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Thread: Biding Forest

  1. #1
    Registered User cogs's Avatar
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    Forest's Heart

    Under raw bark
    Of the wood clan
    Lies a sprite spark
    From her pearl hand

    Forlorn brook feigns
    Of her glad song,
    For her fair face,
    Draws the waves wrong

    Green gown of the
    Curved bluffs in the
    Breeze blow like her
    Silk ruffs flutter

    Rays warm like her
    Feet fall and the
    Aged cairn calls to,
    "Fetch the maid's love,

    fetch the maid's love"
    Last edited by cogs; 04-26-2012 at 12:08 AM.

  2. #2
    The puddytat you saw Hawkman's Avatar
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    Sorry cogs, I can't make head nor tail of this one. Peculiar syntax and grammar merely confuse.

    Live long and prosper - H
    Oh no, not again...

  3. #3
    Inexplicably Undiscovered
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    The first stanza scans all right, I guess, but as the verse goes on,the meter breaks down. There seems to be an attempt at end rhyme (which could be actual rhyme or "slant" rhyme) but either case would absolutely require metrical regularity, especially lining up the stresses symmetrically. Even so, it appears that your verse can't make up its mind to rhyme or not to rhyme.

    In metric or free verse, we seldom see lines ending in articles "the" or prepositions "to."*

    Your images are a tad vague as well, they don't really connect with each other or with a central idea.

    Give this one another go.


    EDITED 7:19 pm today to add:

    I just looked at one of the ditties by yours fully and discovered that I ended a line with the word "on." But I still stand by what I said about ending one of your lines with "to," whether ias it splits the infinitive "to fetch" or if its part of "calls to," in the latter case, I wouldn't separate the verb "calls to" from the object. Keep your preposition phrases together "of the" "in the."
    Last edited by AuntShecky; 04-26-2012 at 08:26 PM. Reason: Reason given on the posting

  4. #4
    Registered User Delta40's Avatar
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    I'm awful with meter and syntax (what are they btw?). You have a potentially good poem here and I think you should go back and unbuckle it so it just flows naturally Cogs.
    The Rotten Apple Injures its Neighbour

  5. #5
    When you read your poem to yourself, don't pay much attention to how the words sound or rhyme, but watch out how your thoughts make you feel. Flow is a feeling not a sound.

    Free writing is a good initial exercise for building depth and vision. From that, edit and create a poem that shows images and colors and tells stories and what you want to say.

    I see a talent in this one that needs to be unleashed and unrestrained. By the way, poetry has beginning, middle, and end too but subtle and sometimes vague. Even haikus have them. They come as seasons, places, events, emotions, people in chronology.

    Continue writing and take care.
    "You laugh at me because I'm different, I laugh at you because you're all the same."

    --Jonathan Davis

  6. #6
    Registered User cogs's Avatar
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    the structure i made up was two stanzas of four vv//, then again with //vv. the rhyme scheme was abab on the ends, then cdcd on the second word, with the last stanza catching the last rhyme on the third line, with the final lines being an echo through the forest.

    the forest misses the maid, who's in the aged cairn for quite awhile. it misses her loving ways, and doesn't know she's not coming back.
    Last edited by cogs; 04-26-2012 at 07:14 PM.

  7. #7
    King of Dreams MorpheusSandman's Avatar
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    I'll be the lone voice of dissent here; I rather like this brief, but mysterious and evocative piece with it's incredibly unusual form. It has that unique quality of feeling experimental and traditional at the same time. It has echoes of classic alliterative verse, but is actually built on the incredibly rare (in English verse) four-foot prosody of major and minor ionic, sometimes known as triple trochees and double iambs (stress-stress-weak-weak and weak-weak-strong-strong) respectively. I think it's interesting how you achieved this almost totally with preposition/article/pronoun pairings and adjective/nouns parings (there are exceptions). It gives the poem such a unique flow in terms of rhythm and the syntactic/semantic parallels. There are three deviations I spotted:

    Forlorn brook feigns, Silk ruffs flutter, and Fetch the maid's love. The last two can be justified by, I think, closing the lines they're apart of, but I think "Forlorn brook feigns" breaks the rhythm at a really bad place (the start of S2), so I would highly recommend changing that. But, all in all, I really like this experiment, as the combination of the unique rhythm, parallel syntax, and fractured semantics give it the quality of a dream that's both familiar yet alien.
    "As far as we can discern, the sole purpose of human existence is to kindle a light of meaning in the darkness of mere being." --Carl Gustav Jung

    "To absent friends, lost loves, old gods, and the season of mists; and may each and every one of us always give the devil his due." --Neil Gaiman; The Sandman Vol. 4: Season of Mists

    "I'm on my way, from misery to happiness today. Uh-huh, uh-huh, uh-huh, uh-huh" --The Proclaimers

  8. #8
    The puddytat you saw Hawkman's Avatar
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    Form and intent are one thing, but you still have to choose words that form a coherent stream or all you are left with is random words plonked next to each other. Use of cojuncions and prepositions just to fill spaces in the meter, (like of) with no thought to how they actually affect the sentence or the concept you are trying to convey, just wrecks the poetry. The art is in not in imposing meter and rhyme upon a poem, kicking and screaming to get out, but to let the poem grow from them naturally. I can appreciate what you were trying to achieve here cogs, but I'm afraid that in this instance it didn't work. Please keep practicing, but never forget that the reader can't read your mind. All he has to go on are the words you write, and the conventions of grammar and syntax are the means by which a commonality of communication and understanding is achieved.

    Live and be well - H
    Oh no, not again...

  9. #9
    King of Dreams MorpheusSandman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hawkman View Post
    you still have to choose words that form a coherent stream or all you are left with is random words plonked next to each other.
    Tell that to John Ashbery and William Burroughs!
    "As far as we can discern, the sole purpose of human existence is to kindle a light of meaning in the darkness of mere being." --Carl Gustav Jung

    "To absent friends, lost loves, old gods, and the season of mists; and may each and every one of us always give the devil his due." --Neil Gaiman; The Sandman Vol. 4: Season of Mists

    "I'm on my way, from misery to happiness today. Uh-huh, uh-huh, uh-huh, uh-huh" --The Proclaimers

  10. #10
    The puddytat you saw Hawkman's Avatar
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    Perhaps I already have... Do you remember "Cut Ups"?
    Oh no, not again...

  11. #11
    King of Dreams MorpheusSandman's Avatar
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    I had to look it up, but I did remember it when I read it! Although, I think with writers like Burroughs and Ashbery there's a conscious acknowledgement that they're writing a kind of surrealism where the words and syntax isn't supposed to make sense. Maybe the problem with cogs' piece is that it seems to not make sense solely for the sake of a metrical experiment rather than some surrealistic, drug-induced creativity. Still, I'm all for metrical experiments as there are too few poets interested in the expressive possibilities of meter these days.
    "As far as we can discern, the sole purpose of human existence is to kindle a light of meaning in the darkness of mere being." --Carl Gustav Jung

    "To absent friends, lost loves, old gods, and the season of mists; and may each and every one of us always give the devil his due." --Neil Gaiman; The Sandman Vol. 4: Season of Mists

    "I'm on my way, from misery to happiness today. Uh-huh, uh-huh, uh-huh, uh-huh" --The Proclaimers

  12. #12
    Registered User cogs's Avatar
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    what method do you use to make words a weak stress, especially two weak stresses together? is there any single word like that, with two syllables both weak?

  13. #13
    King of Dreams MorpheusSandman's Avatar
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    cogs, stresses are always relative and it's a very tricky subject. Generally, the method you used of combining articles, prepositions, and pronouns are one of the few ways to guarantee having two successive non-stressed words. There are some multi-syllabic words that begin with two weak stresses, usually those that have two prefixes like, say, indeCISive (it's harder to find multi-syllabic words that fit a --// or //-- pattern, which is one reason why the major and minor ionic are not common features of English meter). There is a principle in metrical poetry called promotion and demotion of syllables that occurs when a rhythm has been established and certain words that should or shouldn't have stresses appear in spots where the meter would demand that they be stressed or unstressed respectively. But, again, it's a tricky subject because it's not always clear when a poet is demoting/promoting a syllable or using a metrical substitution, so I tend not to rely on that in my own metrical writing. But if you've established a strong rhythm you can often get away with it on words that are slightly ambiguous. A good example are words like "into" or "onto" which can be stressed on the first syllable, second syllable, or neither syllable depending on the rhythmic context. EG:

    Leaping into water - scans: /-/-/-
    He leaps into the water - scans: -/-/-/-
    He will leap into water tonight - scans --/--/--/

    The relativity of the word "into" above is based on its proximity to words that have to take stress. When it's preceded by a weak stress and followed by a strong stress, the first syllable takes the stress; when it's preceded by a strong stress and followed by a weak stress, the second syllable takes the stress; and when it's preceded and followed by strong stresses it doesn't have to take stress at all. In a piece like yours, if you've established a strong --// or //-- rhythm then you can usually get away with using a word like into, upon, onto, etc. in either of the unstressed positions.
    Last edited by MorpheusSandman; 04-28-2012 at 12:32 AM.
    "As far as we can discern, the sole purpose of human existence is to kindle a light of meaning in the darkness of mere being." --Carl Gustav Jung

    "To absent friends, lost loves, old gods, and the season of mists; and may each and every one of us always give the devil his due." --Neil Gaiman; The Sandman Vol. 4: Season of Mists

    "I'm on my way, from misery to happiness today. Uh-huh, uh-huh, uh-huh, uh-huh" --The Proclaimers

  14. #14
    Registered User cogs's Avatar
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    thank you sandman, i think this is the most informative explanation i have heard here. and hawkman, thank you for the critique, as i can look outside of my own blindspot, and improve. once i get past this 'imposing meter and rhyme', i can be more free with ideas.

  15. #15
    King of Dreams MorpheusSandman's Avatar
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    cogs, I would highly recommend Stephen Fry's The Ode Less Traveled for a perfect beginner's guide to English prosody that even covers some of the more exotic meters. There are other more academic texts, like Paul Fussell's excellent Poetic Meter and Poetic Form, or Derek Attridge's Poetic Rhythm: An Introduction, but they don't have Fry's easy-going sense of humor and natural teacher's sensibility. His is one of the few poetry books I have that don't seem to be beating the reader over the head with the idea that "srs poetry business is srs poetry business".

    Also, I wouldn't worry about "imposing meter and rhyme." I think all beginning poets are mastered by meter and form long before they learn to master meter and form. The only way to become proficient is to do stuff exactly like this: experiment and try.
    Last edited by MorpheusSandman; 04-28-2012 at 09:28 AM.
    "As far as we can discern, the sole purpose of human existence is to kindle a light of meaning in the darkness of mere being." --Carl Gustav Jung

    "To absent friends, lost loves, old gods, and the season of mists; and may each and every one of us always give the devil his due." --Neil Gaiman; The Sandman Vol. 4: Season of Mists

    "I'm on my way, from misery to happiness today. Uh-huh, uh-huh, uh-huh, uh-huh" --The Proclaimers

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