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  #11  
Old 08-30-2018, 05:05 PM
Aaron Poochigian Aaron Poochigian is offline
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Thank you, Bill.

I still can't decide between

Talking about it's very hard to do.

and

Talking of it's a painful thing to do.
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  #12  
Old 08-30-2018, 07:03 PM
Bill Carpenter Bill Carpenter is offline
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"Very" is a bit weak. I guess you felt "for me" was redundant. How about:

Talking of it's a hard thing to do.

At least that gives a nice spondee, if "thing" is on the slack side--but I won't complain since cosa is in the original--maybe there's a better word than "thing"? Job? "To do" isn't really any less redundant than "for me." I still prefer "Talking about it's hard for me to do.". Does "tough" fit for "hard"? Of course there's "hell."

Last edited by Bill Carpenter; 08-30-2018 at 07:26 PM.
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  #13  
Old 08-30-2018, 10:21 PM
Aaron Poochigian Aaron Poochigian is offline
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Bill, I like your proposal but I can't get it to work metrically. I think I will have to go with "painful thing."

I added a few more tercets--we're up to 18 lines now.
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  #14  
Old 08-31-2018, 02:27 AM
Andrew Frisardi Andrew Frisardi is offline
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I didn’t mention yesterday that I like your opening couple of lines very much. They’re so well known, even in English, but your version is fresh. I’d change “path” in line 3 to “way,” however, to preserved the important echo with via in line 12.

I like your solution for line 4. I’m still not entirely settled with “bristled with such density,” and feel that with the easy rhyme there, there may be a better solution. Ditto with “near-death misery.”

Lines 5-6 are very good, both sense- and sound-wise.

I love that line 10 opens with a question: that works very well. That whole tercet, I think, is the strongest of the bunch. One thing though: “authentic way” sounds New Agey. I get it that you don’t want to repeat “true” from line 2, but would “when I left off the true and faithful way” work? It’s truer to the (Christian) doctrinal flavor of verace.

In line 13, I’d change “slope” to “hill,” keeping it literal. It’s an important detail since Dante is foreshadowing Mount Purgatory there.

In line 16, “all the upper slopes” seems fillerish since we’d leave out “all” colloquially, so maybe “covering the upper slopes”?

I like your wording for the lines about the sun, including “trail / and highway.” Very nice.

That’s about it so far.

Btw, you should post the original lines and the Longfellow for the lines you’ve added.
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  #15  
Old 08-31-2018, 07:12 AM
Bill Carpenter Bill Carpenter is offline
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Ha, Aaron, you dodged my attempt to lure you into accepting the implied offbeat between stresses theorized by Derek Attridge and expounded by Tom Cable. I find it eminently plausible. There is a pause to reset between stresses like "hard thing," and counting it allows the line to work metrically. It is definitely not to everyone's taste though (bless you, Tim Murphy) and may not fit in with the other tools in your metrical tool box. (See Edward Zuk's essay on the individual character of poets' habits with iambic pentameter.)

Talking about it's a hard thing to do

avoids the problem and has nice shape with an initial substitution and a double iamb in feet 3 and 4.

Last edited by Bill Carpenter; 08-31-2018 at 07:17 AM.
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  #16  
Old 08-31-2018, 09:12 AM
Aaron Poochigian Aaron Poochigian is offline
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Thank you, gentlemen.

Andrew, I have worked with several of your suggestions in the revision.

"path" is no "road" in line 3.

Line 12 is now:

when I strayed from the true and faithful way.

Yes, thank you--I had meant to change "slope" to "hill" in line 13, though I prefer the more vivid image ("cloak") and the easy colloquiality of "cloaking all the upper slopes. . ."

Bill, yes, I know Cable and Attridge--they too smart for me. I'm just a blue-collar poet.

Thank you, both.
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  #17  
Old 08-31-2018, 10:02 AM
Roger Slater Roger Slater is offline
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A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step. Good luck if you're planning to visit the special hell that only those who translate the entire Inferno can comprehend.

I have little or no Italian, so I'll concentrate only on what strike me as issues with the English itself. (I've yet to read the other comments).

1. "came round" suggests a purposeful visit, not "I found myself." I have never seen "come round" used in quite that way. Also in that line, why not "life" instead of "lifetime"? "Halfway through life's journey..." (That would lose "our," which is arguably important, though I wouldn't miss it).

2. Dante calls it a forest, not a wilderness, thus allowing us to picture the image/metaphor. When you say "wilderness," I have no ability to picture what you're talking about. Yes, you say "woods" in the follow tercet, but it would be better if the reader didn't have to double back.

3. "Talking of it's" -- the contraction seems forced, especially when found among diction that is often elevated (e.g., slumber instead of sleep, "wrought," brute woods bristling, etc.). How about something like "To speak of it is hard for me to do"?

4. "renew the fear" doesn't seem quite right to me. You might "relive" the fear, but fear isn't a library book or a membership that gets renewed.

5. "at the time/ when" seems padded, the words "at the time" being entirely unnecessary if you're going to also say "when". Perhaps you can omit "when" from the next line and then change "strayed" to "wandered"?

6. Do you need "just" after "Standing"?
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  #18  
Old 08-31-2018, 10:11 AM
Aaron Poochigian Aaron Poochigian is offline
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Erroneous post (by Aaron--eous)

Last edited by Aaron Poochigian; 08-31-2018 at 10:24 AM.
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  #19  
Old 08-31-2018, 10:16 AM
Aaron Poochigian Aaron Poochigian is offline
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Roger, thank you for commenting.

I like your "halfway through life's journey."

"I came round" means here to wake up, to return to consciousness. I use it that way--after the passed out, he came round. . . in an abandoned warehouse. Squalid pigeons were . . ."

I will go for "hazy forest" for "dark wilderness"--"hazy" works better with "came round".

I like the contraction of "it's" in line 4. I would be more inclined to take our "wrought," for example.

"Renew" works just fine, I think: Just by thinking of the woods, I renew my fear of the woods. Clear. Simple.

Padding or not, "at the time" is in the original.

Thank you for "Halfway though life's journey"--sometimes the simplest and most obvious is best.

Best,

Aaron

Last edited by Aaron Poochigian; 08-31-2018 at 10:24 AM.
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  #20  
Old 09-05-2018, 11:25 PM
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Martin Rocek Martin Rocek is offline
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Hi Aaron,
I haven’t read all the commentary, just bits and pieces. I enjoyed reading your lively version.

I do agree with Robert that in S1L1“I came round” is a bit odd, the usual expression is “I came to”, I believe.
But I wasn’t unduly bothered by it.

In S5, the phrase “that had meant such fright/ in me” seems a bit odd. Perhaps “where I had such fright/ in me”?
Or “that filled me with fright/ before”

Thanks for the read!

Martin
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