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Tinker

The Unicorn,

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The Unicorn, Guardian of Dreams - final revision

The winter moon
echoes off her pale form
beaming light into darkness
where violet eyes
scan for threats
against her young charges.
Silently she picks her way
through forest undergrowth .
where soft earth cushions
diamond crusted hooves

From the tip of her horn
stardust twists
into the evening air
carrying xenias for the wise
while sapphires braided
into her mane
flirt with the night.

Unbridled,
she runs free across
the meadows of imagination,
her silken tail held high,
a queen's standard.
Though kings court her,
only a child can lead her.
---------- ---Judi Van Gorder

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I would like to demonstrate my reading of this beautiful poem, by writing how I read it in my head:

 

The light from the winter moon

bounces off her form,

into the darkness.

 

Sapphires sparkle in her mane,

magic dust swirling

in her horn.

 

She picks her way

through the forest undergrowth,

her hoofs of diamond silent.

 

Eyes search for threats

against her charges.

She, protector of the good.

 

Unbridled, she runs

across meadows of imagination,

her silken tail held high.

 

But she will follow

the lead of a child.

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Oh Wow Joel... Written with the efficiency and the fluid rhythm that comes so naturally to you. You made my poem yours.. I love it. I get what you are demonstrating and I agree totally now the challenge is to edit mine and still keep it mine. Thanks...

 

~~Tink

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And now, my reading icon_rolleyes.gif :

 

 

Her white refracts the light of the snow moon.

The silence of dark treetops drizzles down

through sleeping arbors, mats the forest floor,

and crackles under diamond hooves. Her mane

glows in the sapphires of a firefly feast!---------------------(ripped off from Rony)

and magic dust, like pious incense, twirls--------------------(ripped off from Keats)

from the bold tip of her horn!

-----------------------------Wise are wise

to heed: for she brings xenias to their table;

children are out of need, for she's not bridled,

tethered, corralled or cramped in any stable!

and if they're kind and mindful, they will be

her charges.

-------------Held high, like a dream queen's standard

in the wind, her tail flies proud and free.

 

 

(Okay, what's not "borrowed" from Keats or Rony is "borrowed" from you, Tinker.) icon_pirat.png

 

This seems to be a poem written for children, so perhaps my IP version might not be the most suitable form ... (unless, of course, it's intended to be a bedtime story! :P)

 

Tony

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Oh my, Who knew my poem would inspire another version, this one has a more formal appeal, classic and poetic... very you Tony. I hadn't really thought about it before but I could recognize the poet the style of the poem and this one is very you Tony. I love some of the images...

 

"snow moon" "crackles under diamond hoofs" and thanks Rony and Keats, "firefly feast" and "like pious incense,"

 

I am still working on my rewrite... you gave me another approach to explore, thanks Tony.

 

~~Tink

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I didn't think this was for a child audience Tink because of the diction used.

 

Perhaps a more formal approach would be appropriate for the fantasy genre?

 

I can't really decide if adorning the poem with more poetic description or creating the 'magic' with simplicity would be the right direction. Then perhaps it is a matter of balance rather than exclusion (the intended audience may shape the poem either way).

 

badge

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Thanks badge, Great minds.... I was thinking much along the same lines. First thing I have to do is decide my audience and then stay focused. It is a fantasy poem and when I began that was all it was. Then as I tried to create an image for "protector of the good" I kind of fell into a children's poem mode... I began thinking of my 5 year old granddaughter Allexa who can be very good (student of the month on more than one occasion) but then as her mother says, sometimes becomes the evil one. icon_evil.gificon_lol.gif I didn't really intend it to be a children's poem.

 

Anyway I have already decided, especially after reading Joel's version, I need to clean it up, I am way too wordy here. You are exactly right, I need to balance some of my verbosity with the fairy land fantacy and clean execution.

 

I am still stumped on the "protector of the good" image.

 

~~Tink

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I hope you don't mind I made a few subtle changes- not necessarily improvements. I enjoyed all three versions offered here and saw them as quite different works. I think yours told a most decriptive and beautiful story that gives enough without giving too much. The changes I made were more related to punctuation and I removed a word or two. I moved V4 and made it V3 and moved V3 into 4th postion and changed a few words in that verse. This is a little awkward for me. I don'y usually mess around with other peoples stuff. I feel like I just went into your house and threw out some of your stuff then rearranged your furniture. If I am out of line please slap me around a little icon_biggrin.png

 

rg

 

 

The white of her equine form catches

the reflection of the winter moon

and brings light into darkness.

 

Silently picking her way

through the forest undergrowth,

the soft earth cushions

her diamond hoofs;

woven into her mane

sapphires wink;

from the tip of her horn

magic dust twists into the breeze;

she brings xenias for the wise.

 

Unbridled, running free

across the meadows of imagination,

her silken tail held high,

a queen's standard

blowing in the wind

 

Her lashed eyes search,

ever alert for new threats

against her charges:

children, kind and mindful of others.

Protector of the good;

guided by a child.

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Rhymeguy, Thank you for chiming in... I think it is great to see other's rewrites of my poem. You aren't stealing it and posting it as yours, you are changing it to your perspective as a help to me to see my poem from different eyes. This really helps me when rewriting, because I see how much of what I wanted to communicate gets communicated and I see where I may mislead the reader so I can work at redirecting the thought to where I meant it to be.

 

Interesting that you reversed the last 2 strophes.. Now that had not occurred to me and could be the answer to my quandry with the protector o fthe good image. Thanks.

 

~~Tink

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Tinker,

 

Unicorn is an auspicious symbol in my culture and I think it's only you who can write such a poem on this forum. It's so pure, has a sacred feel to it. I believe a hundred people will write a hundred different poems on this. So whatever edits you'd do, keep your own voice. Yes, the last line "only a child can lead her" just ended perfectly, methinks.

 

Best,

Lake

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The poem is attractive but a bit on the poeticism side. I'll say more tomorrow.

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Thanks Lake, I intend to keep the poem mine, but I love the ideas I have gleened here. I have already rewritten the first part but still need some quiet time to work on the last 2 strophes. I intend to keep the last line.

 

I look forward to reading you thoughts waxwings.

 

~~Tink

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I prefer this more compact version over the first, Tinker. From the discussion in the topic, I can see that the part about the unicorn's interaction with the child is an essential element for the poem:

Kings court her

yet she follows the lead of a child.

I especially like how you handled that aspect it in the revised version.

 

Tony

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Tinker,

 

A fine poem, and not in your usual element, as you also seem to realize.

 

It is not easy to read for some, maybe easier for others. Its diction is unusual to an American ear.

The unicorn is presented as female, it is male normally and it is a mythic figure that deflowers maidens with his horn. It seems transformed by xenias here into a hybrid figure.

 

Compare this poem with Kenneth Rexroth's "THE DRAGON AND THE UNICORN", a classic in its treatment of the unicorn.

 

I am stunned at the many re-writes of the poem by members. I could never do that for fear of altering the original poem and changing it to something the poet did not intend. To me it would be disrespectful.

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Nick Tselepides wrote:

 

I am stunned at the many re-writes of the poem by members. I could never do that for fear of altering the original poem and changing it to something the poet did not intend. To me it would be disrespectful.

Tinker had put "Critique Very Much Appreciated" next to the title of her poem when she first posted it. Poems with that legend "open themselves up" to the guidelines set forth in the WORKSHOP. I, myself, thought that Joel had a good idea in showing (rather than telling) what he thought would improve the poem. I suppose I could have said that I think the poem would be better set in blank verse and gone on to list a whole lot of things which I instead opted to try to show with my own re-write. Others seemed to have followed suit. I'm sure no members meant disrespect. Of course, at this point, you're free to keep voicing your opinion.

 

Tony

 

PS -- I noticed that you made reference to "the American Ear." I'm curious ... are you American?

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Thanks Nick for commenting. This was strictly a work from my imagination and it was deliberately feminine. I asked for the help in my subject line originally and was actually flattered by the attempts by members to capture the poem in their own style. My first draft was exactly that and although I was dissatisfied, I wanted to test the waters with it, there are very creative minds here and I am not above picking their brains if they offer help. None changed my original thoughts, but each gave me ideas in the execution of the poem. It was a win win situation.

 

~~Tink

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I believe that most any poem is good as conceived, but can fail to fulfill the promise of the concept. Often, the failure is due to trying too hard and becoming too 'poetic'.

Let me assure you this is a fine poem, a bit flowery and with a few words that are not needed for the telling to succeed.

In my ‘edited version’, I have stayed as close to the original as I could, corrected a few spellings, straightened out punctuation as I see it, made a few stylistic changes and taken out all the extra words, words that are already implied by context.

Not sure where you got "xenias". I have not found a meaning that has anything to do with the wise. My biggest of big dictionaries says “the influence or effect of pollen on structures other than the embrio…” and wiki “Greek concept of hospitality or generosity, and courtesy to strangers or those far from home."

 

The white of her equine form catches .........Her white equine form

the reflection of the winter moon ...............reflects the light of the winter moon

and brings light into darkness. ..................and throws its light into the darkness.

 

Silently picking her way ...........................Silently, she picks her way [verb needed]

through the forest undergrowth ................through the undergrowth;

the soft earth cushions ...........................soft earth cushions

her diamond hoofs. ................................her diamond hooves.

 

Woven into her mane ..............................Tiny saphires

saphires wink. ........................................woven into her mane

and from the tip of her horn ......................wink,and, from the tip of her horn,

magic dust twists into the breeze, .............magic dust swirls into the breeze.

she brings xenias for the wise. ..................She brings counsel for the wise.

 

Her lashed eyes search, ...........................Ever alert, graced with long lashes,

for new threats ......................................her eyes search for unknown, new threats

agaiinst her charges, ...............................against her charges,

those children who try to be kind ...............children who try to be kind

and are mindful of others, .........................and are mindful of others.

she protects the good. .............................She protects the good.

 

Unbridled ................................................She is unbridled, free,

and running free across .............................free to run across

the meadows of imagination, ......................the meadows of imagination,

her silken tail is held high ...........................her silken tail held high,

like a queen's standard ..............................a queen's standard

blowing in the wind, ...................................streaming with the wind.

only a child can lead her. ...........................Only a child can lead her.

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