Author Topic: Foreign  (Read 424 times)

Offline Archaic Torso

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Foreign
« on: October 19, 2018, 03:26:51 AM »
Where do rivers begin?
Like an enchantment, the river sings back to me
in another language.

I walk through a storm with no rain.
The clouds part to form the lisp of a soft C.
Rs rumble like murmurs,
rolling through walls like distant TV sets.
I imagine the taste of my own tongue.

I walk mute along the bank like an apparition.
I fend off attackers that no one perceives:
my arms wave and plead, like lovers
who canīt explain their grief.

Rivers run deep. I think of the illusionist
who will not reveal his secrets.
Then the poker player, who gambles
the maple table at his elbows.
Know the sweat of his palms,
soaking into an Ace of Spades.

I will learn the rivers of Asia.
Trace their routes onto the palms of my own hands.
Feel the sediments that exfoliate the bulrush.
Be deciduous. Shedding cells.
Glisten in a shy sun.
« Last Edit: October 20, 2018, 03:35:46 AM by Archaic Torso »

Offline Mark T

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Re: Origin
« Reply #1 on: October 19, 2018, 08:53:06 AM »

Beautifully crafted. Profound with a light and deft touch that is so evocative. I'll be back to read this again. No crits from me on this lovely poem. 

JanTetstone

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Re: Origin
« Reply #2 on: October 19, 2018, 06:24:16 PM »
Where do rivers begin?
Like an enchantment, the river sings back to me
in another language.

I walk through a storm with no rain.
The clouds part to form the lisp of a soft C.
Rs rumble like murmurs,
rolling through walls like distant TV sets.
I imagine the taste of my own tongue.

I walk mute along the bank like an apparition.
I fend off attackers that no one perceives:
my arms wave and plead, like lovers
who canīt explain their grief.

Rivers run deep. I think of the illusionist
who will not reveal his secrets.
Then the poker player, who gambles
the maple table at his elbows.
Know the sweat of his palms,
soaking into an Ace of Spades.

I will learn the rivers of Asia.
Trace their routes onto the palms of my own hands.
Feel the sediments that exfoliate the bulrush.
Be deciduous. Shedding cells.
Glisten in a shy sun.

AT, I'm still trying to get use to the various forms of poetry that's posted here at MWC.
And,to be honest, I'm having a problem understanding this poem. When you get time, please, explain what the poem is telling its reader.  Thank you.                                          jt

Offline Archaic Torso

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Re: Origin
« Reply #3 on: October 20, 2018, 04:00:30 AM »
AT, I'm still trying to get use to the various forms of poetry that's posted here at MWC.
And,to be honest, I'm having a problem understanding this poem. When you get time, please, explain what the poem is telling its reader.  Thank you.                                          jt

I wanted to write about the theme of identity and alienation. The idea of being in a foreign place and the failure to communicate, the need to do so, and the frustration of not being able to form questions and get comprehensible answers (in the context of a broader struggle to find answers about who you are and where you belong).

The first three stanzas are about not being able to communicate (the river answers in another language, the clouds mimic a foreign language and the speaker is 'mute', 'waving and pleading' but no one sees). The third stanza represents hope and the final stanza, rebirth and taking a gamble.

I chose to explore the theme of identity/alienation through a river since it's kind of ambiguous where rivers start and stop, and they traverse all corners of the globe, representing continuity among the myriad of languages and peoples. By the end the speaker decides to go full nomad and become (one with) the river. To go with the flow, so to speak.
« Last Edit: October 20, 2018, 04:04:12 AM by Archaic Torso »

JanTetstone

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Re: Foreign
« Reply #4 on: October 20, 2018, 09:20:57 AM »
I wanted to write about the theme of identity and alienation. The idea of being in a foreign place and the failure to communicate, the need to do so, and the frustration of not being able to form questions and get comprehensible answers (in the context of a broader struggle to find answers about who you are and where you belong).

The first three stanzas are about not being able to communicate (the river answers in another language, the clouds mimic a foreign language and the speaker is 'mute', 'waving and pleading' but no one sees). The third stanza represents hope and the final stanza, rebirth and taking a gamble.

I chose to explore the theme of identity/alienation through a river since it's kind of ambiguous where rivers start and stop, and they traverse all corners of the globe, representing continuity among the myriad of languages and peoples. By the end the speaker decides to go full nomad and become (one with) the river. To go with the flow, so to speak.

AT, Thank you.

After re-reading the poem, and imaging myself in a strange land, unable to speak or understand the language spoken there, the words in  "Foreign" took on new meaning for me.       

Well written poem.                     jt 

Offline indar

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Re: Foreign
« Reply #5 on: November 12, 2018, 05:19:48 PM »
As you know, Archie, I'm already a fan of your writing elsewhere :) This is no exception. One small nit: "rivers run deep" sounds horribly cllche to my ear.

Offline Archaic Torso

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Re: Foreign
« Reply #6 on: November 13, 2018, 02:03:17 AM »
As you know, Archie, I'm already a fan of your writing elsewhere :) This is no exception. One small nit: "rivers run deep" sounds horribly cllche to my ear.

Am I not allowed to have just one cliche? I might post this poem 'elsewhere'. Why not. I've actually made some minor edits to it since this version.

Thanks again for all the comment everyone.

JanTetstone

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Re: Foreign
« Reply #7 on: November 13, 2018, 08:00:29 AM »
Am I not allowed to have just one cliche? I might post this poem 'elsewhere'. Why not. I've actually made some minor edits to it since this version.

Thanks again for all the comment everyone.

You welcome  AT. I'm sure wherever 'Foreign' is posted the readers will enjoy your work.       jt

Offline indar

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Re: Foreign
« Reply #8 on: November 13, 2018, 09:10:25 AM »
heck yes--we must gather opinions wherever we may. I'll probably post both places as well.