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A poem For E. (revised)


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Hailstones stinging her skin a sunburnt red.

God's spite, her lover said. She seeks respite,

shelters under the sinning tree; its fruit

russet ripe, maggot bright. The sky broods.

 

Is it God that smothers the light? she asks.

The clouds translate to blue, the pools

smooth with heaven above. Her lover splashes

defiance, creates mirrors muddy with life.

 

He laughs a liquid embrace, coils her soul

with an eternity of sinuous delight.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

 

original

 

Hailstones stinging her skin a sunburnt red.

God’s spite her lover said. She seeks respite,

shelters under the sinning tree, the fruit

russet ripe, maggot bright. The sky broods.

 

Is it God that smothers the light? She asks.

The clouds translate to blue, the pools

smooth with heaven above. Her lover splashes

Defiance, creates mirrors muddy with life.

 

He laughs a liquid embrace, coils her soul

with an eternity of sinuous delight.

 

 

-------------------------------------------

 

All comments appreciated, critical or otherwise :0)

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This poem expresses the human condition in a way in which I can relate. The lovers are both conscious of the "sin," albeit each in their own way. While he understands the ramifications a little better, she knows just that it's a sin. Her naivety encourages him to go on ...

 

Tony

 

 

PS -- I like the title. For me, it makes it even more real.

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

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Thank you for your poem Tony. Why don't you post it here? A vengeful God? Depends on your perspective...and who you feel embodies the voice of 'seduction'.

 

badge :0)

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Thank you for your poem Tony. Why don't you post it here? A vengeful God? Depends on your perspective...and who you feel embodies the voice of 'seduction'.

 

badge :0)

 

Perhaps so, but I think I should change the pronouns in the last two lines to she and her ... for clarity.

 

Tony

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

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I don't believe in comments that would be thought as either critical or otherwise, for those alternatives then can be equated to pudowns or high praise. It is common to use the term 'critique' which calls for comments that are analytical and provide the author with thoughts about which parts of the poem contribute to its strength or to dilute it.

My overall reaction to this poem is that it intrigues me, i.e., I find nothing really objectionable about what it is about. Nevertheless, it seems to me to lack a connectivity, esp. in the sense who is who or when is it "he" and when is it "her". You seem to talk abote Eve and the serpent and God and Adam, and I like your interpretation of the "fall", if that is what you are trying to depict. But I cannot be sure and I do not subscribe to the view that a poem should be written so that each reader can interpret it her/is way. It is after all your poem one meant to share with others your feelings/emotions/attitudes/dreams/etc.

 

I love just about every line of the poem and most of it is masterly/well written. I have but few ideas best shown by an edited, by me, copy of it and comments why I think as I do in footnotes.

 

Hailstones sting
ing
her skin a sunburnt red. 1]

God’s spite
,
her lover said. She seeks respite, 2]

shelters under the sinning tree,
the fruit
3]

russet ripe, maggot bright. The sky broods.

 

Is it God that smothers the light?
s
he asks. 4]

The clouds
translate
to blue, the pools 5]

smooth
with heaven above. Her lover splashes 6]

d
efiance, creates mirrors muddy with life. 7]

 

He laughs a liquid embrace
, coils her soul 8]

with an eternity of sinuous delight.

 

 

-------------------------------------------

 

All comments appreciated, critical or otherwise :0)

 

1] Verbs in continuous tense can seem weak in comparison unless there is a truly ongoing action. If there was, she would have no skin left, methinks.

2] An informal quote should be separated by comma from the naming of the speaker. No quotation marks needed.

3] I really like the image but I can see two ways to make it more structured, e.g., 'tree, its fruit' or 'tree, the fruit is', before the line break. The strength and beauty of this utterance includes a transition from one subject (and its sentece), her, to another, the tree. The second part needs to be more easily recognized as such.

4] see 2]

5] Structure as in 3]. Anglo-Saxon word "changes" instead of the Latinate 'stranger' "translates" whose prime denotation is "carries over/across", which is OK if that is your intention and I am misreading it.

6] Per structure I mentioned above, it seems that that should be "smoothes" (a verb is needed methinks), or am I again misreading your intention?

7] Looks like a run-on of the preceding line or should that one have a period at its end?

8] Another string of neat tropes However, while most of the poem has the elegance of simple words, I find the notion of voicing a physical entity a bit of overreach. Why not "his laughter is/offers a liquid embrace or something like that to conserve those marvelous notions laugh-liquid embrace. Again, that marvelous two part utterance.

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Nick Tselepides

A fine poem and one of Badger's best.

 

Waxwings has some difficulties as he is not familiar with Badger's British diction and his particular way of condensing things. I think that Waxwings would prefer the words more stretched out and more clear to him, perhaps. But that would flatten the poem and weaken it.

 

Nothing wrong with the present continuous participle here. It is a source of strength, as always with all forms of this tense.

 

"Critique" is a word I hate. I prefer the old-fashioned word :criticism. It means the same thing and it respects the language. "Critique" is an absurd carry-over from French and it is an internet-born word--you will rarely see it in printed books, as most editors dislike it.

 

Thanks Badge--I am saving a copy of this in a folder I have with many of your gems.

 

icon_biggrin.png

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Perhaps so, but I think I should change the pronouns in the last two lines to she and her ... for clarity

 

Tony you are such a romantic icon_biggrin.png

 

Who seduced E. to give her the taste of knowledge? ;0)

 

badge

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One of the joys of the internet is to find such a generous reader as yourself WW. One of the fascinating aspects of your reply is that it confronted some of my conscious choices.

 

You seem to talk about all: Eve, the serpent, the apple, Adam and God. I like your slant, interpretation of the "fall", if that is what you are trying to depict.

 

The inference was intentional, but the choices and circumstances are ever present.

 

Verbs in continuous tense can seem weak in comparison unless there is a truly ongoing action. If there was, she would have no skin left, methinks.

 

My verb choice tends to be governed by 'immediacy': originally I had 'stings', but the 'continuous tense' was more intense for me (loved your notion of some punishment that was like eternal damnation).

 

 

I really like the image but I can see two ways to make it more structured, e.g., 'tree, its fruit' or 'tree, the fruit is', before the line break. The strength and beauty of this utterance includes a transition from one subject (and its sentece), her, to another, the tree. The second part needs to be more easily recognized as such.

 

Yes, I feel there's some unresolved weakness here: originally I used 'apples', but prefered the focus of 'the fruit' ( perhaps some sexuality of the 'forbidden fruit' too)

 

An informal quote should be separated by comma from the naming of the speaker. No quotation marks needed

 

Yes, I can see how grammer and punctuation would provide clarity rather than clutter. The capitalising of 'Defiance' was a Blake touch, but is probably too isolated to function in that way. The capitalising of 'She' was the pause that appeared in my head between the question and the person who asked. Again probably too idiosyncratic a choice.

 

Structure as in 3]. Anglo-Saxon word "changes" instead of the Latinate 'stranger' "translates" whose prime denotation is "carries over/across", which is OK if that is your intention and I am misreading it.

 

A key moment of choice I felt: spiritual and sensual. Also how perspective and belief interpret our world and give meaning.

 

Once again many thanks WW. Your thoughts remind me that poems are for communication not an internal dialogue.

 

badge

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Thank you for your encouragement Nick. It means a lot to me, though obviously my hope is always to be less 'poetic'.

 

"Critique" is a word I hate. I prefer the old-fashioned word :criticism. It means the same thing and it respects the language. "Critique" is an absurd carry-over from French and it is an internet-born word--you will rarely see it in printed books, as most editors dislike it.

 

I was being a little 'mischievous'. As a product of the British University system - one of the first books I read on the subject was by I A Richards - I tend to use 'criticism' in the 'old fashioned sense' and recognise 'critique' as a product of the internet. Still that's the inevitability of language evolution...;0)

 

Badge in evolutionary mode icon_lol.gif

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Nick Tselepides

Bagde,

 

Oh Yes, I did I.A. Richards are university too. He seemed to be the Bible of criticism and must have been taught in most universities. The only thing I remember from him is something about "suspended disbelief" or something similar. He was not easy to read.

 

That said, your poem remains a fine piece as it is.

icon_biggrin.pngicon_smile.gif

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Thank you for your encouragement Nick. It means a lot to me, though obviously my hope is always to be less 'poetic'.

 

"Critique" is a word I hate. I prefer the old-fashioned word :criticism. It means the same thing and it respects the language. "Critique" is an absurd carry-over from French and it is an internet-born word--you will rarely see it in printed books, as most editors dislike it.

 

I was being a little 'mischievous'. As a product of the British University system - one of the first books I read on the subject was by I A Richards - I tend to use 'criticism' in the 'old fashioned sense' and recognise 'critique' as a product of the internet. Still that's the inevitability of language evolution...;0)

 

Badge in evolutionary mode icon_lol.gif

 

It may be necessary to recollect that criticism is a literary discipline pursued by critics, and critique is to cricism as poem is to poetry. I fail to see any need to hate any word in the dictionary as Nick feels one could.

 

The term criticism was and has been used in parallel with critique but has had, in the public eye, the strong connotation of "the act of passing severe judgement; censure; faultfinding; while critique is meant, among other things, to denote a "detailed evaluation; review."

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I am quoting only the pertinent to my thinkig parts of all you say, badge

 

badger11 wrote:

 

One of the joys of the internet is to find such a generous reader as yourself WW. One of the fascinating aspects of your reply is that it confronted some of my conscious choices.

 

The inference [my listing of Eve etc. (ww)] was intentional, but the choices and circumstances are ever present.

 

Thanks for seeing my intentions as strictly benevolent. I find the inferenc and your clarification charming.

 

My verb choice tends to be governed by 'immediacy': originally I had 'stings', but the 'continuous tense' was more intense for me (loved your notion of some punishment that was like eternal damnation).

 

As I said, each tense has its proper use. In this case either would pass, but present tense is said (and by those more knowledgable than I) to be more immediate because it infuses a feeling of done-ness and not stringing out the reader as to will-it-or-will-it-not happen.

 

Yes, I feel there's some unresolved weakness here: originally I used 'apples', but prefered the focus of 'the fruit' ( perhaps some sexuality of the 'forbidden fruit' too)

 

I agree, because I have heard that "apple" may be an adaptation for sake of those in Northern climes.What is more pertinent is that "forbidden fruit" is a nice alliteration, a trope that definitely makes the line stronger poetically, and that is how we traditionally have been told.

 

Yes, I can see how grammer and punctuation would provide clarity rather than clutter.

 

Not quite sure why you accuse icon_sad.gif me of faultin your "grammar" icon_redface.gif , but, as for punctuation, it helps keep the syntax clear, and, yes, syntax is a sub-discipline of grammar.

 

Below is you response to by questioning of the use of "translate". I am not sure how to "interpret" same.

 

A key moment of choice I felt: spiritual and sensual. Also how perspective and belief interpret our world and give meaning.

 

I would encourage you to find a word or a set of words to make your above expansion of intent clear to any, not just the more erudite reader

 

Once again many thanks WW. Your thoughts remind me that poems are for communication not an internal dialogue.

 

badge

 

No need to thank me, badge, but I do greatly appreciate your insight into what poems are for. Just conversing withyou like this, no matter how ragged in time it may be, has made me smarter, and I thank you for it.

 

Can you help me by telling if I did fail to grasp your diction. My basic instruction in English, not my native tongue, was under teachers and professors who were Brits, and if they have taught me a diction that is not right I might visit their graves. icon_bounce.gif

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hi WW

 

She is blaming God for the clouds and maybe God clears the sky? That would be one way to 'translate' the event, but then that is a matter of belief. The internal belief shaping the external event.

 

badge

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hi WW

 

She is blaming God for the clouds and maybe God clears the sky? That would be one way to 'translate' the event, but then that is a matter of belief. The internal belief shaping the external event.

 

badge

 

 

I see your point and share your belief that the internal belief can shape the perception/interpretation of how/why the external can be/has been transformed/changed.

 

I find the essential notion of this poem to be worth while to be groomed so that posterity can experience that somewhat hidden, sweet idea. That is why I feel 'translate' is inadquate, for it does not transform but merely transcript a poem, say, from a font with serifs into a sans-serif font.

 

I hope you do not feel forced to respond to the last, because it is only to share my feelings which need not be accepted or rejected, only understood and forgiven.

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More than clear poem Badge. Sensitive and lovely. Nothing else matters when love is in the case.

 

The clouds translate to blue,

 

wonderful expression.

 

I enjoyed the poem.

 

Aleksandra

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

History of Macedonia

 

 

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