On falling asleep after you

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Mic
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On falling asleep after you

Post by Mic » Sun Oct 05, 2014 7:07 am

There she is, on top of the dusty 'Collected Poems
of Marianne Moore' I keep on the chest of drawers:

my Venezuelan angel, with her long wooden face
long neck and her upside-down wings and

I know not to look, as her blue robe flows over books,
the mahogany clock-radio, your watch, over

a half-opened drawer stuffed with knickers,
love notes, and odd socks.

Oh! A tiny wooden feather, like gold
or the colours of Autumn

brushes past my lips, floats
on the rise and fall of you breathing.



Original

There she is, on top of the dusty 'Collected Poems
of Marianne Moore' I keep on the chest of drawers:

my Venezuelan angel, with her long wooden face
long neck and her upside-down wings and

I know not to look, as her blue robe flows over books
the mahogany clock-radio, your watch, over

a half-opened drawer stuffed with knickers,
love notes, and odd socks.

Oh! A tiny wooden feather, like gold
or the colours of Autumn

brushes past my lips, floats
on the rise and fall of you breathing.

The rushing sound in my ears is
like the sudden gust of wind

that shook neat piles of leaves apart
when my grandfather died.
Last edited by Mic on Wed Oct 15, 2014 6:38 pm, edited 2 times in total.
"Do not feel lonely, the entire universe is inside you" - Rumi

1lankest
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Re: On falling asleep after you

Post by 1lankest » Mon Oct 06, 2014 4:46 pm

Some lovely moments, mic, but not quite working as a whole yet, for me.

I'm assuming the model angel represents the lover, and the long robe has been discarded pre bed time? If not, how and why dies this small model angel have such a long robe? The last four lines give a sense of passion and lust/love, but I'm not sure what other messages to take from this. It leaves me slightly confused, although the scene you paint is vivid. Perhaps more clarity needed on significance and form of this angel. I feel I've been very thick with this one, it's been a long day. Someone put me right.

Luke

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Re: On falling asleep after you

Post by penguin » Tue Oct 07, 2014 4:37 pm

I like bits of it, couplets 4,7 and 8 are to my liking. I'm telling myself that's because they aren't trying too hard to be poetic, but it's probably not that at all. Anyhow, it's much more interesting to say what you don't like or understand -

my Venezuelan angel, with her long wooden face
long neck and her upside-down wings and - two longs and another wooden later on strike me as unimaginative. My imagination struggles with upside-down wings. How so?

I know not to look, as her blue robe flows over books
the mahogany clock-radio, over - don't you need a comma after books?

A tiny wooden feather, like gold - a wooden feather? I have difficulty with that as well. But mostly I'm thinking that the Venezuelan angel is a statuette of some sort, so why do you know not to look? At what?

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Re: On falling asleep after you

Post by David » Tue Oct 07, 2014 5:12 pm

Very nice, really. I - being me, I suppose - would stop at "breathing". I like the detail that precedes that, and the mood it builds up. I don't think you need to try to connect it to your grandfather's death, which almost feels like piling on the transcendence. Trust in what you've done up to that point. It works perfectly fine.

Cheers

David

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Re: On falling asleep after you

Post by k-j » Wed Oct 08, 2014 2:49 am

Yeah, I agree with David. Really enjoyed the poem, but there is a substantial break between "breathing" and "the rushing sound". The death takes over the poem and almost makes moot all the stuff that came before. I sense that what you want is to link the two parts more subtly, more intertwinedly, since they can certainly be connected, but the suddenness of the last line and the slowness of the rest pulls all the attention to the end.

I'm slightly lost with the feather. If it's close enough to a sleeper (bearing i mind it's made of wood) to be moved by their breath, then it doesn't seem to be on the chest of drawers? But maybe I'm just critiquing your living arrangements here.
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Re: On falling asleep after you

Post by 1lankest » Wed Oct 08, 2014 4:31 pm

. . . . I'm afraid I still don't really get it. Oh dear.

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Re: On falling asleep after you

Post by Antcliff » Wed Oct 08, 2014 9:41 pm

I enjoyed the tone of this very much, Mic.

Bit lost here...
A tiny wooden feather, like gold
or the colours of Autumn
brushes past my lips, floats
on the rise and fall of you breathing.
A wooden feather brushes?

Though I can see the appeal in the suggestion of others that the grandfather bit be put aside, that bit does tie in with the mention of Autmn colours...leaves.

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

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Re: On falling asleep after you

Post by Jackie » Fri Oct 10, 2014 2:23 am

Mic, I so like your language here. It's so gentle and sincere—no frills.

I'm guessing, too, but I'm thinking that the last two stanzas matter. I'm wondering if the "falling asleep" in your title doesn't mean dying, and just as the leaf piles moved when N's grandfather died, the floating feather does not reflect "your" actual breathing.

I wish I could understand this better.

Jackie

Mic
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Re: On falling asleep after you

Post by Mic » Wed Oct 15, 2014 6:08 pm

1lankest wrote:Some lovely moments, mic, but not quite working as a whole yet, for me.

I'm assuming the model angel represents the lover, and the long robe has been discarded pre bed time? If not, how and why dies this small model angel have such a long robe? The last four lines give a sense of passion and lust/love, but I'm not sure what other messages to take from this. It leaves me slightly confused, although the scene you paint is vivid. Perhaps more clarity needed on significance and form of this angel. I feel I've been very thick with this one, it's been a long day. Someone put me right.

Luke
Thanks Luke. What I was sort of thinking as I wrote this: the model angel is a model angel, the lover is asleep next to the n. The n. is falling asleep and imagining that the angel has somehow 'come to life'. The poem is hoping to get away with a bit of magic realism (given the drifting into sleep state of the N.) This doesn't need to be what comes across though.

Penguin. Yes, appreciate hearing what doesn't perhaps work, and why.

Upside down wings? Just because on this naif carved wooden statue that I brought back from Venezuela years ago, the feathers carved on the wings seem to be upside down... It might be a distracting detail in the poem.

yep, probably need a comma

the tiny wooden feather, like gold etc, ..... it doesn't make sense I know, and yet....

'I know not to look' - it's just a fanciful thing - the n. is imagining that somehow the angel is about to fly off...(or something). And you aren't supposed to look at angels. They are friendly but a bit scary as well etc.
"Do not feel lonely, the entire universe is inside you" - Rumi

Mic
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Re: On falling asleep after you

Post by Mic » Wed Oct 15, 2014 6:30 pm

David wrote:Very nice, really. I - being me, I suppose - would stop at "breathing". I like the detail that precedes that, and the mood it builds up. I don't think you need to try to connect it to your grandfather's death, which almost feels like piling on the transcendence. Trust in what you've done up to that point. It works perfectly fine.

Cheers

David
Thanks! And thanks for that edit David. I like it and will change.
"Do not feel lonely, the entire universe is inside you" - Rumi

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Re: On falling asleep after you

Post by Mic » Wed Oct 15, 2014 8:01 pm

k-j wrote:Yeah, I agree with David. Really enjoyed the poem, but there is a substantial break between "breathing" and "the rushing sound". The death takes over the poem and almost makes moot all the stuff that came before. I sense that what you want is to link the two parts more subtly, more intertwinedly, since they can certainly be connected, but the suddenness of the last line and the slowness of the rest pulls all the attention to the end.

I'm slightly lost with the feather. If it's close enough to a sleeper (bearing i mind it's made of wood) to be moved by their breath, then it doesn't seem to be on the chest of drawers? But maybe I'm just critiquing your living arrangements here.
k-j, yes, you and david are right I think about the last lines (I'll save them for another poem, it's a strong image I think). Re the feather - see above, it's a whimsy/magical realism/half asleep imaginings thing... or is it?
"Do not feel lonely, the entire universe is inside you" - Rumi

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Re: On falling asleep after you

Post by Mic » Wed Oct 15, 2014 9:33 pm

1lankest wrote:. . . . I'm afraid I still don't really get it. Oh dear.
I'm not sure there's anything really 'to get'...
"Do not feel lonely, the entire universe is inside you" - Rumi

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Re: On falling asleep after you

Post by Mic » Wed Oct 15, 2014 9:36 pm

Antcliff wrote:I enjoyed the tone of this very much, Mic.

Bit lost here...
A tiny wooden feather, like gold
or the colours of Autumn
brushes past my lips, floats
on the rise and fall of you breathing.
A wooden feather brushes?

Though I can see the appeal in the suggestion of others that the grandfather bit be put aside, that bit does tie in with the mention of Autmn colours...leaves.

Seth
Thanks Seth. I suppose in a literal sense it is a bit of a stretch, the wooden feather brushing.

Mic
"Do not feel lonely, the entire universe is inside you" - Rumi

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Re: On falling asleep after you

Post by Mic » Wed Oct 15, 2014 9:39 pm

Jackie wrote:Mic, I so like your language here. It's so gentle and sincere—no frills.

I'm guessing, too, but I'm thinking that the last two stanzas matter. I'm wondering if the "falling asleep" in your title doesn't mean dying, and just as the leaf piles moved when N's grandfather died, the floating feather does not reflect "your" actual breathing.

I wish I could understand this better.

Jackie
Jackie, after I wrote this, it occured to me that it seemed in some way to be about a remembered grief (the death of my grandfather) and anticpatory grief (which the title could be hinting at)

Mic
"Do not feel lonely, the entire universe is inside you" - Rumi

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Re: On falling asleep after you

Post by Mic » Thu Oct 23, 2014 9:30 pm

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"Do not feel lonely, the entire universe is inside you" - Rumi

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Re: On falling asleep after you

Post by Antcliff » Sat Oct 25, 2014 7:22 pm

Silly me, Mic. It seems that "brush" can be used for just touching gently. Nice photo.

Like the poem. Memorable.

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

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Re: On falling asleep after you

Post by David » Thu Oct 30, 2014 8:44 pm

Antcliff wrote:Like the poem. Memorable.

Seth
Yes, really nice. The edit takes it up a notch, I think. And it started pretty high anyway.

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