Douglas Harbour in November

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Douglas Harbour in November

Post by David2 » Sun Nov 10, 2013 9:04 am

REVAMPED AGAIN

How oddly like the dome
of Santa Maria della Salute
is Manx Gas's tank
on South Quay, silhouetted
against the pinks and blues
of a chilly Tintoretto.

A sluggish life is creeping back
into the maritime quarter.
A swan unfolds himself and,
with his inamorata,
steps fastidiously into
the slowly moving water,

and fancy, in a trice, espouses
the imagination:
the air grows Adriatic,
and Cumbria Dalmatian,
and galleys gild the seas from here
to Liverpool and Heysham.

REVAMP

How oddly like the dome
of Santa Maria della Salute
is Manx Gas's tank
on South Quay, silhouetted
against the pinks and blues
of a chilly Tintoretto.

Brunelleschi might admire
the excellent dimensions
that serve to keep a volatile
elixir in suspension
between the two extremes
of explosion and extinction.

A sluggish life is creeping back
into the maritime quarter.
A swan unfolds himself and,
with his inamorata,
steps fastidiously into
the slowly moving water.

REWRITE

How oddly like the dome
of Santa Maria della Salute

is Manx Gas's tank
on South Quay, silhouetted

against the pinks and blues
in a sky of dappled pewter.

ORIGINAL

How oddly like the dome
of Santa Maria della Salute

is Manx Gas's tank
on South Quay, silhouetted

against the pinks and blues
of a chilly Tintoretto

that have come up this morning
out of the intervening water.

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Re: Douglas Harbour in November

Post by twoleftfeet » Sun Nov 10, 2013 12:27 pm

Wonderful sonics, D2.

The contrast of a functional gas tank and a beautiful italian church is mirrored in the language :
Manx Gas's tank vs Santa Maria della Salute

Sihouette/Tintorett(o) is a great rhyme.

The last couplet is puzzling me.
Does it refer to the sky or a reflection on the water or gunge in the water? (The ambiguity is probably deliberate, I know..)

I cannot make up my mind whether the poet is finding beauty where no one else would see it, or is being darkly
humourous (I am reminded of the line from Steptoe and Son when they turn on the radio and hear
"..And NOW we have LIVE, from the Copacabana Rooms, Catford.."

Geoff
PS Defeat snatched from the jaws of victory. I never ever expected an Allardyce team to cave in like that.
Instead of just sitting on the fence - why not stand in the middle of the road?

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Re: Douglas Harbour in November

Post by 1lankest » Sun Nov 10, 2013 12:45 pm

Hi David,

A really lovely comparison this; an effortless and strangely (perhaps a better word than 'oddly'?) comforting read. The ending is ambiguous and probably better for it. I had to look Tintoretto up and, like most old masters stuff, I didn't warm to it. Also didn't see anything I would describe as 'chilly', perhaps you could refer me to the piece.

A beautiful poem, David.

Luke

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Re: Douglas Harbour in November

Post by Elphin » Sun Nov 10, 2013 2:23 pm

Mmmm

I cant decide if i am liking this or not. Its oddly satisfying and dissatisfying at the same time for me.

The observation and contrast of the gas tank and the dome are vivid -- is it beauty in ugliness or dark humour, like Geoff I cant decide. The reference to the painter makes me think the former.

I took the pink and blues to be a reference to a diesel/fuel spill -- the neon of petrol on water.

So these are all satisfying, but I was left slightly frustrated at the end, I felt the poem ended in the middle... of course wanting more may not be a bad thing.

Could you take the subject matter further?

cheers

elph

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Re: Douglas Harbour in November

Post by Antcliff » Sun Nov 10, 2013 2:28 pm

I cannot make up my mind whether the poet is finding beauty where no one else would see it, or is being darkly humourous
As Geoff says. I think possibly the former. But it is ambiguous. And though sometimes such ambiguity is a strength, here it adds to a sense...Elph mentions..of incompleteness. I'm with him in requesting a bit more.

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

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Re: Douglas Harbour in November

Post by David2 » Sun Nov 10, 2013 8:09 pm

Elphin wrote:Could you take the subject matter further?
Antcliff wrote:here it adds to a sense...Elph mentions..of incompleteness. I'm with him in requesting a bit more.
Ah, gents ... you got me bang to rights. This was supposed to be longer, but I seemed to be stuck, so I cut it short to see if it would work.

Perhaps it would work better, in truncated form, without the final couplet. However ... this was supposed to be an extended comic fantasia on the resemblances between Douglas and Venice. But, as I say, I got stuck. I do have one line I really like - Byron has a donna in the council flats in Lord Street - but I could not find any decent rhymes for it. And I've been trying.
twoleftfeet wrote:I cannot make up my mind whether the poet is finding beauty where no one else would see it, or is being darkly humourous (I am reminded of the line from Steptoe and Son when they turn on the radio and hear
"..And NOW we have LIVE, from the Copacabana Rooms, Catford.."
That's a "both", of course. The likeness was (I thought) both ludicrous and undeniable.
1lankest wrote: I had to look Tintoretto up and, like most old masters stuff, I didn't warm to it. Also didn't see anything I would describe as 'chilly', perhaps you could refer me to the piece.
Luke, it's just a generic Tintoretto idea. It was the chilliness that was important.

So I'll put this with the Incomplete, to return to it later (I hope) - Lord Street permitting.

Cheers all

David

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Re: Douglas Harbour in November

Post by twoleftfeet » Sun Nov 10, 2013 9:35 pm

I didn't find it incomplete (although additional miniatures would, of course, be most welcome)

Perhaps embellish the final couplet a little to emphasise the "ludicrous but undeniable likeness"?
It's a bit matter-of-fact atm, for me.
Instead of just sitting on the fence - why not stand in the middle of the road?

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Re: Douglas Harbour in November

Post by bodkin » Mon Nov 11, 2013 1:24 pm

Before considering the poem, I had to go and have a (virtual) look for myself...

Is this the one?

I'll come back and re-read the poem later on...

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Re: Douglas Harbour in November

Post by ray miller » Mon Nov 11, 2013 8:39 pm

First six lines are nice, the contrast, the rhymes. I'm not getting the gist of the last couplet and the language seems to deliberately coarsen. "out of" rather than "from" is, er, interesting. I get the impression of something regurgitated.
I'm out of faith and in my cups
I contemplate such bitter stuff.

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Re: Douglas Harbour in November

Post by k-j » Mon Nov 11, 2013 11:10 pm

Reminds me of the objectivists, Zukofsky and WCW. I'm good with the first five lines but I'm not sure Tintoretto is needed, and I don't like "come up", "out of" and "intervening" - sounds a bit regurgitatory as Ray says, and intervening is too ambiguous.

I do think you should keep it short and to a single image or comparison. Unless you really can think up other similarities with Venice just as immediate as this one.
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Re: Douglas Harbour in November

Post by 1lankest » Tue Nov 12, 2013 10:32 am

David,

Just to say I wouldn't make it longer or change a thing. I love its direct simplicity, the stand alone comparison and the ambiguity at the end. Works very well.

Luke

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Re: Douglas Harbour in November

Post by David2 » Tue Nov 12, 2013 8:02 pm

twoleftfeet wrote:I didn't find it incomplete (although additional miniatures would, of course, be most welcome)
Good-oh, but I can't come up with any others that I like, and I think it's just the image itself that I want. Tweaked, of course. Tintoretto is in there because of the Venetian connection, but I don't think I need to labour that now.
bodkin wrote:Before considering the poem, I had to go and have a (virtual) look for myself...

Is this the one?
Agh! That is the one, but it looks nothing like the dome of Santa Maria della Salute, does it? It looks a beached bathysphere. All I can is say is that it looked like it at the time. Actually, you used the wrong setting on Google maps: it should have been the dawn setting, in the winter sub-menu.
ray miller wrote:First six lines are nice, the contrast, the rhymes. I'm not getting the gist of the last couplet and the language seems to deliberately coarsen.
I think that's exactly right, Ray. Although, as k-j says:
k-j wrote:Reminds me of the objectivists, Zukofsky and WCW. I'm good with the first five lines but I'm not sure Tintoretto is needed, and I don't like "come up", "out of" and "intervening" - sounds a bit regurgitatory as Ray says, and intervening is too ambiguous.
Yay! That objectivist thing appears to be exactly what I'm after.
k-j wrote:I do think you should keep it short and to a single image or comparison.
Good advice. I'll have a tinker. A truncated tinker, so
1lankest wrote:Just to say I wouldn't make it longer or change a thing. I love its direct simplicity, the stand alone comparison and the ambiguity at the end. Works very well.
Sorry, Luke! I've not changed much.

Cheers all

David

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Re: Douglas Harbour in November

Post by Macavity » Wed Nov 13, 2013 9:05 pm

How oddly like the dome....like how the realisation leads into the poem, natural
of Santa Maria della Salute.....................I like the sounds in the reading

is Manx Gas's tank..................................definitely don't derive any pleasure from those sounds, besides the title gives the location
on South Quay, silhouetted........................like the specific location, the reminder of shape

against the pinks and blues.....................a dawning realisation
in a sky of dappled pewter..........................the introduction of 'pewter is a diversion, dappled is in the same poetic stable as mottled.
Still needs a killer last line to weight the visuals.

all the best

mac

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Re: Douglas Harbour in November

Post by bodkin » Wed Nov 13, 2013 11:03 pm

Hi David,

I see why people picked a little on the last two lines...

...but I think I preferred the original. Ne new one feels a little truncated.

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Re: Douglas Harbour in November

Post by 1lankest » Thu Nov 14, 2013 7:02 pm

Hi David,

Think you know what I'm gonna say.........

'against the pinks and blues
of a chilly Tintoretto

that have come up this morning
out of the intervening water.'

Although these lines are not instantly recognisable, they are still excellent poetry and made your poem whole (I like the tintoretto reference, although not the art!). The second version doesn't work, in my view. Unsatisfying, not nearly as thought provoking or evocative.

Again, loved the first one, please re-consider!

Luke

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Re: Douglas Harbour in November

Post by Elphin » Thu Nov 14, 2013 8:02 pm

"Dappled pewter" from a man of your calibre...... Tut tut!!!

Setting aside previous comments on size, the original ending is far more interesting.

elph

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Re: Douglas Harbour in November

Post by David2 » Wed Nov 20, 2013 4:15 pm

I am still trying to make something of this, even if it's only an even bigger sow's ear.

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Re: Douglas Harbour in November

Post by Elphin » Wed Nov 20, 2013 4:58 pm

Mmm .. again.... I feel like the spectre at the feast on this one.

It is a feast of language and images but I cant really construct a satisfying whole.

I still like s1 as a taster for more to come

S2 feels overwritten - is gas an elixir? Are explosion and extinction not the same extreme?

S3 - I like the idea of new life in the maritime quarter, something that is happening in many port cities. And the swan almost testing the water seems to fit.

Is there a theme you could construct around maritime renewal so that from the gas tank and the polluted waters something Italianette is created -- just a thought.

cheers

elph

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Re: Douglas Harbour in November

Post by bodkin » Wed Nov 20, 2013 7:23 pm

I think I like it more. At first I thought, f the second artist is going to appreciate the engineering so well, shouldn't it be Da Vinci (currently appearing in his late-night chat program, Leonardo: Decoded) but I see that Brunelleschi was a domes man so you are way ahead of me...

"quarter/inamorata/water" -- brilliant!

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Re: Douglas Harbour in November

Post by David » Wed Nov 20, 2013 7:54 pm

Thanks, chaps. Well, if it's somewhere between a silk purse and a sow's ear that will do for me for now. I feel I've done all I can with this for the moment. Phew! And ... relax.

Cheers

David

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Re: Douglas Harbour in November

Post by David » Fri Nov 22, 2013 9:13 am

David wrote:Thanks, chaps. Well, if it's somewhere between a silk purse and a sow's ear that will do for me for now. I feel I've done all I can with this for the moment. Phew! And ... relax.
Except ... I couldn't leave well alone. I'm not sure it was well, though, and I think I'm actually quite happy with my new version.

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Re: Douglas Harbour in November

Post by bodkin » Fri Nov 22, 2013 9:46 am

You are going to hate me :-)

But I am not sure I like the new ending... it is a bit too obviously an artifice, e.g. you have a swan doing abstract thought and the reader reading its mind.

Sorry :-( maybe you are too close to this one, you need to put it aside and let it simmer for a while, and then you will see more clearly where you would like to take it?

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Re: Douglas Harbour in November

Post by David » Fri Nov 22, 2013 10:57 am

bodkin wrote:You are going to hate me :-)

But I am not sure I like the new ending... it is a bit too obviously an artifice, e.g. you have a swan doing abstract thought and the reader reading its mind.

Sorry :-( maybe you are too close to this one, you need to put it aside and let it simmer for a while, and then you will see more clearly where you would like to take it?

Ian
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Re: Douglas Harbour in November

Post by David » Fri Nov 22, 2013 12:07 pm

Having said that, I don't think it's the swan doing abstract thought. That would be weird.

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Re: Douglas Harbour in November

Post by Antcliff » Fri Nov 22, 2013 12:49 pm

Loved the Dalmatian/Heysham+Tintoretto/Silhouetted rhymes. Hurray.

is Manx Gas's tank
on South Quay,


Maybe..

is the Manx Gas tank
on South Quay

...unless of course you want the gas/hiss sound of Gas's and you may.

I think that "espouse" is one of your favourite words. Is there an alternative? The combination of espouse and thrice seems a bit too sweet.

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

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