Once More, With Meaning

New to poetry? Unsure about the quality of your work? Then why not post here to receive some gentle feedback.
Post Reply
User avatar
Jackie
Preponderant Poster
Preponderant Poster
Posts: 1278
Joined: Sun Jun 30, 2013 1:21 am
Contact:

Once More, With Meaning

Post by Jackie » Sat Apr 04, 2020 7:33 pm

These are the games I forfeit.
I extend a real word to the east
(though less mighty than I’d like)
and watch for your move
as we build our gallery.
But you slap scat alongside me
first top and then bottom.
On my branch reaching west
you plop the unpronounceable.
Round the board you pursue me:
where meaning appears, you abort it;
where structural growth starts
you thwart it.
I forfeit.

Macavity
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 6094
Joined: Tue May 10, 2005 10:29 am

Re: Once More, With Meaning

Post by Macavity » Sun Apr 05, 2020 3:02 am

Interesting Jackie. Like the sounds, the sense of strategy, and the interaction. The poem draws the reader into games of ambition, limitation, submission. I like the repetition of forfeit, no matter the compass point, that is the outcome.

best

mac

ray miller
Perspicacious Poster
Perspicacious Poster
Posts: 6535
Joined: Wed Apr 23, 2008 10:23 am

Re: Once More, With Meaning

Post by ray miller » Sun Apr 05, 2020 3:18 pm

Is this about Scrabble? Could be. I love the last 7 lines. I'm just not sure what to make of these lines -

But you slap scat alongside me
first top and then bottom.

Does scat have meaning or just a scrabble word?
I'm out of faith and in my cups
I contemplate such bitter stuff.

User avatar
Jackie
Preponderant Poster
Preponderant Poster
Posts: 1278
Joined: Sun Jun 30, 2013 1:21 am
Contact:

Re: Once More, With Meaning

Post by Jackie » Sun Apr 05, 2020 5:16 pm

Thanks for your comments, Ray and Mac, they help a lot.

Yes, Scrabble. It's just my own uncommon way of playing it: I'm not into scores and absolutely love games where unusual words, coaxed out of nothing planned, predominate. I don't get along with Scrabble masters who know all the winning strategies.

Jackie

NotQuiteSure
Perspicacious Poster
Perspicacious Poster
Posts: 2146
Joined: Wed Dec 28, 2016 4:05 pm

Re: Once More, With Meaning

Post by NotQuiteSure » Sun Apr 05, 2020 5:37 pm

.
Hi Jackie,
I also though this might be scrabble - and enjoyed it - but 'the unpronounceable
threw me. Might it be 'an unpronounceable', for clarity?
Just some minor tweaks/suggestion (I think you could do much with italics in this).

These are the games that I forfeit.
(Surely this is the title?)

When I extend a real word
to the east (less mighty
than I’d would like)
and watch tense for your move
as we build our gallery.
But you slap scat
right down beside me

first my top and then bottom.
On my branch reaching west
you plop an unpronounceable.
Pursue me relentless
around the board
and where meaning appears
abort it, structural growth
starts, thwart it.
Until, predictably, I forfeit.


Regards, Not


.

bjondon
Prolific Poster
Prolific Poster
Posts: 729
Joined: Wed May 10, 2017 5:04 pm

Re: Once More, With Meaning

Post by bjondon » Wed Apr 22, 2020 3:34 pm

Hi Jackie - kind of joyful, almost meaningless. The unpronounceable in pursuit of the unplayable? - though this is eminently pronounceable. You are currently my favourite poet on the board - rhythm, melody, cut and come again play of meaning. Actually didn't you post another Scrabble poem about a year ago?. This one I think more fully realised.
Scrabble sits in interesting relationship with poetry and the writing/playing of. And there's an echo of your strategy of almost intentionally losing or forfeiting the accepted parameters i.e. inviting serendipity - a reverse archeology, unearthing what is just there in your head, buried in the language; thwarted/enhanced by your partner's play (the reader?). Perhaps more oppositional than the reader, taking the cue from your easts and wests, a dance between mastery/imposition/ego and spontaneous arising/acceptance/celebration.
I also liked the cheeky scatological refs. Is there something quintessentially scatological about language and poetry. Yes, I think there is. The theme of this poem being for me the peculiarly artificial, joy-packed etymological curiosity of our currency of consciousness.
I wonder if the reader needs a prompt to understand the wayward Scrabble stategy at the heart of this.
I thought of an alt title : Scribble, but I think I prefer your original.
Regards,
Jules

David
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 13711
Joined: Sat Feb 18, 2006 4:40 pm
Location: Ellan Vannin

Re: Once More, With Meaning

Post by David » Wed Apr 22, 2020 5:01 pm

Really good, Jackie. It is - if I'm reading it correctly - a poem that is both about something (Scrabble, in this case) and also not about it (or about something else far larger,if you can imagine anything larger than Scrabble). And actually it works well, which is quite rare for such poems.

If it's actually just about Scrabble, and not about something larger, how silly will I look? Anyway ...

I'm wondering about scat too. Very pleasing to see plop juxtaposed with unpronounceable.

I would lop a couple of lines off Ray's favourites, but for me it's the last five that are terrific. A sonic treat as well.

And I really like the title.

Good stuff (11).

Cheers

David

User avatar
Jackie
Preponderant Poster
Preponderant Poster
Posts: 1278
Joined: Sun Jun 30, 2013 1:21 am
Contact:

Re: Once More, With Meaning

Post by Jackie » Sat May 02, 2020 12:42 pm

Not, Jules and David, thank you so much for giving me your help and impressions.

Not, thanks for your specific suggestions for me to consider.

Jules, you may be giving me a tad more credit that I deserve! Hope if I stretch, I reach that far!

David, so honored you like it. And does it reach beyond the world of Scrabble? For me, anything language related is life-related; they're one and the same.

Best,
Jackie

David
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 13711
Joined: Sat Feb 18, 2006 4:40 pm
Location: Ellan Vannin

Re: Once More, With Meaning

Post by David » Sat May 02, 2020 5:13 pm

Don't be honored, Jackie! It's only me! But I do like it. A lot.

Cheers

David

User avatar
Danté
Perspicacious Poster
Perspicacious Poster
Posts: 2017
Joined: Mon Jul 07, 2008 6:40 pm
Location: nothere

Re: Once More, With Meaning

Post by Danté » Fri May 08, 2020 10:01 am

Interesting piece, quite a lot to ponder in the brevity of its compact form.
I kind of get the impression that it is more meaningful to a particular individual and I'm sneaking a peak at something not meant for me.
Therefore it gets me pondering and not really resolving completely.

Quite enjoyable to read.

Thanks

D
to anticipate touching what is unseen seems far more interesting than seeing what the hand can not touch

Post Reply