Old 01-29-2015, 11:07 PM   #1
Senna Jawa
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Fine points

Since the beginning of poetic Internet I felt frustrated that about 70% is spent on nonsense, 29% on very simple stuff, and less than one percent on advanced issues. Thus let's presents moments from your own or anybody else poetry, where we will illustrate and discuss the fine points. I hope that this thread will be a great success.
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Old 01-30-2015, 12:30 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Senna Jawa View Post
Since the beginning of poetic Internet I felt frustrated that about 70% is spent on nonsense, 29% on very simple stuff, and less than one percent on advanced issues. Thus let's presents moments from your own or anybody else poetry, where we will illustrate and discuss the fine points. I hope that this thread will be a great success.
This thread is not only about writing but also, which goes hand in hand, about reading poetry!
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Old 01-30-2015, 01:43 AM   #3
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Images and kennings (from [a four-wheeled...])

Fine point: _ images and kennings.
Poem:_ _ _ _ [a four-wheeled drop...] _by wh (SJ)
The first verse starts with:
a four-wheeled drop
which is a kenning of a car, perhaps a small car. The whole verse is:
a four-wheeled drop of the blue sky
which is a kenning of a blue car. You get two images for the price of one: of a car, and of the sky. At this moment the image of the sky doesn't logically belong to the scene. It is only invoked in your mind. The invoked image already includes the notion of a rain (a drop from the sky).

Verse two:
rolls down the river of concrete
The image of the car is consistently amplified; the dimension of the movement is added. Then the river of concrete is the kenning of the road. A car is moving on the road. At the same time the rain/water (river) keeps invading the reader's mind.

Verse three:
following a swiftly moving black hole
The driver is looking ahead through the front window and... follows a black whole--at this time the image is mysterious. Let's read the next verse, or even both of them:
following a swiftly moving black hole
up under the train of gray clouds
Now we have clouds, now we have the sky for real, in the scene. It connects with the first verse. Mandelshtam said thaw words serve a poem as bridges, to connect it. Thus here you have an illustration.

Now the black hole is moving under the train of the gray clouds. Thus the clouds are moving too. But what is the black hole?-- why, it is a bird, a swallow. They move fast. You look at them, they are a distance away from you, and all you see like a black hole in the sky.

Thus a black hole of the sky is your kenning of a swallow.

And the last two verses:
while pines on the sides don't give in
to fall
The scene is autumn, while the pines are ever green. The pines stand put. The rest of the scene makes you feel like you're about to fall.

Thank you,

Last edited by Senna Jawa : 02-18-2015 at 03:10 AM. Reason: typo in the title--missing ")"
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Old 01-31-2015, 03:46 AM   #4
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Four dimensions

Digression: would my previous post Images and kennings influence your reading of san jose and [the candy...]?

===============

Du Fu used different spatial scales even in the same poem--he would have everyday scene, and a mountain range, and sometimes a bird view over the entire China. The last of the following Basho's 4 haiku adds the time dimension. The Basho's haiku starts with the line: summer grasses. When the scene is outdoor then the present scene gets extended to the past, which creates a 4-space.

There is even more space in [the shadow's...]. There are artistically two equally strong parts of which the first one exists in the present time, and the second in the past. Once again, the present happens outdoors, and then it goes way back in time and space in the second part. Nevertheless this is one single poem, it's integrated--the hot and cold accents. No wonder that more than one poetesses responded (on Internet ) something like--I would give in to such a Moses-lover.
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Old 02-08-2015, 01:28 AM   #5
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Basement--outdoors--basement

In a thread about Du Fu and Leśmian I've mentioned how great poets have within the same poem more than one geometric scale: e.g. a detailed look at a small bug, everyday scale for human interaction or activities, and large scale scenes. Then, for instance on an example of a Basho haiku, you could see how one more dimension--time--can enter a poem. The natural idea here is to have a present time scene, then to expand it by traveling backward in time.

An essentially different variation occurs in a beautiful-beautiful poem Sztafaż zimowy by Włodzimierz Szymanowicz. I had written about this poem on Internet, and unknown to me poetry enthusiasts reproduced this and some other my notes about Szymanowicz's poetry a few times over the years. These Internauts do it outside the regular poetic groups or portals like PF&D, they simply love poetry without any ambition of being a poet themself or even showing off their own stuff. Some people like music without trying to be a composer, and some other people like poetry (there are only so few of them around).

Earlier, in the previously mentioned poems, we had

outdoors at the present time ===> outdoors large scene from the past


Now here it is:

basement (today) ==> outdoors (in the past) ==> basement (today)


The title Sztafaż zimowy means Winter staffage (nice title, perfectly in one with the whole poem).

The whole poem is like an enliven painting, together with a frame. The frame of the poem consists of the first two, and of the last two verses. The frame corresponds to a basement scene. The middle 3-11 verses present you with the painting--full of life--by famous Brueghels, i.e. by one of the paintings, but it also gives you the idea of their art in general, or of their life.

The language of the frame is taken from the everyday vocabulary of those days, and even slightly from the political language. These lines are still highly poetic, due to their imagery (already within the frame ), while they sound like young people talking casually (it's a monolog).

The first half of line 3 is still a plain introduction:

You have there--for instance--. . .


and the dreamy poetry starts for good with filling the dots "...", and goes on to the end of line 11. It presents with ease a rich scene: a pond, small (wood) brown brueghels (lower case B , where otherwise Szymanowicz sticks to the usual lower/upper case convention) scating on wooden skates in the evening, ...

You get there several attributes: the village, the tall chimneys, the farm animals, ...--a lot, and with the striking details, artistically(!).

You gain space in this image even by having Brueghels shown as miniature. Also, you get the red nose of God being warmed up by the smoke from the said chimneys. It's incredible, just unbelievable, how with two words--God's nose-- you get both the zoom (nose) and the vast space (God). You even have, in this Polish text, the single English word blue, with a wonderful effect, enhancing the space.

On the top of all this some allusions are made to some other paintings or biblical events (in a harmony with the God's nose ).

The whole description (from the middle part) is incredibly colorful, friendly toward that old world, warm (delicate), takes you fascinated into the scene without realizing that you are reading poetry. It's amazing that within this warmth and gentle writing, Szymanowicz still manages to use some otherwise crude sub-dialect words. It is not nose (nos--in Polish) but crude nochal; and the word gira for leg is especially irregular by any educated standard (but it's not vulgar!).

You may find the contrast delicate versus crude in literature, in music, etc. For instance, Little Richard can instantly pass from screaming to the most subtle lyrical phrases. However, In the case of Szymanowicz, there is no crudeness! The two words belong to crude phrases outside the Winter staffage, but the poem (it's middle) is completely warm and delicate, there is no unpleasant moment, all words play their harmony.

Thus we have the dark basement-frame surrounding an old colorful painting. The poems ends in the lower dark part of the frame, the very last line is ironic:

think for a moment--white staffage in a stupid basement.


But just the line before, within the same lower part of the frame, at the end of a visit, you had (this, plus the last verse again):

Pull the ladder, blow out the candle, close the door
think for a moment--white staffage in a stupid basement.


=====================================

The paintings of the old masters were located in the basement of the Warsaw public library on Koszykowa street, just next to Plac Konstutucji. Włodek studied paintings (i.e. simply looked at them and again for hours, day in--day out) there, and also at another large public library on Krakowskie Predmieście. Both libraries were huge, had enormous material, and were very nice to work there. Many people didn't even have any convenient place to work at but at the libraries.

Last edited by Senna Jawa : 02-08-2015 at 01:57 AM.
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Old 02-18-2015, 02:32 AM   #6
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Illusion

Fine point: _ Illusion created by a juxtaposition.
Poem: _ _ _ _ busy by wh (SJ)

The recognized and the most common effect of a juxtaposition is not illusion but the opposite--a realistic description of human affairs (including emotions!) by artistic means. This means that on one hand you treat a person just like anything in the Nature (like a bridge or a tree, etc.), and on the other hand you compose this with a description of Nature. Involving Nature is the poetry's way to induce the reflections and human emotions in the READER (thus these are NOT author's emotions but the reader's emotions which are the goal). Thus one does not shout, does not proclaim, does not teach or instructs, ...--no! you let the Nature induce the feelings instead of doing it yourself (which would be ugly). This is how poetry works, this is how it was done in the ancient China, and in the folk poetry around the word, and in Japanese haiku, ... I have some wonderful modern examples of juxtaposition but this note is about illusion after all.

Thus let's look at the poem busy, just two lines. On one hand we have a single person. On the other India, of a population of over a billion. This poem is not realistic. Obviously nobody is calling a billion people. But that's the illusion created by the poem though. This indices in a (poetry!-)reader various feelings, depending on the reader.

This was just a miniature. In my other more extensive poems there can be an illusion of the coming end of the world, or of other possibilities.

Observe that the illusion must happen by itself. The author cannot tell the reader about the illusion or it will not be a poem, it'd be junk.

Last edited by Senna Jawa : 02-18-2015 at 03:09 AM. Reason: lang.
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Old 02-18-2015, 03:07 AM   #7
Senna Jawa
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Senna Jawa View Post
Fine point: _ images and kennings.
Poem:_ _ _ _ [a four-wheeled drop...] _by wh (SJ)
Verse three [and four]:
following a swiftly moving black hole
up under the train of gray clouds
[...] But what is the black hole?-- why, it is a bird, a swallow.[...]

Thus a black hole of the sky is your kenning of a swallow.
Compare this with an earlier poem:
boomerang dreams
with its verse:

a swallow vanishing in the far sky thru a black crack

There are poems, and there is more.

Last edited by Senna Jawa : 02-18-2015 at 03:11 AM.
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