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Tentsmuir (Remix)

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tonyv

Tentsmuir

The wind, the sea, and sands -- a merge of dreams
is hunting fingerprints, a ministry
of nature's hands. The moon drowns, drawn to dunes' 
hypnotic sands, gold drains from the kingfisher's 
wings, and winter feigns it's juggling suns. 
While forests whisper, rumours run, and spring 
reaches out from a mirror to retrieve
and to put back the broken piece of glass.

Waves are star-seeking spears. A songbird's shrill
caroling nears. The wind's drumming distils
fishing kings' invocations. Wistful mothers
gather near waters wielding incantations.

 

_______________
I'm characterizing this collaborative effort as a remix. The poem is a collaboration only to the extent that I made minor edits and focused on line breaks and meter. All of the ideas, images/imagery, and wording is substantially by Barry,  @eclipse, from his original poem Tentsmuir along with some additional lines.


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A. Baez

Wowee, you really went to town with that second stanza! It fits in wonderfully, and I love the imagination, the internal rhymes, and also the twist on "kingfisher's" with "fishing king's." Taking Barry's cue and sharpening it up a bit, it is, more than ever, so fluid and dreamy and mystical...

I'd hanker for a sharper meter in first line of S2 and a comma after "whisper;" also a hyphen between "star" and "seeking," if that phrase were kept. Otherwise, this feels super-tight to me. Tony, it seems like you really climbed into Barry's poem and made yourself at home!

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tonyv
18 hours ago, A. Baez said:

Wowee, you really went to town with that second stanza! It fits in wonderfully, and I love the imagination, the internal rhymes, and also the twist on "kingfisher's" with "fishing king's." Taking Barry's cue and sharpening it up a bit, it is, more than ever, so fluid and dreamy and mystical...

I'd hanker for a sharper meter in first line of S2 and a comma after "whisper;" also a hyphen between "star" and "seeking," if that phrase were kept. Otherwise, this feels super-tight to me. Tony, it seems like you really climbed into Barry's poem and made yourself at home!

Thanks, A.. Baez, for your kind reply. The raw material was all Barry, including "fishing kings"; here's what he gave me:

 

Quote

 

waves are star seeking spears, songbird's shrill

caroling nears, the wind's faint drumming distils 
invocations of fishing kings and wishes of wistful mothers
who gather near waters that are wielding incantations.

 

 

In any case, I was excited to have a small part in this, and I thank Barry for the opportunity. I like "star-seeking"; I, myself, am a hyphenater, but I'll often forgo using them, because it seems people don't like the style. I'll add the hyphen. I'll also add the comma after "whisper." As for the meter in S1L1, here's how I scan it:
 
/ WAVES are / STAR SEEK / ing SPEARS / a SONG / bird's SHRILL /
/ trochee / spondee / iamb / iamb / iamb /
 
Tony
 
 

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tonyv
On 2/10/2020 at 5:27 PM, tonyv said:

wish near waters wielding incantations

I've discovered what might be a metrical flaw in the last line.1 I might tweak it a bit. I'm considering
 

wish near these waters wielding incantations

- and -

gather near waters wielding incantations.

 

1. I'll have to look into this and think about it.

 

@eclipse


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A. Baez

Oh, I didn't realize Barry had given you the raw material for the second stanza, as well! No wonder it sounded so fitting!

Usually I am tripped up by unhyphenated compound adjectives preceding nouns (unless the modifiers are familiar phrases, like the "ice cream" in "ice cream cone"). Without a hyphen in S2L1, on first read I was thinking, "'Waves are star'"? Does he mean 'Waves are stars'?" My eyes hadn't even yet gotten to "seeking." Regardless of prevailing taste, to hyphenate in this situation is considered the grammatically correct approach--and for good reason, I think.

Yes, I would scan S2L1 the way you do. Are you considering this line to be IP with two subs? This poem is so full of "subs," if that's what you'd call them, that it's hard for me to even tell what the baseline meter is, if there's supposed to be one. (I count only two lines as perfect IP, for example.) Thus, it's hard for me to see why you object to the existing meter in the last line. To me, it flows more smoothly than the first line of that stanza, regardless of what rules it's supposedly breaking. Personally, I don't consider most of the metrical irregularities, or subs, or whatever you want to call them, in this poem to be amiss; S2L1's are the only ones that really jump out at me--they just sound bumpy.

 

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tonyv
5 hours ago, A. Baez said:

Yes, I would scan S2L1 the way you do. Are you considering this line to be IP with two subs? This poem is so full of "subs," if that's what you'd call them, that it's hard for me to even tell what the baseline meter is, if there's supposed to be one. (I count only two lines as perfect IP, for example.)

Yes, S2L1 is a perfect iambic pentameter even with the two substitutions. I explain it in this topic: Iambic Pentameter.
 

5 hours ago, A. Baez said:

Thus, it's hard for me to see why you object to the existing meter in the last line. To me, it flows more smoothly than the first line of that stanza, regardless of what rules it's supposedly breaking.

That's explained in the topic, too. In a nutshell, the last line starts with a headless iamb. When a line starts with a headless iamb, it should definitely not contain any substitutions. Though it doesn't, it probably should not have the feminine ending, because with the feminine ending the line might actually scan more like a trochaic pentameter!!!

/ WISH near / WAT ers / WIELD ing / IN can / TA tions /
/ trochee / trochee / trochee / trochee / trochee /


On the other hand, these two alternate lines are iambic pentameters:
 

/ WISH near / these WA / ters WIEL / ding IN / can TA / tions
/ trochee / iamb / iamb / iamb / iamb / ^ (feminine ending)
 

/ GA ther / near WA / ters WIEL / ding IN / can TA / tions
/ trochee / iamb / iamb / iamb / iamb / ^ (feminine ending)

 

5 hours ago, A. Baez said:

Personally, I don't consider most of the metrical irregularities, or subs, or whatever you want to call them, in this poem to be amiss

That's because they are not. With the exception of the last line, the other lines are all perfect iambic pentamters. 😉


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dr_con

Wow o Wow. That was indeed an incandescent incantation a masterful recombination. Nice work Tony and Barry!

 

Juris


Gate(less.thumb.png.dc23b19d2478d37a9f6fcdc563973026.pnghttps://conjurd.substack.com/welcome Come on over and check out my poetry substack y'all;-)

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Tinker

Tony and Barry, You two need to join forces more often.  Barry's imagery and Tony's craftsmanship are a winning combination.  Yep double Wow.  I privileged to read and enjoy, there are enough fingers in the stew. 

~~Judi


~~ © ~~ Poems by Judi Van Gorder ~~

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

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A. Baez

Tony--okay; without getting swallowed in research right now, I was using the term "perfect IP" to connote IP with no substitutions, but apparently this is not the correct term--is there one?

Yes, I had read the last line as trochaic pentameter, which contributed to my confusion as to which meter, if any, was the baseline. The essential point of my comments on meter here was that regardless of how many lines, despite their subs, conform to the definition of "perfect IP," when the majority of lines in a poem contain substitutions--especially more than one per line--it greatly dilutes the reader's perception that the poem is, indeed, written in IP. There are no periodic "clear fly zones" in this poem of subless IP that would, at orderly intervals, re-ground the reader in the underlying rhythm. (Again, in this case, I think the effect adds to the poem...except in S2L1 and, to a lesser extent, in the previous two lines.) It may also induce the reader in certain lines to seek metrical counterbalance in ways that may not conform to IP, with or without subs. I think this is what is going on for me in S2L1. The two lines preceding it are way bumpy with subs, and I think that's why S2L1, with its own unique form of bumpiness, struck me as particularly rough, even though it conforms to IP, in a subby kind of way.

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tonyv
1 hour ago, A. Baez said:

Tony--okay; I was using the term "perfect IP" to connote IP with no substitutions, but obviously this is not the correct term--is there one?

Every line that conforms to the "rules" discussed in the linked topic is a perfect IP. One of those rules/guidelines says the number of substitute feet in the line should not outnumber the number of iambs. That means not more than two substitutions in a pentameter. Bear in mind, that some "substitutions" are not true substitutions in this sense if they are treated/counted/scanned as iambs. For example, the pyrrhic/spondee combination [(/pyrrhic/spondee/) known as a double iamb)] is counted as a two iambs. (The most common bonafide substitutions would be trochees and anapests.) What would I call a line with five iambs? Just a plain iambic pentameter. With the exception of the last line I've mentioned, every other line conforms, and therefore is a perfect iambic pentameter.
 

1 hour ago, A. Baez said:

The essential point of my comments on meter here was that regardless of how many lines, despite their subs, conform to the definition of "perfect IP," when the majority of lines in a poem contain substitutions--especially more than one per line--it greatly dilutes the reader's perception that the poem is, indeed, written in IP.

The difference lies between reading the poem and scanning the poem. The reader does not need to perceive the iambic pentameter when merely reading the poem. He could detect it, feel it, but he does not need to know what it is from an abundance of lines composed of five plodding iambs in a row. Yes, one can write poems like that, but think of the iambic rhythm as the underlying "beat" of the poem while the word combinations (together with the substitutions, no more than two per line) provide the syncopation like in a musical composition superimposed upon an underlying beat (also part of the compostion). Does an ordinary listener know what the time signature is when he listens to music? No, he most likely doesn't. But with some study, a listener can break down and analyze the composition and ascertain its time signature. A reader can enjoy a metrical poem simply by reading it. When the reader sets out to scan the poem, he can discover what its meter ("time signature") is.

While I understand your point about "re-grounding" the reader at regular intervals, I disagree that it has to be done by limiting the number of lines that contain substitutions. I find that three iambs per line is enough to accomplish that. You may take a lighter approach when you write metrical verse. As for seeking metrical counterbalance, I've found that even in poems composed by the masters there can be more than one way to read a line even when substitutions are minimal. It makes no difference; I'll read the poem a few times, reading those lines the several ways when I get to them, and often, even when having considered context, I'll conclude that neither way of stressing them is better than the other.

 


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tonyv

PS -- I just consulted with Barry, and he likes one of the options for the last line. I've edited the last line.


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A. Baez

The accepted rules and terminology (both of which are quite arbitrary, after all) of pundits can make one lose sight of the forest for the trees. Regardless of accepted definitions, in a literal sense, I was right on in using the term "perfect IP" to connote IP with no substitutions: anything else is, indeed, either not perfectly (i.e., completely) iambic, or perfectly (i.e., completely) pentameter. But call it "plain," if you prefer!

I don't argue with any of your points about underlying iambic pentameter. Grounding is a relative thing, and as I said, I don't feel that more is necessary in this poem. It is only my assessment of Ls 7-9 and the last line, based on these points, that differs from yours. Regarding your concerns about the last line, my own conclusion is that when there is so little grounding in the poem to begin with, whether that last line is IP or TP--with the unclarity hinging on just one syllable that is omitted or that might be added--borders on the irrelevant. Does it make sense to be so pedantic about a meter that is so subliminal? You yourself said

Quote

The difference lies between reading the poem and scanning the poem.

The impressions I voiced spring largely from the former. You may be missing such impressions because you have gotten so caught up in the technicalities of scansion. In my view, your scansion-centric "lens" has caused you to place too much emphasis on some metrical questions, and not enough emphasis on others.

19 hours ago, A. Baez said:

Personally, I don't consider most of the metrical irregularities, or subs, or whatever you want to call them, in this poem to be amiss

Quote

That's because they are not. With the exception of the last line, the other lines are all perfect iambic pentameters.

I said that only because I have seen many, many poets who would make all kinds of fuss at all the subs in this poem.

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tonyv
48 minutes ago, A. Baez said:

The accepted rules and terminology (both of which are quite arbitrary, after all) of pundits can make one lose sight of the forest for the trees. Regardless of accepted definitions, in a literal sense, I was right on in using the term "perfect IP" to connote IP with no substitutions: anything else is, indeed, either not perfectly (i.e., completely) iambic, or perfectly (i.e., completely) pentameter. But call it "plain," if you prefer!

You asked me:

3 hours ago, A. Baez said:

Tony--okay; without getting swallowed in research right now, I was using the term "perfect IP" to connote IP with no substitutions, but apparently this is not the correct term--is there one?

 

48 minutes ago, A. Baez said:

I don't argue with any of your points about underlying iambic pentameter. Grounding is a relative thing, and as I said, I don't feel that more is necessary in this poem. It is only my assessment of Ls 7-9 and the last line, based on these points, that differs from yours.

I've seen you take issue with L9, but this is the first where you've brought up 7 & 8. I, personally have no issue with L9, but I have noted to myself that in L6-L8 the meter is barely detectable, yet it still sounds natural. The point? There's nothing wrong with a completely natural sound/reading in a metrical poem.
 

48 minutes ago, A. Baez said:

Regarding your concerns about the last line, my own conclusion is that when there is so little grounding in the poem to begin with, whether that last line is IP or TP--with the unclarity hinging on just one syllable that is omitted or that might be added--borders on the irrelevant. Does it make sense to be so pedantic about a meter that is so subliminal?

In my opinion, yes. I don't have much patience for flawed meter. Thus, I've fixed the last line.

While I very much enjoy and value your input, I'm not sure what you would suggest I/we do as far as the lines you've taken issue with are concerned. Rewrite them? That ain't gonna happen. Barry needs this poem for a contest, and the deadline is near. We don't have decades to re-work those lines. If you don't care for them, that's fine. I get it. But I disagree with your implied approach when it comes to meter (e.g. substitutions should be used in moderation: "the rules may as well be broken when you follow them since you've failed to exercise moderation when following them"). I encourage you to post your own "remix" of this poem. I don't just mean "fixing" those lines, I mean completely. If yours is "better," I won't be offended.


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Tinker

From one who struggles with meter all of the time, I have to say, I rarely scan a line unless I am specifically attempting to emulate a particular form with specified meter.   But for the most part,  I read the poem out loud and listen to the rhythm.   Usually meter and rhythm go hand in hand and as long as the musicality is there, I'm happy.    I think scansion is a foreign word to most contemporary poets.  

~~Judi 


~~ © ~~ Poems by Judi Van Gorder ~~

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

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tonyv
9 hours ago, dr_con said:

Wow o Wow. That was indeed an incandescent incantation a masterful recombination. Nice work Tony and Barry!

 

Juris

Thank you, Juris. I'm excited you stopped in on this one, with your kind reply.

Tony :happy:


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tonyv
9 hours ago, Tinker said:

Tony and Barry, You two need to join forces more often.  Barry's imagery and Tony's craftsmanship are a winning combination.  Yep double Wow.  I privileged to read and enjoy, there are enough fingers in the stew. 

~~Judi

And thank you, Judi. I love this kind of collaboration. Most people here at PMO are much more prolific than I, so if I can bring something to the table, add to it in some small way, I'm thrilled.

Tony


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A. Baez

Tony, sorry I missed your reply before. I was mainly airing my opinions about the importance, or lack thereof, of getting the last line's meter "right" in the spirit of philosophical debate, not practical application. I think all of your versions of the line work quite well; applying Judi's metric, which is also fundamentally mine, "the music is there." As I said before, my observation about the relative bumpiness of certain other lines wasn't meant to suggest that they are flawed or that they be rewritten. Rather, I meant to put in a different, arguably broader context your concerns about the last line. In addressing these philosophical questions, we have expressed somewhat different leanings, yours more technical and mine more intuitive. I believe there's validity in both.

If I were to rewrite anything, it would be the phrase starting "spring reaches," mainly because, though the imagery is captivating, I don't understand what it means (as I had mentioned earlier). Then, along the way, I would try to regularize the meter a bit, if only as a matter of personal taste. However, I consider such matters to be strictly the purview of the author, who seems contented with the current version.

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tonyv
9 hours ago, A. Baez said:

Tony, sorry I missed your reply before. I was mainly airing my opinions about the importance, or lack thereof, of getting the last line's meter "right" in the spirit of philosophical debate, not practical application. I think all of your versions of the line work quite well; applying Judi's metric, which is also fundamentally mine, "the music is there." As I said before, my observation about the relative bumpiness of certain other lines wasn't meant to suggest that they are flawed or that they be rewritten. Rather, I meant to put in a different, arguably broader context your concerns about the last line. In addressing these philosophical questions, we have expressed somewhat different leanings, yours more technical and mine more intuitive. I believe there's validity in both.

If I were to rewrite anything, it would be the phrase starting "spring reaches," mainly because, though the imagery is captivating, I don't understand what it means (as I had mentioned earlier). Then, along the way, I would try to regularize the meter a bit, if only as a matter of personal taste. However, I consider such matters to be strictly the purview of the author, who seems contented with the current version.

I love your reply -- thank you.

Respect,

Tony


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A. Baez

Awesome! Just curious, am I the only one here who doesn't understand this?

spring 

reaches out from a mirror to retrieve

and to put back the broken piece of glass.

 

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tonyv
14 hours ago, A. Baez said:

Awesome! Just curious, am I the only one here who doesn't understand this?

spring 

reaches out from a mirror to retrieve

and to put back the broken piece of glass.

 

I presumed it was an obscure allusion. The poem is set in a very specific place, Tentsmuir, and it could be a reference locals would recognize. A while back, Phil wrote a poem that mentioned a specific rock. I can't remember what it was -- quartz, maybe? I don't know, I searched @badger11's poems and couldn't find it -- but I could not figure out what the point was of mentioning that specific type of stone. Phil replied that the stone was local to that area.


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A. Baez

Tony, I see! I had imagined that it was a metaphor about something like spring making herself able to see herself more clearly again, but that just doesn't make a lot of sense. @eclipse, what is the answer?

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tonyv
5 minutes ago, A. Baez said:

Tony, I see! I had imagined that it was a metaphor about something like spring making herself able to see herself more clearly again, but that just doesn't make a lot of sense. @eclipse, what is the answer?

Just a guess on my part. But we have some access to the author, so we'll ask. Inquiring minds want to know. Paging Barry! 😃


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