Jump to content
Poetry Magnum Opus
A. Baez

On Writing Poetry Late at Night

Recommended Posts

A. Baez

Time, did you suppose you might sedate

My passion into hush, now that the hour

Has stretched its way from early into late?

Your hands are light--too light to wield such power!

My dreaming joy is like a tropic flower

That neither day nor night can subjugate;

It scorns to close in eveningtime or cower

When tigers roar and rainstorms saturate

The shrouded ground with floods of streaming gray.

 

I seek my fill in day and nighttime's deep;

Light-fed, I find in darkness, too, a ray

To slake me: something rustled from its sleep—

Sucked up from sun, and strong enough to stay.

 

So time--be still! This vigil I shall keep!

 

 

Revision--S1, L8--"tigers roar" for "owlets hoot"/"tigers howl"

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
dr_con

Another gem A/B loved the metaphors the time as lover implication. Many Thanks! DC&J


Join the Voodoo rEvolution. Classes forming now: http://www.integralvoodoo.org/

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
A. Baez

 

 

Quote

Another gem A/B loved the metaphors the time as lover implication. Many Thanks! DC&J

DC&J, Hmm, I hadn't been thinking of a time as lover metaphor, but now I see how you got that. The "passion" I invoke was actually for poetry--not as a lover, but just as a love. Time was cast as a witness unable to stop me in my communion with this passion. 

It looks like I may need to tweak this somehow to clarify! Any suggestions? Maybe the title?

Other members, did you get a similar perception to DC&J? Thanks!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
badger11

I like the deliberate, reasoning tone of this AB. Reminds me of the metaphysical poets. In terms of reasonableness, why would owlets as opposed to owls make you cower? Is this a child reference I'm missing?

Quote

Your hands are light--too light to wield such power!

Nicely dismissive😀

Quote

The hooded ground with floods of streaming gray.

Just a gothic suggestion

best

Phil

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
A. Baez
Quote

In terms of reasonableness, why would owlets as opposed to owls make you cower? Is this a child reference I'm missing?

🙂 No, Phil, it's simply an attempt to fulfill the syllabic requirements of IP! For the very reason you cited, I'm not overly fond of "owlets." I just couldn't think of any other tropical animal that made noise at night! I even Googled it. Any nominations?

Quote

I like the deliberate, reasoning tone of this AB. Reminds me of the metaphysical poets.

Thanks! Hmm, I'm glad you bring up the metaphysical poets--I am only familiar with Donne and Marvell and really need to look more into all of them. I was actually kind of thinking of the romantic poets when I wrote this.

Quote

Nicely dismissive😀

Again, thanks! This line is fresh off the skillet today, replacing its more archaic-sounding predecessor.

Quote
Quote

The hooded ground with floods of streaming gray.

Just a gothic suggestion

Hmm! That's not bad. I may just have to flip a coin on this one! Is "hooded" more gothic than "shrouded," do you think? 😉

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
badger11
Quote

Hmm! That's not bad. I may just have to flip a coin on this one! Is "hooded" more gothic than "shrouded," do you think? 😉

hoot/hooded - more of a consonance/assonance nudge

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
A. Baez
Quote

hoot/hooded - more of an consonance/assonance nudge

Actually, hoot/hooded/flooded; the tradeoff would be shrouded/ground, plus the more commonly undestood usage of "shrouded" to describe something dark. "Hooded' has a nice feel to it, though! 

I just did some more research and confirmed that tigers are nocturnal, so I'm going to sub that for the owlets. It certainly sounds more fearsome. 🙂

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
badger11

Do tigers howl?

 

Quote

When raptors screech and rainstorms saturate

Just a thought

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
A. Baez
Quote

Do tigers howl?

You're right. I woke up last night and realized that the answer is "no," and I powered up my PC just now just to make a change to "roar." (I had thought I liked the sound of "howl" better, but "roar" is actually fine, and unlike "howl," it's an accurate description of how tigers actually sound. 😉

Quote

When raptors screech and rainstorms saturate

That does sound like a potential workaround for the "owlet" problem; however, I believe that all raptors other than owls are diurnal--and owls "hoot." 😃

May I ask you a question: did you get the impression in this poem that I was referring to time as a lover, as Dr. Con did?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Tinker

Hi AB,  Romance floats through the night.  From the title it was clear to me Writing is the lover.  Without the title, the lover could be who or what ever, and your passion conquers all. The beauty of poetry.  The reader inserts their own lover.

This piece almost dismisses time 

21 hours ago, A. Baez said:

Your hands are light--too light to wield such power!

This line actually made me stop. Wow, time has enormous power and yet against your passion it is "too light."   

 

21 hours ago, A. Baez said:

When tigers roar and rainstorms saturate

Good choice to edit hooting owlets to tigers roar, the alliteration and assonance smoothly roll over the tongue.  Nice balance softening the end rhyme. 

 

21 hours ago, A. Baez said:

So time--be still! This vigil I shall keep!

What a great end line!  Your conversation with Time, from beginning to end drives this sonnet with clarity.    I loved it. 

~~Tink

Sonnet with ambitious rhyme scheme  ababababc dcdcd  I fall apart when I have to rhyme more than twice, you managed to alternate rhyme for a whole octave, no small accomplishment and it is almost invisible.


~~ © ~~ Poems by Judi Van Gorder ~~

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

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
tonyv

The title is right for the poem. And right away the reader learns how the speaker feels about the act, how she finds it pleasurable. It's amusing, unexpected because for me it's different; I love writing, but it's often toilsome, therefore most of my pleasure is derived from the finished product.

Tigers that howl don't bother me. I love artistic/poetic license. "Owlets" would work if you were to change "tropic" to "woodland" or something along those lines. For "tropic" I offer "parrot's screech," though perhaps not as pleasing as an owlet's hoot or even a parrot's "call." 😀

The only thing I didn't like was "slake." I just find it too much of a stretch when it comes to a ray. 


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

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
badger11
Quote

May I ask you a question: did you get the impression in this poem that I was referring to time as a lover, as Dr. Con did?

I read your reply to Juris so I knew that was not the case.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
A. Baez

Tinker,

Quote

From the title it was clear to me Writing is the lover.

Good! I know it is kind of strange that I didn't refer directly to the act of writing in the whole poem.

Quote

Without the title, the lover could be who or what ever, and your passion conquers all.

True! I hadn't thought before about how easily this poem could be turned to other uses, but other eyes almost invariably make me see things in new ways!

Quote

Wow, time has enormous power and yet against your passion it is "too light."  

Yes, I'm glad this hit you that way! It's exactly how I felt the night that I wrote this, and so many other nights like it--in a state of high aspiration and determination, at far remove from ordinary reality, trying to convert my thoughts and imaginings into finite words, phrases, form. I hope everyone got the implied "hands of time."

Quote

Good choice to edit hooting owlets to tigers roar, the alliteration and assonance smoothly roll over the tongue.  Nice balance softening the end rhyme. 

I never did like "owlets"--I was just afraid of naming some tropical animal (there are tropical owls) that didn't actually make noise at night! I had always imagined some big, fearsome mammal, and after Badge's nudge, I finally had the good sense to Google, "Are tigers nocturnal?" And yes, I have two softened end rhymes here; using a few of these seems to help particularly in poems with multiple repetitions of a rhyme. 

Quote

What a great end line!  Your conversation with Time, from beginning to end drives this sonnet with clarity.  I loved it.

I'm glad! It's so easy for me to think I'm being clear, only to find I'm not. Today, I've been worried about

Quote

Light-fed, I find in darkness, too, a ray

To slake me: something rustled from its sleep—

Sucked up from sun, and strong enough to stay.

wondering if a reader can tell that what I meant was "I'm able to draw energy from the night, energy that had been gathered during the day and then stored in a semi-dormant state."

Quote

Sonnet with ambitious rhyme scheme  ababababc dcdcd  I fall apart when I have to rhyme more than twice, you managed to alternate rhyme for a whole octave, no small accomplishment and it is almost invisible.

This was a classic case in which I developed my scheme in an attempt to capture the mood and concept I was trying to put forth. I thought that the reiteration of rhymes would help convey the sense of unrelenting pursuit of my passion, hour after hour, despite all external changes. It felt pretty natural because that's where my subconscious was taking me; if it hadn't felt so natural, I'm sure the results would have sounded more forced. Thank you for your comments and your encouragement!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
A. Baez

Tony,

Quote

The title is right for the poem. And right away the reader learns how the speaker feels about the act, how she finds it pleasurable. It's amusing, unexpected because for me it's different; I love writing, but it's often toilsome, therefore most of my pleasure is derived from the finished product.

Okay, good, I guess you got my intended metaphor. For me, writing is definitely toilsome, but it's a really good kind of toil, as long as I keep the inspiration and aspiration behind it burning high. I didn't use to have so much stamina for the long haul of actually bringing a poem all the way from embryo to full-formed adult, but it's developed over the years. Now I find that the more I hammer away, the more I get these moments of epiphany and triumph as the words begin to bend to my will. Then, every so often, formidable icebergs of impasse will just collapse and dissolve all at once, and it feels like a force greater than myself takes over and eases the ensuing way. It's a thrilling and suspenseful adventure. Plus, it feels like such a rebellion against the fast, mindless way that the rest of life so often drives. The time I clear for poetry is time in which the forgotten parts of myself reclaim their space.

Quote

Tigers that howl don't bother me.

Okay, but on reflection, I'm not sure I really see an advantage of using "howl" over "roar."

Quote

"Owlets" would work if you were to change "tropic" to "woodland" or something along those lines.

There actually are tropical owls, which is why I'd used that animal. But Phil's issue with the baby owl reference is legit, and I feel that the tropics metaphor is key to conveying the wild, lush, exotic, glamorous, and indomitable nature of my creative passion.

Quote

For "tropic" I offer "parrot's screech," though perhaps not as pleasing as an owlet's hoot or even a parrot's "call."

Hee hee! See my notes to Phil and Tink about my preference for a fearsome mammal--and it has to be nocturnal, unless the screech of daytime animals at night is intended as a deliberately jarring effect.

Quote

The only thing I didn't like was "slake." I just find it too much of a stretch when it comes to a ray. 

Hmm. I can see where you're coming from. But in reality, plants are "slaked" to a great extent by light's rays--it's where plants get much of their energy. And since I'm talking about my joy being a tropic flower, this verbiage seems to hold up.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
A. Baez

Badge,

Quote

I read your reply to Juris so I knew that was not the case.

Well, my real question is: would you have known it was not the case if you had not read my reply to Juris?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Tinker
47 minutes ago, A. Baez said:

a reader can tell that what I meant was "I'm able to draw energy from the night, energy that had been gathered during the day and then stored in a semi-dormant state."

No, I understood this to say that you gathered your energy from the day to sustain you throughout the night.  I missed the "semi-dormant state" suggestion. But I don't always examine in depth every line, I was more taken with the romance of it all.

~~Tink 


~~ © ~~ Poems by Judi Van Gorder ~~

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

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
A. Baez

Tinker--oh, well, your interpretation is close enough--in truth, who's to say how much energy we draw from without and  how much from within? It's all interconnected. "Rustled from [darkness'] sleep" is where the semi-dormant allusion came. Most things in night are semi-dormant, after all--even people, and even when we're active (since our hormones tend to shift into different gears then). And I can hardly fault you for focusing on "the romance of it all"--I prefer for that element to predominate in my poems, and yet for the words to hold up under closer inspection.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
badger11
7 hours ago, A. Baez said:

Badge,

Well, my real question is: would you have known it was not the case if you had not read my reply to Juris?

Hi AB

I would say that the title was enough of a framework/signpost for your intention.

Quote

I hope everyone got the implied "hands of time."

That came through.

Quote

Light-fed, I find in darkness, too, a ray

To slake me: something rustled from its sleep—

Sucked up from sun, and strong enough to stay.

I wouldn't have translated to 'semi-dormant' , but retained and 'rustled up' from the subconscious would have been my understanding (in that sense 'awakened' to conscious thought). Very much liked the use of 'sucked' in that context.

slake/shrouded do their jobs in the poem, though I would say, and this is probably my familiarity, I do associate them with a poetic lexis.

hope that helps some

best

Phil

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
A. Baez

Hi Phil, thanks for responding, and then some!

I'm glad the title made my intent clear for you, and that "hands of time" came through.

Quote

I wouldn't have translated to 'semi-dormant', but retained and 'rustled up' from the subconscious would have been my understanding (in that sense 'awakened' to conscious thought).

Hmm! So you see the night as representing my subconscious? What an interesting interpretation! I do consider semi-dormancy to be the physical equivalent of the subconscious state, so I don't consider your take fundamentally different than mine--it simply interiorizes my original exterior concept. 

Quote

slake/shrouded do their jobs in the poem, though I would say, and this is probably my familiarity, I do associate them with a poetic lexis

Yes, I agree. I'm okay with that! I do think it's quite paradoxical that for many poets these days, using "poetic terminology" is considered verboten. If a "poetic" word cannot find a legitimate home in poetry, then clearly it has no substantive alternative role to that of obsolesence. As an artistic worker with words, how can I abet verbal extinctions?

Quote

Very much liked the use of 'sucked' in that context.

 It's a very visceral word, and a slew of "s's" in that stanza!

I enjoyed hearing your well-considered thoughts--thanks again.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Please sign in to comment

You will be able to leave a comment after signing in



Sign In Now

×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

By using this site, you agree to our Guidelines.