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Featured Guest Poet Pradeep N. Mane

in the heart of ink

i took my father's pen
put it to my ear.
i could hear a
low prairie

annoying fly buzz past.

in a green dyed earthfield
a scarecrow in a
wheatear poncho
rustling in

farm boy's coyote calling.

a morse code of crossed sword
raindrops on rainbow
captured puddles,
cloaks green frond

frog's metronomic croak.

a blotch of weather's stroke
in whitegrey jigsaw
of snow and haste;
flakes fall in

fire warming quietude.

i wafting lazy cloud.
of floating free soul
in phileas fogg chill
skyward bound

a universe in pen.

July, 1999

Pradeep N. Mane's Questions:

Is the imagery clear?

Does the structure mess up the effort?

While I admire the attempt to make a structure with its descending beat count and its consistent coda, the form undermines the poem by leaving weak works at the end of some lines. Prepositions and articles are not good works with which to end lines. Strong images or words that lend mystery are better. But you have some very fine images here, beginning with the opening stanza. I also like "a morse code of crossed sword/raindrops on rainbow/captured puddles" - these lines show how powerful good enjambment can be in propelling a poem forward. I also like "whitegrey jigswa/of snow and haste" - wonder images. I take it that this poem means to capture the memory of a father's feelings as he might have experienced them in writing it all down. And now a son follows to build new memories. It's a fine concept (if I'm close to the meaning) and goes a long way in rescuing this poem from its form. Sometimes a careful structure is just a clever structure, and too much cleverness can destroy the emotional intesity of a poem. Think of form and content as companions on a trip, not one brother carrying the other. Regards, Larry
Larry L. Fontenot
USA - Fri Jul 21 19:58:43 2000

I actually like the structure of your poem. I think that it brings out the image of a son reading his father's writing. Your imagery is beautiful and very evocative of that golden age of childhood as everyone would like to remember it. However I am not too sure of the intent of the last stanza "i wafting lazy cloud...". You seem to have moved from quite concrete images of landscape and atmosphere to a more etheral image that may need some work to communicate what you want it to. If it is intended to suggest a feeling of immersion in the described scene then it works but is still a little obscure. Thanks for sharing your work, I really enjoyed reading this poem.
Janie Root
NSW Australia - Wed Jul 26 22:36:00 2000
In time to comment on this fine poem of yours. The imagery is stunning and fresh; from the first line, " in the heart of ink" there's a sequence of images evocative of the power of words/ink, that make the son hear and see through his father's eyes and through his own imagination. I have to agree on previous comments, though. Not sure the form helps enhance the meaning. The isolation of articles or prepositions results a bit distracting, it creates a pause where there shouldn't be one. Other than that, a really fine poem. I did enjoy it. Thanks. Paula
Paula Grenside
Italy - Sun Aug 20 00:08:49 2000

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