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Flying a Kite

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Poem first published in NSW School Magazine. Folk flute backing.
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First there is blue
with wind rushing through:
vastness and air,
room everywhere.

Then there's the kite
lifting to height,
catching on wind;
white ball of string
quickly unravelling.

Further from you,
climbing and travelling
into the blue,
but balanced by holding tight;
into the height
rises the kite.

You feel the wind,
the balancing:
the loop and fall,
the rise, the stilling pull.

You see the field of blue
and feel the distant diamond,
the blatant red on wind,
as linked to you. . .

you feel the playfulness
of balancing the stress;
a friend of wind and air and sky,
and see the rustle of the tail,
rippling-free on high.

But best of all you feel you sail
upon the blue,
upon the wind,
upon the boundlessness and blend
awareness with the vastness over you. . .

the endless horizon and world without end.

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Uploaded: Aug 29, 2010 - 07:28:48 PM
Last Updated: Aug 29, 2010 - 07:28:48 PM Last Played: Apr 06, 2019 - 10:17:14 PM
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Dadai.2 said 3308 days ago (August 29th, 2010)
Oh yes...
A very moving poem. Visual in its words, brought home by your delivery. I love the flute accompaniment. All in all, three cheers and thanks for a lovely break from the mundaneness of life.

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alfredthepelican said 3307 days ago (August 29th, 2010)
Thanks Dadai2
Thanks very much for your comment. I'm glad you appreciated it so fully.
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tf10music said 3307 days ago (August 30th, 2010)
I am going to critique this as a poem:

1) Your verb use is composed almost entirely of gerund forms, which stagnates flow
2) Almost all of your images lack any visceral element, it's very airy, latinized language. One of the best poets I've ever met told me that in order to write universally effective poetry, you need to mix the flow of latinized words with the guttural earthiness of English's germanic side.
3) Your line breaks and pauses become very predictable, there is no jolt, or use of silence in the piece, so that it feels like you could have expressed what you needed to express in 12 lines instead of 34.

All that said, it was pleasant to listen to, and your intonation is top notch.

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alfredthepelican said 3307 days ago (August 30th, 2010)
reply to critique
Well, first off the gerunds that you refer to are taking the place of and acting as nouns, not verbs. Secondly, the poem is in a regular metre- so-called surprising line ends in so-called modern poetry are usually simply the result of the fact that the form is unmetrical and prosaic. Almost all the words here are Anglo-saxon, English is not a guttural language and neither is German. Raum(space)=room, blau=blue, Der Wind=wind. Need I go on. The language here is very simple as befits a poem for younger readers as well as adults. As for the grotesque image habits of "modernist" poems- if you want to write like that do so. However, it is exactly what has alienated the public from poetry (that is my opinion- you are entitled to yours). I have a BA in English Literature and a Master of Letters (high distinction) so please do not assume that I am unaware of the directions of modern literary theory.
All that said, I am pleased you enjoyed the actual presentation. Poetry is an aural art not a visual one.
Check out my latest song called Now Is The Hour Late
tf10music said 3255 days ago (October 21st, 2010)
we disagree on some things. That's fine. And yes, all gerunds tend to act as nouns -- that's why they stagnate flow if utilized too heavily. Obviously, they need to and should be used sometimes (though i went through a period where I made a point of not using them, just to improve my use of language). When did I ever say anything about surprising line endings? That has nothing to do with my comment -- I was discussing playing off silence, letting an image imprint itself into the reader's mental space before a new one is introduced. Line breaks, among other things, can achieve that. I'll concede the point of germanic language, though I probably still think that the anglo-saxon half of english, if used properly in verse, can have a subtle, guttural element not present in words like 'wind' or 'room.' Peruse some Seamus Heaney with your eye out for that (I got tipped off too) and it really jumps out. His translation of Beowulf does that especially well.

Modernist poetry: that's a big term, and you're making some hasty generalizations. If you're talking about Eliot, Pound, etc...then I agree that they were problematic, and, as people, quite contemptible. But many other poets fit under the awning of 'modernity.' Yeats grotesque? I can't imagine that term applied to his poetics. And if you're referring to contemporary poetry, then I will also have to disagree -- it depends what you're reading. None of this has anything to do with literary theory, by the way (as my parents have insisted on drilling into my head when I give them the 'Derrida didn't write poetry, how could his theory possibly encompass it?' argument).

You raise some interesting issues, especially regarding line endings. Are they used in some modern-contemporary poetry for shock value? Absolutely. I don't like that. I don't like poetry for shock value in general, it's why I dislike Plath's verse so much.
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awigze said 3307 days ago (August 30th, 2010)
Love the spoken word. I like poems that are actually about the subject and not always allegorical... unless of course this is about some kind of allegory. But somehow I think that this is actually about flying a kite. I Also liked the flute backing.
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