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Swirls (version 2)

Posted: Sun Jun 09, 2019 6:19 pm
by Leaf
Version 2

That evening, as a full moon rose,
she played piano for a while –
a tune of subtle swirls and slows –
and he, though ill, began to smile.

She played piano for a while;
the scent of night-stock wafted in
and he, though ill, began to smile –
an owl outside performed a spin.

The scent of night-stock wafted in
with memories of kinder years;
an owl outside performed a spin,
a hedgehog twirled her silken ears.

With memories of kinder years,
the melody brought sounds to soothe;
a hedgehog twirled her silken ears,
waltzed variously spiked and smooth.

The melody brought sounds to soothe;
a tune of subtle swirls and slows
waltzed variously spiked and smooth
that evening, as a full moon rose.

Changes
Lines 2 and 5: 'the piano' to 'piano'
Lines 12 and 15 were 'the sounds were pleasing to his ears'
New lines 14 and 16 (17 and 19)



Original

That evening, as a full moon rose,
she played the piano for a while –
a tune of subtle swirls and slows –
and he, though ill, began to smile.

She played the piano for a while;
the scent of night-stock wafted in
and he, though ill, began to smile –
an owl outside performed a spin.

The scent of night-stock wafted in
with memories of kinder years;
an owl outside performed a spin –
the sounds were pleasing to his ears.

With memories of kinder years,
a tune of subtle swirls and slows,
the sounds were pleasing to his ears
that evening, as a full moon rose.

Re: Swirls

Posted: Sun Jun 09, 2019 7:09 pm
by twoleftfeet
Nicely done,Leaf.

I think you could get away with "she played piano" - to my ear it reads more smoothly than 'she played the piano".

TLF

Re: Swirls

Posted: Sun Jun 09, 2019 8:39 pm
by Harbal
I'm afraid I disagree with my learned friend's above comment. To me, "she played piano" sounds too informal for the rest of the poem; although, being less learned, I could be wrong. I really like the repetition of "he, though ill, began to smile". I have no idea why I like that so much but I was honestly disappointed not to find it in the second two verses. I can't analyze a poem, you probably know that, all I can say is that I love the language of it; it's sort of wistful and haunting.

Re: Swirls

Posted: Sun Jun 09, 2019 8:40 pm
by Perry
This is an interesting poem. It's meaning is quite mysterious and mostly implied. Different people will take different things from it. As someone who writes more literal poetry, I'm not sure it works for me. The repetition is pretty heavy-handed. Also, I don't know what it means for an owl to perform a spin -- whatever a spin is, it doesn't sound like something that could be heard inside, so I'm not sure how it impacts the action of the poem. On the positive side, the poem creates a definite mood, something which is hard for most poets to do. I also like that the language is clear, and that it is rhymed. Few poets are trying to rhyme these days.

One more thing: I don't know what "night-stock" is.

Re: Swirls

Posted: Sun Jun 09, 2019 9:18 pm
by twoleftfeet
Harbal wrote:
Sun Jun 09, 2019 8:39 pm
I'm afraid I disagree with my learned friend's above comment. To me, "she played piano" sounds too informal for the rest of the poem; although, being less learned, I could be wrong.
Learned? How very dare you?! :)

It's swings and roundabouts - dropping "the" to get a smoother flow is a plus,in my view. You' may well be right about the
informality,though..

TLF

Re: Swirls

Posted: Sun Jun 09, 2019 9:35 pm
by Harbal
twoleftfeet wrote:
Sun Jun 09, 2019 9:18 pm

Learned? How very dare you?! :)
On this site, as far as poetry is concerned, everyone is probably more learned than I am. :)

Re: Swirls

Posted: Mon Jun 10, 2019 6:19 am
by Macavity
Like it Leaf. Very 'pleasing' to read :) Like the use of night-stock. Agree with the 'learned' comment on dropping the article for piano. Liked the whimsical touch for that 'wise' old owl!

muchly enjoyed

mac

Re: Swirls

Posted: Mon Jun 10, 2019 9:16 am
by David
Perry wrote:
Sun Jun 09, 2019 8:40 pm
Also, I don't know what it means for an owl to perform a spin
Me neither.

Is there a pattern to the repeated lines? I can't make one out at the moment.

David

Re: Swirls

Posted: Mon Jun 10, 2019 6:28 pm
by Leaf
Hi everyone,

Thanks for taking the time to read and comment on my poem :)

TLF, thanks for enjoying, and for the suggestion. Do you hear 'piano' as two syllables or three? I ask because I've used eight syllables per line and I'd like to keep to that, if possible. In an earlier draft I had 'their piano', but that was when I was trying to write in tetrameter; I suppose I could reinstate it now.

Hi Harbal! I see what you mean about formal, although I can also see how the expression 'played piano' might sound quite normal, just depending on the reader's experience. As I mention to TLF, I'm thinking about 'their piano', to help set the scene. As for repetition, this is a pantoum (ref. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pantoum), so every line is repeated once, in the order 1 2 3 4 / 2 5 4 6 / 5 7 6 8 / 7 3 8 1. That's why you only get the 'ill' line twice; sorry! But I'm glad you liked it anyway, and I'm really pleased you found the language wistful and haunting; that's very cool 8)

Thanks for reading, Perry. Yes, the reader who favours literal poetry isn't going to enjoy this one much. The repetition is due to the form I've chosen, the pantoum. I find it fun rather than heavy handed, but we're all different and that's okay. For literal readers, the owl might simply be spinning his head; this is a phenomenon I've observed while at Bourton-on-the-Water's Birdland. I don't recall hearing the spin (just my mother remarking, 'Whoosh!'), but it isn't intended as part of the soundscape of the poem. Night-stock is a purple/white flower that releases its fragrance at night; it's very pretty :)

mac, yay! I'm happy you enjoyed it. And especially that you use the word 'whimsical'; I do like a little whimsy in poetry. In fact, in the vision that inspired this poem, the owl was spinning on one leg with neatly folded wings, which was a joy to behold :D

David, pls refer to my comment to Perry above, and here's the pattern again: 1 2 3 4 / 2 5 4 6 / 5 7 6 8 / 7 3 8 1 (pantoum).


Best wishes,
Leaf

Re: Swirls

Posted: Tue Jun 11, 2019 12:52 am
by Perry
As someone who likes metered poetry, I should know what a pantoum is, but I have never gone for the rigid and repetitive forms.

Re: Swirls

Posted: Tue Jun 11, 2019 2:26 am
by Poet
Very repetitive (but in a good way) and beautifully expressed throughout the stanzas. Good work.

Re: Swirls

Posted: Tue Jun 11, 2019 6:02 pm
by Leaf
Back again...

Yes, Perry. Poets differ in their tastes :-)

Thanks, Poet, and welcome, by the way. I'm happy that you enjoyed this poem :D

Best wishes,
Leaf

Re: Swirls

Posted: Tue Jun 11, 2019 6:35 pm
by David
A pantoum! Good grief. Haven't seen one of those in a while. Perhaps I should get out less.

You handle it very well, and I like a lot of the individual lines, but, at the end of the day (as they say), have you created something that's greater than the sum of the parts by embracing the rigidity.? I'm not sure you have, but it's quite fun to see you jumping through all the hoops so skilfully.

I do think you're particularly deft with the metre.

Cheers

David

Re: Swirls

Posted: Wed Jun 12, 2019 6:15 pm
by Leaf
Thanks, David; I learned about the pantoum at another poetry site (I'm still a member there). One year, a member of the Editorial Team decided she'd post a bit of information about various forms and some of us had a go. It was fun; my effort was inspired by the performance of a local Morris dancing group, to a delightful tune composed by my dad :D (super-proud)

Best wishes,
Leaf

Re: Swirls

Posted: Thu Jun 13, 2019 6:17 pm
by JJWilliamson
Beautiful pantoum, Leaf, and very enjoyable.

The iambic tetrameter is perfect to my ear, although I scan an extra syllable in places, notably 'the' before 'piano'.
You could easily drop 'the' from that line.

I'm not sure how it concludes or if it kind of peters out a bit. Instinctively I missed a conclusion but I'll give it a few more reads.

The form is an absolute delight, although the restrictions do place a heavy burden on the poet. Part of the fun methinks. Yes, I'm biased. :)

Great stuff

JJ

Re: Swirls

Posted: Fri Jun 14, 2019 4:23 am
by Charles
Really enjoyed this one leaf. Gentle and musical and clearly exceptionally well crafted. It really does give a haunting feel.

Re: Swirls

Posted: Sat Jun 15, 2019 12:28 pm
by David
Leaf wrote:
Wed Jun 12, 2019 6:15 pm
Thanks, David; I learned about the pantoum at another poetry site (I'm still a member there). One year, a member of the Editorial Team decided she'd post a bit of information about various forms and some of us had a go. It was fun; my effort was inspired by the performance of a local Morris dancing group, to a delightful tune composed by my dad :D (super-proud)
That sounds great.

Re: Swirls

Posted: Sun Jun 16, 2019 6:07 pm
by Leaf
Hi JJ, Charles, and David,

Thanks, JJ; I'm pleased you enjoyed this one. I don't know why, but I'm having a bit of a struggle with 'piano' as three syllables, perhaps because I've always heard it as two :?:

Once I'm in a revisions frame of mind, I'll probably change line 12 and see where that leads. '[A]n owl outside performed a spin / and started drinking Belgian beers' just came to me, so I'll have to wait until the owl sobers up a bit. Yes, forms are fun; I write free verse too, but the musician in me is particularly keen on metre. Sometimes I come up with a tune :)

- - -

Thanks, Charles; I'm happy you enjoyed it too! I was hoping to come up with something a bit haunted and I'm pleased this came across for you :)

- - -

David, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=noA6QOIVbB8 (Dad at the back, playing his blue descant recorder) :lol:


Best wishes,
Leaf

Re: Swirls

Posted: Mon Jun 17, 2019 6:38 pm
by David
Leaf wrote:
Sun Jun 16, 2019 6:07 pm
David, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=noA6QOIVbB8 (Dad at the back, playing his blue descant recorder) :lol:
Very good. Such larks!

Re: Swirls

Posted: Mon Jun 17, 2019 7:03 pm
by twoleftfeet
^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
Cracking tune,that (with a cheeky switch to the minor)! I've just been having a strumalong. :)

Great to strumalong to. :)

Re: Swirls (version 2)

Posted: Tue Jun 18, 2019 6:46 pm
by Leaf
Hi David and TLF,

Many apologies for not noticing your responses yesterday evening.

David, yes, larks indeedy :lol:

TLF, I'm delighted the performance inspired you to have a strumalong. Unfortunately I'm informed, 'An error occurred', when I try to play your link, but my laptop's been dodgy all day so I expect there's a fault this end. I'll try again tomorrow!

In the meantime, I've posted a revision to the poem, with thanks to Harbal for bringing the hedgehog to mind :D

Best wishes,
Leaf

Re: Swirls (version 2)

Posted: Tue Jun 18, 2019 7:02 pm
by Harbal
I've got very mixed feelings about your revision, Leaf. I learned the original Swirls by heart only to find that you have now changed it. :evil:

However, I've decided to forgive you, on account of your introduction of the hedgehog. :)

Re: Swirls (version 2)

Posted: Wed Jun 19, 2019 6:28 am
by Macavity
Sorry Leaf, I prefer the original (excluding the piano fix)

waltzed variously spiked and smooth..the adverb sounds wrong (the 'v' does not translate smooth/soothe nor the 'k')

The melody brought sounds to soothe;
The is a charming and whimsical simplicity to the original lines...
an owl outside performed a spin –
the sounds were pleasing to his ears.
I would not overload the poem either...
a hedgehog twirled her silken ears,
waltzed variously spiked and smooth.
We already have a he/she in the poem for our focus. The spiked/smooth does play nicely with the hedgehog, but is there a need to further identify gender?

best

mac

Re: Swirls (version 2)

Posted: Wed Jun 19, 2019 6:32 pm
by Leaf
Hi Harbal and mac,

Harbal, I'm happy you like the introduction of a hedgehog, and I'm touched that you learned the original version of the poem by heart. Of course the original still stands for anyone inclined to have some fun with it :)

mac, thanks for your comments. You may keep the original too! I don't understand what you mean by 'translate' in this context, but I had one of my rough nights last night, unfortunately :( (I might have more brain about me tomorrow).

Best wishes,
Leaf

Re: Swirls (version 2)

Posted: Wed Jun 19, 2019 9:23 pm
by Macavity
The sound is harsh/awkward not smooth/soothe so does not reinforce meaning.

best

mac