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Writing Poetry

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  • Poetry Hound (4/28/2005 4:12:00 PM) Post reply

    Betse, I agree that Emily Dickinson can sometimes be difficult to comprehend. I suspected the poem was hers when I saw all the dashes. She has a propensity for them - they're supposed to represent pauses. The poem is saying that love is vast and unattainable and unknowable, but if you have someone with whom to climb it ('were there two instead of one') , then you can 'reach the sun.' I did a bit of searching and found that 'Chimborazo' is a peak of the Andes Mountains. Okay, so attaining love is like scaling an obscure mountain peak. 'Ducal' means 'like, as, or bearing the title of duke' (Oxford Dictionary) . But I don't know what she means by it - how do you scale a mountain in a duke-like manner? While drinking tea? While repressing the peasants? Now the last stanza is the most intriguing and difficult. She says very few people attain or 'behold' love, then she sort of belittles it by saying these people smile and prattle about and die. But she also seems to be saying that they find bliss, not an insignificant thing. Then it becomes extremely unclear, but I'll guess that what she's saying is that love would just be this odd intangible thing if wasn't for her lover ('without thee') who makes love feel like eternity. But that's just a guess.

  • Beste Alpay (4/27/2005 9:39:00 AM) Post reply | Read 2 replies

    Love—thou art high—
    I cannot climb thee—
    But, were it Two—
    Who know but we—
    Taking turns—at the Chimborazo—
    Ducal—at last—stand up by thee—

    Love—thou are deep—
    I cannot cross thee—
    But, were there Two
    Instead of One—
    Rower, and Yacht—some sovereign Summer—
    Who knows—but we'd reach the Sun?

    Love—thou are Veiled—
    A few—behold thee—
    Smile—and alter—and prattle—and die—
    Bliss—were an Oddity—without thee—
    Nicknamed by God—

    Can somebody help me understand this poem? ? at least a little help will be helpful.

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    • Sue Casey (4/28/2005 7:31:00 PM) Post reply

      I believe that she is trying to say that as hard as people try to achieve love it can only be attained by a couple totally in tune one with each other. In other words they must indeed be true soul ma ... more

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  • Robert Rorabeck (4/27/2005 3:28:00 AM) Post reply | Read 1 reply

    you don't like Ring of Fire? That was written by his wife June Carter anyway- and it's great too!

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  • Andy Konisberg (4/26/2005 7:58:00 PM) Post reply | Read 1 reply

    I believe Johnny Cash's 'Hurt' is the finest song of all-time. I think the lyrics stand alone also.

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  • Robert Rorabeck (4/26/2005 1:03:00 AM) Post reply | Read 1 reply

    Johnny Cash's Redemption song lyrics off his American Recordings album:

    From the hands it came down
    From the side it came down
    From the feet it came down
    And ran to the ground
    Between heaven and hell
    A teardropp fell In the deep crimson dew
    The tree of life grew

    And the blood gave life
    To the branches of the tree
    And the blood was the price
    That set the captives free
    And the numbers that came
    Through the fire and the flood Clung to the tree
    And were redeemed by the blood

    From the tree streamed a light
    That started the fight 'Round the tree grew a vine
    On whose fruit I could dine
    My old friend Lucifer came
    Fought to keep me in chains
    But I saw through the tricks
    Of six-sixty-six

    And the blood gave life
    To the branches of the tree
    And the blood was the price
    That set the captives free
    And the numbers that came
    Through the fire and the flood Clung to the tree
    And were redeemed by the blood

    From his hands it came down
    From his side it came down
    From his feet it came down
    And ran to the ground
    And a small inner voice Said 'You do have a choice.'
    The vine engrafted me
    And I clung to the tree

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    • Poetry Hound (4/26/2005 7:23:00 AM) Post reply

      Well, it's a better lyric than 'Ring of Fire, ' which Frank Zappa famously satirized. Hey, anyone who sings, 'The vine engrafted me' is A-Okay with me.

  • Robert Rorabeck (4/26/2005 1:00:00 AM) Post reply

    After PH's recommendation I read all of Pastan's poems listed here and, yes, she is very, very good- She succeeds at what she sets out to do- her poems work- It's ridiculous to say whether or not she's a good or great poet, because that just gets into matters of opinion.

  • Poetry Hound (4/26/2005 12:50:00 AM) Post reply

    Well you're a little grouchy, aren't you Lamont? I don't know if 'A New Poet' is Linda Pastan's best. She has received quite a few awards and critical praise over the years, so I imagine she has something on the ball. Personally, I like some her other poems more. But this poem is a good one. Of course you're entitled to your own opinion about it. Not sure why you think it's not poetry - because it doesn't rhyme or because it's written in full sentences? Even your idol Anne Sexton wrote non-rhyming full-sentence poetry. Try reading some more Pastan and then report back.

  • Kissteena Zaini (4/23/2005 7:35:00 PM) Post reply

    Write with sincere meanings we must write it with our truly feelings from our heart. Just imagine if we write not with our sincere heart even though the lines are marvelous, they cannot be appreciated by the others.

  • Michael Shepherd (4/23/2005 7:03:00 AM) Post reply | Read 1 reply

    Googling Linda Pastan via the Cortland Review, issue 7, I came across a fine interview with Levine.

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  • Michael Shepherd (4/22/2005 3:48:00 PM) Post reply

    That's a nice poem, PoHo. For me, the biggest kick as a professional 'critic' (read appraiser) was being able to pass on those discoveries. It's the proof that we are all great -that we can instantly recognise the great in others. There's hope for the human race yet.

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