Resolution (was Torpor) (version 3)

This is a serious poetry forum not a "love-in". Post here for more detailed, constructive criticism.
Post Reply
1lankest
Preternatural Poster
Preternatural Poster
Posts: 1619
Joined: Sun Oct 27, 2013 4:12 pm

Resolution (was Torpor) (version 3)

Post by 1lankest » Wed Jan 09, 2019 8:42 pm

Version 3

i

On Dartmoor they say it’s either raining or it shall.
Second that. Can’t see Bowerman's Nose for cloud.
The air’s slack, snagged on southern cliffs, barnacles,

whelks, corroded hooks. We cling to stone, waiting
for sunlight to penetrate these ageing walls and stifle
winter’s mould. I clasp the light-cord by its shell, tug.

ii

On the bathroom wall: Sharrah Pool, July. Amber
water. Dappled sun. You’re supine on a rock,
head cocked, tracking, if I recall, a lizard’s

riparian route to the waterline where it fell still
feasting on rays, unconcerned by you - an arm away -
or me, surveying the banks for boulders, deep spots

for diving into peat-soft electricity, eddy and current,
those patches of calm to which the salmon return
each year for spawning, more in expectation than hope.

iii

We have the garden, seeds, my work. This year
we’re keeping record: mine the veg, yours the flowers.
What’s planted where and when. What the weather did.

So far all we have is: October garlic. Soggy, limp.
It feels good to enter something rooted, invested,
that even this ancient acid soil, this dark cannot deny.




Revision

On Dartmoor they say it’s either raining or it shall.
Second that. Can’t see Boweman’s Nose for cloud.
The air’s slack, snagged on Cornish cliffs, barnacles,

whelks, corroded hooks. We cling to stone, waiting
for sunlight to penetrate these ageing walls, vanquish
winter’s mould. I clasp the cord by its shell and tug -

Light. On the bathroom wall: Sharrah Pool, July.
Amber water. Dappled sun. You’re supine on a rock,
head cocked, tracking, if I recall, a gecko’s

riparian route to the waterline where it stalled
feasting on rays, unconcerned by you - an arm away -
or me, surveying the banks for boulders, deep spots

for diving into peat-soft electricity, current and eddy,
those patches of calm to which the salmon return
each year for spawning, more in expectation than hope.

Us - we have the garden, my work. This year
we’re keeping record: mine the veg, yours the flowers.
What’s planted where and when. What the weather did.

So far all we have is: October garlic. Soggy, limp.
It felt good to enter something concrete, invested,
that even this ancient acid soil, this dark cannot deny.

Original

On Dartmoor, they say it’s either raining or it shall.
Second that. Can’t see Boweman’s Nose for cloud.
The air’s slack, snagged on Cornish cliffs, barnacles,
corroded hooks, whelks. Like them we cling to stone
waiting for sunlight to penetrate these ageing walls
and vanquish winter’s mould. I clasp the chord
by its shell and tug, summoning light. Downstairs
the stock pot’s cooled; you coax the dog to bowl, drip
by meaty drip. No luck. Inertia begets itself like weeds.
It’s not listlessness you sketch, bringing form to canvas
each day restores, white and glossy, unmarked.
We have the garden, seeds, my work. This year
we’re keeping record: mine the veg, yours the flowers.
What’s planted, where and when. What the weather did.
So far all we have is: October garlic. Soggy, limp.
It felt good anyhow to enter something concrete,
invested, that even this ancient acid soil, this dark
cannot deny.
Last edited by 1lankest on Sun Jan 13, 2019 11:24 am, edited 9 times in total.

User avatar
Firebird
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 1843
Joined: Tue May 21, 2013 9:46 pm

Re: Torpor

Post by Firebird » Wed Jan 09, 2019 8:56 pm

I’ll come back to this later tonight, but my first impression is that it reads really well. Got to read stories to kids now.

Cheers,

Tristan

User avatar
Firebird
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 1843
Joined: Tue May 21, 2013 9:46 pm

Re: Torpor

Post by Firebird » Wed Jan 09, 2019 11:20 pm

This piece definitely has a feel of torpor. It moves along very nicely. Some specific comments below.
1lankest wrote:
Wed Jan 09, 2019 8:42 pm
On Dartmoor, they say it’s either raining or it shall.
Second that. Can’t see Boweman’s Nose for cloud.
The air’s slack, snagged on Cornish cliffs, barnacles,
corroded hooks, whelks. Like them we cling to stone (Not sure this list if snags needs to be as long. ‘Them’ sounds awkward here, as it could refer to all the snags or just whelks as I think you mean.)
waiting for sunlight to penetrate these ageing walls
and vanquish winter’s mould. I clasp the chord
by its shell and tug, summoning light. Downstairs (Shell is a nice touch. I don’t think ‘summoning light’ is needed)
the stock pot’s cooled; you coax the dog to bowl, drip
by meaty drip. No luck. Inertia begets itself like weeds. (Not sure ‘weeds’ works)
It’s not listlessness you sketch, bringing form to canvas (This line seems to change the direction of the poem. Maybe a new stanza here?)
each day restores, white and glossy, unmarked. (I’m struggling to understand this sentence)
We have the garden, seeds, my work. This year
we’re keeping record: mine the veg, yours the flowers.
What’s planted, where and when. What the weather did.
So far all we have is: October garlic. Soggy, limp.
It felt good anyhow to enter something concrete,
invested, that even this ancient acid soil, this dark
cannot deny. (Nice ending)
My overall feeling is this could be a little more concise, but I understand that it’s length may offer a sense of torpor.

Hope this helps.

Cheers,

Tristan

ray miller
Perspicacious Poster
Perspicacious Poster
Posts: 6232
Joined: Wed Apr 23, 2008 10:23 am

Re: Torpor

Post by ray miller » Thu Jan 10, 2019 11:50 am

Great opening 6 or 7 lines. I think you want cord, not chord.
I find this section a bit obscure.

you coax the dog to bowl, drip
by meaty drip. No luck. Inertia begets itself like weeds. - there is something wrong with the dog?
It’s not listlessness you sketch, bringing form to canvas
each day restores, white and glossy, unmarked. - Can't get my head around this sentence.
I'm out of faith and in my cups
I contemplate such bitter stuff.

1lankest
Preternatural Poster
Preternatural Poster
Posts: 1619
Joined: Sun Oct 27, 2013 4:12 pm

Re: Torpor

Post by 1lankest » Thu Jan 10, 2019 9:36 pm

Thanks Tristan, Ray.

Some good points but I wonder if this, as it was, achieved it’s aim. I think not.
hoping the revision does - it’s quite different!

Thanks again both,

Luke

NotQuiteSure
Preponderant Poster
Preponderant Poster
Posts: 1173
Joined: Wed Dec 28, 2016 4:05 pm

Re: Resolution (was Torpor) (revised)

Post by NotQuiteSure » Fri Jan 11, 2019 12:02 pm

.
Hi Luke,
some arresting images, as usual :)
but this doesn't seem to me to be a single
poem (more like three).

On Dartmoor they say it’s either raining or it shall.
Second that. Can’t see Boweman’s Nose for cloud.

- not sure about this as the opening, not least because
the blinds are still down! Is there an 'r' missing from
Boweman? The switch from Devon to Cornwall seems
to occur with some speed.
The air’s slack, snagged on Cornish cliffs, barnacles,
- this seems to make for a better opening.

whelks, corroded hooks. We cling to stone, waiting
for sunlight to penetrate these ageing walls, vanquish

- not sure about 'vanquish', seems out of place stylistically.
winter’s mould. I clasp the cord by its shell and tug -
- Lines 1-2 could fit here
Light. On the bathroom wall: Sharrah Pool, July.
- 'Light' seems unnecessary
Amber water. Dappled sun. You’re supine on a rock,
- 'supine' also sticks out, could you go for something
like
You're shadow on rock,
head cocked, tracking, if I recall, a gecko’s
- If this scene is Sharrah Pool, did the gecko
escape from Dartmoor zoo?

riparian route to the waterline where it stalled
feasting on rays, unconcerned by you - an arm away -
or me, surveying the banks for boulders, deep spots

for diving into peat-soft electricity, current and eddy,
those patches of calm to which the salmon return
each year for spawning, more in expectation than hope
.
- not sure about the new section - Sharrah Pool - (especially
'more in expectation than hope'), it doesn't seem to work
that well as a bridge, but, like the ending, it could probably
stand on its own.

These last two stanzas seem like a separate, self-contained,
poem. They don't need the rest, and I'm not sure that the
rest needs them.
Us - we have the garden, my work. This year
- is the garden N's work, or does 'my work' refer
to something else, and what about 'your work'?
Can't see why this starts 'Us - ...'
we’re keeping record: mine the veg, yours the flowers.
What’s planted where and when. What the weather did.

So far all we have is: October garlic. Soggy, limp.
It felt good to enter something concrete, invested,

- 'concrete' seems a bit at odds with the 'organic'
setting.
that even this ancient acid soil, this dark cannot deny.
- I'd be tempted by an extra 'this', as in
invested, that even this, this ancient acid soil, this
dark cannot deny.



Regards, Not.

.

ray miller
Perspicacious Poster
Perspicacious Poster
Posts: 6232
Joined: Wed Apr 23, 2008 10:23 am

Re: Resolution (was Torpor) (revised)

Post by ray miller » Fri Jan 11, 2019 1:05 pm

Changing a title from Torpor to Resolution is quite a shift and as Not indicated, you now seem to have neither one or the other. The last 2 stanzas seem to belong to another poem. I do like diving into peat-soft electricity, though.
I'm out of faith and in my cups
I contemplate such bitter stuff.

HonourStedman
Posts: 34
Joined: Tue Aug 07, 2018 4:17 pm

Re: Resolution (was Torpor) (revised)

Post by HonourStedman » Fri Jan 11, 2019 5:01 pm

I rather like the way your revised poem, Resolution, has a verbal flow taking us from one image and location to another - it's the sort of poem that begs to be read aloud. It could probably benefit from a slight revision but not too much, and I do feel that the word "lizard's" would be better than "gecko's" given that we are talking about Dartmoor. :)

bjondon
Prolific Poster
Prolific Poster
Posts: 367
Joined: Wed May 10, 2017 5:04 pm

Re: Resolution (was Torpor) (revised)

Post by bjondon » Fri Jan 11, 2019 6:35 pm

Hi Luke,
I take the resolution to be that of the salmon's too.
I would end on line 14 in that mysterious calm spot
shared with the human.
The whole dark/light transition has something of
music about it. And a spectacular save from the original!
Regards,
Jules

1lankest
Preternatural Poster
Preternatural Poster
Posts: 1619
Joined: Sun Oct 27, 2013 4:12 pm

Re: Resolution (was Torpor) (revised)

Post by 1lankest » Sun Jan 13, 2019 11:21 am

Thanks all, I assumed at the time it was an endemic gecko but looking it up it must have been an escaped Madagascan lizard from the zoo! You’re right, NOT. Quite exciting in retrospect. Perhaps there’s a poem in that instead!

Final revsion up - does it work in three sections?

Luke

1lankest
Preternatural Poster
Preternatural Poster
Posts: 1619
Joined: Sun Oct 27, 2013 4:12 pm

Re: Resolution (was Torpor) (version 3)

Post by 1lankest » Sun Jan 13, 2019 11:32 am

I also have to say, and perhaps I’m being over defensive, but as a poem about trying for children I feel this works. Each three sections contain clues as to the theme. They show the passage of time - present, past, future. It is about hope, despair, the power of nature to giveth and taketh away! The contrasts throughout (thanks for picking up on this, Jules) are to emphasise the rollercoaster of emotions a couple goes through when trying to conceive.

Cheers for trying folks!

JamesM
Prolific Poster
Prolific Poster
Posts: 357
Joined: Fri Dec 18, 2009 1:14 pm

Re: Resolution (was Torpor) (version 3)

Post by JamesM » Sun Jan 13, 2019 1:38 pm

Hello there,
I'd just read this again and was thinking what it might be about when I noticed your last post. so, now that you have explained that for me at least the theme is so under played as to be unnoticed. The main reason for this is, I think, that the couples expectant/thwarted desire is not explicit enough for your nicely staged explorations. Hmmm...must go make dinner. Will return.
......back again. I understand how frustrating people not getting it. I'm guilty of that as well. Understandably you are composing from a known inspiration first hand, we are being guided through "your" lived experience. A simple fix would be to re-title this which would free us up to assess how successful your exploration of that theme is. On that note, I do stumble at numerous points with word choice and meaning.
Regards
James
Last edited by JamesM on Sun Jan 13, 2019 2:20 pm, edited 1 time in total.

ray miller
Perspicacious Poster
Perspicacious Poster
Posts: 6232
Joined: Wed Apr 23, 2008 10:23 am

Re: Resolution (was Torpor) (version 3)

Post by ray miller » Sun Jan 13, 2019 1:45 pm

I didn't pick up the "trying for children" theme and even now it only becomes very apparent, to me, in the 2nd and 5th stanzas. I suppose the original title of Torpor didn't help. I still don't think the 3rd section connects that well to the rest.

the salmon return
each year for spawning, more in expectation than hope.

For what it's worth, if you were somehow to end on that passage, it would assume more significance.
I'm out of faith and in my cups
I contemplate such bitter stuff.

1lankest
Preternatural Poster
Preternatural Poster
Posts: 1619
Joined: Sun Oct 27, 2013 4:12 pm

Re: Resolution (was Torpor) (version 3)

Post by 1lankest » Sun Jan 13, 2019 6:27 pm

Thanks James, Ray. Really really helpful. Sulk over.

Perhaps a change of title and ending where Ray suggests is the way forward....any ideas for titles?!

Post Reply