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CFshadow maker Profile
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LATITUDES


LATITUDES

And we imagine ourselves moving.
   Inhabiting opaque dimensions,
entire worlds birthed from the fluid grace
of our coming, our going.


It is not us who move; Not our nakedness bound and frequent.
  Nor is it the plaintive landscapes of our eyes, of our mouths,
our hands reaching like young birds, timidly mounting the air.
  A worried light, fostering the bloom of immobile voyage.

The unassuming bend of legs,
     a crescent of flesh, leaning.

It is not us.


It is the earth, shaking free its glorious, corroded petals.
  Beating the living fire from its white curve.

It is the moon unloosing the oceans to exhale in ancient rhythms,
  a limber bulk swelling then easing and thinning in foamed tresses.

It is the sun, lengthening. Lofting its great muleta to goad the trees in
  their ebb and flow, drawing the wind through strange, ornate portage---
  the sun soaking the landscape in honey-light.

It is the birds. Forming skies of living rivers;
  dark rapids ferrying the wind of our coming, of our going.

It is the shadows of this world, armed to bring the light into such keen
focus. The shadows of this world forming the light of the next.

It has never been us.


Last edited by CFshadow maker, Dec/29/2008, 2:16 am
Dec/29/2008, 2:14 am Link to this post Send Email to CFshadow maker   Send PM to CFshadow maker
 
Terreson Profile
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Re: LATITUDES


On my way to bed and I see your poem. I'll be back tomorrow to read and chat. Right now I want to welcome you to the board. Glad you've decided to check out the digs.

Tere
Dec/29/2008, 2:25 am Link to this post Send Email to Terreson   Send PM to Terreson
 
CFshadow maker Profile
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posticon Re: LATITUDES


Thanks tere, happy to be apart of this place. quite a wonderful set up you have! goodnight

Last edited by CFshadow maker, Dec/29/2008, 2:28 am
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Terreson Profile
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Re: LATITUDES


CF, I am going to ask you a question, which I think is a fair question. Before committing myself to your poem I want to know if this is something you know in your body. Poem has the language facility. But I've been fooled before. Does the poem speak to what you know?

Tere
Dec/29/2008, 8:54 pm Link to this post Send Email to Terreson   Send PM to Terreson
 
CFshadow maker Profile
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Re: LATITUDES


Tere this is a fair question. I will answer by saying I would not have written this if I didn't know it within myself. Felt it.

But perhaps i was unsuccessful in translating this? It needs aot of work still. But I think I am on to something with it. This is meditative in nature, brought upon by how we (myself) believe rather naievely that we are actually moving, going places. When in comparison to the world, we do not move at all, we only believe we do. This is something I have felt for a long time. The poem came to me rather quickly, must have been a purple lightning bolt or something. Anyway trust it is genuine, not a posture or act. Although I appreaciate and understand your reservations. Of course I still have alot to learn, but the ting is, if I do not feel something viscerally (read: genuinely) then there is not possible way I could 'write' about it. I'm simply not that smart.

As an aside;
I'm sure you posed this question at the Gaz, (to another writer) and were berated for it. (?)
Dec/29/2008, 10:01 pm Link to this post Send Email to CFshadow maker   Send PM to CFshadow maker
 
Terreson Profile
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Re: LATITUDES


Fair enough, CF. The poem says a large thing. Poem also looks to bring its reader in, invitationally, while at the same time it pushes its reader away.

Look at strophe the first. Lines 1 and 4 pull your reader in. Lines 2 and 3 push your reader away.

After this I figure the poem gets serious, gets down to business. But still the unfortunate, distancing, modifiers.

Nakedness bound, plaintive landscapes, timidly bounding. And what exactly is a corroded petal?

I think I know what the poem is after. And while I think it is a damn good poem I think it needs to shred itself of the camoflauge. Let the homoerotic theme shine through.

Cavafy taught me as much.

Tere
Dec/29/2008, 11:05 pm Link to this post Send Email to Terreson   Send PM to Terreson
 
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Re: LATITUDES


I see what you mean about the opposing 'voices' in this. You are right about the modifiers. a corroded petal in my mind was the mantles and tetonic plates....corroded petals is in most probability a useless abstraction.

you are right about the camouflage.

homoerotic theme hey....hmm interesting. I never saw this, but after your mentioning of it I can kinda see it emoticon

Thanks for your time, alot to ponder!
Dec/30/2008, 3:20 am Link to this post Send Email to CFshadow maker   Send PM to CFshadow maker
 
ChrisD1 Profile
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Re: LATITUDES


CF,

I agree, you are onto something with this poem.I got the central idea on first reading.

S1 pulls me in but the following italicized sections aren't working for me. I think they may be describing a sense of embodied, autonomous self. The self we experience as moving through the world with purpose. Well just a guess. If that is what you're after, the description is just not sharp enough, too abstract. I didn't associate homoeroticism though.

Good to see you here, Chris. I enjoyed reading your poem. My comments, yours to use or lose.

Chris

Jan/4/2009, 9:30 am Link to this post Send Email to ChrisD1   Send PM to ChrisD1
 
Zakzzz5 Profile
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Re: LATITUDES


CFShadowmaker,

You've got some good stuff here. Noticed a lot of Latinisms, but didn't parse it enough to really comment other than to say tht I noticed it, as in the second line (I think). But reducing the number of the Latinisms might change your poem too dramatically. Interesting concept & execution. Zak

quote:

CFshadow maker wrote:

LATITUDES

And we imagine ourselves moving.
   Inhabiting opaque dimensions,
entire worlds birthed from the fluid grace
of our coming, our going. [something to do with birth, or birthing, with reference to "fluid" and yet "opaque dimensions" connotes either an abstract sense or spiritual]


It is not us who move; Not our nakedness bound and frequent.[wondered where "nakedness" came from as I saw it as a non sequitor, but somebody mentioned a sexual aspect to it; but I didn't see it. Now I will grant that possibility. Still think "nakedness" seems out of place.]
  Nor is it the plaintive landscapes of our eyes, of our mouths,
our hands reaching like young birds, timidly mounting the air.
  A worried light, fostering the bloom of immobile voyage. [what is "immobile voyage"?]

The unassuming bend of legs,
     a crescent of flesh, leaning.

It is not us.


It is the earth, shaking free its glorious, corroded petals. [These two lines are fabulous and perhaps the best part of the poem]
  Beating the living fire from its white curve.

It is the moon unloosing the oceans to exhale in ancient rhythms,
  a limber bulk swelling then easing and thinning in foamed tresses.

It is the sun, lengthening. Lofting its great muleta to goad the trees in
  their ebb and flow [This is good, trees ebbing & flowing like the ocean?], drawing the wind through strange, ornate portage---
  the sun soaking the landscape in honey-light.

It is the birds. Forming skies of living rivers;
  dark rapids ferrying the wind of our coming, of our going.[good stanza. There is something to this]

It is the shadows of this world, armed to bring the light into such keen
focus. The shadows of this world forming the light of the next.

It has never been us. [Interesting proposition. I don't have an opinion on it because you are never explicit enough.]



Jan/17/2009, 3:23 pm Link to this post Send Email to Zakzzz5   Send PM to Zakzzz5
 
Dragon59 Profile
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Re: LATITUDES


i think you've gotten a lot of great and useful comments so far. I'm just going to underline one or two comments about style.

There IS a facility with the language here. But it's a facility that gets between me, the reader, and the experience you had as the poet. I'm glad you felt it, as you said to Tere; and I didn't feel it, I don't think, the way you did, from reading it.

Wordsworth's dictum was poetry is "emotion recollected in tranquility." At his most philosophical, Wordsworth was effective. But where this dictum fails utterly is that it has no chance of evoking in the reader's OWN body and self the experience of the poem. It's all filtered through the mind and the intellect, rather than the heart. This tends to promote a style of writing that is detached, academic, even pedantic—in short, one step removed from reality.

Making the middle section italicized serves mostly to make it pedantic, to turn it into a lecture. This is because the italics remove us from the moment, make us step back and listen to that section as a commentary rather than a bone-deep knowing. This stylistic trope makes the poem LESS immediate, and intellectualizes it.

The other trap Wordsworthian style tends to land us in is passive constructions, passive verb forms, which you use throughout this poem: it further removes us from the action, cushioning us from feeling rather than involving us. You also use a LOT of Victorian adjective-noun phrases, as part and parcel of these passive constructions. Was that intentional?

Maybe I'm completely missing your point and this is all intentional on your part. What I want to know as the reader is whether or not this was done out of stylistic intention or out of habitual self-consciousness that one is writing A Poem. if the latter, I just want to be sure that the poem's style is the appropriate one in which to share the experience.

Kerouac's dictum of free-flowing first thought spilling unedited onto the page is the opposite of Wordsworth's. It's not the better style, it's just a different technique. Another technique for direct poetic expression is haiku, which aesthetically is best when spontaneous and momentary. My question is, therefore, which is the best style to use as a container for you to carry your experience into the poem? Which style works better?

For me, poems don't succeed when the container doesn't match the contents. A lot of formal poetry is dry and bland precisely because it ends up on the Wordsworthian end of the poetic spectrum: too thought-out, too formal, too passive, too removed from direct experience. A lot of formal poems are single ideas shoehorned into fixed forms; they're usually padded, therefore, and often imprecise. This affects the poem's tone of voice, sometimes for the better, but not always.

I DO detect a form in this poem. It comes from repetition and embedded meter, which is there even in the longer lines. I sense a formal impulse here, even if this turns out to be an open form. My question is, therefore, does the form support the subject matter, or take away from it? There is probably a way to preserve your formal structure here yet also make the poem more vivid, less talkative. One option is to retain the form and compress some of the language a bit.

What if you were to take away all the extra words? All the "It is the" opening lines. What if we were to see just the images, presented sequentially, without all the formal grammatical constructions?

For example, and I hope you'll forgive a partial writing-through just to make this point:

quote:

imagine ourselves moving.
   opaque dimensions,
entire worlds birthed from fluid grace
of coming, going.

. . .

earth, shaken free glorious, corroded petals.
  Beat living fire from white curve.

moon unloose oceans to exhale,
  a limber bulk swells then eases and thins in foam. . . .



Hope that was useful.

Last edited by Dragon59, Jan/29/2009, 12:13 pm


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Jan/29/2009, 12:04 pm Link to this post Send Email to Dragon59   Send PM to Dragon59
 
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Re: LATITUDES


First I must apologise for my belated response.

I thank you all for your wonderful, pin point input. I am done with this poem for the time being, I don't like it, simple as that. I've moved on from it. Presently it is in a dusty drawer and will stay there for a long while (don't worry it has company emoticon ). Your comments give me great concepts/ideas to mull over, I have printed them out and placed them in my notebook, so when the time comes when I re tackle this poem I will have a new set of eyes to look at this with. Dragon you raise wonderful points and questions, some of which I am able to answer and others which I cannot.

I appreaciate your time and my sincerest apologies for my tardy manners.

Be well and Kindest to you all
Jan/29/2009, 8:55 pm Link to this post Send Email to CFshadow maker   Send PM to CFshadow maker
 


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