Jump to content
Poetry Magnum Opus
  • Announcements

    • tonyv

      Registration -- to join PMO ***UPDATED INSTRUCTIONS***   03/14/2017

      Automatic registration has been disabled. If you would like to join the Poetry Magnum Opus online community, use the "Contact Us" link at the bottom of this page and follow these instructions: 1. Check your email (including your spam folder) in a timely fashion for a reply. 2. After you receive a reply, use the "Sign Up" link at the top right corner of the page to create your account. Do this fast. I've lost my patience with people who use the "Contact Us" link to express interest in joining and then don't bother to check their email for a reply and don't bother to join after registration has been enabled. The queue fills up fast with spammers, and I have to spend my time sifting through the rubbish to delete them. The window of opportunity for joining will be short. I will not have my time wasted. If you don't check your email and you don't bother registering promptly, you will find that registration has been disabled and your future requests to join may go ignored. /s/ Tony ___________________ [Registration will only be enabled for a short while from the time your message is received, so please check your email for a reply and register within 12 hours of using the "Contact Us" link. (Be sure to check your spam folder if you don't see a reply to your message.)]
    • tonyv

      IMPORTANT: re Logging In to PMO ***Attention Members***   03/15/2017

      For security purposes, please use your email address when logging in to the site. This will prevent your account from being locked when malicious users try to log in to your account using your publicly visible display name. If you are unable to log in, use the "Contact Us" link at the bottom of the page.
    • tonyv

      Blogs   05/01/2017

      Blogs are now accessible to Guests. Guests may read and reply to blog entries. We'll see how this works out. If Guest participation becomes troublesome, I'll disable Guest access. Members are encouraged to make use of the PMO Members' Promotional Blog to promote their published works. Simply add your latest entry to the blog. Include relevant information (your name or screen name, poem title, periodical name, hyperlink to the site where published, etc). If you have a lot of them and feel you need your own blog, let me know, and I will try to accommodate you. Members are encouraged to continue also posting their promotional topics in the Promotions forum on the board itself which is better suited for archiving promotions.
Tinker

Fire Dance

Recommended Posts

                                                                                  Fire Dance  Fire.png

 

Fire Dance   (revision 2)

Flames climb
a stage of pines.
A troupe of ballerinas adorned
in scored silk skirts
of luminous reds and gold
reach to the night sky.

The chorus line pivots
and leaps in cadence
with the rhythm of the wind.

Dancers pirouette
in mindless unison focused
on their hunger.

Brilliant costumes obscure
charred blackened feet
while eyes are drawn high
to watch the vamp of graceful fingers
beckon in selfish destruction.
                              ~~Judi Van Gorder

Fire Dance   (revision 1)
Flames climb 

a stage of pines,
a troupe of ballerinas
adorned in scored silk skirts
of luminous reds and golds.

The chorus line pivots
and leaps in cadence
with the rhythm of the wind. 

Dancers pirouette
in mindless unison focused
on their hunger.
Brilliant costumes obscure
charred blackened feet
while eyes are drawn high
to watch the vamp of graceful fingers
beckon in selfish destruction.
                            ----Judi Van Gorder


Fire Dance  (original)

The storm climbs a stage of pines
like ballerinas adorned
in scored silk skirts
in a swirl of luminous orange and reds.
The chorus pivots and leaps
in cadence with the rhythm of the wind.  

Dancers pirouette
in mindless unison
focused on their hunger.
The brilliant costumes
obscure the charred blackened feet
while eyes are drawn high
to watch the vamp of graceful fingers.
A selfish display of dazzling
destructive beauty. 
          
----Judi Van Gorder

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Beautiful Tinker!

 

And a worrisome reminder of current fire season here in California- A wonderful piece.

 

Many Thanks,

 

DC&J

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Enjoyed the dance depiction, especially as a retired burner (prescriptions, that is). I understand the fierce beauty I sometimes created.

A couple of puzzlements, however:

Not sure your intent with "scored silk skirts". I assume you mean the score of the dance, but I couldn't help wanting it to read scorched.

The last lines - "A selfish display of dazzling destructive beauty" - have me thinking that you have overplayed your hand, told the reader the lesson. I know the good feeling of clinching the poem at the end but it often doesn't read well and may insult the reader with the obvious. Sometimes when I am editing my own work I drop such lines with the assumption that the reader gets it and shouldn't be told. Otherwise I try rewrites and if I'm lucky, come up with perhaps an impression, an opinion, or maybe an experience, rather than a lesson. In this case, if you dropped the dazzling line, you might continue the previous line with ". . . destroying with a selfish beauty". Or, enhance the analogy and bring it back to the stage, in your first line, with "destroying the set with a selfish beauty".

 

Fire is beautiful . . . and all that other stuff too.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Vivid and vibrant Tink. As they say in PFFA land - a lot of modifiers, but I feel your need to be exact rather than vague - as regards the show/tell issues, well I've written plenty of show no tell poem that have just become readers' playgrounds. Selfish, destructive beauty brought a focus to my thinking.

 

enjoyed

 

badge

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Fire Dance

 

The storm climbs a stage of pines

like ballerinas adorned

in scored silk skirts

in a swirl of luminous orange and reds.

The chorus pivots and leaps

in cadence with the rhythm of the wind.

 

Dancers pirouette

in mindless unison

focused on their hunger.

The brilliant costumes

obscure the charred blackened feet

while eyes are drawn high

to watch the vamp of graceful fingers.

A selfish display of dazzling

destructive beauty.

 

----Judi Van Gorder

 

Hello Tinker

That's beautifully written, stunning imagery, cleverly crafted similes, a joy to read.

Best wishes

Rea

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi Tink. I enjoyed the read and I like the analogy, the way you've captured the dance. My only nit is the use of long sentences in such a short poem. St 2 perhaps could read, “Dancers pirouette/ in mindless unison./ Focus on their hunger.” This may add an urgency and offer the opportunity to amend a couple of definite articles in the following lines to make it sound less prose-like. Benjamin

Edited by Benjamin

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thank you DC, Yes fire season is upon us and living in a designated wildfire area, I am especially conscious of the destructive nature of the beast. I have been blessed and as of yet not had to evacuate although we came close one year. We had the car packed with wedding pictures and other unreplaceables and truck hooked to the horse trailer ready to load up the horses waiting for the word to get out. It never happened but the fire came within 3 miles. The area has since recovered but precautions are always taken this time of year to reduce fire danger.

 

Hi Gatekeeper, I have to admit I wrote this poem a few years ago observing a fire in the San Bernardino mountains after helping my son and family to evacute his home. The fire succeeded in scortching the cover on his ski boat that he left behind, but thankfully there was no other damage. When I first started writing I thought I was supposed to "summarize". When I posted the poem here, I too thought I probably should take out the last 2 lines as redundant and even as you pointed out, an insult to my readers... But, I liked the alliteration and I was being lazy and posted the piece as written. Now reading your comments confirming my instincts and yet also reading Badger's point about focus, I decided to strike a compromise.

 

As for the scored skirt, to score = to cut in lines A common technique used in dance costumes to give a graceful ragged effect, each strip moves in its own graceful motion.

 

Hi Rea, Thanks for commenting, I probably should have begun with metaphor rather than simile but the words just didn't flow as smoothly. From that point I continued in an extended metaphor and hoped it would work in making the switch. I don't know if I violated any technical norms but it felt right for me. I appreciate your recognizing my attempt.

 

Hi Badge, I know, I struggled with whether or not to include some of those adjectives but the observed image was so vital, it was hard to mute it. And yes if you note my reply to Gatekeeper... Early on I wrote a lot of telly poems and especially felt I at least had to explain myself in the end. Showing a little growth I did pause when posting this older poem and considered deleting the last two lines but got lazy and just posted as is. After your comment as well as Gatekeepers, I gave it a little thought and tried a compromise. Thanks.......

 

Hey Geoff, You have given me food for thought. I have to admit I tend to like a more conversational style, it feels more me. I tend to talk too much if you hadn't already noticed. :rolleyes: But I do understand it does give it a prosey sound. I am always trying to reign myself in and strike a happy medium between poetry and prose. I will play with this keeping in mind your suggestions and see what happens. Thanks for the prompt.

 

~~Tink

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have a nit with the in the opening lines: the singularity of storm and the plurality of ballerinas, and then ownership of the chorus.

 

My thinking would be to create more specific action in the first few lines by mentioning fires and removing storm. It opens the 1S up to be more creative with language.

 

Here's an example of what I mean.

 

 

Fires climb a stage of pines

like ballerinas adorned in a swirl

of luminous reds while the chorus,

and its irregular cadence, competes

with the driving dynamics of the wind.

 

 

 

Maggie

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi Maggie, Thank you so much, I knew it sounded off to me but couldn't nail it and yet it was so simple... Singular vs plural. I really like your interpretion which flows beautifully. Love "driving dynamics" I wish I thought of that.

 

~~Tink

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I really like how you liken the wildfire to a performing art making it almost seem controlled. It's like an amusement park thrill ride that appears out of control but is not really dangerous to the observer (or the rider). You capture the energy of the display quite well. The first verse "sets the stage." Momentum picks up in the second verse, especially in its first three lines.

 

Tony

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Fire Dance (revision)

 

The fire storm climbs a stage of pines

like a troupe of ballerinas adorned

in scored silk skirts of luminous reds.

The chorus pivots and leaps

in cadence with the rhythm of the wind.

 

Dancers pirouette

in mindless unison

focused on their hunger.

The brilliant costumes

obscure the charred blackened feet

while eyes are drawn high

to watch the vamp of graceful fingers

beckon in selfish destruction.

.

------------------- ----Judi Van Gorder

 

Fire Dance

 

The storm climbs a stage of pines

like ballerinas adorned

in scored silk skirts

in a swirl of luminous orange and reds.

The chorus pivots and leaps

in cadence with the rhythm of the wind.

 

Dancers pirouette

in mindless unison

focused on their hunger.

The brilliant costumes

obscure the charred blackened feet

while eyes are drawn high

to watch the vamp of graceful fingers.

A selfish display of dazzling

destructive beauty.

 

----Judi Van Gorder

 

Fire Dance is so illustrative that this is one of the few times when I think more is more, thus my preference for the first version. "Pine ballerinas" performing brilliantly as they are caught up in the score. Professional and beautiful, and I feel the heat.

fdh

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi Tinker, I'm new around here, still learning the rules. I assume that the presence of two revisions invites a little more commentary than the "general."

 

My take: I'll go with less is more, in this case. The ending is much improved - emphasizes telling over judging. I am also a fan of the double meanings "stage" and "score" mixed in with the deft metaphors and personifications. There is even a "pyre" in pirouhette. Nice use of ambiguity to swell the poem.

 

- Dave

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi Franklin, Thank you so much for the kind words. I know, I usually choose the 1st draft too because it is closest to the source of the emotion. But I try to find that balance between craft and soul which usually takes a few rewrites. I appreciate your connection.

 

Hi Badger, I know, I kind of like a poem summed up too. I like the word play but I am trying to learn to trust my reader to get it without explanation.

 

Hi Dave, Welcome to PMO. I know there are rules and I should have put a CA in my subject line to indicate critique appreciated but most here know, I am always open to suggestions to improve my writing. CA indicated or not. Thanks for the astute observation of my piece.

 

Hey Geoff, Thank you for coming back and rereading.

 

~~Tink

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Please sign in to comment

You will be able to leave a comment after signing in



Sign In Now

×

Important Information

By using this site, you agree to our Guidelines.