Suomenlinna in a sea of glass - edit

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Suomenlinna in a sea of glass - edit

Post by Suzanne » Sun Apr 28, 2013 5:44 pm

Suomenlinna in a sea of glass




Doing nothing
together, on a granite wall
towering above the Baltic,
grass pricked our backs
our feet dangled over the edge.

I remember listening to pebbles
fall from our shoes
into the sea
as we tapped them together

and you told me
a love poem
was the most difficult
type of poem to write.

And I thought very hard
trying to understand
what you could have meant
by difficult

because
just before you said it

I'd been watching a cloud
drift in the Finnish-blue sky
saw it expand, then diffuse
into loose white lace
as it somersaulted slowly
over our heads

and it was in that moment I knew
anything you asked of me
would be answered with
yes.




....



Doing nothing
together, on a granite wall
towering
above the Baltic Sea,
grass pricked our backs
our feet dangled over
the edge.

I remember
listening to pebbles
fall
from our shoes
into the sea
as we tapped them
together

and you told me
a love poem
was the most difficult
type of poem
to write.

And I thought
very hard
trying to understand
what you could have meant
by "difficult"

because
just before you said it

I'd been following
a lone cloud drift
in the Finnish-blue sky
watched it expand
then diffuse
into loose white lace
as it somersaulted slowly
over our heads

and it was in that moment
I knew
anything you asked of me
would be answered with:

yes.








.......

Doing nothing
together
on a granite wall
towering
above the Baltic Sea,
grass pricked our backs
our feet dangled over
the edge.

I remember
listening to pebbles
fall
from our shoes
into the sea
as we tapped them
together.

And you told me
a love poem
was the most difficult
type of poem
to write

and I thought
very hard
trying to understand
what you could have meant
by "difficult"

because
just before you said it
I had been watching
a cloud
being breeze kneaded
in a Finnish-blue sky

saw it transform
into loose white lace
then somersault slowly
into a perfect-day parade
above our heads

and it was at that moment
I knew
anything you asked me
would be answered with

yes.








.
Last edited by Suzanne on Tue Apr 30, 2013 8:14 am, edited 5 times in total.

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Re: Suomenlinna in a sea of glass

Post by twoleftfeet » Sun Apr 28, 2013 7:11 pm

Lovely,dreamy scene, Suzanne.
Glad that you could let us in on it.

You are bound to get grief over the stuttering line breaks, but not from me.

I'm wondering about this stanza

because
just before you said it
I had been watching
a cloud
being kneaded
by a Finnish-blue sky


- my immediate problem was picturing the sky kneading the cloud.
Easier I think to say something like

because
just before you said it
I had been watching
a play-dough
cloud in
a Finnish-blue sky


I think also that I'd be inclined to finish with

would be answered with a
yes.


Geoff
Instead of just sitting on the fence - why not stand in the middle of the road?

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Re: Suomenlinna in a sea of glass

Post by Nash » Sun Apr 28, 2013 7:41 pm

Nice title, Suzanne. I've no idea who or what Suomenlinna is (I shall google it in a minute) but I like the sound of it.

I really like this up until the end of S4, after that it seems to get a bit bland to me, with all the cloud watching and stuff. I think that "difficult" at the end of S4 would make a great finish.

S2 sounds a little odd to me. I think it could do with reading as:

I remember
listening to pebbles
fall
from our shoes
into the sea
as we tapped them
together.


Cheers,
Nash.

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Re: Suomenlinna in a sea of glass

Post by twoleftfeet » Sun Apr 28, 2013 7:44 pm

Nash wrote:Nice title, Suzanne. I've no idea who or what Suomenlinna is (I shall google it in a minute) but I like the sound of it.
My first though was that it must be Finnish for "semolina"..
Instead of just sitting on the fence - why not stand in the middle of the road?

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Re: Suomenlinna in a sea of glass

Post by Ros » Sun Apr 28, 2013 7:52 pm

Here's the linebreak grief, as predicted! To me, it gives far too much emphasis to particular words or phrases that aren't justified; particularly towering, the edge, together (twice). It's ladleing the significance on with a trowel. This is a simple poem that tells of simple, lovely things and doesn't need that emphasis.

Doing nothing together on a granite wall
towering above the Baltic Sea
grass pricked our backs.
Our feet dangled over the edge.

I remember listening for pebbles
to fall from our shoes into the sea
as we tapped them together.

etc. Though I also think you need, in such a deceptively simple poem, to think about each word and image and the way they resonate together; e.g. the repeat of together is leading me to expect some significance that relates back to the first action being something you're doing together - but it doesn't. And the way the cloud is seen first as a single thing and then becomes a lace parade - that should be some sort of reflection on the relationship between the two people.

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Re: Suomenlinna in a sea of glass

Post by Suzanne » Sun Apr 28, 2013 7:58 pm

Hi. Oops. Slipped in with an edit. Lol

Thanks Nash and Geoff and Ros. I'll look closer again tomorrow. Zzzzz.

Good night,
Suzanne

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Re: Suomenlinna in a sea of glass

Post by ljordan » Sun Apr 28, 2013 8:02 pm

The poem made me think of Sexton's work and engaged me with the danger and surrender of its illusions. The lines being choppy felt as the sea against the wall, (despite the title's inference) so that works for me as mentioned by Geoff. I'm not sure I'd change the 'kneading.' For me it reflects the poem's fulcrum of 'difficult'. Possibly repeating the word 'poem' in the S3 is clunky, but I think a certain care needs to be taken to perserve the vernacular. There's an innocence to it that is also necessary for the 'difficult' to work as it performs double duty as an inference to "difficult poems." Lastly, not fond of 'perfect-day.' It imposes the narrator's opinion of the value of the image rather than leave the illustration to stand for itself. You could change it to something like 'gamboling' or other objective descriptor.

larry

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Re: Suomenlinna in a sea of glass

Post by Macavity » Mon Apr 29, 2013 6:10 am

hi Suzanne,
I found the poem quite easy to read down the page, flowing rather than choppy, the 'vertical' rather than 'horizontal' stretching of the line aids the dreamy feel. Of course, chopping up lines in this way can be used as a technique to disguise prose, but I don't think that is the case here. The form works with the content. I agree with Nash on the stopping point, unless you can deliver something less fluffy after because. I don't buy into breezes kneading, perfect day makes me think of Lou reed, and for my tastes the ending is too pink. There would be a resonance stopping at 'difficult'', though perhaps the space left would suggest 'difficult' is right. Unless you can prove otherwise...or perhaps the simplicity of shoes tapping together, the pebbles falling, has done that :)

cheers

mac

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Re: Suomenlinna in a sea of glass

Post by twoleftfeet » Mon Apr 29, 2013 10:13 am

Hi again, Suzanne

Thinking about it - "asked me" should be "asked of me".
Instead of just sitting on the fence - why not stand in the middle of the road?

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Re: Suomenlinna in a sea of glass

Post by ray miller » Mon Apr 29, 2013 10:35 am

I've never been able to work out what other people are intending by their line breaks so I just file it under Not very important. Inasmuch as these line breaks slow things down I can appreciate them.

and I thought
very hard
trying to understand

and I tried
very hard
to understand - says it better, I think.

breeze kneaded sounds awfully contrived. On the other hand the sound of kneaded/needed is nice.Get rid of the breeze, I suppose.

perfect day parade sticks out a mile too. At the least, I'd lose "parade".

I enjoyed the poem. Title could be shortened to Suomenlinna, maybe.
I'm out of faith and in my cups
I contemplate such bitter stuff.

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Re: Suomenlinna in a sea of glass

Post by joe77evans » Mon Apr 29, 2013 12:17 pm

I'm not sure if this is the way that you want to go, but I see a certain insecurity in the relationship that could be played up a bit more - the narrator will do anything for the other, while the other finds love poems (and perhaps love?) very difficult. Is there a metaphor there in their happy afternoon at the top of a cliff?
Also, for me the images could be a bit clearer. If you are at the top of a towering cliff, you won't hear stones hit the sea but you would hear them rattle down the cliff; likewise, I've never seen clouds somersault, they tend to stretch and distort along the line of the wind direction... It sounds picky but it brings it all to life much more vividly if you recognise the reality of the image.
Re line breaks, is there are place (ie not here) for a discussion on how people use the structural elements of poetry - line breaks, stanzas, rhythmic patterns and so on? I have my own ideas on how I use them but I'd be really interested to hear what other people are thinking about...

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Re: Suomenlinna in a sea of glass

Post by Ros » Mon Apr 29, 2013 12:44 pm

Hi Joe - start a post in the Poetry Discussion section and people will probably jump in...

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Re: Suomenlinna in a sea of glass - edit

Post by Suzanne » Mon Apr 29, 2013 2:51 pm

Thank you all for the crits and ideas. I have used many of them.
Thought of all of them seriously, some good insight.

Line breaks follow the way I speak the poem aloud.
Recently, I have been reading some published works of he and she and them
and thought I would try shorter lines, so I did.

I laughed at the "too pink" of an ending. I liked the comment.

The N pondered the cloud expanding and realized she was in love
moments before her partner said it was hard to write a love poem.

The connection expanding cloud and the inflated feeling of love is not as strong felt as I can imagine it could be but that is the wonderful thing about poetry.


Stopping the poem at "difficult" would make it someone else's poem and not mine.

It would be a whole different point, message and meaning. I find it an interesting ( and I mean in the dictionary definition, not sarcastically) suggestion.

Don't we write poems to communicate a message? If an edit is to change the message.... Why are we writing?

I have always found this an interesting angle in critiquing. I do understand surprises can happen in the process of art but they are surprises and standards to be put in a jar.


Why do we write but to tell someone something? Man, I love poetry.

Thank you sincerely,
Suzanne

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Re: Suomenlinna in a sea of glass - edit

Post by Ros » Mon Apr 29, 2013 5:59 pm

An edit can be to tell the message more clearly, or more interestingly. Or perhaps because, although it might mean less personally, a slightly different message is more interesting for the reader, will make them think more.

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Re: Suomenlinna in a sea of glass - edit

Post by Antcliff » Mon Apr 29, 2013 7:03 pm

I liked this a lot, Suzanne. Nothing but cheers. :D
Really. It is super.

Aside from the line breaks debate, I have little to offer by way of criticism..the love poem theme, the reply, the cloud, it all seems to fit together so well. It is a love poem albeit a quirky one.

It is so vivid. I'm almost there on the sea wall with you.


Seth
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Save in the tapestries of afterthought.
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Re: Suomenlinna in a sea of glass - edit

Post by Arian » Mon Apr 29, 2013 7:04 pm

Well, I like it. Quite a lot. As Geoff says, it has a relaxed, slightly dreamy feel that is easy to read. Its recursive nature is subtly handled.

Linebreak-wise, I see Ros' point. Personally, they seem gratuitous to me, I find it hard to imagine how a reading of it would impose the breaks you've given it. For me, longer line lengths would enhance the sleepy, reflective sense of the piece, and make a strong poem even stronger.

Still, no denying that it's very enjoyable.

Nit - I don't think you need to highlight the 2nd difficult with speech marks.

Cheers
peter

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Post by Suzanne » Mon Apr 29, 2013 7:42 pm

Thank you seth. You! Upload a photo the wall we were on for me? I tried but am having problems with the apple products. If you can?

Peter, thanks!! :)
Ill remove the "difficult" quotes.


Peter and linebreak Ros,
I was going to record it fir you as it is but after trying it aloud with the idea to record.... I must eat humble pie.

Ill edit tomorrow. Joe,, look away, don't mind me.

Suzanbe

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Re: Suomenlinna in a sea of glass - edit

Post by Suzanne » Tue Apr 30, 2013 5:49 am

Always things to learn.

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Re: Suomenlinna in a sea of glass - edit

Post by ray miller » Tue Apr 30, 2013 8:09 am

Very nice. I quite liked "together" on its own in the 2nd line. That colon before the final "yes" is an abomination, I think.
I'm out of faith and in my cups
I contemplate such bitter stuff.

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Re: Suomenlinna in a sea of glass - edit

Post by Suzanne » Tue Apr 30, 2013 8:15 am

Thanks Ray!

What colon? Lol. X

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Re: Suomenlinna in a sea of glass - edit

Post by Antcliff » Tue Apr 30, 2013 11:05 am

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

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Re: Suomenlinna in a sea of glass - edit

Post by Suzanne » Tue Apr 30, 2013 11:19 am

Oh seth i am so funny! I didnt even rhink of that. I got so frustrated with trying to use my iphone to load the photo , i got stuck in a mind numb loop.

Thank you.
Suzanne

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