Rain Light - edit2
#1
Rain Light


As I sat on my porch this afternoon
cool cloud-shine flicked to thundering sun-shower:
bright instant rays of flashing icicle
filled eye-space everywhere that could be seen.

This rare and cataclysmic-looking fall
spared book and watcher underneath his roof
from all but fragmentary mist and awe
in comfort to enjoy a threshing rain.

There must be others roofless in some storm
this day who curse an unexpected drench–
must my delight yield to their misery
or not, I ponder, watching home and dry?


edit1;

As I sat on my porch this afternoon
cool cloud-shine flicked to thundering sun-shower:
bright instant rays of flashing icicle
filled air-space everywhere that could be seen.

This rare and cataclysmic-looking fall
spared book and watcher underneath his roof
from all but fragmentary mist and awe
in comfort to enjoy a threshing rain.

There must be others roofless in some storm
this day who curse an unexpected drench–
must my delight yield to their misery?
It doesn’t, and I don’t believe it should.


original version;

As I sat on my porch this afternoon
cool cloud-shine flicked to thundering sun-shower:
bright instant rays of flashing icicle
filled air-space everywhere that could be seen.

This rare and cataclysmic-looking fall
spared book and watcher underneath his roof
from all but fragmentary mist and awe;
how fortunate to own a well-built house
and leisure to appreciate this rain
of beauty, sheltered by both health and wealth
sufficient to protect from want and fear.

There must be others roofless in a storm
this day who curse an unexpected drench–
must my delight yield to their misery?
It doesn’t, and I can’t see that it should.
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#2
(08-16-2022, 05:00 AM)dukealien Wrote:  Rain Light


As I sat on my porch this afternoon
cool cloud-shine flicked to thundering sun-shower:
bright instant rays of flashing icicle
filled air-space everywhere that could be seen.

This rare and cataclysmic-looking fall
spared book and watcher underneath his roof
from all but fragmentary mist and awe;
how fortunate to own a well-built house
and leisure to appreciate this rain
of beauty, sheltered by both health and wealth
sufficient to protect from want and fear.

There must be others roofless in a storm
this day who curse an unexpected drench–
must my delight yield to their misery?
It doesn’t, and I can’t see that it should.

From dry as Egyptian dust and hot as the Jornada del Muerto a.k.a. Texas:

I think you could do without lines 4-8 in second stanza and go right to the point of your last stanza, but don't make it a question that you then answer, just say it:  "My delight will not yield to their misery" (in some form).  It seems unnecessary to expand on your fortune so much to me.  

Very much enjoy those first 7 lines in stanzas 1 & 2.  

And should it be "the" storm in first line of 3rd stanza, or do you mean anywhere in the world?

TqB
“All persons, living or dead, are entirely coincidental.”  Kurt Vonnegut
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#3
It’s raining heavily here even as I read this poem. And like the writer, I am delighting in the fact of being within strong walls on a day such as this.
That said, I don’t see what purpose the last strophe serves. It’s a comical kind of gloating that would make sense only if there was any hint that the narrator was not the poet, and didn’t have the poet’s sympathies.

Enjoyed the rest of the poem
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#4
edit1;

As I sat on my porch this afternoon
cool cloud-shine flicked to thundering sun-shower:
bright instant rays of flashing icicle
filled air-space everywhere that could be seen.

This rare and cataclysmic-looking fall
spared book and watcher underneath his roof
from all but fragmentary mist and awe
in comfort to enjoy a threshing rain.

There must be others roofless in some storm
this day who curse an unexpected drench–
must my delight yield to their misery?
It doesn’t, and I don’t believe it should.



Sincere thanks to both critics.  Good observations, both.

@TranquilityBase - absolutely right about unnecessary material in the second stanza (though reducing it did fatten my systemizing hobgoblin, who rejoiced in three uniform stanzas).  Other changes also more or less in line with your suggestions.

@busker - your critique is just as valuable.  My point (and, yes, there is one) is that enjoying beauty - and, perhaps, other things - does not necessarily harm anyone else and consequently requires no guilty feelings so long as it doesn't.  To invert what Jefferson said about inspiration and reputation, when I light my candle at an aesthetic bonfire no one is the less for it.  Your objection led to specifying belief rather than vision, which I hope helps put the idea across as something other than gloating.
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#5
(08-17-2022, 12:22 AM)dukealien Wrote:  edit1;

As I sat on my porch this afternoon
cool cloud-shine flicked to thundering sun-shower:
bright instant rays of flashing icicle
filled air-space everywhere that could be seen.

This rare and cataclysmic-looking fall
spared book and watcher underneath his roof
from all but fragmentary mist and awe
in comfort to enjoy a threshing rain.

There must be others roofless in some storm
this day who curse an unexpected drench–
must my delight yield to their misery?
It doesn’t, and I don’t believe it should.



Sincere thanks to both critics.  Good observations, both.

@TranquilityBase - absolutely right about unnecessary material in the second stanza (though reducing it did fatten my systemizing hobgoblin, who rejoiced in three uniform stanzas).  Other changes also more or less in line with your suggestions.

@busker - your critique is just as valuable.  My point (and, yes, there is one) is that enjoying beauty - and, perhaps, other things - does not necessarily harm anyone else and consequently requires no guilty feelings so long as it doesn't.  To invert what Jefferson said about inspiration and reputation, when I light my candle at an aesthetic bonfire no one is the less for it.  Your objection led to specifying belief rather than vision, which I hope helps put the idea across as something other than gloating.
Hi Duke,
Thanks for the poem.  I enjoyed both versions, but I do like the edits.  Particularly the last line of S2 which summarized the deleted lines while still providing context for S3.  Part of me is glad you left the rhetorical question.  As a nerd, I find it hard to resist answering a good rhetorical question.  I do wonder about whether you answering it might detract from its effectiveness.  Part of the issue for me is that "should" invokes a certain amount of subconscious morality.  For example, "I should go to the gym" vs "I would be better off if I went to the gym" which, as you point out, isn't what you are going for.  I don't think you "should" change anything, just something to ponder.
Thanks for the read,
steve
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#6
(08-17-2022, 10:50 AM)brynmawr1 Wrote:  Hi Duke,
Thanks for the poem.  I enjoyed both versions, but I do like the edits.  Particularly the last line of S2 which summarized the deleted lines while still providing context for S3.  Part of me is glad you left the rhetorical question.  As a nerd, I find it hard to resist answering a good rhetorical question.  I do wonder about whether you answering it might detract from its effectiveness.  Part of the issue for me is that "should" invokes a certain amount of subconscious morality.  For example, "I should go to the gym" vs "I would be better off if I went to the gym" which, as you point out, isn't what you are going for.  I don't think you "should" change anything, just something to ponder.
Thanks for the read,
steve

I recognize that "should" is normative, lying on the "ought" side of the is/ought divide.

Irrelevantly:  the effect of the sunshower was so lovely that I took two pictures of it.  As we used to say when photos involved film to be developed, they didn't "come out."  Puzzled, I magnified as much as possible... and the raindrops are there, frozen in time and space.  Apparently my phone, a recent model, had light enough to shoot 1/758 at f/1.8, ISO32 equivalent, completely losing the spears-of-light effect and leaving only little speckles.  So it was an imperfection in the eye.  Not sure how to frame that as a poem with so much technical backstory  Huh
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#7
(08-16-2022, 05:00 AM)dukealien Wrote:  Rain Light


As I sat on my porch this afternoon
cool cloud-shine flicked to thundering sun-shower:
bright instant rays of flashing icicle This line is pure poetry. bright -> instant -> rays -> flashing -> icicle - every single word (other than the necessary of) is connected visually and thematically. Icicle is the crucial word (the others are somewhat obvious connections to a thunderstorm) and it really connects and elevates the poem.
filled air-space everywhere that could be seen. I don't love "air-space" here, I don't think it works as well as cloud-shine and sun-shower above, air and space are too similar.

This rare and cataclysmic-looking fall "cataclysmic-looking" is a mouthful sonically, but I can't think of any improvement that conveys the same idea.
spared book and watcher underneath his roof
from all but fragmentary mist and awe 
in comfort to enjoy a threshing rain. threshing is another perfect word here - it conveys the sound of rain wonderfully. This stanza is really good too

There must be others roofless in some storm
this day who curse an unexpected drench– 
must my delight yield to their misery?
It doesn’t, and I don’t believe it should. I like the thought of others having a different perspective on the beautiful experience brought up in the first two lines of this stanza, but the final two lines somewhat fall flat for me. I think you could convey this idea with more showing and less telling. i.e continue describing the others plight in the drench for a line or two and then bring it back to end the poem with the narrator continuing to enjoy the beauty - show the delight continuing. One persons delight in an event does not yield to anothers misery in that same event is a good message to convey through images, but it's not that intersting of a statement in and of itself (to me).


original version;

As I sat on my porch this afternoon
cool cloud-shine flicked to thundering sun-shower:
bright instant rays of flashing icicle
filled air-space everywhere that could be seen.

This rare and cataclysmic-looking fall
spared book and watcher underneath his roof
from all but fragmentary mist and awe;
how fortunate to own a well-built house
and leisure to appreciate this rain
of beauty, sheltered by both health and wealth
sufficient to protect from want and fear.

There must be others roofless in a storm
this day who curse an unexpected drench–
must my delight yield to their misery?
It doesn’t, and I can’t see that it should.

This was a fun one to read, duke, and the title is perfect too.
"A hippopotamus is just a really cool opatamus."
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#8
edit2;

As I sat on my porch this afternoon
cool cloud-shine flicked to thundering sun-shower:
bright instant rays of flashing icicle
filled eye-space everywhere that could be seen.

This rare and cataclysmic-looking fall
spared book and watcher underneath his roof
from all but fragmentary mist and awe
in comfort to enjoy a threshing rain.

There must be others roofless in some storm
this day who curse an unexpected drench–
must my delight yield to their misery
or not, I ponder, watching home and dry?




Head turned by such unexpected praise (and also, there's not much point in asking for critique if you don't take unanimous advice on what doesn't work). the disliked Lesson now left unresolved.

A more personal (?) observation for @WJames
Wouldn't a hippopotamus be a really cool popotamus, as distinct from a momotamus?  Just wondered...
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