Runboard.com
You're welcome.
Community logo






runboard.com       Sign up (learn about it) | Sign in (lost password?)

 
36064 Profile
Live feed
Blog
Friends
Miscellaneous info



Reply | Quote
Journey to Satchidananda


The overloaded ferry lurches
on a broken keel; black water
laps the main deck now and then.

Monsoon floods the river,
burned corpses from funeral pyres
float in the current with crocodiles.

On shore, red cook fires are veiled
in charcoal smoke;
a Tamil song on the radio.

Your bitter letters written in blue ink
darken in my hands. Tonight the Ganges
is full of sobs as I pass.




Alice Coltrane:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JuDuNfqXnrc

Last edited by 36064, Nov/20/2012, 8:17 pm
Nov/20/2012, 12:10 am Link to this post Send Email to 36064   Send PM to 36064 Blog
 
arkava Profile
Live feed
Blog
Friends
Miscellaneous info



Reply | Quote
Re: Journey to Satchidananda


hi bernie. the poem seems to capture the desolation of a journey to sat chit ananda. something of the anticipation here. the images are slightly overdone imho but then i don't think you're painting from life but more of an emotional tone, color. this seemed like the kernel

quote:



On shore, red cook fires are veiled
in charcoal smoke;
a Tamil song on the radio.

Your bitter letters written in blue ink
darken in my hands.



thanks,
arka
Nov/22/2012, 1:46 am Link to this post Send Email to arkava   Send PM to arkava Blog
 
libramoon Profile
Live feed
Blog
Friends
Miscellaneous info



Reply | Quote
Re: Journey to Satchidananda


infinite sadness, just East of Sorrow
Blue, blue, stains on the radio
broadcast over black flood water
where corpses linger
Nov/23/2012, 11:35 pm Link to this post Send Email to libramoon   Send PM to libramoon Blog
 
Zakzzz5 Profile
Live feed
Blog
Friends
Miscellaneous info



Reply | Quote
Re: Journey to Satchidananda


Bernie,

Arka's comment stirs the waters a bit more. He lives in India, and we could presuppose he "knows" reality there. But before I read his comment I thought the opening stanza depicted the power of a Western engine somehow; and now I think it had to do with the term "black water" and the power of the words "main deck." Somehow those two together made me think more of a harbor in Boston than of India.

Maybe it has to do with the surfeit of activity going on in the poem, lurching, the flood, the Tamil song. Maybe there is not enough of "what is going on inside" the observer before we get to the final stanza.

And then, I guess, there is the possibility I was seduced and misdirected by Arka's comments. Remote as that is, it still IS a possibility. It does happen. I see it all the time, on both sites. Follow the leader. But I hope I added something.

Zak


quote:

36064 wrote:

The overloaded ferry lurches
on a broken keel; black water
laps the main deck now and then.

Monsoon floods the river,
burned corpses from funeral pyres
float in the current with crocodiles.

On shore, red cook fires are veiled
in charcoal smoke;
a Tamil song on the radio.

Your bitter letters written in blue ink
darken in my hands. Tonight the Ganges
is full of sobs as I pass.




Alice Coltrane:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JuDuNfqXnrc



Nov/25/2012, 7:34 am Link to this post Send Email to Zakzzz5   Send PM to Zakzzz5
 
36064 Profile
Live feed
Blog
Friends
Miscellaneous info



Reply | Quote
Re: Journey to Satchidananda


Arka---

are the opening images a bit overdone, as they feel to you?

certainly this is a danger in a poem of feeling tones.

i thought to dilute, a bit---that is add additional comments either about the narrator's frame of mind or even observed details about neutral subjects like cargo and the names of river ports; more India, less my European narrator.


original:

The overloaded ferry lurches
on a broken keel; black water
laps the main deck now and then.

Monsoon floods the river,
burned corpses from funeral pyres
float in the current with crocodiles.

On shore, red cook fires are veiled
in charcoal smoke;
a Tamil song on the radio.

Your bitter letters written in blue ink
darken in my hands. Tonight the Ganges
is full of sobs as I pass.



one possibility for revision:


The overloaded ferry lurches
on a broken keel; great stacks
of kopra pile to the wheel house.

Monsoon floods the river,
burned corpses from funeral pyres
float in the current with crocodiles.

On shore, red cook fires are veiled
in charcoal smoke;
a Tamil song on the radio.

More passengers tramp on board
at Kedarnath and more at Varanasi;
My mental state murky like the river.

Your bitter letters written in blue ink
darken in my hands. Tonight the Ganges
is full of sobs as I pass.




thank you so much for the very helpful comment; and of course i could always shorten the poem, focus on either the river or the narrator---we will see.


Zak--

perhaps you feel this Western poem intrudes on a intimate detail of Indian life?

if so, i certainly understand. i hope there is enough information in the poem to clearly show the narrator is Western---like Durrell commenting on alexandria, Egypt.

and of course, the poem may just be badly written. alas.


Libramoon---

your comment:

"infinite sadness, just East of Sorrow
Blue, blue, stains on the radio
broadcast over black flood water
where corpses linger."



for sure, that is how i see the poem; are the images too much? too busy: too jammed together?

i hope not but the comments of others will help me rethink the poem; but your comment will give me strength to allow the narrator his choice of images and narration.

wow.

thanks big time.



bernie




these sad, scattered news items:


India:

December 25, 2011: In Tamil Nadu, 22 members of a family were killed when a ferry boat carrying 25 capsized near Pulicat lake backwaters in Chennai.

October 31, 2010: More than 18 people were killed and several others were reported missing after an overloaded ferry boat carrying about 150 people capsized in the Buriganga river in West Bengal.

October 11, 2010: Near the capital of Bihar, Patna, 36 people drowned to death and more than 15 went missing when a ferry boat capsized in the Ganges. The boat was carrying about 80 passengers.

June 14, 2010: In Ballia district of Uttar Pradesh, 62 people were killed when a ferry boat carrying around 80 people capsized in the Ganges./i]



  



  












Last edited by 36064, Nov/25/2012, 1:03 pm
Nov/25/2012, 12:48 pm Link to this post Send Email to 36064   Send PM to 36064 Blog
 
Katlin Profile
Live feed
Blog
Friends
Miscellaneous info



Reply | Quote
Re: Journey to Satchidananda


Hi Bernie,

When I read your poem last night, I thought it felt incomplete. Didn't say so then because I was puzzling over whether or not that feeling of incompleteness worked to the poem's advantage. Now that I've read your revision, I think the incompleteness was due to a lack of development. I like all the additions that you've made except the last one:

My mental state murky like the river.

Too direct and obvious for this poem. Thought you might consider bringing back the black water in that line's place:

The overloaded ferry lurches
on a broken keel; great stacks
of kopra pile to the wheel house.

Monsoon floods the river,
burned corpses from funeral pyres
float in the current with crocodiles.

On shore, red cook fires are veiled
in charcoal smoke;
a Tamil song on the radio.

More passengers tramp on board
at Kedarnath and more at Vernasi; black
water laps the main deck now and then.
 
Your bitter letters written in blue ink
darken in my hands. Tonight the Ganges
is full of sobs as I pass.
Nov/25/2012, 1:13 pm Link to this post Send Email to Katlin   Send PM to Katlin
 
36064 Profile
Live feed
Blog
Friends
Miscellaneous info



Reply | Quote
Re: Journey to Satchidananda


Katlin---


i also like this version better than the shorter original.


The overloaded ferry lurches
on a broken keel; great stacks
of kopra pile to the wheel house.

Monsoon floods the river,
burned corpses from funeral pyres
float in the current with crocodiles.

On shore, red cook fires are veiled
in charcoal smoke;
a Tamil song on the radio.

More passengers tramp on board
at Kedarnath and more at Vernasi; black
water laps the main deck now and then.
  
Your bitter letters written in blue ink
darken in my hands. Tonight the Ganges
is full of sobs as I pass.



thanks again for your comment.


bernie


Nov/26/2012, 12:12 am Link to this post Send Email to 36064   Send PM to 36064 Blog
 
Terreson Profile
Live feed
Blog
Friends
Miscellaneous info



Reply | Quote
Re: Journey to Satchidananda


Eliot's objective corelative is what the poem brings through. At least until the last stanza where the poem then turns on Ruskin's pathetic fallacy. Not a bad thing, that so-called fallacy. Can be taken to good affect. An odd kind of juxtaposition the poem leaves me with. The impersonality of faceless, newspaper report like death and a last (?) letter written in a bitter hand.

Tere
Dec/7/2012, 2:37 pm Link to this post Send Email to Terreson   Send PM to Terreson
 
36064 Profile
Live feed
Blog
Friends
Miscellaneous info



Reply | Quote
Re: Journey to Satchidananda


Tere---




always thrilled when you comment on a poem of mine, like the poem or not, the comments you make are always fresh, instructive and supportive.



objective corelative so associated with one of my favorites, Eliot, that i blush and withdraw that my poem appears in the same paragraph as one of the poetry icons.

pathetic fallacy.

oh yes, very nicely put. Ruskin was so right.



a disciplined use of personification is a tool i strive to sharpen in my poems.


you would be an excellent traveling companion for my narrator---i think you would like his stoic attitude and confessional tone displayed briefly before the reader.


what would you have said? what poem would you have written?


bernie

Last edited by 36064, Dec/8/2012, 12:37 pm
Dec/8/2012, 12:05 pm Link to this post Send Email to 36064   Send PM to 36064 Blog
 
arkava Profile
Live feed
Blog
Friends
Miscellaneous info



Reply | Quote
Re: Journey to Satchidananda


bernie, i took some time coming back to this. sorry about that. but zak's comments pulled me up short. i thought about whether this knee jerk reaction i had to the poem was simply cause of the india thing you know? and guess what maybe that's part of the thing. so coming back to this with a fresh mind and with all mc mclure and eddie woods and other hated poets behind me, i think i can identify what rings for me and what doesn't.

The overloaded ferry lurches
on a broken keel; great stacks
of kopra pile to the wheel house.


this is excellent. i have something to hold on to here. perhaps my biggest problem with the original was that i could not situate N who seemed almost out of reach speaking to night that's almost not there. so you have the ferry boat and then the crocodiles and then the letter. too easy. with this additional detailing there seems (to me) to be more of a measured tone to the poem. like Kat, i'd suggest replacing that murky line. in fact substituting some other word for murky might be better. something exact and not poetic. so am i trying to yank back your poem to an eastern pov? not really. not this time i mean. have you seen the stuff indians write about india when they start writing in english? rot. you can figure out they have to ssme a knowing air, a western pov or just go all out lyrical on our asses. i sound frustrated because i am. of course there's the flip side. eddie woods going kali kali. your poem is clean and does not even bother going into those things. so in my mind it's more to do with the lack of detailing, the underdone shift from description to meditation that i found problematic when i posted my initial comments. hope some of this helps. enjoyed-arka




Last edited by arkava, Dec/12/2012, 10:16 am
Dec/12/2012, 10:15 am Link to this post Send Email to arkava   Send PM to arkava Blog
 


Add a reply





You are not logged in (login)