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Lamont Palmer Male, 52, United States (5/26/2014 7:40:00 PM)

I reread Gwynn's poem again. Surprisingly he added some flab instead of cutting it, like the formalist he claims he is. So I fiddled with it too for fun. I stuck with many of JC's words, but cut (the word 'old' is such a boring adjective) and added where I thought the music could be enhanced. -LP



Sombrero


You bitched about my kisses: 'too perfunctory',
You said, like toy birds dipping their beaks
Into glasses of water.

You're coming to visit. But who wants to hear
Etta sing, 'The Jealous kind, jazzing up wasted tales
We'll tell; a party thrown in regret.

I compared a lover's nipples to small sombreros.
You looked at me with languid pity;
I felt myself shrivel and disappear.

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  • Alexander Rizzo (5/29/2014 8:28:00 PM) Post reply

    i would say palmer's poem is an 'improvement', but did it really need it?carter's style is his. why 'sonnetize' a poem if if the tone and language and heart of the poem is open form?if he had left out 'languid' and 'shriveled', it would be nearly a perfect tinkering

  • Jefferson Carter (5/27/2014 4:33:00 PM) Post reply | Read 1 reply

    The original:


    SOMBRERO


    You bitched about my kisses,
    too perfunctory, like one
    of those toy birds dipping
    its beak into a glass of water.

    You’re coming to visit me
    & my wife. Who wants to hear
    Etta sing “The Jealous Kind”?

    I used sex to stay on top.
    Once I compared
    an old lover’s nipples
    to tiny sombreros & you
    looked at me with such pity
    I felt myself disappear.

    Replies for this message:
    • Lamont Palmer (5/27/2014 11:57:00 PM) Post reply | Read 1 reply

      My last stanza is simply tighter and better than yours. I broke up your 6 line stanza, and got rid of the words 'and', 'once', and 'old', all of which just made the stanza sluggish: I compared a l ... more

  • Lamont Palmer (5/27/2014 3:31:00 PM) Post reply | Read 1 reply

    The original poem has mysteriously vanished, but from what I can remember you had a line that went:

    'once I compared an old lover's nipples to tiny sombreros'

    I cut that down to,

    'I compared a lover's nipples to small sombreros'.

    I took out the word 'once'. it simply wasn't needed. And I took out 'old', which is a very boring adjective, 'old this, old that', etc. My line conveys the same thought, and loses nothing except extra syllables. Thus, more musical. Concision creates music. I also took out the line that began with 'my wife'. That sounds overly personal and banal. But thats my modernist tastes kicking in. My version sounds more 'poetic' than yours, without me having to completely rewrite it, like Gwynn did. A little nipping and tucking is all it takes. -LP

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    • Jefferson Carter (5/29/2014 10:40:00 AM) Post reply

      Lamont, as far as I can tell, all you've done is clutter up my poem with purely expository phrases (wasted tales, party thrown in regret, languid pity) : please, tell me where you think you've " ... more

  • Lamont Palmer (5/27/2014 2:30:00 PM) Post reply

    If you think my version is such a 'disaster' you can't possibly be in love with JC's version, because my version doesn't veer dramatically away from his. I merely tightened it up a bit; a needed tightening. Now it reads like a poem. And in all due respect, 'Mike', you're not fooling anyone. You're behind all the aliases. Same ole boring, transparent schtick. (YAWN) . -L{

  • Mike Acker (5/27/2014 2:12:00 PM) Post reply

    Ovid, who I think is Scotty Dogg(who is god knows who) doesn't have the guts to tell you how bad your version is.
    " You looked at me with languid pity; " .......Palmer, you have outdone yourself. I don't know what you have done to the dot dashes and Stubal guys, but they seem to read you right(ly) !

  • Lamont Palmer (5/26/2014 11:08:00 PM) Post reply

    I'm rarely so bold, but I believe my version is best of all, as it is closer to JC's style. I kept the free verse form, but free verse the way Whitman and Eliot intended it to be written; with at least a semblance of pattern and rhythm. But no question, Gwynn's is the most musical. -LP

  • Frank Ovid (5/26/2014 9:20:00 PM) Post reply | Read 1 reply

    I'm wondering why she looked at him that way. 'Tiny sombreros' is a pretty good description. Perfect description.

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    • Lamont Palmer (5/26/2014 10:35:00 PM) Post reply | Read 1 reply

      I preferred the alliteration of 'small sombreros'; plus the word 'small' has a multidimensional feel to it. But it really makes no difference to the poem. 'Little' would work too. -LP

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