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  #1  
Unread 03-17-2021, 10:18 AM
Aaron Poochigian Aaron Poochigian is offline
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Default The Island of the Blessed

The Island of the Blessed

Manhattan, like a dead industrial zone,
looks backward. Heaps of trash like souvenirs
hint at a raucous past. It will be years
before we wake with other than a groan.

To make up for the lives that went away
legions of ghosts are wandering the city.
I hear them wailing in the treble, gritty
bluster scouring mirth out of the day.

My step is still light, though; my sparse gray hair
dancing atop my skull. I want to say
something inspiring for survivors, play
reveille for the banshees in the air:

“The pricks have gone and left us here alone!
New York is all ours; we are on our own!”
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  #2  
Unread 03-17-2021, 12:09 PM
Allen Tice Allen Tice is offline
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The universe, 10; Poochigian, 0, at least until “pricks” hits the memory hole. Aaron, what are you thinking? That couplet is totally weird. Now, don’t tell me that it takes one to know one. You’re grandstanding and wasting our time with that. See you around. Pull up your socks.
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  #3  
Unread 03-17-2021, 12:50 PM
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RCL RCL is offline
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At least the biggest prick has left
and the ghosts are not bereft.

A clever and illuminating use of the sonnet.
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Ralph
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  #4  
Unread 03-17-2021, 01:42 PM
Gena Gruz Gena Gruz is offline
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“My step is still light, though; my sparse gray hair
dancing atop my skull. I want to say”

Beautiful poem. Mesmerizing.

Gena
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  #5  
Unread 03-17-2021, 03:06 PM
conny conny is offline
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Stanza 2 I like quite a bit. But.. the opening 4 lines seem awkward,
esp. l.4 which just seems very oddly phrased, to me at least.

I actually think the poem starts at L.5/6 which are miles better
Than what comes before them. I guess swapping S.1 and S.2
May help, and the zone/groan pairing replaced by something
more convincing. Loads of alternates for zone. Also,

atop...came up the other day somewhere else, and again, though I
refuse to single out single words for opprobrium, I find it’s placement
deeply unappealing. in fact tbh, I don’t really know why your dancing
grey hair is in this poem at all.

And the couplet. being alone, and being on your own,
are so similar as to seem conspicuous in their similarity.


Cheers
DaveC
"................................................. ........................
Quote:
Originally Posted by Aaron Poochigian View Post
The Island of the Blessed

Manhattan, like a dead industrial zone,
looks backward. Heaps of trash like souvenirs
hint at a raucous past. It will be years
before we wake with other than a groan.

To make up for the lives that went away
legions of ghosts are wandering the city.
I hear them wailing in the treble, gritty
bluster scouring mirth out of the day.

My step is still light, though; my sparse gray hair
dancing atop my skull. I want to say
something inspiring for survivors, play
reveille for the banshees in the air:

“The pricks have gone and left us here alone!
New York is all ours; we are on our own!”
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  #6  
Unread 03-17-2021, 05:00 PM
Allen Tice Allen Tice is offline
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In the minority I see. I look at this from an angle beyond poetry, beneath poetry. Is there such a thing? Aaron, mon semblable, may never forgive me. Just want to say, been there, lived that. In the minority here.
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  #7  
Unread 03-17-2021, 05:16 PM
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Jane Crowson Jane Crowson is offline
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Hello,

The title, for me, place-holds both ancient heroes and war-survivors (different types of poems). A kind of uncertain paradise?

I like the reworking/re-imaging of Manhattan, which from my perspective has strong connotations of a talisman of commerce/unattainable temple of ambition. It reads like a myth-place, not real (unlike in your tree poem and the slug poem, which brought the myth to life - showed it in the human).

The legions of ghosts make me think of Dante, and underworld in general (popular and mythological). Also pop culture, gaming. Either way, you're drawing on many cultural myths in the poem, I think.

I don't have an issue with the narrator 'in' the poem. For me, the greying hair is a deliberate undermining of the ideas of 'heroic' narrator (probably both in contemporary urban myths of desire, and classical myths of youth/beauty). They state, 'I am not heroic' in the sense of all given outward connotations of heroism - and then undermine this, because they, in a sense, are presenting themselves as heroic, as they are still narrating, finding something to say. Ambiguous narrators, celebrating despite, rather than because.

Who are the pricks? Are they rich people who have left town, or something else?


Sarah-Jane

Last edited by Jane Crowson; 03-17-2021 at 05:32 PM.
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  #8  
Unread 03-21-2021, 08:29 AM
Bill Marsh Bill Marsh is offline
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The details in this poem, after a few readings, did not congeal for me into a situation and a response. Is this the pandemic? A fantasy of a deserted NY? Why is the island looking backward? Why years of waking with a groan.

I don't mean common sense connections are missing. I mean I didn't click with the poetic connections between the specifics.
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  #9  
Unread 03-23-2021, 08:23 AM
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Catherine Chandler Catherine Chandler is offline
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I think there is more to this than meets the eye, eh, Aaron?
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