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Full Version: Cidermaid on "An Outpost of Divinity" by Heslopian
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Overall this one has fascinated me, but perhaps for the wrong reasons. This is the third spiritual poem you have posted and they have all had a slightly dark / alternate view point from mainstream perspective. This is good and offers something fresh.
My enjoyment on the previous poem (nature’s revelation) and this one has been blighted by the same problem – namely the slightly obscure context of the details offered. I love both poems by the way but feel at a slight loss as to how to offer crit on either of them. They both have a “confessional” tone to them from the view of a salvation lost theme. (The three voices was another interesting work from this perspective as well). First off before I attempted to offer any thoughts on this I wanted to encourage you to continue on your current writing quest as I think you have something within you that needs to be written. It almost feels like the three recent pieces have the same voice or understory behind all of them and that perhaps the true poem is still locked within the three poems you have put out recently – Just a thought and MHO.

"But the children of the kingdom shall be cast out into outer darkness: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth." - Matthew 8:12, King James Bible

We whispered together like children in outer darkness, together seems unecessasary, also I almost want to read this reversed: Children of the outer darkness, we whispered
a world of Absolute Nothing, Think this would read better as a flat statement with a period after nothing.
swishes of light penetrating as a knife through crisp blue air, ...penetrating could then become penetrated and this would sharpen up the image perhaps – which I love . Particularly like the swishes of light to symbolise a creational element to the image.
and us, random beings, the fungal fringes of Creation, also really like the idea of fungal fringes. My mind takes me on a thought line of how a fungus can explode with millions of micro spores – so from this I get a big bang image. I thought it was a clever use of images.
caught in our trap, outside God, outside any love but each others'. Here is where the layers of complexity start to build. Still good at this stage to my read. But so far I have the nod of the religious text firmly fixing the wheels thought into a set path, quickly followed by the mention of children – so God the father is already in the picture for me. The children are in rebellion and (I get an under image of treason because of the whole whispered…sedition from the snake thing), so we have the fall, eviction from Eden and then again the aspect of the loss of salvation and the resultant pain (the penetration of the knife) of separation from the blue sky vastness and purity of all that is good into this nothingness in a dark place with only the infected crumbs left over from creation are found. From we I get a couple item image but there in the last line I get the sense of a corruption of this relationship – it is a trap – the relationship between those that whisper together is the problem – but then you introduce a notion that this trap is unjust because there is love expressed between them. So far so good but I have a lot of details and ground that has been covered already – taken with a broad brush the story of creation / the fall is so familiar and this is a good retake of these details with a fresh eye – so I really like it.

We whispered together, and we touched, Not sure you need to repeat we whispered together
animate flesh connecting, divisble souls collated this line reads very solid and well for me and firms up all the above details
in this outpost of Divinity. The sensitive soul, repetition of the word souls seems over done. Think you could devise some way of expressing the idea without the repetition. Perhaps by the use of a designation: The souls, sensitive rational and vegetative. Just an idea.
the rational soul, the vegetative soul...
Robert Burton's trinity, conceived as far from Eden The use of The reference to Robert Burton seems obscure . I am reasonably well read in spiritual things, so Plato references within your text yep get it, Augustine pointers – yes these also; but I had not come across his work and even after doing quite a lot of Google searching, I had only a sketchy idea of what his work / ideas were. Think this makes it inaccessible to most readers – myself included. How about just saying:- an idea of the trinity

as Grace is from wolves... these three in two became six, I did not get the wolves reference. (sheep amongst wolves perhaps but felt it was unclear) and as for the three into two become six ??? the number of the beast reference I thought perhaps, but this is way too involved. So here is from my understanding of what the poem is saying and linking this into my spiritual reading of this. 6 = perfection (6 days of creation and all that good stuff) The two that were cast out for the relationship – that never-the-less loved each other, both have three aspects to their spiritual nature / souls. They have become one (as in a marriage, but somehow this union is a sin and they are cast outside of God’s love for this). Yet this love is seen as real and as valid as any other expression of love. And because of this a judgement is made against the God who would condemn such a co-joining. I read the rest of the poem as a rant against God for the injustice of the judgement and the harsh portrayal of the love that is expressed.
one light flowing out from within, one wholeness,
one crude totality. God's dismembered limbs,
crawling across that sludge of His design, met one another
and melded, to form a grotesque animal, a beast in esoteric love.

I have really enjoyed reading and working through this one (and reading your other recent offerings). I'm sorry for the slightly rambling reply and thoughts here. As I said above I have struggled to know where to start to offer my thoughts. I hope they might prove of some help. This is a worthy idea to be working with and deserves the attention. All the best AJ.

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Great job CindermaidThumbsup
Aj...i remember her saying "i don't know how to give feedback"

it doesn't get much better AJ
I agreeSmile This is excellent feedback, and showed a greater understanding of the poem than I had when I wrote itBig Grin Great work, cidermaid, your thoughts and insights are always invaluableThumbsup
Thanks everyone - Billy, I remember saying and thinking that about offering crit. I can only add what has already been said by everyone else. Having a go and getting stuck into the practice of reading and offering crit is the best way to improve your own writing efforts.
The culture of this site - the open encouragment, tempered with brutal honesty of others is what keeps me comming back for more. I'm not a poet, but being here makes it fun pretending to be one...So thank you to everyone who has encouraged me, been truthful or even given me a slap when I threw my rattle out of my pram. Offering crit used to make me nervous, but now it is a creative place that I can exist when the muse has fled. The bonus is that the more crit I offer the more likely I am to find some inspiration to set pen to paper myself.
A very comprehensive analysis and critique; most importantly there are useful suggestions for the author! Thumbsup