Last Request

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Gematria
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Last Request

Post by Gematria » Sat May 29, 2010 3:47 am

NIXED
Last edited by Gematria on Sat Nov 10, 2012 6:30 am, edited 1 time in total.

brianedwards
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Re: Last Request

Post by brianedwards » Sat May 29, 2010 5:29 am

Some of the rhymes are well handled, particularly in S2, which is my favourite. I also like the idea of "in your arms my body falls from me."
But overall the tone is much too archaic for me. Without wishing to sound rude, do you read much contemporary poetry?

B.

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Re: Last Request

Post by Gematria » Sat May 29, 2010 5:38 am

But overall the tone is much too archaic for me.


How? Other than "beheld" and "beloved", is there a single word here that is not used in contemporary English?
Without wishing to sound rude, do you read much contemporary poetry?
Yes. And I don't take offense at your implication, though the fact that you made it makes me wonder weather you read much from contemporary poets like Judith Wright, James Emanuel, Weldon Kees, David George and Mark Van Doren.

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Re: Last Request

Post by brianedwards » Sat May 29, 2010 6:05 am

I confess I had never heard of Wright and George. Emanuel I know in name though I haven't read much. Kees and van Doren I know quite well. Part of the reason I mentioned it was that I took a peek at your translations blog (quite impressive btw) and didn't come across many poets from mid-late 20th century onwards.

In my comment I said the "tone" was archaic, which refers to syntax, idiom and conceit as well as individual words. My honest impression, offered in good spirit, is that this doesn't sound like contemporary poetry. I have only one pair of ears and my own opinions. I have no doubt you will find plenty of readers who disagree with me.

Take it or leave it, just the feedback of one reader.

B.

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Re: Last Request

Post by ray miller » Sat May 29, 2010 3:31 pm

I suppose it's the "Once more, beloved" and "let us, let us not's" that lend it a slightly archaic feel.Not that that bothers me.
Rainrocked is a great word.
"Go out and as ourselves" - the "and" seems very unnatural and presumably there for the syllable count.
I didn't care much for "gone beautiful". How about "clouds blown beautiful by"
free our clothes to air, be rainrocked and surrender -that's lovely.
I'm out of faith and in my cups
I contemplate such bitter stuff.

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Re: Last Request

Post by clarabow » Sat May 29, 2010 3:48 pm

Well, I don't have a problem with

"How? Other than "beheld" and "beloved", is there a single word here that is not used in contemporary English?"

er- "writ, dint"?

The poem does takes us back, and for me that is not so much a problem - but for modernist it may well be.

The problem for me is the poem is not telling me anything? It is not enough? I don't know if that makes sense but you can get away with an awful lot in a poem if it is really meaningful. I don't think this is...

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Re: Last Request

Post by BenJohnson » Sat May 29, 2010 5:15 pm

Gematria wrote:
But overall the tone is much too archaic for me.


How? Other than "beheld" and "beloved", is there a single word here that is not used in contemporary English?

I would have to say that "on writ of sky,", "sudden wrath.", "by dint of air" and "whorl of winds" are not in general usage or at least not in my area. I have no issues with rhyming poetry or an archaic tone if that is what you are going for.

There are some great phrases in there "be rainrocked and surrender." and especially for me "clouds gone beautiful with sudden wrath." Storm clouds are utterly amazing.

As a whole although it feels pretty well crafted, I don't feel that it ends up taking me anywhere as a sonnet I don't feel the necessary turn of thought around the last sestet and I feel as though the same thought is being stretched through several stanzas. Again like Brian this only what I get from it as a reader and I intend no offence.

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Re: Last Request

Post by Arian » Sat May 29, 2010 7:00 pm

It certainly has its moments, this - the rainrocked and cloud/wrath images are outstanding, to my ear. I liked the sonics of "whorl of winds", too.

But - sorry - to me (just a single, and relatively uninformed, opinion) it does have a slightly archaic feel to it. I think it's the repeated "beloved", as well as its general syntax, that's the "culprit" for me.

Lines such as:

Read out its alphabet on writ of sky,

seem to me to be trying too hard to be poetic (what could it mean?) - it would make more sense (and sound more poetic, to me) if you used the more conventional (and more lyrical)

Read out its alphabet, writ on sky,

But, as I've never read any of the poets you mention above, and have only heard of one of them (kees), you may (justifiably) feel that I'm in no position to comment sensibly.

All the best
peter

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Re: Last Request

Post by David » Sat May 29, 2010 7:29 pm

Neither "writ" nor "dint" strike me as particularly old-fashioned. "hollers", on the other hand, does stand out rather awkwardly for me.

It actually seems very Germanic to me. That's fine, I like Germanic. The last line, which I like a lot, is very Goethe, I think. Schubert could have set this. (Not doing a lot to allay the old-fashioned imputation, am I?)

I don't know any of the poets you mention, and I do try to read contemporary poetry. The question is, should I? (Know these poets, not read contemporary poetry.)

Prosit!

David

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Re: Last Request

Post by twoleftfeet » Tue Jun 01, 2010 11:19 am

Hi Gematria,

FWIW "on writ of sky" sounds like an archaic construct to me, something that I might read in the King James's Bible
along with "wrath". At the same time "once more beloved" is pointing me in a similar direction.
So on one level I feel like I'm being addressed from the pulpit but although there is fire-and-brimstone imagery (of sorts) there is no sense of sin or punishment, merely acceptance; and the excellent ending is akin to the "still small voice of calm".
On another level I feel I am simply watching a storm with my loved one.

I agree with Ray about the "and" in L3, and with David about "hollers".

I am not going to enter the debate over what poetry one "should" and "shouldn't" read.
The next thing will be someone suggesting that poems get marks out of 10.

Great read
Geoff
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Re: Last Request

Post by Elphin » Tue Jun 01, 2010 12:30 pm

Interesting thread this poem has generated.

Personally, I dont find any of the individual words archaic - and hollers in particular is a fantastically expressive word. I can see though how the tone might be perceived as old fashioned though - not a problem in itself.

I think my main criticism would be the lack of progression in the idea and if it is to be a sonnet it does need a turn. Metrically and in the rhymes it is generally well constructed so all in all I would say there is something here to be working with.

elph

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Re: Last Request

Post by ray miller » Tue Jun 01, 2010 3:02 pm

Wouldn't it be a good idea if we gave poems marks out of ten? Then when someone asks you which is your best poem - or even your 17th best poem - you'd have the answer readily at hand, scientifically verified, almost.
6
I'm out of faith and in my cups
I contemplate such bitter stuff.

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Re: Last Request

Post by Nash » Wed Jun 02, 2010 8:44 pm

This is great, very powerful, the sort of poem that should be shouted.

I agree that it has a slightly archaic feel, but so what!! The English language has such an amazingly rich history, why not use it.

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Re: Last Request

Post by David » Thu Jun 03, 2010 8:49 pm

twoleftfeet wrote:I am not going to enter the debate over what poetry one "should" and "shouldn't" read.
The next thing will be someone suggesting that poems get marks out of 10.
Aha. What I meant was not "Should I read this in order to comply with some sort of poetical Top 10?", more "Is it worth my while?"

I agree that there should be no set syllabus.

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Re: Last Request

Post by brianedwards » Thu Jun 03, 2010 9:19 pm

David wrote:
I agree that there should be no set syllabus.
But surely there are some must-reads? Good potential for a discussion thread here I think . . .

B.

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Re: Last Request

Post by ray miller » Thu Jun 03, 2010 9:33 pm

Pam Ayres?
I'm out of faith and in my cups
I contemplate such bitter stuff.

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Re: Last Request

Post by brianedwards » Thu Jun 03, 2010 11:08 pm

ray miller wrote:Pam Ayres?
I knew you'd say that!

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Re: Last Request

Post by clarabow » Wed Jun 09, 2010 9:55 am

Gem, I thought I would take another look and you have had many comments re word usage and such. I appreciate that you have taken time with the meter which (for me) is more important than rhyme as it is the sound and flow that carry a poem along. I wonder now if Beloved is perhaps more of a reference to God, as this would certainly work with the tone of the poem and word usage? If so Beloved would need to be in Caps. If not then the poem has a sense of mystery and secrets, which is no bad thing. I think you have worked hard on the technical side; and the artistic whilst no so strong this poem has grown on me.

Once more, beloved, let us praise the thunder,
Read out its alphabet on writ of sky,
Go out and as ourselves, and so go under.
Once more, beloved, let us not know why. - let us know not why might read better and in keeping with tone

In dark the world is showing its true colors.
It booms in every alley with its breath,
Breaks potted plants by dint of air, and hollers - no , here
Through clouds gone beautiful with sudden wrath.

Once more, beloved, let us praise the thunder
Together at the whorl of winds, and free - no ,
Our clothes to air, be rainrocked and surrender. - no ,
Once more, beloved, let us not be warm - I understand the rhyme but not the line?

As in your arms my body falls from me,
Held and beheld within your eyes of storm.

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