Faded photo's, sepia, browned at their edges,
seep slowly out of focus.Chaff blows
the distant laughter of locusts
across vibrating Hungarian plains,
which stretch out of sight towards the Urals.
Hedges seem pruned into eccentrically lunatic shapes.
Elliptic shadows shudder through fierce winds.
A mural pierces door of maple wood dacha,
small latticed patchwork houses bore into flat horizons.
Old ladies behind the latch sigh into borscht,
a worn arm rises, bandaged shoulder to wrist,
face contorted with cold that twists
like a purple tempest, streaming from its centre,
a sinistrorse, changing rose, magenta to yellow,
burying another life in all enclosing space,
alongside farmers, loggers, backwoodsmen,
their fellowship vanished without trace.
12 Jun 04
Rated 8.5 (8) by 2 users.
Active (2): 7
Inactive (2): 5, 9
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I really, really like this. I have no comment about how to make it better, because it's 3 in the morning and I can't think. All I know right now is that I like it. Hope thats enough.
Thanks for your kind comment .Its 9.10am here and i feel as tired as you sound Sleep tight and happy dreams
Thank you larrylark. :-)
love is in the air...
No my friend ,just the polluted residues of a worn out indusrlial age.
The word is industrial and no i havn't been on the gin or the tonic
This is interesting. L1 - "photos". L10 - misspelling of "borscht"? I like this.
Your right Claudia i really must do something about my spelling and punctuation. I blame it on my teaching work where i have probably over the years seen words like borshct??? spelt a million different ways.I'll plod wearily through me rhyming dictionary and find the corekt spelin and putt it rit,after i've eaten my traditional full English breakfast ,had a three hour siesta to recover from it and prayed to the great god of football(soccer)that England get a draw at least tonight in their opening match of Euro 2004,so you see i don't really have a lot of time to write poetry,let alone punctuate it.
I can't tell if it is just my mood right now, but this one seemed to lack some of the ambiance (I'm not even going to bother trying to spell that word correctly) that I have grown used to in your poems. Reading this, I felt like I was listening to someone looking out a window and listing what they see. The structure of this was appealing to me, but, uncharacteristically of your poetry, nothing about this captured my imagination or attention. It seems like description without much depth. Your language is beautiful, as always, but something just seems...lacking. Maybe I just need to reread this some other time.
Not bad, man. A few formal suggestions first. In l1, "photo's" should be "photos. If you are going to us an interjecting clause with an opening comma (before "sepia"), you should use a closing comma as well (therefore, after "edges"). I would also use at least one space after your punctuation marks. To those of us who speak html, the lack of spaces means something different. Also, "borscht" is spelled two ways, one in the title and one in the poem. Make up your mind so as not to confuse the reader. Now for the meat of it.
I would suggest tinkering around with your tenses. The present tense sets a good mood initially, but as the poem winds onward I wonder if different voices could help you out, most especially the future tenses.
Here's a little technique advice: in l4 you specifically refer to a place ("Hungarian plains"). You specifically refer to another place in l5 ("Urals"). Even if a person does not know what those two places are, they get a sense of finity from your writing. This poem could use a small dose of infinity. If you change "Urals" to something like "endless mountains", you'd give the reader a much better feel for that infinity. It's your choice, but I think it would do well here.
"eccentric shapes,/elliptic" seems contrived. Maybe it would fare better if you changed "shapes" to something a little more interesting. Right now that ligature is kind of stale. Also, "tapering" at the end of l7 doesn't feel right, either.
The opening of l8 confused me on my first read. I know that you're trying out a low-article diet, but I'd use them here to avoid the stumbles. There's also a rhythmic issue to the line, stemming directly from "maple wood" which sounds good otherwise.
l9's "bores" it seems is good reason for my tense suggestions. The present tense isn't as strong in this line, especially since "bores" has two meanings.
Overall, your colour schemes could use more life. Instead of just utilising them as adjectives, you should try to make your colours the subjects of some lines, which will make for a more gripping narrative. If you keep hitting the reader over the head like this, it won't leave the impression you want.
THERE WAS SILENCE
praise the lord
i like the usage of new words, such as the head one borsht. i'm too lazy to figure it out, what does it mean, and hence, what language do they flutter from?
Does sepia come in pink? I thought sepia toned meant tans and faded browns.
Line 6- , , ??
Line 9 - you have an extra space after pierces
Line 15 - need a space after sinistrorse (I need to look that one up!)
Line 17 - same as above only the words are farmers and loggers.
What an interesting poem. This sounds desolate and rather lonely.
a slovakian friend, a logger, tried to rob a petrol station with a 59 year old pistol and got nicked. we did not speak. but drank and marvelled at Muranska Planina. sorry. lovely poem
potent imagery of an otherwise everyday scene (if u live in hungary that is). part of me wants to say it is a little too word heavy in spots, but then i am unable to locate those spots. overall a great write.