The Buriti

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k-j
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The Buriti

Post by k-j » Sat Oct 19, 2013 2:02 am

Rain fingers the awning. And now a fist
of rain flattens the flowers, sends inch-
long ants to the dank roots of the buriti.

A flaxy bank becomes a spillway. Reeds
until now dead, grow; spawn is borne on
to birthing-grounds; mice, spiders, drown

hurriedly. The fronds of the buriti sway,
droop in a slovenly way, but the trunk
seems to stiffen and swell preternaturally.

You roll in bed, drown in sweat, clutch air
thick as the spirits you've put away. Mud
oozes into this hut like a new rapport;
the flutter of bats infiltrates the ear.
fine words butter no parsnips

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Re: The Buriti

Post by Antcliff » Sat Oct 19, 2013 1:26 pm

This might be my favourite of yours, K-J.

A big moment when a six syl. word comes into a poem. It can either feel like an elegant train pulling into the station or like your car hitting a big log. Here it is the former. I have always liked that word.

I liked this especially

"A flaxy bank becomes a spillway. Reeds
until now dead, grow; spawn is borne on
to birthing-grounds; mice, spiders, drown

hurriedly."


At first I read the last stanza as implying that it was a dream, a post booze-up nightmare, with the buriti symbolising in some way that a reader might speculate over. But then I read it in a straight way, the floods driving mud into the hut. Either way, fine.

Seth
We fray into the future, rarely wrought
Save in the tapestries of afterthought.
Richard Wilbur

David2
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Re: The Buriti

Post by David2 » Sun Oct 20, 2013 12:39 pm

Do you really want to have "the rain" twice in S1? If you didn't, it could look like this:

Rain fingers the awning. And now a fist
flattens the flowers, sends inch-long ants
to the dank roots of the buriti.

k-j wrote:spawn is borne on
to birthing-grounds
Not sure how I feel about the implied borne / born pun here.
k-j wrote:mice, spiders, drown

hurriedly
I think "hurriedly" implies some sort of effort on their part. How about "quickly" or something similar?
Antcliff wrote:A big moment when a six syl. word comes into a poem.
Like unflattenableness!
Antcliff wrote:At first I read the last stanza as implying that it was a dream, a post booze-up nightmare, with the buriti symbolising in some way that a reader might speculate over.
I'm still getting that reading, but there is also the sense of another person entering the poem for the first time, and a feeling of some experience undergone, maybe even some kind of primitive birthing ceremony. Maybe it's the exoticness of the buriti itself that's doing that. If you'd mentioned curare or quinine, for instance, I wouldn't have been surprised.

I really like this. I keep coming back to it, and it's still intriguing.

Cheers

David

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Re: The Buriti

Post by Macavity » Tue Oct 22, 2013 9:09 pm

I liked the mud oozing into the hut and 'droop in a slovenly way'. ants/dank/bank and spawn/borne cluster sounds in a less than subtle way. Like that last line, the bats and hearing, the flutter, and 'infiltrates' has me wondering if there is a better word or maybe not.

cheers

mac

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Re: The Buriti

Post by Arian » Wed Oct 23, 2013 7:19 pm

David2 wrote:Do you really want to have "the rain" twice in S1?
Generally speaking, I'd raise a similar point. Here, though, I think it works, effectively emphasising the image rather than (as is usually the case) labouring it.

I won't claim to follow the narrative point, if any, of this, but I'm not sure it matters. There's enough poetry, in terms of its sound, rhythm and imagery to make the mystery a mystery, rather than a frustration, if you see what I mean.

Enjoyable. Particularly the ending.

Cheers
peter

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Re: The Buriti

Post by twoleftfeet » Thu Oct 24, 2013 11:15 am

Arian wrote: I won't claim to follow the narrative point, if any, of this, but I'm not sure it matters. There's enough poetry, in terms of its sound, rhythm and imagery to make the mystery a mystery, rather than a frustration, if you see what I mean.
Nicely put, Peter.

I agree with D2 about repeating "rain", and Mac about "infiltrates". Howzabout "insinuates"? (It should probably need
"into" but I think you'll get away with it)

Nice one, k-j

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Instead of just sitting on the fence - why not stand in the middle of the road?

k-j
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Re: The Buriti

Post by k-j » Tue Nov 05, 2013 7:33 pm

Thanks all for the thoughts.

Pretty happy with this one. Really a poem about booze, though I only decided this after I wrote it.

"Preternaturally" might have as many syllables as "unflattenableness" but I think there's no question that the latter sounds longer.

Not sure about "hurriedly" - I do want to imply volition though.
fine words butter no parsnips

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Re: The Buriti

Post by 1lankest » Wed Nov 06, 2013 2:01 pm

hi K-J,

Only just seen this. What a treat - intriguing indeed. For me the first two stanzas are the best - really wonderful. Not quite as convinced by this one:

hurriedly. The fronds of the buriti sway,
droop in a slovenly way, but the trunk
seems to stiffen and swell preternaturally.

Perhaps it's the sway/way rhyme. Just me I'm sure.

Instead of hurriedly, how about 'busily'?

Great stuff this, perhaps my favourite since joining.

Luke

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Re: The Buriti

Post by Richard » Wed Nov 06, 2013 3:44 pm

Oh, niiiiiccceeee. I like the langour and the listiness, the way it unfolds slightly exotic and yet familiar.

Two nits

1. Rain fingers the awning. And now a fist

I think this is a nice and strong pairing of images - though music waise fingers jarred ever so slightly in terms of rhythm for me.

2. I'd shorten the last stanza. Not just for visual three lines appeal, but also feels a tad too long.

Very good indeed though, I'd say.

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Re: The Buriti

Post by ray miller » Wed Nov 06, 2013 4:13 pm

Enjoyed. I like
Mud oozes into this hut like a new rapport;

mice, spiders, drown hurriedly. - sounds like a suicide pact. Is that what you want?
I think preternaturally would be fine without "and swell". As it is, the line sounds too long.
I'm out of faith and in my cups
I contemplate such bitter stuff.

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Re: The Buriti

Post by brianedwards » Fri Nov 08, 2013 4:02 am

More than the repetition of "rain" in S1 I have a problem with the fist image. "Fists of rain" might work for me, but the idea of one fist just doesn't sit well with me. I agree that "preternaturally" is smoother without "and swell", but somehow it's that slight awkwardness that makes it work, to my ear at least. I also tripped up at "hurriedly" which suggests volition.
The last stanza reads a bit like an out-of-body experience, or as if the N is speaking to his/herself in the past. As such "new rapport" seems slightly off, sense-wise. I accept my read could be way off here, as no-one else has made mention of this. Also, "infiltrates" seems a little clinical, and a couple of syllables long maybe?

Nits aside, great write. Peter summed it up nicely regards the quality of the poetics.

B.

k-j
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Re: The Buriti

Post by k-j » Wed Nov 13, 2013 12:17 pm

Luke, thanks, good comments though I don't agree with them - but I don't wildly disagree either
Pleiades (Richard?) - ditto. Having one stanza longer than the others always seems to be controversial around here. I like it though.
Ray - yeah! suicide pact. But it's ridiculous really isn't it, mice and spiders in a suicide pact. Probably needs amending. Maybe a good idea about "swell".
B - very interesting comment about "rapport" being off. If I'm forced to think about it, it may be there more for sound than sense. What's your problem with a single fist?
fine words butter no parsnips

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