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Old 08-24-2018, 01:37 PM
Andrew Frisardi Andrew Frisardi is offline
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Default The Fever

Removed for cleaning.

Last edited by Andrew Frisardi; 09-12-2018 at 11:34 PM.
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Old 08-24-2018, 01:52 PM
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Aaron Novick Aaron Novick is offline
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Andrew, I really like this. There's a lot going on. The nursery rhyme section captures the mother's fluster and anxiousness really well. And the whole thing has an appropriately feverish tone.

Metrically, it's all over the place. In the end I think it works, but it's worth noting that it took me some time to find the piece's rhythm. The first two lines led me to expect (often headless) iambic tet throughoutóthis was disrupted by the third line (though I guess the fourth line, which is pentameter, compensates for it). And the rest of the piece moves between tet and tri, often iambic but freely substituting.

For now, one concrete suggestion. In S5L2, I do lose the rhythm a bitóthe line's a bit unwieldy. I think I'd prefer it as "through him" rather than "through his veins".
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Old 08-24-2018, 02:27 PM
Martin Elster Martin Elster is online now
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Andrew, I like this a lot. Itís full of vivid images, both real and surreal. The distortion of the nursery rhymes really convey the motherís worry. The strangest line is the one about the bowl of sunlight on the table at night.

The poem, I think, would be more singable and easier to read, flow more smoothly, if the lines were more regular. Even if I read it as accentual (not accentual-syllabic), it seems irregular. That might be what you were going for, but for me itís a bit too bumpy.
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Old 08-24-2018, 04:38 PM
Erik Olson Erik Olson is offline
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Andrew,

There is quite a lot to appreciate here.
For one slight nit, I reckon a comma should fall after the introductory phrase ‘In a shuttered room.’ It might, I suppose, be just short enough to get away without one, but I prefer the line with one and reckon that more grammatically robust. Seeing as there is an article before ‘wainscot,’ I might like to see one likewise before ‘walls.’
A golden bowl of sunlight
brims the table late at night.
The image of this excerpt is surrealistic. I can picture ‘a golden bowl of sunlight’ as a bowl filled with the light of the sun, but I wonder how a bowl itself can ‘brim the table’? Let alone one of ‘sunlight’ during the ‘night’? It could be the moon I figured. If that be so, I am afraid I am not much for the light of the moon described by the word for that of the sun and thus having to ignore the primary sense to ‘sunlight’ in order to derive an elliptical one that contradicts it. This would be my reservation, for my part.

Ever since I learned how the theme of puberty figures in Jack and the Beanstalk, I confess I have never been able to hear the tale without picking up on the undertones of the same. A short article with an explanation of the theme to which I refer: Jack & the Beanstalk. Half of me wants to say fie to the obtrusion of this Freudian interpretation yet it lurks uncomfortably not far behind every part and image of the story. None of your fault, of course.

The evocative and distinctive imagery is what I enjoy most about this poem. The surrealism recompenses the want of a solid foothold by which to grasp an overarching import by the ambiance of mystery which it impresses. Disclaimer: This piece is still fresh for me. If nothing else, I well perceive that the mother is ridden by anxiety. The lack of surrounding context, the paradoxical imagery, and the ambiguity of a raison d'Ítre to the whole serve to evoke stranger mystery, like an impressionistic or hazy dreamscape. Perhaps that is sufficient of itself. It also occurs to me that so much that is bleary fits the delirium of a fever. The bleary came through to me and this is well evoked. That said, something seemed almost too sedate, I venture, in contrast to the writhing violence of a fever. I think what led to that impression is the opening here which sounds hushed to me:
In a shuttered room a boy
hears the nearby breathing sea.
Beautiful as it is, the sound painting here yet seems rather reposeful than agitated, rather boding quiet than havoc to me. I mean the quality of the sounds themselves mainly, yet I think of hearing the sea in the background as soothing.
It appears that you are missing a comma after the introductory clause ‘ In her skin's translucence.’ I also think that this could be made more metrical. Or, rather, that is what I might try at least were it mine. Well painted!

Cheers,

Erik

Last edited by Erik Olson; 08-24-2018 at 11:19 PM.
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Old 08-24-2018, 10:34 PM
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Mary Meriam Mary Meriam is offline
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Hi Andrew, I really like the poem. It seems to me that the meter is meant to reflect the boy's feverish mind. Like his mind, the meter fades in and out of reality. The poem/meter makes me feel a little seasick, though there's also a kindly maternal feeling that keeps the boat steady.
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Old 08-24-2018, 11:07 PM
Andrew Frisardi Andrew Frisardi is offline
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Aaron, Martin, Eric, Mary: thanks for stopping by. And here I’d thought the meter was pretty regular, with some bumps on the way but still pretty clearly 3-4-3-4 throughout. My one uncertainty there is in line 4 of S1, which really does come out pentameter. I might change that, if it bugs people.

Aaron, the effect you describe of getting disoriented in the rhythm is, as Mary says, meant to go along with the boy’s hallucinatory state. I’m glad you felt it works in the end. The line you mention, S5L2, has been tweaked, changing another word, as I like the specificity of the veins rather than just “him.”

Martin, I’m glad you enjoyed it. See my comments above about the bumpiness. This is actually smoothed out compared to what it was before.

Eric, I really appreciate the detailed read. I’m more of a light-on-the-commas guy, where the syntax doesn’t really require it, in writing such as this. The part about adding an article before “walls” I am thinking on. I might go for it. For the image of the bowl of sunlight brimming, all the questions you ask are precisely the point: it can’t totally be pictured, or rather it’s an image in motion, aka “surreal.” About Jack and the Beanstalk, you’ve got the wrong Jack: check out Jack be nimble and Little Jack Horner, in Mother Goose. See my comments above about the uneven meter.

Thanks, Mary, “a little seasick” sounds about right, and yes, that’s how I view the meter too.

Any other specific takes on the meter from people looking in, I’d be interested in your view. I did want it choppy and unpredictable but there are a lot of ways to do that.
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Old 08-24-2018, 11:28 PM
Erik Olson Erik Olson is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Andrew Frisardi View Post
... I’m more of a light-on-the-commas guy, where the syntax doesn’t really require it, in writing such as this... About Jack and the Beanstalk, you’ve got the wrong Jack: check out Jack be nimble and Little Jack Horner, in Mother Goose.
No kidding, I need to brush up on my nursery rhymes. Indeed, I all but forgot about that one, until now. Of course, that other Jack! By the way, a comma is needed after 'In her skin's translucence'. Introductory phrases and long phrases must always be followed by a comma, for the syntax requires it. Actually, one is needed also after ‘in a room’ for it to be grammatically correct (I had said earlier that the comma is optional in cases of short introductory clauses, which is true except, in fact, only of no more than three words; otherwise it is binding.)
Incorrect: In the room of his friend the boy was playing.
Correct: In the room of his friend, the boy was playing.
Cheers,
Erik

Last edited by Erik Olson; 08-25-2018 at 12:16 AM.
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Old 08-25-2018, 12:17 AM
Andrew Frisardi Andrew Frisardi is offline
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Youíre right, Eric. Commas added to those spots. Itís better with them. Thanks.
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Old 08-25-2018, 04:23 AM
Andrew Frisardi Andrew Frisardi is offline
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I made some changes based on Aaron's, Martin's, and Eric's comments. The meter's smoothed out in places, though I left some choppy bits in place.

Better now? Any parts from the earlier draft I should go back to?

Thanks.
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Old 08-25-2018, 10:54 AM
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Edward Zuk Edward Zuk is offline
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Hi Andrew,

Would you consider reordering the stanzas so the two nursery rhymes are not together? This would increase the interplay between the narrative and nursery rhymes:

The Fever

In a shuttered room, a boy
hears the nearby breathing sea.
His mother towels his brow,
reciting verses from the nursery.

Jack, oh Jack be nimble,
stick your thumb in a festive pie.
You're in a corner, Jack,
donít fade away now, quick, come back!


He stares. The room withers.
Its walls curl, the wainscot blisters.
A golden bowl of sunlight
brims the table late at night.

Your lifeís in a thimble, low
and trembling, while a candlestick
awaits your leap. Now pick:
Eeny meeny miny moe!


Her gentle voice fluoresces
through his veins. Her skin's translucence
shows a doubloon-moon
inside the brackish bones of a schooner.

I thought this was fresh and effective.
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