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waxwings

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waxwings

The leaves hang waiting. Crushed by sun’s hot hand

—no breeze to mar its nap—spent lies the land,

but, at its rim, edging the leaden sky,

hangs monstous darkling cloak. Then, by and by,

a drumbeat rolls to tell of horses—unrestrained

to trample branch and blande across the plain.

 

Beneath their onslaught, earth and sky embrace

through darkness, split by whips whose blinding trace

urges them on; their tails, like icy spatters,

come down—that cloak now torn to tatters.

 

On grass, bush, tree they leave a diamond gown

and, in the sky, a shining rainbow-crown.

 

 

This poem seems to be a good subject for being ripped apart. I am open to anything and beyond hurt feelings. Go for it.

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tonyv

This is a really exciting submission, Ikars. I endeavored to write something with a similar theme a while back but set it aside. (The raw material is still around somewhere.)

 

The content is brilliant, glorious even, I might add. Perhaps I could focus on the form.

 

The first thing I noticed is that there are some missing articles, but this does not detract from the poem. I naturally consider it to be a feature and attribute the peculiarity to the poem's voice and theme: the early American west, native Americans, and their perceived manner of speaking English.

 

As for meter, the IP is quite good, but why not make it perfect? This poem itself is too good to settle for any less in meter.

 

Right now, L5 has six metrical feet. (L6 has five, but it would have to be slightly altered if L5 is to be reworked.)

 

a drumbeat rolls to tell of horses—unrestrained

to trample branch and blande across the plain.

How about something like this:

 

a drumbeat rolls, and horses, unrestrained,

trample branch and blande across the plain.

That way L5 has five metrical feet, and L6 has five also (including the headless iamb in the first foot).

 

L10 has only four metrical feet:

 

/come DOWN / that CLOAK / now TORN / to TAT / ters

 

/ iamb / iamb / iamb / iamb / ^ (hypermetrical/feminine ending)

 

To employ the feminine ending properly (in an iambic pentameter), there needs to be an additional foot in this line, so that there are five complete feet, then the feminine ending. (Right now, there are only four feet + the feminine ending.) This should be easy to accomplish (without disturbing the meaning) simply by adding an adjective, any two-syllable adjective, in front of "cloak" or "tatters." For example:

 

urges them on; their tails, like icy spatters,

come down—that ragged cloak now torn to tatters

 

/come DOWN / that RAG/ ged CLOAK / now TORN / to TAT / ters

 

/ iamb / iamb / iamb / iamb / iamb / ^

 

The same thing could be accomplished without adding an adjective by changing "come down" to "descend upon":

 

urges them on; their tails, like icy spatters,

descend upon that cloak, now torn to tatters.

 

/deSCEND / uPON / that CLOAK / now TORN/ to TAT / ters

 

/ iamb / iamb / iamb / iamb / iamb / ^

 

(I like this way better myself.)

 

While L11 & L12 are already proper iambic pentameters, they could possibly be improved. Something like this might work:

 

On grass and bush and tree, a diamond gown

and, in the sky, a shining rainbow-crown.

 

Or, if the verb is a must, "tree" could be eliminated:

 

On grass and bush they leave a diamond gown

and, in the sky, a shining rainbow-crown.

 

 

I hope this is the kind of input you were looking for. (I'm better with critiquing meter than I am with critiquing content.) Perhaps others could also provide some thoughts as to content. I already think it's wonderful. :) I love this poem, including the title.

 

Tony


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

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tonyv

I'll make another reply here, so that it doesn't go unnoticed in an edit of my previous reply. For complete clarification of the examples and discussion above:

 

a headless iamb is counted as a complete metrical foot, a feminine ending is not.

 

 

 

headless iamb, denoted by ^

 

/ ^TRAMP/ ple BRANCH / and BLANDE / aCROSS / the PLAIN /

 

/headless iamb / iamb /iamb / iamb / iamb /

 

(First foot contains a headless iamb and is counted as a complete metrical foot.)

 

 

feminine ending, denoted by ^

 

/URges / them ON / their TAILS / like I / cy SPAT / ters

 

/ trochee / iamb / iamb / iamb / iamb / ^

 

(The feminine ending follows five complete feet, but it's not counted as a metrical foot. (It functions like an add-on.)

 

 

 

Both of these lines are perfect iambic pentameters.

 

Tony


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

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tonyv
How about something like this:

 

a drumbeat rolls, and horses, unrestrained,

trample branch and blande across the plain.

Coming back to this ...

 

If the drumbeat's merely telling of the horses is critical, the word "rolls" could be omitted and the line altered to read:

 

 

a drumbeat tells of horses—unrestrained

to trample branch and blande across the plain.

 

 

The lines would then be perfect iambic pentameters, and the meaning would remain unaltered.

 

Tony


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

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waxwings
I'll make another reply here, so that it doesn't go unnoticed in an edit of my previous reply. For complete clarification of the examples and discussion above:

 

a headless iamb is counted as a complete metrical foot, a feminine ending is not.

 

 

 

headless iamb, denoted by ^

 

/ ^TRAMP/ ple BRANCH / and BLANDE / aCROSS / the PLAIN /

 

/headless iamb / iamb /iamb / iamb / iamb /

 

(First foot contains a headless iamb and is counted as a complete metrical foot.)

 

 

feminine ending, denoted by ^

 

/URges / them ON / their TAILS / like I / cy SPAT / ters

 

/ trochee / iamb / iamb / iamb / iamb / ^

 

(The feminine ending follows five complete feet, but it's not counted as a metrical foot. (It functions like an add-on.)

 

 

 

Both of these lines are perfect iambic pentameters.

 

Tony

 

I really do appreciate your thoughtful and quite expert disection of metrication as it is likely to apply. I would like to give it some thought before making any comment.

 

I will do that and give details how this poem came about, what I intended to do and a first revision which may be quite unexpected. But first, I hope others chime in, be cause the metrification may come second, e.g. change considerably if I stay with my broader intent when first writing down this version.

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badger11

Very dramatic ww and the sense of scale gives an epic feel. Perhaps I would say that I wouldn't expect the sun's hand to be other than hot. Either way enjoyed.

 

badge

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waxwings
Very dramatic ww and the sense of scale gives an epic feel. Perhaps I would say that I wouldn't expect the sun's hand to be other than hot. Either way enjoyed.

 

badge

 

I am genuinely pleased by your asessment. I have done some revising, triggered by tonyv's response, but must weigh my thoughts on how and why the original is worded the way it is, before responding.

 

I am certainly a hound for musicality, and that "hot" is the best syllable I could then find to set up my own metric to fit my emotion. But I myself have argued overwhelmingly for not putting in obvious modifiers. I would be glad to have you suggest a better fit, preferably monosyllabic word to replace.declaringwill try toFor reasons,even beyond rhythm

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badger11

'The leaves hang waiting. Crushed by sun’s cold hand'

 

for the indifference of nature, to make the reader think, for irony

 

badge

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waxwings
'The leaves hang waiting. Crushed by sun’s cold hand'

 

for the indifference of nature, to make the reader think, for irony

 

badge

 

That is a cool idea, badge. I was bent on stressing how uncomfortably hot a summer can be and how much a cooling thunderstorm can be appreciated.

 

If I do not make the change you suggest, it will be my fault. But I am quite likely to. Will you tell me what you think of substituting "cruel" or "mean" instead of "cold", or would that be too much?.

Edited by waxwings

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Lake

I dare not go to technical aspect of the poem. But I do hear the rhyme and rhythem.

It's atmospheric and I particularly like "their tails, like icy spatters".

The only thing I'd hesitate to mention is the use of connectors: but( L3), then(L4), and(last line).

These words appear to me a bit loose. And you have two "hangs" in S1.

 

Enjoyed

 

Lake

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Larsen M. Callirhoe

hi waxwing,

 

while i do like tony's thoughts on the poem )tony has done this to me a few times: and i appreciate it too). the only thing i might add is you brushed to finish thhe poem instead of giving it desired fortitude. with that being said i love the poem with a few tminor grammer changes.

 

did you read this poem aloud. i read all my poems aloud befoe i post them. it is choppy but tony makes the poem unchoppy. you might make a few of your own changeds once you read this aloud.

 

all this being said i wish i could write a poem like this. it takes discipline to come up with the logic in this work. i will get back to thiws one later after i think about what might be added instead. this will be bfun.

 

it might take a day to get baack with you cause i think this is my favorite by you. i would love to hear how this poem came about it would be fascinating to read.

 

victor

 

i would do the twikeing now but my diabettes is acting up and i can't see right now.


Larsen M. Callirhoe

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waxwings
hi waxwing,

 

while i do like tony's thoughts on the poem )tony has done this to me a few times: and i appreciate it too). the only thing i might add is you brushed to finish thhe poem instead of giving it desired fortitude. with that being said i love the poem with a few tminor grammer changes.

 

did you read this poem aloud. i read all my poems aloud befoe i post them. it is choppy but tony makes the poem unchoppy. you might make a few of your own changeds once you read this aloud.

 

all this being said i wish i could write a poem like this. it takes discipline to come up with the logic in this work. i will get back to thiws one later after i think about what might be added instead. this will be bfun.

 

it might take a day to get baack with you cause i think this is my favorite by you. i would love to hear how this poem came about it would be fascinating to read.

 

victor

 

i would do the twikeing now but my diabettes is acting up and i can't see right now.

 

Wonderful! Don't rush, victor. For kind and honest reactions/critiques I can wait for quite a spell.

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badger11
'The leaves hang waiting. Crushed by sun's cold hand'

 

for the indifference of nature, to make the reader think, for irony

 

badge

 

That is a cool idea, badge. I was bent on stressing how uncomfortably hot a summer can be and how much a cooling thunderstorm can be appreciated.

 

If I do not make the change you suggest, it will be my fault. But I am quite likely to. Will you tell me what you think of substituting "cruel" or "mean" instead of "cold", or would that be too much?.

 

I think 'cruel' and 'mean' imply intent rather than indifference.

 

badge

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Larsen M. Callirhoe

L1 The leaves hang waiting. Crushed by sun's hot hand

this is a wonderful metaphor but what are theleaves really waiting for. exfoliated by the sun's hot hand seems better than crushed which implies the sun crushes the leaves. it wouldnt work for a scholar. maybe you could come up with a better word than crushed with even your academic wisdom seems wasted there. and hot rays at the end of line one seems more logical

 

L2—no breeze to mar its nap—spent lies the land,

no breeze to mar ts nap. who is napping the tree trees or the sun. sentence doesnt seem logical to me but im not a scholar this line would make me not want to finish reading the poem but i read the rest of the poem and it worked for me. L2 seems out of rythm and pace of the poem. spent lies the land makes no sense to me clarify this for me.

 

 

 

L3 but, at its rim, edging the leaden sky,

this line could work as line 2, and you would have to come up with another line presumably.

 

 

L4hangs monstous darkling cloak. Then, by and by,

this line is interesting and i wanted to finsh reading the poem after this line. i could omagine what the writer invokes imagery wise when writing than by and by. the poem comes alive and is mystical as if the sun was alive or the tree or trees awakened perhaps or even maybe the land it selfs is alive by the heat of the sun' rays and not hand. but hand of the sun is the feel of the poem. im just trying to give you the sense of what an ordinary person who reads poetry might think of this work.

 

 

 

L5 a drumbeat rolls to tell of horses—unrestrained

excitement finally. maybe the added line to replace the one i tore apart could tell of the kingdom where the horses cam from this line alo makes me think you are talking about the stoneage of the inhabbinants on earth.

 

 

L6 to trample branch and blande across the plain.

this flows in rhythm with L5.

 

 

L7 Beneath their onslaught, earth and sky embrace

this line works

 

L8 through darkness, split by whips whose blinding trace

you make the reader drift again not focusing on the poem. if the sun is up why is there suddenly darkness and with whipping the horses you invoke my mind with imagery of chariots and biblical times. the stick people ued to hit horses with has a name but i can't think off it right now. the imagery fades away in this line

 

L9 urges them on; their tails, like icy spatters,

urges them on works but what is the reason they need to recieve their crown mention at the end of the poem. why is it icy when the sun is blistering heat rays or it's hand. remember i could be off as for the metaphors of the poem but this is how ordinary persons think. you give off imagery of being in a cold land which could work as ametaphor.

 

L10 come down—that cloak now torn to tatters.

this sounds like jesus christ being taken down from the cross.. wonderful imagery invoked in this line really makes me wonder what the riter is talking anbout grabbing my attention and wanting to make me read the rest of the poem while rich in imagery but is spread pn a canvas slopplely.

 

L11 On grass, bush, tree they leave a diamond gown

i honestly don't know how to look at this line.

 

L12 and, in the sky, a shining rainbow-crown.

this makes me think the writer is halluncinating unless they are recieving the crown mention in revelation o the bible. i read allot and this is what first came to mind. this poem could be about king aurthur or ot could be about christ.

 

ok now after all this i loved the poem for different reasons than me tearing each line apart. im noexpert. at best im a amatuer. but reading the poem straight out is a completely different thing than reading each line by itself. dont tke me seriously. im high on medications most of the day and i see things different than most.

 

victor


Larsen M. Callirhoe

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Aleksandra

WW, you are lucky to get such quality comments and ideas. This poem has amazing imagery. The expressions are perfect. You finished this poem in the best way. Much enjoyed.

 

Aleksandra


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

History of Macedonia

 

 

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waxwings
WW, you are lucky to get such quality comments and ideas. This poem has amazing imagery. The expressions are perfect. You finished this poem in the best way. Much enjoyed.

 

Aleksandra

 

I joined this forum becayse a little bird told me the members truly dig efforts by bloody newbies like I. Glad you found the poem worth mentioning.

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fader

Hey waxwing. After listening to you and badge discussing another word for hot, you got me thinking and this is what came to mind. I removed the word "the" allowing for another syllable which gave a little more flexability. Hence the word "fervid" or others can be employed. I also changed "by" with "neath" as it just seemed to fit better. I inserted the word "a" as it seemed to improve the flow and removing the word "Then" to keep your syllable count. Noticed a couple of spelling mistakes also. Only because I looked the words up. lol I hope you don't mind I went through it but this poem is so beautifully it just captured my imagination. My ideas are below and please do with them as you will. Feel free to use or ignore the as you wish. I really enjoyed this!

 

Leaves hang waiting. Crushed neath sun's fervid hand

 

—no breeze to mar its nap—spent lies the land,

 

but, at its rim, edging the leaden sky,

 

hangs a monstrous darkling cloak. By and by,

 

a drumbeat rolls to tell of horses—unrestrained

 

to trample branch and blade across the plain.

 

 

Beneath their onslaught, earth and sky embrace

 

through darkness, split by whips whose blinding trace

 

urges them on; their tails, like icy spatters,

 

come down—that cloak now torn to tatters.

 

 

On grass, bush, tree they leave a diamond gown

 

and, in the sky, a shining rainbow-crown.

 

Edited by fader

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Larsen M. Callirhoe

hi waxwings. i have given the poem some thought after tearing it apart line for line. i didnt use the title as a way of understanding the poem. at second glance it reminds of a rodeo of cowboys herding cattling for a show lol. i think a few of my remarks tho meaningful might of been a little of key. i try tho. and i know i am only human.

 

victor


Larsen M. Callirhoe

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Tinker

Hi Ike, I loved this piece. It is written with a masculine hand, it has power and musicality and imagery and is strangely sensual. Rhymed couplets can often bring a lightness to a poem, but that was not the case in this piece, it gave it continuity and a sense of the traditional in the chaos.

 

I found the discussion thread very interesting and liked Badger's idea of the "cold" sun. It surprised me and yet it fit... I like surprises in poetry.

 

This one is a keeper and I can't imagine anyone wanting to tear this apart.

 

~~Tink


~~ © ~~ Poems by Judi Van Gorder ~~

For permission to use this work you can write to Tinker1111@icloud.com

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RHommel

Hi waxwing,

 

Upon first reading, I immediately thought of Frost's imagery and meter in any number of his poems, but specifically the Mending Wall for some reason came to mind. I would love to see more added to this piece... a classic case of less isn't always more. Maybe even a paragraph for every season... ?

 

In any case, Tony's edit suggestions were spot on and the discussion about the word "hot" has me hanging on the edge of my seat waiting to see what you do with this.

 

Oh, and I'm much newer to this site than you, so does that make me a super-newbie? :)

 

~Rachel

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