Tuesday, July 29, 2008

first draft -

Riensberger Cemetery Sculpture

The waterlilies flower yellow;

(post removed)

10 comments:

Dave King said...

If that is a first draft, I am green with envy! Excellent, but I could not possibly critique a first draft - be like criticising a baby!

Sorlil said...

Thanks dave, that's very kind of you but feel free to critique also - it all helps!

swiss said...

i like the start but i'm unsure whether you can get away with using alabaster twice within such a short space of time

is the oak/acorn inclusion descriptive or symbolic? if it's descriptive then i thin the imagery is subverted by its unconscious symbolic content. if its symbolic then using both together muddies the water a bit i feel (esp in the contest of a ring of oaks)

also 'for whom'? the tone of the first bit seems really quite intimate, as if you're being allowed into the thoughts of the narrator. this seems a bit formal maybe?

or none of the above if you're happy with it! lol that's really all that matters!

Sorlil said...

hi swiss, thanks for the that. I thought the oak tree part was off-key from the rest of it, I had cut it out but stuck it back in. thanks for confirming that for me and for the other points also.

Jim Murdoch said...

After all the comments on my site about sensitive poets I did think twice about offering my opinions on this piece and then I thought: What the heck?

I had to read this piece several times over to absorb it. Had it stumbled on it elsewhere I doubt I would've even got through it once. I tend to dislike descriptions of nature. I keep thinking: Get to the point. I tell you this just so you know the obstacle you have to overcome with this reader.

For me this is one of those meaningful, can't quite put it into words, encounter with nature poems that reminds me so much of Wordsworth's oft slagged 'Daffodils'. Guy encounters a cluster of flowers, guy has epiphany, guy goes home and thinks about epiphany:

   For oft, when on my couch I lie
   In vacant or in pensive mood,
   They flash upon that inward eye
   Which is the bliss of solitude;

I can see what the poem is aiming at but the cynic inside me says: So what's new here? You encounter the statue, walk into a ring of oaks and I'm not sure whether you're being symbolic here with the whole ring = circle of life, have your moment and then some time later get on a plane and reflect on the event. Again the use of winter seems an obvious metaphor for the aging process.

I had to look up 'linden trees' but they weren't what I expected. I thought they'd be tall and thin more like a pine through I'm sure there's an even better example.

The idea of the narrator becoming the statue is nice. I agree that two 'alabasters' is a bit much. The statue was probably the calcite kind of alabaster so the verb 'calcify' jumps to my mind and the image of the narrator's bones calcifying, also something associated with aging.

The idea behind this piece is good, don't get me wrong, but it doesn't excite me. It doesn't mean anything to me and that's a far cry from it being meaningless because it's certainly not.

Going out on a limb here I'm assuming that this is something that happened to you and, if that's the case, therein lies its weakness because, to use an expression I've used before, the rest of the poem is still inside you. It makes perfect sense when you read it because you were there. All your readers have are your words.

Sorlil said...

hi jim, you've raised some fair points here, thanks for that, you've given me plenty to think about.

An Honest Man said...

I can't be so analytical as Swiss or Jim M.

However, I really liked this poem - the Linden Tree fitted perfectly for me since it was in Germany (Franz Schubert!) that you started this and I find the use of alabaster twice in such close proximity to be very powerful, emphasising the effect on you.

Just my laymans opinion.

Sorlil said...

hi honest man, I very much appreciate your laymans opinion! I'm glad you like the poem and that those bits worked for you.

swiss said...

which is why, as i said the only opinion that matters is yours! people see what they want to see which is why with three people you get three different opinions

nicespot onthe schubert by honest man as well. i missed the linden first time round

Sorlil said...

It's really helpful to have different people's view, stops me writing in a bubble!