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Old 09-05-2018, 03:05 PM
Rick Mullin's Avatar
Rick Mullin Rick Mullin is offline
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Northern New Jersey
Posts: 7,738


I find this metrically quite shaky.

Last NIGHT/, aLONE, / i enJOYED/ JUpiter

I can see granting you LAST NIGHT in the first foot, giving you

iamb, iamb, anapest, dactyl-- A weak hand, and short a card.

I can see granting you LAST NIGHT in the first foot, giving you five beats, but still very twisted meter.

with its CIR/ cles of GASes / and the BRIGHT/ er LIGHTS --no sure where to mark the feet, but I count 4 again.

that give it such a friendly, flaming feel. --perfect iambic pentameter here.

I could have easily stayed up all night. ---another 4-count

and so on.

Also, the "alone" in the first line I pull out adds nothing but a beat to the line, and seems metrically driven.


Last edited by Rick Mullin; 09-05-2018 at 03:08 PM.
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Old 09-05-2018, 04:28 PM
Allen Tice's Avatar
Allen Tice Allen Tice is offline
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Brooklyn, NY USA
Posts: 4,127

Martin, there's bad news too. The time in your feet when you are standing runs slower than that in your head because as long as you don't go deep underground your head is farther from the earth's center of gravity, and the inverse square law operates even in prose. You should lie down as often as possible or walk and stand on your hands to give your brain a chance to age more slowly. Tall people of all political persuasions suffer a dangerous accumulation of fast timing in their heads. I lie down on occasions for this reason; I don't want to outrun my feet.
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Old 09-05-2018, 05:19 PM
Martin Elster Martin Elster is offline
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Connecticut, USA
Posts: 5,646

I will keep that in mind, Allen. You are, of course, correct. The clocks in our feet do, literally, run slower than the clocks in our heads because of gravitational time dilation. Though the effect is extremely minuscule, it may be exaggerated in tall politicians.
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Old 09-06-2018, 04:17 AM
Erik Olson Erik Olson is offline
Join Date: Apr 2015
Location: Portland, OR
Posts: 1,760


To answer your request ...
I have an app on my phone and when I point
it toward the sky it recognizes planets,
or satellites, or other heavenly joints.
We have taken three lines already for nothing more than to explain what the app does or is, a lot of real estate for the background information before the least development upon it. What difference does it make if you were ‘alone’ to the poem? Any? Thus it seems a filler.
Last night, alone, I enjoyed Jupiter
with its circles of gases and the brighter lights
that give it such a friendly, flaming feel.
In sonnets all the more so, we have precious little space to develop, yet here we devote three lines to describing one planet. I always ask the question of my self as a habit, can I condense that? Does it even make a difference if we say last night? If not, it is acting like non-essential filler. Every word should be essential in contributing to the development of the poem.
I could have easily stayed up all night.
I think you already made clear by now that you were into Jupiter, so is this adding any idea new?
I knew, of course, the image is a graphic.
There is no way even our newest gadget
can capture Jupiter in all its glory
What do you mean by our newest gadget? App or any machine of man up to including satellites and high-powered telescopes? I mean how do you capture it in all its glory then? if not through a machine? Would a gadget like a telescope not be better than the naked eye to capture the distant object? So does this set up a false dichotomy then between viewing the planets with technology and viewing the planets without?
while playing space music, dark and tragic.
One would need to be an awful pedant
to want more from an app than location,
to ask for more from our earthly position.
It is a strange formulation this. So only a pedant would ask for an app to indicate more than the location? such as what would one ask? It is indistinct. What if you want the app to tell some info about the planet also, does that make us an ‘awful pedant’? It sounds overly judgmental besides fuzzy and half-baked ratiocination. I wonder if the subject, which let us admit is a bit slight, really gets beyond the humdrum advent of a guy who got bored of a cell phone app. Even if you want to write a sonnet, some topics might not end up lending themselves to the form, whereas others do. Just a thought.

Quick illustration for what it is worth:

I only have to point my phone
toward the sky for it to name
heavenly joints. Last night was shown:
Jupiter like a restless flame
in broad effulgence was unveiled;
it had a friendly, warming feel.
I could have studied it, derailed
till dawn, but knew it was unreal.


Last edited by Erik Olson; 09-06-2018 at 05:09 AM.
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Old 09-06-2018, 08:17 AM
John Riley John Riley is offline
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: North Carolina
Posts: 3,984

Thanks to you all. I now have some great notes on suggested fixes. What I do is copy them into the poems file and use them when I turn back to the poem. I'm working on other things right now but will no doubt come back to this. The first question to answer is am I going to maintain a sonnet? If so, I clearly have some work to do.

Thanks again for the help. It's generous.
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Old 09-17-2018, 12:03 PM
Daniel Kemper's Avatar
Daniel Kemper Daniel Kemper is offline
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: California
Posts: 695

Just to say, our iPhones are far more powerful than the Star-Trek tricorders! And generally stronger than the ship's computer too!
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