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
  #1  
Old 08-24-2018, 01:43 PM
Martin Elster Martin Elster is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Connecticut, USA
Posts: 5,492
Default Dog Gone

Revision 3

Charlie


You had the borough’s loudest bark,
yet far preferred to play than brawl.
Now you’re lost in a place so dark

you cannot find a tree to mark,
nor a patch of lawn on which to sprawl.
You had the city’s lustiest bark,

loved chasing chipmunks in the park,
came running when you heard me call.
Now you’re lost in a land so dark

the frisbees wander off their arc.
No odors there, nor even a ball
to fetch. Inside my dreams, you bark

then leap in the rapids on a lark.
The leash I’m grasping snaps as you fall
to the cataract of timeless dark.

I catch a glimpse, a familiar spark
of brown and white. I see you crawl,
roll over, sit, hear one faint bark
from the farthest, darkest land of dark.


L2 was "outclassing canines large and small."



Revision 2

The Lost Dog


You had the borough’s loudest bark,
a truck horn in a concert hall.
Now you’re lost in a place so dark

you cannot find a tree to mark,
nor a patch of lawn on which to sprawl.
You had the city’s lustiest bark,

loved chasing chipmunks in the park,
came running when you heard me call.
Now you’re lost in a land so dark

the frisbees freeze and plunge mid arc,
nor are there smells, or even a ball
to fetch. Inside my dreams, you bark

and howl, then leap in a lake on a lark.
I’m searching, scrambling through a squall,
through the everlasting dark

until I catch a glimpse, a spark
of brown and white. I see you crawl,
roll over, sit, hear one faint bark
from the farthest, darkest land of dark.


S5L1 was (temporarily) "alert as a tiger shark"



Revision 1

The Lost Dog


You had the borough’s loudest bark
like a truck horn in a concert hall.
Now you’re lost in a place so dark

you cannot find a tree to mark,
nor a patch of lawn on which to sprawl.
You had the city’s lustiest bark,

loved chasing chipmunks in the park,
came running when you heard me call.
Now you’re lost in a land so dark

the frisbees freeze and plunge mid arc,
nor are there odors to enthrall
your sniffer. In my dreams, you bark

and howl. I search and scour the stark
wilderness, scrambling through a squall,
through the everlasting dark

until I catch a glimpse, a spark
of brown and white. I see you crawl,
roll over, sit, hear one faint bark
from the farthest corner of the dark.



The Lost Dog

You had the borough’s loudest bark
like a tenor in a music hall.
Now you’re lost in a place so dark

you cannot see the trees to mark,
nor blades of grass on which to sprawl.
You had the city’s loudest bark,

loved chasing chipmunks in the park,
came running when you heard me call.
Now you’re in a place so dark

the frisbees don’t know how to arc,
nor are there odors to enthrall
your nostrils. In my dreams, you bark

and howl. I search and scour the stark
wilderness, scrambling through a squall,
through the everlasting dark

until I catch a glimpse, a spark
of brown and white. I see you crawl,
roll over, sit, hear one faint bark
from the farthest corner of the dark.

Last edited by Martin Elster; 09-03-2018 at 12:04 PM.
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 08-24-2018, 07:05 PM
Aaron Poochigian Aaron Poochigian is offline
Distinguished Guest
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: New York, NY
Posts: 3,820
Default

Hello, Martin. This is good. The repetend builds from "borough" to "city," for example, and there is similar development throughout.

I only wonder, at the end, that the ghost dog has enough strength to roll over and yet can only emit a "faint bark." Am I being too nitpicky?
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 08-24-2018, 07:27 PM
Martin Elster Martin Elster is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Connecticut, USA
Posts: 5,492
Default

Hi Aaron,

Thanks for reading this and for you comments. I'm happy to hear that you like it. I see what you mean about rolling over. I was, just now, having my daily training session with my pooch, which includes "roll over." He not only does it on voice command, but also by hand signal.

What I think is happening in the poem is, the N has a memory of his dog doing basic tricks, like crawl, roll over, and sit. It's a memory or a dream, even if the real dog isn't actually doing these things. In fact, the mutt could even be deceased. Whether it's a ghost or just in the N's imagination is left open. Does that make any sense?

PS - Thanks, by the way, for noticing the development.

Last edited by Martin Elster; 08-24-2018 at 08:40 PM.
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 08-24-2018, 11:09 PM
Mary Meriam's Avatar
Mary Meriam Mary Meriam is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: usa
Posts: 7,093
Default

Hi Martin, I think you're cheating too much on the form. Isn't the whole point of the villanelle to repeat the same lines? I realize poets often vary the lines, but I think you go overboard here. I like the alliteration in L1 - it's a good line. Why not push yourself more to follow through with more good lines?
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 08-24-2018, 11:49 PM
Erik Olson Erik Olson is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2015
Location: Portland, OR
Posts: 1,635
Default

Martin,

There is some good development here. I do agree with Mary, however. I think it takes too many liberties with what is a strict form. What is so impressive about successful villanelles to me is partly how they can develop yet within such strict parameters. But here, I feel like those strictures are bent too much where I expect adherence by default. I will return with more later. I am dog-tired and so to bed.

Cheers,
Erik
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 08-24-2018, 11:55 PM
Andrew Frisardi Andrew Frisardi is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2003
Location: Lazio, Italy
Posts: 4,548
Default

The “place so dark” and what follows make me think this is about the N remembering his beloved dog, who has died. I like the specific memories, and the dreamlike part near the end is poignant.

A few thoughts:

L2: As someone who regularly loses sleep over dogs barking in the neighborhood, line 2’s analogy between the dog and a concert tenor is a little hard to swallow. A sense of humor there would go down easier, as in, “like a screecher in music hall.”
Line 4: Dogs mainly smell (not “see”) which trees to mark.
Line 5: Would you consider changing “blades of grass” to “spreads of grass”? The individual blades seem less the point.

S4L1: Frisbees don’t actually “know” anything, and since the poem’s not generally personifying things, I’d change the image. Maybe: “the frisbees have a hidden arc”?
S4L3: I know you changed the word in your last poem, but I love “sniffer,” and here it really works: “nostrils” to “sniffer”?

Regarding form, I don’t think you need the villanelle for this. It gave you a structure for getting this far, but I think you could move further away from it, leaving only a “ghost” villanelle, and the poem would actually be better for it.

Enjoyed,

Andrew
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 08-25-2018, 01:00 AM
Martin Elster Martin Elster is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Connecticut, USA
Posts: 5,492
Default

Mary, Erik, and Andrew,

Many thanks for commenting. I made several tweaks with your thoughts in mind, to get this piece moving in the right direction. I posted a tentative revision.

Erik, thanks for letting me know you like the development. Please see my reply to Andrew about taking liberties with the form.

Mary, I usually do my best not to “cheat” in strict repeating forms, but on occasion I do if I think it’s right for the individual poem. I did, however, heighten some more lines with alliteration. It didn’t take long, since it was only a few spots. But I think it helps. Thanks for suggesting it!

Andrew, I’m going with your idea of a “ghost” villanelle. Poetic license. Sorry to hear that you are losing sleep due to dogs barking. Where I live, it’s traffic and sirens. I replaced "tenor" with "Tarzan."

Quote:
The “place so dark” and what follows make me think this is about the N remembering his beloved dog, who has died. I like the specific memories, and the dreamlike part near the end is poignant.
Thanks. Your reading is what I had in mind.

I was going to say “smell” the trees (S2), but I already have “odors” later. So I replaced “see” with “find,” which is a little less specific.

I tweaked the frisbee line (though I didn’t mind personifying the frisbee).

I changed “nostrils” to “sniffer.” Since I took it out of that other poem, I should use it here, which is much more apt.

Incidentally, speaking of that other poem, I shortened all the lines to tet, which I think quickens the flow and reads better. If you feel like taking a look, I am curious to hear if you like it more (or not).

I’m pleased that you all like this overall.

Thanks folks.

Last edited by Martin Elster; 08-25-2018 at 02:32 AM.
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 08-25-2018, 04:25 AM
Andrew Frisardi Andrew Frisardi is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2003
Location: Lazio, Italy
Posts: 4,548
Default

Good changes, Martin. One thing, however: Tarzan barking struck me as unintentionally funny. Maybe another image there would be better?
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 08-25-2018, 01:47 PM
Rick Mullin's Avatar
Rick Mullin Rick Mullin is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Northern New Jersey
Posts: 7,716
Default

Hi Martin,

The four count lines heighten the THIS IS A VILLANELLE effect somewhat. Otherwise this is fluid and moves along.

I would lose the "like" starting line two. Promote the simile to a metaphor and avoid kind of skipping a beat.

enthrall / your sniffer is pushing it a bit--I don't think the narrator would phrase it as such if the "all" rhyme weren't required. It is good that you avoid actually ending any line with "all"

And "stark" is one of those word one uses sparingly. Again, it seems "rhyme driven."

Rick
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 08-25-2018, 02:46 PM
Martin Elster Martin Elster is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Connecticut, USA
Posts: 5,492
Default

Hi Rick,

Thanks for commenting.

Yes, I suppose a 4-beat lines does slightly emphasize the villanelle form more than pentameter would. Thanks, however, for saying this is fluid and flows.

Regarding “like” in L2, I was debating whether to have a simile or actual metaphor. You’ve convinced me to go with the latter. Thanks for mentioning it.

I see what you mean by “enthrall / your sniffer.” It’s not a very vernacular phrase, is it? So I changed it to “nor a ball / to fetch.” I might as well have a ball in the poem.

I replaced “stark” (S5, L1) with something more unexpected. Thanks for pushing me to find more interesting words for the end rhymes.

I'm going to try: "Watchful as a tiger shark."
or maybe "attentive as ..." for the alliteration, but I like the sound of "watchful" better.

I also tweaked the last line to try to heighten the effect of the darkness. I hope it's not too overdone.

Best,

Martin

Last edited by Martin Elster; 08-25-2018 at 03:18 PM.
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: 7,926
Total Threads: 19,485
Total Posts: 251,772
There are 243 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