Cuts (Was: Mountains of the Mind) V38

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Cuts (Was: Mountains of the Mind) V38

Post by Firebird » Tue Dec 26, 2017 8:20 pm

V38

The department of mental health
has changed its name to mental illness
and the conditions which we treat
must all be now mountains
with abrupt elevations of over 3000 feet
that narrow sharply towards their tops,
and end in a point of jagged rock;

But what about the plateaued peaks,
perfectly formed tiny Matterhorns,
and gigantic grassy mounds,
that aren’t so easy to define?



V37

The department of mental health
has morphed into mental illness
and now only treats mountains
with abrupt elevations of over 3000 feet
that narrow sharply towards their tops,
until ending in a peak of jagged rock;
have a snow-line, above which
animals and plants almost stop,
and possess a point
from where the rarified air
affects the sanest of men.

But what about the plateaued peaks,
perfectly formed tiny Matterhorns
and gigantic grassy mounds,
that aren’t so easy to define,
get neglected by the selective
left to grandparents, friends ...,
and those who know them well,
and know that when the clouds come in
or the weather changes quickly
any mountain can kill.


V36

The department of mental health
is no more. It’s morphed
into mental illness
and the list of these
is like a list of mountains
with abrupt elevations of over 3000 feet
that narrow sharply towards their tops,
until ending in a peak of jagged rock;
have a snow-line, above which
animals and plants almost stop,
and possess a point
from where the rarified air
affects the sanest of men.

But what about the plateaued peaks,
perfectly formed tiny Matterhorns
and gigantic grassy mounds,
that aren’t so easy to define
and get neglected by the selective
and left to grandparents, friends ...,
and those who know them well,
and know that when the clouds come in
or the weather changes quickly
any mountain can kill.





V2

Mountains of the mind:
abrupt elevations of over 3000 feet
that narrow sharply towards their tops,
until ending in a peak of jagged rock;
have a snow-line, above which
animals and plants almost stop,
and possess a point
from where the thinness of air
affects the sanest of men.

But what about the plateaued peaks,
perfectly formed tiny Matterhorns
and gigantic grassy mounds,
that aren’t so easy to define
as mountains of the mind,

and therefore get neglected
by the selective and left
to grandparents, friends ...,
and those who know them well,
and know that when the clouds come in
or the weather changes quickly
any mountain can kill.


V1

“... madness fascinates because it is knowledge. It is knowledge, first, because all its absurd figures are in reality elements of a difficult, hermetic, esoteric learning ...”
Michel Foucault

Some are easily defined:
abrupt elevations of over 3000 feet
that narrow sharply towards their tops,
until ending in a peak of jagged rock;
have a snow-line, above which
animals and plants almost stop,
and possess a point
from where the thinness of air
affects the sanest of men.

But what about the plateaued peaks,
perfectly formed tiny Matterhorns
and gigantic grassy mounds,
that aren’t so easy to define;
lack the features
to interest mountaineers.
Besides, how would they conquer
something with no clear peak.
It isn’t sexy, and few would see it as a feat.

So they’re neglected by the selective
and left to grandparents, friends ...,
and those who know them well,
and know that when the clouds come in
or the weather changes quickly
any mountain can kill.
Last edited by Firebird on Wed Feb 07, 2018 11:10 am, edited 27 times in total.

Macavity
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Re: Mountains of the Mind

Post by Macavity » Fri Dec 29, 2017 4:24 am

hi Tristan,
My reading was of how we frame and perceive the dangerous. I can relate this to ambition. In terms of writing, I can draw parallels with the more public, showy outputs contrasted with the private, personal write. Accessibility seems to be an issue here. Long and short poems could also come to mind.
Some are easily defined.
You know the type:
abrupt elevations of over 3000 feet
that narrow sharply towards their tops,
until ending in a peak of jagged rock;
have a snow-line, above which
animals and plants almost stop,...............not sure about the generics here, would specifics add interest?
and possess a point
from where the thinness of air
starts to affect the sanest of men.........the lack of oxygen here may relate to the rarified, the lack of life in the esoteric

But what about the plateaued peaks...because I was sent a photo of Table Mountain recently, a sizeable plateau came to mind, just me?
perfectly formed tiny Matterhorns
and gigantic grassy mounds,
that aren’t so easy to define;
lack the features
to interest mountaineers.................this could relate to complexity v simplicity, the physical challenge threaded to the intellectual
Besides, how would they conquer
something with no clear peak.
It isn’t sexy, and few see it as a feat..............an argument against the superficial attraction

So they’re neglected by the selective...............perhaps a reference to elitism
and left to grandparents, friends ...,...........................is this ellipsis needed?
and those who know them well,
and know that when the clouds come in
or the weather changes quickly
any mountain can kill.................................appearances can be deceptive
hope that helps some

mac

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Re: Mountains of the Mind

Post by Firebird » Fri Dec 29, 2017 9:17 am

Thanks Mac. Some interesting comments. Overall, though this poem was about the way one problem/area is dealt with. I may well be approaching this subject too obliquely though, as I know you are a subtle reader. I’ll leave it a bit longer before I reveal what I was going for.

Cheers,

Tristan

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Re: Mountains of the Mind

Post by Firebird » Fri Dec 29, 2017 4:48 pm

Slightly revised with a short quote to help it along.

Cheers,

Tristan

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Re: Mountains of the Mind

Post by Macavity » Sat Dec 30, 2017 4:32 am

Interesting quote Tristan. I have to admit I'm flummoxed. Your comments and edits have steered me in the direction of mental illness and its treatment - those that are selected for professional care and those that are not. The selection process seems to be centred on particular criteria: identification (easily defined); interest (sexy); kudos (feat); chance of success ( no clear peak). The consequences (of the neglect): impact on family and friends (the non-professional carer); the fact that outcomes can be equally devastating and uncontrollable (the weather metaphor).

best

mac

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Re: Mountains of the Mind

Post by Firebird » Sat Dec 30, 2017 9:08 am

Thanks for returning Mac. You are right, mental illness is the theme of the poem. Think it needs a few more clues though, probably.

Cheers,

Tristan

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Re: Mountains of the Mind

Post by Macavity » Sat Dec 30, 2017 2:44 pm

Hi Tristan

Perhaps the title triggers a thought of Windmills of your Mind. Do you need Mountains in the title when the word is so prominent in the poem? If you do drop it, then you could use another descriptive for the mind.

best

mac

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Re: Mountains of the Mind

Post by ray miller » Sun Dec 31, 2017 5:30 pm

I like the little rhymes. What the mountain peaks reminded me of most were graphs. Graphs which used to show how the incidence of schizophrenia peaked at times of high unemployment and perhaps something similar might be relevant to the frequency of acts of violence by the mentally ill. That's what I took from the ending anyway and I'm pretty certain I'm barking up the wrong tree.
I'm out of faith and in my cups
I contemplate such bitter stuff.

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Re: Mountains of the Mind

Post by Antcliff » Fri Jan 12, 2018 11:20 pm

Macavity wrote:Interesting quote Tristan. I have to admit I'm flummoxed. Your comments and edits have steered me in the direction of mental illness and its treatment - those that are selected for professional care and those that are not. The selection process seems to be centred on particular criteria: identification (easily defined); interest (sexy); kudos (feat); chance of success ( no clear peak). The consequences (of the neglect): impact on family and friends (the non-professional carer); the fact that outcomes can be equally devastating and uncontrollable (the weather metaphor).

best

mac
With Mac. This is what I glimpsed...though through a glass darkly.

But, with you, I do think more clues are needed...if it is an elaborate metaphor, it feels more elaborate than illuminating at the mo. That is a rather unspecific crit, I know. And I'm usually not one for giving them. But it does seem like what I most want to say.

Hope a new version of this appears.

Seth
We fray into the future, rarely wrought
Save in the tapestries of afterthought.
Richard Wilbur

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Re: Mountains of the Mind

Post by Firebird » Sat Jan 13, 2018 8:36 am

Thanks Mac, Ray and FT for the input. I like you idea Ray of the graph. It could mean that.

Thanks Seth, I’ll have a go at a rewrite soon.

Cheers all,

Tristan

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Re: Mental Illness (Was: Mountains of the Mind)

Post by Firebird » Mon Jan 15, 2018 6:32 pm

I've posted a revision. Still not really convinced it works though.

Cheers,

Tristan

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Re: Mountains of the Mind (V36)

Post by Firebird » Mon Feb 05, 2018 11:02 pm

I've posted a revision. A little more convinced.

Cheers,

Tristan

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Re: Cuts (Was: Mountains of the Mind) V37

Post by ray miller » Tue Feb 06, 2018 11:29 am

I understand it now. I don't think the opening 2 lines work, though. To morph into the Dept. of Mental Illness doesn't really say anything. I think you want something equivalent to The Department of Mental Health has narrowed its horizons...

and possess a point
from where the rarified air - is "from" necessary. I'd suggest "at which" but you have "above which" just previously.
affects the sanest of men.

The ending bothered me a bit, as mentally ill people are more likely to kill themselves than others. Maybe "any mountain can vanish"?
I'm out of faith and in my cups
I contemplate such bitter stuff.

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Re: Cuts (Was: Mountains of the Mind) V37

Post by Firebird » Tue Feb 06, 2018 11:35 am

Thanks Ray for the feedback. Some good points. Much appreciated.

Cheers,

Tristan

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Re: Cuts (Was: Mountains of the Mind) V37

Post by David » Tue Feb 06, 2018 8:25 pm

I like this much more now, Tristan. (I get it now.) Starting with "The department of mental health ..." transforms it. Which is not to say that Ray isn't right about the detail there. But much better.

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David

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Re: Cuts (Was: Mountains of the Mind) V37

Post by Firebird » Wed Feb 07, 2018 8:07 am

Thanks David. I was thinking of dropping this one but think I may chisel on with it now.

Cheers,

Tristan

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