Upon Harriet Island

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Lake
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Upon Harriet Island

Post by Lake » Tue Apr 22, 2008 8:04 pm

- Composed on Earth Day

Embellished with sailing kites,
calm and serene the azure sky.
Blue, the Mississippi river;
green, the budding twigs.
The sun, the breeze,
the earthy smells and flowers.
Loons dive and pop up;
birds mate and take off.

If anyone asks,
“How many more springs?”
I answer:
Over the bamboo groves
wind chimes tinkle; from our
Mother Earth resound
the voices of many
to the wild blue yonder--
I dream
I wish
I rise.

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barrie
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Re: Upon Harriet Island

Post by barrie » Wed Apr 23, 2008 1:00 pm

Hello Lake - I have a problem with the first two lines. Unless the kites are birds of prey sailing on thermals, then then sky can't be serene and calm - surely a kite needs a windy day to sail properly.

Blue, the Mississippi river;
green, the budding twigs.
- You really need a verb.

The sun, the breeze,
the earthy smells and flowers.
- again, no verb.

Maybe you can weave the loons, sun, breeze and Mississippi together - the same with the mating birds, budding twigs, earthy smells and flowers.

The last verse is fine apart from wild blue yonder'.

My god, I'm picky today.

Barrie
After letting go of branches and walking through the ape gait, we managed to grasp what hands were really for......

arunansu
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Re: Upon Harriet Island

Post by arunansu » Wed Apr 23, 2008 2:03 pm

I like the thoughts. The poem has a nice flow in it. Still I wish for a better ending. I mean, to end with "I wish
I rise" - sounds a bit ordinary. But then, maybe its the way you intended. The problem in writing a free verse is ur piece is open to personal comments like mine. What sounds ordinary in my ears may be the words you chose with care.
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Re: Upon Harriet Island

Post by Elphin » Wed Apr 23, 2008 6:08 pm

Lake

There is a good feeling about this - but as barrie says it needs a little polish and weaving together of the images. Actually if you remove the conflict between the sky in l1 and l2 and take out some slight duplication of imaes e.g. Loons dive and pop up;/birds mate and take off you would have a more contemplative piece in a style I associate with you. Here is my take on it - something like

Embellished with sailing kites
the azure sky is mirrored
in the blue, the Mississippi river
overhung with green, the twigs
budding in the breeze.
The Loons dive and pop up
like spring

and if anyone asks,
“How many more ?”
I answer:
over the bamboo groves
wind chimes tinkle
the voices of many
to the wild blue yonder--
I dream
I wish
I rise.

Its presumptious of me to redraft but hopefully it illustrates where you could head. I don't think I have S2 as you meant it so if none of it is what you were thinking please dump it.

Elphin

Lake
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Re: Upon Harriet Island

Post by Lake » Wed Apr 23, 2008 8:35 pm

Hi Barrie,

I know you've been very gentle to my works, and now I am glad to see the change - being picky, that's one way I can get improved, isn't it?

Your comments made me read the poem again. Even though the kites flutter in the sky, I do have a peaceful feeling. But I understand why you see the first two lines as illogical. Maybe they should be separated as what Elphin did.

The verbs, I'm trying to avoid my prosiness. Well, it didn't work, did it? You have a very good suggestion of weaving these images together.

wild blue yonder, you must've thought it is cliché. I wanted to say the depth and vastness of the blue sky.

Hi arunansu,

Thanks for your comment. I see your point with the ending. It seems you always manage to have a strong ending that I need to learn.

As always, much appreciation Barrie, arunansu.

Lake

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Re: Upon Harriet Island

Post by Lake » Wed Apr 23, 2008 8:45 pm

Elphin,

You did a good job. I don't really mind if the meaning of the second stanza is changed or not, as long as it's getting better. It is always fun to read how other people write, to see different ways of expressions. I'll certainly save this in my file.

Thanks for showing me the ways to improve.

Lake

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Re: Upon Harriet Island

Post by ray miller » Thu Apr 24, 2008 1:33 pm

I think the point about the sky is that it can appear to be serene and calm despite turbulence etc. as the effortless elegance of swans belies activity beneath the surface. That said I'd assumed you were talking of birds of prey-another aspect of the non-human world. So what do I know? Thought the ending was rather weak, it tapers off both verbally and visually-maybe that was the intention...
I'm out of faith and in my cups
I contemplate such bitter stuff.

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Re: Upon Harriet Island

Post by Dublin » Fri Apr 25, 2008 8:16 pm

Lake, let me also mention a couple of things: On the whole, I'd say I'm not sure I agree with your other critics. I for my part liked the lack (or better: deliberate non-use) of verbs. Does it not illustrate the calmness and serenity? I think it does. Therefore I'd leave it the way it is.
Also, I really liked the first stanza. You recreated this picture, this image very well. I'm sorry I can't express it properly but that stanza is just good poetry and produces a wonderful mental picture "upon that inward eye". Very pretty.

The second stanza moves away from this alluring image, though. I don't like the question about the springs - destroys the tranquility, I find. Seemed unasked for and should have been omitted if you ask me. Nevertheless, you get the turn and come to a nice ending - again I disagree with other critics: the wild blue yonder is convincing and appropriate and the final parallelisms really round up the poem well. I dream / I wish / I rise, ah, really liked that bit although I might add a comma between them.

To sum it up, I can't really explain why but your writing is touching and accessible, which I like. I wouldn't interpret a great hidden meaning into it - it just portrays a picturesque image and does that quite successfully. Thumbs up, Lake!

Lake
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Re: Upon Harriet Island

Post by Lake » Sun Apr 27, 2008 11:24 pm

Welcome ray.
ray miller wrote: That said I'd assumed you were talking of birds of prey-another aspect of the non-human world.
Do you really feel like birds of prey? I don't know what to say. I think once the poem is posted, it is up to the reader's interpretation.
ray miller wrote:Thought the ending was rather weak, it tapers off both verbally and visually-maybe that was the intention...
On Earth Day, people wrote their good wishes and promises, and kids drew pictures on the kites that they were going to fly. All the thoughts, messages were carried by the kites to the sky.

Thanks for your read and comment.

Lake
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Re: Upon Harriet Island

Post by Lake » Sun Apr 27, 2008 11:41 pm

Hi Dublin ,

Welcome new friend. Thanks for the detailed comments, which brought my confidence back a little.
I agree with you re comma.
And you are right about the second stanza which seems moving away from the first, and the question sounds intrusive. What I've tried to do is to combine the scenery, the feeling and human together. Not very successful, though.
I think you read me very well.

Thank you very much indeed!

Lake

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