Romancing the Ocean (revision 2)

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Romancing the Ocean (revision 2)

Post by JJWilliamson » Thu Dec 12, 2019 9:43 am

Engage with my squalls, sang the wind to the sea,
as her waves rocked the boats by the Mariner’s Quay.
Let’s glide with the fulmars and twist with the terns
then waltz around skuas till high tide adjourns.

The sea spat a riot of clamorous spray
and said I’ve been dancing the morning away
with gathering gannets and puffins galore
where cormorants hang and the kittiwakes soar.

But if you can promise to heighten your blow
I’ll muster my depths for a glorious show,
and then we will tumble and whistle and play
and give all the seabirds a frantic display.




Revision

Engage with my squalls, sang the wind to the sea,
as her waves rocked the boats by the Mariner’s Quay.
Let’s glide with the fulmars and twist with the terns
then waltz around skuas till high tide adjourns.

The sea spat a riot of clamorous spray
and cried I’ve been dancing the morning away
with plungings of gannets and puffins galore,
where cormorants hang and the kittiwakes soar.

But if you can promise to strengthen your blow,
I’ll muster my depths for a glorious show,
and then we will tumble and whistle and play
and give all the seabirds a stormy display.

Original

Engage with my squalls, sang the wind to the sea,
as its waves rocked the boats on the Mariner’s Quay.
Let’s glide with the fulmars and twist with the terns
then waltz around skuas till high tide adjourns.

The sea spat a riot of clamorous spray
and said I’ve been dancing the morning away
with squadrons of gannets and puffins galore,
where cormorants hang and the kittiwakes soar.

But if you can promise to temper your blow,
I’ll muster my depths for a glorious show,
and then we will tumble and whistle and play
and give all the seabirds a stormy display.
Long time a child and still a child

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Re: Romancing the Ocean

Post by Macavity » Thu Dec 12, 2019 11:15 am

hi JJ

The rhythms capture the verve and playfulness JJ. Very pleasing to read with those anapaests. terns/adjourn was a novel rhyme and I like the specific Mariner’s Quay to ground the whimsy. May I offer embrace rather than engage to pitch the mood or perhaps you wanted a 'harder' sound and 'engage' as with a dancing partner? The only other diction choice that niggled was squadrons, which took me out of the poem to something warlike (though threading with the sonics of squalls, squalls/skuas was nice by the way).

enjoyed

mac

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Post by MilesTugeau » Thu Dec 12, 2019 10:04 pm

.
Last edited by MilesTugeau on Wed Jan 01, 2020 1:24 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Romancing the Ocean

Post by bjondon » Fri Dec 13, 2019 2:59 pm

Yes, a bit of a bracing triumph.
Not sure if the title captures it.
Sent me to my copy of Rattlebag to dig out Masefield's 'Sea-Change'.
The one puzzler for me is the word 'temper' in the last stanza . . . the wind
is being all sprightly and frivolous, the ocean suggests that when they get
together they should direct their forces a bit more purposefully to put
on a real show for the birds . . . 'temper' feels only half right, containing the notion
of calming down to my mind . . . hows about 'marshal'?

Best,
Jules

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Re: Romancing the Ocean

Post by JJWilliamson » Sat Dec 14, 2019 10:15 am

Thank you very much, mac, Miles and Jules, for the very helpful and constructive comments. Much appreciated.

I'll post a revision above the original, taking your suggestions into account.
MilesTugeau wrote:
Thu Dec 12, 2019 10:04 pm
I absolutely adore this poem, JJ.

One slight niggle: S3, L4--"stormy." Consider a less predictable replacement, though the loss of alliteration might be too painful. :) ...Ah, there's always a price to pay, Miles. A sonic exchange is often the way out.
Macavity wrote:
Thu Dec 12, 2019 11:15 am
hi JJ

The rhythms capture the verve and playfulness JJ. Very pleasing to read with those anapaests. ...Delighted you noted the rhythm

terns/adjourn was a novel rhyme and I like the specific Mariner’s Quay to ground the whimsy. May I offer embrace rather than engage to pitch the mood or perhaps you wanted a 'harder' sound and 'engage' as with a dancing partner? The only other diction choice that niggled was squadrons, ...I remember I used 'squadrons' in a puffin poem a couple of years ago and I think you had the same niggle then. I'll check. *smile* Anyway, I've recently discovered that one of the few collective nouns for gannets is "a plunging". Wasn't sure about it at first but it does make sense. I lose a 'sq' but gain a 'p'. :)

which took me out of the poem to something warlike (though threading with the sonics of squalls, squalls/skuas was nice by the way).

enjoyed ...Pleased you enjoyed

mac
bjondon wrote:
Fri Dec 13, 2019 2:59 pm
Yes, a bit of a bracing triumph.
Not sure if the title captures it. ...Always worth a rethink.
Sent me to my copy of Rattlebag to dig out Masefield's 'Sea-Change'.
The one puzzler for me is the word 'temper' in the last stanza . . . the wind
is being all sprightly and frivolous, the ocean suggests that when they get
together they should direct their forces a bit more purposefully to put
on a real show for the birds . . . 'temper' feels only half right, containing the notion
of calming down to my mind . . . hows about 'marshal'? ...Spot on with your interp' Jules. I was thinking about tempered steel at the time, where the steel is toughened through heat treatment, but it's not really working. I always think of "marshal" in the plural, although I LOVE the sound. I've an idea for the revision but it's by no means the final word. :)

Best,
Jules
Best to all and thanks again

JJ
Long time a child and still a child

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Post by MilesTugeau » Sat Dec 14, 2019 10:32 pm

.
Last edited by MilesTugeau on Wed Jan 01, 2020 1:24 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Romancing the Ocean (revised)

Post by Macavity » Sun Dec 15, 2019 7:07 am

I was thinking about tempered steel at the time, where the steel is toughened through heat treatment, but it's not really working.
That was how I read it, though there was ambiguity there. Would measure be an option - promise/muster/measure sonic and for dancing motif?

May I offer for alliteration and threading with clamorous/glorious...
with gluttonous gannets, puffins galore
best

mac

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Re: Romancing the Ocean (revised)

Post by NotQuiteSure » Sun Dec 15, 2019 11:47 am

.
Hi JJ,
another strong piece .... but .... that last line:
it's is a real anticlimax, for me.

L1. Not keen on 'engage' (Captain Picard, anyone?)
- has that 'fencing' connotation' - it needs something
more specific to dancing, I think, or something more
inviting.

L5 - 'spat' make the sea (shouldn't Sea and Wind be
capitalised?) sound hostile, and it's an ugly word
in the context of 'romance'.

L9 - Mike pipped me to 'bolster' (Hi Mike) but then
rereading the line I started to hear the Shipping
Forecast, so I think keep 'strengthening' - though
the inadvertent drugs reference (among other things)
with 'blow' is mildly distracting.

L10 - 'summon' for 'muster' ?

Regards, Not.


.

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Re: Romancing the Ocean (revised)

Post by JJWilliamson » Fri Dec 20, 2019 7:23 am

Thanks you very much, Miles, mac and Not, for the generous replies and points of critique. Always appreciated.

I'm off to the North East this weekend for my nephew's 30th birthday bash so I could be gone for some time. :)
Been busy, busy, busy lately.

MilesTugeau wrote:
Sat Dec 14, 2019 10:32 pm
Hi JJ,
Romance calls, so I'll go another round. ...That's very kind of you, Miles.

Engage with my squalls, sang the wind to the sea,
as her waves rocked the boats by the Mariner’s Quay.
Let’s glide with the fulmars and twist with the terns
then waltz around skuas till high tide adjourns.

The sea spat a riot of clamorous spray
and cried I’ve been dancing the morning away
with plungings of gannets and puffins galore,
where cormorants hang and the kittiwakes soar.

But if you can promise to strengthen your blow,----------to bolster your blow ...Not a bad alternative at all, given the alliteration.
I’ll muster my depths for a glorious show,
and then we will tumble and whistle and play
and give all the seabirds a stormy display.---------------whirlwind, or tempest's display (one, not both) :) ...I've given this one lots of thought and have a few contenders. The problem is, there are SO many. :) Could be worse.

Toss or use. Cheers, Miles
Macavity wrote:
Sun Dec 15, 2019 7:07 am
I was thinking about tempered steel at the time, where the steel is toughened through heat treatment, but it's not really working.
That was how I read it, though there was ambiguity there. Would measure be an option - promise/muster/measure sonic and for dancing motif? ...Yes, the ambiguity is the problem, especially as there are alternatives available.

May I offer for alliteration and threading with clamorous/glorious...
with gluttonous gannets, puffins galore ...I like "gluttonous" very much but it moves the poem away from the romantic; the image is less appealing to my inward eye. :)


best

mac
NotQuiteSure wrote:
Sun Dec 15, 2019 11:47 am
.
Hi JJ,
another strong piece .... but .... that last line:
it's is a real anticlimax, for me. ...Miles had similar concerns. The combination of the two potential lovers could lead to a stormy affair AND a storm. However, I did look at sinful, shameful, lawless, mighty, savage, scandalous (my favourite, but an invisible elision is required to maintain the meter), raging, roaring and a few others. Decisions, decisions.

L1. Not keen on 'engage' (Captain Picard, anyone?)
- has that 'fencing' connotation' - it needs something
more specific to dancing, I think, or something more
inviting. ...I was going to use " Come play with my squalls" but it was too vulgar, I thought. Not that I'm averse to a bit of vulgarity. :) I will give it some more thought.

L5 - 'spat' make the sea (shouldn't Sea and Wind be
capitalised?) sound hostile, and it's an ugly word
in the context of 'romance'. ...To be perfectly honest I'm not sure. I AM being specific and HAVE assigned gender so perhaps you're right. I'll check it out. Thanks.

L9 - Mike pipped me to 'bolster' (Hi Mike) but then
rereading the line I started to hear the Shipping
Forecast, so I think keep 'strengthening' - though
the inadvertent drugs reference (among other things)
with 'blow' is mildly distracting. ...I'm happy with 'blow' but you did make me smile. It's a common expression for weed, is it not, Not.

L10 - 'summon' for 'muster' ? ...I'm ok with 'muster', although there are few alternatives out there.

Regards, Not.


.
Well, thanks again for the thoughtful replies.

Best to all

JJ
Long time a child and still a child

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Re: Romancing the Ocean (revised)

Post by NotQuiteSure » Fri Dec 20, 2019 12:44 pm

JJWilliamson wrote:
Fri Dec 20, 2019 7:23 am
...I'm happy with 'blow' but you did make me smile. It's a common expression for weed, is it not, Not.
Not. Cannabis (apparently acc. to the OED), not to mention 'flowers' and possibly 'oral sex'.
Hidden depths, JJ. :)

Regards, Not.


.

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Re: Romancing the Ocean (revised)

Post by bjondon » Fri Dec 20, 2019 4:36 pm

Trying to raise the tone here -

'if you can promise to ramp up your blow'

'give all the sea birds a proper display'

done and done (?)

Jules

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Post by MilesTugeau » Sat Dec 21, 2019 1:28 am

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Last edited by MilesTugeau on Wed Jan 01, 2020 1:25 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Romancing the Ocean (revised)

Post by Sid » Sat Dec 21, 2019 2:29 am

JJ,

I really like the imagery and beat of this poem. I also have a soft spot for rhyming poetry which you do well in this poem.

My comments below:
JJWilliamson wrote:
Thu Dec 12, 2019 9:43 am
Engage with my squalls, sang the wind to the sea,
as her waves rocked the boats by the Mariner’s Quay.
Let’s glide with the fulmars and twist with the terns
then waltz around skuas till high tide adjourns.

The wind is talking, this is consistent and good on the ear. Is adjourns the correct word here? It is a poetic stretch to convey an image however what is it adjourning from? Adjourn is a legal term and by definition probably doesn’t quite suit the imagery (though it rhymes well).

[/i
The sea spat a riot of clamorous spray
and cried I’ve been dancing the morning away

Sea is talking, consistent imagery here

with plungings of gannets and puffins galore,

Plunging into the water, still true to sea talking

where cormorants hang and the kittiwakes soar.

Not sure how this translates to the sea’s perspective. This seems more to be the winds domain. The birds neither hang nor soar in the sea. Even with the seas mist spray it is a bit of a stretch. I like the imagery however just the narrative point seems out of kilter.

But if you can promise to strengthen your blow,

The line above is dependent on this line where the wind strengthens its blow. Reversed in order which confuses the narrative slightly.

I’ll muster my depths for a glorious show,

What is mustering from the sea’s depths. The poem is about the interaction of the sea with the wind which occurs at the surface. Nothing is mustering from the depths and this confuses the imagery slightly. Up till now the poem has only addressed birds and sea spray best to maintain this image and not introduce uncertainty at this point in the poem.

and then we will tumble and whistle and play
and give all the seabirds a stormy display.

Great finish.

Original

Engage with my squalls, sang the wind to the sea,
as its waves rocked the boats on the Mariner’s Quay.
Let’s glide with the fulmars and twist with the terns
then waltz around skuas till high tide adjourns.

The sea spat a riot of clamorous spray
and said I’ve been dancing the morning away
with squadrons of gannets and puffins galore,
where cormorants hang and the kittiwakes soar.

But if you can promise to temper your blow,
I’ll muster my depths for a glorious show,
and then we will tumble and whistle and play
and give all the seabirds a stormy display.
Like the imprint left, an effect on your being - beautiful, wonderful, succinct.

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Re: Romancing the Ocean (revision 2)

Post by JJWilliamson » Mon Jan 27, 2020 2:50 am

Thanks again, Not, Jules and Sid, for your patience and help. Appreciated.

I've made a few final revisions with your comments in mind and apart from a couple of possible changes
I'm pretty much there, Methinks.

Sid! I've always felt that the sea and wind are inextricably linked as one effects the other twice a day.

I'm using 'adjourns' as a synonym for "retreats" or "withdraws".

Best to all

JJ
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Re: Romancing the Ocean (revision 2)

Post by Macavity » Tue Jan 28, 2020 4:27 am

frenzied conveys the sense of abandonment JJ, but not the attraction promised in glorious show. Probably me, but something unappealing about a 'frenzied display'.

best

mac

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Re: Romancing the Ocean (revision 2)

Post by JJWilliamson » Tue Jan 28, 2020 6:52 pm

Good point, mac. I think I'll keep my eye on the title and go for "scandalous". I know it requires an elision, IE Scand'lous, but that's how I'd pronounce it anyway. I'll simply change that word rather than post a new revision.

Best

JJ
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Re: Romancing the Ocean (revision 2)

Post by Macavity » Tue Jan 28, 2020 7:29 pm

JJWilliamson wrote:
Tue Jan 28, 2020 6:52 pm
Good point, mac. I think I'll keep my eye on the title and go for "scandalous". I know it requires an elision, IE Scand'lous, but that's how I'd pronounce it anyway. I'll simply change that word rather than post a new revision.

Best

JJ
I like what you've done there JJ. A cheeky one that adds a smile.

best

mac

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Re: Romancing the Ocean (revision 2)

Post by JJWilliamson » Thu Jan 30, 2020 8:12 am

Thanks for that, mac.

I'm happy enough with this version but , as you know, anything could change. :)

JJ
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Re: Romancing the Ocean (revision 2)

Post by NotQuiteSure » Fri Jan 31, 2020 3:03 pm

.

Hi JJ.
With each improvement to S1/2 S3 gets weaker, for me. (Not a fan of scandalous).
The poem builds for two (and a half) verses, then stalls, where's the big finish?
You've 'glorious show' which doesn't seem much different from 'scandalous
(or whatever) display'. And the play/display rhyme seems poor (especially after S1).


Engage with my squalls, sang the wind to the sea,
as her waves rocked the boats by the Mariner’s Quay.

- I find this a little awkward, shouldn't it be 'whose waves ...' ?
Let’s glide with the fulmars and twist with the terns
- Why not 'fly' for 'glide' (I know, not much to do with dance, but then nor is 'squalls')
then waltz around skuas till high tide adjourns.
- If it's the sea being addressed, shouldn't it be 'til you must adjourn'?

The sea spat a riot of clamorous spray
- why not 'raised' for 'spat'? Alternatively, did you know that 'spume' was a verb?
The sea spumed a riot of clamorous spray
and said I’ve been dancing the morning away
with gathering gannets and puffins galore

- Any way to swap 'gathering' for 'gavotte' (used as a verb?)
where cormorants hang and the kittiwakes soar.

But if you can promise to heighten your blow

- I think 'strengthen' was better than 'heighten'
I’ll muster my depths for a glorious show,
and then we will tumble and whistle and play

- why not 'tempest' for 'whistle'?
and give all the seabirds a scandalous display.

Without attempting meter, I wonder if an ending that uses something like
And show what it is to Dance with the Deep
might pack a bit more punch?


Regards, Not


.

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Re: Romancing the Ocean (revision 2)

Post by JJWilliamson » Tue Feb 04, 2020 8:15 am

Thanks for the crit, Not. Appreciated.
NotQuiteSure wrote:
Fri Jan 31, 2020 3:03 pm
.

Hi JJ.
With each improvement to S1/2 S3 gets weaker, for me. (Not a fan of scandalous).
The poem builds for two (and a half) verses, then stalls, where's the big finish? ...I'm not really going for a "big finish", more a big smile. :D
You've 'glorious show' which doesn't seem much different from 'scandalous ...One is wonderful, the other is disgraceful, in a shock the senses sort of way.
(or whatever) display'. And the play/display rhyme seems poor (especially after S1).


Engage with my squalls, sang the wind to the sea,
as her waves rocked the boats by the Mariner’s Quay.

- I find this a little awkward, shouldn't it be 'whose waves ...' ? ...Not necessarily as I'm assigning gender.
Let’s glide with the fulmars and twist with the terns
- Why not 'fly' for 'glide' (I know, not much to do with dance, but then nor is 'squalls')
then waltz around skuas till high tide adjourns.
- If it's the sea being addressed, shouldn't it be 'til you must adjourn'? ...The tidal flow is inextricably linked to the sea.

The sea spat a riot of clamorous spray
- why not 'raised' for 'spat'? Alternatively, did you know that 'spume' was a verb?
The sea spumed a riot of clamorous spray ...I was born on the North Sea coast, where the sea seems to spray and spit foam as it hits the rocks and beach.
and said I’ve been dancing the morning away
with gathering gannets and puffins galore

- Any way to swap 'gathering' for 'gavotte' (used as a verb?) ...The gannets gather in fairly large flocks to dive-bomb small shoals of fish. I still have "Plungings of gannets" in another version, using it as a noun IE "a plunging".
where cormorants hang and the kittiwakes soar.

But if you can promise to heighten your blow

- I think 'strengthen' was better than 'heighten' ...Yes, a fair point. I'll read it out loud to see if I can decide one way or the other.
I’ll muster my depths for a glorious show,
and then we will tumble and whistle and play

- why not 'tempest' for 'whistle'? ...Because the wind often whistles. I prefer the the more active verb.
and give all the seabirds a scandalous display.

Without attempting meter, I wonder if an ending that uses something like
And show what it is to Dance with the Deep
might pack a bit more punch? ...I think 'scandalous' is more humorous and more of an eyebrow raiser. Might just be me.


Regards, Not


.
Thanks again, Not. It's good to think and have certain aspects of any poem analysed.

Best

JJ
Long time a child and still a child

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Re: Romancing the Ocean (revision 2)

Post by bjondon » Tue Feb 04, 2020 6:40 pm

Hi JJ - nearly!
'gathering' a bit drab. Would 'glad-handing' work?

'scandalous display' - right phrase, wrong rhythm.
I think you need that emphatic 'da dah dit dah dah' ending
e.g. 'And give all the birds an outrageous display'

Jules

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Re: Romancing the Ocean (revision 2)

Post by JJWilliamson » Sat Feb 08, 2020 3:01 pm

Thanks for the comments, Jules. Always appreciated.
bjondon wrote:
Tue Feb 04, 2020 6:40 pm
Hi JJ - nearly!
'gathering' a bit drab. Would 'glad-handing' work? ...Yes, I tend to agree. I'll give it some more thought.

'scandalous display' - right phrase, wrong rhythm. ...Yes again. I'm essentially using triple meter but have taken a liberty with 'scandalous' I've elided the word to "scand'lous", in my mind, because that's how many people pronounce it anyway. However, a rethink would see an end to my dilemma so watch this space.
I think you need that emphatic 'da dah dit dah dah' ending
e.g. 'And give all the birds an outrageous display' ...Yes that works. Here's my scan on my line. /and GIVE/ all the SEA/birds a SCAND'/lous disPLAY.

Jules
Thanks again for the nudges and help.

Best

JJ
Long time a child and still a child

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