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Dante in Winter


Dante in Winter

Dream what you know
Know what you dream


Yesterday you walked
surrounded by sparks
Yesterday the world extended
grey in a full circle

Trees lay dead in ash
or stood colored red
by air-dropped retardant

You were young but not
exempt from concern
Unfinished in your work
surrounded by sparks

Dante in his full winter cloak
stood among the fallen trees
Forests ruined by a cloud
Yesterday he dreamt
his hell at the edge
of this highway leading
to a ruined town.

 

Last edited by Zakzzz5, Mar/25/2013, 3:41 pm
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Re: Dante in Winter


Admin, "Know what you" should NOT be underlined. I have no idea why it is showing up as underlined!!!!!

Also, "cloud" should not be underlined. I did not underline it!!!


Last edited by Zakzzz5, Mar/25/2013, 3:43 pm
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Bernie01 Profile
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Re: Dante in Winter


Z---


Dante in Winter

Dream what you know
Know what you dream

Yesterday you walked
surrounded by sparks
Yesterday the world extended
grey in a full circle

Trees lay dead in ash
or stood colored red
by air-dropped retardant

You were young but not
exempt from concern
Unfinished in your work
surrounded by sparks

Dante in his full winter cloak
stood among the fallen trees
Forests ruined by a cloud
Yesterday he dreamt
his hell at the edge
of this highway leading
to a ruined town.

Perhaps I am not the only one who regularly receives such pithy and to me annoying aphorisms---usually from an insurance company or investment broker---maybe even Bob Knight the ex-Indiana coach now on the inspirational lecture circuit.
  
Dream what you know
Know what you dream


I like the urgency of the first word, Yesterday, then I go out for a long lunch:

Yesterday you walked
surrounded by sparks
Yesterday the world extended
grey in a full circle


sparks…I thought of bukowski:
Bukowski:

“that night I couldn’t destroy her
although the springs shot sparks
and they pounded on the walls.
later she sat there in her slip
drinking Old Grandad
and she said
what’s a guy like you doing
living in a dump like this?
and I said
I’m a poet
And she threw back her beautiful head and laughed.
you? you . . . a poet?
I guess you’re right, I said. I guess you’re right.”



Trees lay dead in ash
or stood colored red
by air-dropped retardant


air dropped retardant is dead wrong in a poem mentioning Dante. Two different time zones.

And here, just too didactic, too directive for my taste:

You were young but not
exempt from concern
Unfinished in your work
surrounded by sparks


much better here:

Dante in his full winter cloak
stood among the fallen trees


I can see something, feel something. Hopperesque---our IBPC called a similar detachment in the winning poem, altoona.

isolate, frame, compare and contrast details that provide a reader a cumulative impact upon the sense---


Forests ruined by a cloud
Yesterday he dreamt
his hell at the edge
of this highway leading
to a ruined town



don’t know what a forest ruined by a cloud would be. and yes, i recall those judy collins/joan basez/Malvina reynolds about acid rain lyrics form the 70's;

Tell me what he felt, what he saw as he approached that hell, that ruined town.

Remember, this is a guy who says the demons in hell signal to each other by making a trumpet of their asses—farting, another words.

Boy did I feel that.

Ambitious poem---great. Higher subject matter and attempting to leave behind 90 percent of the love poems / despair poems of the poetry Forums---good. Now, let me feel and see the result of this new direction.

Nes pas?

bernie

    

Last edited by Bernie01, Mar/26/2013, 12:25 am


---
Fall

Bob Grenier: the leaves / falling / out of the / water by the / table
Mar/25/2013, 6:52 pm Link to this post Send Email to Bernie01   Send PM to Bernie01 Blog
 
vkp Profile
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Re: Dante in Winter


Not totally sure I get the first two lines or how they need to fit the poem, but I love the poem. The second strophe, “Yesterday you walked/surrounded by sparks/Yesterday the world extended/grey in a full circle” is evocative and visual. I see a figure, the “you,” in a nimbus of sparks, around whom the world greys out. Reading the poem again, I think these fireworks are deadly, the product of war, maybe, or inferno.

I like the repetition of “surrounded by sparks” later. The dead trees, ruined. The landscape of destruction through which “you” walks, through ruination and hell. Powerful. For me, the emotion carries through without any need to ram it home. It comes home for me.
vkp


Last edited by vkp, Mar/27/2013, 3:51 pm
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Katlin Profile
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Re: Dante in Winter


Hi Zak,

I'm not 100% sure what is happening in the poem, but I'm seeing a forest fire and an attempt to stop it with the use of (red) air-dropped redardant. I'm not certain who the you in the poem is or who Dante is, although I can't read about forest fires and hell and not think of the Inferno. The poem is evocative to me. Sadness comes through as well as a sense of the surreal. Not surreal as in surrealism but surreal as what it must feel like to stand in the middle of a burnt out forest, near a highway that leads to a ruined town. There is mystery in and around the poem. Who is the N? Who is Dante? Who started the fire and why? Where are this forest and town located? Do any of these missing "facts" matter? Could "you" be anyone who lives near, or stops to visit, a forest and town destroyed by some kind of fire? BTW, I love the title.
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Zakzzz5 Profile
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Re: Dante in Winter


Bernie, vkp, Katlin,

Again, I appreciate your taking the time to read and comment. I appreciate the critical comments, good and bad. I don't really see Dante as the arbiter of the poem, rather I see a glimpse of him, and a world that is symbolically similar to his Inferno. This one, of course, is in a modern world. I went back to my fire-fighting days in the Northwest and Southwest. Sad for several reasons, whether reflecting the soul or the reality of waste and death.

I apologize for the introductory "aphorism", as Bernie described it. It injected itself there, and wouldn't leave. The "guest who wouldn't leave." Zak
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Terreson Profile
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Re: Dante in Winter


This is a poem. There are two sides to your poetry, Zak. This side speaks to your tie to earth. The other side speaks to your tie to humanity. In both cases what comes through for me is a bad ass case of love. Details involving execution are up to you.

Tere
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queenfisher Profile
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Re: Dante in Winter


dear zak

very powerful poem - the images grab - foreboding in tone - oh! the ruined towns - so many of them!

Dante in his full winter cloak
stood among the fallen trees
Forests ruined by a cloud
Yesterday he dreamt
his hell at the edge
of this highway leading
to a ruined town.

& the trees lying dead in ash - & yesterday the world extended grey in full circle

it is a dark poem & a mist of grey surrounds it - the bleak atmosphere comes across - very effective - & so the opening becomes all important:

dream what you know
know what you dream

you have the heart of a true poet - without resorting to gimmicks! at times a tragic poet! like the neo-realistic painters that paint without frills & flounce!

i'm waiting for a poem from you - with all the trappings!
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Zakzzz5 Profile
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Re: Dante in Winter


Terreson,

Thanks for the compliment. I guess I do think about the earth. I see my own views changing dramatically as I aged, as I became more and more aware of the environment. Not sure I was consciously aware this was coming into play in the poem, but apparently you see it. Much thanks. Zak

quote:

Terreson wrote:

This is a poem. There are two sides to your poetry, Zak. This side speaks to your tie to earth. The other side speaks to your tie to humanity. In both cases what comes through for me is a bad ass case of love. Details involving execution are up to you.

Tere



Apr/14/2013, 6:06 am Link to this post Send Email to Zakzzz5   Send PM to Zakzzz5
 
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Re: Dante in Winter


queenfisher,

Besides seeing this scenario in Dante's Inferno, I've seen it while fighting forest fires, & I've seen it in Vietnam. Even in old photographs of a ruined Atlanta during the Civil War (War of Northern Aggression). It seems to always be there. I'm glad it worked for you. Zak

quote:

queenfisher wrote:

dear zak

very powerful poem - the images grab - foreboding in tone - oh! the ruined towns - so many of them!

Dante in his full winter cloak
stood among the fallen trees
Forests ruined by a cloud
Yesterday he dreamt
his hell at the edge
of this highway leading
to a ruined town.

& the trees lying dead in ash - & yesterday the world extended grey in full circle

it is a dark poem & a mist of grey surrounds it - the bleak atmosphere comes across - very effective - & so the opening becomes all important:

dream what you know
know what you dream

you have the heart of a true poet - without resorting to gimmicks! at times a tragic poet! like the neo-realistic painters that paint without frills & flounce!

i'm waiting for a poem from you - with all the trappings!



Apr/14/2013, 6:13 am Link to this post Send Email to Zakzzz5   Send PM to Zakzzz5
 
Maria Divina Profile
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Re: Dante in Winter


I used to post here a few years ago and reading some poems on the board today I decided to start posting again. I may not have the time to offer proper critiques, but nonetheless I hope I can be helpful or just contribute in any way. The title immediately caught my attention - more like the title of a film, full of meaning and images already. Dante Alighieri becomes a common alientated man is what I get. I love the poem, the atmosphere you create is striking and fresh in its own way. The voice is consistent. If it were mine emoticon I would try to get rid of some of the verbs, in particular 'lay' and 'stood'.

Enjoyed quite a lot. And thanks for the inspiration.

Cheers
Maria




Last edited by Maria Divina, Mar/30/2014, 11:45 am
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