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  #11  
Unread 10-01-2023, 02:42 PM
David Callin David Callin is online now
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Originally Posted by Matt Q View Post
It currently seems like the middle three stanzas don't really contribute to the encroachment reading -- they could be substituted with any other set of historical examples and not affect how the poem concludes -- or that's how it seems to me, maybe I'm missing something.
Hi Michael. As so often, I reckon Matt is right on the money here. I think you have the poem in the first and last stanzas. I would remove the middle three, push the first and last together and make them talk to each other a little better.

Cheers

David
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  #12  
Unread 10-01-2023, 04:32 PM
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A. Baez A. Baez is offline
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Interesting thought there, David!
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  #13  
Unread 10-01-2023, 05:17 PM
Yves S L Yves S L is offline
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Hello Michael,

Sure one can do stuff to the rhyme and meter but for me that is window dressing at this stage. Although, from that point of view, one might say the only thing to change about this is to use tighter rhyme and meter to make it more catchy and memorable, have some tight witty quatrains and all that.

So I am interpreting the structure as a forward progression that loops back on itself by connecting the first and last stanza, so something like one turn of a upward spiral if we imagine time progressing upward.

Do the examples have to do anything other than demonstrate a foreward progression in time showing how value was determined and expressed at different ages? Do they have to be anything other than detailed and filled with images and attitude?

I am not sure. This poem is presenting me with novel problems.
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  #14  
Unread 10-02-2023, 05:29 PM
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Michael Tyldesley Michael Tyldesley is offline
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Thanks everyone for showing an interest in the poem and sharing some interesting comments.

I realise this poem is a bit of an outlier by being a fact driven poem with only the most subtle touch of opinion. The history of money is intimately tied with the history of humanity and I had a choice of many directions but had to choose one particular itinerary. Some will find that journey interesting and others will not.

Michael, yeah, thereís a non fiction theme rather than a narrative and sometimes thereís rhyme/meter sometimes there isnít depending on the subtopic. Thanks for your take on it.

Brandon, welcome to the forum and thanks for spotting the typo. Iím glad you like the idea.

Matt and David, thanks both for your comments and suggestion regarding the middle section. Matt, thanks for giving it another read and I was encouraged by your interpretation.

Ann, thanks for putting a lot of effort into your very interesting reading of my poem too. I honestly didnít give oil much thought and perhaps I should have done because itís a commodity that shapes currency value today and energy prices even put a floor under bitcoin. I know thereís so many things I could mention and setting the bar at a level where I need to teach you something new might be a tad high.

Jim, I loved your take on it to and Iím glad you picked up on the speculative idea. I know the greenback is fiat currency but I didnít really want to delve into the business of bemoaning the loss of the gold standard. I canít remember the exact history but I recall it was unavoidable and the dollar as global reserve currency is underpinned by oil instead. I like your suggestion about subtle hints throughout. The middle stanzas have some lustre for those interested in money history that Iím loathed to lose.

Owrn, thanks for the squint. I did wonder if this one might be up your street but the allusions to phrase origin and etymology will be fairly trivial to someone of your expertise. Thanks for sharing the references and poem.

N. I found the salaries/soldier part salt pay thing in a childrenís non-fiction publication used by schools. I guess that doesnít necessarily mean itís right. You canít believe everything you read on the internet either. The poor children are being fed duff facts are they? At least itís a fairly useless fact. Iím glad to see youíre soldiering on with your reviews and thanks for your useful comments here.

Alexandra, I feel like I need to apologise to your personally for posting this in metrical when itís clearly a hybrid mish-mash thing. I shall be shifting commas and thinking about the version of this that would most impress you.

Yves, thanks for your thought provoking comments and questions on the poem. I get the impression from your comments that you enjoyed the challenges of a novel problem and I appreciate the feedback.
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  #15  
Unread 10-02-2023, 05:39 PM
Yves S L Yves S L is offline
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Hello Michael,

Yeah, this poem is doing different things, so I do not have a set of automatic reactions, so have to pause and think about what is going on poetically, and why I am having the reactions I am having; otherwise, one just gets stuck in the same perceptual ruts. I am still unsure about what I think about the poem. It kinda works, kinda.

What if you numbered the stanzas, so they are a bit more isolated, and the reader is not expecting some tight progression or connection between them. What would that do?

Cheers!

Last edited by Yves S L; 10-02-2023 at 05:44 PM.
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  #16  
Unread 10-06-2023, 04:59 PM
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Michael Tyldesley Michael Tyldesley is offline
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That's not a bad quick fix suggestion Yves, I could break this up into a set of mini poems all on the money theme. I've played about with the presentation below, it probably still needs work though but one always looks for the easiest solution first.

I was contemplating sending this to the FT, WSJ, Forbes and the like earlier in the year but I've never been quite happy with it for reasons similar to those mooted on this thread so it's remained on the back burner.


Follow The Money

*******

Long before buckskins gave way to greenbacks,
wealth came from the whispers of the ocean,
tribal folks combed coastlines for cowries
in early markets forged by crashing seas.

*******

Aztec Empire riches grew on trees
with malvaceae seeds for turkeys, gold, sex
and slaves. Cocoa beans rattled in their tins
like shaking clink of a copper nickel.

*******

In Ancient Rome, to be worth one's salt,
was to earn in salt, to preserve, to survive
the conquests on meat cured by salaries,
Moneta, coinage and the romance of mint.

*******

The Chinese traded spade for knife money;
the Fijians: a whale's tooth for a canoe;
taxe sur le beurre in Rouen; you paid with
your nose in …ire or got ransacked by Vikings.

*******

The Californians panned for precious dust
or mined the crypto rush from bit to shitcoin
boom to bust Ė shifts with supply and demand;
the world, an oyster, spins on silicon sand.
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  #17  
Unread 10-06-2023, 07:24 PM
Brandon Hyer Brandon Hyer is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Michael Tyldesley View Post
That's not a bad quick fix suggestion Yves, I could break this up into a set of mini poems all on the money theme.
For my money this is an excellent suggestion.
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  #18  
Unread 10-08-2023, 05:36 PM
Christopher Lopez Christopher Lopez is offline
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Dear Michael,

This poem is interesting! You prove the claim in L2 with the examples you provide after that line.

(1) Would you consider changing "the romance of mint" to "romantic mint"?

(2) In L18-- why not change "or" to "then." This would be similar to L1's movement from buckskins to greenbacks. "Then" makes more sense because the poem's argument is that currencies rise and fall out of fashion.

(3) L1 introduces the movement from buckskins to greenbacks and asks us to go back "long before." L1 therefore references a common history between speaker and reader. We then follow the money forward and land on cryptocurrency. When the speaker attributes crypto to "the Californians," this implies that the speaker and reader are not "Californians". The reader and speaker are looking at history, while "the Californians" are part of it. Thus the poem also implies that cryptocurrency will fall out of use.

(4) The last two lines depart from the poem's recitation of history, but they seem a bit unfocused.

(a) "Shifts" brings the poem into present tense but still refers to the economic boom and bust of cryptocurrency, which is placed in the past tense in the preceding line.

(b) In the final line: "Oyster" and "sand" make me expect a pearl. But without a pearl in this line or poem, I am unsure why the speaker compares the world to an oyster.

(c) The last line claims something like "Silicon makes the world go round." But this is confusing because the poem has consistently referred to currencies. Silicon is a product, not a currency.
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  #19  
Unread 10-09-2023, 04:24 PM
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Michael Tyldesley Michael Tyldesley is offline
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Hi Christopher, welcome to the forum and thanks for your very useful crit with some very helpful suggestions.

In answer to some of the areas where you were unsure:

Most of the stanzas make reference to money words and phrases and their origins (money grew on trees for the Aztecs until it didn't, Salt/Salary, Moneta/Money, paying through the nose). The world is your oyster is another saying although oyster in that sense is the world itself and opportunity to explore for treasure on one level or plunder depending on how you look at it. Both cowries and oysters are a types of shells that hold value for different reasons historically.

Regarding the whole world and oysters, cryptocurrencies are built on silicon based technologies originally developed in California but decentralised currency spreads across international boundaries, they are intangible and also highly speculative as unregulated assets. The money is becoming the network or the world and it's usually not stable to build anything on sand. I do think crypto will be replaced but in finance one can't predict the future based on the past.

There a lot of vacuous press out there that tries to predict the future based on the past and people read it in their millions. Money is not a very fashionable topic for poetry though.

The last 2 lines were nuanced to allow the reader to make their own interpretation and some of the interpretations provided were along the right lines of things I hoped people would think about.

Anyway, I'm glad you found it interesting and took the time to prise it open a bit. Thanks again and I hope you stick around to post some of your own poems.
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