organon

My Poetry

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Comments of a benevolent and rational nature, Ray; I did not specify this, I do so now.

Well, I would then specify that Brian's comments were of a benevolent and rational nature. It is possible that the two of you do not agree with each other, but that does not mean that Brian's comments were malevolent and irrational. People are going to disagree with each other on all sorts of subjects, but expecting to read only positive criticisms (which is what you seem to be asking) is to expect the irrational as it will not help you if you are wrong.

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... unfortunately there are some awkward mistakes. Because of these mistakes, the poem seems more like an intellectual exercise, artificial, and not genuine.

The validity of these "mistakes" was examined above. In the full context of his post, and of the rationality (or rather lack thereof) of the "errors" he claims to identify, I do not find the form of his criticism benevolent.

John

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To a Lost Love

Now lies the form in which she lived

Inert, without a breath.

Now lies she still, and evermore

Lost to the hand of death.

O elements, that in you held!

A soul that shone so bright!

A sunlit day, with it compared

Would seem lost in black night!

O heart! O dearest wife and love!

O self in female stamp!

In losing you, I lose myself!

The end of my own lamp!

This poem has an excellent form for the depth of feeling to be expressed, but unfortunately there are some awkward mistakes. Because of these mistakes, the poem seems more like an intellectual exercise, artificial, and not genuine.

Line 4---the phrase "lost to" implies the person or thing which values that which is lost. She is lost to us, or me, or the living. She is not lost to Death. On the contrary, Death has found her. One could say, "lost in"---that would make sense.

Line 8---here the rhythm is lost. A minor reversal fixes it; to wit---"Would lost seem in black night." Note here that you use "lost..in" correctly.

Line 10 & 11---the "myself" in line 11 cancels the meaning of "self" in line 10.

Line 12----a lamp does not "end"; it flickers, goes out, is snuffed. One could say, "the smoke of my own lamp", the smoke implying that the light of the lamp---its life---has been snuffed out.

To make clearer my meaning for line 4 just imagine if the line had said, "Lost in the arms of death". This would imply that the arms of death had completely embraced her and hidden her away from life. That would make sense. If I change it to "Lost to the arms of death" then the reader must wonder what is meant---were death's arms striking her, or does "arms" her mean weapons? What is going on? No clue. The original line from the poem says, "Lost to the hand of death". Is this a clear meaning? Lost, by the hand of death---where death is seen as the cause of her being lost, would be clearer. But "Lost to the hand...", or Lost to _a_ hand, is not clear at all.

Verse is not prose. The line "Would seem lost in black night" is correct---for prose. But, as the iambic rhythm, which is here carrying the mood and feeling, must be maintained in order to do so, a reversal is required of "seem" and "lost". The speaker will then come down hard on, or stress, the "lost", then ease down on the "seem", and all will follow smoothly.

In lines 10 and 11 the "myself" in line 11, because it is the exact same word as "self" in line 10, acts to deaden the meaning of both words (which is the reason exact rhymes---for example, delight and light, or scene and seen, are undesirable).

In line 12, if "aim" is the intended meaning of "end", it would have been better to use it. Though it would present another problem, for in what sense does a lamp aim at anything? A flashlight may be aimed, but not an old-fashioned lamp with a flame. Of course, the grammatical attribution of the last line goes to the phrase which immediately preceeds it )I lose myself), not to the one before that. That is why "the smoke of my own lamp" would make sense---for I would be as smoke, having lost my lover. As the poem now stands, the last line merely reiterates that "I' am the end of myself.

To say that such criticism as this is irrational and of no value is to say nothing that is sensible.

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If you are an admirer of my poetry, as was Stephen Speicher, the founder of the Forum, to an immense degree...

On a Better Departure ...

Justice demands that this position be yours.

...note that new poems will no longer be posted here. To find new poems as they are created, visit my blog at

http://anactivemind.johnrearden.com

and select the category "Literature". I may post here briefly when a new poem is posted, to indicate that it may be found there.

Be well.

John Rearden

Ocala, Florida

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I've changed my mind (I've learned to use the "Ignored Users" feature :lol: ). New poems of mine, as they are completed, will continue to be posted here, for as long as I live and the owners welcome my doing so. Be well.

John Rearden

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I love the earth, I love the sky

And he who wins, through strife

I love all that's Good that I see!

Good god, I love my life!

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A Choice

“Just put it through,” he said to him,

“Just look the other way.

“And no one here will know a thing,

“Sure, not one word they'll say.”

He left him there, saying in brief,

“Do it, or it's your job.

“And be quite sure, each ad we post

“Gets called on by a mob.”

He sat there, next to his PC,

And thought of his dear wife,

“Laura,” he thought, “to lose my job!”

“And now, you carry life!”

For in his wife's womb then, there grew

A soul-to-be, a boy,

Whose life, he hoped, would be sun-filled,

A stream of thought's own joy.

But were I to do this, he thought,

I'd give up all there is!

My soul, and all that which I am!

And to a soul like his?

And to that boy, who soon will come,

What kind of father thought?

A man, whose eyes look down when met!

A soul, valued at nought!

So to his boss he walked, and said,

“Look here, the answer's No...

“And tell me firm, within the day,

“If from here I must go.”

For there are things, that on this earth,

One cannot lose the health –

But be quite sure that those these know,

Will never lack for wealth.

Copyright ©2009 John Rearden. All Rights Reserved.

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Glad to see your poems are back. I enjoy reading them - such refreshing pure thoughts. Keep writing.

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This will likely become part of a (much?) longer poem, that will describe a child's dedication to Reason.

Poetry has not been a priority for me in recent years; other concerns predominated, and I am now planning to pursue further formal study in psychology, as well as focusing on other forms of literature. Nevertheless I hope you enjoy such as may come, when they do so.

--

The first thought I recall is this --

That two and two were four;

And that as long as time endured,

'Twould be no less, no more.

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