(Redrafted) Not Moon Apart

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Antcliff
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(Redrafted) Not Moon Apart

Post by Antcliff » Thu Dec 01, 2011 3:31 am

Redrafted. No great change in content, slightly clearer at one point and walking slightly better in the middle.

Beneath the hill, sheltered only barely,
by two barren fields and some old bricks.
Edged by the brambles of a poor crop year.
Hedging, fewer hopes for new year’s tricks.

Bound to hear the rain’s worst temper;
with no reply but gurning at the sky.
Aging, stiffly lifting the old coal scuttle,
softly scoured by wind’s seventh try.

Unsteady paradise, our modest Eden,
blessed as things of no grace can be.
Our walls our own at least, food enough,
foundations holding, never shaken free.

And we’re not proud, not moon apart,
all beneath the silver in the clear night.
Not us, we littles, smiling, waving,
never wishing bigger than our true height.




Two Not Moon Apart

Reference: in “In my craft and sullen art” Dylan Thomas says he does not write poetry for the proud “moon apart”. He seems to be saying that those properly living under the moon are the real audience or even source for poetry. Or some such. Toddiad (ish). Setting: where the two are, in the Hebrides, where the moon is a strong presence because there is no street lighting.

Beneath the hill, sheltered only barely,
by two barren fields and some old bricks.
Edged by the brambles, poor crop this year ,
hedging, fewer hopes in new year tricks.
Bound again to hear the rain’s worst temper,
only gurning in damp as weak reply.
Aging, stiffly stepping to coal scuttle,
softly scoured by wind’s sixth or seventh try.
Unsteady paradise, modest Eden,
blessed as things of no grace can be.
Our walls our own at least, food enough,
foundations holding, never shaken free.
And we’re not proud, not moon apart,
all beneath the silver in the clear night.
Not us, we littles, smiling, waving,
never wishing bigger than our true height.
Last edited by Antcliff on Thu Dec 29, 2011 4:09 pm, edited 4 times in total.
We fray into the future, rarely wrought
Save in the tapestries of afterthought.
Richard Wilbur

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Re: Two Not Moon Apart

Post by calico » Thu Dec 01, 2011 10:05 am

Hi there Antcliff
I would have liked to read this without DT's moon cherub face in my mind - all sullen boy-man cheeks - I feel so sentimental about him and I can't work out if I would feel the same about your poem without that reference.
"We littles" - oh God, it's so sentimental I love it, and the relentlessness of wind and rain, and age, is well evoked. I love the atmosphere and feeling of the poem.
The non-sentences. Did this used to be couplets? That's how it reads.
Megan

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Re: Two Not Moon Apart

Post by ray miller » Thu Dec 01, 2011 11:30 am

The last 4 lines are brilliant, wonderful. The opening is nice enough, too.
But...
only gurning in damp as weak reply.

I've no idea what's meant by that and the middle section drags a bit, I think.

Edged by the brambles, poor crop this year ,
hedging, fewer hopes in new year tricks.

Is the comma after hedging intentional?
I'm out of faith and in my cups
I contemplate such bitter stuff.

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Re: Two Not Moon Apart

Post by Antcliff » Thu Dec 01, 2011 2:16 pm

Thanks for reading Ray. The moon will light your way tonight.

It was new last night and I'm inclined to agree with you that the middle section is not quite walking right yet.
On gurning. It may be more of an expression from the north. To gurn is to pull ugly/silly faces. There were once (and still are I hope) gurning competitions. So the idea of the line is of people blown and rained on and left with no response to this ("only a weak reply") other than to gurn at wind/rain.
Ant

p.s. still pondering over which end of a congo is the wrong end really.


ray miller wrote:The last 4 lines are brilliant, wonderful. The opening is nice enough, too.
But...
only gurning in damp as weak reply.

I've no idea what's meant by that and the middle section drags a bit, I think.

Edged by the brambles, poor crop this year ,
hedging, fewer hopes in new year tricks.

Is the comma after hedging intentional?
We fray into the future, rarely wrought
Save in the tapestries of afterthought.
Richard Wilbur

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Re: Two Not Moon Apart

Post by Antcliff » Thu Dec 01, 2011 2:33 pm

Hi Megan. Thanks for reading. Moon will certainly light your way tonight as well...

It was born last night, so it had no previous life as couplets. Been playing with toddiads as a form and it may be that when you do so there is a certain couplety feel to it. Don't know.

Sentiment. Yes, but those not-moon-apart do not fear it.
Ant

calico wrote:Hi there Antcliff
I would have liked to read this without DT's moon cherub face in my mind - all sullen boy-man cheeks - I feel so sentimental about him and I can't work out if I would feel the same about your poem without that reference.
"We littles" - oh God, it's so sentimental I love it, and the relentlessness of wind and rain, and age, is well evoked. I love the atmosphere and feeling of the poem.
The non-sentences. Did this used to be couplets? That's how it reads.
Megan
We fray into the future, rarely wrought
Save in the tapestries of afterthought.
Richard Wilbur

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Re: Two Not Moon Apart

Post by Antcliff » Thu Dec 01, 2011 2:36 pm

Hi Megan. Thanks for reading. Moon will certainly light your way tonight as well...

It was born last night, so it had no previous life as couplets. Been playing with toddiads as a form and it may be that when you do so there is a certain couplety feel to it. Don't know.

Sentiment. Yes, but those not-moon-apart do not fear it.
Thanks. Ant

calico wrote:Hi there Antcliff
I would have liked to read this without DT's moon cherub face in my mind - all sullen boy-man cheeks - I feel so sentimental about him and I can't work out if I would feel the same about your poem without that reference.
"We littles" - oh God, it's so sentimental I love it, and the relentlessness of wind and rain, and age, is well evoked. I love the atmosphere and feeling of the poem.
The non-sentences. Did this used to be couplets? That's how it reads.
Megan
We fray into the future, rarely wrought
Save in the tapestries of afterthought.
Richard Wilbur

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Re: Two Not Moon Apart

Post by ray miller » Thu Dec 01, 2011 9:39 pm

I know what gurning means. I thought perhaps for you it meant summat else! I'd much prefer the title without Two in it.

[quote="Antcliff"]p.s. still pondering over which end of a congo(conga) is the wrong end really.[/quot ]

I guess it depends on your gender.
I'm out of faith and in my cups
I contemplate such bitter stuff.

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Re: Two Not Moon Apart

Post by Antcliff » Thu Dec 01, 2011 10:06 pm

Yes, quite right. Original title was The Not Moon Apart, but I see there is no real need for any accountancy at all.
Ant


ray miller wrote:I know what gurning means. I thought perhaps for you it meant summat else! I'd much prefer the title without Two in it.
Antcliff wrote:p.s. still pondering over which end of a congo(conga) is the wrong end really.[/quot ]

I guess it depends on your gender.
We fray into the future, rarely wrought
Save in the tapestries of afterthought.
Richard Wilbur

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Re: Two Not Moon Apart

Post by brianedwards » Thu Dec 01, 2011 11:34 pm

I'm not sure the preamble is necessary, though I do like the idea that those "properly living under the moon", ie, lunatics, are the real audience for poetry. Mrs B would certainly agree!
If the Hebridean setting is important, I suggest you might use it as a title and do away with the obscure one currently being employed. The expression occurs later in the poem anyway, and it often jars when titles are repeated. Not keen on those non-sentences in the opening either, but some of the images are nice and well worth repairing.
I agree the endlines are top drawer.

B.

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Re: Two Not Moon Apart

Post by twoleftfeet » Fri Dec 02, 2011 12:02 am

Ant,

I'm in two minds about this one.
On the one hand, the "moon apart" idea is well handled, but on the other I find the whole concept somewhat twee
- especially N identifying with "we littles".

I agree with Ray about this line:
only gurning in damp as weak reply.
- it seems to have been whittled down too far.

Ditto for this line:
Aging, stiffly stepping to coal scuttle,

This, on the other hand, is perfect (IMHO):
Our walls our own at least, food enough,
foundations holding, never shaken free.


Others may disagree, but I think "not moon apart" needs a hypen i.e. "not moon-apart".

Brian's idea wrt to the title is a good 'un.
Geoff
Instead of just sitting on the fence - why not stand in the middle of the road?

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Re: Two Not Moon Apart

Post by Antcliff » Fri Dec 02, 2011 12:47 am

Two left,

Thanks for reading. O yes, very happy with "somewhat twee". The moon shines on you now as well. For of course that is what we not moon-apart know ourselves to be. "Somewhat.." perfect.

Gurning line...hmm. I'll ponder. Glad you went for the "walls/free" bit. Hoped there would be no need to re-bed that.

Ant.
p.s. I suspect you are of the not moon-apart really. Evidence: the admirably only somewhat twee self-labelling "twoleftfeet".


twoleftfeet wrote:Ant,

I'm in two minds about this one.
On the one hand, the "moon apart" idea is well handled, but on the other I find the whole concept somewhat twee
- especially N identifying with "we littles".

I agree with Ray about this line:
only gurning in damp as weak reply.
- it seems to have been whittled down too far.

Ditto for this line:
Aging, stiffly stepping to coal scuttle,

This, on the other hand, is perfect (IMHO):
Our walls our own at least, food enough,
foundations holding, never shaken free.


Others may disagree, but I think "not moon apart" needs a hypen i.e. "not moon-apart".

Brian's idea wrt to the title is a good 'un.
Geoff
We fray into the future, rarely wrought
Save in the tapestries of afterthought.
Richard Wilbur

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Re: Two Not Moon Apart

Post by BenJohnson » Fri Dec 02, 2011 9:46 am

Congratulations on surviving PG's warm welcome and continuing to post :D

A Welsh form written in English and based in the Hebrides is quite a mix. You've played quite loosely with the syllable count and is it me or am I missing some/most of the internal rhymes? The result works though as stated by many others the closing lines are very strong.

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Re: Two Not Moon Apart

Post by Antcliff » Fri Dec 02, 2011 10:43 am

Thanks for reading Ben,
Yes, not been strict on rhymes and syllable count - toddiadish only.
Ant
BenJohnson wrote:Congratulations on surviving PG's warm welcome and continuing to post :D

A Welsh form written in English and based in the Hebrides is quite a mix. You've played quite loosely with the syllable count and is it me or am I missing some/most of the internal rhymes? The result works though as stated by many others the closing lines are very strong.
We fray into the future, rarely wrought
Save in the tapestries of afterthought.
Richard Wilbur

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Re: Two Not Moon Apart

Post by twoleftfeet » Fri Dec 02, 2011 12:18 pm

Hebridean Island?
Todd Aid?

Don't tell me - they've sent an S.O.S: they've run out of whiskey again! :)
Instead of just sitting on the fence - why not stand in the middle of the road?

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Re: Two Not Moon Apart

Post by Antcliff » Fri Dec 02, 2011 1:21 pm

O yes, whisky galore. A classic in the only somewhat twee category.
Ant,
As indeed is that image that goes with your postings. Wee toon man, wee hat, possibly bending against wind...like it.

twoleftfeet wrote:Hebridean Island?
Todd Aid?

Don't tell me - they've sent an S.O.S: they've run out of whiskey again! :)
We fray into the future, rarely wrought
Save in the tapestries of afterthought.
Richard Wilbur

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Re: Two Not Moon Apart

Post by twoleftfeet » Fri Dec 02, 2011 1:57 pm

Antcliff wrote:O yes, whisky galore. A classic in the only somewhat twee category.
Ant,
As indeed is that image that goes with your postings. Wee toon man, wee hat, possibly bending against wind...like it.

twoleftfeet wrote:Hebridean Island?
Todd Aid?

Don't tell me - they've sent an S.O.S: they've run out of whiskey again! :)
A classic indeed - and you can watch it on YOUTUBE!

As to the avatar - he is the garbage man in the "Dilbert" comic-strips, and thinking about it, he is not moon-apart.
If you've ever worked in an office you will comprehend the lunacy:
http://www.dilbert.com/strips/
Instead of just sitting on the fence - why not stand in the middle of the road?

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Re: (Redfrafted) Not Moon Apart

Post by Antcliff » Wed Dec 28, 2011 8:11 pm

redraft
We fray into the future, rarely wrought
Save in the tapestries of afterthought.
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Re: (Redrafted) Not Moon Apart

Post by gavin » Thu Dec 29, 2011 2:07 am

the mathematics of English, I am not an acquaintance. Mush! forgive my English. Neighourhood taverns to which I am thankful teach my English to me;

Beneath the hill, sheltered only barely,
by two barren fields and some old bricks.
Edged by brambles of a poor crop year.
Hedging, fewer hopes for new year’s tricks.
Bound to hear the rain’s worst temper,
with no reply but gurning at the sky.
Aging, stiffly lifting old coal scuttle,
softly scoured by wind’s seventh try.
Unsteady paradise, our modest Eden,
blessed as things of no grace can be.
Our walls our own at least, food enough,
foundations holding, never shaken free.
And we’re not proud, not moon apart,
all beneath the silver in the clear night.
Not us, we littles, smiling, waving,
never wishing bigger than our true height.

I shall call you by your nightcap mane as you brush (ant)

The first 4 lines lovely, the weakness is tricks, the poem is built on sensible creatures of humble means, tricks becomes a distraction, it is as though tricks fainted in the ranks, you picked it up and sat its next the words (new years), burn the bitch.

The next four lines you have slue around and dropped reply sky by try, aging lifting to get the middle rotund enlarge the venture by rhyming the three lines to give it punch. To push forward out of the poetical trench, you have some very beautifully crafted phrases in this poem,

The rest I found be idling lovely, but would have left out (Our)
And (not) very Amish terrifying

I did love your poem

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Re: (Redrafted) Not Moon Apart

Post by Antcliff » Thu Dec 29, 2011 1:28 pm

Thank you for reading Gavin. Helpful suggestions here....
And an interesting escaped pixie mode of posting.
Ant
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Re: (Redrafted) Not Moon Apart

Post by Arian » Thu Dec 29, 2011 5:19 pm

I haven't read the original, but...

to my mind, a pleasant piece, nicely evocative and imaginatively expressed. Some thoughtful and inventive lines.

For me, it's slightly - but not fatally - let down by a couple of technical inconsistencies. For example, if you're going to personify wind (nice touch) through the omission of the usual article, then perhaps you should do so with rain, too.

Still, a lot to like.
cheers
peter

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Re: (Redrafted) Not Moon Apart

Post by Ros » Fri Dec 30, 2011 8:54 pm

Hi Antcliff,

I did read the original, but haven't read it again now, so will treat v2 as new. It has a lovely tone and the middle section feels smooth to me now. The use of couplets feels a little slow and pedantic and I'm not too keen, but otoh it does suit the subject-matter well. I like the end line a lot but thought 'Not us, we littles, smiling, waving,' feels a little too twee. Smiling, waving, gurning - it's a bit too much country bumpkin? and that's precisely not the image I'm getting from the rest of the poem.

Enjoyed, thanks for the read.

Ros
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