Slow Magic - edit2
#1
Slow Magic


Monsoons return:
stream cuts stone,
sand chokes river mouth.
Dams silt up;
     fail, undercut.
Charred forest sprouts,
cicadas rise each seven years.

True magic's slow,
not sleight of hand–
its mystery
    deep history.




edit1;

Monsoons return:
stream cuts stone,
sand chokes river mouth.
Dams silt up;
     fail, undercut.
Charred forest sprouts,
cicadas rise each seven years.
True magic's slow,
not sleight of hand, no mystery
but weight of history.

original version;


Stream cuts stone,
sand chokes river mouth,
cicadas rise each seven years.
Dams silt up;
     fail, undercut.
Charred forest sprouts,
monsoons return.
True magic's slow,
not sleight of hand but weight
of memory.
feedback award Non-practicing atheist
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#2
I like the succession of images in this poem, but instead of having them in random order, it might work bette to arrange them according to their length of time, starting with the monsoons and ending with the same choking river’s mouth or stream cutting stone

Also, the sleight / wright rhyme is tempting, but while cicadas have a sort of genetic memory (or so it can be argued poetically), the same is not true for the other, truly mechanical non living processes described in the poem
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#3
edit;

Slow Magic


Monsoons return:
stream cuts stone,
sand chokes river mouth.
Dams silt up;
     fail, undercut.
Charred forest sprouts,
cicadas rise each seven years.
True magic's slow,
not sleight of hand, no mystery
but weight of history.




@busker - excellent critique of such a short poem.  I've tried to apply your advice, eliminating "memory" in favor of an end-rhyme.  Rather than organize in terms of length of process, I've tried to do sequence of events (i.e. cause and effect, to a degree).


The original random sequence was meant to get the reader to puzzle out "what do these have in common?" instead of delivering it pre-digested (the wizard is not the guy who pulls rabbits from his hat, but the one who tells you what's going to happen to your splendid works).  This is better:  the puzzle's still there, but arranged more logically.
feedback award Non-practicing atheist
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#4
Dukealien

I like the edit. I think L3 is a bit choppy, L5 reads well, L6 adds to the choppiness, and while I like the final two lines the end rhyme still feels a bit forced. Maybe you can add/change something in between to make it flow a bit better (i.e. change 'but' to 'like' or 'in').

Nice poem!
mike
How thoughtful
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#5
(08-17-2019, 04:00 AM)dukealien Wrote:  Slow Magic


Monsoons return:
stream cuts stone,
sand chokes river mouth.
Dams silt up;
     fail, undercut.
Charred forest sprouts,
cicadas rise each seven years.
True magic's slow,
not sleight of hand, no mystery
but weight of history.


Stream cuts stone,
sand chokes river mouth,
cicadas rise each seven years.
Dams silt up;
     fail, undercut.
Charred forest sprouts,
monsoons return.
True magic's slow,
not sleight of hand but weight
of memory.

Love this poem! It reminds me of hiking in particular places in Montana over the last 12 years. I love the contrast between life and death, and the nature of change in the river / wilderness. As far as suggestions, I try and appeal to the more magical side for the poem, how the "chokes, and cuts" are apart of the magic as well! I feel like break in the cut narrative (which I love) could add some potential color to the poem if wanted!
Thanks for the solid read!
Only one thing is impossible for God: To find any sense in any copyright law on the planet.
--mark twain
Rob Cave
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#6
(08-17-2019, 04:00 AM)dukealien Wrote:  Slow Magic


Monsoons return:
stream cuts stone,
sand chokes river mouth.
Dams silt up;
     fail, undercut.
Charred forest sprouts,
cicadas rise each seven years.
True magic's slow,
not sleight of hand, no mystery
but weight of history.


Stream cuts stone,
sand chokes river mouth,
cicadas rise each seven years.
Dams silt up;
     fail, undercut.
Charred forest sprouts,
monsoons return.
True magic's slow,
not sleight of hand but weight
of memory.
Love this piece! The imagery was solid and was a good read the whole way through. I reminded me of Robert Frosts work, is this about nature by the way? Cause it reads like one.
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#7
edit2;

Slow Magic


Monsoons return:
stream cuts stone,
sand chokes river mouth.
Dams silt up;
     fail, undercut.
Charred forest sprouts,
cicadas rise each seven years.

True magic's slow,
not sleight of hand– 
its mystery
    deep history.




Thanks to all the critics.  The ending was, if not forced, at least facile.  I hope the change simplifies as well as clarifying the structure with a bit more typography.

As to choppiness,

those lines are choppy, yes.  I plead Pope's dictum that, when the matter is struggle, the reading should heave a bit (for example); here, there's a sort of stoppage with the choked river as well as for the dam failing and sprouts from beneath heavy char.

Other candidates for where "deep" now sits were "fated" and "concealed in."
feedback award Non-practicing atheist
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#8
Hey, Duke. Good to be reminded of forces greater than ourselves.

I think you might consider another title -- it doesn't add much since it's already a line included in the poem. I'd try to come up with something that adds another element, or maybe consider cutting that line from the body of the poem. The former would be easier and less disruptive to the piece, that's my opinion.

(08-17-2019, 04:00 AM)dukealien Wrote:  Slow Magic


Monsoons return: -- "return" is bland compared to the other verbs which are well chosen (cuts, chokes, undercut, etc.)
stream cuts stone,
sand chokes river mouth.
Dams silt up; -- "dams silt" is awkward to say -- maybe it's just me. Do you need "up"?
     fail, undercut.
Charred forest sprouts,
cicadas rise each seven years. -- liking the layer of meaning with the seven year cycle. Many ancient cultures considered the number 7 to be the proper length for a cycle: weather, dreams, visions. Intended as a Biblical reference?

True magic's slow,
not sleight of hand– -- maybe say a little more about slight of hand (some 'quick magic' examples/imagery to drive home the contrast)
its mystery
    deep history. -- I like the brevity of the lines here. Keeping the 'explaination' sparse allows you to take the reader gently by the hand.



Some assonance or slant rhymes would take the piece to the next level. The edits are going in the right direction, and I like how tight you're keeping the wording.

Best,

Lizzie




edit1;

Monsoons return:
stream cuts stone,
sand chokes river mouth.
Dams silt up;
     fail, undercut.
Charred forest sprouts,
cicadas rise each seven years.
True magic's slow,
not sleight of hand, no mystery
but weight of history.

original version;


Stream cuts stone,
sand chokes river mouth,
cicadas rise each seven years.
Dams silt up;
     fail, undercut.
Charred forest sprouts,
monsoons return.
True magic's slow,
not sleight of hand but weight
of memory.
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#9
.
Hi duke,
very enjoyable piece, though I agree with Lizzie about the title. I also think it could be trimmed a little -
the dams seems like a repetition of the river, and the final two line done add much (not to mention
detracting from the excellent 'True magic's... hand'

Just a suggestion


Monsoons return:
stream cuts stone,
sand chokes
a river's mouth.

Charred forest
sprouts, cicadas
sing every seven years.
True magic's slow,

not sleight of hand.


Best, Knot


.
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