Jump to content
Poetry Magnum Opus


Legacy Member
  • Content count

  • Joined

  • Last visited

About waxwings

  • Birthday 09/15/1931

Contact Methods

  • Website URL
  • ICQ

Profile Information

  • Gender
  • Location
  • Interests
    science, mathematics, technology, medicine, folk dance, Boy Scouts, choral music.

Recent Profile Visitors

234 profile views
  1. Googlelove

    googlovely, but you have left me wandering how good/bad your Chinese is. I thought it was the other way around.
  2. Moon Faraway Person Thinking

    I would like to add to the translators comments if only to revisit my contention that a good poet has to be highly competent, by nature, i.e., some highly specific built in "ear" to know exactly the only right word to be used at every moment during the composition of the poem. In this case, I am much impressed by that the translator is in command of both languages. Otherwise thr rendition of the poem in English could not be as devastatingly impressive as it is.
  3. Invitation

    A lovely poem w/archaic feel, esp. in L4, such as your ancestors or mine would compose before writing was invented. A 'novalinee' has a set rhyme scheme and is, as far as I can find, written as a single, 9-line stanza (It. nova/9, linea/line), while Rainis' sonnet has a quatrain, a tercet and closing couplet, as sonnets should (methinks). The one 'restriction/desire' is to have as many rhymes as can be had and rhymes linking each 'stanza' to at least one other. The couplet is often excused from such linking. You have scripted a most wonderful example. I especially like the masterful variation in 'formal' metrics done in such a way that it took me several reads before noticing the fact that not all lines are strict/pure pentameter. The special charm then is in a blend of accentual L1 = trochee, amphibrach, anapest, iamb. But there are other possible alternative scans. The one significant quibble I have is "when" at the beginning of the last line. I recognize the sentiment that makes you use it and accept it, but, semantically, "used to be" is so past perfect while "when " to me is in the future or in the present. I see a disagreement between telling her to "bring a whiff of the place when/where you were/had been. Consider: bring just a whiff of where you used to be, some far off fruit stand or a winery. Consider "Listen! I ...." The word is strongly evocative or else superfluous. Listen! I want you to come live with me. ~~ (Listen! I love you! Do, come live with me.) We'll pick a place that's neither mine nor yours, that's far from all our friends and family and work it, nurture it to make it ours. a place that's too far north for grapes to grow, without an ocean or a middle sea, ~~ ? and with no ocean and all the other things that we now know, save just a whiff of where you used to be ~~ when ~~ you are mixing tenses when at the fruit stand or a winery. ~~ at some far
  4. Tennis

    Just because I enjoed this very, very much I can't say it needs no further polish before it is a finished poem. By the time I had read this thrice, I still wondered why it was titled Tennis. I enjoyed the nebulous somethin' the title is supposed to stand for, and, to be sure, most poems have that capability regardless of title. From that perspective, this is a good poem. But I would love to have some semantic anchor to guess more closely what the poem alludes to and how the body and the close are connected. At first, I thought this was about just enjoying looking out the window of a train (rushing beast). Departures, stops, passengers, porters, styles (in fences it rushes by) and certainly the ramp where milk (churns?) cans where placed to be delivered by the slow trains to the creamery, as was done in most of rural Europe. The transition to strawberries was marvelous, and I liked the intrusion of the modern day joggers. But I fail to guess who the fortunates are, other than the ladies and the gentlemen. So, what is the point of the last stanza. There seems to be an emotional and semantic gap between the poem and its ending at Wimbledon. I have noted the main reasons to my puzzlement in the body below.
  5. Wait for the Reward

    My thanks, and I shall try to work on your initial suggestions. First--search for Lewis Turco. You're right; if there is to be an epiphany, it should have some punch to it. I think you've put your finger on the problem. My apologies for being detained by some stupid, grave matters from reacting to your response. With so much time having slipped by, I do assume version 2 was inserted, as a revision, into the original post for it certainly does, and does it even better than I thoight it might, what I tried hinting at.
  6. Dream Poet

    Both, badge and tony have made valid points, and I am glad you put this poem in Workshop, because it needs work, evn if I find no fault with the essence of the poem, but you must spend time to learn all about the 'craft' part which they point out so well. I am fine w/the supposed unevennes of meter. It has its own charm and avoids the monotony even many fine old poems can suffer being overmetricated, and rhyming can stand even w/o meter as many modern poets have done. However, I do not like to quote chapter and verse, but two features stand out. 1. Rhyming should not drive the poem, and, in the lines you let it do that, it is difficult to glean what the poem is about and what is your emotional position toward the subject. You may try to say/show that first w/o the rhyme and then look for rhyming words that are native to the subject and its telling. As tony said, it is impossible to avoid telling altogether, but the telling can be wrapped in images made up of more words which hint, rather than those that merely name exactly what your attitude toward the subject is. In summary, you are occasionally distorting the normal syntax and grammar and the semantics (the finer deeper meaning tour tale brings) in order to make a line mechanically accommodate the rhyming words. 2. Trite phrases and clichees or near clichees should be avoided unless they are undeniably apt to what you are trying to say. I am going to take a day or a few to post spot on edits of the lines where your otherwise significant poem stumbles in delivering its overall promise. The reason it takes me a while is that I always fear my edit could seriously alter your poems essential thrust. An edit should be taken as a possible aid , a way to look at one's poem from a less passionate viewpoint than an author is otherwise capable of. Please accept my heartfelt praise for your truely poetic bend. waxwings
  7. Four Fish

    So what if it is a rant. With such, there is enough material to reduce the word count. That is better than trying to stretch insufficient content into a long poem.
  8. Wait for the Reward

    I, being of somewhat respectable age, like the undercurrent but think you should let the emotion that seems to drive this speak more loudly/stronger. Why are the lines of regular length. This is free verse, or isn't it. I think trying structural prosody a la Lewis Turco might liven this up. That usually takes no more than altering line lengths by moving conjunctions and prepositions from one line to another. If at first you don't succeed . . . I would! I will take a day or two to mull over a more thorough/detailed reaction.
  9. Man or Woman: Who is the better Poet?

    If I may add. Polyandry in Tibet was really about preventing the division of land. Given its mountainous terrain, arable and cultivable land was precious if not rare. A social system where the ancestral land was divided among the sons (who inherited the land) would have wreaked havoc for the survival of the family and land. The division of the land would have been in miniscule pockets which by themselves would not be tenable. In order to pool together resources - land and manpower polyandry was practised But I do like your idea that the single-mother-woman benefited from it. ;) You, rascal, are right, and I knew someone would say what you did. My schooling merely stressed that the land was hard to till and there was so little of it that it took a larger amount of hard manual labor needed to wrest the most out of every b tiny bit of it. But it was not all that beneficial to the woman. She had to cook for all the children and all the husbands who also kept her having sex often, pregnant or not. Besides, she was expected to and did field work unless tied down impossibly to do so w/pregnancy. This did not necessarily make for a matriarchy, but, I bet, what the woman said counted. No wonder in the adjacent areas boy children were preferred and still are. Of course, mainly agricultural societies always had large families for a similar reason, esp. before mechanization of field work using engine powered rigs that could do more than just plow, till and reap, whereas, even with horses, a lot of manual work was required. My not too distant ancestor women would stop raking hay or grain just long enough to deliver baby or nurse one.
  10. Man or Woman: Who is the better Poet?

    Some tw0 cents are better than... You are making a valid point. In some cultures, men were not as dominant as in others. In Tibet, polyandry was practiced because it took several men to support a single mother-woman family. Of course, poetry that is passed down (before writing was 'invented') was passed down by word-of-mouth (oral not aural) and it could be the mother that was around the house that did it while the men were out hunting/gathering/tilling. My mother sang and recited poetry while my dad was at sea earning money. That is why I am funny about language and poetry. Before there was sight-in-eye poetry (visual, (written?)), there was poetry (story) passed along by sound-in-ear (aural not oral). My emphasis is on the one who hears (aural), not the one who speaks (oral). I think it was more important what was heard, rather than what was spoken, literally. That is a significant part of how stories adapted, changed and carried on. That is also how they may have become divorced from reality. Writing the story down changed all of that and fixed (reality or not), in time, the former speaker as the carrier, not the former listener. The reader then can become, by comparison, a very weak participant or a mere blind follower (such irony). This is a cultural shift of some significance. And to bring it back to this thread - certainly the boys must have heard the stories in a different context than the girls. And who was it that began to write them down? History or herstory? You are absolutely right as far as the importance of the sound-in-ear because that is the only way poetry can be perceived. I prefer to hear poems (not poetry) read out loud over reading them myself and, when having to do so read them loud. But you must admit that conventional wisdom speaks of oral not aural tradition. Of course, Robert Bly believes that unlike music which comes in the ear and goes directly to the gut, poetry seems to pass from the ear to the brain first and often suffers the filtering effect of the intellect. Thus, when we read a poem it is more likely echo-in-mind rather than sight-in-eye, or would aural correspond, by analogy, to aura? I love to have such witty echange, factual truth be damned for being a dull fellow.
  11. Member Archives

    Amen to all above. A lot of my writ of the past three years is in an archive of another forum, but the mechanisms are such that I cannot easily get any copies w/o copying each separately with some more than normal effort not to speak of the whole bundle. I am forced to sell house and move to where my children and grandchildren have their domiciles. Will consider creating my own online archive w/limited access (by invitation) to my poet friends.
  12. Man or Woman: Who is the better Poet?

    Some tw0 cents are better than... You are making a valid point. In some cultures, men were not as dominant as in others. In Tibet, polyandry was practiced because it took several men to support a single mother-woman family. Of course, poetry that is passed down (before writing was 'invented') was passed down by word-of-mouth (oral not aural) and it could be the mother that was around the house that did it while the men were out hunting/gathering/tilling. My mother sang and recited poetry while my dad was at sea earning money. That is why I am funny about language and poetry.
  13. What is a finished poem.

    Could say, I speak with forked tongue! I have two strong notions: a) for a poet having appropriate writing/language skills is very important and b) avoidance of honest, kind and valid critiquing will prevent those w/ability to create poetic conten/images from gaining the level of recognition hinted at in their less polished writings. Accomplished and widely recognized poets are often referred to as wordsmiths, because they do have a better than average language skills and know how to write/apply those skills to deliver on the poetic images in their compositions. How important writing skills are is said in the text from Red River Review's Statement of Purpose, I inserted in the discussion on creating the bulletin board tonyv has suggested. You are hitting the nail, as to that this forum, excellent as it is, may have too many major divisions for anyone to find time to participate in more fully.
  14. To our members

    I am all for it, but will it meet the ideals propounded in RRR's Statement of Purpose Our purpose has always been to publish well-crafted poetry using the best electronic means available. Our highest priority is the quality of writing. We will also post companion media pieces such as artwork, video the published poem being read by the author and other mixed media items that the editors agree are relevant. Again, our highest priority is the written word. Everything else is secondary. How is the BB to be separated from the forum? The total of the two could be overwhelming. I do think this forum is high quality, but could a serious BB overshadow it?
  15. What is a finished poem.

    Thanks for the thorough reply, Gatekeeper. Yes, I am not concerned about poems posted here being 'finished' in that ultimate sense you so well describe. My concern is with the extent of a proper comment I should make re poems posted on this forum. I expect poems that are posted as finished to look having been written in a way that attests to both the authors literacy and her/his effort to insure that no fairly obvious errors due to carelessness in spelling, grammar and/or style. I see no reason that poems not been edited should not be posted under Workshop, Playground or Overflow. If they are posted under Member Poems and seem to be written w/o much effort beyond getting the gist of its inspiration, I find it a shame and a disservice (on my part) to the author not to point out, among my comments) the easily coorrectable (w/o any qualitative harm to the poem or the author's talent and imagination) gaffes while expressing my admiration of the significance of the poem and the high appeal of its more noteworthy elements. I don't feel it right to falsely praise even the bassically better poem that has the easily noted elements that testify to ppor writing per se, that is a neglect of the fact that writing well is a skill that is not all that difficult to attain witha bit of extra effort. I started this discussion in the hope of being able to adjust my expectations through comeents of my co-members. I am not infallible, but must hold on to some idea of quality untill shown by my peers the error of my opinions. All arts are subject to variable opinions, but I surely do not wish to be thought of by them as being merely opinionated. I do hope more others chime in with their wiews, or what would be the use of having a forum for discussions?

Important Information

By using this site, you agree to our Guidelines.