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  1. Today
  2. Thanks to this dirty week, I haven't had any time to participate here, but I hope to catch up this weekend. I did get one idea for a minor change that will yield a major improvement, and this poem is too good to not take advantage of the opportunity. In L5 I took "contractions" away from her.
  3. Yesterday
  4. Lying under the duvet as cosy as a dormouse - toes snug against a hot water bottle. Silence came slowly like candle wax prayer - forgiveness needs to be blind, deaf and dumb.
  5. badger11

    Fundamental Frailties

    I feel haugh added interest to the poem, though I take your point on isolation. I do feel there is more clarity. best Phil
  6. A. Baez

    Fundamental Frailties

    I do feel your point, Phil, about the gear shift ungainliness. I think that I myself have "learned" over time to run-on the line more smoothly, but ideally, I think that re-reading shouldn't be necessary in order for a poem to do what it ought to. I'll try on the comma again. I do love the rich vocabulary for land features. I learned of "haugh" just today through my trusty rhyming dictionary. Thank goodness for this word, because I don't know what other monosyllabic bone part I could get to rhyme with any land feature (though this makes for a strange slant rhyme with a sound that doesn't even exist in standard English)! However, I'm having a tough time getting used to the change. The word's obscurity seems to come at a particularly inopportune moment in the poem where something strong and unmistakable feels needed, and its soft look and Scottishness seems ill at ease with all its Anglo-Saxon neighbors, which are historically more appropriate for the trochaic tetrameter. However, Scotland isn't so far from England... So what do you think--is the poem sufficiently clear since I've implemented your suggestions?
  7. badger11

    Fundamental Frailties

    Possibly. The issue is the use of white space and capitalising the lines - as well as the enforcing exclamation! Snapping the line here, and reinforcing the break with capitalising, than that exclamation mark, was a gear change that affected my reading after the breezy tempo of S1-S3, but then the pace of S4 is different anyway. On reflection, I feel a reader will 'learn' on re-reading to run-on the line more smoothly. haugh - is nice, there is a rich vocabulary for geographical features best Phil
  8. A. Baez

    The Coast

    Ah, that explains much! 😃
  9. A. Baez

    Fundamental Frailties

    I just switched the order of the pairs in Ls 7-8 to mirror the stones/bones, mud/man sequence, to be followed by the sequence reversed in the next two lines, mirroring the bones/stones variant. This seems more logical, but leaves me with a half-rhyme at the ends of Ls 7-8. Taking votes on preferences.
  10. Tinker

    The Coast

    Married to a former cop, mother of a cop. The stories they tell. ~~Judi
  11. A. Baez

    The Coast

    You're lucky to be made of thicker stuff than I! And I can see now how you interpreted "we got our buzz on." That actually probably makes more sense!
  12. Last week
  13. Tinker

    The Coast

    AB 👍 I wasn't uncomfortable because I thought this poem sleazy, I didn't. The "rubdown at the Orchid" was guy talk that I kind of dismissed. Part II, however, stepped over that line. It was the drug reference in this poem that jarred me. To me "we got our buzz on" was an extension of "for each some blow," referring to the high from the drug. We all read bring something to a poem. ~~Judi
  14. A. Baez

    The Coast

    I love the side-by-side presentation of the two poems for easy comparison. You're right, the two lines you like the best actually can be perceived as natural and inviting--at least when taken out of context. I'd experienced them under the smear of the rest of the poem, and in that light, even those images struck me as sleazy and hedonistic. I took the "waterside cafe" to be used as a general term, as well it could. I took the "buzz on" line to mean that they got the buzz as soon as they started the car, like "you had me at 'hello'." For me, what's unclear here is that "Start the car let's go" is not in quotes, as I'd mentioned before. (I can let the lack of normal punctuation after "car" slide because it does create a sense of sloppy speed that's in keeping with the rest of the poem.) I do consider Frost's poem somewhat better--because I think that all the things you and I have pointed out actually count for something when it comes to judging the quality of a poem. Otherwise, I really second all your comments--very well expressed.
  15. A. Baez

    Fundamental Frailties

    Phil, Sorry, I forgot to address your PS before. L12 is meant to elide into L13, forming one sentence that ends with the exclamation point. I had a comma in there for awhile, but it seemed a bit excessive. Do you think I should reintroduce it? I really like your suggestions. Your rework of the last two lines is beautiful! Of course I could be contemporary-compliant and say "don't trust the stones" instead, but perhaps this poem's ancient theme can justify your archaic version, which is certainly more elegant. Do you think that implementing these two changes alone would be sufficient to make the poem's premise clear?
  16. badger11

    Fundamental Frailties

    retitle the poem - maybe 'Fragile' a possible, less subtle, more emphatic conclusion: best Phil
  17. A. Baez

    Fundamental Frailties

    Hmm, I'd actually never thought of not using the apostrophes you both mention. [Update: or actually, I think I had, at some point ages past--I wrote the first draft of this 30 years ago!] The intent with them wasn't to show ownership, Tink; they were meant as contractions of each word plus "is." Anyway, point taken. I can reconsider these. I also see both your points about "bones" and "brains." I'll wrestle with this. [Update: I'm trying out "haugh" (just learned a new word!)/"jaw."] "Quakes and wedges," "mud and man" are pairs meant to allude to the forces of nature and man, respectively. My intent in the poem was twofold--1) to highlight the perhaps not coincidental parallels between the anatomy of the earth and the anatomy of man and 2) to express that both stones and bones, although emblems of foundational, timeless strength, are fragile; and that only God and spirit are invulnerable. I will reflect on how I might bring these ideas out more clearly. Any suggestions would be most welcome! Thanks, Badger and Tinker, for weighing in.
  18. A. Baez

    The Coast, Part II: The Waterside Lounge

    Yes, that was what I was getting at--that this poem was on some level responding to Judi's and my reactions--and in that light, it becomes my challenge as to what degree it is appropriate to take it personally. I know you don't know what I look like, but you do have some sense of how I act; now I have to wonder to what extent this made you imagine a "frump." This is why I asked what was your intent in writing this poem. Just to paint a portrait? Or to convey some idea? Perhaps to speak to the experience of some friend named Lexi (for whom your comments seem to indicate sympathy, though that's not the impression I get from the poem)? I know there are some people who write more or less just to write. What I was seeking for was any deeper mission you had in mind. Personally, I find that writing with some deeper mission is more satisfying, and I find that more mature poets tend to share that sentiment. I thought that you might be one of them, but I couldn't extract any such intent from the poem itself, unless it be to mock uptight people. Okay. "Suffer" is the operative word. You're hobbling your poem with that word for self-serving reasons. Well, I've done what I can. This discussion has already gotten so involved that I prefer to stay focused on its initial premise. Fundamentally, what we're arguing here is whether there are any objective criteria that define good art. I think that ultimately, the answer is "no." Even standards of proper form, grammar, meter, and rhyme, and the appropriateness of poetic license in these, can and have been debated endlessly. I'd argue that all barometers simply operate on a spectrum of objectivity/subjectivity. At the end of the day, there's no absolute difference between one poem being better than another, and one poem being liked better than another. Well, she began identifying things that made a poem good or great in her eyes, which I thought spoke directly to your question, and then she segued into thoughts that seemed to bear more upon the greatness of a poet him or herself (whether that greatness be fundamental or perceptual), and how that reflected back on a reader's experience of a particular poem of that poet's. I was trying to refocus onto your initial question of what made a poem, in and of itself, great. One last point that I keep forgetting to highlight: Frost's refrain of "You come too." Judi touched on this in her latest comments. I think this is a critical aspect of his poem that pushes it above yours. This refrain lends a songlike, incantory feeling to the poem that's gentle and soothing and introduces the sense a higher level of meaning to the phrase and to the poem as a whoe. The refrain functions as an invitation that extends the orbit of the poem beyond its surroundings to directly include the reader. In its repetition, it also suggests a broader implication of inviting human beings to attend to the simple beauties of nature, generally. Your poem doesn't do anything similar and that's one more reason it feels comparatively closed off and shallow. I really agree with all of Judi's thoughts (including those that she just posted on that page) about why your poem has narrower appeal than Frost's. You expressed that the poem was intended to capture a carefree T.G.I.F. mood, but parts of it, at least, ring sour in some ears. I doubt that Frost's poem rings sour in any ears--it may be a little boring to some, but personally, I'll take boring over sour. P.S. Thanks for mentioning and planning to comment on my latest poem. Did you see my last reply to you on the Juris thread?
  19. Tinker

    Fundamental Frailties

    AB, I love the chant like repetition. I was mesmerized. I'm so glad Badge went first. I was thinking I am dumb because though I loved the sounds, I wasn't sure what the message was. I'm glad someone else who usually gets everything was still wondering. I got the feeling you were talking about generations, ancestors, evolution, history all helpless against the power of God. But I've been wrong before. And I totally agree with the comment "I don't link bones and brains". That jumped out at me on my first read. You need brain for the rhyme but skull would make more sense but of course won't rhyme. A dilemma. Maybe plain has to go stones to cull, bone for skulls. I also think the apostrophe " 's"es which show ownership are incorrectly used and don't make sense to me. Because of the rhythm and sound, this has a lot of potential. But I do think it needs polishing. ~~Tink
  20. badger11

    Fundamental Frailties

    Like the incantatory elements of this AB and the bones/stones sonics, though familiar, are ear grabbing. Visually the apostrophes are ugly, you could cut to... ...which I'm sure you have considered, but I thought I mention anyway. I don't link bones and brains. Still pondering what the poem is about, pre-Christian v Christian perhaps (belief v superstition), but I thought I'd post some initial thoughts. That makes me think of nature's forces eg earthquakes. A consequence of nature or man's activities. cheers Phil ps is there a full-stop missing on L12?
  21. Tinker

    The Coast

    The Coast From rubdowns at The Orchid to the coast -- it's time to drive this dirty week away. Let Steffi check our coats where Vin's our host on Greek night at the waterside cafe. With moonroof open and for each some blow, we got our buzz on start the car let's go. ~~Tõnis Veenpere The Pasture I'm going out to clean the pasture spring; I'll only stop to rake the leaves away (And wait to watch the water clear, I may): I sha'n't be gone long.—You come too. I'm going out to fetch the little calf That's standing by the mother. It's so young, It totters when she licks it with her tongue. I sha'n't be gone long.—You come too. ~~Robert Frost Ok to your question as asked. Any worse? Neither are worse, they are both polished pieces. Which is better, should be the question. And the answer is, for me, it is a matter of taste. The Coast is short and the sounds harsh. It has almost a rushed feel, like, "lets get it done". The best lines for me were They felt natural and inviting. Shouldn't Waterside Café be capped? Or was the lower case deliberate? Steffi and Vin are capped are you showing importance to the employees and down playing the café itself? Classy joint with a coat check and host. Is the food good? The next line stopped me, the hard sound of "blow" almost felt as if it were placed there to shock me and my desire to continue ended. (And I am not naïve, though I have never felt the desire to use or even try, I lived through my husband's enchantment with the drug and it was a nightmare. It almost broke up our marriage. I get uncomfortable any time a see or hear drug use referred to in a light or acceptable vein. See we do bring our baggage to what we read. I've seen too much destruction up close and personal. ) Admittedly, the poem at first was uncomfortable to read. However, now that I have read this a few times, it is growing on me. I wouldn't have come back to it if the discussion thread in Part II hadn't brought me here. The poem is current, it describes what many would consider a normal Friday night for singles in a city and is well crafted. (Although I wonder if there should be a comma after "buzz on," .} I'm not young, single or a city dweller, I have no connection to the scenario and the poem doesn't draw me there, taste, circumstance and timing. In contrast, the Frost poem, to me, is charming. The more I read it the more I like it and totally relate. It describes normal activity on a farm or rural homestead. Raking leaves stopping up a stream, stuff like that just needs to get done in the normal scheme of things. And the sweet calf, so cute, gives me a warm feeling. "You come too" repeated, I'm in, just give me time to pull on my boots. The Coast is no worse, nor better than Frost's The Pasture. They are both well crafted lyrical pieces. ~~Judi
  22. Tinker

    The Coast, Part II: The Waterside Lounge

    Tony, Sorry to veer from the literary discussion, my brain was becoming fried from the heaviness of this thread. 😜 This is the playground, I needed a giggle. Personally, I think you'd be a great catch for any plainjane or fox, when you are ready to commit. 😍 Just the cougar in my talking, I am the same age as your mother. When I was responding to the question of The Pasture vs Part I in this thread I didn't go back and reread them both at the time. I may go back and do just that, with only that question in mind. Anyway, I'm done with this conversation and moving on to something else. Can't wait for Part III. I love that you are writing more often. ~~Judi
  23. "I'm disappointed Tony, you are attracted to plainjanes..." Well Judi, they're the only ones I can't get, and I like a challenge.
  24. Tinker

    The Coast, Part II: The Waterside Lounge

    I'm disappointed Tony, you are attracted to plainjanes, which I have never been, in my youth I was a fox, 🦊 now in my old age my granddaughter's 19 year old boyfriend called me a cougar the other day.😹 Then he gave me a big hug and asked me to adopt him so I could be his grandma. I am now officially an old lady. ~~Judi
  25. I couldn't find anything I hadn't addressed between the original reply I worked with and the edited reply, but I'll expand upon this point which I may have missed. Yes, that is the correct impression. He targeted her, and she rejected him. He's not taking rejection well and has resorted to name calling. She is still there and having a good time, just not with him.
  26. Thank you, A. Baez, for returning. Well, I do that all the time with my poems. I rely heavily on my imagination. So, if I'm going to write a poem for any purpose (even for a topic like this one re Frost etc) I'm going to do that. That's just the nature of my work most of the time. And part 2 really is just a follow-up, a sequel. There was my original intent which I made known in the second post of the first poem's topic, and then there was this derivative work of sorts, this part 2. I don't see anything wrong with a topic digressing from its original, primary intent and giving rise to additional work and discussion. Perhaps I found the discussion, the replies, your reactions, Judi's reactions, etc. inspiring and I was prompted to write a sequel. What's wrong with that? (Well, other than the fact that it might have been taken the wrong way.) I'm already contemplating a third and final part. There's no part 3 in the works yet, but it might be time to get excited, because I'm already going over some ideas in my head. I agree that my use of this word ("contractions") is a nod back at Cashmere, but I disagree that it's any kind of a problem. These two poems, part 1 and part 2, are much more clear than Cashmere, and I'll suffer one ambiguous word this time, in this poem, whether the reader likes it or not, even if doing so is only for my own pleasure and somehow, slightly, for some people (or many people) to the detriment of the poem. I mentioned Dickinson's "Wild Nights - Wild Nights!" in my last reply to the Judi. I could/should have included that one in this topic also: "The Coast" is no worse a poem than "The Pasture" or "Wild Nights - Wild Nights!" I would posit that the events portrayed in "The Coast" are richer and clearer than whatever is being contemplated in Dickinson's own boring, "wild" nights. I would probably second guess myself and consider the possibility that I overreacted. I mean, the parts you seem to have taken offense with couldn't logically be attributed to you. A frump is an unattractive woman who wears dowdy old-fashioned clothes -- I've never seen you, so I can't possibly know that -- and I've already admitted that I find the plain Jane type (among many other types) attractive. I believe that taste is a perfectly valid reason for liking one poem better than the other. I've already made clear I think the subject matter of "The Pasture" is more boring than "The Coast" (taste), but I can't say anything negative about "The Pasture" i.e. its composition; it's a world class, perfected work of art. Hell, I even like a lot of things about it, but "The Coast" is just as good ... or just as bad. I'm thinking Judi was referring to greatness in the eyes of the masses. Okay, I've been working on this since before you posted your edits. I'm going back to check your edits now.
  27. A. Baez

    The Coast, Part II: The Waterside Lounge

    I just edited the above so if anyone has looked at it already, please refresh the page to see the latest version. Thanks!
  28. A. Baez

    The Coast, Part II: The Waterside Lounge

    Well, you said it all felt normal for you, so I took you at your word. For the record, what prompted this statement of yours was not a probe on my part into your personal life, but an attempt to answer your question about what, if any, were the essential differences between Frost's poem and yours: I had to address the qualitative vibes of both poems, which happen to be radically different. It would seem strange for you to go to complex narrative lengths of blending fiction with fact as you describe above simply to question the distinguishing virtues, if any, of Frost's "The Pasture;" I could shrug that off, but that expressed intent does nothing to explain the sudden appearance of a Part 2, which isn't intended to do the same, which has no other intent that I can yet understand, and which contains remarkable coincidences in carrying forward a theme in our comments. And if ambiguous identities are the going currency, then of course "Lexi" could be a fiction, a fact, or a pseudonym (including for me). At the least, you were not going out of your way to avoid misunderstandings. I don't have the benefit that Judi has of long familiarity with you; I have very much enjoyed and respected you in our conversations up to this point, but I have to take each thing as it comes, and this set off a ton of red flags for me. What if I were to write a poem that seems, by both context and content, to caricature you in an unsavory light while portraying myself as contemptuously mocking you, then deny any such intended correspondence when you bring up the matter, and then treat you like you've gone ballistic when you express concern at the seemingly gratuitously offensive sentiments expressed in the poem? I saw that (I always read all comments on anything I'm commenting on), but I'd somehow gotten the impression from the writing that the woman was continuing to hang around at the party scene--just not doing what the guy was hoping for. On viewing the poem anew, though, I see that there's nothing explicit to that effect. I guess "won't be" is slightly better, but I think you have a problem here similar to "Cashmere" in that you're operating on the very tenuous assumption that most people consider "plain Jane" to be a positive thing like you do. That's just not the accepted connotation. Again, I think you're revisiting some of the problems with "Cashmere" here: there is nothing gained by this kind of ambiguity. About your stated intent in writing "The Coast," which I actually think is very worthwhile and interesting--I agree that the first time I read "The Pasture," I also kind of scratched my head thinking, "So this is all it takes to write a good poem?" You're right, it's very simple. But I think its charm lies in how it so faithfully captures the simple charm of nature. Grass isn't too complex; leaves aren't too complex; calves aren't too complex. And yet all are charming. You might argue that Frost is being a quintessential modernist here in reducing a poem to its barest essentials. I think that taste (which you equate here with subject matter but which is, of course, broader than that) is a perfectly valid reason for considering one poem to be better than another. While the subject matter as such plays some role in my preferences in art, the mentality that the writer brings to it and the way that he/she expresses it are equally and sometimes more important. There's no getting around it---a poem written in an uplifted, enlightened, intelligent, and humane consciousness is always going to be more magnetic to me than one written with a dark consciousness. We've already discussed how poetry is more than the sum of its parts--certainly far more than mechanics. One would have to be very cold-blooded indeed to boil everything down to simple meter, form, and grammar. So what's left? Taste! And this "taste" becomes preeminently important in the case of two poems that are too brief to bring other factors into play very much. I'd say that there's very little that's arbitrary in true greatness, and I would think that anyone would agree at least in principle that "a rose by any other name would smell as sweet." I'm not into brand names; I recognize that they do sway people's perceptions about things, including poems, but scientifically speaking, in no way can accumulated recognition somehow make great a particular poem that did not in itself contribute to that accumulated recognition.
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