Nirvana Arms .....with an extra verse

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barrie
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Nirvana Arms .....with an extra verse

Post by barrie » Wed Sep 17, 2008 3:36 pm

When I was sixteen
I found a pub with
a wise landlord,
a cynical sage,
who knew that profit
is blind to age.

I became an acolyte.

Learned how to cheat at
cards and dominoes,
how to throw a mean dart,
from a master
who beat me regularly.

Each evening's end
a bell would sound, yet I
might spend
another round
becoming
one
with night.

-------------------

1st go last verse

A bell would sound
each evening's end, yet I
might spend
another round
becoming
one
with the night.
After letting go of branches and walking through the ape gait, we managed to grasp what hands were really for......

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Re: Nirvana Arms

Post by Danté » Wed Sep 17, 2008 4:29 pm

Barrie

A mispent youth? I like this and enjoy the brevity which contains a lot to enjoy. I am a great fan of rhyme and enjoyed the internal rhymes you have here. I think you could drop the (a) before cynical sage.
Other than that, I can see nothing that I personally would alter.
Another water-tight peice

enjoyed

Danté
to anticipate touching what is unseen seems far more interesting than seeing what the hand can not touch

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Re: Nirvana Arms

Post by Lake » Wed Sep 17, 2008 4:45 pm

Hi Barrie,

You always have good titles for your poems, 'moontarn' among others is the one that I'll never forget.
"Nirvana Arms" caught my eye immediately though I'm not sure what exactly the title means, but I have this picture popped up in my mind.

Image

Like Danté I like the rhyme here too.

who knew that profit
is blind to age.


Liked this line a lot, which has some wisdom in it.

Best,

Lake

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Re: Nirvana Arms

Post by juliadebeauvoir » Wed Sep 17, 2008 6:00 pm

I was very intrigued by the title of your poem so I will address that first.
It could refer to one of two things or none at all!

Using the word Nirvana could mean extreme happiness or bliss. But the tone of the poem is about growth, master-servant, boy-mentor rather than ecstatic joy.
It also can means to 'cease blowing' or 'extinguishing' uncontrolled youthful lust/passion. This was a time for you to be extinguished--to learn how to throw the dart of life a little straighter. Favored by a mentor who looks for profit. Either way he is teaching you something.

Or it could follow the Theravada Buddhism tradition of performing a prostration/veneration (Victory over the Three Worlds) with the forearms. A very uncomfortable position in which the right forearm (method) and the left forearm (wisdom) are crossed over the heart....along with other contortions.
So maybe the mystery title has to do with a young boy who is emptied out and prepared to receive 'method' (physical things taught: working at the pub as an acolyte) and 'wisdom' that the owner imparted into his life at that time.

Or maybe I'm just stretching...no pun intended...


On to the poem:
I became an acolyte.
This line was as sharp as the accurate dart you threw. It made me smile :wink: --once again a tight, well written poem.
I also appreciated, "who knew that profit is blind to age".

Also, the last lines had a witty double meaning:
from a master
who beat me regularly.
Cheers,
Kim
"Freedom is what you do with what's been done to you."

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Re: Nirvana Arms

Post by David » Wed Sep 17, 2008 6:59 pm

Ah, the congenial oblivion of the pub. Well captured. But shouldn't you have been at school? I suppose it's never too early to start being an autodidact.

Cheers

David

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Re: Nirvana Arms

Post by Elphin » Wed Sep 17, 2008 7:10 pm

A neat observation.

I blame the kids binge drinking on the streets on the the stricter enforcement of age limits in pubs- we learned to handle beer in a safer environment and it never did us any harm blah blah blah.

In the tradition of master and acolyte have you inherited the mantle of cynical sage?

elph

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Re: Nirvana Arms

Post by Oskar » Wed Sep 17, 2008 9:59 pm

Barrie
barrie wrote:Learned how to cheat at
cards and dominoes,
how to throw an accurate dart,
from a master
who beat me regularly.
This creates an almost Dickensian picture of street urchins and unscrupulous Fagins. It also reminded me of some of the pub scenes in Masefield's The Everlasting Mercy.

Deep and double-edged, as ever.

Always a pleasure.

Glenda
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Re: Nirvana Arms

Post by Sulpicia » Thu Sep 18, 2008 1:39 pm

Not much to add: I really liked this.
In my case it was pool and I was really bad at it. But nevertheless I miss the congenial oblivion. My other half doesn't like pubs.
Thanks for the read
Helen

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Re: Nirvana Arms

Post by barrie » Fri Sep 19, 2008 8:03 am

Thanks Tim - A misspent youth or a well spent youth - I'll go for the latter.

Thanks Lake - A lot of pubs in Britain have 'Arms' in the name - usually derived from the place or the old landowner's name, even the industry of the district. I come from Leigh, a mining and cotton town (once upon a long time ago), there are (were) pubs called 'The Spinners Arms', 'Miner's Arms', Leigh Arms' - You can find a King's Arms in most towns.

Thanks Kim - I was just likening the pub to an Eastern temple. The landlord was the cynical sage, it was someone else who initiated me into the world of cards and darts. It's all true stuff actually, but it's meant to be taken as you will. Glad you liked the last lines - I was quite pleased with them.

Thanks David - What do you mean 'autodidact' - I never had a car.

Thanks Elph -
Elphin wrote:In the tradition of master and acolyte have you inherited the mantle of cynical sage?
- Just the mantle of cynic.

Thanks Oskar - I never saw the Victorian urchin scene until you mentioned it - well spotted Glenda (Is this THE Glenda Slagg from Private Eye - geddit??).

Thanks Helen - There were no pool tables 'when I were a lad'. There were snooker tables, but they were housed in Labour Clubs and Conservative clubs and the like, where you had to be a member - that came later at 'Wigan Road Working Men's Club'.

Cheers all - much appreciated.

Barrie
After letting go of branches and walking through the ape gait, we managed to grasp what hands were really for......

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Re: Nirvana Arms

Post by barrie » Fri Sep 19, 2008 2:47 pm

I've added the verse that I omitted when I posted it. Does it add anything, or does it detract?

cheers

Barrie
After letting go of branches and walking through the ape gait, we managed to grasp what hands were really for......

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Re: Nirvana Arms .....with an extra verse

Post by juliadebeauvoir » Fri Sep 19, 2008 2:50 pm

I think the last verse that you had was so powerful--not sure this adds anything to it.

Cheers,
Kim
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Re: Nirvana Arms .....with an extra verse

Post by twoleftfeet » Fri Sep 19, 2008 3:05 pm

barrie wrote:I've added the verse that I omitted when I posted it. Does it add anything, or does it detract?

Barrie
I think you might usefully expand the "round" metaphor i.e "go a round with" instead of "spend". (Just a thought)

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Re: Nirvana Arms .....with an extra verse

Post by Sulpicia » Fri Sep 19, 2008 4:36 pm

I think it gives it more shape and direction, a bit of melancholy, coming back to you. It's not quite as sharp as the rest, though.
(Don't ask me to try and articulate why, though - running out of mental energy.)
Helen

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Re: Nirvana Arms .....with an extra verse

Post by Danté » Fri Sep 19, 2008 7:43 pm

Barrie

I do like this other verse. Knowing the little of you that I have managed to glean over the months, I am having so many thoughts about this other verse. Now, you could spend your money on another round, you could also have another round of darts, but then.....hmmm becoming one with the night. You know I would not put it past you, to have shot a pheasant on the way home in the dark.
Am I getting warm?

Regards

Tim
to anticipate touching what is unseen seems far more interesting than seeing what the hand can not touch

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Re: Nirvana Arms

Post by David » Fri Sep 19, 2008 7:54 pm

barrie wrote:I've added the verse that I omitted when I posted it. Does it add anything, or does it detract?
Hmm. tricky. I like this new verse, but I liked the previous ending as well, so ... maybe this could be the director's cut.

Cheers

David

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Re: Nirvana Arms .....with an extra verse

Post by Elphin » Fri Sep 19, 2008 8:22 pm

Barrie

I like this new verse it rounds everything off.

I want to change the order of your words again, though

dominoes and cards to chime with dart or is that an accent thing again.

Also the last verse, how about

Each evening's end
A bell would sound, yet I
- I think it has a kind of end of the tale feel like once upon a time.

elph

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Re: Nirvana Arms .....with an extra verse...and edited again

Post by barrie » Sat Sep 20, 2008 12:00 pm

Thanks all for coming back to this. I think I'll use 'go another round' - thanks Geoff. Elphin - I like the suggestion of switching the lines in the last verse, but I'm sticking with darts and dominoes. To say dominoes and darts would be alien to me, like saying cream and peaches.

Thanks again everyone

Barrie.

Back to edit: Geoff, I just realized when I was altering the last verse, if I scrap 'spend' for 'go', I lose the rhyme with 'end'.
After letting go of branches and walking through the ape gait, we managed to grasp what hands were really for......

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Re: Nirvana Arms .....with an extra verse

Post by Travis » Thu Oct 09, 2008 10:45 pm

Each evening's end
a bell would sound, yet I
might spend
another round
becoming
one
with night.


That's a little Frosty, isn't it?
There's only one rule in street and bar fights: maximum violence, instantly. (Martin Amis, "Money")

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Re: Nirvana Arms .....with an extra verse

Post by barrie » Thu Oct 09, 2008 11:21 pm

Select Samaritan wrote:That's a little Frosty, isn't it?
- If you say so, but I can't see the similarity. How is it frosty then?

Barrie
After letting go of branches and walking through the ape gait, we managed to grasp what hands were really for......

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Re: Nirvana Arms .....with an extra verse

Post by Travis » Fri Oct 10, 2008 12:33 am

I thought it was self-explanatory. Never mind.
There's only one rule in street and bar fights: maximum violence, instantly. (Martin Amis, "Money")

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Re: Nirvana Arms .....with an extra verse

Post by barrie » Fri Oct 10, 2008 7:45 am

Select Samaritan wrote:I thought it was self-explanatory. Never mind.
- Now that's hardly fair, is it? If it was self- explanatory I wouldn't have asked why you thought it was frosty. I can see that time and night are common to both, but I don't think Frost's talking about drinking up time in a pub.
Am I missing something obvious here?

Barrie
After letting go of branches and walking through the ape gait, we managed to grasp what hands were really for......

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Re: Nirvana Arms .....with an extra verse

Post by Travis » Fri Oct 10, 2008 2:13 pm

You're right, they're dissimilar. It just reminded me of that poem, both being one with the night. Subjective bullshit.
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Re: Nirvana Arms .....with an extra verse

Post by barrie » Fri Oct 10, 2008 2:52 pm

I have been one acquainted with the night - Got you now. When I used becoming one with the night, it was a mock Zen/ch'an (Little Grasshopper) moment thing (pub neophyte and all that). One word (aquainted) makes a whole lot of difference - I was looking at the Frost poem for something that wasn't there, instead of something that was.

Barrie
After letting go of branches and walking through the ape gait, we managed to grasp what hands were really for......

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Re: Nirvana Arms .....with an extra verse

Post by TDF » Fri Oct 10, 2008 5:53 pm

hey barrie,

I can'tbelieve I haven't commented on this one, it's a little corker. Easy to read, fun and meaningful, what more do you want in a poem set in a pub!

just a coupla things:

how to throw an mean dart, - typo, or is my grammar really that bad?

from a master
who beat me regularly.
- I found 'regularly' rather clumsy... maybe just 'regular' or 'proper'. A little more earthy?

Loved the flow of the last s, though the last line is all a bit gothic for me, given the grain of the rest of it.
And surely, you can get blag, blagged or blagger in there somewhere, or is it just me that loves that word?

good one, mate.
Tom
meh and bah are wonderful words

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Re: Nirvana Arms .....with an extra verse

Post by barrie » Fri Oct 10, 2008 6:14 pm

Thanks Tom - Yes, an mean dart, I'll blame Geoff for that. Originally it was an accurate dart and Geoff suggested mean dart in a PM. I never changed the article - I'll do it now.

If I used regular, I'd have to change the sentence structure - I mean at regular intervals, so I'll stick with the adverb.
TDF wrote: Loved the flow of the last s, though the last line is all a bit gothic for me
- Zen and the Art of Vampirism, eh?

Cheers

Barrie
After letting go of branches and walking through the ape gait, we managed to grasp what hands were really for......

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