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GaryBFitzgerald Profile
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Puppies


.

           Puppies

Getting old is hard, of course,
so everybody says. So what?
We now old already know
and those still young don’t care!
And neither did we back then.
The result of genetic directive.

But nothing was as hard
as the day I realized that
if I got a brand new puppy,
he would probably outlive me
and one day know the worry
of wondering where I was.

But without brand new puppies
a special joy would cease to be
and life lose all perspective.


Copyright 2008 – Softwood: Seventy-eight Poems, Gary B. Fitzgerald
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ineese Profile
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Re: Puppies


Gary,

I think the end lines take away from
what the poem already says. I'm not sure you need them as it explains the poem and I don't think it really needs explaining. >>>>>>>>>


notice how this draws a conclusion for the reader and thereby, kind of robs him/her from making it on their own.

But without brand new puppies
a special joy would cease to be
and life lose all perspective.




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Christine98 Profile
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Re: Puppies


hey Gary,

Long time, no see. What a lovely surprise,
hope we'll see more of you!

Chris
Feb/10/2013, 11:54 pm Link to this post Send Email to Christine98   Send PM to Christine98
 
GaryBFitzgerald Profile
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Re: Puppies


Dear Kathleen:

Thank you for your comment. Unfortunately, I couldn’t disagree with you more. In fact, I think you may have missed the whole point of the poem (you’re young, aren’t you?). emoticon
 
Case in point: there is a regular columnist at our local newspaper who just wrote about buying a new puppy for his wife’s birthday. The writer is 91 years old and his wife is in her eighties. I wrote this poem over eight years ago but, inspired by his column, I decided to send him a copy of it. My wife exclaimed that that would be mean! He’s ninety years old, she said, and now you’re going to make him feel bad for buying a new puppy. I replied that she should read the last stanza of the poem. What I am saying is that even though we may outlive our brand new puppy we would not only deprive him of the love we could give him but also ourselves of the love he would give us as well as one of life’s greatest pleasures. You don’t need to be dead until you’re actually dead, now do you?

Otherwise, it would be analogous to saying “don’t have children” because they’re just going to outlive you anyway and then they would be sad so what’s the point?. The poem is basically reaffirming the value and continuity of life. I suggest that you reread the poem with and without the last stanza and see if you don’t notice the difference.

Again, thanks for taking the time to read my poem.

GBF


Last edited by GaryBFitzgerald, Feb/12/2013, 3:20 pm
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GaryBFitzgerald Profile
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Re: Puppies


Hi, Chris. Thanks.

I've missed you guys. Give my regards to my old friend Tere.

Gary
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Terreson Profile
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Re: Puppies


Gary, why do you always have to go on the attack in defense of your poetry? See? I've come to the conclusion that one should never offer a defense of poetry. You don't know how old Ineese is and, if it matters, then maybe the poem's got a problem.

And the poem does have problems. Not at all transformative in its actions, which all poetry should be. Nor should the back-moment need explanation.

Said as one old friend to another.

Tere
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Katlin Profile
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Re: Puppies


Hi Gary,

Good to see you're still around online, alive and kickin'. I've known a few older people who decided against getting a new pet for the reason your poem states. I am reminded of "Cat in an Empty Apartment" by Wisława Szymborska:

http://www.nybooks.com/articles/archives/1993/oct/21/cat-in-an-empty-apartment/?pagination=false

I believe Tere has discussed this with you before, and I am wondering once again if Poetry Spectrum, which is a critique forum, is the best place for you to post finished poems that have already been published and for which you are not really seeking critique but rather a reader's, and not a critter's, response. Chalkboard and Billboard, which is not a critique forum, would be a better place for you to post finished, previously published work. Let us know if you would like us to move this thread for you.

Last edited by Katlin, Feb/13/2013, 3:12 pm
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GaryBFitzgerald Profile
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Re: Puppies


Wow! I am really surprised and somewhat taken aback by the negative response to my comment. I have tried to compose an adequate reply but I just really don’t know what to say. The subtitle of the ‘Poetry’s Spectrum’ forum is: “The place for writer and critic DIALOGUE”. I feel I made a fair and honest assessment of the intent of my poem to the critique by ineese and was looking forward to her reply. I didn’t expect such animosity from the forum owners, especially since, to quote Tere:

“When I created the board I was a refugee from maybe a half dozen or so poetry boards where practices were bad, viscious, political. Where sniping and snarky behavior was the norm. Places where board owners both encouraged and enhanced the snarkiness and the sniping.”

Ain’t life a kick?

I apologize if I have offended or angered anyone. I won’t trouble you any more.
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Terreson Profile
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Re: Puppies


Gary, my apologies to both you and the board if my post seems snarky. Not my place anymore to speak for the board nor to direct anyone to this forum's guidelines where it is clearly stated that poems here are available for critical comment.

But I think I can speak for myself. We've known each other since before there was a Delectable Mnts. You can be a very good poet. Your sense of Tao, especially, comes through in much of what you make. When it comes to the critical comment on your poetry, however, you are less than allowing of opinion. Unless a reader is wholly complimentary of your poetry your defensiveness comes through. It always has, my friend. Not much room for dialogue there. Not sure what else to say or get our friendship through the moment.

Tere
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GaryBFitzgerald Profile
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Re: Puppies



Dear Tere:

You said: “When it comes to the critical comment on your poetry, however, you are less than allowing on your opinion. Unless a reader is wholly complimentary of your poetry your defensiveness comes through.”

This is not always true, which is why I put my poem “Puppies” on ‘Poetry’s Spectrum’. I have recently received some positive comments about this poem so I wanted to get some other opinions. Ineese came through and I wanted to engage with her. I have also expressed similar opinions about others. For example:

Gary B. Fitzgerald said,
February 24, 2010 at 6:23 pm

The reason ‘O Rose thou art sick’ can not be strictly interpreted is precisely why it is timeless. It is multi-faceted and may be applied to many situations. Unless we can convince Billy Blake to attend a séance, we will never really know. As a result, then, it can be seen as a sort of a ‘Universal Truth’. The rose may be God, Nature, the Church (most likely), the crown, the government, Man’s higher nature, the girl that broke Blake’s heart or his own heart. It is addressing the essential duality of being: life and death, beautiful and ugly, good and bad. Very spiritual and very profound for such a short poem. Almost Taoist.

I highly recommend that you read a biography of Blake. This will grant some insight into the political and religious tumult in his life which ‘O Rose’ may be addressing.

Here is an illuminating (no pun intended) passage from ‘The Marriage of Heaven and Hell’: “Prisons are built with stones of Law, Brothels with bricks of Religion. As the caterpillar chooses the fairest leaves to lay her eggs on, so the priest lays his curse on the fairest joys.”


You also said: “Your sense of Tao, especially, comes through in much of what you make.”

Thank you. This is important to me. Here is a post I made a number of years ago. There were over 140 comments on this particular thread. It was quite entertaining:


Gary B. Fitzgerald said,
April 11, 2010 at 1:53 am

What does Verse 7 of Tao Te Ching mean?
There was sand on the beach and someone came to collect it. The sand was carried to a pot over a fire and melted. A tube of glass was inserted into the melted sand and somebody blew into it. It became a bottle. The bottle was sold to a winemaker and filled with the fruits of his field. The bottle of wine was purchased and carried to a beach and consumed.

The empty bottle was then carelessly tossed into the sea. The bottle rises and falls, floating in the waves with ten-thousand other carelessly tossed bottles. Up and down they go, all floating in the same place as the wave passes by and moves on to the shore.

We are the bottles. The wave is Tao. It is like emptiness because it carries nothing with it.

The bottles that succumb and fill up with seawater will eventually move with the wave to the shore.


Then you said: “Not sure what else to say or get our friendship through the moment.”

We’ve been though a number of “moments” over the years. Our friendship, at least on my end, will never die.


Gary
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Katlin Profile
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Re: Puppies


Hi Gary,

I see a critique forum as being the place where readers/critics give the writer feedback on not only what is written but also on how it is written. A reader/critic may comment on the content and then give suggestions on how s/he feels the poem might be improved. In a non-critique forum, a reader can comment on the content of a piece but does not give suggestions on how the poem might be rewritten. They wouldn’t say, for example, “Your ending is weak, IMO.” or “You need a comma in S2L5.”

You say you want “opinions” on this poem. Since it is a finished, published piece, I assume you do not want to rewrite it but would like hear people’s “opinions” on the subject matter. If this is the case, Chalkboard and Billboard would be a better place to post. But perhaps I am wrong and you are wondering if the poem needs to be revised and are open to suggestions on how to rewrite it. If this is the case, Poetry Spectrum is the right place to post.

Although there is some overlap, there is a distinct difference between a writer/reader dialogue and a writer/critic dialogue that DM was designed to accommodate. We specifically created the board so that writers could interact with readers in a way that does not always involve critique. For example, writers of improv pieces as well as finished work may seek readers but not workshop critics, for obvious and legitimate reasons.

I hope this answers any questions you have about where best to post your work in order to get the type of feedback you desire.
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GaryBFitzgerald Profile
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Re: Puppies


I honestly can't remember having been scolded this much since that time in sixth grade when I accidentally went into the Girl’s Room because I had to pee.

This is obviously a case of a round peg in a square hole. Apparently I have wandered into the wrong room.

I’m sorry.

Gary

Last edited by GaryBFitzgerald, Feb/13/2013, 9:50 pm
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Terreson Profile
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Re: Puppies


Well, if you sprayed the seat, miscalculated the stream, I would have scolded you too. Your metaphor, Gary, not mine.

Tere
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Katlin Profile
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Re: Puppies


Sorry you felt like a 6th grader being scolded for peeing in the girls room, Gary.

Last edited by Katlin, Feb/13/2013, 11:07 pm
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Katlin Profile
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Re: Puppies


I’ve been thinking about your story of being scolded for using the girls’ restroom when you were in the sixth grade. Sixth grade is often the time when young girls begin to transition into womanhood and have their first period. Discovering a boy in their restroom could make sixth grade girls feel embarrassed and uncomfortable. The person who scolded you back then might not have been trying to make you feel bad but trying to insure the girls didn’t.

My explanation about the best place for you to post your poems wasn’t only for your benefit. Why should members spend time critiquing a finished, published poem you have no intention of changing because you posted it in the Poetry Spectrum and they are playing by the rules of that forum? Better you should post the poem in Chalkboard and Billboard where members would know they are reading a poem that is a done deal and could respond accordingly, as readers, the way the your local newspaper columnist did.



Last edited by Katlin, Feb/14/2013, 8:50 am
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GaryBFitzgerald Profile
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Re: Puppies


Alright, alright...I get it already! Jeez, Louise! But, Katlin, you said:

“Why should members spend time critiquing a finished, published poem you have no intention of changing because you posted it in the Poetry Spectrum and they are playing by the rules of that forum?”

This is not true. If you would Google: Gary B. Fitzgerald you would see that my last book was titled ‘Ponds and Lawns: New and Corrected Poems’. This is obviously a play on the usual ‘Selected’ or ‘Collected’ poems, but in fact there are thirty-six poems in the book that were previously published in five other books and were revised. I believe that poetry is a continuing process. There are many famous poems out there that exist in several versions. I have no objection to correcting one of my poems.

You also mentioned something about ‘Poetry’s Spectrum’ being a “workshop”. I don’t know how much you get out and around the poetry blogosphere, but if you do you will know that many people, including Franz Wright, Seth Abramson, myself and many others consider the MFA ‘workshops’ to be the primary cause of the demise in the popularity of poetry today...as someone once said: “cookie-cutter academic crap"!

Gary



Last edited by GaryBFitzgerald, Feb/14/2013, 4:59 pm
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Katlin Profile
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Re: Puppies


Okay, Gary. Yeah, Tere is constantly revising his poems, sometimes for up to 20 years after they were first written. DM does have several workshop forums, but I wouldn't call them academic workshops. They certainly aren't MFA workshops. But, yes, I am familar with Wright and Abramson and others who think MFA programs in poetry are the cause of poetry's demise. Just today I sent someone a link to a blog entry in which John Gallaher solicited responses from MFa-ers in an attempt, he said, to figure out what is going on in MFA workshops across the country.
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ineese Profile
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Re: Puppies


Thanks, Tere, I feel better now
as I sit here waiting for my social
security check to be deposited.

 

Last edited by ineese, Feb/14/2013, 6:51 pm
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Katlin Profile
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Re: Puppies


Hi Gary,

I’ve been thinking: if you are open, as you say you are, to revising a poem, then please feel free to post it in Poetry Spectrum. If you want to start a discussion about the subject matter of a poem, please post it in Chalkboard and Billboard. I honestly did not know you are open to changing poems after they are published, to making “corrections,” as you call them, and I apologize for my mistake.

Carry on.

Last edited by Katlin, Feb/22/2013, 9:40 am
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