War Drum - edit2
#1
War Drum


rumbling buh-bom, buh-boom
reverberating tympani...
dreams of Saladin’s
camel kettle-drummers
wily retreat
frantic attack
Jerusalem retaken–

wake to thud and thunder
wooly balls bumble-tumble
buttons rattle
trousers flap, pennons
in searing winds of Palestine–

sound-track by my dryer
down the hall



edit1;

Laundry-room booms:
pants and  woolly balls
meant to part them
flop and  thunder in the dryer
random kettle-pounding
like camel-slung tympani
beating fervent pas de charge
for  scimitar-spinning cavalry
in brisk bright dawning
of Islamic empire.


original version;

Electric dryer loaded with
half-damp clothes and
woolly balls intended to
keep them separate
thunders random kettle-drumming
from the laundry alcove
like camel-slung tympani
beating a fervent charge for
scimitar-wielding Muslim cavalry
in their bright dawn of empire.


A little domestic reverie, could go in "For Fun," but how might it be improved?
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#2
Nice one! I love the imagery of the tympani, goof job, nothing wrong with this piece.

This is insufficient critique for this forum.
-Quix
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#3
.
Hi Duke,
don't know about 'improved' but ...
I'd cut the 'random kettle-drumming', you've drum in the title, and (beating) tympani two lines later,
so it seems redundant. Similarly 'Muslim' (camels, scimitar and empire combine without it needing
to be hammered home.). Lastly, perhaps two verses? Leastly, some commas Smile


(Probably too much of) a cut n paste


from the laundry alcove
my Electric dryer
loaded with half-damp clothes
woolly balls to keep them separate
thunders


like camel-slung tympani
beating a fervent charge
for scimitar-wielding cavalry
in the bright dawn of empire.


Best, Knot


.
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#4
(05-04-2021, 10:52 PM)dukealien Wrote:  War Drum                          i like the title


Electric dryer loaded with
half-damp clothes and
woolly balls intended to
keep them separate
thunders random kettle-drumming
from the laundry alcove
like camel-slung tympani
beating a fervent charge for
scimitar-wielding Muslim cavalry
in their bright dawn of empire.


I was just reading yesterday, from my friends discourse and conversation, about the enlightenment of the Muslim world that program-existed on the Spanish Peninsula before Ferdinand and Isabella launched a world-ending inquisition blitzkrieg on the mosques and towers of the lands of flying carpets and hooka pipes.   It was Al Khwarizmi, afterall, who invented the very Calculus-Algebrra (from the arabi word al-jabr) which informed Descartes how to dream in coordinate graph



A little domestic reverie, could go in "For Fun," but how might it be improved?
plutocratic polyphonous pandering 
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#5
I know this is BASIC, but you have a thick skin...

War Drum


Electric
dryer loaded with the type of dryer doesn't matter to me, unless there's some specific reason for the difference.
half-damp clothes and you know better than to turn on "and"
woolly balls intended to I'm hoping for MORE SOUND - maybe anapests with spondees thrown in
keep them separate
thunders random kettle-drumming
from the laundry alcove I already know this is about laundry
like camel-slung tympani ok but...
beating a fervent charge for
scimitar-wielding Muslim cavalryyou completely lose me here. I have no idea what "muslim cavalry" sounded like, and neither do you. Sure, we can imagine it, but our imaginations would not convey the terror that must've brought. Laundry is terrifying?
in their bright dawn of empire. The poem has veered completely off course here, for me.

Is this a poem about mundane laundry, or a time period that neither of us can accurately impart? What I needed from this piece was THE SOUND of the tennis balls thumping away.  That is why I recommend --/ anapests, and // spondees, intermixed to convey that.  The whole bit about MUSLIM CAVALRY is misplaced in this piece, as it could be any cavalry, BUT I need to HEAR it within the cadence and word choices. 

BASICally, that's it,
Mark
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#6
So I've been playing a Civil War videogame, and the sound effects have sunk into my subconscious, and now I hear them in everyday sounds.  So I get this poem entirely and wouldn't change a thing.  It's actually the first time I've thought of those damn balls in an interesting way; I hate the noise they make  Smile
"Poetry is the rhythmic, inevitably narrative, movement from an overclothed blindness to a naked vision."  Dylan Thomas
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#7
So duke,
Basically, this piece works fine, but I know you didn’t post in BASIC unless it was a rough draft.
Either don’t change a thing, or revise, revise, revise.
Otherwise it’ll just reverberate in an echo chamber.
It is a very cool idea in need of SOUND, not just an idea of sound.
That’s my BASIC take, and I’m stickin to it.
Humbly,
Mark
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#8
edit1;

Laundry-room booms:
pants and  woolly balls
meant to part them
flop and  thunder in the dryer
random kettle-pounding
like camel-slung tympani
beating fervent pas de charge
for  scimitar-spinning cavalry
in brisk bright dawning
of Islamic empire.



A wealth of good critique, including the approving voices (saying it's worth editing since *some* of it is working for *someone*).

@Mark - thick-skinned? I? Well, perhaps like the sensitive elephant who weeps as he charges.  Hope this *sounds* better even if it doesn't make any more sense.

@Knot - at one point during editing I had it almost pruned to your spare version, but it grew back.  Worth the exercise.

@Thunderembargo - thinking more of the initial eruption of Islam out of Arabia just as Rome and Persia had worn each other out with total war and plague.  The timing was lucky in the extreme - good time to be a fresh religion, relatively tolerant, with somewhat malleable doctrines.  This does not excuse the Inquisition, but as a very good teacher once told me, we study history not to blame but to understand.
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#9
Glad you didn't listen to my "don't change a word".  Better and better.
"Poetry is the rhythmic, inevitably narrative, movement from an overclothed blindness to a naked vision."  Dylan Thomas
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#10
Hey duke-  of course, I mean thick skinned as a compliment- your ability to consider critque, even in BASIC...
I still think this poem needs way more onomatopoeia to convey the idea of the dryer balls sounding like charging cavalry. Honestly, "booms" is about it.

Laundry-room booms:
pants and  woolly balls
meant to part them
flop and  thunder in the dryer this where syncopated sounds really need to pick up
random kettle-pounding
like camel-slung tympani sorry, but I can't hear the tympani: telling is not showing
beating fervent pas de charge
for  scimitar-spinning cavalry
in brisk bright dawning
of Islamic empire.In any short poem, the word choices are critical, and are always interpreted as intentional.  Ending like this and singling out the cavalry as Islamic is very unfortunate TO ME- I would fear an on-rushing calvalry, and (history lessons aside) this ending comes off as a bit more than subtly Islamaphobic (TO ME).  I really think that calvalry, in a generic sense, would leave it to the reader to choose which empire may come to mind.  I could go on, and on, but I won't.

All that said, onomatopoeia, meter variation are still needed here: creation of sound ...
Mark
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#11
I'm not going to get in between Mark and his onomatopoeia again  Smile
but I am going to push back a little on the Islamic aspect.  I detect no Islamophobia in this piece.  The Islam of the Conquest and the Islamic fundamentalists people fear today are apples and oranges.
If you take out the Islamic, you lose the scimitars and tympani (I can hear them), the camels, all the exoticism.
I looked it up and they were called Rashidun cavalry.  So I guess you could replace Islamic with that.
"Poetry is the rhythmic, inevitably narrative, movement from an overclothed blindness to a naked vision."  Dylan Thomas
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#12
Hey duke-

I thought about this some more and have a suggestion. Try reversing the order, and have the charging cavalry at the beginning:  perhaps you put laundry in the dryer, and nod off into a fever dream of the charge (perhaps while reading some history). Then you awaken to the sound of those tennis balls thumping...

This could open up all sorts of dream sequence juxtapositions and sonic possibilities: aircraft, battering rams, machine guns, chariots, etc...

Just my 'nother 2 cents,
Marks
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#13
(05-06-2021, 10:17 PM)Mark A Becker Wrote:  Hey duke-

I thought about this some more and have a suggestion. Try reversing the order, and have the charging cavalry at the beginning:  perhaps you put laundry in the dryer, and nod off into a fever dream of the charge (perhaps while reading some history). Then you awaken to the sound of those tennis balls thumping...

This could open up all sorts of dream sequence juxtapositions and sonic possibilities: aircraft, battering rams, machine guns, chariots, etc...

Just my 'nother 2 cents,
Marks

To go along with Mark's idea here, early on it occurred to me on first reading the shining dawn of empire could be reflected by the shining enamel of the dryer.....far fetched I know....
"Poetry is the rhythmic, inevitably narrative, movement from an overclothed blindness to a naked vision."  Dylan Thomas
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#14
Dear duke,  I have stolen your idea, and admit to the crime, below:

I put my laundry in the dryer
then returned to a moment of reverie
to read up on some history...

... battle axes blasting shields slammed
swift swishing swords sung a cling-clanging
charge! the crushing tanks cranked and kerchunked
as anti-aircraft chatter clat-clattered
rattling gattling guns tatted
thudding hooves fast approaching
then a thunder blast of a blunderbuss
right in my face AWAKE!

... it's those goddamn tennis balls
thumping on the dryer walls
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#15
edit2;


rumbling buh-bom, buh-boom
reverberating tympani...
dreams of Saladin’s
camel kettle-drummers
wily retreat
frantic attack
Jerusalem retaken–

wake to thud and thunder
wooly balls bumble-tumble
buttons rattle
trousers flap, pennons
in searing winds of Palestine–

sound-track by my dryer
down the hall



Hope this is enough *sound* for everyone, as well as an attempt to change the presentation order as suggested.  Took a while to come around to that idea, still not sure it's best.

The "vision" turns out to come from a fairly widespread print/painting of those camel drummers (and much else) - dating to the Crusades, some centuries after the period I'd originally envisioned.  This should quell the disquiet of those who fear Islamophobia:  anti-Crusader is very with-it today among the academic classes.
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#16
Hey duke-
Very cool revison- I think there is plenty of room for a variety of interpretations for the thumping of those dryer balls. 


Quote:This should quell the disquiet of those who fear Islamophobia:  anti-Crusader is very with-it today among the academic classes.

To be clear, I have a healthy "fear" of any group that claims that its dogma/doctrine represents a superior understanding, including atheists: especially when such "superior understanding" becomes weaponized to subvert, suppress, or otherwise disregard/disrespect the value systems of others.  Just trying to gain a simple understanding can be difficult enough, while insisting upon a superior understanding can be deadly.
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#17
Duke the 2nd edit is better. Still there seems a disconnect in the overall metaphor, i.e, laundry equals camel cavalry, plus the rhythm does not seem to sustain the piece. I think Mark hits it on the head when he talks about "syncopated sounds". It needs the rhythm to push this piece along. See Walt Whitman "Leaves of Grass" for battle field sounds. Also:

Beat! Beat! Drums!

By Walt Whitman

Look at his use a of alliteration like in "bugles blow," "peace, ploughing" and so on. -dale

Beat! beat! drums!—blow! bugles! blow!
Through the windows—through doors—burst like a ruthless force,
Into the solemn church, and scatter the congregation,
Into the school where the scholar is studying,
Leave not the bridegroom quiet—no happiness must he have now with his bride,
Nor the peaceful farmer any peace, ploughing his field or gathering his grain,
So fierce you whirr and pound you drums—so shrill you bugles blow.

Beat! beat! drums!—blow! bugles! blow!
Over the traffic of cities—over the rumble of wheels in the streets;
Are beds prepared for sleepers at night in the houses? no sleepers must sleep in those beds,
No bargainers’ bargains by day—no brokers or speculators—would they continue?
Would the talkers be talking? would the singer attempt to sing?
Would the lawyer rise in the court to state his case before the judge?
Then rattle quicker, heavier drums—you bugles wilder blow.

Beat! beat! drums!—blow! bugles! blow!
Make no parley—stop for no expostulation,
Mind not the timid—mind not the weeper or prayer,
Mind not the old man beseeching the young man,
Let not the child’s voice be heard, nor the mother’s entreaties,
Make even the trestles to shake the dead where they lie awaiting the hearses,
So strong you thump O terrible drums—so loud you bugles blow. 

best,

dale
How long after picking up the brush, the first masterpiece?

The goal is not to obfuscate that which is clear, but make clear that which isn't.
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