Archived critiques of "Trick of Light" by Karla Rogers by Will Dockery & others:
Trick of Light / Karla
3 years ago
Trick of Light
Tonight, under the bursting moon
I wrote this poem about waltzing with you
Okay, I have a bit more time now... just a bit.
Okay, everyone else says change these two lines, eh? Interestingly, my
comment on them is that they really work. You are not dancing under the
blazing moon (and we've sure had a classic June-moon-spoon of a couple of
days, I daresay, some of the coolest, pleasant nights in the Deep South June
since 1985, I kid you not, and I was there, so I know), you are /writing/
about it, filtering memory, reinventing the memory, making life into art, or
trying to. That's why the line "I wrote this poem about waltzing with you"
just works, is great, and that's my comment on that.
how I felt like Meryl Streep in your arms
Now this part is the one I would change if it were me, which you're not, of
course, but bringing in a real (or almost real, as real as a Hollywood icon
can be, anyway), cheapens the line, makes the image lazy, sort of. Sort of
like the critiques of my critiques of "Your poem reminds me of...", and if
this sort of thing doesn't work for critique, then it sure shouldn't be
acceptable in a poem, which is of course a much higher form of art than
comments /about/ poems.
"You made me feel..." beautiful? Sexy? Strong? Cool? Rich and famous? A good
lover, or dancer (perhaps the dancer in the poem could be Dennis Hammes, but
that's stretching... JK might use that, but not here, not now) could and can
make someone feel that way. I'm reminded of a line I tossed, coincidentally
and interestingly (to me) last week where I felt like Clark Gable... a
stunning night in the Deep South can do things like that, but it seemed lazy
(or I could second-guess that it could or would be judged so by critics) or
at best a cheap and easy reference, so it is gone. And my commenty is I
think you ought to work on how this person you wrote the poem to made you
feel while dancing.
Define what it is like to "feel like Meryl Streep"... because it isn't such
an obvious thing, feels like... nothing. To me.
"You made me forget myself, you made me think I was someone else, someone
good.", is what the line reminds me of, from the old Lou Reed song "Perfect
Day", but I'm not trying to put words in your mouth.
surrounded by japanese lanterns
the scent of jasmine rising around us from
little yellow-white heads crushed under our heels
This isn't Meryl Streep to me, but Vivien Leigh in Streetcar, Japanese
Lanterns (smashed by Stanley) and scent of Jasmine, all there... "I thought
I was someone else, someone good.":
I know that "this reminds me of" isn't acceptable in poetry commentary, but
this is just too obvious.
And in my opinion better than a tired image of Meryl Streep. Leigh and
Brando, now /that/ is an image, dancing under a "hustling bustling moon".
and in the heat of writing it
I hear your voice again, liking me
or a Meryl me
Yes, and back at the crib, writing about it, observing it from the Fortress
of Solitude, gone again, back to the lonesome act of poetry. I like it, and
that's my comment.
because just like the songs
moonlight does that
and I'm remembering
how we danced till the music stopped
These kind of seem like padding, and I've done it enough to know it when I
see it... heh.
Tighten it, make better images, I know someone would say if someone else had
the violins packed away, napkins folded
and I was Meryl Streep under a bursting moon
a trick of light
[Read more at: http://alt.poetry.narkive.com/4qYHLCBq/trick-... ]
Over You / Will Dockery & The Shadowville All-Stars: