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  #1  
Unread 07-26-2021, 09:37 PM
Mark Stone Mark Stone is offline
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Default Hushed and Hurried

12345678901234Hushed and Hurried



123456789012345678901It's
1234567890123456late1234567at
123456789012night.1234567890123No
123456789kids12345678901234567890around.
12345They're12345678901234567890123sleeping

123tight,12345678901234567890123456789012in

1bed,12345678901234567890123456789012345unwound.

When1234567890123456789012345678901234567off

12to1234567890123456789012345678901234567play

123in12345678901234567890123456789012345sectors

12345south,1234567890123456789012345678it
12345678then123456789012345678901234will
123456789012pay12345678901234567to
123456789012345shut12345678your
12345678901234567890mouth.



"cup your mouth" was replaced by "shut your mouth"
The first sentence originally was: "It's late at night. No one's around. Kids sleeping tight in bed abound."
The second sentence originally was: "Upon forays to quadrants south is when it pays to cup your mouth."

Last edited by Mark Stone; 07-28-2021 at 06:26 PM.
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  #2  
Unread 07-26-2021, 10:10 PM
Simon Hunt Simon Hunt is offline
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Hi Mark--

Huh. I appreciate the "concrete" aspect of this. I don't see this kind of thing attempted much. Is it the moon, though, or just a circle?

Leaving that aside, though, I found the first half pretty dull and the second half a bit hard to follow.

In the first half, too, "abound" seems slightly off--are there suddenly lots more kids? No, they're just asleep. Am I wrong here?

I may also be wrong about forays in the second half, metrically, given my ever-confused transatlantic lexicon, but I say FOrays, not foRAYS.

More significantly, but again maybe just me, I don't get the second half. South Africa? South Australia? The south of the US? Southie? All nighttime journeys in a southerly direction, no matter where they begin? Why quadrants (i.e. a division into 4), after the poem's geography was initially a binary north-south division? Pays how? And why cup, not shut or similar.

Again, I might just be a doofus here. I often am. But I hope it's helpful for you to hear my thoughts.

Last edited by Simon Hunt; 07-26-2021 at 11:26 PM.
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  #3  
Unread 07-26-2021, 10:32 PM
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RCL RCL is offline
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Mark,

I think I see a cupped mouth, which suggests a shout of urgency or warning about something in the south at night? Not much help since I had to look four or five times just to figure out how to read it!
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  #4  
Unread 07-26-2021, 11:12 PM
Mark Stone Mark Stone is offline
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Simon: The second sentence reads: "Upon forays to quadrants south is when it pays to cup your mouth." I thought "quadrants" could work, but now I'm not comfortable with it. And you're right about the pronunciation of "forays." I thought it could work as a metrical variation, but now I'm not comfortable with that either. So I've changed the second sentence to: "When off to play in sectors south, it's then it pays to cup your mouth." I will hold off on explaining the poem, since I want to see other people's reactions.

Ralph: It's interesting that the poem is not as clear as I thought it was. I'll explain it after I get some more reactions (assuming I do).

Mark

Last edited by Mark Stone; 07-26-2021 at 11:25 PM.
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  #5  
Unread 07-26-2021, 11:25 PM
Simon Hunt Simon Hunt is offline
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Ralph's seeing a mouth makes me think there's a sexual angle to this. I still don't totally get it...
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  #6  
Unread 07-27-2021, 02:55 AM
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Ann Drysdale Ann Drysdale is online now
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Well, what I got from it was a big open mouth. A silent "Yessss!"

It told me, with a slight hitch at the "a-bound" moment, that the children are in bed and asleep, so we adults can indulge in pleasures arising south of the bodily equator but we'd better not make a noise or...
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  #7  
Unread 07-27-2021, 04:41 AM
Clive Watkins Clive Watkins is offline
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Three small points, Mark—at the risk of seeming to plod or of being out of touch…

For me the lay-out is irritating rather than witty inasmuch as it makes getting hold of the sense of your words harder than need be. Sorry. When I reorganize them into the dimeters that seem natural—though they could be set as tetrameters—what I find is a little disappointing:

It's late at night.
No one's around.
Kids sleeping tight
in bed abound.
When off to play
in sectors south,
it's then it pays
to cup your mouth.

For me, the effort of deciphering the layout adds little.

I agree with Simon that “abound” strikes a false note. From a root signifying “overflow”, it means “To be plentiful; to exist or be present in large numbers or in great quantity…” (OED). How many children are we to think of here? Unless “Kids” includes children beyond those in the speaker’s particular household, “abound” seems just a little implausible—which makes me think it was chosen to solve the problem of the rhyme. Playing about with your lines, as I have, suggests there are other patterns you might consider.

Finally, I feel it’s a shame you went for “play/pays” rather than seeking a perfect rhyme to match the other perfect rhyme-pairs.

Just a few things to think about…

Clive
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  #8  
Unread 07-27-2021, 04:48 AM
John Isbell John Isbell is offline
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Hi Mark,

What I most like here is seeing Apollinaire's art resurface. For those who don't know him, he did this work, superbly, in the trenches during the first World War. His Calligrammes are worth checking out - one of the great poets of the last century, to my mind, and unrivalled in this edgy format. His earlier Alcools aren't bad either. Thanks for bringing him to mind.

Update: here's a link to a page from Calligrammes - http://writing.upenn.edu/library/Apo...ligrammes.html

Cheers,
John
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  #9  
Unread 07-27-2021, 06:30 AM
Jim Ramsey Jim Ramsey is offline
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Hi Mark,

I appreciate the creativity in the form. I read the piece too like Ann as parents squeezing in some private time, which as any parent or caregiver knows, is a serious subject. A visual poem presents problems in exceeding its novelty because of form constraints but I think you have a good concept and bones in place. Now, as a pic or few, "abound" in the middle line seems to make little sense. Maybe "unwound" or "safe/sound" could take its place. It seems just a rhyme that pairs with "no one around" which brings up the question of how can anything be happening if no one is around. I think you must mean no one else is around but can't fit in the "else." Later on, the second person "your" usage leaves the question whether the speaker is talking to a partner or the readership. I am not sure ambiguity in viewpoint can be a strength, especially since there's some uncertainty in what is happening. I like efforts like this. They take work. They may not be masterpieces but for me have more weight than say many lazy Haiku efforts that depend on an "emperor's-new-clothes" explication by devouts after the fact.

Jim
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  #10  
Unread 07-27-2021, 09:11 AM
MJ Starling MJ Starling is offline
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Hi Mark,

I like your poem. It’s fun! On my screen, the poem contains spots of repeating sequences of numbers (1234567890123). What’s up with that?

Thanks
MJ
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