April 30, 2009

Another Art?

I never really thought that Elizabeth Bishop would inspire me but there you go. This is a bit of a take on 'One Art', that sort of puns on her use of the word 'losing'. I'm posting it here in consideration for that good old Super Portfolio. Feedback appreciated!

Another Art?

The game we play is one I need to master,

But it seems I have losing down to an art.

And that you see my tears: that’s the disaster.

The strength to keep them in I shall muster.

My eyes will not be the window to my heart.

For the game we play is one I need to master.

Our battle together makes my heart beat faster,

For my life is flavourless when we are apart

But for you to see my tears would be a disaster.

The wounds you give can’t be fixed with a plaster…

And are you really worth these cuts sweetheart?
The game we play is one I want to master,

Though the thrill of the battle loses its lustre;

I now can’t be bothered with the lemon-sharp smart.

That you ever saw my tears was a disaster.

So no more anxiety, no more fluster:

From our messed-up sport I now depart.

The game we play is one I cannot master.

You’ll never more see my tears: no more disaster.


- 2 comments by 1 or more people Not publicly viewable

  1. 1. I love “the lemon-sharp smart”, and “the thrill of the battle loses its lustre”. Oh, and “my life is flavourless when we are apart”=<3
    2. I’m not sure how well the rhymes work. In the Bishop poem, the effect is hypnotic, drawing you into this downward spiral of loss. Here, the fact that you only have two rhyming-sounds to work with can sometimes work against it, esp. in the case of rhyming couplets (disaster/plaster, I felt, didn’t really work). “lustre” had a nice effect in this respect, and probs. points the best way to go: half-rhymes, slant-rhymes, verbal echoes. That will def. enhance it.
    3. Its movement (or argument, I guess) is, uh, moving – from love to resigned departure.
    4. I’m not 100% about how much the effect this has on me is inherent in the poem, and how much part of the fact that I know you. I guess all I can do is hope this isn’t based on something real.

    03 May 2009, 01:18

  2. I agreed with Dan about the rhymes the first time I read it. Then I read it again but separating it into stanzas in my head and I think it works much better then – when it’s formatted properly all the master plaster disaster muster lustre won’t be as claustrophobic.
    I think this is moving in quite a subtle way – at the beginning I thought “wow what an idiot leave him” but by the end I was thinking “noooo don’t give up!”
    I like it :)

    09 May 2009, 15:10


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