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tonyv

Self-Portrait 101

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He looks away. First, set aside your pride;
it tries his patience. He makes no excuse;
it starts out like an unplanned suicide --
now, watch him churn and see him turn it loose!

Let us go then, you and I; we'll show
the emulators, haters, the obtuse
an art exhibit, his Michelangelo:

the body, almost lifeless, in the snow
forgetting more than they will ever know.

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I love this Tony,   this is a beautifully crafted poem.   The form fascinated me.  A 9 line iambic pentameter poem with diminishing stanzas, rhyme abab cbc cc is very impressive.  I can't match it with a classic form (I am getting older everyday)  but that is how it reads.  If it does match up, tell me so I can link it please.  Or should we name it the Rhode Island Rooster? :ph34r:

I love, love, love this

"Let us go then, you and I ... We'll show
the emulators, haters, the obtuse
an art exhibit, his Michelangelo: "

~~Judi


    

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3 hours ago, Tinker said:

I love this Tony,   this is a beautifully crafted poem.   The form fascinated me.  A 9 line iambic pentameter poem with diminishing stanzas, rhyme abab cbc cc is very impressive.  I can't match it with a classic form (I am getting older everyday)  but that is how it reads.  If it does match up, tell me so I can link it please.  Or should we name it the Rhode Island Rooster?

Well Judi, if only I could take credit for the form, but I learned this one from you! All those forms must be catching up with you. :tongue: It is, of course, the Rainis Sonnet, my personal favorite of which I have several.
 

3 hours ago, Tinker said:

I love, love, love this

"Let us go then, you and I ... We'll show
the emulators, haters, the obtuse
an art exhibit, his Michelangelo: "

And I'm sure this strikes your fancy because I "sampled" (i.e ripped off) the italicized part from T.S. Eliot's "The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock." :ph34r::biggrin: I thought for sure everyone in the world would realize that, and that's why I opted for the italics only, but perhaps I need a footnote.

I am pleased with the Michelangelo mention. I chose it for the rhyme and because of its significance when it comes to art, but it just so happened to work out, coincidentally, as an allusion. Eliot uses it in a refrain in his Prufrock.

I'm very glad you liked this. Thank you very much for the kind read and enthusiastic reply. It means a lot to me.

Tony :happy:

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I told you I was getting older every day.   Why didn't I think of the Rainis Sonnet?  I know it is a favorite form of yours.   I actually did connect the Michelangelo reference to Love Song of J Alfred Prufrock, maybe subconsciously because I was set up by the italics line which sounded familiar but the old brain isn't what it used to be.  In an online course I took years ago we studied this poem for a whole week, taking it apart putting it back together.  I at one time could recite it.  My God, when I was younger my nickname at work was Radar because of my ability to focus, anticipate and remember everything... now I can't remember where I left my keys half of the time.  I think a footnote anytime you are quoting is always a good rule.

~~Judi

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Winter kept us warm, covering
Earth in forgetful snow, feeding
A little life with dried tubers.

 The closing triggered a thought of those lines from the Wasteland - of course, the Michelangelo rhyme brought Prufrock to mind. Eliot brings his context, but then Eliot wrote in the context of the 'Tradition'. I think he would approve. He'd enjoy the sound play of emulators, haters.

I like your closing lines: the image captures the isolation of this individual. The fact that the emptying is not complete, that lifelessness is correlated to forgetting.

best

Phil

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Thank you, Phil, for your thoughts.

On February 2, 2018 at 4:44 PM, badger11 said:

I like your closing lines: the image captures the isolation of this individual.

I'll reveal a huge source of inspiration for those lines. It's one of Gottfried Helnwein's many self-portraits: (Warning -- not that I do, but some people might find the image at the following link disturbing) Helnwein Self Portrait, 1986.

On February 2, 2018 at 4:44 PM, badger11 said:

The fact that the emptying is not complete, that lifelessness is correlated to forgetting.

Very interesting supposition that it's even possible for it not to be! I was hoping that it would come across as a criticism of the speaker's critics.

Tony

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Quote

Very interesting supposition that it's even possible for it not to be!

Depends whether you believe in ghosts:rolleyes: Actually I was thinking of the 'switch off'  of a screen rather than a diminishing state (like alzheimers), Just a tangent - the forgetting/lifelessness, transition, interested me.

Quote

I was hoping that it would come across as a criticism of the speaker's critics.

It did.

Terrific pic

best

Phil

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On 2/3/2018 at 12:19 AM, badger11 said:

Depends whether you believe in ghosts:rolleyes: Actually I was thinking of the 'switch off'  of a screen rather than a diminishing state (like alzheimers), Just a tangent - the forgetting/lifelessness, transition, interested me.

Ghosts, screen switching off, a "diminishing" state (i.e. Alzheimers) -- these are exciting paradigms I hadn't considered. I suppose my own peculiar perspective was in the diminishing category: dying.

On 2/3/2018 at 12:19 AM, badger11 said:

Terrific pic

I love that one. It blew my mind when I first saw it. Helnwein has many, and they're all intensely thought provoking. You can see them here: http://www.helnwein.com/works/self-portraits/. (Each of the pics on the linked page is clickable revealing a multitude of others in the various collections.)

Thank you again for coming back to this.

Tony

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I like the form and your handling of it, Tony.  The comments above reflect my own assessment of the piece.  As for citing quotes, if I did that, there would a long list at the end of most of my poems, and those of many others, too.  So I will respectfully disagree with some on that point, not even sure the italics are required.

I have to say that final couplet really packs a punch.

 - Dave

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Thank you, Dave. I considered losing the italics, and now with some reassurement I'm inclined to do just that.

With appreciation,

Tony

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