the original kStyle blog.

Wednesday, September 15, 2004

Another Take

1. The World shines forth with tempered grace
In Autumn’s perfect light,
That mellowed gold
Of days grown old
Like red wine dark as night.

2. The World blooms [glows?] bright and beautiful
In Autumn’s amber light;
Green leaves turn gold,
Their secrets told
On wind's awoken flight.

3. The World sighs, melancholy-soft
In Autumn’s low twilight;
In shadows long
The birds sing songs
To hearken Southward flight.

[is it cheating to repeat "gold" and "flight" as rhymes, or does it thread the verses together?]


Blogger Eric said...

Before I get to the poem, which Karen and I have already discussed outside the borders of Float, I want to say this about the comments of Anonymous to the previous post: I don't know that Ann is right when she surmises that you sniped at the earlier draft because you believe that if you don't like something, it must be bad, or because you feel you have to rid the world of bad art. She might be right, but you hardly wrote enough to suggest any motive at all, or any reasoning.

Frankly though, that's not the worst motive in the world as far as I'm concerned. We're all arbiters of taste, each of us; why pretend otherwise? And each of us argues from a different point of view. If in fact you do believe that too much bad poetry is clogging our cultural arteries, then I agree with you. And I also agree that if someone posts her poem to a public blog, she makes herself fair game for someone to point out ways in which the poem falls short. Poetry, perhaps more than any other literary form, lends itself particularly well to this sort of treatment, as it has the most rigorous rules and strictures. Meter is meter and rhyme is rhyme. Even nonmetrical, nonrhyming poems must retain some of the elegance and rhythm that attend their more overtly structured cousins--that is, if the poetry is to be called great. At least that's what I think.

The problem, though, Anonymous, is this. A comment like "Don't quit your day job" has nothing to do with poetry or making it better. It's just mean. Karen put herself out there--in iambic quatrameter, no less--working in a form in which she claims no expertise. And the poem is quite good, I think. Effective similes ("red wine dark as night"), keeps itself to the meter while allowing room for a little play ("melancholy-soft"), and overall evocative of a specific mood. It's a lovely poem.

(Sidebar to Karen: I'd stay away from the repeated rhymes. Though it isn't cheating, per se--Marlowe did it, after all--I do think it would detract. Also, "twilight" is trochaic and throws off the meter in that line, which is distracting a bit.)

So all of this speculation about why someone would post a mean-spirited comment anonymously seems misplaced to me. I don't know if you did it because you appointed yourself Guardian of Poetry. I doubt that's why, though. If you cared at all about poetry, you would have written something about it.

But here's the thing: denigrating someone else but not bothering to give your name? Very bad form.

7:35 AM  
Blogger kStyle said...

My humble poem is surrounded by far too much gallantry! Thanks Eric, and thanks again to Ann, for replying to Anon. Gratitude to both of you for your suggestion, as well.

Now, Anon, attack my prose like that and I personally will tear you limb from limb. I know prose. Don't mess.

9:10 AM  

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