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Planet Warm?

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tonyv

A hole over a pole could really be
the worst thing for an atmosphere to bear.
A sea, becoming rain, becoming sea,
and continental ice to cool the air,
seems but a gas. But sun is not much fun,
when one considers tenderness of skin,
an organ -- it's the body's biggest one --
for even when it's thick, it's much too thin.
If diamonds may be used to finance wars,
then ask yourself what carbon's really worth.
But don't be shocked if sweat comes out your pores
in Sydney, "Land Down Under," planet Earth.
So, sound alarms by poem and word of mouth.
Dear Reader, Clouds are breaking in the south.

_______________________________________________________________________________

I must admit that I'm not so concerned with "global warming," even if such a thing exists. In less than a hundred years (thankfully), I'll be dead. So, just for fun, here's a poem which touches on the controversial subject.


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Frank E Gibbard
A hole over a pole could really be

the worst thing for an atmoshpere to bear;

a sea becoming rain becoming sea,

with continental ice to cool the air,

seems but a gas; but sun is not so fun

when one considers tenderness of skin,

an organ -- it's the body's biggest one --

for even when it's thick it's much too thin.

If diamonds may be used to finance wars,

then ask yourself what carbon's really worth,

but don't be shocked if sweat comes out your pores

in Sidney, "Land Down Under," planet Earth.

So, sound alarms by poem and word of mouth,

Dear Reader ... Clouds are breaking in the south.

 

_______________________________________________________________________________

I must admit that I'm not so concerned with "global warming," even if such a thing exists. In less than a hundred years (thankfully), I'll be dead. So, just for fun, here's a poem which touches on the controversial subject.

'Tis a fun piece indeed as your postscript relates and a modern sonnet

Tony so well done on form and subject matter. I have to point out the spelling of Sydney however just for correctness. The carbon ("footprint") allusion was spot on and the reference to that hole in the ozone layer and the risks to that vital organ (good on physiology there too). All very much appreciated Tony. (Frank)

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tonyv
'Tis a fun piece indeed as your postscript relates and a modern sonnet

Tony so well done on form and subject matter. I have to point out the spelling of Sydney. however just for correctness. The carbon ("footprint") allusion was spot on and the reference to that hole in the ozone layer and the risks to that vital organ (good on physiology there too). All very much appreciated Tony. (Frank)

First, Frank, let me say thank you for pointing out the spelling of Sydney. I corrected it.

 

Next, thank you very much for your considered read and most kind comments. I thought of you in some way when I wrote and posted this poem. The reason was, I'm normally hesitant to write about things which I know very little about or topics that aren't of intense emotional interest to me, and I've noticed how your own poems tackle quite a wide range of subject matters. Whether or not you know a lot about the topics you yourself choose to write about, and whether or not you have an emotional connection to them, you nevertheless write about them, and, in some (perhaps subconscious) way I derived encouragement from that. I had my doubts when I finished this one -- it was quite a fast write (unusual for me) -- but it seems to have come out okay. I'm honored that you're the first to post a reply.

 

Tony


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Aleksandra

What a poem, Tony. I must come here a little later and read it closer. It is so late now, so tomorrow I will come back here and catch all I missed lately. :icon_redface:


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

History of Macedonia

 

 

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tonyv
I will come back here and catch all what I missed lately. :icon_redface:

Be sure that you do! :@ :icon_razz:


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Lake

Tony,

 

See how easy it seems to you to write a sonnet with meters and rhymes. I really envy this!

Good topic, but I don't know why in this form, it doesn't read terrible, but rather pleasant.

I'll read it a few more times when I have more time.

 

Well crafted.

 

Lake

Edited by Lake

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tonyv
Tony,

 

See how easy it seems to you to write a sonnet with meters and rhymes. I really envy this!

Good topic, but I don't know why in this form, it doesn't read terrible, but rather pleasant.

I'll read it a few more times when I have more time.

 

Well crafted.

 

Lake

Well, Lake, this one was really just luck. Normally it takes me a lot more time from concept to composition. I think the sonnet form works great for almost anything. Argument>>>resolution. If I get my Audacity program working again, I'll make an audio recording.

 

Tony


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dr_con

Fascinating Tony a solid topic and a good execution- I must admit, at first I was a bit afraid that it would simply play out as a prose piece with line breaks- something that disturbs me in my work, and absolutely revolts me in others- But my fears were needless, an excellent well considered and gentle voice, with enough metaphor and simile to keep an old curmudgeon like me very happy- Excellent work!

 

DC&J


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tonyv

I'm pleased that you liked it and relieved that it didn't disappoint, Dr. Con.

 

... at first I was a bit afraid that it would simply play out as a prose piece with line breaks- something that disturbs me in my work, and absolutely revolts me in others ...

And yes, prose pieces with line breaks are definitely something that we, as poets, would prefer to avoid! :))

 

Thank you, as always, Juris.

 

Tony


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Lake
Next, thank you very much for your considered read and most kind comments. I thought of you in some way when I wrote and posted this poem. The reason was, I'm normally hesitant to write about things which I know very little about or topics that aren't of intense emotional interest to me, and I've noticed how your own poems tackle quite a wide range of subject matters. Whether or not you know a lot about the topics you yourself choose to write about, and whether or not you have an emotional connection to them, you nevertheless write about them, and, in some (perhaps subconscious) way I derived encouragement from that.

 

Tony,

 

You said clearly what's in my mind.

 

Thanks,

 

Lake

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waxwings

Tõnis,

 

You should post this in the workshop as well. There, a finer analysis is permitted, and that can illuminate to other would-be-poets, like me, your excellent application of the artistic as well as the craft side.

 

It is well worthy of being considered a contemporary/modern sonnet. It is rhymed like an English one but does not hew to the traditional 4/4/4/2 line segregation. However, you may want to consider trying it, for that would not make it any less modern but perhaps give it a higher tone to some parts the gravity seen esp. in the latter part.

 

The rhythm is lovely, provided one reads naturally, not stressing every second syllable but according to sentence stress, i.e., following the driving emotion of the content.

 

The meter is only nominally iambic but thus escapes the peril of monotony. Well under a half of the feet are non-iambic but are used in a way that only a very close scansion reveals their presence.

 

BTW, all but the last two lines have 10 syllables each, in spite of some of the feet being tri- and even mono-syllabic. The last two lines are a clincher, being Alexandrines (having 12 syllables), and that makes for a powerful closing.

 

Linguistically, I would try to replace the two (2) so's because they do not syntactically fit this/literary composition. So what if they are thus used in vernacular, everyday speech! Being a modern poet, should you use upper case letters except for starting a sentence, proper name or where personification is warranted?

 

Forgive me if this is more than normally acceptable in this section, but the poem is too notable to be dismissed with less.

 

waxwings, AKA Ikars

Edited by waxwings

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tonyv

Thank you, Ikars, for your considered, in-depth reply. All criticism is generally welcome on any of my poems even outside the workshop, so let 'er rip!

 

Anyway, you mentioned a "natural reading." Whenever I write a poem, I hope the reader will read it naturally. When I write a metrical poem, as a writer, I should pay attention to the meter, and if I do, the reading should sound natural ... if I did my job reasonably well. I usually have Alek read back my new poems to me as a test. That way, I can always tell if they're working: if they sound natural when they're read by someone else.

 

In that spirit, I made an audio recording of the poem and put it in my audio archive. Here's the LINK. I hope you enjoy it.

 

I'll also provide a scansion of the poem here in the reply:

 

 

a HOLE/Over/a POLE/could REAL/ly BE/

the WORST/THING for/an AT/mosPHERE/to BEAR/

a SEA/beCOM/ing RAIN/beCOM/ing SEA/

with CON/tiNEN/tal ICE/to COOL/the AIR/

SEEMS but/a GAS/but SUN/is NOT/so FUN/

when ONE/conSID/ers TEN/derNESS/of SKIN/

an OR/gan IT'S/the BO/dy's BIG/gest ONE/

for E/ven WHEN/it's THICK/it's MUCH/too THIN/

If DIA/monds MAY/be USED/to FI/nance WARS/

then ASK/yourSELF/what CAR/bon's REAL/ly WORTH/

but DON'T/be SHOCKED/ if SWEAT/comes OUT/your PORES/

in SYD/ney LAND/Down UN/der PLA/net EARTH/

So SOUND/aLARMS/by POEM/and WORD/of MOUTH/

Dear REA/der CLOUDS/are BREAK/ing IN/the SOUTH/

 

 

It's my understanding that trochees, as I have used them, are acceptable substitutions for iambs in iambic pentameter. And while the dictionary shows really and diamonds as three syllable words (re*al*ly and di*a*mond, repectively), which would render the last feet in L1 and L10 and the second foot in L9 anapests, it also lists alternate two-syllable pronunciations. Therefore, I'm counting those feet as two-syllable feet. But even, as anapests, those feet would be acceptable in IP.

 

And though I can appreciate the impact of Alexandrine lines to finish out a sonnet, I didn't use them. (I would like to try that soon.) The ending couplet in this one is strictly pentameter. Could it be the strict iambic pentameter in the final couplet that gives it the impact you detected?

 

Thanks again. I always appreciate your taking a close look.

 

Tõnis

 

 

PS -- I like the point you make about the use of "so." I think in the first case, I could say:

 

... but sun is not much fun

 

 

UPDATE

 

I changed so fun in L5 to much fun, for a less pedestrian feel. I'll also consider options for so (which I'm using as "therefore") in L13. Thanks, waxwings! I do see this one small change as a big improvement.


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waxwings

Seems it has been said that a polysyllabic word should not be indiscriminantly split by assigning its parts to different metric and that to do or not do that depends on the context, esp. the rhythmic weight of adjacent words. Furthermore, there are examples in poems of word stress appearing to be different from the one assigned by the dictionary.

 

It is my contention that it does not matter, that formal metric considerations must take a back seat to the overall rhythmic effect which in a well wrought poem seems to be quite uniform throughout if not an exact repetition from line to line to line. In that I am in complete agreement with tinker, as in her reaction to that sonnet of mine posted recently.

 

Below is my transcription of your sonnet which I am getting to like more and more with repeated readings.

 

I am using bold font to show what I, in reading loud, feel is primary stress and underlines for secondary stress. I avoid tertiary stress which is not as easily detected, esp. perhaps in a normatively iambic pace. Unstressed syllables are in normal font. My reading is, of course, influenced by caesurae, normal, or due to punctuation some of which is my addition. Red font marks words which I would suggest, if you, Tony, were to ask me, as a copy editor, to make for your book of poems to be about published.

 

All that is not to say that you have to change your poem, only that people may differ in what they consider the 'normal' way of reading poems.

 

A hole/ over/ a pole/ could real/ly be/

the worst/ thing for/an at/mosphere/ to bear./

A sea,/beco/ming rain,/ becom/ing sea/

and con/tinen/tal* ice/to cool/the air/

seems* but/a gas./ But sun/is not/ much fun,/

when one/ consi/ders ten/derness/of skin,

an organ—/it’s the bo/dy's big/gest one—/ (1st foot is tri-syllabic, but causes no problem w/rhythm.)

for e/ven when/it's thick,/ it's much/too thin./

 

If dia/monds may/be used/to fi/nance wars,/

then ask/yourself/ what car/bon's real/ly worth./

But don’t/ be shocked,/ if sweat/comes out/your pores/

in Syd/ney, Land/ Down Un/der, Pla/net Earth./

 

So, sound/ alarms/, by poem/ and word/of mouth./ (3rd foot is trisyllabic, an amphibrach?)

Dear rea/der, clouds/ are brea/king in/ the South./

 

* not sure what you mean. A sea can hardly seem a gas, and glacial ice is not restricted to continents, cf. Greenland. And there is Kilimanjaro.

Edited by waxwings

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tonyv

Thank you, Ikars, for your kind, helpful reply and detailed scansion. I like the punctuation changes you suggested, and I have adopted them throughout. I do want punctuation to be correct.

 

I'm leaning toward keeping with in L4. I'll explain: I'm using gas as an expression. When something is "a gas," it is lighthearted, funny, a joke. It's also some kind of wordplay, because the poem has to do with atmospheric conditions: ozone, vapor ... a gas. I'm also worried that changing with to and would throw off my use of the word seems. Would it? If I were to use and, would I have to use seem?

 

As for F3 in L13, I'm hesitant to characterize it as an amphibrach. Perhaps by itself (or among other amphibrachs) it could be, but I'm not so sure amphibrachs are recognized in iambic pentameter. I pronounce poem as one syllable (pom), but even if one were inclined to pronounce it as two (po*em), I would probably tend to scan the line with an anapest, like this:

 

/ so SOUND / aLARMS / by PO / em and WORD / of MOUTH /

 

/iamb/iamb/iamb/anapest/iamb/

 

One thing I just thought of is my use of the word out in L11 I wonder if it should be from your pores instead of out your pores? I hope I can get your input on this detail, too ...

 

Gratefully,

 

Tõnis

 

 

I'll leave the original version in this reply, for reference:

 

 

Planet Warm? (original version)

 

A hole over a pole could really be

the worst thing for an atmosphere to bear;

a sea becoming rain becoming sea,

with continental ice to cool the air,

seems but a gas; but sun is not much fun

when one considers tenderness of skin,

an organ -- it's the body's biggest one --

for even when it's thick it's much too thin.

If diamonds may be used to finance wars,

then ask yourself what carbon's really worth,

but don't be shocked if sweat comes out your pores

in Sydney, "Land Down Under," planet Earth.

So, sound alarms by poem and word of mouth,

Dear Reader ... Clouds are breaking in the south.

 

 

The revised version is in Post #1. Also, I'm not sure if you noticed, but I added this one to the audio archive. The link is in post #12 in this thread.


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douglas

an intersting and unusual piece from you. i enjoyed it.


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waxwings
Thank you, Ikars, for your kind, helpful reply and detailed scansion. I like the punctuation changes you suggested, and I have adopted them throughout. I do want punctuation to be correct.

 

I'm leaning toward keeping with in L4.

I'll explain: I'm using gas as an expression. When something is "a gas," it is lighthearted, funny, a joke. It's also some kind of wordplay, because the poem has to do with atmospheric conditions: ozone, vapor ... a gas. I'm also worried that changing with to and would throw off my use of the word seems. Would it? If I were to use and, would I have to use seem? a)

 

As for F3 in L13, I'm hesitant to characterize it as an amphibrach. Perhaps by itself (or among other amphibrachs) it could be, but I'm not so sure amphibrachs are recognized in iambic pentameter. I pronounce poem as one syllable (pom), but even if one were inclined to pronounce it as two (po*em), I would probably tend to scan the line with an anapest, like this:

 

/ so SOUND / aLARMS / by PO / em and WORD / of MOUTH / b)

 

One thing I just thought of is my use of the word out in L11 I wonder if it should be from your pores instead of out your pores? I hope I can get your input on this detail, too ... c)

 

Gratefully,

 

Tõnis

 

The revised version is in Post #1. Also, I'm not sure if you noticed, but I added this one to the audio archive. The link is in post #12 in this thread.

 

I do not know how to break the quote into pieces to intersperse my reactions. Therefore I am inserting references to pertinent footnotes below and erasing parts of quote that do nothing to help our discussion add toeither what you have said or my responses.

 

Thanks for your extra effort to get me acclimatized here

 

a) The "and" is crucial to your poetically most excellent (of all the good in this sonnet) image, i.e., "sea becoming (vapor) rain becoming sea and with continental ice to cool the air." I do not see readers accepting that notion of "a gas" though I knew but could not believe it. I have reasons to think global warming is not, but the real problem is in both: the grammatical, esp. syntactic, and the semantic aspects, for it is the sea (not the hole) that is the logical precedent to "seems a gas". That non sequitur is quite likely to ruin the sonnet. As I have said at other forums, a really good poem draft can be fixed. Since the hole is a void in the ozone layer, why not consider

 

a sea becoming rain becoming sea,

turning to glacial ice to cool the air,

not shielding us, for sun is not much fun

 

I think I said it earlier that "continental" is a hard to digest a descriptor, and "seems" may seem too wishy-washy, even for "a gas". The last two are my personal opinions.

 

b) I fail to see why, when this poems most definitely reads like iambic pentameter you are trying to make it so uniformly standard. Tinker and I agree that, if the rhythmic feel is right for the form, what 'classic standard metric feet' it happens to contain or not contain matters not one iota. Much literature will back Tinker and me. It is generally held that scansion is merely a tool to understand poetry better not a prerequisite, not a mold for it for, if so, anybody could be praised for doggerel that conforms. Dictionary says "poem" is a di-syllabic word. Preferring an anapest to an amphibrach is pointless. There are thoughts a word should not be placed where it falls to two metric feet unless it cannot be done otherwise and still have the rest of the line satisfy some combo of feet. That is why a clever/talented substitution of almost any foot to serve that purpose is acceptable. THERE IS SUCH A THING AS A STRSSED MONOSYLLABIC FOOT. Again, and most importantly so, what matters is how the line reads/sounds and not whether it pays slavish obeysance to meters. Poetry is and has been, at least in my lifetime, a performing art first, something which many who have not heard a reasonablt talented reader may not recognize.

 

BTW, my dictionary says "sound" bears no streess, not even a secondary one. That means, since "So'" is an interjection, you have a trochee as you said earlier, or did you mark it as a spondee?.

 

c) I think "out" is stronger, but English, being an analytical language does suffer from being expected to follow the historically prevalent/more easily accepted by all likely readers an usage of prepositions. "from" woluld be OK id you used "pours" or "seeps" but another quirk of English is that the intrinsic sense of the action/direction a verb embodies may dictate the pronoun. Moreover, the pronoun may m=be more a part of the verb-sense than show how the verb affects the object it is aimed at.

 

waxwings

Edited by waxwings

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tonyv

Thanks, again, Ikars, for all the time you have spent on this poem (and others) and for all your helpful ideas. I've adopted quite a few of them. For starters, this time around, I changed with in L4 to and, as you suggested, but I'll keep continental, as it is Antarctica, a continent, over which the hole in the ozone supposedly is located.

 

As far as the iambic pentameter itself is concerned, I am by no means trying to make it uniformly standard in any of my poems. The meter is strict, but not absolute. A common misconception is that a poem, written in strict iambic pentameter, should consist entirely of lines of five iambs each. Not so. There exists a whole host of acceptable substitutions that may be used in place of iambic feet (with some limitations as to how many may be used and where) in strict iambic pentameter. The use of those substituted feet in place of iambs does not change the characterization of the poem to something other than strict iambic pentameter. And monosyllabic words, though perhaps not intrinsically stressed, are often promoted (even words as seemingly insignificant as articles), as there cannot be more than two unstressed syllables in a row in any line of strict iambic pentameter.

 

I also like "seeps" and "pours." I'm leaning toward "pours": sweat pours out your pores ... I like it!

 

Tony


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waxwings
Thanks, again, Ikars, for all the time you have spent on this poem (and others) and for all your helpful ideas. I've adopted quite a few of them. For starters, this time around, I changed with in L4 to and, as you suggested, but I'll keep continental, as it is Antarctica, a continent, over which the hole in the ozone supposedly is located.

 

As far as the iambic pentameter itself is concerned, I am by no means trying to make it uniformly standard in any of my poems. The meter is strict, but not absolute. A common misconception is that a poem, written in strict iambic pentameter, should consist entirely of lines of five iambs each. Not so. There exists a whole host of acceptable substitutions that may be used in place of iambic feet (with some limitations as to how many may be used and where) in strict iambic pentameter. The use of those substituted feet in place of iambs does not change the characterization of the poem to something other than strict iambic pentameter. And monosyllabic words, though perhaps not intrinsically stressed, are often promoted (even words as seemingly insignificant as articles), as there cannot be more than two unstressed syllables in a row in any line of strict iambic pentameter.

 

I also like "seeps" and "pours." I'm leaning toward "pours": sweat pours out your pores ... I like it!

 

Tony

 

If a pyrrhic foot (a valid substitute foot) precedes an iambic one, you have three unstressed syllables in a row, as in the way Frost reads his: Whose woods are these, I think I know.... :rolleyes:

 

I know you said iambic pentameter but the same rules sseem to hold for any iambic meter, when not expected to be perfect.

Edited by waxwings

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tonyv
If a pyrrhic foot (a valid substitute foot) precedes an iambic one, you have three unstressed syllables in a row, as in the way Frost reads his: Whose woods are these, I think I know.... :rolleyes:

 

I know you said iambic pentameter but the same rules sseem to hold for any iambic meter, when not expected to be perfect.

/whose WOODS/ are THESE/i THINK/i KNOW/

/iamb/iamb/iamb/iamb/

 

Some authorities on meter even contend that pyrrhics and spondees are not possible in English. Two syllables, side by side, are always stressed slightly differently. That's why they developed the numbering system of scansion with four different stress levels. I'll bet, if we were to put a scope on Frost's voice, we would find "these" slightly promoted and more stressed than the words around it.


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waxwings
If a pyrrhic foot (a valid substitute foot) precedes an iambic one, you have three unstressed syllables in a row, as in the way Frost reads his: Whose woods are these, I think I know.... :rolleyes:

 

I know you said iambic pentameter but the same rules sseem to hold for any iambic meter, when not expected to be perfect.

/whose WOODS/ are THESE/i THINK/i KNOW/

/iamb/iamb/iamb/iamb/

 

Some authorities on meter even contend that pyrrhics and spondees are not possible in English. Two syllables, side by side, are always stressed slightly differently. That's why they developed the numbering system of scansion with four different stress levels. I'll bet, if we were to put a scope on Frost's voice, we would find "these" slightly promoted and more stressed than the words around it.

 

The operative word is: some. Classic meters are a crutch, perhaps a helping hand, not a clear go/no-go tool. English is close to iambic except when poets try something new, like limericks.

 

Existence of four stress levels has been known for some time, but telling stress levels apart by ear is not simple unless two syllables in question are next to each other. An iambic foot is certain if the difference of is by two levels. Whether a person can articulate a pyrrhic or a spondee depents on how well that person articulates. Some cannot deliver the best poem except in monotone.

 

I think we have exhausted the meter bit. Beyond it, contributions to the total attractiveness of a given rhythm or cadence pitch, duration and what may be called the vocalic echo, i.e., some recurrence of rhymelike sounds that occur accidentaly, not regularly. That is where the serendipity of picking the right set of words comes in.

 

The notion that pyrrhics and spondees are not possible in English is most likely due to that no two people vocalize the same. Unless the reader has a thorough insight into metric and is not being sloppy, he/she is certainly capable of producing pyrrhics and spondees. It would be interesting to have a statistically significant sample of the population recorded and their delivery analized. Voices differ enough that we can recognize people by their voice alone even if we have not heard them recently.

 

I think this is getting too deep in the academic sense.

Edited by waxwings

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Aleksandra

Yes Tony, this is one of your fastest written poems :). I remember this. Sorry for my late responses but like I promised, here is me back on this.

 

Really you became so experienced to write a good sonnets. Even you are making them faster than before :). This poem has a tone that gives a power and a sound. I read it loud and I felt the beats which probably are coming from the meter.

Also, you have in this piece some good expressions like:

A sea, becoming rain, becoming sea,

and continental ice to cool the air,

 

And at the end you are squeezing the point from the poem, like a lemon ( :) ). Really the last two lines are superb:

 

So, sound alarms by poem and word of mouth.

Dear Reader, Clouds are breaking in the south.

 

Thank you for the nice job.

 

Aleksandra


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

History of Macedonia

 

 

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tonyv

Thank you, Alek, for coming back to this. I'm not so sure it's good, but it was fast. Often, I write too slowly because I'm focusing all my efforts on trying to write well. But, I need to try to write both well and a bit faster.

 

I'm glad you liked the rhythm of the poem and some of the expressions, too.

 

This poem has a tone that gives a power and a sound. I read it loud and I felt the beats which probably are coming from the meter.

Yes, I remember hearing you read it out loud the first time. I like having you "test" my poems ;)

 

And at the end you are squeezing the point from the poem, like a lemon ( :) ). Really the last two lines are superb:

 

So, sound alarms by poem and word of mouth.

Dear Reader, Clouds are breaking in the south.

Ah, those lemons! :rolleyes:@ You know I'm not so into fruit and that you're the only person in the world who can compel me to eat it. :rolleyes:

 

Glad the ending worked for you, too. Thanks, again, for everything!

 

Tony


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