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Friday, October 23, 2009

Blind Review Friday

Blind Review Friday.

The author shall remain anonymous (unless they chose to divulge themselves in the comments.)

Those commenting are also welcome to remain anonymous if they wish.

Incendiary comments will be removed.

If you would like your piece thrown to the wolves send it to salinger@ameritech.net with "Workshop the hell out of this poem" as the subject line.

Last review's offering was from a Clevelandpoetics the Blog reader as is this week's selection.

The Cormorants

Blue sky
over blue-green water
and a Crayola-yellow sun.
My teacher,
with brown crayon
and practiced flick,
set a checkmark
against a cloud
and called it a
“bird.”

It was!

And with speed of flight
I took the waxen stick
and released a flock
to fill the sky
with little vees flying
home
or
away
or
out of the
two dimensions
of my
page.

In Physics,
my professor
drew a bird,
but called it
Vector.
Magnitude and Direction
to become Velocity
pointing
to the edge
of the graph paper.

Why?

To escape?
To fly?
To become a bird?

And in the world of
up and down and away,
a vector passes
overhead
until it becomes
checkmarks,
a vee of vees,
flying silently,
not like the
cranky geese.
These fly with unsounded
purpose,
Magnitude and Direction,
having become
Velocity
running off the page
of the sky.

9 comments:

lady said...

Wow--I really like this poem as it is. It's a good 'un.

John Burroughs said...

I agree with Lady

Rob said...

Since I wrote this seven weeks ago, I have made some revisions. "Waxen" has become "wax" which sound less archaic to me. In the last line "sky" has become "world". I find that much of my poetry begins in concrete reality and moves toward abstraction. By using "world" I think there's more of a parallel with the Crayola and graph paper images where the figures are trying to reach another dimension.

The poem hasn't aroused much interest, but thanks for your kind words.

Geoffrey A. Landis said...

Sometimes when there's not much commentary, it's not that a poem "doesn't arouse much interest," but just that people can't think of anything useful to say...
(Unfortunately, it's often easier to think of something to say about a bad poem than about a good one!)

Rob said...

Thanks. As a novelist, there's never a lot of feedback and silence makes crazy.

Shelley Chernin said...

I like it, too. I'm intrigued by the title, which has a double meaning that adds a layer.

Suggestions that I have are pretty nit-picky. Not sure you need "the" before "cranky geese."

Grammatically, the indefinite "These" would really refer back to "cranky geese," which I doubt is your intention. I had to read that last sentence several times, and I'm still not sure whether "These" is the vector or Magnitude and Direction. I'm leaning toward Magnitude and Direction because they are set off by commas.

Nice poem!

Rob said...

"These" are the Cormorants. For several seasons I wanted to write about the quiet birds that fly in formation. The geese always announce themselves, the Cormorants never say a thing.

Geoffrey A. Landis said...

OK, I'll have to admit I missed that (maybe I should say "that one flew over my head..."). After 48 lines that don't mention Cormorants anywhere, it's hard to connect the un-referenced pronoun "they" to cormorants.

I think you can make that explicit:
a vee of vees,
cormorants
flying silently,

Rob said...

Hm, too subtle? (Actually, I've heard that before.) Your suggestion works. Thanks!

Cited...

The poet doesn't invent. He listens. ~Jean Cocteau