Once Works Well was pure technology. Now it seeks merely to divert.
Pansy subjects - Verse! Opera! Domestic trivia! - are now commonplace.
The 300-word limit for posts is retained. The ego is enlarged

Wednesday, 9 December 2009

Through the looking glass

Sonnet
Ceasing,
briefly,
to be hard
on myself

I am a living Ozymandias,
The trunk still yoked to legs that force the tide
The lips egg smooth, the sneer a mobile alias
Where intellect and moral power reside.
My verse is latent but my prose takes flight;
My uncombed hair, my brow, my Caesar’s nose
Match acts and thoughts to arms in that stern fight
Against inertia and the clichéd pose.
Women I fear but with that gift I earn
Some passing loyalty, some low regard,
Polite approval for my comic turn,
A welcome unexpected picture card.
It cannot last; ahead I see decay,
The legs detached, the sand, the eggs mornay.

Note: What kind of a name is Bysshe?

Novel progress 11/12/09: Ch. 8: 642 words. Chs. 1 - 7: 33,000 words. Comment: Sonnets bog you down

14 comments:

Plutarch said...

At first I smiled at the the self-depreciating voice of the poem which is so true to its author's customary status in the forum. Then I laughed at the egg mornay - not just a rhyme, but would you have used it if you were not looking for a rhyme? - and now I'm smiling again. Bysshe took himself too seriously, though, to have been amused. He would probably have thought that his prose was latent but that his verse took flight.

marja-leena said...

Can't beat Plutarch's comment, other than to note, with a smile too, the tag Art (rejected).

The Crow said...

You asked: "Note: What kind of a name is Bysshe?"

Prisshe?

Eleanor said...

"A welcome unexpected picture card" - that is how I shall think of this commentbox I am sending you today.

I especially like the use of yoke with the egg motif. I think you're finally coming out of your shell. Hehe.

I had a sneaking suspicion you would like Frost/Nixon, and in that case I highly recommend "The Lives of Others." Following that I'd say Dean Spanley (of course, it would help if you were a dog-lover for that one) and Quiz Show.

Regarding the moral dilemma, make a clean break of it - new year, new DVD rental arrangement.

Barrett Bonden said...

A typical example of a verse taking on a life of its own. I wrote it very quickly and was unaware of the "yoked" and "egg smooth" assonance. Nor was I was aware of it when, as an act of deliberate mischief, I finished up with "eggs mornay". All entirely sub-conscious.

I welcome all comment, especially technical, on verse I try to write. On two occasions, possibly three, Lucy has pointed out lines where I've been excessively self-critical. Because this tendency might be interpreted as self-pity (and thereby loathsome) I decided to write a boastingly bombastic sonnet, just for fun. It becomes obvious that I couldn't keep this up, hence "eggs mornay" as an admission of defeat. It should never have been posted but I was pleased with three words: "some passing loyalty", even though there are plagiaristic echoes.

Eleanor: The moral dilemma. I thought you'd say that. Now I'm not looking forward to Christmas.

Rouchswalwe said...

Ah, can there be more than one Mr. Bombastic?
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2J5xs2ukksE

Barrett Bonden said...

RW (zS): He's Boombastic, quite another fellow. Can't match the timbre of my voice.

Eleanor said...

"It should never have been posted"??????????????????

I beg to differ.

1/ ALL writing takes on a life of its own once it's read by others.

2/The sub-conscious is what it's all about, that's the fun of writing.

3/Writing is always an unexpected surprise for the writer. Sure, you start with a plan, but the enjoyment and art is in where that plan may lead.

4/I adore the eggs mornay ending. It's the best.

5/I agree with Lucy re excessive self-criticism, and here lies your TRUE moral dilemma. Excessive self-criticism is a crime against yourself.

6/ "JUST for fun"? Just? Fun is THE THING.

Rouchswalwe said...

I love Aussies!

Barrett Bonden said...

RW (zS): Oh treachery! There I was thinking it was Diesen Küss der ganzen Welt

Eleanor: Gotta disagree a little; just remind yourself I'm a wretched, whinging, two-faced Pom.

(1) Life of its own. But this state is more likely the better (ie, technically, emotionally, etc, etc) the original is.

(2) The sub-conscious. Obviously it's at work but it can also travel crapwards as well as blisswards. I'm not sure it's fun because from the writer's point of view it's a lucky dip.

(3) True. A plan for a poem (as opposed to a novel) is a very vague thing.

(4) In fact "eggs mornay" was shorthand for "Disregard what precedes this." Not the same as saying "Don't read it" because that's already done; rather: "Don't take it seriously".

(5) Here's the big disagreement though something needs clearing up first. Self-criticism, as a mode adopted when writing, is vital; the rule is everything is improvable though eventually one must say "That's it.". What Lucy was drawing attention to was self-criticism emerging in the verse (eg, the line "But seeking love without intent to pay." in the previous sonnet). To sum up: the first is essential, the second is maudlin.

(6) Just for fun; fun is the thing. I'm not sure the word is well chosen. Here's a link to what I think is a more finished sonnet than the one above. It wasn't conceived in fun; I'm not sure it's fun to read. But parts of it work as well as I'm capable of.

http://bbworkswell.blogspot.com/2009/09/debt-remembered.html

See what you think. But don't get me wrong; I appreciate the effervescence.

Rouchswalwe said...

Ich umschlinge Dich auch, lieber BB!!
Verstehe Dich auch besser als Du denkst.

Avus said...

the "eggs mornay" had me giggling, too.
Cheer up BB, you ain't dead yet!

Julia said...

I suspect you can no less cease to be hard on yourself than cease your comic turn (which I like far more than polite approval describes!).

How do you pronounce Bysshe anyway? Is it something like a librarian shushing a noisy student?

Barrett Bonden said...

Avus: I think I need proof.

Julia: I think you're right; being hard is part of the comic turn anyway. Bysshe - I haven't the foggiest.