December 11, 2015

Poetry Friday--"The Sun Rises"

For Thanksgiving, I spent two days in Jersey City. As a surburban dweller, Jersey City and Manhattan struck me as diverse, growing, and beautiful. Yet, the cities are also horrifyingly ugly in the contrasts between rich and poor, new and old, and, need I say it--barely sane and insane drivers.

I wrote a poem that at one point had four stanzas. I rewrote and trimmed it down to the thirteen lines you see here. I may have cut a bit too much? Perhaps I will rework it again. I'm not sure I've said what I wanted to say.


The photo was taken Thanksgiving morning, from the 22nd floor of our Jersey City hotel looking across to Manhattan. Photo and poem © Diane Mayr, all rights reserved.

Tara, at A Teaching Life is playing hostess today, and next week, the Poetry Friday Round-Up will take place here!

(I posted another view of the city in a haiga that used a photo of one of the old Jersey City buildings I noticed on a walk.)

17 comments:

  1. I like "incandescence is filched by glass-paned towers". I enjoy a view, would find it challenging to live where buildings blocked my sunrises. But the message is rather kin to "hidden in plain sight", right? I hope you share again if you revise it.

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    1. Thanks, Linda. If I revise I will share.

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  2. Gorgeous photo, Diane - (and I loved the brownstone in your linked post, too.)
    I'm drawn to the first five lines in a stronger way than to the rest; your imagery showing more than telling in the first part? Thanks for sharing.

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    1. Good point about the showing, Robyn. I had more showing in the stanzas I cut. I'll look at them again.

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  3. Post after post, your poetry is amazing! ....Interesting! Robyn's comment, which I read after I identified my favorite lines, perhaps reveals the weakness in my own prose and poetry writing, as well as to my reader-preferences. I am drawn to the telling. I love the last five lines, which I am inputting just so I get to enjoy them again: "This crystalline metropolis dazzles everyone, but illuminates no one. And, that, undoubtedly is its allure."...Come to think of it, maybe my essential problem isn't so much laziness at trying to figure out how to "show" rather than "tell," but impatience. The first lines slowed me down, forced me to think your thoughts, rather than mine; the last lines made me smile--I got them right away and I loved the brilliance of them. I love words, especially words that I "get" right away and then can take my time to "play with"--to expand into a variety meanings. ...Thanks to you and to Robyn for helping me to self-identify!...Peace! ...Hope something of this reflection makes sense...

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    1. Interesting observations! Many thanks.

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  4. It is a beautiful photo! And I agree with Robyn that the beginning lines are stronger - perhaps it's those verbs 'filched' and 'flung' that ground the image. The poem seems to transition from description to opinion - not to say that can't work. Maybe expanding on the image and letting the reader form an opinion is what you're aiming for? I also love the way you place 'dazzles' and 'illuminates' in opposition to each other.

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    1. And there lies the rub. The parts I removed were images, but when all was said and done, I'm not sure they were leading the reader in the direction I wanted her to go.

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  5. What a gorgeous photo! I don't think I've seen the word "filched" used in a poem before. I like that opening sunlight image a lot and following your thoughts about nature vs. manmade wonders.

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    1. Thanks, Jama, filched is an awesome word! How about this one: absquatulate? It means to abscond (which in itself is an interesting word). Abscond might be easier to work into a poem than absquatulate!

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  6. This poem starts brilliantly. Like others have said, word choices in the first lines are interesting and strong. I also like the way the words look against the stunning photo background, how they practically fade into it. Somehow that works.

    Showing the oblivion of the people on the street to this new day might help the reader arrive at the same conclusion you did without having to state it outright.

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    1. I may go back to the original 4 stanza version, leaving out the final stanza that did the telling.

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  7. For me it's working very well, Diane, and despite its lyrical quality I'm getting a slight flavor of reportage that put me in mind, by the end, of The Hunger Games. To me that's a positive thing,, but I wonder what you think!

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  8. This works for me, as well, though I would love to see the missing lines - the rest of the story.

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  9. Oh, yeah: "dazzles everyone, but / illuminates no one."

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  10. Beautiful and dazzling, Diane! Reminds me of a Jane Yolen poem, the title of which I forget - "10th Avenue Skyline," perhaps, or something like that?

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  11. Smart. Perceptive. And yes, dazzling. Love it.

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