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deepwaters Profile
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In Praise of My Lover


Parts of this, I had written as one of the very first poems when I started writing a few years ago. So, a section might ring familiar to a couple of you. I am wondering if this poem is worth holding on to and working on. Thanks for your thoughts.


In Praise of My Lover
 
My lover does not read poetry. He does not
know that my nights don't end
till the sky has turned
the color of iris after thunder
where I am tossed
between dignity and disgrace
ruin and redemption
love and lust. He does not
 
know that my pulse daydreams
of his tongue tracing the stem of my neck
where blood rolls in waves, surging
me towards a dark naked
urge away from rectitude,
that in the spaces between his heartbeats
a single note rises to the tip of his finger
balanced on a string leading to my legs.
He doesn't know that in his absence, happiness
cracks in between my drenched lashes. Yet

he sings for me, when I sink
in the tub, lower and lower. As his voice
deserts me, his face
turns to liquid and I break
out of my brown husk. He watches
my eyes, two ebony stones covered by the tide;
he watches my breasts, two jellyfish, floating
and grounded, the eternal conflict,
a token from my mother.

At the end of my lover's voice, the moon
and I reunite and rise from the dead sea.


Last edited by deepwaters, Jan/5/2010, 11:15 am
Jan/5/2010, 2:05 am Link to this post Send Email to deepwaters   Send PM to deepwaters
 
Zakzzz5 Profile
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Re: In Praise of My Lover


deepwaters,

Not sure exactly what you're asking. Without a more thorough analysis, my immmediate impression is that this is a very fine poem on its own. Are you asking whether you should set this aside because it's been turned iinto other derivative poems?

As to my initial impression, it seems like a very fine poem. You seem to be able to write on a violin chord, if that means anything. From having read earlier commentary by you, I gather that your literary inheritance is rich, and also has different antecedents than most of us. From a Western perspective, it reads somewhat like the romantics. But not exclusively. There's a vulnerability that is new, poignant (they used to use this word a lot a few decades ago).

I'll come back to it unless someone else comes in an gives it a good review. I really like this. Zak

quote:

deepwaters wrote:

Parts of this, I had written as one of the very first poems I wrote a few years ago. So, a section might ring familiar to a couple of you. I just don't know if I should let this sleep and float away, or I should hold on to it. Thanks for your thoughts.


In Praise of My Lover
 
My lover does not read poetry. He does not
know that my nights don't end
till the sky has turned
the color of iris after thunder
where I am tossed
between dignity and disgrace
ruin and redemption
love and lust. He does not
 
know that my pulse daydreams
of his tongue tracing the stem of my neck
where blood rolls in waves, surging
me towards a dark naked
urge away from rectitude,
that in the spaces between his heartbeats
a single note rises to the tip of his finger
balanced on a string leading to my legs.
He doesn't know that in his absence, happiness
cracks in between my drenched lashes. Yet

he sings for me, when I sink
in the tub, lower and lower. As his voice
deserts me, his face
turns to liquid and I break
out of my brown husk. He watches
my eyes, two ebony stones covered by the tide;
he watches my breasts, two jellyfish, floating
and grounded, the eternal conflict,
a token from my mother.

At the end of my lover's voice, the moon
and I reunite and rise from the dead sea.



Jan/5/2010, 9:00 am Link to this post Send Email to Zakzzz5   Send PM to Zakzzz5
 
deepwaters Profile
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Re: In Praise of My Lover


Zak,
Thank you for your comments. The earlier poem I mentioned has been incorporated into this. So, I was really asking whether this current piece is mature enough to keep. Thanks again.
-shab
Jan/5/2010, 11:14 am Link to this post Send Email to deepwaters   Send PM to deepwaters
 
Dragon59 Profile
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Re: In Praise of My Lover


Yup, definitely a keeper.

I haven't much to add, the sensuality here is what makes it work, the specifics of the images and moments described.

I do hear echoes of the love-poem traditions from the Neat East, from the few poets I'm familiar with, such as Hafiz, among others. I mean this in a positive way: it's a very modern poem, in some ways, yet it also evokes that long tradition of erotic poetry from that part of the world.

Last edited by Dragon59, Jan/6/2010, 12:29 am


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Jan/6/2010, 12:27 am Link to this post Send Email to Dragon59   Send PM to Dragon59
 
deepwaters Profile
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Re: In Praise of My Lover


Dragon-

Thank you for taking the time to comment, and for your generous assessment. It is much appreciated.
-s
Jan/7/2010, 6:05 am Link to this post Send Email to deepwaters   Send PM to deepwaters
 
SteveParker Profile
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Re: In Praise of My Lover


Great poem with some moments that will definitely stay with me. It speaks of maturity between humans, and of the fragile survival of what we are. Yes, it is reminiscent of some earlier stuff, but it's also totally a modern poem in its sharing and exposure. It actually reminds me more of a lot of modern painting than it does of poetry. Here I am, it says, titled like this, calling to the past from this bathtub right here. I am ancient; I am new. I am old, and all my sensations are young. Old like we are all old, and young like we are all young. Look upon my works and do not despair. Look upon my drowning beauty in this moment of my giving. It's a sort of apotheosis of relating to another. I have felt like this too. What a joy to feel like this. A dream of Ophelia with a realistic ending. The jellyfish send shimmers through all of this. This is the moment of humanity finding religion in itself.

Excuse me if I have entered Pseud's Corner or something. I'm rather prone to doing so when I get excited.

My nits are those three uses of the word 'and'. I would lose all of them. They just seem functional.

Great to see some good enjambment going on, though. And a heck of a poem.

Cheers,

Steve.
Jan/11/2010, 2:54 am Link to this post Send Email to SteveParker   Send PM to SteveParker
 
deepwaters Profile
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Re: In Praise of My Lover


Steve -

What a treat for me when a comment is a poem in itself:


Here I am,
calling to the past from this bathtub
right here.
I am ancient; I am new.
I am old
all my sensations are
young. Old like we are
all old, and young
like we are all young. Look
upon my works and do not
despair. Look
upon my drowning beauty in this
moment of my giving:
a dream of Ophelia.


quote:


My nits are those three uses of the word 'and'. I would lose all of them. They just seem functional.


Talking about those three in S1, right?

Thank you so much for coming in, Steve. A treat, indeed.

-s



Last edited by deepwaters, Jan/11/2010, 8:54 pm
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Katlin Profile
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Re: In Praise of My Lover


Shab,

I somewhat remember the original version of this poem, enough anyhow to say that the revision has been fleshed out and feels like a complete poem. I love the sensuousness, the risks you take and the honesty involved. Now I have a new poem to add to the reading list of your love poems I admire. In its way, it reminds me of the Songs of Solomon, which when you think about it, are affiliated with love poems by poets like Rumi, Hafiz, Mirabai and Lalla. Steve said it well: "Look upon my drowning beauty in this moment of my giving. . . .This is the moment of humanity finding religion in itself." Good stuff.
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deepwaters Profile
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Re: In Praise of My Lover


Kat-

Thank your for your comments and for your generous assessment of my work.
Jan/13/2010, 3:11 pm Link to this post Send Email to deepwaters   Send PM to deepwaters
 
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Re: In Praise of My Lover


Shab,

In another thread you expressed concern about losing your own voice in the process of translating others. I remember this poem from some time ago; this is the mature, confident version. It's not asking for anyone's permission. If anything, if this poem is any indication, your own work is gaining strength.

Chris
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deepwaters Profile
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Chris -
Thank you for reading and for your generous assessment.
-s
Jan/27/2010, 2:43 pm Link to this post Send Email to deepwaters   Send PM to deepwaters
 
Terreson Profile
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Re: In Praise of My Lover


How have I missed the poem? I'll come back when the brain is less cluttered with stuff.

Tere
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carolinex Profile
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Total keeper! Isn't it funny how we can't understand know our own? Why is that? WIll come back to this...
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Re: In Praise of My Lover


I'm not sure I can be of much help to you here, Shabfriend. Neither clinically or critically. This is a poem, in body language, word, line rhythm, syntax, this is a poem. This is the kind of voice I look for in poetry. Post-Moderns be damned. This is how a poem sits in my ear when the poet says what her body tells her to say. That is how the poem comes across.

Were ours an IBPC board this would be up there.

Tere
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Re: In Praise of My Lover


Shab, I am wanting this poem put up for IBPC nomination. Our board does not qualify yet for membership in the association. Do please put it out there. (Remember the Cohen thing we've discussed?)

Tere
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deepwaters Profile
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Re: In Praise of My Lover


Caroline-
Thank you for your kind words. I look forward to hearing your thoughts.

----------------------------------------------
Tere-
Thank you for your encouragement. The only other board I used to participate in was poets.org. Not only have the recent events left a bad taste in my mouth, but I posted this poem there and it received no comments. I appreciate your support and suggestion, but I am not sure where to go with it.
-s
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If you want to do something like that with it you could stick it up on criticalpoet.org and I'll nominate it for the IBPC, if you're into that. It's the kind of poem that does well in the IBPC. Caroline hit a winner with them recently through .org. I don't often do very well there. Anyway, just a suggestion in line with Tere's thinking above. They do sometimes have good judges at the IBPC who know what they are looking at when they see poetry.

Steve.
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Hey, my Forough Farrokhzād 'book' has just arrived! Only it's not a book it's a bloody DVD! I could have sworn I ordered a book. Oh well, I'm off to 'read' it anyway. I'll report back.

emoticon

Steve.
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The current IBPC judges are Dorianne Laux, a poet I really like and recommended to Rus, and her husband Joel Millar, whose work I am not familiar with. Laux has written some of my favorite poems about love and sex. When I'm home later and have her books in front of me, I'll see if I can find a few online and post them in Right Words and Library.
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There you have it Shabfriend. Steve's invitation to post. His board is of long standing. I can't remember how many members we need in order to qualify for the IBPC consortium, but I know we are not there yet. This poem simply must be read. It seems now I am not the only one who thinks so. I've reread it several times to make sure my initial enthusiasm is not misplaced. It is not. The poem passes my holy trinity test: gestalt, kinetic energy, organic unity.

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Re: In Praise of My Lover


I forgot I have this link. Look to the left and you see the many IBPC associated boards, including Steve's.

http://ibpc.webdelsol.com/

Tere
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Off the top of my head I seem to recall the number required for IBPC inclusion is 25 active members. It seems like a pretty low figure, but I think in reality it can actually be quite hard to get to it unless you have a solid core of very active and welcoming posters. A lot of places never make it past about 10, I think. I suspect there is a critical mass after which these things take on their own life and just start to grow.

Steve.
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deepwaters Profile
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Re: In Praise of My Lover


Tere -
Thanks for the link and the information. My sense is that board members need to know you a bit before they would nominate your work to enter. I will check out Steve's board.


----------

Steve-
Thanks for the invite. I am sending you a PM.
-s
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Thanks, Steve, for the information. That is my recollection as well. We'll get there sooner rather than later. And you are right also about a certain dynamic achieved at a certain point of critical mass. The board is getting there too, solely because of its members.

Shabfriend, as they say, you go, girl. Some of us have been watching your progress now since the Lily days. The pleasure involved in watching a poet's growth is nothing short of tangible. Just don't forget our little board.

Tere
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By the way, folks, I ain't trying to rustle Shab away here. Just a means to an end, as I just explained in a PM. This poem would make a good IBPC entry, I think. That's all it is. No conditions of any kind attached.

Steve.
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By also the way, I don't have the power just to enter something; I can only nominate it. I'm not suggesting any cooking the books here. Someone else would have to second it. I'm pretty sure it would get seconded anyway. It's a darn fine poem.

Steve.
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deepwaters Profile
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I like the idea of participating in more than one board and being exposed to different views and reactions. After leaving Poets.org, I just hadn't taken the time to look around for other places. Thanks again, Steve.
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No worries, Shab. Don't spread yourself too thin, though! I often do.

Steve.
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Not to worry, Steve. The spirit of your offer comes through.

And, Shabfriend, you do what is right for you. At all times and in all places.

Tere
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Tere, glad you get with that. Just thinking more about what makes a site work, though. I'm far from an expert on this, but I suspect in the intial stages it helps to have some handpicked charismatic people that other people want to be around. I'm not saying I am one of these, but there are sure some of them here. You know what I mean, people who have interesting things to say to people about their poems or just about feckin life. That makes people want to turn up. The alternative to that is people who just want a place to post rather inept and uninteresting poetry that it's actually hard to deal with because you don't want to insult it. It's never easy to do this stuff unless you have a board especially set up for it and some sort of martyr to do the job. Carla used to do that at tcp on the Mild forum. Personally, I just really haven't got it in me. I'd far rather talk to people who know what they are doing, and that's why I am hanging around here so much.

So I think the major step is having some general charisma. But then after that I think it is also keeping out of the way quite a lot. People don't seem to want a Zeus figure overarching.

But I am talking about how to make a big board, not an intimate thing.

I might be entirely wrong anyway. I certainly haven't cracked how to do any of this stuff.

My feeling, though, is that people want praise and encouragement more than they want truth.

If you can figure that balance...

Steve.
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