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rumisong

Title, ending, punctuation help desired

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as Im seeing it, Im needing some advice on the punctuation, the title, and the last two lines...

 

the punctuation:

there is some (hopefully) obvious dialogue in here- Im not sure if it should be punctuated as dialogue, with quotemarks and such- or if I can get away with the allowing the poem itself to be the signal of who and where is talking...

 

ending:

I like the "caught", "beauty" and "she left" in the last two lines- but I dont know- seems to be missing some "umph"- seems to end without a proper "trailing off" effect to it... any ideas?

 

title:

just dont know... I usually like to have a word or two from the work itself - but here Im not seeing it...

 

ANY other suggestions past these requests will be met with welcome too, if anyone is seeing something that is screaming out to them, let us know...

 

 

 

 

we spotted her just up ahead

they said

she was going over that ridge

where the birches all stand like

a mystical fence- she was just there

winding her way-

we saw this,

none of the bramble that

caught us up, was catching on her

 

was she alone? we asked

saw no other- the reply

how did you know it was her?

the forest seemed to know

they said

 

at the hermit shack

we inquired again

just through those pines

Ive seen

 

was she alone? we asked

I dont think so- the reply

who was with her?

the entire world

how do you know this?

he said,

I saw it

there was nothing

that could catch on her

 

at the base of the next ridge

the water ran cool and swift

spring thaws seeing to the health

of these woods

along towards the bend

where the path parted way

we saw it

the eddies and snags

were there just to prove

as she glided down the quick

and slid into the deeper greens

beyond us

we were caught by the beauty

she left

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Hello rumisong,

 

I know little of poetic forms and rules so cannot offer you much help, The only point that occurred to me in reply to your thoughts here:

 

Im not sure if it should be punctuated as dialogue,

 

is that you could use italics or bold, especially as you say:

 

there is some (hopefully) obvious dialogue in here- with quotemarks and such- or if I can get away with the allowing the poem itself to be the signal of who and where is talking...

 

But this would involve a change in the style of the main body of the poem from the present italics to a plain text font?

 

Just playing here:

 

we spotted her just up ahead

they said

she was going over that ridge

where the birches all stand like (all does not add much here?Also like is a bit too telling?)

a mystical fence- she was just there

winding her way-

we saw this, (I'm a little confused as to who the we is - the narrator or the persons, the narrator asks the questions to?)

none of the bramble that

caught us up, was catching on her

 

was she alone? we asked

saw no other (Perhaps here they replied rather than the reply?)

how did you know it was her?

the forest seemed to know

they said (period?)

 

at the hermit shack

we inquired again

just through those pines

Ive seen, (he said?)

 

was she alone? we asked

I dont think so- (came the reply instead of just the reply?)

who was with her?

the entire world

how do you know this?

he said,

I saw it

there was nothing

that could catch on her

 

at the base of the next ridge

the water ran cool and swift

spring thaws seeing to the health

of these woodsalong towards the bend

where the path parted way

we saw it

the eddies and snags

were there just to prove

as she glided down the quick

and slid into the deeper greens

beyond us

we were caught by the beauty

she left (perhaps .... here?)

 

 

One detail which perhaps could be omitted is the repetitive use of just.

 

 

Your closing lines are indeed good and I can't think of how they could be improved. icon_smile.gif

There's a wonderful mystical tenor to your poem and the central imagery of this mysterious she is very well realized.

 

 

I hope you get more informed feedback. As always, my suggestions are yours, to ignore or consider. But thank you for a great read.

 

 

goldenlangur

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Great gl! thanks!

 

yes, the italics for sure!

and good catch on the "just" (clever title then for your post to me) although, I think I may want to keep the dialogue justs in to add the sense of walking after this woman with a persistent thought of "oh, we JUST missed her"... I THINK, Im not at all sure... the last just is a little more susceptible to getting cut...

 

ellipses at the end sound right (not too hard to "sell" me on that one icon_wink.gif)

 

as far as "forms and rules"- that never really enters my mind for something like this- on purpose really- if I was going to follow a form, then I would write something other- no, this should stay without any form or rule...

 

Im definitely going to look more at your suggestions...

 

 

 

thanks!

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rimisong,

 

I have read a lot of poems in several languages and have been exposed a lot to other poets' ideas.

 

This poem generates good echoes in me but seems a bit on the side of a draft, meaning it captures an idea that is attractive and captures words that feel right but seem to not yet be fully connected. It is a lengthy poem for my tea, and will take me a while to properly absorb what it tries to say.

 

As for title, you only can be the final judge. It would be possible for others to suggest alternatives if you had given at least a tentative one. Try to think of a phrase that hints without telegraphing what the poem will say or hope to suggest. The old maxims are: title should not be a label to distinguish between poems, should be worded to intrigue and lure the reader to read it. Avoid single word titles unless emotionally sure that nothing else will do.

 

Punctuation depends on your attitude toward it. It can strengthen syntax by adding clarity when tightly wound and precluding ambiguity. No reader thinks exactly as you do. Punctuation may enable others to read the poem as you would or would have it read. Unless imitating older poems, initial upper case is best reserved to start a sentence and for proper nouns and a fit use of personification. Standard punctuation rules apply except where line breaks and natural caesuras make it all but unnecessary. Colons and parentheses seem prosaic, semicolons acceptable where long compound sentences justify it, while quotation marks, commas, ellipses and double dashes should suffice, as will periods, question marks and exclamation points.

 

I have heard many most notable poets do workshops, tout the value of revising and naming a multitude of ways to revise. Re-examination of where line breaks may be better made appears to be the preferable first step.

 

Unless you feel I am out of my gourd via above generalizations, I hope tol give you amost considerate analysis/critique given some time.

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thank you waxwings for your thoughtful suggestions- you put a lot of time into your post, and you have my gratitude...

 

it brings up for me how short a shelf life there is on my willingness t rework something that comes to me as this poem did... and this one was quite a while ago- but maybe this time, I will return to it after all- it might deserve it icon_smile.gif

 

and too, your reply brings up thoughts again about "proper" or "schooled" punctuation - I will look at those thoughts anew as well...

 

thanks again

cheers

rs

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AS for formalism, "proper" or "schooled" punctuation takes extensive study of a given language and its grammatical/syntactical habits/rules. The major types of application are:

 

to separate identical elements/parts of speech/utterances that serve the role of such parts from each other;

 

offset, from the main clause, parenthetic fragments such as interjections and explanations etc., those statements that would be called asides in a stage play that do not continue the sentence as such but are needed to help the sentence to have full sense.

 

mark thos fragments/parts of speech that are out of the 'normal' syntactic order

 

mark the beginning and end of a complete thought/statement/sentence.

 

This is very general and there are exceptions.

 

It is my contention that a poem is easier and more attractive to read when punctuation and typographical trickery (capitalization of entire words, bold font, underline and italics) are kept to a neccessary minimum. Using italics for other than the classical reasons could merely be one of the many poeticisms.

 

I like your idea the poem in question might want to be a conversation. I will try to insert that in my promised analysis. Bear in mind that technical approaches serve a poem the same as a canvas does to the painting.

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...my promised analysis...

 

please dont misunderstand- I do thank you waxwings for the time you are putting into this- it creates a warm human connection that the internet can sometimes seem devoid of... but here, what Im trying to say, is that if it were in my power I would withdraw my having posted this work in this particular thread- its too old in my head, and Im really no longer asking for any advice on it- I hope you dont mind my saying, it seems it would be more inconsiderate for me to let you write any more on it, where I am no longer interested in receiving advice on it...

 

(note re the ins and outs of how this forum works- only Tony and Aleksandra can move posts around or delete them from one thread or room to another- Not that Im asking that to be done here- it will suffice for me to just post notice of my withdrawal I would say)

 

Thanks again

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Fair enough, rumisong. Taking the time is no problem for me, and I learn so much from deliberating what it takes others to bring the germ of a poem to fruition. I am happy to serve if I can and as desired, no more and do want to encourage others to not drop, no matter how old, what seems a most worthwhile poem at its core. Kunitz, for one, believed a poem is never finished.

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