This Poem was Submitted By: Mell W. Morris On Date: 2004-08-17 12:04:57 . . . Click Here To Mail this Poem to a Friend!

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Lavender Luminance

  By nature humans have restive minds, produce   Flawed words, stubborn sounds, and paradoxes.   We call a portion of our written words poetry   Or the supreme fiction.   We write eccentric notions of our fate as   Obscure clouds of hyacinth haze on the horizon.   We have developed an alphabet of discontent   In that one writes in order to erase.   Crucial for the continuation of poetry as an art   Form is the acknowledgement of adumbrated   Voices, helping establish them as de rigueuer,   And hailing their vatic, vigorous commentary.   Thus poetry will ensue as a transcendent form   And be set free of erased, tedious verse.   After all, so much depends on pallid fowls,   Valid yet voiceless consonants, and    On spondees of purple pain in the manner   That brave winter pansies stay   Standing in the rain.

Copyright © August 2004 Mell W. Morris

Additional Notes:
The last two lines of this poem are from "Standing in Rain" Joanne Uppendahl, 12-07-02 Used with author's permission.

This Poem was Critiqued By: Mark D. Kilburn On Date: 2004-11-18 17:11:40
Critiquer Rating During Critique: 1.00000
Mell, I had been wanting to read this poem and glad I finally did. Easy to see why this won, not one you can understand in one reading. My favs are spondees of purple pain and valid yet voiceless consonants, but there are many more. Vatic and vigorous, restive minds, it's all good. Just wanted to congratulate you on winning and say thanks for the prayers and credits Mell. I hope alls well for you and yours. mk

This Poem was Critiqued By: Elaine Marie Phalen On Date: 2004-09-07 09:58:47
Critiquer Rating During Critique: 9.92308
Wow, Mell, this one is now high on my list - at last! Not a minute too soon, either. I'd probably have jumped ahead for it, but that's no longer necessary. The god of poetry is kind this morning. By nature humans have restive minds, produce Flawed words, stubborn sounds, and paradoxes. We call a portion of our written words poetry Or the supreme fiction. Hmmm, in S1 you are conveying to the reader a sense of the difficulties that beset writers, in search of perfection and confronted instead with the resistant power of their language. L2 nicely summarizes several of the proeblems we face. Then comes the ironic "poetry/or the supreme fiction". Do we in fact deceive ourselves that what we "call" our work is even what it is? Perhaps the supreme fiction is the author's own perception of his/her success? We write eccentric notions of our fate as Obscure clouds of hyacinth haze on the horizon. We have developed an alphabet of discontent In that one writes in order to erase. There's much truth here, too. "Eccentric notions" sounds a tad tongue-in-cheek. Ordinary souls view the furture pragmatically and work toward it without many questions; poets embellish the road, and focus even on the pebbles they pass en route. I love the breathy "h" alliteration in L2. It sounds mighty like a long sigh of resignation to the poor quality of our soothsaying. "Alphabet of discontent", yes; indeed it is. If we were happy with the status quo, we'd not feel moved to write much, I'm thinking. I draw upon my strongest emotions when I'm furthest down. Yet you've offered us the irony, of writing to erase. We try to cancel pain, remove obstacles, talk away complications. We transfer ourselves into the lines that take shape apart from us. Maybe this makes destiny more bearable. I'd rather imagine what's in those clouds than walk up and actually see for myself. Crucial for the continuation of poetry as an art Form is the acknowledgement of adumbrated Voices, helping establish them as de rigueuer, [de rigueur] And hailing their vatic, vigorous commentary. Here, you offer approval of form, which for many modernists has become the hallmark of those "old-fashioned" writers who refuse to throw all convention into the sky. Poetic form is what differentiates it - like this poem itself - from a prose narrative, an ad or a telephone directory. We suggest meaning through our words but their shape also plays a role in the outcome. The critical reader assesses how well a poem's structure operates to support its message, and determines the worth of format. Each new wave of critics has its own sense of what's hot and what's not. For instance, the classicism of a sonnet is not to today's general tastes, although there may be a resurgence of formalism, to judge by the numbers of competitions that are offered in that area. Readers partially determine the way we must write if we are to be read at all. Critics shape the style of what we do, even if we feel they shouldn't. Nobody wants to languish on the back shelf. Thus poetry will ensue as a transcendent form And be set free of erased, tedious verse. After all, so much depends on pallid fowls, [not sure of "fowls" - interesting substitute for "vowels", methinks] Valid yet voiceless consonants, and [effective use of fricatives here, to suggest the actual topic] On spondees of purple pain in the manner [plosives add a note of energy here, in contrast to the previous line's softness] That brave winter pansies stay Standing in the rain. [the a assonance proves the importance of vowel combinations] Regardless of form, sound will always remain a vital component of any good poem. Styles and genres change, but without an appeal to the ear, what will make a poem more likely to be read than, say, a magazine article about dieting? Your own work is always rich in those sonic elements that offer pleasure to the reader, especially one who speaks the words aloud. I believe that reflects the Celtic influence, which I also honor. There is a growing process, always. But those who are sure of their own worth will persevere, adapt like Joanne's pansies, and withstand whatever discouragement may befall them. Lovely, lyrical writing. What a joy to read this. Brenda
This Poem was Critiqued By: arnie s WACHMAN On Date: 2004-09-02 20:06:30
Critiquer Rating During Critique: 9.87500
"One writes in order to erase" One true paradox of the human condition. As if putting it down on paper gives us leave to turn the eraser loose inside our heads and vacumn out the memories because they are too painfull to live with. Or perhaps so that we will remember. Perhaps our minds are like the first computers, and the papers, like to first floppies...we write to save our data from being erased by the ravages of time. Kind of a wierd analogy there? Just that ancient computer acting up again....beter save the data, quick... Nice read...have a great day...and take care of that original computer of yours....
This Poem was Critiqued By: Turner Lee Williams On Date: 2004-08-21 18:31:38
Critiquer Rating During Critique: 9.78571
Mell–A wealth of figurative language express in these five strophes (IMO) a genuine and sometime sardonic theory of poetry in a semi-scientific-like manner (albeit poetically with bits of humor). The first stanza offers a bonafide premise (lines #1 & 2) and a fresh definition; “We call a portion of our written words poetry or the supreme fiction.” The second and third stanzas present apt ardent arguments and parameters;“...eccentric notions of our fate as...”/” alphabet of discontent...”/” writes in order to erase.”/”continuation of poetry as an art form is the acknowledgment...” ; This vocabulary of influence “adumbrated-voices, de rigueuer (I found only de rigueur in my Funk & Wagnal)and vatic,”infers dissatisfaction with our perceptions(emotionally) of things. The fourth and fifth stanzas publishes the findings, results and conclusions of this awesome and intricate “research.” “...On spondees of purple pain in the manner that brave winter pansies stay standing in the rain.” Despite all constraint attempts and other funky influences,including our “flawed” selves,poetry will endure just as nature endures. TPLer,Gerard Geiger,once wrote in a critique response; “Poetry is existence translated to words-All emotions are part of existence.” That is profound and did it for me-just as this piece does. Thanks for such a tacit quasi-treatise on poetry. TLW NOTE: The last two lines influenced me a great deal-grinning.
This Poem was Critiqued By: Joanne M Uppendahl On Date: 2004-08-20 17:04:31
Critiquer Rating During Critique: 10.00000
Dear Mell-i-fluent: This poem is amazingly prophetic (more about that via email). The title alone dazzles and is part of the prophetic quality of this piece, which is so very you! I am honored and delighted beyond my ability to communicate - please know that there has been no more wonderful gift presented to me than the final strophe of this poem. I have returned from an eventful week to what is truly 'home' in every sense. I find a refuge in your words like none other. Nothing more wonderful than an 'ars poetica' and especially this one in your singular, irreplaceable, expressive beloved voice. By nature humans have restive minds, produce Flawed words, stubborn sounds, and paradoxes. We call a portion of our written words poetry Or the supreme fiction. Why do I feel as though I dreamed this poem. Impossible. "supreme fiction" seems a distillation of the paradox that is poetry -- you've captured it and me. I can't think of anything more true or insightful. We must write poetry because part of our lives reside in it, and yet it isn't living. Isn't perfect, can't be impeccable. Is what it is, flows through and around us, yet as illusive as -- mercury? The plosive b's and dense d consonants in L2 of S1 are like the stolid footsteps of the awkward ways poems sometimes find their way to expression. That they have to emerge from the clumsiness of our humanity and awkward, spittle-showered inner speech makes them all the more miraculous. But, once more, you have said it best! We write eccentric notions of our fate as Obscure clouds of hyacinth haze on the horizon. We have developed an alphabet of discontent In that one writes in order to erase. Oh, I love this! L2 is, is breathy with 'h' and lavender-blue and "fate/haze/erase" soothes and is as refreshing as a mint julep. Your concept of an "alphabet of discontent" that "one writes in order to erase" -- is absolutely brilliant! One way we may master our "fate" from L1 of S2, for certain. We may arrange the words in any order, allow the escape of haze and eccentricity -- find a bit of the notion that is ourselves and unrecognizable until it is THERE, on the page (screen)before us. I am reduced to jabbering once more, by the masterfulness of your creative fiat. Crucial for the continuation of poetry as an art Form is the acknowledgement of adumbrated Voices, helping establish them as de rigueuer, And hailing their vatic, vigorous commentary. Oh, nobody else would, or could, conceive of these words in this order, in this combination of luxurious, sonorous and resonant thirst- and hunger-quenching illustration. A libation for the soul-in-need. Thus poetry will ensue as a transcendent form And be set free of erased, tedious verse. After all, so much depends on pallid fowls, ---incisive humor not lost on us! Valid yet voiceless consonants, and (How clever that the consonants are 'voiceless' -- only structural obstructions, after all!) On spondees of purple pain in the manner That brave winter pansies stay Standing in the rain. Only our life depends upon it! This poem is a fist-aid kit to keep both sanity and sense of humor intact. These words on the page seem to sing & dance, exuding exquisite beauty and pain, all at once. Of course it will be no surprise to you and anyone reading this that I am going on and on, and couldn't find a hand hold to tell you how exhilarated I am, how happy to be alive at this precise moment, past- and future- purple pain not excepted. We are what we are because of our ability to feel deeply and emote, and as I read today, "Do it BIG or stay in bed!" And so I am strengthened and heartened to read in your words that we are more than equal to the task. You befriend us here, in a way that is impossible to miss. We aren't alone in this, or anything else, as long as the "continuation of poetry as an art" and we breathe, in or out. Lots of words - to hide (my) tears or expose them? How remarkable and strengthening this is, and I can't say any other words except "thank you." Much love, Joanne
This Poem was Critiqued By: Joanne Duval Morgan On Date: 2004-08-18 20:20:43
Critiquer Rating During Critique: 9.88889
Hi Mell, Sorry I'm late with this. Of course I have to comment (that seems to be my nature, ha ha). Hells Bells, where do I start? Let's start with form, of corse there are stands in poetry, and some meet the form better then others. Guess that why I prefer free verse, freedom of a wider expression of self really, when one writes in a vague sense, presenting a scetch outline, well it leaves a lot to be sesired. Some are better at maintaining by presenting a strong opening, and maintaining the intent, and connecting the strong opening with an equally strong middle, and a super strong closing. I believe this not only is poetry but also and literary style choosen. I guess form, is the toughest to hold, either a person presents too scetchy a opening, nothing for the reader to hang onto, wheras as if form is upheld, the poem usually comes across, some more strong then others. That's why you successfully publish. I like the flavor, and the cadence (and of course vocabulary), of this poem. It, I believe is deep, the vocabulary different, but the life of it is like you, full of life. I can't even begin to tell you about this poem, it's exceptionally well written, and projected. I can not offer any suggestions, I just read and enjoy, and comment to something written well. Sorry this can't be longer, but my whole day has been lost in slumber, but I did at least want you to know I read, and enjoyed, and again marvel at your linguists. Love Friend/girl, you take really good care, God Bless. Jo Mo
This Poem was Critiqued By: marilyn terwilleger On Date: 2004-08-18 19:01:08
Critiquer Rating During Critique: 10.00000
Hi Mell, This poem actually popped up on my list..what a treat. I did so enjoy reading this piece as it comes from inside where you live and think and where you compose and write your wonderful poems to excite all that have the opportunity to read them. In the first stanza the words that captivate me are...'we call a portion of our written words poetry or the supreme fiction'...I love and embrace this thought. We do embelish our thoughts to write a compelling piece that everyone will think is just wonderful...never thought of it that way. In the second stanze...'we write eccentric notions of our fate' but then you follow with...'as obscure clouds of hyacinth haze on the horizon'...I love this and knowing me like you do I am sure you are not surprised....'an alphabet of discontent' amazing. In stanza three you hit us with some unusual words excatly like I knew you would! 'adumbrated...had to look this one up...vatic..great word...then de rigueuer' I could not find in my I probably do need a new one! In the fourth and last stanza you allow us to see why your thoughts are of the poetics and the reasons why we are compelled to write, 'so much depends on pallid fowls'...splendid. The last four lines I am struggling with but even so the words are lovely I just need a little help with the interpetation.. keep in mind that I am old! Another good and intelligent piece from your amazing pen! Blessings...Marilyn
This Poem was Critiqued By: Mark Steven Scheffer On Date: 2004-08-18 16:16:32
Critiquer Rating During Critique: 10.00000
Mell, I got the sense here that your verbal ingenuity was on a leash a bit - which is a good thing. You had the big Mell words, like "de rigueuer," "vatic" and "adumbrated," but they seemed to grow more naturally out of the poem than at other times. Other times I've gotten the sense, upon hitting your big words, that here's someone being clever. This one has an odd hold on me. That means . . . it's good. I know that much. :) Mark
This Poem was Critiqued By: James Edward Schanne On Date: 2004-08-18 16:04:16
Critiquer Rating During Critique: Unknown
Always find it interesting to read poems on poems, I found the line about the Alphabet of discontent especially charming although I had misgivings about the last bit as it seemed out of place to me with the rest, although of corse maybe I just didn't get it.
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