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tonyv

Anthony's Charcoal Pit

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tonyv

At dusks of sandalwood and myrrh,
a lounge was where I met Yvette.
She had her needs when I had her.
A pergola, her silhouette --

Opium vitalized the air;
a timer tripped a switch and lit
a solitary luminaire,

a sign, as I remember it:
"Tony's cooking on the pit."

____________________
Opium


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tonyv

I thought I'd submit another Rainis sonnet. This one's in tetrameter.

 

Tony

 

EDIT: The poem has been revised.

 

Comments #3 through #16 reference and apply to the original version as is reproduced in this post #2 below.

 

Original version:

 

Pit

 

At dusks of sandalwood and myrrh,

a lounge was where I met Yvette.

She had her needs when I had her.

A pergola, her silhouette --

 

Opium vitalized the air;

a timer tripped a switch and lit

a solitary luminaire,

 

a sign, as I remember it:

"Yvette is cooking on the pit."


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Larsen M. Callirhoe

oh tony this sang to me my heart. rich in texture alluring imagery. this poem is so beautiful. i would by the book this poem if this poem was in it. well done amigo.

 

victor

 

love it


Larsen M. Callirhoe

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tonyv
oh tony this sang to me my heart. rich in texture alluring imagery. this poem is so beautiful. i would by the book this poem if this poem was in it. well done amigo.

 

victor

 

love it

Thanks, Victor ... I'm excited that you liked this!

 

Tony :D


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badger11

I'm not finding a pathway into this Tony.

 

badge

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tonyv
I'm not finding a pathway into this Tony.

 

badge

Thanks for taking a look, Badge. Is it obscure, or you simply don't like it?

 

Tony


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badger11
I'm not finding a pathway into this Tony.

 

badge

Thanks for taking a look, Badge. Is it obscure, or you simply don't like it?

 

Tony

 

I don't understand the poem, which doesn't mean it is obscure. Of course, I don't understand a lot of poetry. Many readers don't understand my writing.

 

What I am reading is a scented, but unromantic encounter.

 

badge

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waxwings

I like the musicality and the less usual rhyme words. Most pleasing is the rep at end of L2, and 'myrrh' is a near rhyme that will please all but the dyed-in-the-wool complainer. Rainis wrote his eponynous sonnets mostly, as far as I have been able to ascertain, in pentameter (not necessarily iambic), and your use of tetrameter is refreshing. Line length has to do more with content, the way the syntagmas fit (or not) into a line, and should be preferred over a deliberate choice of line lenght/meter.

 

You may disagree with my scan, but word stress will yield to the emotional stress felt esp., e.g. by me, in reading, and lessened to avoid what may be seen as a artificial adherence to the nominal meter.

 

Your substitution of pyrrhics (they rhyme with myrrh :rolleyes: ) is pleasing, for it bans potential monotony of iambics. Even more, you have created a sub-rhythm in terms of varying where they appear in the line, underlining consistency vs. a bit of randomness.

 

L5 does not scan well. "Opium" is a dactyl, and not just anything can be forced to work as a headless iamb would, esp. when it precedes two definitely unstressed syllables. I see a problem, perhaps hinted at by badge. There is ambivalence whether it is the opiate or a brand-named perfume, as your 'footnote' tends to suggest. I would prefer: "Her Opium ***..." to repair the metric. Capital O would confirm it is a perfume. The asterisks stand for a more appropriate less pretentious/pompous word than "vitalizes" (air is air and it is what is in it that vitalizes the 'atmosphere'). What I think is needed is something more definite, less vague, less inclusive, whereas something like perfuses, transforms, enlivens, freshens, transfuses, electrifies would be more truthful, comprehensible.

 

There is no sure telling if the poem talks about drug use or a fond reminiscence. Do "pit" and "cooking" carriy some overtones? I am sufficiently unfamiliar with the drug scene to judge.

 

But for that uncertainty, which I believe needs to be taken care of, this is a most attractive and significant a poem.

 

At dusk*, of sandalwood and myrrh, ~~~~~ should be a singular; descriptive interjection lacks preceding comma.

a lounge, was where I met Yvette.

She had her needs, when I had her.

--a pergola, her silhouette.</b> ~~~ pergola and pit seem contradictory--

 

Opium vitalized the air; ~~~~~ "vitalizing the air" sounds forced, pretentious, unnatural.

a timer tripped a switch and lit ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

a solitary luminaire, ~~~~~~~~~~~~ an unstressed syllable followed by a dactyl and an amphybrach works very well.

 

a sign, as I remember it:

"Yvette is cooking on* the pit." ~~~~~ Unless that is jargon, "in" seems more proper.

 

I prefer to underline to mark a stressed syllable. Except for entirely didactic purposes, bold script seems (at least fot me) an offense to the poem,.

 

I have marked the stresses as I would read the poem to an audience. Therefore, I am not marking the secondary stresses you would expect. That would make the scan conform more to a 'perfect' iambic. It should be clear I love the nominally iambic rhythm that exists here.

Edited by waxwings

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dr_con

Tony,

 

As usual, I find your work to be complex and appealing- I did find my way 'in'on the re-read:(IMO) The scene is about an encounter with a cook or a belly dancer or a stripper or another ambiguous relationship which is sensual by its nature i.e.the relationship between cook and diner- The images are as ambiguous as an opium haze- all distinct and clear and yet obscured by the encounter- The form is the form- but the voice is distinct and fascinating...

 

enjoyed greatly!

 

DC&J


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Lake

I find this very suggestive and inviting.

 

She had her needs when I had her.

 

and this

 

"Yvette is cooking on the pit."

 

aboriginal. It is not a big picture but something people are longing for especially by the end of the week.

 

Lake

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tonyv

Badger, Ikars, Juris, and Lake --

 

Thank you all for your kind, insightful, and helpful remarks. I'll reply to each of you in separate posts below. But first, allow me to provide some background information on the poem.

 

This one was inspired by a now closed restaurant/bar establishment in the town where I grew up. It wasn't upscale by any means, but it certainly wasn't the worst. The pizza was great, and so were the steak tips. It wasn't tony; it was townie.

 

After the place closed down (I think the proprietor retired), the lot (and the building) became quite rundown, overgrown with weeds, etc. Eventually it must have been knocked down, because I can't even remember exactly where it was; the strip where it was located is lined with new residential side streets and some commercial/office buildings. The name of the place was "Anthony's Charcoal Pit." Under the main sign for the place was another sign -- the kind where one could change the letters to have it read different things at different times -- and the sign would often be arranged to read "Tony's cooking on the pit."

 

As for the rest of it, I made it up. I never knew anyone named Yvette. I did want the reader to infer that "Yvette" was the proprietress, who was in fact "cooking on the pit" through her proxies, the kitchen help. Anyway, here's one of my other versions. I'm considering changing the title to "Anthony's Charcoal Pit" and the poem to read as follows:

 

 

Anthony's Charcoal Pit

 

At dusks of sandalwood and myrrh,

a lounge was where I met Yvette.

She had her needs when I had her.

A pergola, her silhouette --

 

Opium vitalized the air;

a timer tripped a switch and lit

a solitary luminaire,

 

a sign, as I remember it:

"Tony's cooking on the pit."

 

 

As I've said before, I don't mind changing some details in a poem if it makes the poem a better poem. Please let me know what you think ...

 

Tony


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waxwings

I think the poem exquisite, but, as I have seen it often one large or several tiny miscues, (semantic, grammatical, syntactic), no matter how small, can hurt re a larger audience. I have already mentioned some of my quibbles, but my comments often are not spot-on the first time. In this one, apt punctuation could be crucial as is the case when the syntax is 'tightly wound', i.e., the more commonplace order of words and phrases is violated for sake of poetic effect. Such 'violation' is entirely in order and works as long as the reader is guided.

 

Please note that I had pretty much guessed the poem is mostly fiction grounded in some real location.

 

Anthony's Charcoal Pit

 

At dusk—of sandalwood and myrrh—………………1)

the lounge was—when I met Yvette.

She had her needs, when I saw her, ………………2)

A pergola, her silhouette --

 

Her Opium perfused the air, ………………………………3)

a timer tripped a switch and lit,

by solitary luminaire,

 

the sign—as I remember it,

Yvette is cooking in the Pit."

 

 

1) “of sandalwood and myrrh”—exquisite way to lend quality to “dusk”, “lounge” or both, i.e., time and place when/where you met her. But, to do whichever you wish could take a bit of doing. I see up to four possible ways, but will not suggest any unless you specify your intent and want me to say more. As is, the images are very attractive and pleasing but some are a tad murky. The double-m dashes are my way to separate the distinct complete in themselves notions as I see them and that beg, methinks, to be more blended into one grand picture.

 

2) Her “needs” are a bit nebulous: the pergola and ?. Perhaps changing to “need” would be enough. Moreover, “when I had her.” could be suggestive of something the poem does not support. I can think my way around that, but line feels like an orphan. You are not forcing the rhyme are you? And then

 

3) Link makes “Opium” a perfume, and, while u.c. and italics do usually point to a trade name, that may not do for the first word following an end-stopped line. I have misgivings re “vitalizing”, making air vital, essential to life, as air already is. I think I know what you are after and there are dozens of less fancy words for suggesting that.

Edited by waxwings

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tonyv
I'm not finding a pathway into this Tony.

 

badge

Thanks for taking a look, Badge. Is it obscure, or you simply don't like it?

 

Tony

 

I don't understand the poem, which doesn't mean it is obscure. Of course, I don't understand a lot of poetry. Many readers don't understand my writing.

 

What I am reading is a scented, but unromantic encounter.

 

badge

Thank you, Badge. I provided some background information and a likely revision in post #11. While I don't want the thing to be entirely transparent, I am striving for clarity. I think the revision itself will clear things up.

 

Tony


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tonyv
Tony,

 

As usual, I find your work to be complex and appealing- I did find my way 'in'on the re-read:(IMO) The scene is about an encounter with a cook or a belly dancer or a stripper or another ambiguous relationship which is sensual by its nature i.e.the relationship between cook and diner- The images are as ambiguous as an opium haze- all distinct and clear and yet obscured by the encounter- The form is the form- but the voice is distinct and fascinating...

 

enjoyed greatly!

 

DC&J

Juris, I love your take on the poem. It's not far off the mark at all. Thank you for your kindness and attentiveness.

 

Tony


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tonyv
I find this very suggestive and inviting.

 

She had her needs when I had her.

That's exactly what I was striving for. I'm glad it came through.

 

and this

 

"Yvette is cooking on the pit."

 

aboriginal. It is not a big picture but something people are longing for especially by the end of the week.

You're right. It's primal. That's probably why such places are so popular. Thank you, Lake.

 

Tony


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tonyv

Ikars, thank you for the detailed replie(s). I think most of the points you raised in your second reply will also be addressed below.

 

I like the musicality and the less usual rhyme words. Most pleasing is the rep at end of L2, and 'myrrh' is a near rhyme that will please all but the dyed-in-the-wool complainer. Rainis wrote his eponynous sonnets mostly, as far as I have been able to ascertain, in pentameter (not necessarily iambic), and your use of tetrameter is refreshing. Line length has to do more with content, the way the syntagmas fit (or not) into a line, and should be preferred over a deliberate choice of line lenght/meter.

I like how you've expressed this. I'm glad you think the tetrameter fits the content. I don't choose line length arbitrarily, and your having pointed this out shows that that aspect of the poem is working to its advantage.

 

You may disagree with my scan, but word stress will yield to the emotional stress felt esp., e.g. by me, in reading, and lessened to avoid what may be seen as a artificial adherence to the nominal meter.

 

Your substitution of pyrrhics (they rhyme with myrrh :rolleyes: ) is pleasing, for it bans potential monotony of iambics. Even more, you have created a sub-rhythm in terms of varying where they appear in the line, underlining consistency vs. a bit of randomness.

 

L5 does not scan well. "Opium" is a dactyl, and not just anything can be forced to work as a headless iamb would, esp. when it precedes two definitely unstressed syllables.

I'll provide my own scansion here with specific attention given to L5.

 

/at DUSKS / of SAN/dalWOOD / and MYRRH /

/a LOUNGE / was WHERE / i MET / yVETTE /

/she HAD / her NEEDS / when I / had HER /

/ a PER / goLA / her SIL /houETTE /

 

 

/Opi / um VI / taLIZED / the AIR /

/ trochee / iamb / iamb / iamb /

/ 4 1 / 1 3 / 2 3 / 2 4 /

(While "opium," taken by itself, may very well be a dactyl, I will assert that within this line its first two syllables form a trochee, and the third syllable serves as the unstressed syllable of the iamb which makes up the second foot.)

 

/ a TI / mer TRIPPED / a SWITCH / and LIT /

/ a SO / liTA / ry LU / miNAIRE /

 

/ a SIGN / as I / reMEM / ber IT /

/ yVETTE / is COOK / ing ON / the PIT /

 

I would prefer: "Her Opium ***..." ... The asterisks stand for a more appropriate less pretentious/pompous word than "vitalizes" (air is air and it is what is in it that vitalizes the 'atmosphere'). What I think is needed is something more definite, less vague, less inclusive, whereas something like perfuses, transforms, enlivens, freshens, transfuses, electrifies would be more truthful, comprehensible.

I chose "vitalize," because I wanted a word which would impart the same effect as "energize." Since I don't consider a fragrance to be anything remotely electrical, I went with "vitalize" to mean "endow with life," "animate," or "invigorate."

 

I see a problem, perhaps hinted at by badge. There is ambivalence whether it is the opiate or a brand-named perfume, as your 'footnote' tends to suggest.

 

There is no sure telling if the poem talks about drug use or a fond reminiscence. Do "pit" and "cooking" carriy some overtones? I am sufficiently unfamiliar with the drug scene to judge.

 

But for that uncertainty, which I believe needs to be taken care of, this is a most attractive and significant a poem.

These are interesting points you raise about drug use connotations. Though I have no drug use experience, I'm actually pleased that some readers might extract this from the poem. As the linked article explains, even the fragrance and its promotional advertisements raised similar controversy when they first appeared.

 

At dusk*, of sandalwood and myrrh, ~~~~~ should be a singular ...

I know there's no plural in the dictionary for "dusk" -- I did check the dictionary before using "dusks" -- but I actually coined the entire phrase "at dusks of sandalwood and myrrh" for the poem. I will continue to think about this and weigh out the offense it might deliver to the English language.

 

--a pergola, her silhouette.</b> ~~~ pergola and pit seem contradictory--

As clarified in post #11, "pit" is in the name of the place. It also refers to a certain type of oven or cooking facility.

 

Opium vitalized the air; ~~~~~ "vitalizing the air" sounds forced, pretentious, unnatural.

Explained above.

 

a sign, as I remember it:

"Yvette is cooking on* the pit." ~~~~~ Unless that is jargon, "in" seems more proper.

It's definitely jargon. As explained in post #11, the sign read "Tony's cooking on the pit."

 

I have marked the stresses as I would read the poem to an audience. Therefore, I am not marking the secondary stresses you would expect. That would make the scan conform more to a 'perfect' iambic. It should be clear I love the nominally iambic rhythm that exists here.

I understand. Thank you for this and for the time you have already spent on the poem.

 

Tony


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tonyv

To All:

 

I will replace the original version (in post #1) with my revision/alternate version. I'll also include my original version in post #2 for reference. I'll also change the title.

 

Tony


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badger11
To All:

 

I will replace the original version (in post #1) with my revision/alternate version. I'll also include my original version in post #2 for reference. I'll also change the title.

 

Tony

 

 

I should have consulted my wiki friend on pit cooking rather than consult my one look dictionary!

 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Earth_oven

 

http://www.onelook.com/?w=pit&ls=a

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tonyv
To All:

 

I will replace the original version (in post #1) with my revision/alternate version. I'll also include my original version in post #2 for reference. I'll also change the title.

 

Tony

 

 

I should have consulted my wiki friend on pit cooking rather than consult my one look dictionary!

 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Earth_oven

 

http://www.onelook.com/?w=pit&ls=a

 

I like the concept and images, Badge.:D But I think Tony's actual "pit" was of the metaphorical variety, more of a brick oven.:D

 

Tony

 

 

PS -- Thank you for the dictionary link. It will come in handy!


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Aleksandra

Interesting way of choosing the subject and submitting it in a form poem. You have a rich vocabulary and nice observation of real moments, woven with expressions, that make the poem stronger.

I like how you included Yvette and provided a glimpse into the past. I like the revised version better because of the last line "Tony's cooking on the pit." That makes this poem more real.

 

Tony, you always surprise the reader with your poetry.

 

Aleksandra.


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

History of Macedonia

 

 

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Aleksandra

Tony, I came back to read this poem again. Something that I forget to say while making the other comment, is the moment of nostalgia but in some unusual way. Also the composition, the structure of the poem are something that fits this poem.

Now I realize why you like this poem more than The Ultramontane. - :)

 

Aleksandra


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

History of Macedonia

 

 

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tonyv
Interesting way of choosing the subject and submitting it in a form poem. You have a rich vocabulary and nice observation of real moments, woven with expressions, that make the poem stronger.

I like how you included Yvette and provided a glimpse into the past. I like the revised version better because of the last line "Tony's cooking on the pit." That makes this poem more real.

 

Tony, you always surprise the reader with your poetry.

 

Aleksandra.

Great observations, Alek. Thank you for them. I especially agree with what you said about the last line.

 

 

Tony, I came back to read this poem again. Something that I forget to say while making the other comment, is the moment of nostalgia but in some unusual way. Also the composition, the structure of the poem are something that fits this poem.

Now I realize why you like this poem more than The Ultramontane. - :)

 

Aleksandra

Told ya it was better! ;) Thanks, again, Alek.

 

Tony :)


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