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 09-05-2018, 01:24 PM
Rick Mullin's Avatar
Rick Mullin Rick Mullin is online now
Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Northern New Jersey
Posts: 7,701
Default Gravesite

The Great Fire

At lunch, they ask me where to find the grave
of Alexander Hamilton. “The other
side,” I tell them, pointing to the nave
and tower-shadowed trees. “I hate to bother
you...." Don’t tell me... Hamilton. The same.
Tomorrow I should think to bring a sign:
The Other Side of Trinity [an arrow
pointing right], and sit back from the line
of tourists searching wide-eyed on the narrow
paths between the headstones for a name
that Broadway brought to light outside the oldest
steeple on a precipice and port
of no return, September at its coldest
in a New York City of another sort,
more human-scale and redolent of flame.

________
Title was: Trinity Churchyard

Line 5 was: you...” Another comes. I give the same

Line 6 was: directions. I should one day bring a sign.

Line 7: “sit back” was “disengage”

Line 15: “and redolent of” was “. Susceptible to”
.

Last edited by Rick Mullin; 09-06-2018 at 01:15 PM.
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 09-05-2018, 01:56 PM
Susan McLean Susan McLean is online now
Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2001
Location: Iowa City, IA, USA
Posts: 7,516
Default

I like the poem, Rick. You need a space after the quotation marks in L3. I do wonder why flame is mentioned in the last line, since everything is susceptible to flame (notably the World Trade Center, in recent memory). So where is the contrast?

Susan
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 09-05-2018, 02:13 PM
Rick Mullin's Avatar
Rick Mullin Rick Mullin is online now
Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Northern New Jersey
Posts: 7,701
Default

Thanks Susan,

The contrast is meant to be between 1776 (Hamilton's time) and 2018. The direct reference is to the burning down of the entire city as it stood on September 21, 1776. At that time, buildings were far more flammable than the stone, steel, and glass structures that came after. There is an inevitable reflection forward to a much more contained, if infinitely hotter fire on Sept 11, 2001. I think I may need to replace "Susceptible".

RM


Note: Change in line 15

Last edited by Rick Mullin; 09-05-2018 at 03:20 PM.
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 09-05-2018, 03:16 PM
Allen Tice's Avatar
Allen Tice Allen Tice is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Brooklyn, NY USA
Posts: 3,995
Default

I'm confused because the fire you suggest was long before Hamilton's duel, so how do you justify the allusion? It reads as if you regularly lunch in that churchyard. On the other hand, my confusion apart, it seems to me more steady than some of yours and that feeling I like.
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 09-05-2018, 03:20 PM
Rick Mullin's Avatar
Rick Mullin Rick Mullin is online now
Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Northern New Jersey
Posts: 7,701
Default

Thanks Allen,


Yes, I eat lunch in the graveyard a lot.


But Hamilton had a history prior to the duel. For example,... he fought as an artilleryman and officer in the Continental Army in New York in 1776.
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 09-05-2018, 10:31 PM
John Jeffrey John Jeffrey is offline
New Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2013
Location: Connecticut
Posts: 22
Default

I quite like this—until “September” and the final three lines, which seem to take the poem in a direction other than where it was headed. Up to that point, we have a harried N, annoyed at the parade of suddenly-interested tourists, and then comes what I thought was the crux of the poem: Hamilton’s newfound fame through, of all places, a Broadway musical, and the contrast of that improbable neon-lighted celebrity against the real history in the “narrow paths between the headstones” and the “oldest steeple” in the graveyard of a 300+ year-old church.

But that never happens. Instead, there’s suddenly mention of September in a “New York City of another sort”? And of course I’m thinking 9/11 because, as with most people, mentioning September and NYC = 9/11. But I’m not sure why I’m there. I was with an irritated N and tourists and Hamilton and Broadway. And what’s the “port of no return”?

It’s a tenuous connection anyway, since Hamilton was almost certainly not a member of that church in 1776 when it burned in the NYC fire, though he attended years later after it changed from Anglican to Episcopal.

I think you should continue on the theme of old/new, history/entertainment, etc., through the eyes of the irritated N. (Which means the title should change to.)

--John J

By the way, I love the rhyme scheme. Is that something named, or is it your own invention?
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 09-05-2018, 11:04 PM
Martin Elster Martin Elster is online now
Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Connecticut, USA
Posts: 5,355
Default

Rick, I like this on the whole, but I was lost at “port of no return” and “redolent of flame.”

In answer to John’s question about the form, I believe this is Rick’s own invention. A new kind of sonnet.
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 09-06-2018, 04:25 AM
Rick Mullin's Avatar
Rick Mullin Rick Mullin is online now
Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Northern New Jersey
Posts: 7,701
Default

Thanks John and Martin,

I mean the port of no return to be New York itself at the start of the Revolution. Hamilton fought in the battles that took place around the city at the time of the Great Fire (Sept. 21, 1776). I do, of course, expect a fire in Manhattan in September to also evoke the more recent disaster.

John, I kind of like poems that don't go where I think they're going, and definitely thing that's OK when it happens.~,:^)

The main contrast I hope to bring forward is the city of towers and mindless tourists looking for the grave of some received sensational figure in history they know little about compared to Hamilton himself and the vitality and disaster of the city itself at that early time. Redolent of flame, I would hope , contrasts with wide-eyed and same. Revolutionary ardor in the air as well as a city actually on fire.

The form is one I invented. I call it a Third Sancerre (reference to three glasses of wine mentioned in the first one I wrote and to the three C rhymes). I think of it as a sonnet form.

Thanks again, and welcome to the Sphere, John,
RM

Last edited by Rick Mullin; 09-06-2018 at 04:29 AM.
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 09-06-2018, 02:22 PM
Erik Olson Erik Olson is online now
Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2015
Location: Portland, OR
Posts: 1,536
Default

Rick,

I just finished reading, and I heartily enjoyed this piece. Indeed. I have no suggestions at the moment. I register, if nothing else, my enthusiastic appreciation.

Cheers,
Erik
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 09-06-2018, 04:12 PM
Martin Elster Martin Elster is online now
Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Connecticut, USA
Posts: 5,355
Default

Rick, I forgot to mention in my previous comments that I love the irony of this line: “Don’t tell me... Hamilton.”

It wasn’t “port” that perplexed me (I thought it referred to NYC), but “no return.” But now I understand it. By the way, I just googled “port of no return” and got this:

https://www.amazon.com/Port-No-Retur.../dp/192220028X
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: 7,907
Total Threads: 19,288
Total Posts: 248,916
There are 225 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