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  #1  
Unread 04-01-2021, 08:11 PM
Bill Marsh Bill Marsh is offline
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Default After the Late Show

With the tube off he saw in black and white.
He had been watching his soul televised,
standardized, commercialized, advertised
by this strange spiel: "Now you can cherish slight
changes of feeling like flaming colors
flickering in your body and only pay
by burning your lifetime into dust and grey
slag cinders." But this night was not like others;
the moonlight through the window made a rhombus
on the floor and gusts of breeze in sequence
came spinning in the door and sang: "That rule
is suspended. Tonight the passion is on us.
This is your chance to dance at no expense
and burn and never be depleted fuel."
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  #2  
Unread 04-03-2021, 10:23 AM
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RCL RCL is offline
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Bill, I've read this many times and still remain in the dark about its mood or meaning. And though failing meter-maker myself, I can still detect yours varies too much and needs work.
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  #3  
Unread 04-05-2021, 01:54 PM
conny conny is offline
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Opaque is about right I think. It reads like a bit of an acid trip
to me, and a pretty scary one at that. The meter goes off the rails at
L.3 with various substitutions in L. 4,5,6,7 etc. none of which seem
done for effect, but to wrangle the syntax into some degree of sense.
Trouble is the sense doesnít make much sense. At L.6 it loses it
Completely imo.

Rhombus is a great word. Not used enough.

I did wonder if L.5 was about synesthesia, something which I
happen to know about quite a bit, but by then I was lost Iím afraid.

It reads to me as if the syntax has been sacrificed for the sake of the
rhymes..






Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill Marsh View Post
With the tube off he saw in black and white.
He had been watching his soul televised,
standardized, commercialized, advertised
by this strange spiel: "Now you can cherish slight
changes of feeling like flaming colors
flickering in your body and only pay
by burning your lifetime into dust and grey
slag cinders." But this night was not like others;
the moonlight through the window made a rhombus
on the floor and gusts of breeze in sequence
came spinning in the door and sang: "That rule
is suspended. Tonight the passion is on us.
This is your chance to dance at no expense
and burn and never be depleted fuel."
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  #4  
Unread 04-06-2021, 07:54 AM
Max Goodman Max Goodman is offline
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FWIW, the part that least interests me is Ls2-4 "He had been watching...strange spiel," which feels like it's trying to explain and editorialize rather than share the experience.
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Unread 04-06-2021, 04:44 PM
Bill Marsh Bill Marsh is offline
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Thanks for the comments, but no one has picked up on one feature in the poem which (regardless of the over all quality of the sonnet) I have never seen before. Call it a metrical overlay. It is at the beginning of the sestet:

the moonlight through the window made a rhombus
on the floor and gusts of breeze in sequence
came spinning in the door and sang: "That rule
is suspended.

This admits of two scansions:

the MOONlight THROUGH the WINdow MADE a RHOMbus
ON the FLOOR and GUSTS of BREEZE in SEquence
came SPINning IN the DOOR and SANG: "That RULE..

But also this heavy 4-stress triple scansion, reinforced with its own rime:

the MOONlight through the WINdow made a RHOMbus on the FLOOR
and GUSTS of breeze in SEquence came SPINning in DOOR

I was hoping someone would notice and say something about this.
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  #6  
Unread 04-06-2021, 05:37 PM
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RCL RCL is offline
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Okay, Bill, I'll bite. What effect does the double measure have on the poem? It only matters in the context of a poem, doesn't it? Otherwise, Jack reads it one way, Jill the other way, and as with responders to your poem it went unnoticed.
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  #7  
Unread 04-06-2021, 06:09 PM
Bill Marsh Bill Marsh is offline
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Thanks Ralph,
I am not looking to explicate the "metrical overlay" or defend it. I am just interested in whether it is noticed and what folks say about it. I do find it interesting.
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  #8  
Unread 04-06-2021, 07:50 PM
Max Goodman Max Goodman is offline
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It interests me, too, Bill. No, I didn't notice it, so it had no effect on my reading.

The most similar thing I've seen is a poem "Casey to His Bat" by Daniel Galef, which works both as a sonnet in iambic pentameter and a ballad in the meter of "Casey at the Bat." I think it was in a recent issue of Able Muse and I think Daniel specifically points out the two ways of reading it; it may be, in fact, that Able Muse printed it both ways.
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  #9  
Unread 04-07-2021, 05:32 AM
Aaron Poochigian Aaron Poochigian is offline
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Bill, I love this.

My only suggestion is to cut "fuel" in the last line (screw the rhyme) and just leave that line metrically short.
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  #10  
Unread 04-16-2021, 04:55 PM
Golias Golias is online now
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Hi Bill, I read the poem several times before I counted the lines and looked for the transition from octet o sestet. Colors/others is off just enough to escape my notice. However, the syntax and apparend meaning seem to call for a space separation at the usual place between L8 and L9. I think I understand what the poem is about, having been thrown into odd states of mind myself by solitude and the effects of TV with its endless ads and absurd clips, so that familiar sensations from natue, moonlight. breze, etc. are appreciated. While not moved to dancing, which would make me fall down, I do think I have experienced the elation the poem describes.

Please pardon me for trying the few changes I have suggested and perhaps one more:

With the tube off he saw in black and white.
He had been watching his soul televised,
standardized, commercialized, advertised
by this strange spiel: "Now you can cherish slight
changes of feeling like flaming colors
flickering in your body and only pay
by burning your lifetime into dust and grey
slag cinders." But this night was not like other.

Moonlight through the window made a rhombus
on the floor and gusts of breeze in sequence
came spinning in the door and sang: "That rule
is suspended. Tonight the passion is on us.
This is your chance to dance at no expense.
Burn life as you please and suffer no loss of fuel."

(Or some such rewrite of L14. The closer I read it, the better I like the poem.)

Last edited by Golias; 04-16-2021 at 04:59 PM.
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