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Aleksandra
Aleks,

 

This is truly remarkable: solid images and a deep sense of the immediate horror in living- as if Dostoevsky had commented on the immediacy of his dwelling. As to the larger discussion of improving the poem- For what it's worth- You can change and play infinitely- I think Ikars has a point about the syntax but native English speakers often spend years playing with language to create the unique perspective communicated in your lines- deliberately going against the grammar grain to reveal structural subtleties that communicate more than the standard innate syntax could-

Leslie Scalipino and other LANGUAGE poets come to mind- So, in my opinion the final success or failure is the response to the piece as a poem- and in that sense you have succeeded admirably and created a unique and powerful piece bust awful and Awe-Full…

 

Many, many thanks…

 

Dr. Con & Juris

(Who often battled with my grammarian Latvian mother ;-)

 

So Juris, this comment makes me feel better after this long discussion :). Thank you for your nice observations about my style.

 

Aleksandra


The poet is a liar who always speaks the truth - Jean Cocteau

History of Macedonia

 

 

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waxwings

I have just read your last and most illuminating reaction to all I have said re tightening up your poem. In a way, I guessed you were using symbols and speak allegorically.

 

Let me summarize.

 

L10 most definitely tells you are talking to someone, not the house. The opening line does not declare firmly who you are speaking to and it really does not matter, but you drift away from that and talk about other things until you get to L10. That is why I think you could use some other verbiage than "You know", but that is for you to resolve and all I can do is supply my unvarnished reaction to a most promising poem.

 

As for the rug, you do not make reader surmise there is that one hole you call its "open mouth". A mouth, more generally, can be closed too, but no one can scream with her/his/its mouth closed. You could work in that by merely saying, more or less, "its one and only mouth is open and screaming." The word order in English, an analytic language is a sure way to drastically change the meaning of a notion.

 

As for the "rathole", it is always one word and can mean either a "hole made by a rat" or any place that is run down and unatractive. If you have rats, it is more likely, whether you know it or not, that there are more than one rathole (they leave escape routes). It seems more poetically effective to crawl down "a rathole", any rathole and not "that rathole", the one you then appear to have visited before, are visitting habitually. Yes , in English, an analytic languagu, such small things do matter.

 

I hope you do not take my observations as put-downs. This is an excellent poem and yours to do with as you wish. I would hope you take what others have to say in account, but do resist any changes, unless you have taken time to see if they are worth it.

 

Your last post on this thread also proves that your English can be most eloquent and elegant.

 

waxwings

Edited by waxwings

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tonyv
As for the "rathole", it is always one word ...

I'll let Alek comment on the rest, Ike, but I will say that she went with two words (rat hole) because I said rathole is not a word found in my dictionary. It even comes up as an error, if it is used as one word, in the spell check feature here on the site.


Here is a link to an index of my works on this site: tonyv's Member Archive topic

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waxwings
As for the "rathole", it is always one word ...

I'll let Alek comment on the rest, Ike, but I will say that she went with two words (rat hole) because I said rathole is not a word found in my dictionary. It even comes up as an error, if it is used as one word, in the spell check feature here on the site.

 

My spell-checker agrees with yours, but while my Webster's Collegiate does not even carry the word, the Unabridged and the huge International (I got it from our main library when they replaced it due to excessive wear) show it as one word, as does the Wicktionary. Go figure, but I am sure there are dictionaries which disagree.

 

Let's leave it up to Aleks, for this poem is not the issue, but it is of huge concern to me (who suffered for years till starting to try poetry in '83) to not let others (for whom English is not native) overlook that, in English, alternate ordering of same words can change the sense of what is being said and can do so drastically. Same goes for the specificity of such adjectives as the definite and the indefinite article.

 

Ike

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tonyv
... but it is of huge concern to me (who suffered for years till starting to try poetry in '83) to not let others (for whom English is not native) overlook that, in English, alternate ordering of same words can change the sense of what is being said and can do so drastically. Same goes for the specificity of such adjectives as the definite and the indefinite article.

I will agree with you there. Word order and even how we pronounce a word as seemingly insignificant as an article -- with extra stress or without -- can make a world of difference in meaning, mood, tone, etc. Fortunately, typography (like italicization) can sometimes be used to help with exactness when communicating in literary modes.

 

Tony


Here is a link to an index of my works on this site: tonyv's Member Archive topic

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dedalus

My God! That you can write like this in English ... I mean no offense, you know that, I live in a country where another language is spoken. I doubt I could write such a forceful poem in Japanese! This is excellent, Aleks, and I salute you!

 

Bren


Drown your sorrows in drink, by all means, but the real sorrows can swim

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Aleksandra
I have just read your last and most illuminating reaction to all I have said re tightening up your poem. In a way, I guessed you were using symbols and speak allegorically.

 

Let me summarize.

 

L10 most definitely tells you are talking to someone, not the house. The opening line does not declare firmly who you are speaking to and it really does not matter, but you drift away from that and talk about other things until you get to L10. That is why I think you could use some other verbiage than "You know", but that is for you to resolve and all I can do is supply my unvarnished reaction to a most promising poem.

I understand what you mean, waxwings. In L10, I do not speak to the house; I speak to somebody else. But, at the very beginning, there is different situation. That's why I wrote it the way I did.

 

As for the rug, you do not make reader surmise there is that one hole you call its "open mouth". A mouth, more generally, can be closed too, but no one can scream with her/his/its mouth closed. You could work in that by merely saying, more or less, "its one and only mouth is open and screaming."

I think you are wrong here. Have you ever felt some anger and pain in a moment when you can't scream loudly :) ?! Okay, that's not a very good example. But, my opinion is that one can even scream in an inner world ... without using the mouth. And, as far as the rug's (screaming) mouth / hole is concerned, I was hoping to show that kind of pain in a metaphorical way in which it is not so important how many holes there actually are. I wrote it in one metaphorical way: " The rug, with its open mouth screams ".

 

The word order in English, an analytic language is a sure way to drastically change the meaning of a notion.

I agree with this, waxwings. And I am aware of my way of writing in the English language. I am doing my best, but I'm not really trying to write a perfect English poem in which everything is totally clear. Why? Because I don't like that kind of poetry very much. I never read somewhere that poetry must be completely logical and appeal to every audience. What I mean is that poetry should have a free spirit and deep soul. I think that, instead of a poet explaining his poem, it would be better if the reader were to contemplate it. In other words, nothing can be "wrong" in poetry. A poem can only be clear or unclear to the reader, and that could very well be what determines whether or not a particular reader likes a particular poem. What I have to work on the most in my writing is grammar, so that it doesn't always end up like my fast comments :) ).

 

As for the "rathole", it is always one word and can mean either a "hole made by a rat" or any place that is run down and unatractive. If you have rats, it is more likely, whether you know it or not, that there are more than one rathole (they leave escape routes). It seems more poetically effective to crawl down "a rathole", any rathole and not "that rathole", the one you then appear to have visited before, are visitting habitually. Yes , in English, an analytic languagu, such small things do matter.

Don't you think that the narrator might have reasons to imagine only one rat hole? One thing is not clear to me. While reading all that you have written, I am wondering why you compare things in a poem, in a poetical world, with things in the real world? For example, in this case, you compare one house from a poem with a real house, etc. I don't think that poetry must always place clear picture in front of the reader. Of course, I know that there can be more rat holes in a house, but, in this poem (and in this house), I know that there is one.

 

I hope you do not take my observations as put-downs. This is an excellent poem and yours to do with as you wish. I would hope you take what others have to say in account, but do resist any changes, unless you have taken time to see if they are worth it.

 

Your last post on this thread also proves that your English can be most eloquent and elegant.

 

waxwings

 

Dear waxwings, you know that always I love to read what everybody has to say. And, if there is discussion, it's always useful to the writer. It all helps the writer to gain more experience and improve, even if he doesn't agree with everything others say. It's still worthwhile, and I appreciate it always. Thank you for the time and for your compliment :) .

 

Aleksandra


The poet is a liar who always speaks the truth - Jean Cocteau

History of Macedonia

 

 

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Aleksandra
My God! That you can write like this in English ... I mean no offense, you know that, I live in a country where another language is spoken. I doubt I could write such a forceful poem in Japanese! This is excellent, Aleks, and I salute you!

 

Bren

 

Bren, thank you for your kind compliment and perceptive comment. You're a kindred spirit.

 

Aleksandra :)


The poet is a liar who always speaks the truth - Jean Cocteau

History of Macedonia

 

 

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dedalus

Now I shall have to write a poem in Japanese ... :rolleyes: !!


Drown your sorrows in drink, by all means, but the real sorrows can swim

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