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Arousing Variations

Posted: Tue May 28, 2019 4:05 pm
by RCJames
The woman I knew
moved languorously,
all limb lovely;
feelings within her
moved as well,
outpacing wind-gone leaves,
spinning away
from grasping bough,
her thought whirled
in its bright container.

Swift and gliding,
so she was;
I halt by the memory,
captive
to her dizzying motion,
shadowed by her circle,
in itself revolving.

If eternity
stands waiting,
the freedom
of her dancing
inside a dance,
deserves
its extended hand.

Re: Arousing Variations

Posted: Tue May 28, 2019 10:13 pm
by Perry
I think the language of the poem flows nicely and is appealing in many ways, although the lines about her movements got me to thinking about bowel movements and internal organs. The problem for me is the subject: the idealization of women as objects of beauty. It is a tired subject for poetry, having been done a million times. Also, there is a growing awareness that the idealization of women is the flip side of misogyny. The men who idealize women are often the ones who resent them and treat them poorly. No one ever writes poems about men's beauty because men are taken more seriously.

Re: Arousing Variations

Posted: Tue May 28, 2019 11:49 pm
by RCJames
Idealization and Reality - this would go into the natural attraction between men and women.
Thought comes into it, but it's mainly an emotional process and it doesn't adhere to anything
written as a code of behavior - and it includes emotional/sexual attraction between
one man and another man or between two women with multiple variations.

Love has been treated in thousands upon thousands of poems - no one's complaining
except for the poorly written ones.

There are possibly no poems about men's beauty because a woman's looks and a man's looks
have different standards entirely. A woman is remarked about for her gentleness,
grace of movement, attractiveness of figure and face. A man for his strength of character,
integrity, physical prowess, and attractiveness of physique and face. Though some men
are admired for more feminine traits as well and women vice versa.

"...everything within her moved as well" - "everything" as a descriptor of what moved
would discount your reaction in favor of "feeling" - but due to a reaction of disgust
with your suggestion it's easily changed to "feeling."

If you're attracted to another person you're not idealizing them, then reacting - you're feeling
an emotional, sexual attraction and either acting on it or not.

Thousands of poems have been written about women's beauty and thousands more will be written,
what separates one from another is the quality of expression - there are much fewer than a thousand
brilliant, strikingly original poems on the subject. Thousands of poems have been written about
men, but I'd venture to say the majority of them deal with the "actions" of men rather than portraits
of their physical appearance. I think you need to venture into theories and systems of human energy
and spirit to grasp the difference, the I Ching for example gives us active and passive sides to
human consciousness. Traditionally, whether right or wrong, the female has stood for the passive side
of human nature and male the active side.

Re: Arousing Variations

Posted: Wed May 29, 2019 1:47 am
by Perry
A woman is remarked about for her gentleness, grace of movement, attractiveness of figure and face. A man for his strength of character, integrity, physical prowess, and attractiveness of physique and face. ... I Ching for example gives us active and passive sides to human consciousness. Traditionally, whether right or wrong, the female has stood for the passive side of human nature and male the active side.
I think you're talking about stereotypes which society is in the process of abandoning (provided, of course, that mankind is on an upward trajectory of personal growth, which is certainly debatable). There are a LOT of women who would not want to be judged by those standards. I'll grant you one thing: Perhaps the idealization of feminine beauty is an instinctual thing on the part of males that facilitates mating and thus has a biological purpose. But then, as civilized people we are expected to overcome our primitive instincts, aren't we?

My father was a misogynist, which is why I'm so sensitive on the subject.

Re: Arousing Variations

Posted: Wed May 29, 2019 2:03 am
by RCJames
You're coming up with sweeping statements that ignore basic human nature. I can't argue with you, you have some kind of negative approach to
male-female relationships that makes it useless to defend the obvious. Chill out - drop the dead serious shtick and try to enjoy yourself - we only got a short time. I happen to love women and will celebrate them as co-equals, not as inferior, as you seem to imply I'm doing. You want the last word - fine - but that will be the very final word in this back and forth - RC - "Fee-ee-e-lings"

Re: Arousing Variations

Posted: Tue Jun 11, 2019 12:24 am
by Poet
Great poem, love the imagery. No nits.

Re: Arousing Variations

Posted: Tue Jun 11, 2019 9:16 pm
by RCJames
I did a musical version of this, but doesn't seem that the site allows audio - shame - poetry is half in the sound of the words. - RC

Re: Arousing Variations

Posted: Wed Jun 12, 2019 5:57 pm
by NotQuiteSure
.

Hi RC,
not convinced by the start, but it reaches a more than satisfactory conclusion :)

The woman I knew
moved in different ways

- 'ways' makes me think I misread 'woman', and that it was 'women'.
Moved in different ways to what? Mood, events, compared to others?
I think you've two lines too many in this verse: either cut the last two,
or L7/8.

Swift and gliding,
so she was

- bit of Irish in the phrasing RC :)
the next line/s is a little weak, maybe
halted by the memory
I am captive



Is there a 'then' missing before 'the freedom' ?
Like the ambiguity of the close, applause or a partner reaching towards her.


Regards, Not.


.

Re: Arousing Variations

Posted: Wed Jun 12, 2019 11:15 pm
by ton321
Hi RC,
I like the opening two lines, though i think you cement it by rhyming "ways" with "leaves" on line 6 as well. I would remove lines 18-19. You don't need to extend the conceit any further, and goes against the easy going flow of the piece. Enjoyed,
Tony

Re: Arousing Variations

Posted: Thu Jun 13, 2019 6:40 pm
by th99
There is a lovely flow here and I enjoy the softness of the words

Re: Arousing Variations

Posted: Sat Jun 15, 2019 10:58 am
by twoleftfeet
RCJames wrote:
Tue Jun 11, 2019 9:16 pm
I did a musical version of this, but doesn't seem that the site allows audio - shame - poetry is half in the sound of the words. - RC
I'd really like to hear that,RC
(Could you not stick it on Google Drive and share the link?)
EDIT: OOPS! as you were - I see it has now been posted in the AUDIO FEATURE section.

There are some fine lines in this (imho) that would be especially apt for a lyric.
My favourite :
Swift and gliding,
so she was;
I halt by the memory,


Maybe consider "held" instead of "captivated" for the phonics? (halt/held)

Also liked:
the freedom
of her dancing
inside a dance


My nits are:

"moved in different ways" which might be taken as ..er undulating movements.
Yes,I know you've got "arousing" in the title,but I'm taking the opening to mean "in a different way",and the title to refer
to musical variations rather than "arousal".

Nits:

my dim sphere
shadowed by her circle
in itself revolving.


-sorry,I can't "see" this in my head. All I'm getting is a vague "Rings of Saturn".. :)

Ah! I've finally worked out the "extended hand" - nice wordplay,but - being pedantic - you can't extend eternity,can you? :?

Nice one,
TLF

Re: Arousing Variations

Posted: Sat Jun 15, 2019 2:56 pm
by RCJames
tlf - I used your suggestions on this - thank you - RC

Re: Arousing Variations

Posted: Wed Jun 19, 2019 9:41 am
by Perry
RCJames wrote:
Wed May 29, 2019 2:03 am
You're coming up with sweeping statements that ignore basic human nature. I can't argue with you, you have some kind of negative approach to male-female relationships that makes it useless to defend the obvious. Chill out - drop the dead serious shtick and try to enjoy yourself - we only got a short time. I happen to love women and will celebrate them as co-equals, not as inferior, as you seem to imply I'm doing. You want the last word - fine - but that will be the very final word in this back and forth - RC - "Fee-ee-e-lings"
In May I decided not to pursue this discussion because I didn't think you would hear me, but I need to say more.

Although it's perfectly fine to fictionalize the details of a poem, a good poem has to have some truth at its core. Having said that, there is a difference between admiring a woman's beauty and objectifying a woman because of her beauty, and my feeling is that you are in objectification territory. Ultimately, human beauty really is skin deep. To take this poem out of objectification territory, you need to focus on something else -- on her character, on the fleeting nature of beauty, on your feelings about her beauty, on how her beauty affects you, on how her beauty affects her, etc. But instead you are squarely focussed on her beauty as a substantive thing, but it isn't a substantive thing. Basically, the poem is shallow. In fact, some of the language is so obviously sexist that it strikes me as nauseating (e.g., "languorously, all limb lovely"). What you are describing in the poem is a vane vain woman who behaves self-consciously. If that's the kind of poetry you want to write, fine, but not everyone will be impressed in the way you want them to be.

As I said before, society is moving away from this superficial and idealized view of women because it just isn't real. The truth is that women (beautiful or not) aren't treated particularly well in western society, or in any society for that matter. Objectifying women for their beauty allows men to objectify women in negative ways when it suits them. It is the objectification that is the problem, and that's what your poem is all about.

Re: Arousing Variations

Posted: Wed Jun 19, 2019 11:06 am
by twoleftfeet
Perry wrote:
Wed Jun 19, 2019 9:41 am
In fact, some of the language is so obviously sexist that it strikes me as nauseating (e.g., "languorously, all limb lovely"). What you are describing in the poem is a vane woman who behaves self-consciously.
I strongly suspect that you are the only person on this forum who thinks this,Perry.

Re: Arousing Variations

Posted: Wed Jun 19, 2019 3:37 pm
by RCJames
Perry -



This woman was someone I knew and had an eight year relationship with.

The description is not objectification because I'm not isolating parts of the body of someone unknown to me.

Beauty is skin deep - such a cliche doesn't have enough relevance to even enter into the argument

Pleasure in beauty, it is not mere sensuous gratification, as in the pleasure of sensation,
or of eating and drinking. Pleasure in beauty is occasioned by the perceptual representation of a thing.
This means, roughly, that it is a pleasure that does not involve desire—pleasure in beauty is desire-free.
(Immanuel Kant)


By "vane" I assume you mean "vain" and find no proof that the woman in the poem is that - as I know in
real life she was not - and she was "self-aware" not "self-conscious" - every aspect of her movements
physical or cerebrally were not self-conscious in any way.

"society" - again such a generalization that it fades in light of the argument.

The only mention of "physical" beauty is in the 2nd and 3rd lines of the poem,
the rest is reflective of her mind's movements. RC

Re: Arousing Variations

Posted: Wed Jun 19, 2019 8:48 pm
by Perry
My apologies for the occasional misspelling.

I've had my say and I'm satisfied now. I just felt you needed a heads up on how your poetry comes across to some people.

Re: Arousing Variations

Posted: Wed Jun 19, 2019 10:32 pm
by RCJames
"Not with a bang but a whimper."

I've got a lot of responses to your crits dangling in the breeze,
not even a shadow of adherence to rules of debate?

I always knew my poems would not have universal appeal,
but hopefully for more plausible reasons than you've thrown up - RC