The Night Runs

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The Night Runs

Postby dks » Tue Nov 21, 2006 5:52 pm

I had a very hard time coming up with a title for this one. And yes, it's a metaphor.

The Night Runs

The night runs blue-black and cool,
Pitching a quarter moon low,
Butter yellow, annexing stars.

She shepherds a lampyrid
Over from the pines
With eager, blood-warm hands.

Its buzzing beat
And flutter
Daubs, just so,
Her fixed furrows with a sandy glow.

The fanning fury
Begins to slow.
Now only the two of them know.

She watches a free beetle
Journey up the budding sage.
After midnight, it will rain.

Her hollow bastion must fall,
When the moon sits high, gray and governing
Companionless—
She lets the firefly go.
"I am certain of nothing but the holiness of the heart's affections and the Truth of Imagination."
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Postby Saturn » Tue Nov 21, 2006 10:53 pm

Wonderfully metaphysical and mystical as ever Denise.

Once again I'm dumbstruck with awe :shock:

Another very Sylvia Plathesque one here. The moon was a metaphor she used very frequently.

Also I feel like I'm reading one of those obscure 17th century mystics like Andrew Marvell when I'm reading some of your poems you know.

I wish I had the intelligence needed to fathom their dark secrets.

I wish I could write like this.

Metaphors and abstruseness are not my forte alas :(
"Oh what a misery it is to have an intellect in splints".
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Postby dks » Wed Nov 22, 2006 12:49 am

:oops: Sweet Saturn. You're too nice to me. I only hope my metaphors can mean whatever or whichever to whomever, but there are many things going on here...

Here is the explication:

She is a young girl--clumsily coaxing a firefly over to her so she can willfully cup it in her hands--from the pine tree--a distinctively beautiful aspect of east Texas...she does and feels it against her skin...it's wild with energy--hence, "buzzing, beat, fanning fury"--it is so excitable that it leaves dusty iridescence on her fingertips--"fixed furrows"--"sandy glow."

She notices while the glow fly is beginning to settle down in her hands or "hollow bastion" a small jet beetle clambering up a flowering sage--a sage bush that flowers indicates and always means rain--you can, in fact, smell it in the air in the American south when you get close enough to a sage...she knows of the impending rain--she knows the lampyrid (technical term for firefly) should be let loose, so it can find shelter from the rain (a sure sign of sadness and emotion introduced) but also because it should be free like the beetle--to journey where it pleases...only when that former low quarter yellow moon gets high bright and white and is no more surrounded by the stars it had "shepherded" or "annexed" over earlier does she then decide to let the firefly go...she'll then be "companionless" like the "gray governing" moon...it's really not a happy little piece of doggerel...

She is me.
The magnificent candle fly is someone wonderful I know.

Need I get more specific? :!:
"I am certain of nothing but the holiness of the heart's affections and the Truth of Imagination."
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Postby Saturn » Thu Nov 23, 2006 10:05 am

Don't "unweave" the whole of the rainbow.
I do like a bit of mystery and obscurity in poems.
"Oh what a misery it is to have an intellect in splints".
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Postby dks » Thu Nov 23, 2006 2:45 pm

sorry... :oops:
"I am certain of nothing but the holiness of the heart's affections and the Truth of Imagination."
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Postby Saturn » Thu Nov 23, 2006 11:34 pm

Denise I really enjoyed your explanation.

I'm just saying I hope you don't feel like you have to explain your poems just because I'm too dense to understand them :oops:

And now for something completely different...

I was thinking about this today - does the poet [or should] the poet write purely for him/herself?

Is their art [or should their art be] purely an exercise in self-expression regardless of the reader's perception or understanding?

Is it the poet's job to communicate their ideas, feelings and images across to the reader or merely to satisfy their own need to articulate their thoughts?

Maybe this should be a separate thread?
"Oh what a misery it is to have an intellect in splints".
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Postby dks » Fri Nov 24, 2006 3:37 am

:lol: :wink: Nah, Stephen, c'mon, now. You are far from dense, my good man...

About your question concerning the poet and his art...hmmmm. I am not sure, but I certainly don't think there can be any shoulds when it comes to poetry/art. It's not black and white like that, I don't believe.

Speaking from my experience--I write from the "spontaneous overflow of feeling" as it were...it is indeed a manifestation of what is in my heart (feelings) commingled with what is in my head (images)--any poet is only human--that being said, I believe the poet's work will nevertheless affect other people--simply because it is written from the human perspective--whether the poet intended it to be for him/herself or not...irregardless of what the initial intentions were when the poetic process began, by the end, it usually changes a bit...in short, the poet can write merely to exhale and vent self-expression without needing the reader to 'understand' his/her feelings--but inevitably, when someone reads it--they will internalize and process it so to tailor it to themselves--even if only a smidgen...it's a human tendency--to attempt to garner understanding.

:roll: boy, was that winded...
"I am certain of nothing but the holiness of the heart's affections and the Truth of Imagination."
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Postby Saturn » Fri Nov 24, 2006 10:20 am

...But good.

The poet "exhales". A great way of putting it.
"Oh what a misery it is to have an intellect in splints".
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Postby darthoutis » Mon Nov 27, 2006 4:26 am

I agree with you Denise; there shouldn't be any "should's" in art--at least for anything in our own time. That we're quick to issue out appraisals of dead poets (e.g., John Milton=good, John Wilmot=bad) but are more hesitant to judge living ones, I think, is evidence of this belief. We usually don't judge contemporaries--unless they're really bad--because the context in which they're writing is still changing. We do judge dead poets, though, because we have a more stable context to judge them by (unless you're a New Historicist).

And to try to answer one of Steven's other questions:

<i>Is their art [or should their art be] purely an exercise in self-expression regardless of the reader's perception or understanding?</i>

I believe poetry is whatever you want it to be. But to try to describe the trends of the time, I think the modern sensibility has redressed poetry as a form of self-expression. This wasn't always the case, though, especially before the Romantics like John Keats.

In the olden days, poets followed Aristotle's criterion of mimesis and usually redacted stories from tradition (which isn't to say that pre-moderns were not creative; they were just as creative but in a different and more subtle way). Of course poets might at times project their egos in the text, but their primary subject matter was not about themselves but some traditional or social artifact. Take Ben Jonson's "To Penshurst" for example. The poem is not so much a private pastoral about Penshurst as it is about the rising English gentry overtaking the land. Also take John Milton's "Lycidas" for example. His pastoral is supposed to be a personal poem mourning the death of his friend Edward King. Yet instead, the speaker uses the event as the impetus for condemning the "blind mouths" of the Anglican Church and goes on a digression for over half of the poem. It's not about his mourning, then, but about the concerns of English religion at the time. Ironically, however, Milton probably also helped to push poetry into self-expression by his advocacy of individualism and the close involvement of his speaker of Paradise Lost with the text.

By the Romantics, then, poetry had permutated from mimesis to, as Denise quotes, the "spontaneous overflow of feeling" or self-expression. So that while Donne wrote from his radical theology, Jonson from social/humanist concerns, Keats wrote from himself ("<i>I</i> have been half in love with easful Death") and his poetic imagination, as did Blake, Byron, Shelley and even Wordsworth. I mean, the whole premise of the Byronic hero is to reject society and emphasize the self. The whole point of Blake's elaborate mythology is to build something private and new and be unrestrained from convention, for though "Swedenborg boasts that what he writes is new, it is only the Contents of already published books." The point of a novel is to be, well, novel, not imitative!

I think as we move closer to our lifetime, then, we begin to see the poet more closely identified with the speaker of his poem and be more self-expressive--perhaps too much, in fact, since it's usually hard to find meaning in a lot of contemporary poetry due to esoteric personal references.

Of course, these are all generalizations that have their exceptions (Robert Browning comes to mind), but they do work as a good rule of thumb, I think.

Speaking of long-winded...

-Mike
Last edited by darthoutis on Mon Nov 27, 2006 5:40 am, edited 2 times in total.
What though the field be lost?
All is not lost; the unconquerable Will,
And study of revenge, immortal hate,
And courage never to submit or yield:
And what is else not to be overcome?
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Postby darthoutis » Mon Nov 27, 2006 4:27 am

I suppose I should also introduce myself.

I'm Mike! Hello! ^_^
What though the field be lost?
All is not lost; the unconquerable Will,
And study of revenge, immortal hate,
And courage never to submit or yield:
And what is else not to be overcome?
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Joined: Mon Nov 27, 2006 2:31 am
Location: Texas

Postby Richard » Sat Dec 09, 2006 9:01 pm

Hello Mike, wow you know loads of stuff.
Richard
 

dks

Postby Richard » Sun Jan 14, 2007 9:53 am

very nice
asac
Richard
 


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