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Poetry Magnum Opus

Here is no myth


Benjamin

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Here is no myth, no anvil for an ancient limping god:

but night teemed slag that splits the air in two.

Vivid bursts of orange fire paint the base of moontopped clouds

then dwindle slowly as each stroke is pacified.

And flakes of sparkling graphite waft through galleries of eerie mills;

fall constantly, past arcs of cruel halogen light.

A boom and roar of background noise prevails

and stale coke gases climb the twisted air.

Gondolas in the rooftop move. Rumbling overhead cranes

that rattle and shake the steel-clad heights,

as metric ladles with their liquid tonnes of steel roll by.

Figures of men, fiendishly dressed, work on

around the clock and curse each day

with fine gray dust, that falls on every thing.

 

And in the frantic town their inept siblings move.

Unsmiling people pinched of face,

who scurry about their busy ways.

Young and old, all old under the skin.

Hooded jeans clad figures, jostle through the crowds;

ubiquitous cell phones cupped to ears

and eye-contact, at all cost is avoided.

Take-aways and kebab houses of burgeoning nationalities

ply their aromatic wares among the pub-infested streets,

and music pounds from passing open windowed cars.

Refuse disposal trucks repeat their endless task

of beeping in reverse.They validate a claim of immortality

by tilting loads that laugh up at the gods,

then shrink-back to a frame be-fitting of this modern age,

and fine grey dust now falls from every thing.

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Benjamin,

 

There's a plethora of inconsequential details that could be brought up at some other time. Not now. What strikes me are the number of amazing parallels (surely intended?) with the daily world of ancient Rome. Leaving aside the modern technology you leave very little to choose between then and now. I could be wrong - happens a lot - but this time I don't think so. I think it's the sense of implacability, the bull-headed will to go forward at any cost that triggers the connection. Are you saying that America is the inheritor of Rome? Well, no, you don't. You leave the whole thing up in the air. This is a very disturbing poem in consequence. One can treat it as a one-off but there is a definite sense that there are unspoken parallels and that there is more to it than what you reveal.

 

I tend to read (and write) between the lines, so if I am reading too much into this piece, forgive me.

 

Best wishes,

Brendan

Drown your sorrows in drink, by all means, but the real sorrows can swim

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"Vivid bursts of orange fire, that paint the base of moontopped clouds

then slowly dwindle, as each stroke is pacified.

And flakes of sparkling graphite waft through galleries of eerie mills;

fall constantly, past arcs of cruel halogen light."

 

Wowsers, G! I must say I know of nobody who gets better mileage from the English language than you. Your word useage and combinations of phrases is amazing. It would be impossible for me to read your work and not have a mental picture so clear I could paint it, if indeed, I could paint.

 

As with most of your work, I will read this again, probably many times.

 

mq

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Brendan.

Thank you for reading and commenting. I confess this is a little self-indulgent both in content and composition. I've tried to leave it open to interpretation in spite of the graphic language. Antiquity is fascinating, from myths to modern archeology and it's learned assumptions. For example, the ancient Greeks were probably more interested in trade routes and a sniff of the early smelting of iron, than the chastity of Helen. These days it's oil. The perception of America's parallels with Rome is interesting. The poem itself is something of an experiment which I enjoyed writing. Regards. Benjamin

 

Moonqueen. Thanks for reading, I'm pleased that you're inclined to want to read it over. The reaction I usually get from my wife when I try and add such mileage to my view is usually a terse "STOP GOING ON!"” :-8) G.

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Brendan.

Thank you for reading and commenting. I confess this is a little self-indulgent both in content and composition. I've tried to leave it open to interpretation in spite of the graphic language. Antiquity is fascinating, from myths to modern archeology and it's learned assumptions. For example, the ancient Greeks were probably more interested in trade routes and a sniff of the early smelting of iron, than the chastity of Helen. These days it's oil. Your perception of my belief that America has parallels with Rome is correct. The poem itself is something of an experiment which I enjoyed writing. Regards. Benjamin

 

Moonqueen. Thanks for reading, I'm pleased that you're inclined to want to read it over. The reaction I usually get from my wife when I try and add such mileage to my view is usually a terse "STOP GOING ON!" :-8) G.

 

I think many of us find our spouses not as impressed with us as we are with ourselves. laughing.

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I don't see the Roman connection nor do I want to. To me, this is like Carl Sandburg's "Chicago" (first verse) meets a modern day version of Eliot's "The Waste Land" (his "Unreal World") and "Preludes" (second verse). I love the industrial age images.

 

Tony

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

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Larsen M. Callirhoe

i do see a little bit of the analogy of the way things were as coming up again in a different perspective & light.

 

+Victor Michael

Larsen M. Callirhoe

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Hello Tony and thanks for reading. Your point is taken. England had a population of around seven million people at the beginning of the industrial revolution. We now have a population of some 61 million. This small overcrowded island used to be called "the workshop of the world" at the height of it's industrial might. The pictures painted here I have witnessed in my lifetime. Less than five miles apart stands a stately country hall in many acres. It was the childhood family home of our current prime minister's wife. There is a deer park, woods,streams and ponds where mallard ducks, birds and swans thrive. A stocked lake for anglers: walled bowers, riding stables; and peacocks wander freely among carefully landscaped gardens. There is a pet cemetery where the family dogs were buried since the early nineteenth century. All of this is now publicly owned and open to the public, (including myself) who enjoy brass bands on idyllic summer afternoons, steam engine rallys, children's playparks, concerts, weddings and many other functions. Writing of these things would perhaps have been more pleasant. To quote Charles Kingsley (The Last Buccaneer) may be out of context, though it popped to mind. "Oh England is a pleasant place for them that's rich and high; But England is a cruel place for such poor folk as I." Gives another aspect perhaps. Benjamin.

 

Larsen +Victor Michael. My thanks also to you for reading.

 

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