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Poetry Magnum Opus

Things to do in the fall


Lake
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Roll up the garden hose, turn off air conditioning.

Hear rain drops knocking on maple leaves all night long.

Watch crows squabbling around the corner in the backyard.

Walk to the horticultural garden up the hill where

chrysanthemums bloom their best blossoms they ever bloomed.

Making a long distance call on Mid-Autumn Festival

even though dim the moon, starless the night.

Lotus cakes and jasmine tea on the table.

Light pumpkin lanterns, and chat with neighbors

by the bonfire, listening to the burning firewood.

Jogging along Mississippi, watching the changing leaves in the sunset.

Geese viewing, deer hunting.

Dried dog-poop picked up before raking fallen leaves.

Dead branches, and budless shrubs trimmed.

Do stretches and sit-ups.

Take a Taiji class, practice breathing in and breathing out. Repeat,

till you do it naturally.

Cook a big pot of soup to nourish wrinkled skin and squeaky bones.

Take a walk in the woods, choose a road

less traveled by, to find all paths lead to the Way at last.

Go out make new friends or shut the rainy wind outside,

reading alone with Gary Snyder

Mountains and Rivers

Without

End.

 

(I'm not so sure about this. Sounds like a list. Yes, it is a list. Comments welcome.)

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I'm not so sure about this. Sounds like a list. Yes, it is a list. Comments welcome

 

Lake yes its a list, but that is a well established trope in modern poetry- and rarely have I seen it done this well! This is an astonishing deeply considered and crafted poem. Each item composes a gestalt in which the whole is greater than any individual part- from the mundanity of cleaning Dog Poop to the realization that it is all 'The Way' to the awareness of aging reflected by 'The soup' to the encounter with Snyder- I must say I am deeply and truly impressed and currently this is my favorite piece of yours and frankly it is the Best Piece of poetics I have read in months!

 

Color me: Moved.

 

 

 

:icon_sunny:

 

DC&J

thegateless.org Come on over and check out my poetry substack y'all;-) Or if your bored, head to the Zazzle store: https://www.zazzle.com/store/gateless. If you buy anything I lose a bet, so consider that before you violate the digital rules.

 

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Hi dr_con,

 

I'm embarrassed by your compliment. I thuoght it was not poetry since I've been dry for quite a while. I'm not aware of that a list "is a well established trope in modern poetry". Thank you for letting me know. I am really happy how you read and interprete this one.

 

Millions of thanks.

 

Lake

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Hi Lake, I truly enjoyed your "list". Of course it is poetry, it even has a name, "Catalogue Verse", a genre of poetry that has been around since the bible. The structure is at the discretion of the poet, the only criteria is that the things on the list contribute to the whole... which yours did beautifully. Can I use it as a modern example of the genre in my article? I smiled at picking up dog-poop and felt the warmth of the bonfire and homemade soups sounds good to me. Your poem fits perfectly with the change of weather we are experiencing.

 

~~Tink

~~ © ~~ Poems by Judi Van Gorder ~~

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

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Good on you Lake ... Gary Snyder!! He took on a job as a firewatcher in the belief he could live a quiet life and write poetry. Half of the western forests could have burned down as a result ... if he hadn't looked up from his writing pad when he smelled smoke. Not that this ever happened ... I think that even the dropouts of the 50s were terribly conscientious, coming off the cusp of the Good War ... not the sleazy wars that followed. It was a different world. What sort of a world are we living in now? You tell me. It wasn't easy to step out of the mainstream of society in those days because there were real penalties and serious social ostracism. These days it's merely considered a rite of passage for teens and young twenties. Of course, when you still keep acting seriously weird (as seen from the outside) in your 40s, 50s and 60s that could be a different story ... !

 

The Orient is fascinating, I know, since I have lived and travelled around it for more than half of my life. I also know that as a Westerner you can never really be fully accepted; you will always to some extent be kept at a distance for the simple fact that you look different, even when you inter-marry and speak the language. This might be seen as a not-so ironic comeback on (white) American racial attitudes to minorities in their own country: it seems to work in both directions. I have witnessed young Americans going slowly and then rather quickly nuts in Japan because they just can't handle being on the receiving end ... interestingly, it doesn't seem to affect Southerners as much as people from other areas of the USA. There must be some reason for that. I wonder what that could be? :blush:

 

Keep them coming ... dedalus

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

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Brimming with life. Not sure of this is raw material, but if you choose to shape the lines, then hopefully that quality will not be lost.

 

badge

Edited by badger11
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Not sure of this is raw material,

 

That's what I'm afraid of. :icon_redface:

 

but if you choose to shape the lines, then hopefully that quality will not be lost.

 

Would you please help shape it, badger? :)

 

Regards.

 

Lake

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Hi Tinker,

 

Thanks for your further explanation on this list. It shows how ignorant I am. How's your project going? Are you planning to compile it into a book? I think you should. If this "list" can be of any use to you, I'll be really happy. Glad it works for you. Now I'll go to your Catalogue Verse link to read.

 

Thanks much!

 

Lake

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Thank you, dedalus for your encouragement and sharing your thoughts with us. You've certainly traveled a lot and gained rich experience which can be seen in your poems.

 

Your account about Gary Snyder as a firewatcher is amusing.

 

Re acceptance by a country other than your birth country, it is so true that it works in both directions. Even though you married a local girl/boy, your appearance still keeps yourself away from the natives.

 

Much appreciated.

 

Lake

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You're a nice man, Lake, and a gifted poet.

Overall, I think being a nice man is probably more important.

 

Good luck to you in all you do,

dedalus

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

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I can tell you what I like and dislike, whether that would help is another matter and I have no doubt others would disagree. Your style of writing is not mine and there is no reason why it should be.

 

badge

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dedalus, thank you for your kindness.

Overall, I think being a nice man is probably more important.

Isn't that true?! As I often hear "be a man first, then a poet."

 

badger, sorry for my asking for too much. I appreciate different opinions especially opinions of how to improve. Sometimes, it is hard for the writer himself to spot problems or revise, that's why I posted it here for suggestions for I know in my heart this is not good enough. I'll take it as unfinished and keep working on it.

 

Thanks again.

 

Lake

Edited by Lake
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I love this, Lake. It has an ease (been using that word a lot lately) of which I'm envious. Inbetween the tasks and chores is a way of life that somehow got away from me (or perhaps I let it go), and I find myself almost ready to reclaim it. The mood is very midwestern -- I love the midwest -- and the poem's form complements its content perfectly.

 

Tony

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

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badger, sorry for my asking for too much. I appreciate different opinions especially opinions of how to improve. Sometimes, it is hard for the writer himself to spot problems or revise, that's why I posted it here for suggestions for I know in my heart this is not good enough. I'll take it as unfinished and keep working on it.

 

Thanks again.

 

Lake

 

the poem's form complements its content perfectly.

 

There you are Lake!

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badger, sorry for my asking for too much. I appreciate different opinions especially opinions of how to improve. Sometimes, it is hard for the writer himself to spot problems or revise, that's why I posted it here for suggestions for I know in my heart this is not good enough. I'll take it as unfinished and keep working on it.

 

Thanks again.

 

Lake

 

the poem's form complements its content perfectly.

 

There you are Lake!

Hey, friends, don't stop at my unqualified opinion(s). By all means, carry on! Dissect and unravel it here if you wish, and don't forget that we have a workshop forum, too.

 

Tony

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

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  • 2 weeks later...

I enjoyed reading this Lake. I am not familiar with list but I liked what I read.

 

Bw, I see nice conversation here, so I am thankful to all who participated, and being so helpful.

 

Aleksandra

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

History of Macedonia

 

 

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