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  #1  
Unread 03-07-2021, 06:24 PM
Bill Marsh Bill Marsh is offline
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Default Lilith's Children

Lilith’s Children

Adam insisted she lay down and spread
but she would mount, so he attempted rape.
Lilith, twisted, was going down. To escape
she screamed the secret name of God, then fled
to the wilderness. There in an ecstasy
she bred with hurricanes and then gave birth
to tumultuous demons made half of earth
who have infiltrated Adam's family.

I work with some of them. Temeluchus
was once my boss. The Corrupter of the Air,
Meresin, is talked of everywhere.
My neighbor's woman is a succubus.
Contact is constant, but gifts are not exchanged
with my dust-cousins, familiar and estranged.
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  #2  
Unread 03-08-2021, 02:16 AM
conny conny is offline
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the opening clause L.1/2 has syntax problems.
but she would mount..
have in 8 s/b, probably, has.
and the couplet isn't right imo.

the opening i would also question. not that you're not allowed
to say anything you like obviously, simply that its a repugnant
thing; and repugnant things usually have a mind of their own
which poets, though well meaning, have trouble placing. in the
body of the poem it would be easier imo. as an opening line
it sounds a bit aggressive, and 21st century, for me anyway-
esp.considering the biblical context

John Donne uses, at one point...

as liberally, as to a midwife show thyself..

which i know is as creaky as an old gatepost, but kinda works.
overall though i think its a pretty good poem. in need of a draft
or 3, but pretty good.

i work with some of them..

is rather excellent.



.................................................. .......................................
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill Marsh View Post
Lilith’s Children

Adam insisted she lay down and spread
but she would mount, so he attempted rape.
Lilith, twisted, was going down. To escape
she screamed the secret name of God, then fled
to the wilderness. There in an ecstasy
she bred with hurricanes and then gave birth
to tumultuous demons made half of earth
who have infiltrated Adam's family.

I work with some of them. Temeluchus
was once my boss. The Corrupter of the Air,
Meresin, is talked of everywhere.
My neighbor's woman is a succubus.
Contact is constant, but gifts are not exchanged
with my dust-cousins, familiar and estranged.

Last edited by conny; 03-08-2021 at 02:18 AM.
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  #3  
Unread 03-08-2021, 02:33 AM
Golias Golias is offline
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Hi Bill,

L1 is 'Lie' down. Bad grammar and vulgarity do not encourage readership...but I'll be back after re-readlng some of the source text to better understand the rest of the poem..

Wiley

Last edited by Golias; 03-08-2021 at 02:55 AM.
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  #4  
Unread 03-08-2021, 05:30 AM
E. Shaun Russell E. Shaun Russell is offline
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Bill -- I'm anything but a prude, but I agree with the others. There's something extremely offputting about how this poem begins, and not just in the shocking/edgy sense. The tone reads like smutty for smutty's sake, and even if the theme is accurately biblical, there are dozens of ways to channel the same content without using base imagery. Think Yeats's "Leda and the Swan" -- it's a horrific scene, but it's approached obliquely, which allows it to be shocking, yet also masterful and arguably beautiful in a squeamish way. Not that you need to be Yeats, but there are ways to channel the base sexual content without resorting to obscene language.

For what it's worth, I can't get a good feel for the meter through most of the octave. The sestet has a lot of promise though, and as Conny says, I might imagine a better poem emerging after a few drafts.
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  #5  
Unread 03-08-2021, 10:36 AM
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RCL RCL is offline
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I like that it jars! The first rhyme word could make it less raw by saying something like to bed.

Thinking about it, correct the lay to lie and maybe make it "in bed."
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Ralph

Last edited by RCL; 03-08-2021 at 12:13 PM.
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  #6  
Unread 03-08-2021, 03:14 PM
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R. Nemo Hill R. Nemo Hill is offline
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Yes, I think the jarring quality is a plus, and is deliberately employed.
In fact, I like the poem precisely because it so rudely grabs hold of me.
The dark side of God pulls no punches.....and we all have dust-cousins.

Nemo
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  #7  
Unread 03-09-2021, 01:52 AM
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Jane Crowson Jane Crowson is offline
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Hello,

In case it's helpful, I felt the writing at the start was appropriate; brutal acts, described unequivocally. Layering them out with subtlety wouldn't work for me.

However, be aware that 'neighbor's woman' immediately fills me with the sense that the narrative voice talks from the perspective of someone who sees women as goods/chattels.

Since I don't read the narrative voice as necessarily the same as interchangeable with the author's perspective that doesn't mean I'm accusing the author of seeing women as owned objects by the way! But pointing it out as it might be useful.

I enjoy poems with stories in them, and this doesn't disappoint. The switch to modern, with the boss works for me, and the 'dust-cousins' is brilliant.

Sarah-Jane
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  #8  
Unread 03-09-2021, 02:06 AM
Andrew Frisardi Andrew Frisardi is offline
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Wow. This is powerful. The choice of the sonnet form is interesting, since it has the history of being associated with refined Apollonian culture, etc., so it's as if the subject matter and sonics of this claw at the form. The proper names from medieval demonology are marvelous. The opening is totally apt for what this poem is doing.

Since it's IP, I'd note that this line could use some metrical tinkering:

to the wilderness. There in an ecstasy
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  #9  
Unread 03-10-2021, 05:45 AM
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Daniel Kemper Daniel Kemper is offline
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I like the re-cast of this into contemporary times; the sorcery-like blend of neighbors and bosses with myth. There's something in the opening lines that's off-putting, but not because of the blunt address of an infrequently addressed topic. As has been mentioned, in general "off-putting-ness" can be used to effect.

A big issue for me in this is that it reads like prose.

[Adam insisted she lay down and spread]

Starting with a trochee might seem like its headless, which is generally accepted, is not the same thing. The beginning is ever-so-slightly off-footed. What happens is the strong of monosyllables following "insisted" is met without a consistent iambic momentum being established. So its trochee, iamb + "ed" then monosyllables. So which is the exception? The trochee or the iamb? To be iambic, you have to reverse yourself a second time. To be trochaic you have to face the problem of the placement of "ed" Actually, the more natural read is anapestic. The first syllable is an exception, but no change or interruption after that. It's a type of headless anapest if you will.

[but she would mount, so he attempted rape.]
Seven monosyllables follow five problematic ones in the first line. The headless anapestic "theory" can wincingly be maintained through "but she would mount" but then the following line just comes out like a news story. If it were prefaced well, it would carry the iambic very well, though.

[Lilith, twisted, was going down. To escape]
We start with two trochees and end with an anapest [to esCAPE]. The line is not even majority iambs.

Blah blah. To get a good moment and theme down on a page in the first place is the most important thing and you've got great material to work with here. Often, as I'm sure you've found before, surprisingly few changes and tweaks renovates the whole sound.

Looking forward to reading more.
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  #10  
Unread 03-10-2021, 06:23 AM
Jim Moonan Jim Moonan is offline
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Daniel: "Often, as I'm sure you've found before, surprisingly few changes and tweaks renovates the whole sound."


Renovates. Such a great architectural word that provides some psychic illumination to the the dark art of revision.



"A big issue for me in this is that it reads like prose."

In the riptide where poetry and prose merge, vocabulary and imagery are what keep the head above the waterline. I think Bill manages it quite well.
To begin tinkering with the phrasing of this would necessitate that he write a new poem, I think.


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