2018, 10:25 PM
Erik Olson Erik Olson is offline
Join Date: Apr 2015
Location: Portland, OR
Posts: 1,769


I had forgotten about this one, but I am glad to have caught it again since I enjoyed the read very much. I was wondering what the raven road is.
clutched by a ragged litter of gulls[,]
the chains cboats bite through bitter water
The transition from gulls to boats is unclear, and it looks like a run-on sentence, I am afraid. Neither is it clear, in the absence of a period or other punctuation, whether the second stanza indeed continues the first as convention would have it or not. It is more misleading with the punctuation to indicate a stop gone missing; while I understand that you are trying to be experimental and appreciate that spirit, I wonder however if this is for the better? Maybe. As is, a first-time reader has no reason not to read the second stanza as continuing the sentence from the first stanza, no marker having been given to indicate otherwise and that being the default way of reading, no? Yet this sees us stumble against what was not intended which we deduce when it makes little sense. We can then self-correct after, but is the initial snag that reading in the conventional default way must encounter avoidable? I would think it preferable to sidestep given the choice. Maybe the hiccup with subsequent self-correction is recompensed by some other advantage. It gives me pause since it seems not ideal.
cloven by pain, her heart’s away
the chains cwasted and wailing on a tainted sea
I wonder why the grammatically requisite comma that offsets any introductory phrase (save leeway for those of less than three words) is in the first stanza and the one above, yet missing from the others. Such as here:
cloaked by steel sheets of rain[,]
the chains cthe stacks of wicker baskets wait.
With the sudden lapse into non-observance of the comma, unlike before, cloaked by steel sheets of rain the stacks of wicker baskets wait is grammatically one long clause.

These minor nits aside, the imagery is very rich, and I think the form well serves the content. I would not change anything except for some few punctuation refinements here and there, and those are easily done. I reckon you have now essentially a gem on your hands and are on the verge of a surefire one at that. Congratulations!


Last edited by Erik Olson; 09-11-2018 at 12:53 AM.
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Old 09-11-2018, 02:34 PM
Mark McDonnell Mark McDonnell is offline
Join Date: May 2016
Location: England
Posts: 2,450


I've been AWOL from sphere-world for a couple of weeks and missed this one. Hope it's not too bad form to bump it up when all I have is more praise. It uses words so that they can be felt in the mouth like pebbles.
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Old 09-13-2018, 04:48 PM
Michael Cantor Michael Cantor is offline
Join Date: Oct 2001
Location: Plum Island, MA; Santa Fe, NM
Posts: 10,646

And still more praise. What I particularly like is that this is an old fashioned poem - alliterative and accentual - but sounds as it it was written in this century. The sonics are gorgeous - grabbed me by the throat from the first few lines, and just kept getting better. No real comments - just applause.
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Old 09-13-2018, 08:17 PM
Jan Iwaszkiewicz's Avatar
Jan Iwaszkiewicz Jan Iwaszkiewicz is offline
Join Date: Oct 2001
Location: Hunter Valley, NSW, Australia
Posts: 2,542

Thank you A.Sterling and welcome.

I look forward to your comments Erik you are always so generous in response.

The ‘raven road’ may be a kenning too far, the sky is the road of the ravens, ravens are the harbingers of death, since the clouds tear apart on the cliffs the wind is coming onshore therefore bringing tidings of death.

clutched by a ragged litter of gulls
boats bite through bitter water

I have changed birds and boats and the verb hopefully now clearer.

I am still thinking on the punctuation and am somewhat conflicted.

Thank you for your kind words.

Thank you Mark. Pebbles indeed.

Thank you Michael, you are very kind.
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