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deepwaters Profile
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Night at the Lake


Night at the Lake

The lake who falls in love
with the forest every morning
and multiplies pines by hundreds

steam coming off her mouth
whispers in my ear
tells me of how the sun
cut his wrists while the pines
watched in silence
petrified by his bleeding death

how in the depth of a forest
the parrots lost their voice
and the bear cubs hid in the grove of fear

the fish lost their sparkles
and the mountain took a step back
to let a black cloaked mother
mourn her handsome sun.
Jan/26/2009, 12:48 am Link to this post Send Email to deepwaters   Send PM to deepwaters
 
Terreson Profile
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Re: Night at the Lake


This is a clean poem. Prosodically it works fine. Line rhythm, image, metrics worked to good affect. And you bet. Taking on death this way makes of death something sensuous.

In two places I stumble. Bear cubs hiding in the grove of fear is a bit too much. That they are hiding itself suggests fear. And with the last line I might have been inclined to play on sun as son. It is what the poem is after, right? The death of her son.

Tere
Jan/28/2009, 8:04 pm Link to this post Send Email to Terreson   Send PM to Terreson
 
Dragon59 Profile
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Re: Night at the Lake


Many of the images are good, and the last couple of lines are pretty strong. The use of "sun" is good, because it evokes "son," while adding another layer of meaning. I wouldn't change it to "son," I like it the way it is.

The violence in the poem, the emotional charge is pretty good. It comes through clearly. I think it could be heightened even more, though, by judicious editing.

The poem is marred by two things, I feel: the language is very prosaic; and there are some conventional phrases that border on cliché, or in some cases seem throwaway. These all take away energy from the poem's emotional charge, and dragged it down for me.

every morning
whispers in my ear
cut his wrists -- > bleeding death (redundant?)

I agree with Tere's comment about grove of fear, it's a bit much. It feels like you're trying to hammer the point home so hard, maybe trying too hard. Let some ambiguity back in, and I think the poem could more powerful, more disturbing.

So the poem comes across as a bit overwritten. Don't be afraid to strip some of these down, and tighten up the language.

Also you've made the poem one long run-on sentence with no punctuation. That's fine, but the poem is in conflict with its own style. You're using full prose grammar—which is one reason the poem comes across as overwritten—but no internal punctuation. This tends to make the lines where one hears a clause want to have a comma or dash or semicolon—something, anyway. If you're going to do one long run-on sentence AND keep sentence structure then the poem's form gives a mixed message, and takes away energy from the poem. One option is to put more punctuation in, and clarify the breath-pauses. A better option might be to tighten up the language and make it less formal—one reason the poem seems overwritten is that there are words that don't add anything, they're just there to maintain prose grammar structure. To be one long run-on prosey sentence, it could have been done as paragraphs, so the line breaks seem arbitrary.

Also, one line-position in particular seems arbitrary. The first line of the second stanza feels like it belongs with the first stanza, since it's still about the lake, and could have been the last line of the first stanza. So the stanza break there really tripped me up, even on repeated readings.

The language in something this violent and imagistic can afford to be choppy and violent itself, embodying the meaning rather than just talking about it. The sequence of images is good, it just feels like there's too much foliage in the way to see it clearly.

Hope that helps.

---
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Jan/29/2009, 9:02 am Link to this post Send Email to Dragon59   Send PM to Dragon59
 
deepwaters Profile
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Re: Night at the Lake


Terre-
Thank you for visiting this piece.
quote:

Terreson wrote:
Bear cubs hiding in the grove of fear is a bit too much. That they are hiding itself suggests fear.


I agree. Consider fear gone emoticon

quote:

Terreson wrote: And with the last line I might have been inclined to play on sun as son. It is what the poem is after, right? The death of her son.


yes, that is what the poem is after. I thought the play on sun/son was best remaining under the covers, instead of being made explicit. you don't agree?
-shab



Feb/3/2009, 11:10 pm Link to this post Send Email to deepwaters   Send PM to deepwaters
 
deepwaters Profile
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Re: Night at the Lake


Dragon -
Thank you for your comments. They are very helpful, whether or not I decide to keep this piece. It looks like a throw away right now since it got some unfavorable reviews on another board too, but maybe tomorrow I would feel differently.

Thanks again.



Feb/3/2009, 11:14 pm Link to this post Send Email to deepwaters   Send PM to deepwaters
 
Zakzzz5 Profile
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Re: Night at the Lake


Deepwaters,

The other board must be full of pudding. For me this is a very good poem. Terreson and Dragon pointed out some problems. For me the poem works & only requires a bit of fine tuning. For me the thing that stuck out was parrots in the forest. It might be accurate, but my bias has parrots living in the jungle, or now fashionably called the ??????? I forget what it is that has replaced the word jungle. I agree that that bears and the fear needs to be worked on. Also, you are personifying lake, I would still stick to "that" rather than "who" for some unknown reason. Yes, and in bleeding death, simply delete death. Or something.

It can be improved but doesn't need to be thrown away. Zak

quote:

deepwaters wrote:

Night at the Lake

The lake who falls in love
with the forest every morning
and multiplies pines by hundreds

steam coming off her mouth
whispers in my ear
tells me of how the sun
cut his wrists while the pines
watched in silence
petrified by his bleeding death

how in the depth of a forest
the parrots lost their voice
and the bear cubs hid in the grove of fear

the fish lost their sparkles
and the mountain took a step back
to let a black cloaked mother
mourn her handsome sun.



Feb/7/2009, 6:26 am Link to this post Send Email to Zakzzz5   Send PM to Zakzzz5
 
deepwaters Profile
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Re: Night at the Lake


quote:


The other board must be full of pudding.



Zak -
Thanks for saying that. That board has not been liking my recent stuff and I was thinking maybe I should stop for a while. So, your comment comes at a perfect time.

Thank you for your helpful comments. You are right about the parrots being no where close to a pine. I will have to fix that too. Thanks.
-shab
Feb/12/2009, 10:09 pm Link to this post Send Email to deepwaters   Send PM to deepwaters
 


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