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On 10/19/2018 at 5:56 AM, AC Benus said:
And if I should live to be 
The last leaf upon the tree 
In the spring, 
Let them smile, as I do now, 
At the old forsaken bough 
Where I cling.

I loved the rhythm, too. Especially the last stanza is surprising and leaves much to dwell upon...

But even the thoughts about the outward signs of the man's older age are so exceptional, so to the point - they are signs one has seen onself but has never been able to put together like this.

Edited by Zenobia
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Since it was advised I begin at, well, the beginning ...   A bitter wind blows, drifting lazy bits of fluff, hallmarks of winter.     Softly twittering, a flutter amongst evergreen boughs. Ch

Hi and Welcome! This is an open thread, intended for poets to help one another on GA. It's not tied to any one piece, but a forum where we can exchange ideas, get feedback on a project we're intending

A poem for this morning, and several others.    The junco wakes before the dawn disturbing all the crows; their caws explode across the lawn, and so the morning goes, Bright cardinal

Posted Images

7 hours ago, Zenobia said:

Totally not too obtuse... but thank you @Mikiesboy for the description-explanation because I was wondering whether I grasped the meaning correctly :)

Thanks, Zenobia. Living where I live, at sea level, it's rare to see snow falling, but I well remember it from being a boy. There is something special about a nighttime snow, and I'm glad Parker stirred my memories.

 

Edited by AC Benus
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7 hours ago, Zenobia said:

I loved the rhythm, too. Especially the last stanza is surprising and leaves much to dwell upon...

But even the thoughts about the outward signs of the man's older age are so exceptional, so to the point - they are signs one has seen onself but has never been able to put together like this.

Oliver Wendell Holmes was a poet of the same generation as Edgar Allen Poe, and the musical intent of both writers' work is wonderful, to my ear. Holmes was one of the first poets I 'discovered' and loved as a teenager. It's always wonderful to revisit his works and still discover how truly inspiring they are! He wrote and published most of his poetry while he was still a college student :) Or, as the boy seen in this picture... 

 

Oliver_Wendell_Holmes_Sr,_1841.jpg

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12 hours ago, Parker Owens said:

Here is the draft of the Haibun suggested by @AC Benus. I’m grateful for his prompting...

 

 

“Snowing down ink" was a phrase of my father's; I’m not sure where it came from. I wonder if it was meant to mean white ink, rather than black. 
 
Snowfall, thick and white,
obscures both spruce and maple,
silencing the world. 
 
remember one particular Thanksgiving day it snowed down ink; Mom had invited an older couple to join us - but the snow was so bad, they couldn't make the two-mile drive up the road. Dad fired up the ancient Land Rover, engaged the four-wheel drive, and off we went in a roar and cloud of smoke under the white veil. Its primitive wipers struggled to keep the windshield clear, whining asynchronously all the way. The old folks didn't seem to mind too much, even though getting in and out of the beast was quite an adventure for them. 
 
“Well, it’s 
snowing down ink,”
or so my father said;
Thanksgiving incomplete without
our guests,
he drove
undignified transportation,
fetched in the iron beast,
bringing them home 
to feast.
 
I suppose the cold journey made the welcome scent of turkey and pie all the more delicious when we arrived safely back with our guests. 
 
Bright snowdrifts
and the cold silent night
made the kitchen seem more welcoming,
roasting turkey and pecan pies more appealing,
the hearth warmer and the fire brighter;
enough to thaw old smiles 
and tired bones. 

I truly love the memory shared here. You paint one of those moments in all of our childhoods that pass by the adults so quickly, but become anchored in the young brain as something truly special. Such a memory is this, and we all have them. 

 

Be sure to remember this for next Thanksgiving week and post it for all to enjoy!

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2 minutes ago, AC Benus said:

I've been typing up my old poems, and found a pair of quotes on the inside cover to one of my notebooks. Edwin Arnold is one of the poets quoted, so I looked up more of his work today. He's not as Victorian as his titles and station in life might have one assume. Reading a poem like his fine "Destiny" I can see he paved the path for poet who'd follow his path, like Robert Graves.

 

Destiny

by Edwin Arnold

 

Somewhere there waiteth in this world of ours
For one lone soul another lonely soul
Each choosing each through all the weary hours
And meeting strangely at one sudden goal.
Then blend they, like green leaves with golden flowers,
Into one beautiful and perfect whole;
And life's long night is ended, and the way
Lies open onward to eternal day.

 

 

_

this is beautiful!

and the lines 

 

Each choosing each through all the weary hours
And meeting strangely at one sudden goal.

 

point out just how random finding that "one lone soul" can be!

 

you post the most AMAZING things AC!

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3 minutes ago, mollyhousemouse said:

this is beautiful!

and the lines 

 

Each choosing each through all the weary hours
And meeting strangely at one sudden goal.

 

point out just how random finding that "one lone soul" can be!

 

you post the most AMAZING things AC!

Muah

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7 minutes ago, AC Benus said:

Destiny

by Edwin Arnold

 

Somewhere there waiteth in this world of ours
For one lone soul another lonely soul
Each choosing each through all the weary hours
And meeting strangely at one sudden goal.
Then blend they, like green leaves with golden flowers,
Into one beautiful and perfect whole;
And life's long night is ended, and the way
Lies open onward to eternal day.

this is beautiful and the truth and too many are unable to see it

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7 hours ago, AC Benus said:

I've been typing up my old poems, and found a pair of quotes on the inside cover to one of my notebooks. Edwin Arnold is one of the poets quoted, so I looked up more of his work today. He's not as Victorian as his titles and station in life might have one assume. Reading a poem like his fine "Destiny", I can see he paved the way for poets who followed, like Robert Graves.

 

Destiny

by Edwin Arnold

 

Somewhere there waiteth in this world of ours
For one lone soul another lonely soul
Each choosing each through all the weary hours
And meeting strangely at one sudden goal.
Then blend they, like green leaves with golden flowers,
Into one beautiful and perfect whole;
And life's long night is ended, and the way
Lies open onward to eternal day.

 

 

_

 

Thank you for sharing this poem. It is so beautiful. It expresses how two may be far more together than their sum; there is powerful hope here. 

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7 hours ago, AC Benus said:

I've been typing up my old poems, and found a pair of quotes on the inside cover to one of my notebooks. Edwin Arnold is one of the poets quoted, so I looked up more of his work today. He's not as Victorian as his titles and station in life might have one assume. Reading a poem like his fine "Destiny", I can see he paved the way for poets who followed, like Robert Graves.

 

Destiny

by Edwin Arnold

 

Somewhere there waiteth in this world of ours
For one lone soul another lonely soul
Each choosing each through all the weary hours
And meeting strangely at one sudden goal.
Then blend they, like green leaves with golden flowers,
Into one beautiful and perfect whole;
And life's long night is ended, and the way
Lies open onward to eternal day.

 

 

_

Not much more we can add. Truly a beautiful poem. Thank you AC.

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20 minutes ago, AC Benus said:

I've posted at least one example of Peter Whigham's translations before, but feel we need a couple more. They're wonderful.

 

 

I was thirsty.

It was hot.

I kissed the boy

with girl-soft skin.

My thirst was quenched.

I said: Is that what you're

up to, Papa Zeus;

is that what strip-

ling Ganymede

at table serves,

under Hera's eye?

Lip-split wine

from soul to soul

as honeyed-sweet

as these vast draughts

Antiochus

pours for me!

Meleager

Greek Anthology, 12,133

 

 

The breath of my life -- no less,

this rope that constrains

me, Myiscus, to you

-- you have me fast.

 

Sweet boy,

even a deaf-mute

could hear how you look!

Look darkly at me,

clouds break out in winter;

smile with clear eyes,

and spring giggles,

coating me with petals.

Meleager

Greek Anthology, 12,159

 

 

_

oh both of these are delicious, AC .. thank you xoxo

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3 hours ago, AC Benus said:

I've posted at least one example of Peter Whigham's translations before, but feel we need a couple more. They're wonderful.

 

 

I was thirsty.

It was hot.

I kissed the boy

with girl-soft skin.

My thirst was quenched.

I said: Is that what you're

up to, Papa Zeus;

is that what strip-

ling Ganymede

at table serves,

under Hera's eye?

Lip-split wine

from soul to soul

as honeyed-sweet

as these vast draughts

Antiochus

pours for me!

Meleager

Greek Anthology, 12,133

 

 

The breath of my life -- no less,

this rope that constrains

me, Myiscus, to you

-- you have me fast.

 

Sweet boy,

even a deaf-mute

could hear how you look!

Look darkly at me,

clouds break out in winter;

smile with clear eyes,

and spring giggles,

coating me with petals.

Meleager

Greek Anthology, 12,159

 

 

_

 

Thank you for these wonderfully sensuous translations. 

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On 12/9/2018 at 8:48 PM, AC Benus said:

Destiny

by Edwin Arnold

 

Somewhere there waiteth in this world of ours
For one lone soul another lonely soul
Each choosing each through all the weary hours
And meeting strangely at one sudden goal.
Then blend they, like green leaves with golden flowers,
Into one beautiful and perfect whole;
And life's long night is ended, and the way
Lies open onward to eternal day.

 

 

_

Wonderful!! I see that I have much to learn about poetry... and even with not much time one can - and must - always pause for a moment to read a gem like this :yes:

And thank you for introducing me to the poetry of Oliver Wendell Holmes.

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Sometimes a poet will express to me uncertainty regarding a poem's syllable count. This usually concerns a line or two.

 

I know there are sites out there that will 'count' for you and display a numerical tally, but I've found them to be highly -- think Russian roulette -- inaccurate. Sometimes they hit it, oftentimes they are way off.

 

So this morning I was thinking about this problem and suddenly remembered another resource that can help. Google Translate has a speaker button in the lower left-hand corner. I use this feature to determine syllable counts for Classical names rendered in everyday English. In other words, for me the names read as they are spelled, but not so usually in English: Antigone to me (as in Greek) is An-tee-Go-nay; but slurred in our native tongue to AN-TIGGG-ah-nee. That name, if I use it in a poem, I should know how the typical reader will pronounce it, and account for that in my line length calculations.

 

But!!! For all of us, this same Google Translate feature can tell accurate syllable counts. Feed your poem in line by line and listen to the reading, counting the syllables. This option is far more accurate than the computer-generated sites' readout as a number. 

 

Try it and see! I think you will find it useful. 

 

One thing no website can do, however, is settle on a syllable count for words that are valid in two pronunciations. A good example is finally: is it FINE-a-ly or Fine-ly? The answer is yes, both are correct. In such cases in your poem, the metre (meaning the musical lilt of your lines) should be able to inform the reader effortlessly which way the word wants to be pronounced.      

 

https://translate.google.com/?hl=en&tab=TT&authuser=0

 

Let me know if you find this technique useful :)

 

Edited by AC Benus
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@AC Benus One thing no website can do, however, is settle on a syllable count for words that are valid in two pronunciations. A good example is finally: is it FINE-a-ly or Fine-ly? The answer is yes, both are correct. In such cases in your poem, the metre (meaning the musical lilt of your lines) should be able to inform the reader effortlessly which way the word wants to be pronounced.      

 

https://translate.google.com/?hl=en&tab=TT&authuser=0

 

Let me know if you find this technique useful

 

What a great idea to use Google Translate. I will have to try it!  I completely agree about having to decide on one's own when there are more than one valid pronunciations. I've done so often enough - choosing the accent or pronunciation which supports my syllable needs.

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4 hours ago, AC Benus said:

One thing no website can do, however, is settle on a syllable count for words that are valid in two pronunciations. A good example is finally: is it FINE-a-ly or Fine-ly? The answer is yes, both are correct. In such cases in your poem, the metre (meaning the musical lilt of your lines) should be able to inform the reader effortlessly which way the word wants to be pronounced.      

 

https://translate.google.com/?hl=en&tab=TT&authuser=0

 

Let me know if you find this technique useful :)

 

I'll try it next time i need to. i find the counter at poetry soup pretty darned good, but its not perfect but it's close.. but yeah all tools are welcome... thanks, AC!

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5 hours ago, AC Benus said:

Sometimes a poet will express to me uncertainty regarding a poem's syllable count. This usually concerns a line or two.

 

I know there are sites out there that will 'count' for you and display a numerical tally, but I've found them to be highly -- think Russian roulette -- inaccurate. Sometimes they hit it, oftentimes they are way off.

 

So this morning I was thinking about this problem and suddenly remembered another resource that can help. Google Translate has a speaker button in the lower left-hand corner. I use this feature to determine syllable counts for Classical names rendered in everyday English. In other words, for me the names read as they are spelled, but not so usually in English: Antigone to me (as in Greek) is An-tee-Go-nay; but slurred in our native tongue to AN-TIGGG-ah-nee. That name, if I use it in a poem, I should know how the typical reader will pronounce it, and account for that in my line length calculations.

 

But!!! For all of us, this same Google Translate feature can tell accurate syllable counts. Feed your poem in line by line and listen to the reading, counting the syllables. This option is far more accurate than the computer-generated sites' readout as a number. 

 

Try it and see! I think you will find it useful. 

 

One thing no website can do, however, is settle on a syllable count for words that are valid in two pronunciations. A good example is finally: is it FINE-a-ly or Fine-ly? The answer is yes, both are correct. In such cases in your poem, the metre (meaning the musical lilt of your lines) should be able to inform the reader effortlessly which way the word wants to be pronounced.      

 

https://translate.google.com/?hl=en&tab=TT&authuser=0

 

Let me know if you find this technique useful :)

 

you might get tired of me saying this AC, but you would be the BEST creative writing/English teacher 

i always look forward to your lessons, thanks for sharing all of these things you discover!

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you describe the process very well, tim. It is certainly a challenge to do these. On the one hand, the rawness of the finished piece is what makes it special. On the other hand, as you said, leaving it be in its raw form goes against our better instincts to mold it into perfection. I prefer the raw form. It demonstrates pure thought, without too much manipulation. 

 

Thanks for creating a new piece with me. 

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11 hours ago, Mikiesboy said:

That's the process, at least for me, the other thing is, once your lines are written there is no changing them. That's hard for me because i like to let poems sit, and i often do change them, bend the words and rearrange them. So writing one of these can take a few hours as i think about what i've written and whether i'm happy to let it go. For me these are very raw, but sometimes that makes the best poetry.

i knew that this form was much different than the way you usually do poetry, but was good to read about it!

 

8 hours ago, MacGreg said:

you describe the process very well, tim. It is certainly a challenge to do these. On the one hand, the rawness of the finished piece is what makes it special. On the other hand, as you said, leaving it be in its raw form goes against our better instincts to mold it into perfection. I prefer the raw form. It demonstrates pure thought, without too much manipulation. 

 

Thanks for creating a new piece with me. 

thank you both for the insight as to how these are created.  they do seem much more magical after this behind the scenes glimpse

 

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I wrote a Sonnet standing up, two days ago. After a bit of debate, I decided to take the advice within the poem itself and leave the original draft alone. So here it is, imperfections and all. Happy New Year, GA poets :)

 

for a new year

 

Is death a chill beyond which love can warm,

A condition unrecoverable;

The becalmed stillness after a long storm,

A thing ever undiscoverable.  

Is hope a spark against the immense cold,

Nurtured for vanity’s sake, and because

Faith is a comfort that we won’t get old,

Even If our life’s a dream that never was.

And yet, how good it is to live a while,

Even if but for the moment’s taking,

To feel the sun, and breathe the air in style,

Knowing all the while it’s our grave we’re making.

      So wake each day as if a resurrection,

      And enjoy the world for its imperfection.

 

 

Edited by AC Benus
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      There is a particular anthology of one hundred English language versions of those eight simple Japanese words, and all of them are different, and all of them are in proper Haiku form.
       
      The Haiku is based on a three-lined structure, and has the following syllables: 5,7,5. Like all Japanese poetry and traditional lyrics, a seasonal word is essential. In the frog poem, the frog is a symbol of summer. Another summer poem that illustrates his totally subjective style is this one from Oku no Hosomichi:
       
      The prompt: write two Haiku. One inspired by a sight you witnessed outdoors, in a secluded patch of nature (either in your yard, a city park, or the great untamed wilderness). And a second one inspired by an urban sight (something that catches your eye on the street), or that happens indoors. You must be true to the form and include a seasonal word within both poems, but remember, words like 'surfboard' and 'bug spray' speak of summer just as much as 'frog' and 'cicada' do. Think outside the box and just use a sight that speaks to the season in the part of the world you are right now. 
       
      To be a true Haiku, do not use words or concepts like "I," "my," "mine," etc. Stick to plain scene painting, for if the sight moved you, it has the potential to move others too. 
       
       
      _  
       
       
       
    • By Juan Manuel Sandoval
      Hi everyone! I’ve only recently joined the site, but it’s felt so warm and welcoming that I thought it’d be interesting to share something for discussion. I write poetry in both English and Spanish and only recently have begun to blend both my languages within poems. I was having in interesting exchange with a professor at my university this year where I confessed that sometimes I felt pressured to offer translated versions of my writing, while sacrificing the value of what a Spanish word or phrase was adding to my poem in order to please non-Spanish speaking readers. I mentioned I had begun blending the two languages without offering translations and he said I shouldn’t feel obliged to offer translations. He said readers shouldn’t force a type of language or culture censorship where the value of a piece is diminished because they can’t simply put the effort to translate words and phrases themselves or research the context of a piece. I’m curious if anyone else has thought about this dilemma of culture and language in your poetry and whether you share the professors opinion or have something else regarding it. It’ll be lovely to discuss!
    • By Valkyrie
      I know it's a bit early, but it seems like there are quite a few new poets on site.  So I thought I'd post a shout-out for National Poetry Writing Month, which starts April 1st.  The goal for NaPoWriMo is to write 30 poems in 30 days.  There's no structure as to how to accomplish that goal, although most writers strive for one per day.  It's a great time to go through AC's poetry prompts.  I've been stockpiling a few prompts of my own, which I will post here.  I also receive daily prompts via email from a lady who has done this for years.  If anyone is interested in receiving these prompts, please PM me your email address and I will either forward them to you or send her your email so you can receive them directly; it's entirely up to you.  
       
      Most people post their NaPoWriMo poems in a weekly "chapter", although some people prefer to post daily.  To get an idea of how past participants have done it, check out my own "April Musings",  Parker Owens "Parker's NaPoWriMo 2017", or Aditus' "Going to the Movies".  
       
      Participating in NaPoWriMo is a lot of fun.  I hope to see a lot of participants in April!  

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