Anguish of the Agnostic

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JohnLott
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Anguish of the Agnostic

Post by JohnLott » Tue Dec 06, 2011 7:32 pm

Bottles gilded for Christmas.
Candles pointing like Titans
thrusting hope into the sky.
Beyond which lies
impropriety and
the barren void for faith.

Tonight the wax cascades
as arctic waterfalls will
at the onset of winter.

Where are you now
that I might feel your warmth
on my open palms
as darkness falls.
Last edited by JohnLott on Wed Dec 07, 2011 11:39 pm, edited 4 times in total.
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Ros
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Re: Anguish and Agnostic

Post by Ros » Tue Dec 06, 2011 7:40 pm

Not sure that this really works - 'thrusting hope into the sky' is a pretty terrible abstraction and 'graveyard of hope' is a cliched abstraction... the title is terrible... but I quite like the last two lines!

Ros
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Arian
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Re: Anguish and Agnostic

Post by Arian » Tue Dec 06, 2011 8:20 pm

I actually quite like the impropriety - hope sequence. New to me, and I like the idea behind it. And, yes, the last couplet is good.

Against that, the candles/titans line struck me as forced. Never seen a candle that evoked a sense of titanism in me. Remind me not to send you a birthday cake. Especially if you're older than 3.

I guess, overall, I'd say it's got some nice lines/images, but it seems to make a point of narrative indirection, even obscurity, which may be great for some readers, but is never a hit with me.

Cheers
peter

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Re: Anguish and Agnostic

Post by Antcliff » Tue Dec 06, 2011 9:20 pm

Hi John
pleased to meet you.
For what it is worth I like the titanic candles. Candles as big as towers. That candles are not titans is rather the fun of the image. :D
Not sure I follow with the impropriety beyond the sky...where is that again? Baflles me a little, but not in a bad way.
"Graveyard of Hope"...a bit hammer horror perhaps.
Ant
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Re: Anguish and Agnostic

Post by JohnLott » Tue Dec 06, 2011 10:11 pm

Ros, Arian, Ant
Thanks for the read and your comments.
At this stage perhaps it might help comprehension if I tell you that 'Titans' are the US expendable carrier rockets which were part of their space program. If this is unclear is there another way I can express man's quest to the stars (physical) in the context of man's hope at Christmas (metaphysical), especially in believing in the location of 'Heaven'?

J.
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Re: Anguish and Agnostic

Post by Arian » Tue Dec 06, 2011 10:25 pm

JohnLott wrote:Titans' are the US expendable carrier rockets
Ahh, those titans. Yes, I recall. I see now - good idea.

Perhaps it's a context thing - not enough of a clue in the context. Maybe, you could keep the essential image, but give more direction with the verb...

aimed like titans, ready like titans, threatening....etc. "Standing" is too much like what candles do, to nudge the reader to the allusion. If you see what I mean.

Cheers
peter

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Re: Anguish and Agnostic

Post by Antcliff » Tue Dec 06, 2011 10:30 pm

oh, those titans...I see.
Ant
We fray into the future, rarely wrought
Save in the tapestries of afterthought.
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ray miller
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Re: Anguish and Agnostic

Post by ray miller » Wed Dec 07, 2011 10:04 am

I like the opening couple of lines, whatever Titans you're referring to. I wouldn't have a semi-colon after them, though. Don't get the "impropriety" at all.

Tomorrow the wax cascades
as arctic waterfalls will
at the onset of winter.

"will" seems wrong somehow, though I can't be any more precise than that.

I like the last verse. At first I thought you were talking to Jesus, but I see now you're talking to candles. You're talking to candles, John!I don't get the, er, "meaning" of the poem, mostly because of lines 4-6.
I'm out of faith and in my cups
I contemplate such bitter stuff.

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Re: Anguish and Agnostic

Post by Antcliff » Wed Dec 07, 2011 11:53 am

Hi
I like the old wax/frozen waterfall comparison.
And reading it second time around I see more of the meaning, but perhaps not enough..4-6 are a little elusive.
Ant
We fray into the future, rarely wrought
Save in the tapestries of afterthought.
Richard Wilbur

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Re: Anguish and Agnostic

Post by JohnLott » Wed Dec 07, 2011 11:57 am

Hi Ray,
Did not Jesus say he was the light? And did he not go up to his father in heaven, and have we not gone into the heavens in our Geminis and such? And have we found heaven or seen god? And don't the faithful believe we are attacking their faith with science?
And as an agnostic is our doubt becoming frozen like the wax on the bottle and the glacial waterfalls in the arctic at the onset of winter? (now is the winter of our discontent?)
And in our quiet moments do we not seek warmth (assurance) from the flame (of hope)?
I'll see if I can re-write without wrecking.

Thanks

J.
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JohnLott
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Re: Anguish and Agnostic

Post by JohnLott » Wed Dec 07, 2011 11:59 am

Sorry Ant, we cross posted.
Perhaps my reply to Ray covers your concerns.
I'm glad you can get the wax/waterfall simile.

8)

J.
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ray miller
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Re: Anguish and Agnostic

Post by ray miller » Wed Dec 07, 2011 12:01 pm

Yes. No. No. Yes. No. Grammatical error. Yes. Good Luck.
I'm out of faith and in my cups
I contemplate such bitter stuff.

JohnLott
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Re: Anguish and Agnostic

Post by JohnLott » Wed Dec 07, 2011 12:17 pm

small edits done.
the wax cascades down the bottle/the wax has cascaded down the bottle; as an arctic waterfall will (frozen in form) when winter arrives.

Tomorrow the wax cascades are frozen, as arctic waterfalls will be at the onset of winter.
Tomorrow the wax will be seen to have cascaded as arctic waterfalls will be seen to do at the onset of winter.

:(

J.
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