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  #1  
Unread 09-24-2021, 04:52 PM
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RCL RCL is offline
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Default A Lighter Fall

Latest revision: All now bow to the sun.

Lightening Fall

When fall winds twist and drift dry leaves,
those falling through decreasing light
had once made me a man who grieves.
When fall winds twist and drift dead leaves,
bare branches welcome sky. Who grieves
short days? A tree’s a purer sight
when fall winds dry and drift dry leaves:
those fallen leave increase daylight.


Autumn Light

With every shortened day
the restless leaves take flight
but bare trees welcome light
that plays as branches sway.


Fallen Grasses

When fall winds dry and tear green grasses,
drying blades appear as mortals.
Though summers vivify green masses,
fall winds tear and dry the grasses
very thin and verdant grass is
yellowed. Rounding seasonal circles,
the fall winds dry and tear green grasses,
but spring reveals them as immortals.





Tinkering with rhyme:

Fall Mourning (version 2)

When fall winds tear and twist dry leaves,
those falling leaves will leave trees mourning.
Summer plumps them fleshy green,
too soon transformed, and to some seen
as falling tears. The shriveled leaving
are drained of green and gold and grieving.
When fall winds tear and scatter leaves,
those sere leaves will leave me mourning.


L1: dry for sere
L8: sere for fallen

Fall Mourning (version 1)

When fall winds tear and twist sere leaves,
those falling leaves leave trees mourning.
Summer plumps up fleshy leaves
too soon transformed to severed leaves
falling like tears. The shriveled leaves
are drained of green and gold, mourning
when fall winds tear and scatter leaves.
Those fallen leaves leave me mourning.

Autumn Light

With every shortened day
the restless leaves take flight
but bare trees welcome light
that plays as branches sway.

L2: restless for lovely


Grasses Grieving

When fall winds tear and twist the grasses,
each drying drooping blade is grieving.
Summer’s plumping of the grass is
too soon gone thin, and all the greenness
slim dry stalks. The shriveled grass is
drained of green and gold and leaving.
When fall winds twist and tear the grasses,
fall’s rusted grasses leave me grieving.

L8: rusted for dead
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Last edited by RCL; 10-08-2021 at 01:05 PM.
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Unread 09-26-2021, 01:09 PM
David Callin David Callin is offline
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Hi Ralph,

The first one skips lightly along, except in L3, where it seems to me to drag its feet a little - do you see what I mean? (There is, as I read it, an awkward stress on the "in" of "increase", if the rhythm is to be maintained - otherwise the line does drag.)

In the second one, I like the repetitions of "grasses" and "bereft", but "bereft" is a very poetic word - could you find a more homely one? That feels as though it would be more appropriate for the poem.

I think also that "blade’s" might need to lose its apostrophe, and "sprouts" seems to sit a little awkwardly in the last line. (Brussels? I am thinking.)

Musically, I do like the second one.

Cheers

David
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Unread 09-26-2021, 03:10 PM
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Great help, David! As you might have guessed I'm of two minds about the season. I'll be tinkering with them until the next fall.

And hot damn! I just made the 6,000th post
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Unread 09-26-2021, 09:15 PM
Julie Steiner Julie Steiner is offline
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Hi, Ralph!

After having read the first triolet with "mourning" as the repetend, it was very hard for me to give the second one a fair hearing. [Edited to say: Are the first and third poem above actually different drafts of the same poem? If so, sorry--I didn't pick up on that the first time through.]

I am unconvinced that the trees and grasses and leaves are actually mourning, because you haven't presented much evidence within the poems to support that conclusion. You just tell us (over and over again) that they are, and that the narrator is. But other than mentioning that the leaves are falling like tears, you don't offer much support for your claims.

Also, can the grasses be both mourning and corpses? Aren't corpses past emotions?

--Doubting Thomas

PS. Autumnal poems, like love poems, are so often done that they always have to overcome a somewhat higher "So what?" factor than other poems.

PPS. I'm not sure I agree that summer "plumps up fleshy leaves" or grasses. What plants are you thinking of that get plumped up in the summertime? It's the winter rains that plump up cacti and other succulents, not the summer, which shrivels them.

Sorry to be so grumpy and literal, Ralph.

Last edited by Julie Steiner; 09-27-2021 at 02:05 AM.
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Unread 09-27-2021, 09:47 AM
Susan McLean Susan McLean is offline
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Ralph, I like "Autumn Light." I think you could find a better word than "lovely" for the leaves, even though I like the sound of it with "leaves." I like your wordplay about the play of light once the leaves are gone. I am a lot less enthusiastic about the two mourning poems. I like repeating forms such as triolets, but part of the fun is created by the play of repeating words against the words that show up just once in the rhymes. When you repeat two rhyme words that many times, I start to lose interest. Also, I have heard "mourning" linked to autumn so often that I am a bit tired of it. What I liked in the middle poem was the unexpectedness of it.

Susan
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Unread 09-27-2021, 09:52 AM
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Julie, thanks for the tips, for which I'm happy!

Susan, your points well taken. I too prefer the short one.
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Last edited by RCL; 09-27-2021 at 09:56 AM.
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Unread 09-27-2021, 12:36 PM
David Callin David Callin is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RCL View Post
Great help, David! As you might have guessed I'm of two minds about the season. I'll be tinkering with them until the next fall.

And hot damn! I just made the 6,000th post
Congratulations on the 6K Ralph!
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Unread 09-27-2021, 02:12 PM
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Sarah-Jane Crowson Sarah-Jane Crowson is offline
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Hi,

I like the sonics in ‘Grasses Grieving’ best, which shrivel the grass in front of my eyes as I read through. I also love the green and gold and how that changes to ‘dead’ although I also wonder what the colour of ‘dead’ is for these grasses, and the smell, maybe of them, and the noise the wind makes.

Autumn Light is perfect, I’d say, as it is - just a lovely poem, like a lantern.

For what it’s worth, I find ‘sere’ off-putting in the first two poems - it reads a bit self-conscious, a bit steampunk. I had a word-slip, too - I read it as meaning ‘old’, which is probably because I’m reading the context and knowing the word ‘seer’. I think personally I’d like it more if it could be introduced in the last lines of the poem, as then I’d have more scope to infer the right meaning?

I like how the sound of the wind sings through the first two, though.

Sarah-Jane
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Unread 09-27-2021, 03:09 PM
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Sarah-Jane, I get it! Dry in line 1; sere in line 8. Especially glad you like the little light thing and the sonics of grass. Thanks!

Oh, and your question about the color of dead grass had me look out the window to see many rusting patches on my lawn, so rusted it is.
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Last edited by RCL; 09-27-2021 at 04:18 PM.
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Unread 09-28-2021, 05:15 AM
W T Clark W T Clark is offline
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Ralph,
It seems to me your poem is struggling with invention. If you are going to walk down such a heavily trodden thoroughfare as Autumn: falling leaves indicating sadness, then you'll have to distinguish yourself from the crowd. The easiest thing to do would be to go against the trope, or subvert it, as in:
These trees, now free from those cloying clothes
that slump about their feet in surrender,
are happy now: ramrod straight they pose,
naked and tall and tender.
This is hackwork, certainly, but it does get across something of the subversion that could lift this poem out of the cliché. But I don't think you really want to go that far, in which case I ask for more invention. A poem cannot be simply a repetition of an all too well-known trope, it needs to bring something unordinary to the table. I think your revision of the first triolet is superior, but it still struggles from the knee-bending problem of being rather clichéd. Autumn is sad because its wind tears leaves from trees, and the trees are left mourning. Therefore the leaves are like dry tears — to some — of the trees. In fact the leaves are so sad they look like they are mourning. And I am mourning too. This conceit is so heavily trodden, it needs some inventive phrase, something startling to lift it out of the ordinary. Is tears too easy? Can't there be a more inventive comparison? Something like that is all I ask.

Your four-line poem is certainly "nice", in a sweet, childlike way, but it is also rather bland. Maybe it is rejoicing in its bareness, but I for one would like some leaf of a metaphor. Is there a better, more interesting modifier than "lovely"? "Lovely" is statement, not evocation, poetry is the living language of evocation. "Plays" and "sway" are also ordinary, rather expected choices, please, bring something fresh into the poem's field.

Hope this helps.
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