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Old 04-09-2014, 02:06 PM   #51
greenmountaineer
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John Donovan's Dream

The fire spat twice when he awoke
in a fog bottom night, the kind when folk
love to tell tales on All Hallows Eve,

but summer nights with her still seared
and burned in him as she appeared.

“Be dream or ghost, debauchery
is in my deep green eyes,” said she,
"Besides, Dear Heart, I need a good foin"

who lipped his lobe and whispered thus
riding atop John Donovan:

"I beg you find His mercy in life
as foreknown, some friends, and a wife
for comfort and love. No, no, Dear Heart.

You must hear my rhyme. You must hear my rhyme."

And the fog escaped John Donovan's mind.


Original Version
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Old 04-09-2014, 02:13 PM   #52
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i should spend more time reading you.

how do you feel about the improvements you've made, gm?
are you collecting any together to form groups?
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Old 04-09-2014, 04:00 PM   #53
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Quote:
Originally Posted by butters View Post
i should spend more time reading you.

how do you feel about the improvements you've made, gm?
are you collecting any together to form groups?
The above was just an experiment, butters, rhyming couplets, which I don't do, with a little variation nested in the poem.

I'm not dissatisfied with the edits for the most part. I've got a fair number of early submissions on Lit that frankly make me cringe, so it's a challenge, and one that I enjoy, to make something hopefully more presentable.

As to grouping, it's funny you should ask. I've a fair number that seem to focus on the second and third generations of immigrants in the "melting pot" of New York and its environs. While it seems perhaps limited and parochial, there are millions of Americans who can trace their family roots to the immigrant experience passing through New York. I might try my luck at a chapbook contest at some point in the future.
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Old 04-10-2014, 01:29 AM   #54
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St. Anthony... and In Extremis (Part 1)

Quote:
Originally Posted by greenmountaineer View Post

St. Anthony of the Desert

He sent his sister to a nunnery
although he could have dowered her
after which he went to the desert,
there to battle all of the satyrs
afflicting him with dreams of women.

The Roman would not be riled
that Anthony could become a martyr;
therefore he hastened back to the caves
where an angel in a girdle
battled centaurs, whores, and demons

for which Anthony decided to pray
that he may love all of God's children,
except for the men who followed him
to touch his reptile skin in the desert.

Original Version
Since the time this greenmountaineer's thread was opened I was coming back to it several times. A year ago or before I would read such poems smoothly but for an occasion struggle with the meaning. These days I am limited. Sorry for this apology. But even today, when most of the time I have only an intuition that these poems are good instead of simply knowing, I still derive pleasure from reading them.

In particular, I like the present poem. I also read the original greenmountaineer's version (see the quoted link above). It is another good method of talking about a poem by comparing two versions, it provides an organization and motivation.

Indeed, I like the new version better. It's clean, compact, well composed. Now let me go into details.

The old version has a different title, and it starts as follows:
In Extremis

He sent his [...]
Although he [...]
After which Anthony [...]

This creates an unnecessary grammatical tension, when a "he" appears without any prior introduction. Some people may think that it's more fresh, interesting, etc. but that's not the way; poetry should be profound, should not rely on artificial gimmicks (I am not saying that GM subscribes to this misguided view, only that some people do).

Thus I welcome the explicit and straight title: St. Anthony of the Desert. Now "He" which starts the poem is natural.

It's interesting how GM has replaced the earlier 3rd line
After which Anthony sought his desert
by the new one:
after which he went to the desert,
Because of different titles, it was natural to substitute "he" for "Anthony". But if he did it mechanically then the melody of the phrase would suffer. Thus a further change. Obviously, it was done intuitively, as a reflex.

There is more to it. The new L3-4 lines feature:
after which he went to the desert,
there to battle all of the satyrs
while the original presented:
After which Anthony sought his desert
Hovel to battle all the devils
This time we get some trade-offs. The original phrase "desert hovel" is more poetically precise (more topical) here than simply "desert", and it more of an image, certainly more of an original image.

Actually, the original features a line break (enjambment) "... desert / Hovel ...". Each line of this text starts with upper case. Here this is unfortunate. It makes parsing the enjambment harder, and otherwise there is no reason to make it superficially harder. Now, that the present version stopped that artificial upper case, GM can go back to enjambment.

But the new version has "satyrs", which is sharper than the old "devils". This is a clear gain. Thus GM can use the best of his two versions:

after which Anthony sought his desert
hovel to battle all the satyrs


Well, my taken for granted endurance is gone. I have to stop now. Possibly I'll continue.

In the past I looked around with a disbelieve, and had to tell myself that poetry is hard. Otherwise why people were writing in their comments so much of nothing or so much of nonsense. Now, after things got changed form me, I have to accept that indeed, poetry is hard. So hard that even when I manage to understand a text, say by greenmountaineer, if I am that lucky after an effort, it becomes self-contradictory all the same because I am not able to enjoy poetry after an intensive effort. Perhaps once in while, after getting back to the same strong poem several times, I may still truly enjoy it. If I am lucky. At least I know what this is about, so I have a chance even today.

Best regards,

Last edited by Senna Jawa : 04-10-2014 at 02:58 AM. Reason: typo
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Old 04-10-2014, 07:34 AM   #55
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Thank you for the detailed comments, Senna. These poems continue to be works in progress. I suppose if I have anything close to a "finished file," it resides on my iPad. I enjoy editing my poems, whether on my own or the result of thought provoking comments by others. Yours have me thinking.
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Old 04-10-2014, 01:39 PM   #56
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Quote:
Originally Posted by greenmountaineer View Post
Thank you for the detailed comments, Senna. These poems continue to be works in progress. I suppose if I have anything close to a "finished file," it resides on my iPad. I enjoy editing my poems, whether on my own or the result of thought provoking comments by others. Yours have me thinking.
It was me who was forced to think. However, on this occasion I have selected a relatively simpler poem, while I have found a characteristic property of several of your other pieces. The first part of this property is that you use highly compound sentences. But there is more to it. With each new component within the same sentence you shift to a new main object, from one to another. Your style is very interesting. However, since my crisis, I get overloaded. Possibly now, that I know your secret, it may be a bit easier on me.

Going back to your two versions, the greatest and basic difference takes place between the endings, of course. I am not sure if I should continue about this or the other poems of this or other threads. Perhaps it's not needed. I am even thinking about once again writing systematically in my 2014++ portion of my portal about Tangia but it's not too realistic.

Best regards,

Last edited by Senna Jawa : 04-10-2014 at 01:39 PM. Reason: italic
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Old 04-18-2014, 11:19 AM   #57
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Grandfather Reflects on His Poetry

Whom am I kidding?
I smelled of neither dirt nor plastic.
Mine was a faint smell really.

One had to be conscious I was there
by some other means
like opening doors for everyone.

I ushered all the ladies through,
palm touching shoulder,

saw the gentle sway of hips
pass me by, cosmetic color of skin,

and often wondered how much heat
my sanitary fingertips missed.


Original Version

Last edited by greenmountaineer : 04-18-2014 at 02:16 PM.
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Old 04-27-2014, 04:20 PM   #58
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Quote:
Originally Posted by greenmountaineer View Post
-
Grandfather Reflects on His Poetry

Whom am I kidding?
I smelled of neither dirt nor plastic.
Mine was a faint smell really.

One had to be conscious I was there
by some other means
like opening doors for everyone.

I ushered all the ladies through,
palm touching shoulder,

saw the gentle sway of hips
pass me by, cosmetic color of skin,

and often wondered how much heat
my sanitary fingertips missed.


Original Version
Nice poem! (I like it better than the original).

Its simple sentence structure seem to contradict my earlier generalization (or is this poem an exception?).

The title traps the reader. Readers can get more without defining the theme right away. Myself, I like this nice poem without explicitly mentioning poetry at all. (I wouldn't support the old title either).

Best regards,

Last edited by Senna Jawa : 04-27-2014 at 04:25 PM.
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Old 04-29-2014, 07:42 AM   #59
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Senna Jawa View Post
Nice poem! (I like it better than the original).

Its simple sentence structure seem to contradict my earlier generalization (or is this poem an exception?).

The title traps the reader. Readers can get more without defining the theme right away. Myself, I like this nice poem without explicitly mentioning poetry at all. (I wouldn't support the old title either).

Best regards,
Thanks. I'm glad you noticed the sentence structure.

I've always had mixed feelings about both titles, so your comment's not lost on me, Senna. Just like sentence structure, I think title selection can make a difference, so I'll continue to look for one.
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Old 06-27-2014, 07:25 AM   #60
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Seeking Alchemy, Finding None

A stone-cold puddle November brings
is turning to crystal at Moss Glen Falls,
except for the rising of mist
as if some wizard's vapor trail
might give us back an Indian Summer
of lovers under its orange leaves.

Your cold cream hand fetches a stone
that isn't sharp enough to hone
an arrow, Travis, and Tiffany
in a heart where the bark has died.

So I make my palm into a pallet
about to finger paint our love
with mud as I watch you rub
smudge from your fading come hither jeans.

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Old 06-30-2014, 06:19 AM   #61
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Mr. Whalen Needs a Tombstone

That's what the inmate bulletin board read
about Quaker Friend Ed Whalen,
a quietly taken G.E.D. soul

who tutored men whose tattooed fingers
swore HATE on the right
while LOVE, what's left of it, bleeds.

But why would Ed want his name carved in stone?
His politic body rose without sound
like a stone cold New England winter's smoke
from a wood stove chimney to aether.

He wouldn't have wanted stone, to be sure,
however much Ed often sculpted
poor spirits who, in spite of the mayhem,
are looking for a metaphor,

which, of course, will never come
except as a way to say "Love"
where it always stops short of the bone.

Before

Mr. Whalen Needs a Tombstone

That's what the inmate bulletin board read
Of Friend Ed Whalen, quietly taken
G.E.D. tutor and poet for men
Whose tattooed fingers swore HATE on the right
While LOVE, what's left of it, no longer bled.

But why would Ed want his name carved in stone
When all through life his body politic
Attempted to earn a mantel instead?

He didn't. He loved, however, sculpting
Poor spirits, tasking his student to find
A metaphor for brotherly love
Everyone else misread.

Last edited by greenmountaineer : 06-30-2014 at 11:38 AM.
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Old 07-05-2014, 06:58 AM   #62
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Jamisha Once Danced Dressed in Blue
when duck was a word that wasn't a duck
Kalisha drew in her coloring book,
and rat-a-tat drive by bullets rained.

So Grandma Sadie is raising Kalisha
far from beautiful downtown LA
where, Ladies and Gentleman, Exxon Mobil's
Board of Directors proudly presents
Pyotr Tchaikovsky's Nutcracker Suite
for your enjoyment on KCET.

Meanwhile Keontae beatboxes a dumpster
to Come All Ye Faithful as Jayla becomes
a crip walking back alley ballerina
because he's asked her to be his blue diamond
while giant rats prance in the street.


Original version


http://www.literotica.com/p/watching...er-suite-in-la

Last edited by greenmountaineer : 07-06-2014 at 06:26 AM.
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Old 07-08-2014, 06:54 AM   #63
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Lidice

Nebraska read it with eggs and bacon
while Churchill was choking on his tea.

Do not trouble der Führer, little boys
of Europe and America.
Your women will be raped, your children
worked like slaves. Der Führer has his ways.

Lawyers and bankers swayed from lampposts,
neck tied in dress shirts gunmetal pressed,
killed with more random Czechoslovakia
at Horák’s farm to bury the town,

but for the stain from Lidice’s blood,
made into clay, mixed with its mud,
as sculpted children who got up one day
to go to school or gather some eggs.

Before

Even Pets

Nebraska read it with eggs and bacon
As did Churchill choking on his tea.

Do not trouble der Führer, little boys
Of Europe, America, and Pius XII.
Your women will be raped, your children
Worked like slaves. Der Führer has his ways.

Lawyers as well swayed from lampposts
Necktied in dress shirts gunmetal pressed,

Killed with the best of Czechoslovakia
At Horák’s farm to bury the name,
But for the birth from Lidice’s clay
Of bronze sculpted children too frightened to pray.

In memoriam for the massacre on June 10, 1942

Last edited by greenmountaineer : 07-08-2014 at 06:57 AM.
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Old 08-08-2014, 11:01 AM   #64
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Better Days on Fulton Street

There were times you couldn't scrape
two dimes for a pint of might
there be better days on Fulton
far from the uptown ticker tape parades
for your armor infantry blood, sweat, and tears,
shortened for time at the beach,
patio decks, burgers, and beers.

Whenever we heard Isaiah say grace,
the truth was our stew wasn't beef;
"Why spend money on what is not bread?"
The man had a sense of humor. Repeat.
The man had a sense of humor
as in yet another Sunday dinner,
A&P ice cream with drops of vanilla
was as good as the premium is.

So here's a toast to our nickel-dime life
when we called you Snap, Crackle Pop
because Rice Krispies go well with Schlitz.
The laughter hardly ever stopped, Pop,
and we never saw you cry in your beer,
the half-pint size they called a dimey
you liked to drink at the K of C

whose bar had photos of armored divisions,
a Virgin Mary, and newspaper story
about how you helped a Josef Rosen,
barely alive at Buchenwald
who later came to live in Manhattan
up on the gilded Fifth Avenue
and opened a practice, delivering babies,
but closed on Friday well before sundown
to go downtown to the K of C
where Joe and Tommy, dimey-loosened,
toasted L'chaim! L'chaim! L'chaim!

Last edited by greenmountaineer : 09-01-2014 at 04:25 PM.
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Old 08-08-2014, 11:20 AM   #65
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Quote:
Originally Posted by greenmountaineer View Post
There were times you couldn't scrape
two dimes for a pint of might ....[/i]
This is just wonderful, GM. Really evocative.
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Old 08-08-2014, 11:21 AM   #66
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I love your Better Days piece. It reminds me so of people and places I've known. Had a short film of snapshots and .gifs playing in my head and feelings long forgotten, remembered.
thank you sir.
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Old 08-08-2014, 08:05 PM   #67
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Thank you Trixie and Angie.

Angie,

I thought of your father when I was writing the poem. If I'm not mistaken, I believe he was a medic in Europe during WWII.
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Old 08-08-2014, 09:33 PM   #68
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Quote:
Originally Posted by greenmountaineer View Post
Thank you Trixie and Angie.

Angie,

I thought of your father when I was writing the poem. If I'm not mistaken, I believe he was a medic in Europe during WWII.
That's very cool to know. You made me smile. See --->

He was indeed a medic with the Third Auxiliary Surgical Group. They have quite an interesting history.

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Old 08-11-2014, 08:47 AM   #69
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Rocco's Love Poem

"Best damn ice on the planet
at Lorenzo's Restaurant"
I say to Finny on my cell
who's already got us a table there
up on Arthur Avenue.

Herschel however is running late
just like his mother told him to be
home from the park before eight,
nine pm in the summertime
of hoops and dreams in '93,
Hersch and me at five foot five.

What with girls, the bottom line,
riding subways nine to nine,
and softball on Sunday at Riverside,
we hardly mentioned family names
of ancestors grandparents knew,

fiddles playing in the Ukraine
before the Kiev pogrom pain,
tin whistle plaints in Ireland
for all the times that Parliament sinned,
and my grandfather's father in Napoli
without any fish, out to sea

when I turn to Hersch and Finny to say
out of the blue: "I love you, Guys."

"Jesus, Mary, and Josephat!"
best damn Hersch on the planet says,
who puts my neck in a headlock
while Finny, I swear he's six foot five,
tickles my belly such that I
laugh so hard that I cry.
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Old 08-11-2014, 09:28 AM   #70
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Great snap shot story story GM. Yet another one that has a little movie clip running in my head. My hubby is a fan as well.
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Old 08-12-2014, 10:42 AM   #71
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The Flower

I wish my flower could be
down in the meadow by the river
where soon Spirit Sun takes away
cold smoke of the morning,

but Uma, see how Krah smears blood
on claws of the short-faced bear
as Tunka plucks my flower
to burn for Spirit Moon.

The pretty petals are dying there,
just as our sister Manah did
in the Great Pit wearing the hide
we dyed with plums and carrots.

Tonight my flower won't look as nice
when Krah pours blood on the altar stone.
Tunka will burn it in his cup,
but, Uma, ssshh, come with me,
come to the river and see,
wrapped in a tree leaf hidden there
behind the great rock of Zar,

Uma, I took the seeds!

Last edited by greenmountaineer : 08-12-2014 at 10:45 AM.
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Old 08-15-2014, 09:49 AM   #72
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The Irish Wake Table

We covered with a tablecloth
knots that looked like liver spots
and lit a tapered candle for
blackened salmon and claret
where women once at midnight keened
whose early morning rosary beads
babies rattled giggling pink

when mothball mothers diapered them
in their blackest woolen shawls,
the smell of whom had pleased them more
than incense from the Cavendish smoke
of clay pipes pointing towards heaven.

BEFORE

The Irish Wake Table

We covered with a tablecloth
knots that looked like liver spots
and leveled two of the legs with shims,
reminding us of a dead uncle
who, even in the heat of summer,
tottered in his long sleeve shirt.

While we dined on blackened salmon
and drank claret in candlelight
we also spoke of women mourning
whose rosary beads rattled midnight
when they keened around the table
in their blackest hour shawls

who nonetheless, Aunt Katherine said,
also diapered babies there
as once we did with Elizabeth,
the smell of whom would have pleased them more
than votive flames and Cavendish smoke
from clay pipes pointing towards heaven.
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Old 08-17-2014, 07:52 PM   #73
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Before Canute Goes Down to the Sea

Oh how the millstream in Bosham has swollen.
Note the spot, skald, by means of your pen
where my beloved daughter has fallen.

Write me a Caedmon's hymn for a solemn
runestone masons will carve for me then.
Oh how the millstream in Bosham has swollen.

April floods render wheat fields their golden
tassels come August as hers might have been,
but that the devil or cherubs came calling.

Ne'er again will I voyage to Wolin
where my jarl Thorkell, who fears not a man,
trains my Jomsvikings to beach in a column.

Summon my coterie where the tide rolls in
to see that the sea won't heed my command,
though I will tell them butterflies have stolen

my little caterpillar fresh from molting
who flew to Scotia to play in some fen.
Oh how the millstream in Bosham has swollen
where my beloved daughter has fallen.

BEFORE

Before I Commanded the Sea

Oh how the millstream in Bosham has swollen.
Note the slime, skald, by means of your pen
where Emma, my lovely daughter, has fallen.

Fashion me a Caedmon's hymn for a solemn
runestone masons will carve for me then.
Oh how the millstream in Bosham has swollen.

April floods render the wheat fields their golden
hair come August as hers might have been.
Say it as if the harvest moon were falling.

Nevermore will I visit Isle of Wolin
wherein Thorkell disciplines my men
to govern the seas and never break column.

Station my coterie where the tides roll in
so that all hear my foolish command.
I might as well say bees took the king's pollen.

Or my little drowned flower has been stolen,
and hang old Browntooth, my hanging man.
Oh how the millstream in Bosham has swollen
where Emma, my lovely daughter, has fallen.
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Old 08-17-2014, 09:17 PM   #74
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Finally had the time to read through your thread, GM.

There a bunch of factors that make a great poet. You have great eyes that see the world in an interesting way and the imagination and intelligence to communicate your vision in a way that both clarifies and provokes thought.

And I think you are a great poet. I'd buy your book.
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Old 08-18-2014, 10:28 AM   #75
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KatieJones View Post
Finally had the time to read through your thread, GM.

There a bunch of factors that make a great poet. You have great eyes that see the world in an interesting way and the imagination and intelligence to communicate your vision in a way that both clarifies and provokes thought.

And I think you are a great poet. I'd buy your book.
That's so nice of you to say. Thank you.

I think I have two potential buyers now. (LOL)

I read and enjoy your stuff too BTW.
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