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Still Chartreuse

Posted: Thu Oct 13, 2011 2:26 pm
by Suzanne
Still Chartreuse

The lantern glows pale yellow.
Denial reads the paper
and doesn't say a word.
Doesn't check the clock,
doesn't herald the forecast
or listen for sounds
of a waking house.
Denial sits in pale yellow.

But the forest floor
is still chartreuse.
The yellow of death
hasn't fully leached
the green out of the ferns;
there's a neon patchwork of moss
bordering blood-red blueberry leaves
and there is still time to gather.

And the morning sky is a blue page
of airmail stationery
and the birch trees wave
faded yellow stamps
in the October wind.
And it's easy to pretend
she's still in her room.





.

Re: Still Chartreuse

Posted: Thu Oct 13, 2011 2:58 pm
by BenJohnson
I'll be back to read this properly at leisure this evening, but at first glance this is more like it :)

p.s. also owe you an email later ;)

Re: Still Chartreuse

Posted: Thu Oct 13, 2011 4:12 pm
by Mic
This made the back of my neck and head tingle. There is something at work beneath the words here that the words are conjuring.

Mic

Re: Still Chartreuse

Posted: Thu Oct 13, 2011 4:14 pm
by Mic
especially the last verse, which is terrific.

the last line of the second verse is awkward.

Mic

Re: Still Chartreuse

Posted: Thu Oct 13, 2011 7:19 pm
by David
Gosh. I think this is excellent, Suzanne. It's like something out of a sumptuously illustrated Victorian book of very grim fairy tales.

Cheers

David

Re: Still Chartreuse

Posted: Thu Oct 13, 2011 7:36 pm
by ray miller
I like this very much, best one you've written for some time, I think. I wasn't sure at first about Denial, personified like that, but it's grown on me. I might remove "in" from last line of first verse.
This bit is lovely

But the forest floor
is still chartreuse,
the yellow of death
hasn't fully leached
the green out of the ferns,

and, of course, so is moss. Neon, though, seems a strange place to find it.

airmail stationary - that's difficult. I'm still not sure that you don't mean stationery!

Re: Still Chartreuse

Posted: Thu Oct 13, 2011 8:27 pm
by JohnLott
You are finding your voice again, Suzanne.

Some great descriptions

But the forest floor
is still chartreuse,
the yellow of death
hasn't fully leached
the green out of the ferns,
there's a neon patchwork of moss
and blood-red blueberry leaves,

And the morning sky is a blue page
of airmail stationary,
and the birch trees wave
faded yellow stamps
in the October wind.


But:
The literal in me asks how can Denial deny if he/she doesn't speak?
Harvest might be better than gather
Stationery
I don't really understand S1,L8 and S3 L5/6 unless we are talking about the passing of Summer

:)

J.

Re: Still Chartreuse

Posted: Fri Oct 14, 2011 2:28 am
by brianedwards
Really excellent Suzanne. Last line S2 does read a little awkwardly, and stationary should be stationery surely? The blue paper used for writing airmail right?

Image

But those minor nits aside, this is probably the finest poem I've read by you. Confident, mature, restrained and entirely fitting in terms of tone and idiom. Yes, excellent. I'll nom this for feature.

B.

Re: Still Chartreuse

Posted: Fri Oct 14, 2011 6:42 am
by Vincent Turner
I agree with the praise this poem had brought.

I found it affecting and had a real sense of feeling, the word choice is controlled and the pace of the poem is perfect.

Not overly sure about the denial part.

agree that the closing of the poem is very moving.

When reading your work it is becoming increasingly evident that you have a "voice"- cliched I know, but true, your work is easily identifiable- which is a good thing, you are making poetry your own.

Good stuff

Best Regards

Vincent

Re: Still Chartreuse

Posted: Fri Oct 14, 2011 6:49 am
by Suzanne
There was a gasp followed by staring

and a long silence.





!!!!


just a second.

Re: Still Chartreuse

Posted: Fri Oct 14, 2011 7:57 am
by Suzanne
I am so happy about your comments. Literally speechless. Thank you all. Those are very nice words to read. I've tried to fix that awkward line, did I fix it?

Thank you, Brian for the photo, that is exactly what I imagined, nice that you found it. It is so old fashioned, isn't it. Remember how thin that paper was? So thin.

And Ray, the moss really is neon green. It almost glows. Very colorful up here this time of year.

Happy, thanks,
Suzanne

Re: Still Chartreuse

Posted: Fri Oct 14, 2011 8:16 am
by Ros
May I have a quick tweak?
Suzanne wrote:Still Chartreuse

The lantern glows pale yellow, - full stop?
Denial reads the paper
and doesn't say a word.
Doesn't check the clock,
doesn't herald the forecast
or listen for sounds
of a waking house.
Denial sits in pale yellow.

But the forest floor
is still chartreuse, --- full stop
the yellow of death - new sentence
hasn't fully leached
the green out of the ferns, -- dash or ;
there's a neon patchwork of moss
bordering blood-red blueberry leaves, - no punc
and there is still time to gather.

And the morning sky is a blue page
of airmail stationery, -- no need for comma
and the birch trees wave
faded yellow stamps
in the October wind.
And it's easy to pretend
she's still in her room. -- have you thought about removing the 'still'? reads more easily and the meaning is still there.

OK, I just like to see proper sentences. Ignore or take!

Excellent.

Ros





.

Re: Still Chartreuse

Posted: Fri Oct 14, 2011 9:22 am
by Mic
John Lott wrote:The literal in me asks how can Denial deny if he/she doesn't speak?
Arrr*!@£$!!!**rrrgh. Some of your comments really drive me up the wall John. I don't get how you don't get that Denial can refuse without speaking and yet you don't seem to mind birch trees waving faded yellow stamps.

Mic

Re: Still Chartreuse

Posted: Fri Oct 14, 2011 1:02 pm
by JamesM
Hello Suzanne,

Ros has side-stepped personifiacation issues wth her puntuation fix, but I'm still doubting: Denial short-hands an emotional state, which, while very well handled in subsequent strophes, still needs--for me-- work. I'm looking for a spot-on image or observation, something which embodies all the attributes of, 'Denial' but doesn't say it. Everything else is in place. Something, I'm sure, your imagination can resolve.

James

Re: Still Chartreuse

Posted: Fri Oct 14, 2011 4:45 pm
by JohnLott
Mic wrote:
John Lott wrote:The literal in me asks how can Denial deny if he/she doesn't speak?
Arrr*!@£$!!!**rrrgh. Some of your comments really drive me up the wall John. I don't get how you don't get that Denial can refuse without speaking and yet you don't seem to mind birch trees waving faded yellow stamps.

Mic
I've seen (silver) birch trees waving yellow postage stamps but I haven't heard Denial saying nothing; I've seen Obdurate with head in newspaper or looking in the opposite direction to where they are asked to look.

Sorry Mic, not my intention to frustrate you.

:(

J.

Re: Still Chartreuse

Posted: Fri Oct 14, 2011 5:18 pm
by Suzanne
Hi John,

I have to admit that I agreed with Mic but chose to ignore your comment about being literal.

You see, literal is not compatible with understanding poetry.

lit·er·al (ltr-l)
adj.
1. Being in accordance with, conforming to, or upholding the exact or primary meaning of a word or words.
2. Word for word; verbatim: a literal translation.
3. Avoiding exaggeration, metaphor, or embellishment; factual; prosaic: a literal description; a literal mind.
4. Consisting of, using, or expressed by letters: literal notation.
5. Conforming or limited to the simplest, nonfigurative, or most obvious meaning of a word or words.

For this poem: It can be a tricky thing but instead of thinking of the exact meaning of Denial, it would be advantageous, should you want to understand the poem, to step back and think about what I could have meant by it. The meaning easily trumps the literal.

When you question the literal meaning of words in crits you are actually asking the writer
to explain what they meant exactly to you, it implies that poem has failed to convey meaning

but really, it has only failed to be literal.


Here however, I do not believe that you did not know what the poem meant. A personification of denial became Denial and he did not have to deny to be in denial. I do not believe that you do not know that a person can be in Denial without articulating what they deny.....

In the poem, there is no one to talk to therefore he is silent. It is implied that he used to check the clock, speak about the newspaper, herald the forecast, listen for the sounds of someone in another room.

You are quite selective with your literal eye as the house can not wake up and make sounds but did you question that?


This is a clear opportunity to learn a new way of reading poetry and changing patterns of thought. It can definitely open up new possibilities in your writing too.

I hope you accept this in the good-hearted manner it is offered.

Warmly,
Suzanne

Re: Still Chartreuse

Posted: Fri Oct 14, 2011 7:24 pm
by Arian
Mic wrote:Arrr*!@£$!!!**rrrgh. Some of your comments really drive me up the wall John.
John, I have to confess that I see the reason for Michaela's asterisks here. It's metaphor, old thing. Christ, if you apply "the literal in me" to every
thing you read, it's a wonder you see poetry in anything. Let alone produce it, which you do, quite effectively on occasion. If we're going to crit Suzanne's piece seriously, and I think it can be seriously criticised despite its strengths, don't you think this kind of remark is a bit, oh I don't know, poetically naive?

Suzanne - some nice aspects to it. But your reaction to John - where is it it's said? Richard III? Hamlet? Can't recall. But perhaps the lady doth protest too much.

Methinks.

Cheers
peter

Re: Still Chartreuse

Posted: Fri Oct 14, 2011 7:42 pm
by Suzanne
Let's call it unleashed passion?

Sorry, if it seemed too much for you, John.

Suzanne

Re: Still Chartreuse

Posted: Fri Oct 14, 2011 11:34 pm
by JohnLott
Arian wrote:
Mic wrote:Arrr*!@£$!!!**rrrgh. Some of your comments really drive me up the wall John.
If we're going to crit Suzanne's piece seriously, and I think it can be seriously criticised despite its strengths, don't you think this kind of remark is a bit, oh I don't know, poetically naive?
Peter, I don't disagree on the surface - but it's more that 'Denial' is placed there without introduction, doesn't seem to figure later and seems to be no more relevant than other words from a list like Beauty, Husband, Rhetoric, Comedy, Sorrow.

I know 'literal' is somewhat of a catch phrase for me, but in one way I am not just being 'literal' by highlighting a word or a sentiment. I am highlighting something more; I am highlighting the mood of it, its validity, its authenticity. I just think 'Denial' as a sentiment doesn't quite fit that place and that mood because it has not been justified.

It's not a big deal, really; it's no more than Brian Edwards, for example saying he's not fond of parts the last stanza in Suzanne's latest poem when she includes bags of cement.

I am always being pulled up for putting in words, phrases, stanzas in my work - so what: I post to get feedback, to amend or ignore and move on. My goal is to improve.

?

8)

J.

Re: Still Chartreuse

Posted: Sat Oct 15, 2011 5:10 am
by Mic
Hi John,

In my reading of the poem Denial simply couldn't be substituted for any of other words you mention. The fact that it could for you suggests to me that you have a very different take on what this poem is 'about.'

Michaela

Re: Still Chartreuse

Posted: Sat Oct 15, 2011 7:53 am
by calico
What's the unleashed passion?!
Suzanne - wonderful. Very glamorous title, actually I find the whole poem sort of glamorous - must be the vivid colours, and the confidence. The evocation of the leaves as paper stamps will stay with me whenever I look at the birch leaves I'll think of it...where is this place? Blueberry leaves on neon moss. It's almost hallucenogenic.

Re: Still Chartreuse

Posted: Sat Oct 15, 2011 9:43 am
by Nash
Well it's all been said really, but I may as well throw my praise onto the pile. Excellent work Suzanne, possibly one of the best that I've read on here for a while.

A very minor point, but I agree with Michaela about the last line of S2 being a little awkward. How about a comma after 'leaves' and replacing 'and' with 'yet'?

Re: Still Chartreuse

Posted: Sat Oct 15, 2011 10:47 am
by Suzanne
Thank Ros, for the punctuation resolution. So many edits while writing, it is easy for me to get lost in my own commas.

James, I am in denial about any issues with Denial. lol. No, seriously thanks for the feedback. You and John seem to be somewhat on the same page.

Peter, I appreciate the thin slice of crit on both poem and behavior. Your feedback never goes unheard (about both sides of the coin.) I am sure there is plenty here to be seriously critiqued, no doubt.

For today though, with this poem, I am just glad to have signs of being back in my groove as you can well imagine. Thank you, Peter. thank goodness, Creativity has returned. Next... a good muse with a new theme, perhaps?

Thank you calico, glamorous is a word I have not heard for a long time, it made me smile. I am far, far, far north where the colors in the forest are reflected in the wool socks we wear. lol.

My unleashed passion was for the cutting and pasting of dictionary entries
as seen in my response to John. I try to keep it under control but sometimes... well, there is temptation.

Nash, thank you the compliment. I will think further about that line when some time has passed. I am glad to see you.


John, I have no idea what to say to you. But I do know that having "literal" as a "catch phrase" when reading poetry is a hindrance to understanding the message the poet is trying to convey. Let Literal nap while you daydream poetic.


Warmly,
Suzanne

Re: Still Chartreuse

Posted: Sat Oct 15, 2011 11:28 am
by JamesM
Suzanne wrote:James, I am in denial about any issues with Denial. lol. No, seriously thanks for the feedback. You and John seem to be somewhat on the same page.
No, Personification is what distracts from an otherwise excellent poem. John has his own exclusive page as regards his position on Denial.

Re: Still Chartreuse

Posted: Sat Oct 15, 2011 2:42 pm
by twoleftfeet
David wrote:Gosh. I think this is excellent, Suzanne. It's like something out of a sumptuously illustrated Victorian book of very grim fairy tales.

Cheers

David

Absolutely. Great ending, Suzanne.

Muchly enjoyed
Geoff