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Saturday, August 20, 2011

MISSIVES


I'm putting this up for Luke's Meeting the Bar: Critique and Craft because I like this little poem and think it has the potential to be very good. I changed the name from Entrusted because there were many comments about the title; although I think when we send a work out for someone to read, we are actually entrusting it to the reader. But I like what "Missives" as a title does too.  I'd like any suggestions to make it better; don't hesitate to say you don't think it's worthy either as I'd like to know if that is true for you.


                                                         My words sail, silk calligraphy slides
                                                         across a page breathing spirits.

                                                         I unfurl my notion scarf and ship it to you..
                                                         It finds you drowsing in the leaves.

                                                         You release the essence of my gift.
                                                         Diffused as ether, at first they cloud, then

                                                        distill in your waters of contemplation.
                                                        See how I'm sentenced to scatter

                                                        emotion-petals fragrant with  allusions,
                                                        cartographs that draw you into me.



                                             © Gay Reiser Cannon * 2011 * All Rights Reserved



42 comments:

  1. breathing spirits across a page...this speaks of creating..of breathing life into a poem or painting....sentenced to scatter.. is another highlight for me..i connect this with a breeze, blowing what was created towards the people so they can feel and smell it...enjoyed this tremendously gay

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  2. sentenced to scatter...lay out the scarf and sail to you...some really fine touches here gay...soft and flowing...

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  3. A very sumptuous texture in this one,Gay--all silk and slide, and lots of subtle word play all over the place. Lovely and delicate, yet far from lacking in distinct tastes and feelings.

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  4. Very tranquil and serene - it sets one afloat.
    with some ripples of disruption your voice remains true to its course.

    subtle reaction to a fine prompt

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  5. There is a soft and silky feeling to your poem.

    I like these lines:

    See how I'm sentenced to scatter
    emotion-petals fragrant with allusions

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  6. Yes, there is a soft, silky feel to this poem. The final stanza is such a fine conclusion. I feel like I'm floating. Thanks for sharing, Gay.

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  7. Love the ease of flow, slipping from one texture to another through your wonderful word-play. Nice. Soothing depths of the write.

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  8. Thank you everyone. It's not the worst thing I ever wrote in a few minutes. I'm fairly pleased with it in fact. Maybe not as textual or textural as yours but I was going for that smooth quality. Thought that might prove a challenge.

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  9. A softness that lingers on and creating the awareness. A smooth allusion to feelings that endures.

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  10. Loved the poem & the reading! Smooth & gentle. I'm floating 'in your waters of contemplation' ~ lovely.

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  11. What is the substance of a poem if not breath, pneuma, spirits speaking through the oracle, the language of angels, or whales? I've heard it said that reading in silence is new in practice, the ancients read everything aloud, since everything written down is a voice speaking ... Yet we now hear that inside of us, and the read poem resonates along that silken, gossamer, fantastical interface where I and Thou come closest together, even though its all fiction, just words on paper. The glissade here is a bit choppy (it could revise even smoother, and the title does little to suggest the theme), but the texture comes across in the poem like the surface of breezy lake. - Brendan

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  12. Do like the drowsy leaves... contemplative.

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  13. Anyone who uses "cartographs" so aptly in the last line of a poem, can be my friend seven days a week and twice on Sunday.

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  14. Gay! Beautiful, refreshing (if that makes any sense) and simply languid...smooth, easy flowing read...that I even got to listen to today! Yay! So very much enjoy my visits with you!

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  15. I enjoyed the textural nuances in this, Gay, esp. silk calligraphs, scarf of ideas, and emotion-petals

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  16. @ Brendan - I'm open to all suggestions - the title eluded me. Any other specific help will be accepted gladly.

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  17. Gay, it is a continuing joy to hear you read your work. It is wonderful from start to finish. My humble opinion for title is suggested in the picture, chanson, as your poem has a melodic cadence to it.

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  18. I particularly like the emotion-petals. :)

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  19. Lovely, and I agree that there is a definite flowing, smooth feel to your words here. I really like that opening stanza.

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  20. gay i just love the audio...and i bet it's you playing the piano in the background...this is so beautiful...was also great to hear your voice again

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  21. this is my favorite poem of yours, Gay! and that's saying a lot given the brilliance of your writing. {i don't quite get the title.} i like to quote my favorite line in a comment but i cannot do it with this poem because EVERY line

    "reveals the essence of YOUR gift"

    the audio recording was perfection! {where's your Texas accent?} LOVE this! dani ♥

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  22. My words sail, silk calligraphs slide
    across a page breathing spirits.==

    o lovely sound and sense, calligraphs of silk


    They find you drowsing in the leaves.
    I unfurl a scarf of ideas and ship to you

    and again beautiful sound and sense-- drowsing in the leaves/I unfurl a scarf...

    revealing the essence of my gift.
    Diffused as ether, they cloud then

    I love the sound and sense of "diffused as ether.."

    Exquisite, Gay...xxxj

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  23. @dani - ah go listen to Metaphoric Blues...you'll hear it as Panhandle as it ever was!

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  24. @Jenne - high praise and received as a bouquet of long stem reds with the thorns removed. I thought this one of my better concoctions and not entirely displeased with the title but still open to something better.

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  25. @Shay - I vacillated about going to paragraphs there but I voted against it. Thanks for the validation!

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  26. I loved this Gay. It possess a gently haunting lyricism which I found irresistible. It will live long in my poetic memory.Thank you, James.

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  27. From bow to stern I enjoyed this sail you offered.

    a scarf of ideas unfurled -- how yummy is that!! A sis distilling and condensing. How wonderful -- these little ones and zeroes in the stihl of cyberspace!

    Beautiful. And wonderful waves background. Your life in art -- love to experience it here, thanks for sharing.

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  28. see...read this for the third time now....and still love it...or maybe love it even more each time i re-read...i think this is excellent gay...no crit from the german part of the world...smiles

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  29. Thanks Claudia, always appreciated your comments on this piece. It was just a "feel good" poem for me from the minute I finished it. But didn't feel it delivered itself to my readers completely.

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  30. I absolutely love this poem, even if you don't change a single word. I do hang up on this line a bit: "I unfurl a scarf of ideas and ship to you."

    These are my favorite words:
    breathing spirits

    Diffused as ether

    I'm sentenced to scatter (brilliant line; the best line of the poem, to me)

    ~safehousepoetry.wordpress.com

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  31. There is something very dream-like and calm about this piece. The Narrative has the necessary impetus and incision, yet it's gentle and floats like a feather. It's no mean feat to achieve that, actually; more often than not we get airy-fairy and cryptic poetry which I don't care for much. The longer stanza-breaks certainly help achieve this. I rarely find double/triple breaks effective. Couplets with plenty of enjambment also brings interest and a slightly non-linear aspect to the Narrative which keeps a little tension and stops 'airy-fairy' from taking hold.

    I think you could drop 'My' from the very beginning; it becomes obvious whose and the emphasis is then directly on 'words'. It feels redundant and moreover, too much me/my/I (pronouns and possessive adjectives) can make a piece feel a little too personal to the Narrator and harder to relate to for reader. I think you need to keep the 'I' in L4 though.

    Main issue is with this sentence, which is broken over two lines (4 & 5) -

    I unfurl a scarf of ideas and ship to you

    revealing the essence of my gift.

    First it doesn't seem to make grammatical sense without an 'it' after 'ship'. The pronoun is not disposable in this instance, even given poetic license IMHO. My main point though is that 'a scarf of ideas' is nearly so nice but 'ideas' seems to spoil the party by stating exactly what it is in an obvious way. This might not be so bad in some contexts/moods other poems are trying to create but here, it flashes up red for me at a key point in the Narrative. A synonym with more subtlety would be better - eg 'scarf of thoughts' or perhaps 'intentions'. I think part of the problem with 'ideas' is not just overstatement/telling but also that it's a word overused in everyday language, so becomes a little prosaic and almost meaningless.

    It's a lovely piece, Gay. Hope this was helpful.

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  32. Hi Gay,

    Thankyou for your thoughtful and constructive words re my poem - I think you make some very
    clear points. I am a painter/artist by trade and likely a surrealist (in simple terms) i have used words for many years (academically) studying philosophy and psychology also in my paintings and conceptual work - however poetry is a new form for me so i appreciate any and all input as i find my feet and voice - so thankyou very much for all your advice.

    the ideas and meaning are interesting in your piece - although a little familiar - i think your fine writing manages to prevent slippage into cliche - and although a poetic subject i would not usually find to be to my taste - i found it to be both touching and interesting - again due to some wonderful word choices.

    Thankyou gay

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  33. A luscious fluid poem Gay. Just a few teeny weeny picks that made me stumble a little. This is just my take on it.

    My words sail, silk calligraphs slide
    across a page breathing spirits.

    (sail, silk, slide work really well here.
    'spirits' is a tad ambiguous for me and made me think of whiskey breath!)

    They find you drowsing in the leaves.
    I unfurl a scarf of ideas and ship to you

    (you repeat 'they' later on where it works really well. Another word here instead? Or could have a comma after 'spirits. 2nd line, as mentioned a little clumsy grammatically)

    find you drowsing in the leaves.
    A scarf of ideas I unfurl and ship to you,


    revealing the essence of my gift.
    Diffused as ether, they cloud then

    (lovely, 'they' works well here)


    distill in your waters of contemplation.
    See how I'm sentenced to scatter


    emotion-petals fragrant with allusions,
    cartographs that draw you into me.

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  34. Q @ Luke - what about "images" for "ideas"..is that equally facile?

    @ Arron - the challenge was to create a texture and I was working on something as smooth as Elinor Wylie's Velvet Shoes (some say the "whitest" poem in English:

    Velvet Shoes

    Let us walk in the white snow
    In a soundless space;
    With footsteps quiet and slow,
    At a tranquil pace,
    Under veils of white lace.

    I shall go shod in silk,
    And you in wool,
    White as white cow's milk,
    More beautiful
    Than the breast of a gull.

    We shall walk through the still town
    In a windless peace;
    We shall step upon white down,
    Upon silver fleece,
    Upon softer than these.

    We shall walk in velvet shoes:
    Wherever we go
    Silence will fall like dews
    On white silence below.
    We shall walk in the snow.

    (c) Elinor Wylie

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  35. This is certainly smooth Gay - quite beautiful -your piece has this quality no doubt a wonderful texture to evoke - i struggle - i am on the spectrum (as they say - whatever that means) but i think because of this i struggle to write as Elinor or youself about such things without feeling phoney - but perhaps with a little more apllication it may help me to relate to such things in the real as it were - i feel it internally but have trouble with the expression - Wylies piece is a quite magnificent - not somebody i would have usually read.

    thankyou gay

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  36. The words seem to sail and float. The quality is wonderful and seems like they are walking in a town of the dead on a cloud instead of the ground.

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  37. I can't offer suggestions to improve such beauty. Perhaps lose the a in the first stanza but then again, I like it there. This is light, adoring and perfection. I needed this visit to serenity.

    Beth

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  38. Gay—

    This was a delight to read.

    Very delicate and ethereal feel throughout. gorgeous alliteration.

    This line—
    My words sail, silk calligraphs slide

    Beautiful.

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  39. I find the rhythm of the word 'calligraphs' less pleasing than 'calligraphy' -
    perhaps something like

    "Words sail; silken calligraphy glides
    on spirit breath across a page."


    has more feeling of wind in the sails?


    As the poem stands, I'd have been tempted to use an unorthodox layout in order to make it read more comfortably.


    My words sail, silk calligraphs slide
    across a page breathing spirits.

    They find you drowsing in the leaves;
    I unfurl a scarf of ideas and ship to you,
    revealing the essence of my gift.

    Diffused as ether, they cloud then
    distill in your waters of contemplation.

    See how I'm sentenced to scatter
    emotion-petals fragrant with allusions,
    cartographs that draw you into me.

    I'd probably want to re jig to use cartography instead of cartographs, too...

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  40. @Gay - 'images' for me would be almost the same as 'ideas'. 'thoughts' is my immediate response but you know better than I what you're aiming for here. Maybe you just need the right adjective for 'ideas'?

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  41. diffuse...ether...cloud...distill...waters...a very vivid chain of words and images that gathers the rest. I like your sparseness and compact stanzas. Few words, but the words are so very well chosen. Your word-picture describes an aspect of the creative process itself, reflecting on art and communication through the artifacts of art and communication.

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  42. @Luke - idea is the "sound" I'm going for. Primarily I want this to sound soft and smooth in texture and I'm writing in this piece for "sound over meaning" without losing meaning entirely.

    @Steve King - you nailed what I wanted to achieve exactly. This is not a love poem per se; it is a love of language poem and an examination of what it is to be a poet.

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