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Zakzzz5 Profile
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Winter Thoughts 2009


Tick, tick, tick
rain patter, rain patter
yesterday the sun glowed
winter is a train track
wound around Tinsdale Peak

Yellow daffodils
girl in flowered dress
yesterday's imagined lover
the train wreck
burning pink, blue, yellow

The camera's shutter speed
we love digital
wrapped tightly
jam on toast
what is there now?
but spring's resurgent puff
& rain falling from it

I love winter
the dead of it
when petals have fallen
and

Last edited by Zakzzz5, Feb/7/2009, 10:56 am
Feb/7/2009, 6:14 am Link to this post Send Email to Zakzzz5   Send PM to Zakzzz5
 
Dragon59 Profile
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Re: Winter Thoughts 2009


The slackest parts of the poem are in the two lines in which you use "love" as a verb. Both of those could go. They bring something that is veering towards being very good back towards something conventional and familiar. They come over as sentimental, which is a change of tone in the poem that detracts from the tone, I think.

Okay, the line "we love digital" has some promise but it's still too obvious coming after "camera." But the line "I love winter" can just go. The last stanza, without that line, becomes something rich and fresh, especially ending on a lift, as it does with that "and."

I question why you feel the need to capitalize each stanza's first word since there's almost no other punctuation. I'm not sure what that's about. I'm not saying it's bad, just that it's distracting.

There are some other conventional sentiments here, in the context of winter memories of spring. I like your first stanza as is, but the first two lines of the second stanza veer towards that conventional sentiment. Can you pick a memory of spring that is less typical? "Yellow" in front of "daffodils" is redundant; white narcissus are the exception to the poetic image, most everyone always sees yellow for "daffodils." (So sayeth we amateur gardeners.) emoticon

Maybe I'm missing something. Feel free to ignore my comments here. Yet I feel like there's something very fresh and original in this poem, but it's buried beneath layers of conventional images and sentiments of spring. Are you trying to be ironic and subvert those? If so, I missed that. Otherwise, again, there is something quite interesting trying to emerge here, that is being weighed down by the overly-familiar.

Hope that helps a little.

---
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Feb/7/2009, 11:40 am Link to this post Send Email to Dragon59   Send PM to Dragon59
 
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Re: Winter Thoughts 2009


quote:

Dragon59 wrote:

The slackest parts of the poem are in the two lines in which you use "love" as a verb. Both of those could go. They bring something that is veering towards being very good back towards something conventional and familiar. They come over as sentimental, which is a change of tone in the poem that detracts from the tone, I think. [These are very interesting comments, and I'm sure it will require at least six months or more for me to absorb this. In the last several years I've tended to write conventionally, and in a straight-forward manner. In the 90's I wrote some material in the manner William of TCP writes when he's writing with all of the these symbols -- ()[]*@ -- etc., & occasionally come back to an "experimental" mode -- but I confess I don't sit and figure out a technique to any great degree. You know, consistency and all. So I appreciate the comments and will think on them.]

Okay, the line "we love digital" has some promise but it's still too obvious coming after "camera." [I thought maybe "we embrace digital" but it seems too devoid of emotion] But the line "I love winter" can just go. The last stanza, without that line, becomes something rich and fresh, especially ending on a lift, as it does with that "and." [Yes, maybe I can get rid of some of the "love" and yet find an inner stress or conflict, some tension to replace it -- tension of the weather I know is there, bleakness]

I question why you feel the need to capitalize each stanza's first word since there's almost no other punctuation. I'm not sure what that's about. I'm not saying it's bad, just that it's distracting. [Interesting comment. I've reviewed recently a well-regarded poet of the Vietnam War who capitalizes, not every first word of the stanza, but every other line.]

There are some other conventional sentiments here, in the context of winter memories of spring. I like your first stanza as is, but the first two lines of the second stanza veer towards that conventional sentiment. Can you pick a memory of spring that is less typical? "Yellow" in front of "daffodils" is redundant; white narcissus are the exception to the poetic image, most everyone always sees yellow for "daffodils." (So sayeth we amateur gardeners.) emoticon [I am no Shakespeare, so what I say can be taken in that context. It seems to me that daffodils can be a light yellow, or a brilliant yellow, depending on the period of their lives. Pale to brilliant. They reach a point to where their yellow turns to white stems, not unlike people's grey hair, then go completely bald. Thus, yellow daffodils is not so strange, it seems. Even the person who doesn't know anything about daffodils could imagine a painting where the daffodils are a washed out yellowish color? To me, "yellow daffodils" connotes them in their full magnificense, but again, my caveat: I'm no Shakespeare. LATER CORRECTION: I seem describing dandelions rather than daffodils. But the response about color would be similar.]

Maybe I'm missing something. Feel free to ignore my comments here. Yet I feel like there's something very fresh and original in this poem, but it's buried beneath layers of conventional images and sentiments of spring. Are you trying to be ironic and subvert those? If so, I missed that. Otherwise, again, there is something quite interesting trying to emerge here, that is being weighed down by the overly-familiar. [You may have a point, and maybe a very good one. This is one of the more interesting reviews I've ever gotten. I'll be mulling this over. Thanks. Zak]

Hope that helps a little.



 

Last edited by Zakzzz5, Feb/14/2009, 1:09 pm
Feb/8/2009, 7:03 am Link to this post Send Email to Zakzzz5   Send PM to Zakzzz5
 
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Re: Winter Thoughts 2009


I hope you don't think I was saying "be experimental for the sake of being experimental." I wasn't at all. What I was trying to get at was that there are contradictory impulses in this poem, one towards the conventional and overly familiar, the other towards something more fresh and original. It's the bouncing back and forth that's jarring.

I have no problem with arbitrary choices in style, or in individual poems. But they do need to be consistent. The Vietnam poet who caps every other line is a good example—that practice seems completely arbitrary, but if you do it enough it becomes an element of form, or style. But if he were to break his own established rules for no apparent reason, that would be jarring. Jarring effects can be used to good effect, too, of course, as another element in the toolbox. It's just that one hopes to be jarring with conscious intent rather than sloppiness. emoticon

Anyway, thanks again. I don't mean to drag it on, only to clarify a point or two.

---
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Feb/8/2009, 10:45 am Link to this post Send Email to Dragon59   Send PM to Dragon59
 
Zakzzz5 Profile
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Re: Winter Thoughts 2009


quote:

Dragon59 wrote:

I hope you don't think I was saying "be experimental for the sake of being experimental." I wasn't at all. What I was trying to get at was that there are contradictory impulses in this poem, one towards the conventional and overly familiar, the other towards something more fresh and original. It's the bouncing back and forth that's jarring. [Not saying that the poem's any good; but I am saying that capitalizing the first word "is" consistent in this way: I don't leave out any stanzas where the first word isn't capitalized. It's interesting to me to get comments from people who are not using punctuation or grammar per se; I get these over at the old site all the time. So I've heard this before. It doesn't irritate me; it sometimes amuses me. You, of course, are a very, very good poet, so I'm not discounting what you are saying; in fact, I don't discount what they say either. I'm just not there along the same continuum yet, I guess. Somehow.]

I have no problem with arbitrary choices in style, or in individual poems. But they do need to be consistent. The Vietnam poet who caps every other line is a good example—that practice seems completely arbitrary, but if you do it enough it becomes an element of form, or style. But if he were to break his own established rules for no apparent reason, that would be jarring. Jarring effects can be used to good effect, too, of course, as another element in the toolbox. It's just that one hopes to be jarring with conscious intent rather than sloppiness. emoticon

Anyway, thanks again. I don't mean to drag it on, only to clarify a point or two. [You may be right. I might be riding my horse with blinders.]



 
Feb/12/2009, 7:10 pm Link to this post Send Email to Zakzzz5   Send PM to Zakzzz5
 
Katlin Profile
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Re: Winter Thoughts 2009


Hi Zak,

There is something fresh and experimental about this poem. I think you could tweak it a bit, make it rougher. Here is an example of what I mean:

Tick, tick, tick
rain patter, patter
yesterday sun glowed
winter is a train track
wound around Tinsdale Peak

Yellow daffodils
girl in flowered dress
yesterday's imagined
the train wreck
burning pink, blue, yellow

The shutter's speed
we love digital
wrapped tightly
jam on toast
what is there now?
spring's resurgent puff
& rain falling from it

I love winter
the dead of it
when petals have fallen
and

I wasn't troubled by the use of "love" in the last stanza, but I don't think it works as well in S2. I wasn't sure about the two uses of "yellow" in that stanza. I understand your explanation of it to Dragon, but I did not get that from poem. Maybe something like: "Yellowest daffodils" or "Yellowest of daffodils"? Hmm, well, perhaps that's too poetic, but I think some way to distinguish between the two yellows might be good.

I like what you are doing here and agree this poem has much potential.

Just my 2 Cents, as they say. Use or lose as you see fit. Thanks for posting this. You have given me something to think about. emoticon
Feb/19/2009, 2:53 pm Link to this post Send Email to Katlin   Send PM to Katlin
 
Zakzzz5 Profile
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Re: Winter Thoughts 2009


Katlin,

I may borrow some of your changes. You've given me something to think about. William, over at TCP, hated the use of daffodils, thinking the image overused. He may be right. Anyway, I'm not feeling inspired today, so I'll just keep the material. Thanks again. Zak

quote:

Katlin wrote:

Hi Zak,

There is something fresh and experimental about this poem. I think you could tweak it a bit, make it rougher. Here is an example of what I mean:

Tick, tick, tick
rain patter, patter
yesterday sun glowed
winter is a train track
wound around Tinsdale Peak

Yellow daffodils
girl in flowered dress
yesterday's imagined
the train wreck
burning pink, blue, yellow

The shutter's speed
we love digital
wrapped tightly
jam on toast
what is there now?
spring's resurgent puff
& rain falling from it

I love winter
the dead of it
when petals have fallen
and

I wasn't troubled by the use of "love" in the last stanza, but I don't think it works as well in S2. I wasn't sure about the two uses of "yellow" in that stanza. I understand your explanation of it to Dragon, but I did not get that from poem. Maybe something like: "Yellowest daffodils" or "Yellowest of daffodils"? Hmm, well, perhaps that's too poetic, but I think some way to distinguish between the two yellows might be good.

I like what you are doing here and agree this poem has much potential.

Just my 2 Cents, as they say. Use or lose as you see fit. Thanks for posting this. You have given me something to think about. emoticon



Feb/21/2009, 7:05 am Link to this post Send Email to Zakzzz5   Send PM to Zakzzz5
 


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