Birch Polypore (revised)

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Perry
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Re: Birch Polypore (revised)

Post by Perry » Wed Feb 20, 2019 2:00 pm

JJWilliamson wrote:
Wed Feb 20, 2019 1:30 pm
Perry, for goodness sake, I was not addressing you at all.

My comments are for Luke to consider, and when I give my opinion it is just that: an opinion. You are entitled to your pov and I see you've expressed it in the said thread several times, so please resist the temptation to leap in as if you were the last word on everything. If you, even for a second, believe that I would discourage somebody from employing meter then you're simply not thinking clearly.

I'm also beginning to wonder if you're doing this sort of thing on purpose, because you're frequently displaying antagonistic tendencies which smack of baiting.

I did read the thread but when I wrote my critique I never gave you a thought.

JJ
JJ, I know you weren't addressing me. However, I purposely addressed my comments to you because there was that time when you got upset because I disagreed with your critique of someone's poem and advised the author not to follow your advice. You took it personally then, even to the extent of starting a thread about it. I was afraid that you might have the same reaction this time.

I'm displaying antagonistic tendencies? Perhaps you should explain that. I'm opinionated, yes, but I don't see myself as antagonistic.

(I'll be back in about eight hours.)
If I don't critique your poem, it is probably because I don't understand it.

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Re: Birch Polypore (revised)

Post by bjondon » Wed Feb 20, 2019 3:28 pm

Hi luke,
I have to say I prefer your first revision by a country mile.
Though having said that, this is such a strong piece it could survive almost any
distortion of form. I am sure you have it off pat in your head so perhaps, if you dare,
a YouTube rendition might persuade us exactly how it should be signposted on the page.

In my ignorance I would venture you have invented your own particular style of sprung
rhythm/form, with precision italics and thought mutated natural speech playing a
pas de deux with the four symmetrical bars of sevens and sixers, all caging those
striding pentameters. Given a more sensible layout we lose half the fun.
1lankest wrote:
Mon Feb 11, 2019 5:52 pm
They’d strop their razors on its stony flesh - uncle Dave insists -
himself unshaven, grey for drink. Quite who he means . . . . . . . . . .shadowed by 'Quite who . . .' 'grey for drink' impacts
goes unexplained. Just They: gentry? brigands? clergy? Either, . . . . .more than when exposed with its own line break

all perhaps, given need of grooming. It’s not - he assures me -
for the pedant’s sober curiosity to pry or probe, but with . . . . my only change would be to drop 'with' to the next line
a nephew’s unerring loyalty descend the moss-slick slope

to the specimen tree ten feet below, clinging precariously . . . . . this whole stanza rocks, quite literally on the pivot
to a limestone shelf, roots exposed to the Tywi’s . . . . . . . . . . . of key word 'Alone' (this arrival point also present in 'They'
up-draughting cold. Alone, teetering on the ledge, calling back . . . . . . .'descend' and 'whet')

above the river’s din, I assure him what he says is true:
this corky shroom, though ripening on the bark, is firm enough
to the finger’s touch, to whet the wits of even the rustiest . . . . . .I'd tentatively suggest 'chin' instead of 'wits' but that
……………………………………………………………………………does depend on your underlying theme
old blade. …………… I like this little bracket . . . rather like a sartorial quirk that only a strong character could get away with
Last edited by bjondon on Thu Feb 21, 2019 2:10 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Perry
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Re: Birch Polypore (revised)

Post by Perry » Wed Feb 20, 2019 11:29 pm

(Regarding version 3, which I haven't specifically commented on yet.)

You've made the poem a little more concise by removing a few descriptive terms. I'm glad that some are gone, such as "the cleanest cut", but others -- like "unerring" and "ten feet below" -- could, in my opinion, remain because they make a useful contribution to the poem. "Ripening" is better than "softening". (I compared version 3 to the original, not to version 2.) However, you are in the process of refining the poem, so perhaps you should just use your own judgement.

I don't like the wasp-like thinness of the middle of the poem, but you already know that.
If I don't critique your poem, it is probably because I don't understand it.

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Re: Birch Polypore (revised)

Post by 1lankest » Sat Feb 23, 2019 7:34 am

Jj - thanks so much for such helpful comments. It’s so nice when someone attempts to interpret one’s poem and you have done so in a way extremely satisfying to me. It worked! And I think it should be ‘says’ - ta. Ok with ‘grey for drink’? And yes the juxtaposition was deliberate.

Jules, love the idea of the metric pas de deux - you give me too much credit! But i did want it to be slightly jaunty, in keeping with the content, especially in relation to the uncles precarious state of mind, health. Not sure what I’ll do with the format which has really divided opinion!

Perry, thank again. Really appreciate your time and thoughts. Will ponder the wasp-waist!

Luke

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Re: Birch Polypore (revised)

Post by Macavity » Sun Feb 24, 2019 6:24 am

Lovely read Luke. The relationship, the willingness of the boy to 'prove' the sense of his uncle, reinforces the bond. The soundscape is great too, which the format allows to breathe. Your visual intent is a subtle addition.

cheers

mac

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Re: Birch Polypore (revised)

Post by ray miller » Sun Feb 24, 2019 9:15 am

It's very good, I think. I'm not sure why the final line is parked out in the middle of the page

It’s not - he assures me - - would scolds be better?
for the pedant’s sober curiosity to pry or probe

so with a nephew’s loyalty
I descend the moss-slick slope


Not sure what your intent is here, is the nephew being loyal or disloyal?
I'm out of faith and in my cups
I contemplate such bitter stuff.

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Re: Birch Polypore (revised)

Post by 1lankest » Sun Feb 24, 2019 9:24 am

Mac, thanks. Really glad you liked it. If you ever get a chance to hop east (from Fishguard?) to the upper Tywi valley (particularly Gwenffrwd-Dinas) you should. Perhaps you’ve been before, but the RSPB site here is stunningly located and teaming with interesting and rare flora and fauna, especially lycans and mosses. Birch Polypore being just one of the more common species you might see. You can do a lovely walk along the river and around from the car park.

https://www.rspb.org.uk/reserves-and-ev ... frwd-dinas

L

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Re: Birch Polypore (revised)

Post by David » Sun Mar 17, 2019 7:53 pm

We've moved Luke's poem to Current Features - the first we've had for a while - by popular acclaim. Well, as much popular acclaim as we seem able to muster these days, which is not very much.

But we do think this poem is really good, like.

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Re: Birch Polypore (revised)

Post by 1lankest » Thu Mar 21, 2019 4:34 pm

Thanks David. Really chuffed. And thanks Mac for the nomination and to everyone for their helpful comments.

Luke

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