Evening

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Gematria
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Evening

Post by Gematria » Mon May 17, 2010 4:23 pm

Long shadows born at noon now intersect.
Long out of bloom and time, the oak trees stand.
The leaves in red and yellowed shards reflect
The light that smashed its mirror overland.

Only a wrought bronze statue keeps its green,
A green like something almost being said.
It stands to reason, simple and serene.
I gaze into the clouds where God goes dead.

Yet Judgment Day could well come calm like this,
While airlines break the Sabbath of the sky
And crucifixes get a Judas-kiss
From men who may not know they kiss goodbye,

And twilight may be sepsis of the sun,
And branches jitter on a final oak,
And colors clot with evening, one by one.

The far road groans like one deep thunderstroke.
Last edited by Gematria on Tue May 18, 2010 12:14 pm, edited 1 time in total.

David
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Re: Evening

Post by David » Mon May 17, 2010 7:03 pm

Ah, the old iambic. Mainly, anyway. Very Elegy in a country churchyard in mode and mood.

May I?
Gematria wrote:Shadows that grew since noon are now connecting.
The trees are out of time and bloom, and stand.
The leaves are red and mellow shards reflecting
The light that smashed its mirror on the land.
It sounds as though the trees are out of stand. I can see you know this already, as you've tried to preempt that reading with a comma, which sort of works - but not quite.

Not sure why you've used "mellow" - it reads like a wilful attempt to avoid "yellow", but I think that would be fine.

The last line is a really good one.
Gematria wrote:Bronze statues merely turn a different green
As if to say that time is relative,
That afterlives have nothing left to mean
When life means nothing but the will to live,
I like the statues, but I don't understand how their changing colour says anything about time - or what it means to say that it's relative. The second half is a bit vague and metaphysical, without actually being Metaphysical.
Gematria wrote:Yet Judgment Day could well come calm like this,
As airlines break the Sabbath of the sky
And Ikons get the weekly Judas-kiss
Of men who shall not know they kiss goodbye,
I like the first line a lot. Not keen on the intrusion of the airlines, but the Sabbath of the sky is lovely. Couldn't follow the third and fourth lines.
Gematria wrote: And twilight shall be sepsis of the sun,
And branches jitter on a final oak,
And colors clot with evening, one by one.

The far road groans like one deep thunderstroke.
That's a really nice finish, but the formalist in me thinks it must be possible to shed a couplet somewhere - not necessarily in this verse - and end up with a very good sonnet. Unless you don't want to write a sonnet.

So there's my well-meaning stab at a helpful response. Hope it came close. I did enjoy reading this. Could you tell?

Cheers

David

Gematria
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Re: Evening

Post by Gematria » Mon May 17, 2010 8:06 pm

It sounds as though the trees are out of stand. I can see you know this already, as you've tried to preempt that reading with a comma, which sort of works - but not quite.

Not sure why you've used "mellow" - it reads like a wilful attempt to avoid "yellow", but I think that would be fine.

The last line is a really good one.
What about

Shadows that grew since noon are now connecting.
Long out of bloom and time, the oak trees stand.
The leaves are red and yellowed shards reflecting
The light that smashed its mirror on the land.

I like the statues, but I don't understand how their changing colour says anything about time - or what it means to say that it's relative. The second half is a bit vague and metaphysical, without actually being Metaphysical.
Well, generally green is a sign of youth and freshness. With bronze, it's the exact opposite. But what about this:

Alone the old bronze statues keep their green
To show that nature doesn't really care,
That God himself has nothing left to mean
When there are only atoms in the air.

I like the first line a lot. Not keen on the intrusion of the airlines, but the Sabbath of the sky is lovely. Couldn't follow the third and fourth lines.
It's a reference to a part of the eastern orthodox Eucharist. Hmm. perhaps I could make it more overt:

Yet Judgment Day could well come calm like this,
Whilst airplanes break the Sabbath of the sky
And crucifixes feel the Judas-kiss
Of men who cannot know they kiss goodbye,

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Re: Evening

Post by Ros » Mon May 17, 2010 8:11 pm

I was agreeing with most of David's comments. I like your suggestions for revisions, though. Enjoyed this greatly - it's not often we get something quite so formal here. I'm not so keen on capitals starting every line, but that's a matter of personal taste, of course. Your ending is cracking:

And twilight shall be sepsis of the sun,
And branches jitter on a final oak,
And colors clot with evening, one by one.

The far road groans like one deep thunderstroke.

Ros
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Gematria
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Re: Evening

Post by Gematria » Tue May 18, 2010 12:15 pm

I just revised the whole thing massively

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Re: Evening

Post by Ros » Tue May 18, 2010 1:52 pm

I like the revision overall, though I'm not keen on

A green like something almost being said.

by the way, generally, people post the revision as an edit above the original post, so that it's easier to compare.

Ros
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David
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Re: Evening

Post by David » Thu May 20, 2010 5:15 pm

Very accomplished IP, Gem. It's very Tennyson in effect, I think. Am I thinking of Tithonus? I think I am. (The woods decay, the woods decay and fall ...)

A green like something almost being said reminds me very much of something else, but I'm not sure what. (Oops! Googled it. Philip Larkin, The Trees. You'd better read it, unless it's intended as a direct allusion.)

That aside, it's very good. Some will say it's old-fashioned, and I wouldn't disagree, but it's not a bad thing in my book.

Cheers

David

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Re: Evening

Post by stuartryder » Thu May 20, 2010 5:44 pm

hi. did not see original but liked the formal effort in this. reminds me of growing up where there was a bronze that had greened. in fact it was only with the advent of affordable
digital cams that ive been able to appreciate the weathering.

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Re: Evening

Post by Arian » Thu May 20, 2010 6:25 pm

I'm going to join the general thumbs-up on this - an accomplished and confident piece, lyrical and rhythmic. For me, the highlight (though it's all good), is L1 (revision), which is simply outstanding as a start, and the last 4 lines, which are also excellent.

But David's right - that green line is very similar to (that is, the same as) a Larkin line, so you may want to re-visit (from the context, it's not obviously an allusion). Also, for me, very small point this, the line
I gaze into the clouds where God goes dead.
doesn't quite fit the rhythm. Perhaps lose the "the"?

But these are mere nits about a generally admirable piece. Thanks for posting it.
peter

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Re: Evening

Post by Elphin » Thu May 20, 2010 7:29 pm

Yep - thumbs up from me. I like the technical achievement of the form but also the careful selection of novel descriptions. Could it become a sonnet?

I agree with David that it may said to be old fashioned but thats OK in my book too.

elph

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