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Unread 10-01-2020, 09:46 PM
Martin Rocek's Avatar
Martin Rocek Martin Rocek is offline
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I have little to add to the many praises of this tight poem--just one question; looking up the title, it seems the usual spelling is Muladhara; is there a reason for the variant that you use?

Thanks for the read,
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Unread 10-03-2020, 07:13 AM
Andrew Mandelbaum's Avatar
Andrew Mandelbaum Andrew Mandelbaum is offline
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Morning. Sorry to be slow to respond.

I am glad this revision of a poem that had always bothered me seems to work for most of you yous.

Maybe not for Allen, but seeing a fiddle can sometimes be enough. Ha!

Jim, your read helped guide a few last minute switches that I think really made me happy. I wanted any conotation of instrumental use of the child to be removed and you showed me where they were by forcing a look ino that. Thanks.

Hey John. Though for me the key to the poem is the "only" is line 2 of stanza 2 (the father's failure to totally give the daughter grounding/mothering) I hear you on the line you question. Some reads I agree with you others I feel more like Nemo on the release of the line. I will keep thinking on that. My son is on the other side, having just exited the green berets and is now returning to his own. It is a powerful thing to go through, fraught we the obvious spiritual, physical, and moral dangers. I wish your son wellness on all counts. I suspect your beautiful sensitivities, which are always handed down, will be there for him when he needs them.

Both your comments made good sense here.

Matt, That is a fair question about the root chakra. This is indeed about what the idea of that chakra underlines, even if not tied to any exclusively Hindu claims. I hear you on that fragment. I changed the period at the end of S1 to a comma. I think that works. Thanks.

Nemo. I couldn't have said it better myself about what I hoped the poem might do in its path through the four stanzas. Thanks for that, and more so for the added elements in your reading that you helped me see.

No one knows the tumult and chaos of forming like a blue many-armed deity. Thanks, Kali.

Hey Mary! You made me see the shape of it. Ha! The chakra title thing may have missed you cause I have used (as Martin has shown me ) a lesser used spelling. I guess some spell it this way but more often its Muladhara.

Thanks Jason. I feel attached to that line's sounds as well. Reading aloud, it is my favorite part.

Hey Martin. Good to see you. Yeah, I guess my couple books where I checked my spelling use the minorty transliteration. Fair question.
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Unread 10-03-2020, 08:03 AM
Mark McDonnell Mark McDonnell is offline
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Location: Staffordshire, England
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Hi Andrew - I've read this lots with little to say. It's really nice. I love "at the crest of the arc / you sing to song out". The words here are "slurred into grace" like the notes of the ending.
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Unread 10-08-2020, 05:03 PM
James Brancheau James Brancheau is offline
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It's good, Andrew. There's an irresistible momentum about the poem. And it's so passionate. I don't know, though, in the end, if it were mine, I don't know how satisfied I'd be about the sea. It seems like that's how it worked out in the moment of inspiration. Probably I am missing something. For me, the bending sound of a violin, the wood and acoustics, brings me to trees. Probably I'm being too picky, conservative about the image, effect. But that's my thinking.

Last edited by James Brancheau; 10-08-2020 at 05:07 PM.
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Unread 10-18-2020, 04:53 AM
Steve Bucknell's Avatar
Steve Bucknell Steve Bucknell is online now
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Default Unpacking


I haven’t read the other comments yet, because I want to meet your poem myself.

I’m pitched in immediately by these “ wires held pinned/ between/ shoulder and chin” which makes me wince; the first thing I see is some orthopaedic device pinning bone to bone to immobilise something broken. The “soundings” and the “shake” also fit that notion, for me. After reading again I think that may be part of your intention?

The second stanza, well, I don’t know...there’s something soothing and then ecstatic, which surprises by its contrast to the first. Into the third part I’m jolted by the bravura of -

“digging dust from air,
every sun-spitted particle
mustered into soil.”

That’s just inspiring.

And the last stanza has a G.M. Hopkins-like crescendo, riding out on that rhythm to it’s “ slurred” realm of grace. I like it a lot.

That feels like a quite journey and a puzzle. I only put it together in parts after a few more readings: the violin, the physicality of it, the father/ daughter relationship through the music. The audacity of that note of fatherly hope “ you will make land” into that literal guide “ you will MAKE land”, and the expression of what that might be. Wow. It sounds like a Psalm and an Old Testament command in one.

It’s readable, intensely lyrical and, er...musical, and closely carved, which I like. In fact I really enjoyed the poem!

(I don’t like the title which seems to point to an internet search, and when I get to “ chakras” I give up.)

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Unread 10-18-2020, 02:40 PM
Andrew Mandelbaum's Avatar
Andrew Mandelbaum Andrew Mandelbaum is offline
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Thanks for these comments. Good things here to think along with.

Mark, I often feel the same, positive (or negative) but less to say. Short comments always welcome.

James, I think the wood-ish feel you mention makes sense. I need the image of the sea as a halfway point of another's journey here because bringing your child only to sea rather than across to homeland is closer to the truth of it in some ways. No mother/ground to be had early on and midway through. But that ground can be found/made better late than never. I watch the process here. But I get the tree bit.

Steve. So glad you have come back to this place and gave this one a whirl. Even more so because you found things worth the read. I like your read of the tension/discomfort in the opening. I didn't see it could be so wire-to-bone-tense at first but that perspective works for me. There were some moments of fathering that were pretty immobilizing even as the music continued.

The title may be the most meaningful to the subject of the poem. It is her common language in a sense. I am ok with it being a private-ish title but maybe a better one will stop by.

Thanks to all three of you!
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Unread Yesterday, 02:56 PM
W T Clark W T Clark is online now
Join Date: May 2020
Location: England
Posts: 227

Hello Andrew,

Yes this is highly lyrical, striking a "grace[ful]" attitude in its movement. I am not very happy with the title, nor the final word. These are big religious abstractions which in my unorthodox mind the poem could do well without. I'd also consider making the first stanza a complete sentence, although I can see the pun on taken you here to see/sea. Many of my finding faults are brought out of personal biases, and I will be the first to admit that this is a very deft concerto.

Hope this helps,
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Unread Yesterday, 05:03 PM
Andrew Mandelbaum's Avatar
Andrew Mandelbaum Andrew Mandelbaum is offline
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Posts: 3,511

Hi there W.T.Orthodox religious abstractions is a pretty interesting charge. Can you name them? I guess you could for grace but outside of that I am stumped.

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