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Hubris


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Hubris

That foggy decade past
you were a headset voice --
we said a lot of things
and had so much to prove
we wrote a lot of poems
that always had the groove --
but now, you're losing me;
and if I were not strong
I would be someone else
admitting that he's wrong,
that you are leaving me.

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Tony,  Are you writing more or just sharing more?   This image had me hearing voices.

19 hours ago, tonyv said:

you were a headset voice --


This is a tight little gem that has me wondering who would leave you.  

~~Judi

~~ © ~~ Poems by Judi Van Gorder ~~

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

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7 minutes ago, Tinker said:

Tony,  Are you writing more or just sharing more?   This image had me hearing voices.


This is a tight little gem that has me wondering who would leave you.  

~~Judi

Judi, you're too kind. Any sane person would.

Tony 😀

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3 hours ago, Tinker said:

This is a tight little gem that has me wondering who would leave you.  

On the other hand, check out the boss change in the last line, Judi.

Tony 😉

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Don't know what the original was, but thrust of the poem indicates that the 'fog' has cleared. The 'we'  drifting apart. Liked that internalised feel of 'headset voice'. Great title.

enjoyed

Phil

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21 hours ago, badger11 said:

Don't know what the original was ...

I changed the last line from "you're leaving me" to "you're losing me."

21 hours ago, badger11 said:

Great title.

enjoyed

Thank you, Phil.

Tony

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"Headset voice" is interesting. Does this mean she (?) was the station you were tuned into?

I like the flow of everything up till the last line. It had felt like you were slowly laying the groundwork for some well-developed point, but then, thump. The ending feels inconclusive, and not in a dramatic way: it's more like you were typing and then suddenly you looked at your watch and realized you had to leave for work.

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Thank you, A. Baez, for reading and your thoughts.

On 1/23/2020 at 3:23 AM, A. Baez said:

"Headset voice" is interesting. Does this mean she (?) was the station you were tuned into?

No, it would be more along the lines of a Skype call.

On 1/23/2020 at 3:23 AM, A. Baez said:

I like the flow of everything up till the last line. It had felt like you were slowly laying the groundwork for some well-developed point, but then, thump.

I agree and thought so myself from the beginning. I want(ed) to end the poem, and I wasn't happy with the underwhelming dropoff. I'll leave it at that until I come up with a replacement line (or at the most two), and then I'll notify when I edit the poem.

On 1/23/2020 at 3:23 AM, A. Baez said:

The ending feels inconclusive, and not in a dramatic way: it's more like you were typing and then suddenly you looked at your watch and realized you had to leave for work.

Work would be a bit of the sretch, more likely the club lol.

With appreciation,

Tony

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Oh, I see! The headset was a literal thing!

Quote

I'll leave it at that until I come up with a replacement line (or at the most two), and then I'll notify when I edit the poem.

I'm glad you agree with my thought on this. It's hard for me to imagine how any one line could possibly make this poem feel finished, though. Maybe two, if the lines were just right, but my instinct expects a good seven or so more to really take this where it seems to want to go.  

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On 1/25/2020 at 1:35 PM, A. Baez said:

Maybe two, if the lines were just right, but my instinct expects a good seven or so more to really take this where it seems to want to go.

I've taken your assessment of incomplete to heart and added lines eight to eleven. It's neither two nor seven, it's right in the middle: four.

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Okay, that is awesome, Tony!! You did all that was needed in those added lines, delivering a powerful rhetorical curveball thwop and turning the relatively nondescript preceding text into something much bigger--more resonant and universal. I must say, those new lines give the poem such a Frostian tone, with their pellucid depth; their confessional, lyrical, sonic, structural, "surprise," and understatedly ironic qualities, that it's almost like you're making it up to him for that sendup you did of his "The Pasture."

I just wish I could see some kind of punctuation after "prove." You have it everywhere else it's called for.

I so love the sense of compression you give with "strong/wrong" quickly following the more leisurely-unveiled pair of "prove" and "groove." Great job. 👍👍👍

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20 hours ago, A. Baez said:

Okay, that is awesome, Tony!! You did all that was needed in those added lines, delivering a powerful rhetorical curveball thwop and turning the relatively nondescript preceding text into something much bigger--more resonant and universal. I must say, those new lines give the poem such a Frostian tone, with their pellucid depth; their confessional, lyrical, sonic, structural, "surprise," and understatedly ironic qualities, that it's almost like you're making it up to him for that sendup you did of his "The Pasture."

I just wish I could see some kind of punctuation after "prove." You have it everywhere else it's called for.

I so love the sense of compression you give with "strong/wrong" quickly following the more leisurely-unveiled pair of "prove" and "groove." Great job. 👍👍👍

Thank you, A. Baez, for the encouragement and this first-rate reply. I couldn't have said it better myself. :happy:
 

20 hours ago, A. Baez said:

I just wish I could see some kind of punctuation after "prove." You have it everywhere else it's called for.

I purposely left it out, because I so wanted to use "so" as a degree modifier:

we said a lot of things
and had so much to prove
(that) we wrote a lot of poems
that always had the groove

I didn't want to use it the way people always, informally, do when they mean "very." (I never use "so" when I mean "very.") 😉

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Regarding "so/prove"--I see--that's not how I took it. Your intended meaning is more interesting. I think a comma after "prove" would convey this. Certainly, the voice pauses in such a context. 

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8 minutes ago, A. Baez said:

Regarding "so/prove"--I see--that's not how I took it. I think a comma after "prove" would convey your desired meaning. Certainly, the voice pauses in such a context. 

I will defer to your knowledge of grammar/punctuation. Comma added -- thank you.

Tony

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Actually, sorry--I just looked up this situation and found that what I recommended is incorrect! One must punctuate such a sentence as if all the implied words were present, and a comma must never be used simply to indicate a verbal pause. I see your desire to omit "that" for metrical reasons, but I'm afraid that for clarity in the existing sentence, you need it. However, a reconfiguration of the words that follow could achieve a solution.

I just want to extend my sympathies because I run into this type of situation a lot in my own writing, and often, I find that an illegal comma does not even have the redeeming value of improving clarity.

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9 minutes ago, A. Baez said:

Actually, sorry--I just looked up this situation and found that what I recommended is incorrect! One must punctuate such a sentence as if all the implied words were present, and a comma must never be used simply to indicate a verbal pause. I see your desire to omit "that" for metrical reasons, but I'm afraid that for clarity in the existing sentence, you need it. However, a reconfiguration of the words that follow could achieve a solution.

I just want to extend my sympathies because I run into this type of situation a lot in my own writing, and often, I find that an illegal comma does not even have the redeeming value of improving clarity.

Well, in that case, the comma is out. I'm okay with the "implied word" omission (great characterization -- I didn't know what to call it other than perhaps informal speech/writing) at the expense of crystaline clarity; I don't see it as a fatal flaw. In any case, thank you, again, for your hard work, the extra effort, research, thought you've put into it.

With appreciation,

Tony

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I got "implied word" from one of the websites I consulted. Initially I was not confident that I could actually find info on this question, so I had held back on researching, but when you said you deferred to my knowledge, I felt obliged to make sure that that trust was not misplaced! 😁 Then after awhile, lo and behold, I found what I was looking for. I'm really glad to get clarity on this point myself. I really do need to do a thorough review of grammar and punctuation rules, so this research was mutually beneficial.

If it were my poem, I might be inclined to try "That we wrote lots of poems/Which always had the groove" in order to get across the nice nuance of your intended meaning.

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I have found in The Chicago Manual of Style and on the site ProWritingAid what could be construed as endorsements of my initial advice to you. In the latter's exhaustive list of when commas should be used in a sentence is this item: "When a word is omitted intentionally for stylistic reasons." However, neither source's examples of this guideline resemble the case we've been discussing, so I'm not sure if the rule is really applicable here.

Then again, the Manual also says that "Aside from [the few obligatory rules of comma usage], the use of the comma is mainly a matter of good judgement, with ease of reading the end in view." This is exactly the opposite of what the source I'd cited earlier said!

So, it seems that the confusion is definitive.

 

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And you've just disproved the maxim of William Carlos Williams that there's "no ideas but in things".

 

Losing and leaving.....gut punches.

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On 2/23/2020 at 3:19 PM, A. Baez said:

I have found in The Chicago Manual of Style and on the site ProWritingAid what could be construed as endorsements of my initial advice to you. In the latter's exhaustive list of when commas should be used in a sentence is this item: "When a word is omitted intentionally for stylistic reasons." However, neither source's examples of this guideline resemble the case we've been discussing, so I'm not sure if the rule is really applicable here.

Then again, the Manual also says that "Aside from [the few obligatory rules of comma usage], the use of the comma is mainly a matter of good judgement, with ease of reading the end in view." This is exactly the opposite of what the source I'd cited earlier said!

So, it seems that the confusion is definitive.

 

I like options, and based upon your research, in many cases it comes down to matters of style (options). I'll leave out the comma and use an analogy/example to illustrate why (my intent):

I was so hungry (that) I ate all the food.

We had so much to say and prove (that) we wrote a lot of poems.

Thanks so1 much for returning and looking into it more. I'm of the school of thought that grammar and punctuation matter, as do matters of style. That's where it comes down to craft.

Tony


1. Informal usage. How much? So much! 😄 Or did I mean "very" ... :unsure::tongue:

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On 2/24/2020 at 6:58 PM, dcmarti1 said:

And you've just disproved the maxim of William Carlos Williams that there's "no ideas but in things".

 

Losing and leaving.....gut punches.

After reading your reply, I read up some more about Williams' maxim. While there's a lot to like in what it suggests, there are other, limitless, possibilities!

Thank you, Marti.

Tony :happy:

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A. Baez
Quote

I was so hungry (that) I ate all the food.

We had so much to say and prove (that) we wrote a lot of poems.

Why did you change your phraseology in the second example? There, you've made the causal relationship between clauses clearer than it is in your poem's version, though I'd argue it's still not clear enough. In any case, to be perfectly scientific, let's compare your example #1 with the original version of example #2, and in the fuller context of the entire statement in which it's embedded:
 

Quote

I was so hungry (that) I ate all the food.

we said a lot of things
and had so much to prove (that)
we wrote a lot of poems
that always had the groove

In your poem,  by the time you bring up "proving," you've already told us that you and the lady had "said a lot of things." This seems to make it less likely that you two then went on to try to "prove" more things through the written word--poetry. Furthermore, while eating food is a common response to feeling hungry, writing poems is not so common a response to having a lot to prove. In fact, it is rather a stretch, at least in my universe--though not, I suppose, in that of the slam poet. Also, I don't equate poems that "prove so much" with poems that "have the groove." The former sounds aggressive, confrontational; the latter, mellow and harmonious ("groovy"). Finally, the causal relationship between proving and poetizing is further eroded by the sheer length of this whole phrase, which is, in turn, embedded in a sentence that's even larger.

I'm curious what you'd object to in "That we wrote lots of poems/Which always had the groove." It would alleviate at least many of these issues.

Of course, it's up to you how you want to roll with this, but I'm tellin' ya, if you leave it as is, I bet that you are going to be one of the only readers who understands it as you intend it. For all readers who do not, they will perceive what appears to be an awkward semicolon omission after "prove." 

Quote

Thanks so1 much for returning and looking into it more. I'm of the school of thought that grammar and punctuation matter, as do matters of style. That's where it comes down to craft.

Yes indeed--in this respect, we are both relics in our own time. 😉 Initially prompted by the above question, I wound up spending hours last weekend reviewing grammar and punctuation rules (many of which I last studied in second grade), and I even ordered the 18th edition of the Chicago Manual. (I recently inherited the 14th edition from my father, who was an editor.) I hadn't realized how unclear I had been on so many points. Now, I'm finding myself questioning my decisions with every comma, semicolon, and em dash--or lack thereof. As to "Thanks so much," that's yet another phrase to which I've become so accustomed that I'd quite lost sight of the fact that it is not strictly correct.

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1 hour ago, A. Baez said:

Why did you change your phraseology in the second example? There, you've made the causal relationship between clauses clearer than it is in your poem's version, though I'd argue it's still not clear enough.

Yes, I paraphrased it. 😀 I just dumbed it down (not for you, for the drive-by reader). The sentence within the sentence I crafted is certainly more complex than the example. 
 

1 hour ago, A. Baez said:

In your poem,  by the time you bring up "proving," you've already told us that you and the lady had "said a lot of things." This seems to make it less likely that you two then went on to try to "prove" more things through the written word--poetry.

The "groove" I'm referring to is more of an expression to mean the poems were good, of top-shelf quality (as opposed to much of the rubbish I generate today).
 

1 hour ago, A. Baez said:

I'm curious what you'd object to in "That we wrote lots of poems/Which always had the groove." It would alleviate at least many of these issues.

It would be a line of iambic tetrameter amongst lines of iambic trimeter. (No patience for flawed meter. 😃) I know I can change some lines in the poem that would work metrically, but I don't like them, because I see them as weaker. Two examples:

1.

That foggy decade past
you were a headset voice --
we said a lot of things
and had a lot to prove
and wrote a lot of poems
that always had the groove --
but now, you're losing me;
and if I were not strong
I would be someone else
admitting that he's wrong,
that you are leaving me.

2.

That foggy decade past
you were a headset voice --
we said a lot of things
and had a lot to prove,                      [comma or semicolon]
we wrote a lot of poems
that always had the groove --
but now, you're losing me;
and if I were not strong
I would be someone else
admitting that he's wrong,
that you are leaving me.

I don't like example 1 at all. Example 2 is okay, but I still like my controversial way in the original the most.

 

1 hour ago, A. Baez said:

Of course, it's up to you how you want to roll with this, but I'm tellin' ya, if you leave it as is, I bet that you are going to be one of the only readers who understands it as you intend it. For all readers who do not, they will perceive what appears to be an awkward semicolon omission after "prove." 

I do believe you, but I might be okay with that. I will think about it some more.

This discussion has been mostly to benefit the likes of me and you. I might be a bit of an elitist snob, but most people probably can't even reach this level of thought and discussion whether it has to do with poetry, politics (esp. current events), philosophy, etc. And that's okay -- not saying it in a bad way; I, myself, am stupid in a lot of ways. But as I've said before, my poetry isn't for everyone. And if my poetry is anything like what I've said to people about other matters in the past, it might not be for anyone considering the blank stares and complete lack of comprehension most people I come into contact with often exhibit when I'm asked to join a conversation. I just smile and nod my head when I listen to all the "experts"-in-everything around me, who in the past have discounted what I've had to stay (with things like "Put your tinfoil hat back on!") yet now profess to minister to me (e.g. "Did you see what they are doing?!?!?") after they see something on mainstream media that I warned them about decades ago. I just laugh and let them talk. Me: "This is the world you created." 😃

Thank you very1 much,

Tony :happy:

1. It's okay if we say "so" in a reply ...

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