Nice. Good stuff Beowulf.

And welcome to ILP. Hope we see more from you.

Thank you, Rainey. I’ll be adding more as I’m able.

Me like =D>

lovely poem. good work.

Ok… the plums are too simplistic, but this gains approval? Explain, please, do explain… (No offense intended to Beowulf - welcome to the boards).

it is the simplicity that i like in this one. and those last 4 lines open up a wide expanse of possibility of story and emotion.

Perhaps, what I don’t like is the bountiful suggestion, without a context.

I am torn (after a few more readings) between feeling that it is complete as it is and wondering if it should be a bit longer. I don’t mind the abstractness, because like the plums, I think the visuals are strong and conjure many interpretations…

It lends itself to interpretation.

The artist has to simply provide a context upon which the observer can project himself.
The audience needs to work and should not be passive.

Of course, I do prefer more realistic obvious art because there the artist’s skill is more important and his effort more significant.
A line on canvas cannot be considered art, for me, unless one can gage the artist’s intent.

Intent, I think, is important.
Similarly random words cannot be considered a poem, unless they exhibit an intentional direction which inspires and focuses the observer’s thoughts and emotions.

But that leads us into a conversation about art.

A new thread would be interesting.

Comparing this poem to the plum poem is like, well, comparing apples and oranges (or plums). This poem suggests some levels that the plum poem can only dream of. What is meant by “this mosaic”? Or “my world”? Or “your (world)”? As Satyr has observed, it lends itself to interpretation. And what is implied by one’s world being “the negative ghost” of another’s? Where exactly is this guy coming from? It’s an intriguing perspective, no? There’s a mood to this, and a mood is a difficult thing to lay down in only 21 words. Oh, there is much here to chew on. Much. Maybe it’s all meaningless, I don’t know. But it makes me stop and wonder. I like that in a poem. I like to wonder. I never wondered about the plums. But that’s just me. I have determined that I am the only one around these parts who doesn’t care for the plum poem. That must certainly mean something.

I will discuss a poem but I’m very reluctant to explain one. It’s a major peeve of mine when someone writes a slight little ditty only to heap pages of “explanations” and “clarifications” afterward. A poem says what is says, and what the reader thinks it says. There’s nothing left to explain. Anything further is revision. If the poem can’t speak for itself it has failed.

My “style”, if I can be said to have one, is simplistic and vague. Partly because I am not a poet. Partly because I love ambiguity. Just as the beauty of a peice of music lies as much in the silence between the notes as in the notes themselves I feel a poem speaks volumes in the things it doesn’t say. This nebulousness requires the reader to participate in the poem. The brevity of my little poems I prefer to think of as economy, and I try to say as much as I can in as few words as I am able.

The beauty of a poem is that it conveys emotions and thoughts, sometimes vividly and concisely, sometimes in only the vaguest way, as a faint whiff of perfume sparks a memory you had thought you’d forgotten. My highest aspiration is to capture a fleeting moment in prose in some way that it can be felt later by others. Sort of a fossilized emotion, I guess. With my meager skills I can hope to do no more.

Good poem! Short enough to be concise; long enough to evoke. If a poem can make me react, it has done its job. Welcome aboard.

“between the notes” eh? Given your sensitivity to rhythm I am assuming those notes are musical and not written. I am not a fan of free verse especially if the sequence of words has no meaning to me. I hear all the elements of music in our language so I use them. If I tried to ignore them to win the aproval of free verse fans I’m afraid I’d make bad poetry worse.

When I read “the Mosiac is Burning” the first time, I missed it. It is not your fault. I heard the word pixel for the first time when I bought my first computer 18 months ago. This time when I read it I thought of my poem TOGETHER, same message from people perhaps a couple generations apart using different words, different rhyme, different rhythm. Carry on. You talk to them in the coffee houses and I’ll talk to them on the park bench.

Now if you don’t mind I have a suggestion for you, given in gratitude for the one you gave me. I think you wouldn’t lose meaning and might gain cohesion if you changed the last three lines to:
The world’s alight
This mosiac is burning
In 720P.

I will try it that way. Thanks, DEB. :slight_smile:

DEB, if writing in free-verse is natural for you and not some arbitrary mode you feel a compelling need to conform to, then so be it --I happen to think you write fairly good poetry regardless of the fact that it rhymes-- but for those of us for whom writing overtly structured and rhymed-metered poetry isn’t natural and therefor choose free-verse as our preferred method to express ourselves poetically, it doesn’t mean that it’s a lesser means of poetic expression or an excuse to write bad poetry. It’s just as legitimate a form of writing poetry as rhymed-metered poetry - whether a poem is good or bad has little to do with whether it rhymes or not or has a clever meter. I happen to like the poetry of yours that I’ve had the pleasure to read, not so much b/c of the structure, but b/c you seem to value the strength of subject matter and content ahead of whether it rhymes or not or is intricately structured. Even though I tend to lean more towards organic abstract free/open-verse poetry, I do enjoy reading the occasional well-written rhyming poem; but, my experience has been the opposite of yours where it seems to me that a lot of rhyming poetry tends to be bad b/c the writers of such poetry tend to be fixated on the rhyme, meter and structure of the poem and neglect the strength of content which ultimately retains the audience’s attn. and encourages them to continue reading.

“Such mighty music from a single soul!
Ah, Wagner, you were superman until
Religion made your song effeminent.
Who can forgive your cowerning Parsifal?”

The old man’s hands fell on piano keys
But not into a chord. He saw the book
And touched it gently as he would a child
And said, “I, too, wrote good books once.”

A worm of youth was gnawing in his brain,
Was eating up his passion’s time and form,
Was spreading through his vision’s final space
Its poisonous rest, its waste–oblivion.

“Your pretty thought does not describe hard life.
It tells a wish. You have to save yourself!
Redemption is the honesty of courage–
The guts to bet your self against all odds.”

The old man grieved because his net of words
Fell on a page, no longer catching him;
And knowing only what a man should do
With wounded beasts he kissed the phallic gun.


  1. Nietzsche contra Wagner
  2. Verse 2 from Will Durant’s history of philosophy, a work that lets you know philosophers personally. N’s days in the asylum.
  3. Worm of youth-- N. contracted syphilus from a prostitute when he was young.
  4. Hemingway’s philosophy as exemplified in his suicide–a shotgun in the mouth.

Sorry this poem appeared on your thread. I thought I had submitted it properly. Guess not. Can anybody here put it in its proper place as a new submission?

On the subject of Hemmingway, there’s an interesting fun fact for you that most don’t know about regarding a little home-grown espionage project he cooked up during WW-II. While living in Cuba during the mid-20th Century, good ol’ Ernie decided he ought to create, organize and run a civilian spy network recruiting mostly locals and using the local postal system as well. Well, one of my favorite contemporary novelists, Dan Simmons, wrote a novel based on this interesting strange-but-true tid-bit of recent history. It’s called The Crook Factory, and it expands upon this nugget of trivia, and asks the question “What if Hemmingway’s spy network actually found some useful and actionoable intelligenct to use against the Nazis”? (who were known to be active in the Carribbean at the time) It was published in the late '90’s and I read it earlier this year, and it’s a great read as are the vast majority of his books. A true master of keeping the audience’s attn., Simmons never writes a bad book - all of his books are good and a healthy number are great. Primarily classified as a Sci-fi/Horror writer since those are the genres he started in and represents the bulk of his publishing output and he’s one of the most talented writers writing under those genres, but he also writes excellent suspense and crime novels. Basically everything he writes is at least good regardless of genre. He’s an incredibly gifted writer that knows a great deal about the subject matter he tackles in his fiction highly aware of history and how its lessons --learned and unlearned-- are relevent to the story and to his audience, but he does it in such a way where he doesn’t talk down to his audience but also doesn’t water down what he’s saying in doing so.

–N. - AKA: The Straight-faced Clown

Thanks for your tolerance of my posting error and for the neat reference to H. Much appreciated!!!