Spring's Messenger

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David
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Spring's Messenger

Post by David » Sat Jun 13, 2015 2:09 pm

About this time of year -
always a little late -
I turn to The Englishman's Flora,

that amiable compendium
of fairylore and old discredited
soveraigne remedyes,

as though I might decipher
the passing code of flowers,
the fleeting semaphore

of stitchwort, pignut, campion
and hedges full of May,
as one might pluck the figwort

with the fulness of sea and land,
at the flow, not the ebb of the tide,
by thine hand, gentle Mary ...


but this is Spring's messenger,
and I am not his rightful
interlocutor.

I lack the proper formula.
He will not stay for me.

Arian
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Re: Spring's Messenger

Post by Arian » Sat Jun 13, 2015 6:50 pm

Hi David
I like the way the piece takes on the characteristics of the compendium's subjects - gentle, pretty, delicate, full of hope - and ends, like flowers do, suddenly, with a sense of disappointment. If that's intentional, and I suspect it is, then it's very well done. And even if it's not, I like it.

Cheers
peter

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Re: Spring's Messenger

Post by cynwulf » Sun Jun 14, 2015 4:27 am

Greetings David,
In full agreement with peter.A poem that speaks to my condition, much enjoyed. Nice touch of carpe diem-fair daffodils we weep to see....... etc.
regards, c.

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Re: Spring's Messenger

Post by ray miller » Sun Jun 14, 2015 9:04 am

Only an 18 line sentence. You're slackening up, lad. Lovely stuff, anyhow. Nice little rhymes - Flora/fairylore, pignut/figwort. Don't know that you really need old in line 5. The italicised stanza is passing me by but I do like the ending.
I'm out of faith and in my cups
I contemplate such bitter stuff.

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Re: Spring's Messenger

Post by dedalus » Sun Jun 14, 2015 11:32 pm

The English love of gardens
is closely connected with ...
drowsy cricket scores,
the buzzing of bees,
cucumber sandwiches,
the taste of Darjeeling.

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JJWilliamson
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Re: Spring's Messenger

Post by JJWilliamson » Mon Jun 15, 2015 5:24 pm

Hi David

Yes, I liked this one very much. The compendium of old remedies is well portrayed through the coded
messages contained within the plants.

S5 sounds like a quote from a hymn with 'thine' and the 'Virgin Mary' (Mary is the V.M. isn't she?)
I believe 'the flow' represents all things good and 'the ebb' the bad. All you need now is 'the ugly' :)

All things come to an end no matter how we would have it.

Some wistful overtones running through this piece as spring moves on.

Best
Long time a child and still a child

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Re: Spring's Messenger

Post by Macavity » Tue Jun 16, 2015 3:15 pm

Agree with the sentiments of the others David. Lovely read. A possible nit may be interlocutor/formula is not so understated, but that is perhaps intended as is the rightful/proper emphasis. I enjoyed the playfulness of soveraign remedyes and fleeting semaphore. Not sure if hedges full of May is too ordinary, again perhaps intended, though the poem does also use fulness. As JJ says, a wistful note to end on.

all the best

mac

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Re: Spring's Messenger

Post by Firebird » Tue Jun 16, 2015 5:09 pm

Overall, I like the gentle flow and sound of this piece.
Even though I like idea of stanza 6 I too don't think it is in tune with the subtle tone of the rest of the poem.
If this were mine I would cut the word interlocutor and rethink lines 2 and 3 of stanza 6.

Really like the poem nevertheless.

All my best,

Tristan

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Re: Spring's Messenger

Post by Ros » Wed Jun 17, 2015 10:27 am

Is Mary introducing a biblical note that doesn't quite fit? Otherwise very much enjoyed this. The title is apt but also a tiddly bit twee.

Ros
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Re: Spring's Messenger

Post by brianedwards » Wed Jun 17, 2015 11:31 am

It's a lovely poem David, but personally I find the word interlocutor one of the ugliest in the language. It's a personal idiosyncrasy I'm sure, just putting it out there. I also stalled a bit at Mary.

B.

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Re: Spring's Messenger

Post by David » Fri Jun 19, 2015 3:20 pm

Thank you, all.

Yeeeeesssss ... perhaps I should stop at the end of the sixth verse. Or even the fifth? (That's the Gaelic charm, as quoted in TEF - which I enthusuastically commend to you all.) Mary was the Gaels' idea. They're like that.

But then Ray likes the ending. So ...

Interlocutor is not a pretty word, I agree. I was thinking of Hamlet again - the ghost will only stop for, and answer, his rightful interlocutor. Even then you've got to get the form of words right. Maybe that's a different poem.
ray miller wrote:Only an 18 line sentence. You're slackening up, lad.
Bang to rights.

Cheers all

David

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Re: Spring's Messenger

Post by Firebird » Fri Jun 19, 2015 7:37 pm

Your allusion to Hamlet by using the word 'interlocutor' is a beautiful idea and I think works well here, but the problem for me is that even though I have read Hamlet a number of times, I didn't pick up on it (this may only be me though). Maybe a little more of a hint is needed.

All my best,

Tristan

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Re: Spring's Messenger

Post by k-j » Sat Jun 20, 2015 5:18 am

I think the line-break caused me to miss the Hamlet reference (that and my not reading Hamlet often enough). For me "intercolutor" is a Henry James word. He even indulges in "interlocutress".

Really good poem. Don't think "discredited" is necessary. We assume they're discredited; saying so just sounds a bit pointy, out of keeping with the poem. In fact the excellently-spelled next line says it all.

Names of flowers very well chosen.

Good ending. Makes the poem.
fine words butter no parsnips

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Re: Spring's Messenger

Post by David » Sat Jun 20, 2015 8:59 am

k-j wrote:Don't think "discredited" is necessary.
Probably right! I always over-modify.

Thanks, Tristan and k-j. Must think about Hamlet. (In all kinds of ways.)

Cheers

David

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