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  #11  
Unread 02-19-2021, 06:33 AM
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Daniel Kemper Daniel Kemper is offline
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Hi Aaron!


[Eliotic] I'm there w/him in tone so often. Two easter-eggs I know about, both to 4Q's. "gray gray gray" -> o dark dark dark --> Samson Agonistes "vacant intertenemental spaces" -> vacant interstellar spaces. poem should hold w/o them though.

[het met] - Yes, not random though. structured not just by lines, but by stanzas and other metricals. There are only a few types of stanza [line lengths, order of them, rhyme (exact words or rhyme words) and they are patterened. There are more flourishes, but the basic order is:

Intro
[ABAB]
Exposition
[ABBA ABBA]
Development
[BCA BCA ADB ADB CBDA CBDA]
Recapitulation
[ABD ABD ABAB ABBA]
Coda
ABAB

{overwhelmed} - It is not necessary AT ALL to notice the exact pattern when reading, but the strange familiarity, of things sounding like they should come back loosely when they do, is produced by it. There are strategic errors made-- it's beta. E.g Loosely Intro + first helf of Expo = 2nd half of Recap. Expo doubles up to first contrast the intro, then re-set as foundation for changes that will eventually return home by bringing in two voices, then dropping them out. Content parallels. More on what I'd do differently in a bit.

[first section abstraction telling] - Good points. The poem makes use of its length to develop themes; these abstractions are addressed in later S, and throughout- generally laid out, then defined, then redefined. Also, intended (the intro) like amorphous start of day. That said, I take you fully: if I lose the reader early, the points/themes/etc never get to be made.

["and more"] No contest. It has its use, but is why the poem is still in "Beta". Can be improved.

Always tickled for your expertise.
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  #12  
Unread 02-19-2021, 06:47 AM
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Alexandra, I'm going to circle back to try to do your commentary justice and keep my response manageable. Suffice briefly to say that I'm overwhelmed!

Conny, also, your response deserves more than the high points I'll touch below-- I'll get there and I think in the end you'll like it. -ish. :-)

thanks for giving it a go~

Thank you for that the effort and hanging in there through what sounds like quite a frustrating experience. Let me touch on your first comments and circle back in a bit for your most recent complaint, that it was long, formless-ish/unpatterened, and without anything philosophically significant. They're all there. Packed. But later--

[..to the end] - Frame of reference. If you have the frame of reference of a poem-length poem, this will frustrate and prevent absorbing all that it has. This is meant as a new way of writing poems that can be epic or book length - without being same droning meter for 200 pages or totally arbitrary content from one page to the next. Verse novel comes sort of close-- and there are some masters of this among y'all Able Muse denizens. More on 'new way' later.

[blandness] Understood. Beta version. Was actually trying to begin simple because the meta-formal method can get too complex really easily. Learned a lot with this build. Tried for simple, came out bland in some places. Noted. (And really didn't vanquish the complexity monster completely b/c of some initial selections. But see note of starting amorphously and gathering up concreteness.

***

[length] - ftr, this isn't even close to the longest piece posted at AM. [I've seen a book posted] But noted. It does work a lot differently out loud. Especially with sections. Frame of reference is key, if expecting a "poem-length-poem" it's brutal; if expecting this is meant to be more lengthy-- concertos/symphonies are commonly about 1/2 hour or an hour.

***

Actually, I read stuff like this in a place called https://foxandgoose.com/, a bar, bar, bar ! An English one at that! So I'm right there with you! Maybe a drinking game- each time I say gray, drink a shot of Gray Goose vodka! Consider this also, though: If you went to a poetry reading, you are going to hear someone read various poems, typically not related to each other, for 30-60min, right? Frame of reference can definitely help.
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  #13  
Unread 02-19-2021, 06:49 AM
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Daniel Kemper Daniel Kemper is offline
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JIM!

I'm humbled by your praise.

Personally I have two favorite parts. My angelic garbage men. The other is the "French" riff. From [French Roast Coffee] -> "C'est la vie" (common) -> "C'est la guerre" (that's war - less common) -> Toute est juste... (recognized in reverse: all's fair in love and war) -> 1812 Overture -> breve eclat [sudden burst of tears].

1812 Tchaikovsky taunted Napoleon's retreat from Moscow by using bits of the French National Anthem in his defiant symphony. So it sounds different to a Frenchman. And thus the daughter and the ever retreating man like Napoleon vs. retreating Russians.
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  #14  
Unread 02-19-2021, 10:09 AM
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Daniel Kemper Daniel Kemper is offline
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Ralph, great to see you

Your commentary was satisfying to the marrow.

[rhymes, often clever, carry the music.]
[three parts over a single day] --> Soo happy that came through.
[“The wisdom of the stem”] Yay on this too!
[sly reminders (nothing gold can stay) and loss (the "stuff of dreams”) Super pleased! Super!

[I like also the dignity of work, the responsibility of marriage and parenting, and the optimism implicit in the organic metaphor. Will read it again.]

Details of intimacy and real life considerations were not easy. Guess they never are.


Thank you again for the effort of the read and your supporting praise!


["past" in Dev S12 past/passed?]

Probably, I'll look. Thanks for your sharp eye.

--I hope to make corrections over the weekend.
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  #15  
Unread 02-19-2021, 01:11 PM
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Jane Crowson Jane Crowson is offline
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Hello,

Just to say that I'm nearly there with this. I've read it a few times, but it takes my brain time to process at the best of times.

The points/thoughts I have so far:

It's hard without hearing it, if read aloud is the preferred mode of delivery

There are some gorgeous images in places - really lovely

I feel a little as if I'm a naughty child who is being ticked off or at least told something very important which is a bit beyond them, in places

The patterning/rhythm is lovely - complex and filigree

I will be back to try to be more helpful. Is there a particular/specific context or audience for this piece of work? That would help me try to frame a critique that might be useful.

Sarah-Jane
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  #16  
Unread 02-20-2021, 05:29 AM
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Daniel Kemper Daniel Kemper is offline
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Alexandra - I'm back!! Thank you so much again for the thought and fixes.

[solid intellectual meaning] It's there. Takes time to emerge and let the trace of motifs from mention to mention reveal it. That's one door in. It takes time: it's the first of its kind.

[the complexity] [feel highly natural] [inevitable] This is very gratifying to read. That's a chief aim of the new meta-form. Detailed structure need not be left-brain mastered, the intuition notices.

[uck] [en] [ize] [great reprise[s] elements from the poem's first stanza, and many similar reprises occur] [powerful rhetorical cohesiveness to the work] Yes! So happy this comes through. So happy. Many reprises on different levels with different techniques. A sound, word, or phrase or image that combines some or all.

[nits]

["for" and "the" --don't cap.] -will do

[per recommendation] A troubled night drew back belatedly; the light all gray and gray and gray today. But always there are fires, always there are stones and always unrepentant groans in front of and behind each closing {door and more.} Yes. I think so.

[Aaron’s point, “and more”] Me too. **will fix, but hard because the call-back couplets have to match.** [Em double dash] will find/replace. [away -> way] the same {a}way walls of background windows rise] yup. [where, No comma]. [realize] -> implied "that" -> "realize that" *can be improved* [engage her, assuage her] yup ['formless, framed integrity', his 'broken city', ?italics instead of quotes? else yes. [what remains, is what endures no comma] yup

[French phrases] [italicized] Unclear - idioms are sentences that start that way. - but fixed anyway. (Une breve eclat des larmes is no idiom, so not italicized.) Metatextual- the tears feel foreign to her, as the language is a foreign one.

[hollow-chest clad hearts / skull-clad minds] Back and forth A LOT on this. The heart is clad with a hollow chest and the mind is clad with a skull. Technically, no hyphens? But too confusing w/o any.

[madness,] no comma yup [remains unsounded: From no cap] yup

[rising back to first entered] [verbal "bridge"] --> I hear you. Studying how right now. Hmmm.

A troubled night / drew back belatedly, the light / all gray and gray and gray, / today,
They stay. / We know -- O gray gray gray / a [troubled] final flash of white / then night.

***
Hey, on your note to conny, I think these are largely artifacts of trying to find the point too soon. I noticed when writing that I had to take my time across stanzas to get to my points. So with the reading, maybe?

conny? what say ye?
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  #17  
Unread 02-20-2021, 05:40 AM
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Daniel Kemper Daniel Kemper is offline
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Hey Sarah-Jane

Thank you so much for reading and working through this. It took my brain a long time, too~

[read aloud] sight and sound together are best, for sure. e.g w/o sound some puns are missed " a chord's been struck"/accord's been struck. But there's a lot going on and every sense to process helps maybe.

[naughty child] - this worries me somewhat - it takes time to emerge, like a random dot stereogram perhaps - and all at once, a final answer is not necessary - like a concerto - new parts emerge each time.

[The patterning/rhythm is lovely - complex and filigree] - thank you. very gratifying.

[particular/specific context/audience] - The Nobel Committee hee hee

whoever might read an anthology that contained both Eliot and Bukowski or whoever would listen to Hildegard of Bingen, Bach, and Bauhaus (band).

-?
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  #18  
Unread 02-21-2021, 09:27 AM
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A. Baez A. Baez is offline
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About solid intellectual meaning, of course I could do a cheat and simply take a cue from your new subtitle, which was absent from the version you originally sent me. But I've been curious as to what meaning I would distill on my own without that cue. I put the question to myself this morning and my spontaneous, judgement-suspended answer was: "Things, states of being, perceptions, etc. come and go unpredictably and often in continual succession; but on a higher level, all things are never present and never absent."

You should tell your readers the details you've told me of the intricacies you've built into this! They're so interesting and important.

Quote:
A troubled night drew back belatedly; the light all gray and gray and gray today.
Now that I look at this, I see that a comma, not a semicolon, is actually what's wanted; the phrase that follows the punctuation mark can be read as a modifying phrase to the phrase that precedes it (calling for a comma), and this punctuation would allow the sentence to be a complete one.

Quote:
'formless, framed integrity', his 'broken city'
So you've taken out the single quotes and instead italicized this phrase. Btw, I forgot to mention that if quotes were used here, they should be double, not single. And are these phrases quoted from something else? Or quotes of something that Redley said off-poem?

Quote:
idioms are sentences that start that way.
What do you mean? Here are the pertinent rules:

https://www.dailywritingtips.com/ita...foreign-words/

The key point:

Quote:
If you are using two foreign words or phrases, one familiar and one unfamiliar, italicize both of them for consistency and appearance.
So the argument is whether all the French phrases you use are familiar to the average English speaker or not. I've studied French, so I was able to understand all of your phrases, but the only one that struck me as being familiar to the average English-only speaker was the first--"C'est la vie." That would suggest a need to italicize all the French phrases, including "Une brève éclat de larmes." (You should add the diacritical marks here while you're at it.)

Quote:
[hollow-chest clad hearts / skull-clad minds] Back and forth A LOT on this. The heart is clad with a hollow chest and the mind is clad with a skull. Technically, no hyphens? But too confusing w/o any.
In the first phrase, the first three words all modify "hearts," so there should be hyphens joining them all, i.e., "hollow-chest-clad hearts." The second phrase is fine as it is. There are occasional exceptions permitted to hyphenating multiple-word modifying phrases for those that are widely used, but yours definitely are not.

If you're going to go with your revised version of the last lines, I'd omit the comma after "today." It's acceptable but not necessary to follow with a comma a modifying phrase of three words or less at the beginning of a sentence, and omitting it here would reduce clutter (which I know you dislike, anyway).

Quote:
Hey, on your note to conny, I think these are largely artifacts of trying to find the point too soon. I noticed when writing that I had to take my time across stanzas to get to my points. So with the reading, maybe?
Yes, I think the word usage's success depends on the personality and attitude of the reader, as well as his or her reading background (all of which are often interconnected).

Last edited by A. Baez; 02-21-2021 at 09:45 AM.
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  #19  
Unread 02-21-2021, 02:59 PM
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Jane Crowson Jane Crowson is offline
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Hi again,

I've come back to this a few times now. I won't bang on about what works, as this is a workshop and it isn't helpful, so I'll focus on what I think I miss in this, and why.

I think one of the issues you might have with maintaining the reader's interest is the regularity of the poem - not of image (I read, and enjoy, the delicate threadings through and transformations of everyday things - the mundane becoming symbolic, the symbols changing) but of overall voice - the overarching voice reads (for me) as detached, and although not dictatorial, it’s calmly telling me things through the poem. It doesn't lose its temper at any point, or fray, or whisper.

It’s probably subjective, but I think what I need to keep me engaged throughout the long poem are either some changes in pace or some marker points. Places where I’m more drawn into the story. Places which ask me to engage, or which startle me with a question or a vivid, emotive image.

In my internal wishlist, I also crave more tactile images in such a long piece of writing. I love your visuals - the colours, the ideas and the sounds work together. But there’s less sensory/ tactile or scent. There are places where you might consider placing things - a dead rat? Wet Fur?

Or maybe the smell of coffee, as well as the use of it as a threaded, transforming image/symbol? The colours of the dawn are lovely & the use of colour is great and sustained throughout/woven through beautifully. And whilst the language in places is gorgeous (I love alley-pool mysterium), when you make the petals fly, I wonder, again, about incorporating a question, or bringing in the feel of the petals?

Sarah-Jane
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  #20  
Unread 02-23-2021, 10:09 AM
Mark McDonnell Mark McDonnell is offline
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Hi Daniel,

There’s absolutely no questioning your ambition and sheer commitment here. The patterning of the poem is interesting: each stanza made up of rhyming couplets of varying iambic length, from mono to hex, clearly structured (I think) so that each pair of stanzas creates a mirror image of each other in terms of line length (and sometimes rhyme). I didn’t check the entire poem for this consistency but that’s the pattern I spotted in the initial stanzas. So it’s a kind of heterometrical structure that repeats, with variations, throughout the length of the poem. I didn’t quite grasp your idea in your preface that this constitutes some brand new kind of poetry (meta formal?), or at all recognise or agree with your claim that “Virtually all English metrical poetry prior to this, (my bold) specifically in terms of meter itself and generally in terms of sonics, is a chant”. But your enthusiastic hubris made me smile anyway.

I do think the poem over-reaches itself in terms of length. I confess I got a bit bored and had to keep taking a deep breath and starting again. I just don’t think there is enough content and variety to the voice to justify the length here. Whole sections of the poem seem to suggest to me a speaker enamoured of his own voice and his ability to fit this voice into the metrical/rhyming pattern he has created. And it is a smoothly mellifluous voice, there’s no doubt about it, and there are some lovely lines and sharp images here. But there’s too much of it and too much of it feels indistinct, prolonged and mushy. It’s like “Rhapsody on a Wind Night” the extended remix (with a bit of "Portrait of a Lady") but without anything as striking as “Midnight shakes the memory /As a madman shakes a dead geranium”. Here, for instance. Every time I read it I find my attention drifting away among the vague, poetically elevated airiness of the language. I also think your chosen stanzaic structure of rhyming couplets (often with repeated rhymes) combined with many lines of a very short length means that the rhymes really announce themselves. In a poem of 50 stanzas this gets wearying for me. I can appreciate the skill and commitment but it begins to feel like I'm reading a kind of performance of rhyming.

Quote:
We rise
the same way walls of background windows rise
through this, whose waxing auras pluck
the amber from the sun, from coffee fires struck
back when
no darkling hint had been
in sight that there is more to where we're at
than that.

Sunrise
has almost come, but at this hour lies
below the gray, gray, gray, still stuck
in limbo. Doors re-open; faces slumber-struck
as when
they dreamed, yawn, groan and then
move on. And yet there's life in that,
a gesture at

the waking that
arrives with tones both sharp and flat
of women and of men
as then
the lights come up. The breeze and footfalls are the pluck
and bow of strings. A chord's been struck.
The blue of everyone begins to rise,
to rhapsodize.
Even here, there is nice stuff. I like the last bit — the waking city described as music: "The breeze and footfalls are the pluck / and bow of strings. A chord's been struck. / The blue of everyone begins to rise". But I feel like I have to wade through lots of verbiage for these moments.

I think Sarah-Jane made a good point here

the overarching voice reads (for me) as detached, and although not dictatorial, it’s calmly telling me things through the poem. It doesn't lose its temper at any point, or fray, or whisper.

I agree. When the poem shifts to describing things that are more concrete, with more immediate action, such as the garbage men or the dialogue sections between the couple, the voice and tone don’t seem to change. They retain the same mellifluous, Godlike flow. The effect becomes soporific for me after a while and stops these more quotidian elements from standing out or, indeed, from feeling like anything resembling real life or genuine situations, however smoothly expressed. Here eg:

Quote:
Though Evelynn might
evade her husband, Redley's, sight
when slipping out, once she
can see
his smiling face as she slips back, she grins and groans.
He chuckles too and makes no bones
about it, only teases in return,
"My turn."

His eyes,
in-lit with gentle mischief, satirize
her trip, "And welcome! Come in! Glad
you're back; your coffee's warm." He twinkles, "Why so sad?"
They enter
ever so, so tenderly
into a conversation.
That’s their way.
Because a three line piece of dialogue has to have all this poetic, verbal furniture around it, it robs it of immediacy and realism for me. And it blends into its surroundings.

I have to confess I chuckled at the first dialogue section (below) and wondered how autobiographical this was. I make it a policy not to tell Mrs McD anything about my poems unless one gets published. That arrangement seems to suit both of us:

Quote:
"Mornin' Evelynn."
Chuckling softly, "Welcome! Come in,
Redley. Drink your coffee."
Softly,
sipping, minutes slipping past, he chooses
"Bet you wondered where the muses
left me," as his phrasing to engage her,
assuage her...
OK, I’m starting to get flippant, so it’s time to stop. I don’t have a problem with the length, Daniel, I just don’t know if the content sustains the length. I don’t get twitchy reading “Rime of the Ancient Mariner” or “Goblin Market” or "The Wreck of the Deutschland" or “The Waste Land” or even “Song of Myself”. There’s variety in those long poems, either in terms of narrative incident or variation of tone. Here, despite the smooth prettiness and skill of much of the writing, there isn’t enough of one or the other of those things. For me, anyway. Others may differ.

I hope you get more replies. I usually avoid The Deep End because I think it’s a silly, elitist idea (short version) but I do recognise the sheer amount of work that has gone into this, so I thought I’d drop by. There is skillful handling of metre and rhyme here, but for this to work for me I would need either more incident and concrete imagery and less abstract musing or more variety to the structure or for the whole thing to be shortened and compressed.

Actually, a separate forum for poems of, say, 50 lines or more would make some sense. The Long End…?

Edit: is the word "through" at S1L7 a random cut'n'paste accident?

Last edited by Mark McDonnell; 02-25-2021 at 07:19 AM. Reason: more thoughts
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