The old croft house nearby on a frosty day

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Antcliff
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The old croft house nearby on a frosty day

Post by Antcliff » Sat Dec 03, 2011 5:02 pm

The old croft house nearby on a frosty day

Whose house this was I’ll never know.
The Duke’s old factor told them go.
All their children may now be dead,
All buried in Canadian row.

My white house does not think it strange
To sit beside this corpse of theirs,
Huddling with its own future state,
Stone now loved at a lesser rate.

Sometimes I wander to inspect
And peek around the old fireplace,
See change and try to genuflect
Before a life of small effect.

Each year these decays further creep
But I have loved ones of my own.
And fewer miles before I sleep
And fewer miles before I sleep. 
We fray into the future, rarely wrought
Save in the tapestries of afterthought.
Richard Wilbur

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Re: The old croft house nearby on a frosty day

Post by BenJohnson » Sat Dec 03, 2011 5:25 pm

The same scene as Frost from a different angle?

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Re: The old croft house nearby on a frosty day

Post by David » Sat Dec 03, 2011 7:51 pm

Ant, I like the first two lines, and the fourth, but line 3 is wrong, rhythmically. Then in S2 you abandon (largely) the original rhyme scheme (unless we allow you strange as a rhyme with state and rate, which I'm not inclined to do), and I think that's a no-no in this sort of pastiche. Admittedly it comes back online in S3, but you've really got to up your game in S4. This is such an iconic poem, and that stanza in particular is so resonant, that you either have to do it justice or subvert it completely.

I actually think that with the title, and a lot of the poem, you've got enough for quite a decent poem, but it's buried under the general Frostiness (or not quite Frostiness) at the moment. If you can unearth that poem, I'd like to read it.

Cheers

David

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Re: The old croft house nearby on a frosty day

Post by Arian » Sat Dec 03, 2011 8:27 pm

First, Ant, you need to take my remarks with a metric tonne of salt, because I'm known as an outspoken, and sometimes totally unfair, critic of this type of stuff.

So, with that health warning in mind...

Is this really the stuff of modern poetry? God, I hope not. Haven't we moved on? God, I hope so. I won't deconstruct the piece line for line, because - to my mind - it's unnecessary. For me, the piece harks back to a time when poetry was about contrivance and formulae, when form dominated expression, when the dithyrambic style was the be-all and EA.

I don't know if, judged by these stnadards, it's a good poem or not. I'd say not, for reasons I won't bother to go into.

For me, sorry, it's a non-starter - archaic in style, derivative in expession, pointless in its intention.

Apologies forthe negativity, but this is the E forum, after all.

Cheers
peter

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Re: The old croft house nearby on a frosty day

Post by ray miller » Sat Dec 03, 2011 9:20 pm

I quite like the 2nd verse, except for the last line, perhaps. But I like the idea of a house eyeing its own derelict future."Huddling with its future state" would do nicely, though. And it doesn't have the rhyme scheme of the other 3 verses. Didn't like that much. I thought the last two verses were pretty weak

Each year these decays further creep

loses the rhythm entirely.
I'm out of faith and in my cups
I contemplate such bitter stuff.

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Re: The old croft house nearby on a frosty day

Post by Antcliff » Sat Dec 03, 2011 9:34 pm

Hi Arian thanks for reading.
I rarely write on old forms.
Of course it "harks back"..it was meant to do so. However that the form is old is hardly an objection is it...it implies nothing good or bad. Where I live we do not think that we are above on occasion using a form of our fathers. Not all the time, no, but certainly sometimes. I assume I will not be seeing you at the gaelic mod in stornaway then? You will be going outside of the hall into the wind and rain when we play such old forms as reels.
Joking aside, you were expressing but not articulating a dislike of forms. But I do hope to hear from you again.
Ant.


Arian wrote:First, Ant, you need to take my remarks with a metric tonne of salt, because I'm known as an outspoken, and sometimes totally unfair, critic of this type of stuff.

So, with that health warning in mind...

Is this really the stuff of modern poetry? God, I hope not. Haven't we moved on? God, I hope so. I won't deconstruct the piece line for line, because - to my mind - it's unnecessary. For me, the piece harks back to a time when poetry was about contrivance and formulae, when form dominated expression, when the dithyrambic style was the be-all and EA.

I don't know if, judged by these stnadards, it's a good poem or not. I'd say not, for reasons I won't bother to go into.

For me, sorry, it's a non-starter - archaic in style, derivative in expession, pointless in its intention.

Apologies forthe negativity, but this is the E forum, after all.

Cheers
peter
We fray into the future, rarely wrought
Save in the tapestries of afterthought.
Richard Wilbur

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Re: The old croft house nearby on a frosty day

Post by Antcliff » Sat Dec 03, 2011 9:39 pm

Thanks Ray..just read your father of american psychiatry piece and rated it.
Glad you liked the house bit at least.
Sorry to not use same scheme for all. I did not think to be too purist. Still, I take yer point. If you are going to play a reel, go the whole way.
Ant

ray miller wrote:I quite like the 2nd verse, except for the last line, perhaps. But I like the idea of a house eyeing its own derelict future."Huddling with its future state" would do nicely, though. And it doesn't have the rhyme scheme of the other 3 verses. Didn't like that much. I thought the last two verses were pretty weak

Each year these decays further creep

loses the rhythm entirely.
We fray into the future, rarely wrought
Save in the tapestries of afterthought.
Richard Wilbur

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Re: The old croft house nearby on a frosty day

Post by Antcliff » Sat Dec 03, 2011 9:50 pm

Yes, I take the point that you/ray make about rhyme scheme. I intended to echo it but not be purist. I did so knowingly. Still, I do take the point. If you are going to play a reel play it the whole way.
It is not a pastiche by the way. When you play a fiddle set with references and parts of various reels they are being played, but not being played "as pastiche" in the sense that implies any mockery.
Ant.

David wrote:Ant, I like the first two lines, and the fourth, but line 3 is wrong, rhythmically. Then in S2 you abandon (largely) the original rhyme scheme (unless we allow you strange as a rhyme with state and rate, which I'm not inclined to do), and I think that's a no-no in this sort of pastiche. Admittedly it comes back online in S3, but you've really got to up your game in S4. This is such an iconic poem, and that stanza in particular is so resonant, that you either have to do it justice or subvert it completely.

I actually think that with the title, and a lot of the poem, you've got enough for quite a decent poem, but it's buried under the general Frostiness (or not quite Frostiness) at the moment. If you can unearth that poem, I'd like to read it.

Cheers

David
We fray into the future, rarely wrought
Save in the tapestries of afterthought.
Richard Wilbur

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Re: The old croft house nearby on a frosty day

Post by ray miller » Sat Dec 03, 2011 9:52 pm

Sorry, I've not expressed myself well. What I didn't like much was the rhyme scheme in verses 1, 3 and 4!

Sometimes I wander to inspect
And peek around the old fireplace,

That's a very contrived formulation, don't you think?

After a couple more reads I can say I enjoy the sentiment of the poem, not so keen on the structure.
I'm out of faith and in my cups
I contemplate such bitter stuff.

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Re: The old croft house nearby on a frosty day

Post by Antcliff » Sat Dec 03, 2011 10:00 pm

Thanks Ray.
This is helpful. It is an attempt to express in an old form and if someone does not care for the form itself such thing will not be welcomed. Fair enough, some just do not want to hear a reel at all. They can go to the bar at that point.
Yes, it is a tad contrived that line, but it is a tight form. It is hard to use such a form without sounding contrived. Many think Frost had some great stoke with the repeating, but even amongst his admirers there is a worry that in reality he was just running out of steam.

Ant.
ray miller wrote:Sorry, I've not expressed myself well. What I didn't like much was the rhyme scheme in verses 1, 3 and 4!

Sometimes I wander to inspect
And peek around the old fireplace,

That's a very contrived formulation, don't you think?

After a couple more reads I can say I enjoy the sentiment of the poem, not so keen on the structure.
We fray into the future, rarely wrought
Save in the tapestries of afterthought.
Richard Wilbur

Nash

Re: The old croft house nearby on a frosty day

Post by Nash » Sat Dec 03, 2011 10:56 pm

There's nothing wrong with an homage if you ask me, and if you're going to do one then Frost has gotta be a good choice.

The thing is though, if you're going to do one on Frost's Woods poem then I would say the metre needs to be absolutely spot on. I would have liked to have seen his wonderful rolling rhyme scheme utilised too. I know you said that you didn't want to be a purist about it but as the meter is so close to being iambic tetrameter, but not quite making it in places, then it could be perceived as being sloppy. Just my two-penneth.

Nash.

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Re: The old croft house nearby on a frosty day

Post by Antcliff » Sat Dec 03, 2011 11:13 pm

Hi Ben.
Yes, I wanted to take the old poem which is I suppose set in New England and take it to Scotland - there is nothing in it to rule that out - and continue the journey but here. The last stanza which all have taken to be weak was meant to do two things...express both mortality but also hint that this was a return from the journey. A stopping again because he could not stay the first time. I do intend to keep at this one and hope perhaps to bring that out.
Ant.
We fray into the future, rarely wrought
Save in the tapestries of afterthought.
Richard Wilbur

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Re: The old croft house nearby on a frosty day

Post by brianedwards » Sat Dec 03, 2011 11:48 pm

Nash wrote:
The thing is though, if you're going to do one on Frost's Woods poem then I would say the metre needs to be absolutely spot on.
Absolutely agree.

Though I sympathize with Peter and his comments about contemporary poetry, I accept that there's nothing wrong (in fact there is often something very right) with a good homage. But that's the problem. The meter in this is way too sloppy, and the mixing of rhyme schemes reads as clumsy to me. Also, I don't know what accent you would read this in, but I can't for the life of me hear a rhyme in strange/theirs or strange/state or theirs/rate, so I do't really know what I'm supposed to get from that.

Interesting idea, but falling short in this draft I'd say.

B.

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Re: The old croft house nearby on a frosty day

Post by Antcliff » Sun Dec 04, 2011 12:51 am

Thanks
I was not supposing that "strange" was a rhyme being too far away.
Yes I accept now - thanks to all - it needs to be either much closer to the full frost rhyme/meter (Frostier) or perhaps less. I have rather fallen between two stools...aiming at the sentiment but perhaps too vaguely echoing Frost.
Thanks to all, that was useful.
Ant

brianedwards wrote:
Nash wrote:
The thing is though, if you're going to do one on Frost's Woods poem then I would say the metre needs to be absolutely spot on.
Absolutely agree.

Though I sympathize with Peter and his comments about contemporary poetry, I accept that there's nothing wrong (in fact there is often something very right) with a good homage. But that's the problem. The meter in this is way too sloppy, and the mixing of rhyme schemes reads as clumsy to me. Also, I don't know what accent you would read this in, but I can't for the life of me hear a rhyme in strange/theirs or strange/state or theirs/rate, so I do't really know what I'm supposed to get from that.

Interesting idea, but falling short in this draft I'd say.

B.
We fray into the future, rarely wrought
Save in the tapestries of afterthought.
Richard Wilbur

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Re: The old croft house nearby on a frosty day

Post by David » Sun Dec 04, 2011 1:11 pm

I can never think badly of a man who plays the fiddle.

Stornoway? Lewis? That's a heck of a long way up, isn't it?

Cheers

David

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Re: The old croft house nearby on a frosty day

Post by Antcliff » Sun Dec 04, 2011 1:20 pm

Not in Stornoway. People up in Stornoway are born at an angle, leaning into the wind. A joke the great fiddler Aly Bain always makes.
Ant
And mandolin, not fiddle,,
We fray into the future, rarely wrought
Save in the tapestries of afterthought.
Richard Wilbur

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Re: The old croft house nearby on a frosty day

Post by David » Sun Dec 04, 2011 1:52 pm

Antcliff wrote:Not in Stornoway. People up in Stornoway are born at an angle, leaning into the wind. A joke the great fiddler Aly Bain always makes.
Ant
And mandolin, not fiddle,,
Ah well. I think I could definitely, at a push, think badly of a man who plays the mandolin. If a ceilidh is a meal, the mandolin is just part of the garnish, isn't it? Perhaps the unappetising strand of lettuce. Maybe I am maligning a noble instrument, however.

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Re: The old croft house nearby on a frosty day

Post by Suzanne » Sun Dec 04, 2011 2:23 pm

Antcliff wrote: Joking aside, you were expressing but not articulating a dislike of forms. But I do hope to hear from you again.
LOL. A gauntlet? Yes! Peter?



I can't say I enjoyed the poem but enjoyed the banter and agree with Peter, Nash and Brian about form. lol.
Try to tighten it up and get the message clearer.

However, it is okay as it is but it is not good enough to remember as a response to Frost.
I do like the idea of switching global locations. I can even say that the poem, as it is, is kind of inspired me to try to do it. So... that means there is an impact of some sort, right? Not all bad.

and a proper Hello and welcome,
Suzanne

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Re: The old croft house nearby on a frosty day

Post by JohnLott » Sun Dec 04, 2011 3:52 pm

Hi Ant,
coming late to this.
The poem (story) started with promise and fell away - all the way to the Frostesque finale.
I think you have it in you to write your own tale, without the constraints of Frost - and failing Frost.

8)

J.
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