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Thread: The Rebel

  1. #1
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    The Rebel

    Identical

    Yeah,

    In tight black slacks,
    polar-neck, roller-neck beatniks,
    with their matching snacks,

    sway

    at the feet

    of existential dread.

    (Bebop with the sax.)

    A gliss of, “Niiiice”,
    drifts up behind the footlight’s glare
    and hangs suspended in the smoky air.

    (The drum coughs up a trochee.)

    Lifted out of West-side Story
    Hipsters
    Clipsters
    Click the beat

    and then the voice,

    yeah,

    demanding,
    commanding, exhorting
    distorting the reality of now,

    and how, brother.

    Just let it flow,
    those in the know will understand,
    or so it’s planned.

    They say Sartre’s in the audience tonight,
    but maybe they ain’t all that bright,
    who cares?

    At the bottom of those dim-lit stairs,
    behind the door,
    the energy is zippin’

    because we’re trippin’

    on the beat.

    Yeah…
    Last edited by Hawkman; 05-09-2012 at 04:16 PM.

  2. #2
    riding a cosmic vortex MystyrMystyry's Avatar
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    Ah Hah! Now this I can relate to!

    More of this is needed around here Hawk!

  3. #3
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    Right on, Jabba

    Niiiice...

  4. #4
    King of Dreams MorpheusSandman's Avatar
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    Oh, man, I think I know some modern variants of the people you're writing about! I really dig this piece because the line breaks and the smooth rhythms and the rhymes seem to imitate the kind of laid-back, cocky nature of such people in such places, as if they can't be quite bothered to make an original effort when it comes to... anything, really. The only part I'm not quite sure works is "sway / at the feet / of existential dread," as the stanza breaks between each really slow the rhythm down and seems a bit jarring in such a context... your thoughts there? I like that device much better at the end.
    "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

  5. #5
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    Hi Morpheus. The gaps between that particular series of lines are intended to convey the protentious pretentiousness of the delivery. I had to put in an edit because of one too many "beats" - The line originally read, "sway/ to the beat/ of existential dread" whichIi liked much better in context, but it's proximity to beatniks jarred. It also meant there were 4 beats in the poem when I only wanted 3. In the first draft there were more well-spaced lines but I was afraid that there were too many. What we are left with in the device bracketing the text. I kind of hoped it worked that way, but maybe it doesn't. I'm aslo tempeted to rearrange the line breaks on the "demanding" stanza so that the "ing" words are laid out in pairs, which better matches my intent in the way they should be delivered. What do you think? Does it work as is, or should I change it?

  6. #6
    King of Dreams MorpheusSandman's Avatar
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    When I read that I thought to myself "the one reason I'd say this device is successful is if he's using it to ironically mimic the type of pretentiousness of these types of people," and since that was your reason, I'd now go ahead and suggest you keep it! I just wanted to make sure it was what you intended to convey with that. I probably should've just stuck by my intuitions and read it that way to begin with.

    As for the "ing" stanza, you know I like to get cute, so I probably would've written it:

    demanding, commanding,
    exhorting, dis-
    torting the reality of now,

    or something smart-assed like that! I think the real problem with that isn't so much the layout, but rather that "demanding" and "commanding" aren't different enough to make any impact other than in the progression of "ing" sounds (so purely phonetically). Exhort may mean something similar, but by virtue of being a less common word I think it makes more of an impact.
    "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

  7. #7
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    As for the ing words, well, that would just muck up the rhythm However, I think you are missing the nuances of meaning in:

    Demanding - forcefully requesting
    Commanding - giving orders or controlling
    Exhorting - urging or encouraging
    Distorting - bending out of shape

    so for me they are sufficiently different

    But as for the poem as a whole I wonder if there's something you haven't picked up on... and you, a film buff - tut, tut

    Live and be well - H

  8. #8
    King of Dreams MorpheusSandman's Avatar
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    Oh, I know it would muck up the rhythm, but the odd line-break would also distort the sense the same way reality is said to be getting distorted. I'm a sucker for formal things like that.

    With regards to the nuanced meaning, the point I was making was kinda a technical one about when you combine nuanced difference with obvious patterns, the obvious pattern (in this case, the phonetic one) has a tendency to blur the nuanced differences in the sense; at least on an initial reading. So while there might be a difference between, say, commanding and demanding, many readers will gloss over that nuance because the similarity of sounds stick out in their mind more so than the idea that they need to make a distinction between the paralleled words. FWIW, this is along the lines of the argument of why the moderns felt they needed to do away with rhyme, because they felt everyone would read waiting for the jangling fulfillment of the rhyme pattern and stop paying attention to the sense in the meantime. I think that's taking it too far, but when you are engaging the ear strongly with phonetic and rhythmic patterns is can tend to draw attention away from nuanced differences in meaning. I usually tend to save such patterns for when I care more about the affect of rhythm and rhyme over that of nuanced sense.

    As for the film reference, well, I did get that you mentioned West-Side Story, but I've never been a big fan of musicals... you've got me interested enough to know what I'm missing now! C'mon and tell me!
    Last edited by MorpheusSandman; 05-05-2012 at 02:07 PM.
    "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

  9. #9
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    Well, I'm afraid I'm always conscious of the meanings of the words I use, and I choose them with care. However, I accept perhaps that some readers aren't, but the drive of the rhythm will still communicate with them on a superficial level. However, the depth/nuance is there to be found.

    Now for the film bit. Go to imdb and search, The Rebel. It'll open up a whole new world for you if you watch the film I don't know how old you are, but this wonderful 60's satire might throw some light on recent debates on this forum regarding what constitutes art, or at least, good art - LOL. You will also find that my little poem is a pale reflection of a scene in this film, but I'm not going to let on to you whether I'm sending-up what the film sends-up, or sending-up the send-up of what the film sends-up. You'll just have to work it out for yourself!

    Live and be well - H

  10. #10
    King of Dreams MorpheusSandman's Avatar
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    Certainly diction is always one of the poet's primary concerns, but the act of creation is much slower than the act of temporal and linear reading, and in such linear reading there are often many things fighting for our cognitive attention at once, and whatever becomes the strongest will often win out "in the moment". Like you say, those nuances are there to go back and find them later, though, but many don't move that far past their initial experience (and I usually try to form my first critiques out of that, and then modify them later if I feel it's necessary).

    I looked up The Rebel, and I do admit I haven't seen it... though knowing it has George Sanders in it makes me want to see it immediately! I'll have to see if it's available on Netflix.
    "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

  11. #11
    Justifiably inexcusable DocHeart's Avatar
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    Sartre *is* in the audience tonight... and as usual, he's hogging the joint.

    Good health, Hawk

    DH
    Of all the gin joints in all the towns in all the world, she walks into mine...

  12. #12
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    I'm sorry, Doc, but the apostrophe S here denotes idiomatic colloquial contraction. In context it is permissible to denote " Sartre is" this way and doesn't imply a possessive. Also, writing, Satre is, would throw the rhythm out.

    Thanks for reading btw

    Live and be well - H

    PS Sorry I missed the R. Naughty me, slap wrist, sulk in corner....

    H
    Last edited by Hawkman; 05-09-2012 at 04:18 PM.

  13. #13
    Registered User Delta40's Avatar
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    I liked it. Is that enough?
    Before sunlight can shine through a window, the blinds must be raised - American Proverb

  14. #14
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    Yes thank you, Davros

    Glad you did by the way, I think being exterminated might hurt

    Live and be well - H

  15. #15
    Original Poster Buh4Bee's Avatar
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    You had me snappin' YEAH! Yeah man! Cool.

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