Inside Haworth Parsonage

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David
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Inside Haworth Parsonage

Post by David » Fri Sep 18, 2015 5:31 pm

This little room seems far too narrow now
for the imaginations that combined
within it, so resoundingly, as though
they made up one enormous fevered mind

that found a greater drawing room outdoors,
that learned to hear the voices in the wind,
that made itself familiar to the moors
and called the intermittent stars its friends.

O to be young and gods in such a world!
To walk for a while in such exalted ways
until, with a catch of breath, they are recalled
inside, and back to earth, to end their days.

The articles of angry disbelief:
the fatal couch, a blood-stained handkerchief.

Basnik
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Re: Inside Haworth Parsonage

Post by Basnik » Sun Sep 20, 2015 11:49 am

I like this - a beautifully handled sonnet. It feels Wordsworthian at times - perhaps the 'exalted' etc. but that is a good thing; it fits the poem well.

Crits: Could the 'now' go earlier in the line to avoid 'narrow now'. You would still have your rhyme and although the metre would be a little choppy, that might be a good thing for a contrast between the now and the exaltation of the then.
I think there should be a comma after enormous in the last line.

I love the second stanza, although wind and friends is a stretch considering the fulness of your other rhymes. Third stanza, great too. Final couplet: the 'angry disbelief' is strong but hasn't been set up enough perhaps. We know the biographies so perhaps it works but I want that struggle earlier somehow. otherwise the poem is relying too much on external references. And finally, 'the fatal couch' - sorry but this is bathetic to me - it's like the horror movie made after they exhausted all other possibilities. I know you are meaning it in both senses but the one rather overpowers the other to my puerile mind.

Crits always seem to outweigh praise when workshopping but trust me, I enjoyed this very much.

Richard
bez prace, nejsou kolaci - without work, there are no cakes (Czech proverb)

ray miller
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Re: Inside Haworth Parsonage

Post by ray miller » Sun Sep 20, 2015 12:44 pm

Enjoyed. 2nd verse is lovely, the final couplet too, I think. Saw it as more Gothic than horror movie. For me, lines 3 and 4 let it down a little, it's resoundingly and enormous that do it, they just seem like padding words.

To walk for a while in such exalted ways - flows better without for, I think.
I'm out of faith and in my cups
I contemplate such bitter stuff.

k-j
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Re: Inside Haworth Parsonage

Post by k-j » Sun Sep 20, 2015 11:54 pm

Yes, good sonnet. Great ending.

Line 12 perhaps a weak link? "Inside" is implied, as I think is "back to earth", by "recalled", and "end their days" is a weary expression.

Otherwise, darn good. Rhymes and the little metrical variations work great.

On second reading - "the fatal couch" - hmm, sort of bathetic maybe. Could be a title by Edward Gorey!
fine words butter no parsnips

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JJWilliamson
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Re: Inside Haworth Parsonage

Post by JJWilliamson » Mon Sep 21, 2015 9:08 am

Hello, David

This is a beautiful Shakespearean sonnet that appeals on many levels. I found myself getting lost in the mood,
which is bleak and entirely appropriate for the region, and the sense of a house not quite empty yet. It's as if
the sisters were still there in some way. Lonely ghosts drifting on the moors, so to speak. Very nice.

Some thoughts for your deliberation. (all minor observations)

The sonnet is written in perfect iambic pentameter with a couple of substitutions in S3, and the enjambments work well throughout.

S1
David wrote:This little room seems far too narrow now
for the imaginations that combined
within it, so resoundingly, as though ...'within it' seems a tad flat. The rest of S1 is wonderfully descriptive, so 'within it' did stand out. How did they combine?
they made up one enormous fevered mind ...Like this line.

The rhymes, for the most part, are fine. You have a half rhyme with L's 1 & 3, unless you're from Birmingham. 'narrow' rhymes with 'as though'
but it carries a feminine ending and is not an end rhyme. All your other rhymes are perfect end rhymes so the departure in S1 comes as something of a surprise. You've set up an expectation that doesn't deliver. This is not a major problem, by any stretch of the imagination, but I thought it was worth mentioning.


S2

I really like this stanza, my favourite, for its beautiful and real content. You have perfect I.P. and end rhymes throughout. My only quibble would be that of 'that'. You seem to be using 'that' for emphasis, which is fine, but I did find it a little repetitive. I'm in the minority, though.

that found a greater drawing room outdoors,
that learned to hear the voices in the wind,
that made itself familiar to the moors
and called the intermittent stars its friends.

S3

O to be young and gods in such a world! ...Like the 'gods' creating all sorts of stories and scenarios.
To walk for a while in such exalted ways ...not keen on the repetition of 'such'. Seems too easy to me.
until, with a catch of breath, they are recalled
inside, and back to earth, to end their days. ...'recalled inside' seems ok to me. It's accurate enough because they could have been recalled anywhere. 'Back to earth' reminds me of "Remember man, that thou art dust and unto dust thou shalt return". I liked it.

I think the substitutions work well as you vary the pace of the poem with an anapest in the second foot of L2 and L3. The anapaestic substitutions help you to bounce onto the words, 'while' and 'catch'. Very effective in my opinion.
The articles of angry disbelief:
the fatal couch, a blood-stained handkerchief.

Couplet:

L1 puzzled me some until my lazy eye spotted the colon. I was thinking of 'articles' as in 'the articles of war', a set of regulations or documents. You're referring to the physical articles, I believe. I'm still not sure about 'angry'. Are you using it in the context of 'an angry sore' ?

L2 Perhaps another word for 'fatal'. Would the colour help, its style or location? I also think the power of 'blood-stained' is suffocating. Perhaps something more gentle to surprise the reader. EG Only

"the purple couch, a sanguine handkerchief/cotton handkerchief". (sanguine might be OTT) Cotton has a regional connection.
Well, as I said, minor observations really but as I enjoyed this poem so much I thought I'd lob a thought or two into the pot.

Best

JJ

P.S. I've had another thought. You could use 'bloody' instead of 'blood-stained'. It gives you the blood and suggests anger. EG Get off that BLOODY couch. :)

J
Last edited by JJWilliamson on Tue Sep 22, 2015 7:43 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Inside Haworth Parsonage

Post by Macavity » Mon Sep 21, 2015 6:01 pm

hi David,
In the context of a period piece an enjoyable read. Especially liked the the coupling of the combined/mind to echo the S1 theme. I liked the intermittent stars too - not sure why, perhaps the adjective sounds like the effect.

all the best

mac

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Re: Inside Haworth Parsonage

Post by David » Mon Sep 28, 2015 7:02 pm

Thanks, all.

Very nice to see you about the place again, Richard. Glad you think the slightly over-the-top tone is right for it. I think so too. But as for the fatal couch ...

Dead (oops) right about "the fatal couch", k-j. Darn it.

Thanks, Ray. I'll look at that part again and try to do a bit of unpadding if I have to.
JJWilliamson wrote: It's as if the sisters were still there in some way.
There is definitely that feeling there, JJ. Do you think so? You must have been, I'm sure. And thanks for the detailed suggestions. Very helpful. Yes, physical articles, but also a sort of reference to, e.g. the Thirty-Nine Articles of the Church of England, which are "historically defining statements" of belief. And "angry" because - I think - that's one of the first reactions to bereavement.

And thanks to you too, Mac.

Much to think about there.

Cheers

David

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Re: Inside Haworth Parsonage

Post by cynwulf » Wed Oct 07, 2015 9:31 am

I can but join the chorus of praise for this (fatal couch apart) , s2 caught me most, the stars are very intermittent in Yorks; I missed the reference to the 39 Articles, gone alas with the 1662 BCP.
best wishes, c.

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Re: Inside Haworth Parsonage

Post by David » Fri Oct 09, 2015 5:21 pm

Thanks very much, c. Yes, I think my fatal couch is doomed, and rightly so. I think I had an alternative at one point, but I can't remember what that was now.

Cheers

David

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