My Writers Circle

Poets Corner => Review My Poetry => Topic started by: Tom 10 on July 27, 2014, 04:08:34 PM

Title: This is Not Made
Post by: Tom 10 on July 27, 2014, 04:08:34 PM




      This is Not Made

From muffled snaps of twigs in a voice
now lost, or ropes stretched to the far cliff
over which the parts of the final bridge
hope to be pulled then assembled, or the dry touch
butter beans gift to sautéed onions, and no,
these lines are not written with soy ink on
thrice reprocessed rice paper.  They’ve never
been more than ones and zeroes.
But they could be.


Title: Re: This is Not Made
Post by: Lon Palmer on July 27, 2014, 05:04:18 PM
I don't follow.The words are well-crafted, but what do they mean?  Is this a reference to digital information? If so, I think it needs to be more explicit; if not, I don't know what to think/say.
Title: Re: This is Not Made
Post by: indar on July 27, 2014, 05:33:10 PM
Quote
the final bridge

Hi Tom,

I've been thinking about the bridge as the mediating or transformative symbol lately so this piece of writing triggers all kinds of thought. What better symbol of a symbol than a bridge. I've been trying to write an ending to an old poem "North on the Starliner" which of course will end at the big one in SF.

However I think of this bridge as a personal connection with someone lost in the final mystery. Love the mingling of such homely images as fried onions and beans and no special (mystical) means used to do the conjuring.
Title: Re: This is Not Made
Post by: Tom 10 on July 27, 2014, 05:35:53 PM
Hi Lon,
Thanks for the attempt.  Sorry this isn't more accessible.  The idea is that the writing of the poem has not reached out enough to threads of what could be elements of the heartbeat of this poem, which haven't made it to paper and are nothing more than digital imprints, despite their doing their part, being what they are, which is/are sufficient if the writer does his part.  Too much explanation, not enough good writing.  I'll tinker. 8)

T
Title: Re: This is Not Made
Post by: Tom 10 on July 27, 2014, 05:40:22 PM
Hi Indar,

I recall North on the Starliner.  :)   I'm glad you are back at that one.  I still wait, however for Black Ice, as well.  The images of that poem are still with me, strong as ever.

And you're right about the bridge - its an image of what we yearn for the future to be, or at least could have been, if I'd written this right. 8)
Thanks for the FB.

T
Title: Re: This is Not Made
Post by: CorneliusPoe on July 27, 2014, 11:04:02 PM
T.

I had to read this several times. Each reading rendering more. The title is very helpful as well. I'm already a fan. Your tone and delivery appeal to me. This poem is no different. I like the theme and the butter beans :) I disagree that tinkers are in order. I've seen your obscure. This is not obscure. Your last line says "But they could be". I would say in this case they are.
Title: Re: This is Not Made
Post by: 510bhan on July 28, 2014, 01:11:02 PM
      This is Not Made

From muffled snaps of twigs in a voice
now lost, or ropes stretched to the far cliff
over which the parts of the final bridge
hope to be pulled then assembled, or the dry touch
butter beans gift to sautéed onions, and no,
these lines are not written with soy ink on
thrice reprocessed rice paper.  They’ve never
been more than ones and zeroes.
But they could be.


I'm confused -- don't understand how the muffled snaps of twigs helps the imagery . . . I can go with the bridge and I like the image of butter beans complementing onions [though I don't understand their 'dry' touch]

      This is Not Made

From muffled snaps of twigs in a voice
now lost, or
ropes stretched to the far cliff
over which the parts of the final bridge
hope to be pulled then assembled, or the dry touch
butter beans gift to sautéed onions, and no,
these lines are not written with soy ink on
thrice reprocessed rice paper.  They’ve never
been more than ones and zeroes what they are.
But they could be these things.  <<<< the bits I understand in this, [not suggestions]. :-[
Title: Re: This is Not Made
Post by: indar on July 29, 2014, 02:13:33 AM
From muffled snaps of twigs in a voice
now lost, or ropes stretched to the far cliff
over which the parts of the final bridge
hope to be pulled then assembled, or the dry touch
butter beans gift to sautéed onions, and no,
these lines are not written with soy ink on
thrice reprocessed rice paper.  They’ve never
been more than ones and zeroes.
But they could be.

Me again, I can't believe you didn't understand what you were writing so I must explain it to you. I thought the sound of snapping twigs was an association with the muffled voice because of someone, now lost with whom the (almost not present) narrator walked in the woods conversing. And the bridge building was an effort to maintain a connection with this lost person even if only through memory. The bridge is something religious mystics use to descibe the symbols with which to access the ineffable and so the lost person has most likely died. Nothing way out there like seances just plain writing on plain paper with plain ink. But something beyond those simple elements occurs like the gift of butter beans to the onions that make this simple bit of cooking greater than its two ingredients. And from simple words some greater meaning is possible.
Title: Re: This is Not Made
Post by: Amie on July 29, 2014, 06:03:29 AM
Love it, as always :)
Title: Re: This is Not Made
Post by: Lon Palmer on July 29, 2014, 06:47:56 AM
I don't understand this poem even after reading it and what others have written about it several times.

I guess I'm old school . . . or something.

I mist appreciate poetry that brings greater depth and clarity to some aspect of existence rather than require deduction to decipher what it is even talking about - even then without uncertainty.
Title: Re: This is Not Made
Post by: Amie on July 29, 2014, 08:25:14 AM
It's just a matter of preferences. Some people (like me) like pieces that make you feel something rather than "understand" it. I love the textural imagery in this. I'm always a sucker for that kind of thing :)
Title: Re: This is Not Made
Post by: Tom 10 on July 29, 2014, 04:05:57 PM
CP -

Thank you.  “I've seen your obscure. This is not obscure.”  Too funny, too true.  And by comparison - I agree in that way.

Sio -

“I don't understand how the muffled snaps of twigs helps the imagery”.  It obviously doesn’t if there’s not some sense to it.  My thought was that the “voice now lost” would suggest a loved one who is no longer here - and there being something as a part of the memory of their voice like steps approaching in a forest, slowly, like in a dream, or . . . memory– the compelling part of a departed loved one’s voice that distinguishes it from other voices. Something even subtly striking and memorable about the voice.  The snaps then being part of the (now gone) voice, and the muffled snaps then part of an on-going low level imaged dialog.  I know this is asking the words to carry way more water than possible, but that’s what I was trying to write toward.

I can see your edit - cut twigs in the voice part because its not really effective and go with the two images that do seem to work better.  I could do that but feel strongly that here I need three elements, otherwise the remaining two play off each other too strongly, like a compare/contrast death match which would take the poem to the wrong end.  So maybe I make (audio) image one work or replace it with something that does.  Thanks for your take. Always appreciated.

Indar -
I love your take and I am honored with the excessive credit you give me.  I like your idea of the bridge much better than mine, which was a reach to what will be, or rather what N here and now imagines will be.   And I am pleased that I intended the butter beans and onions in a bigger way as you suggest.

Amie -
Thank you.  You have a unique way of reading poems that usually surprises me.  Instinctual or something like that.  Glad you liked this one.

Lon -
Sorry this didn’t ring your bell.  “I most appreciate poetry that brings greater depth and clarity to some aspect of existence” – I do too.  I really do try to write such stuff.  For this one, so much seemed to roll off the pen and write itself.  While responding to the kind comments, I have gotten a better idea of how to verbalize what I was trying to do, but it really doesn’t matter much since the poem either does or does not connect with a particular reader.   

To paraphrase a newbie from a year or so ago – Its okay if you don’t like this poem, I have others. 8) 8) 8)

Thanks for the readings and all of the good feedback.

T
Title: Re: This is Not Made
Post by: 510bhan on July 29, 2014, 04:12:37 PM
Thanks for the explanation, Tom . . . I think it is too much to expect the reader to make the link in the short line you have used in the poem for the twigs snapping [distinctive sound] probably because there is no lead up to a forest walk or recollection thereof or any type of tree/branch description to allude to the sounds having commonality in some respect. :-[
Title: Re: This is Not Made
Post by: Tom 10 on July 29, 2014, 04:32:18 PM
I agree Sio, one-hundred percent, as far as pertaining to readers who live among the rugged and beautiful windswept cliffs, coastal declivities, moraines and drumlins of Antrim, and such other and similar geological locales.  I wonder if it is coincidence, though,  that CP, resident of heavily wooded Chicago seemed to make the link? 8) 8) 
Title: Re: This is Not Made
Post by: 510bhan on July 29, 2014, 04:56:47 PM
You could be right, we all have our own 'stuff' before we begin to read what others have written. ;)
Title: Re: This is Not Made
Post by: CorneliusPoe on July 29, 2014, 05:05:03 PM
I found the image immediately recognizable. Regarding the snapped twigs: I see this working on two levels. Purely on the surface it fits the activity of the scene and the environment in which it takes place. (At least in my minds eye and ear and yes I placed it in a wooded area) As a reader I placed myself on the other side of the divide. I would image twigs snapping in advance of and in conjunction with the coming rope bridge's construction. They would no doubt be muffled, or lost to me completely. They are the sounds of work preceding work.

They are the early sounds of the effort, faint or lost to the opposite side of the gulf or canyon--real or figurative to be crossed and just the hearing of them, or almost hearing them, would be a bridge in itself--Reached by the sound maybe and the promise of more substantial contact.

I have no idea if this is what you were going for T, but my head went there right away.
Title: Re: This is Not Made
Post by: Tom 10 on July 29, 2014, 05:15:32 PM
Thanks CP - I appreciate your take.  To me the snapping twigs alone puts me in the woods, and as the writer I think it assumed that the snapping twigs put the reader in the same place, and I think now that it works for some readers but not all.

So, I am now more confused than ever. Soon, my head will hurt.  Perhaps preventive efforts may be in order.  Pospikal  . . .  hmmmm.
Title: Re: This is Not Made
Post by: 510bhan on July 29, 2014, 05:20:24 PM
Ain't no trees anywhere in sight near my bridge. ;D

(https://encrypted-tbn0.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcT7VcEHE5dGP8ggSIuVgM8wahT_wQ_Bj3TxtmkPgkNxnl9GxJE2)

(http://belfastkayakclub.co.uk/trips/P_Dew_PortrushToBallycastle/index_files/image014.jpg)
Title: Re: This is Not Made
Post by: CorneliusPoe on July 29, 2014, 05:29:53 PM
Thanks CP - I appreciate your take.  To me the snapping twigs alone puts me in the woods, and as the writer I think it assumed that the snapping twigs put the reader in the same place, and I think now that it works for some readers but not all.

So, I am now more confused than ever. Soon, my head will hurt.  Perhaps preventive efforts may be in order.  Pospikal  . . .  hmmmm.

I don't see a conflict with this and my read. Here, let me explain your own poem to you... :)

but first I have to go find pictures to compete with Sio.

Seriously, I see the whole scene set in the woods. My take is actually similar to Linda's. Mentally placing myself on the other side made it easier for me to render the action taking place on your side. Oh hell, that doesn't help.

Pospikal  sounds good, just no revisions :)

Title: Re: This is Not Made
Post by: Tom 10 on July 29, 2014, 05:39:40 PM
Sio - Breathtaking pictures.  It is also stupendous to google Antrim images. 

CP - I get what you say, and think you read the first part different than Sio does, and for good reason.  I didn't anticipate that, and now I understand it.  Still, what I was trying to do with the poem is . . . unfulfilled ::) ::)

I am in debt for the quality feedback.  It helps my understanding in a way that will benefit future writing as well. What more could a person ask for, other than maybe something from the back of the freezer. ::)