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Here comes the night.

These nights are lit by the fires of coals,
so said a tragic lover of macabre translations

But here, the night is a quiet shoal,
that ebb tides good and slow
through my window

Letting loose the music, on the wing,
to fly in here, not mournful nor
melancholy

No, it is slowly rising up,
through the sick street vapours
into chilled air of evening stilled

The shared azure blue that met and mingled
in eyes till twilight, transmuted in silence sung

Believed, as is music, beautiful as night
where even the blind
may perceive, and have sight

Style / type: 
Free verse
Review Request (Intensity): 
I appreciate moderate constructive criticism
Last few words: 
A view of the western suburbs from the Novotel - hint there is a small reference to Baudelaire at the beginning if you check out "Les Fleurs du mal" translation. Not to be too wanky and trendy, but he did bring Poe to the French, and I love his stuff.
Editing stage: 

Comments

to check out Baudelaire and found that I too, like his work. I was perplexed as to why there are so many translations of his work and why they vary in exact wording, but figure that English and/or French wasn't the first language for some of these people. As to why there are so many, I would guess that he was very popular because of the controversial and macabre nature of his work. I like your poem because I had little trouble as to where you were coming from and the fact that it is macabre and dark. Only crit. I have is that azure shouldn't be capitalized. ~ Gee.
.

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He was a translator of Poe as you're doubtless aware, bringing the 'Murders on La Rue Morgue' to the French! With French poetry, oddly it's the number of syllables that is the important thing, rather than the rhyme scheme or metre. There are a limited number of ways to translate dry prose or news into English from French, as the process has been established for centuries, and there's not much wriggle room for stuff being lost in translation so to speak. Poetry translations, are as much a creation of new work in interpretation
Did you get a translation of 'Les fleurs du mal'? There's a great early (Penguin I think) translation, which has the French, unadulterated and then, the English more as prose poem interpretation at the bottom - i'll have to dig it up.

Will fix up the dang capital! Glad you enjoyed.

Cheers.

Chris.

Chris Hall - Tasmania

Grossbooted draymen rolled barrels dullthudding out of Prince's stores and bumped them up on the brewery float. On the brewery float bumped dullthudding barrels rolled by grossbooted draymen out of Prince's stores.

author comment

Thanks Mark, for your observations, much appreciated. I use impressions of the landscape and the different colours and times of day to record perceptions, and mingle them with experiences I find elsewhere. Baudelaire in translation, if you find a good one had some crackers, I borrowed " les soir illuminee par le feur du charcons" (as close as I can remember) - "the nights are lit by the fire of coals"

Thanks for stopping by,

Cheers.

Chris.

Chris Hall - Tasmania

Grossbooted draymen rolled barrels dullthudding out of Prince's stores and bumped them up on the brewery float. On the brewery float bumped dullthudding barrels rolled by grossbooted draymen out of Prince's stores.

author comment

from down under
so many loved me
but abandoned
as they went down under
this perhaps is my visit maiden
as once virginity is forsaken
more does happen
lovely imagery in your poetry

And may I say.. Ma nuit est éclairée par ton cœur gentil
:)

Chris Hall - Tasmania

Grossbooted draymen rolled barrels dullthudding out of Prince's stores and bumped them up on the brewery float. On the brewery float bumped dullthudding barrels rolled by grossbooted draymen out of Prince's stores.

author comment

wondered how you were my friend

where even the blind may percieve and have sight
flows better but thats me
short sweet concise
with the flair of the classic
setting captured

thank U mr wolf1

Living in the side of a hill in rural Tasmania has its challenges, and a wonky satellite dish internet connection is one of them - so every now and then, I simply drop of the net, and when that happens, I find other things to do!
I might try: where even the blind perceive and have sight - a couple of Dactyls trip in there - even the - perceive and - makes a tripping flow at the end. Agreed. Have been lost in Hobart, looking round old junk shops and jotting ideas..

Talk soon,

Thanks mate.

Chris Hall - Tasmania

Grossbooted draymen rolled barrels dullthudding out of Prince's stores and bumped them up on the brewery float. On the brewery float bumped dullthudding barrels rolled by grossbooted draymen out of Prince's stores.

author comment

I like it. I will respond to your correspondence soon my friend, when I get off this plodding back-road in the high country ;) and back in front of the old keyboard and stove warmed kitchen.

Cheers.

Chris.

Chris Hall - Tasmania

Grossbooted draymen rolled barrels dullthudding out of Prince's stores and bumped them up on the brewery float. On the brewery float bumped dullthudding barrels rolled by grossbooted draymen out of Prince's stores.

author comment

and I'm not crazy about some of the meter, but the poem itself is striking. Also, I love Sarah Brightman's use of the term.

W. H. Snow

A poet is a nightingale, who sits in darkness and sings to cheer its own solitude with sweet sounds. Percy Bysshe Shelley

Learn how, teach others.
The NeoPoet Mentor Program
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Thanks Wes,

Nice to hear from you, glad it struck a chord. Sarah Brightman, hmm, was that a reference to a song "The second element" - I had to look that one up (listening now), in conjunction with the terms fire and coal, I recall her from way back during the time I lived in the UK, and vaguely remember her being the Opera singer who became this great crossover starlet. Well, wasn't she something to behold? And that voice, well..

Thanks for reminding me, and one day I will post a Petrarchan Sonnet, promise. Free verse isn't everything!

Take care,

Chris.

Chris Hall - Tasmania

Grossbooted draymen rolled barrels dullthudding out of Prince's stores and bumped them up on the brewery float. On the brewery float bumped dullthudding barrels rolled by grossbooted draymen out of Prince's stores.

author comment

but meter lives there too.

W. H. Snow

A poet is a nightingale, who sits in darkness and sings to cheer its own solitude with sweet sounds. Percy Bysshe Shelley

Learn how, teach others.
The NeoPoet Mentor Program
http://www.neopoet.com/mentor/about

okay..um..its like going up hill in skies or snowshoes...
opera...I know we put this hint out for a reason..
they sing in diaphram steps
ha...like whistling while pedalling a bike hard
I do...its hard...and iVE WORN snowshoes climbing
steep grades...faster then taking off snowshoes
and sinking waist deep...or a long grade hill with
skis..crabbing it to the top...

breathe in....breathe out
passion effort uses oxygen
like chopping wood
then imagining
wood chopping

I get this part of the lesson
Wes
like the USMC
they had cadences
while they ran
which taught them
breathing exercises
built their lungs
focus while their
bodies were stressed
to the max..forced
a calm on them

Learning how to
to speak my rhyme
hippy poet is my crime
mary janye happy pants
reads my dime
thinking I have fooled
her time
Uncle same is here to
save......me from worlds
of my parade
smash my writing
instrument
put an m-sixteen
a great implement

one two
three four..

sound off

Baudelaire is a favorite, I was doing a masters thesis on him and Rimbaud at the Sorbonne in the 1970's. Recently I ran a translation workshop and we considered 8 translations of his Tristesses de la lune. Really interesting.
To me he's about flowery words in the way French rolls off the tongue and with all its nasal and subtle double takes on the last syllable, You have in your poem done an English equivalent, with some very strong lines like "the night is a quiet shoal.""into chilled air of evening stilled:" tres Baudelaire. I think he owned the word "azure", like D Thomas owns "maggots" or Poe owns Nevermore . But I think you have a really fine poem.
One thing I would bring up, and this is a general issue I have with a lot of poetry written on Neopoet. I might have felt that Baudelaire was an influence here in this particular poem, but I would not have been sure until I read it in the notes. Why keep the reader out of the subject in the poem, why disguise your intent? You could perhaps write To Baudelaire or After Baudelaire and then I would have gotten the translation line, and followed the poem much better. I feel the poet has a responsibility to the reader to not be purposely vague. I know there are many, if not most of the poets here that might disagree, but I prefer clarity of purpose. The poem itself will do the rest, and the poetic rhetoric or inner logic will do the rest. What do you think?

Eumolpus
I'd rather learn from one bird how to sing
than teach ten thousand stars how not to dance
ee cummings

The mournfully slow procession of a rural Tasmanian internet, as it pushes it's bits and bytes through the thick blear of mountain fog has finally reached you in reply! In other words, sorry for the tardiness - partly my fault.
Wow, the Sorbonne! There are hidden depths in Neopoet. Are your clothes "all made by Balmain" ;) - I immediately thought of the Peter Sarstedt song "Where do you go to my lovely"
http://www.lyricsmode.com/lyrics/p/peter_sarstedt/where_do_you_go_to_my_...

Good to have a perspective from a genuine Baudelaire scholar of sorts, that sounds like a fascinating time to have been in Paris studying - and a depth of study, I dare say, we'll never see again in academia, as the arts and humanities squeeze continues in favour of other dry, dour obsessions in data and economics - ahh, it's a shame. The closest I came was back in the nineties, hitch hiking around France, staying in Paris for a month or so, waking up on a lawn near the Sorbonne one morning,to somewhat frustrated looking gendarmerie, before heading south!
My only acquaintance with Baudelaire was and still is, a moth eaten copy of Les Fleurs du mal - which I used along with copies of Le Monde to assist my stumbling language skills. My copy had the complete poem on the page, with a small font English translation below, I carried around France with me, and still have it's tattered, sellotaped remains on my shelf.
The association of particular words with certain poets, as you mention, Azure was a revelation, and was quite unconscious and only noticed after the fact, like Hughes - eye and claw - and other words that smashed together, to give us the raw impression of nature.

Quite right too that the intention needn't have been so vague - perhaps I can make use of the tags, or description to better elucidate the subject matter. It's something that deserves further thought, I will get back to you on that one.

Thank you for your comments.

Take care,
Chris.

Chris Hall - Tasmania

Grossbooted draymen rolled barrels dullthudding out of Prince's stores and bumped them up on the brewery float. On the brewery float bumped dullthudding barrels rolled by grossbooted draymen out of Prince's stores.

author comment

..

Eumolpus
I'd rather learn from one bird how to sing
than teach ten thousand stars how not to dance
ee cummings

I think glow of coals would be more accurate than fire of coals but that's just my opinion. Also, did you notice how the use of rhyme in the last stanza added impact in an otherwise free verse poem? Of course you did lol. Enjoyed the read..............stan

In translation (of the original piece I based this on) it is literally fire of coals - feur I think, may need to be corrected, on a cold night, a thousand terrace houses, piling on the coal, they were literally firing, sometimes the chimney's even caught fire, and there was an eerie glow, that suffused the air, from all the discreet little fires. Glow come later, perhaps?

Thanks heaps.

Chris.

Chris Hall - Tasmania

Grossbooted draymen rolled barrels dullthudding out of Prince's stores and bumped them up on the brewery float. On the brewery float bumped dullthudding barrels rolled by grossbooted draymen out of Prince's stores.

author comment

Hi Vandiemenspeak, I have had the great fortune of having spent a week in Tasmania in the 90's, when you were in Paris. I still remember on day from Wine Glass beach we saw like 15 rainbows lined up, never saw anything like it! I think it is one of the most beautiful places to live.
Eumolpus was the poet in the Satyricon by Petronius, who lived during the age of Nero. A very similar time to today!
Baudelaire, Verlaine, Mallarme...A great age of word music and imagery. So many of their poems are ethereal, tied to impressionism, a blurry new way to perceive the landscape. I was a beatnik/hippy living in Paris, making Granola. Nobody had a phone in their homes yet. I also have a special book from Baudelaire I picked up on the quai, from the 19th century. But that poetry does belong the 19th century, in a lost age of aesthetics. The 20th opened with Apollinaire, the French WH Auden, and then moved on to Surrealism. Since there have been some voices, like Celan, but like painting and cinema, France is no longer leading the world in Poetry like they once did. They have no Eliot, or Dylan Thomas, or Slam poetry. Also South America had so many greats in the 20th. The 21st Century is still up for grabs!
The subject of over vagueness in poetry is big, and I'd love to continue it.
Looking forward to reading more and more of your poems. Taz is really "down under".
Lucky Man!!

Eumolpus
I'd rather learn from one bird how to sing
than teach ten thousand stars how not to dance
ee cummings

.

Eumolpus
I'd rather learn from one bird how to sing
than teach ten thousand stars how not to dance
ee cummings

I too, look forward to exploring this further - don't forget Larkin and Hughes, there are two ends of the English spectrum there that dominated, subtle, slow, patient, ironic Larkin and the cold blast of Hughes nature. Larkin was misunderstood - I read him at Uni in Nottingham, almost could say, a modern impressionist, subdued, small sketches and observations, subtle (and sometimes caustic) punning, shy retiring away in Hull library, shunning the Laureate position "Mr Poetry" as he called it.I know he had some dodgy world views. But to read "Aubade" or "Churchgoing" the former, near perfect.
Celan! I was informed about him by a mature age student, working as a Postman in my digs, was doing Russian comparative literature - wasn't he actually "crazy"?

Look forward to reading/chatting.

Chris.

Chris Hall - Tasmania

Grossbooted draymen rolled barrels dullthudding out of Prince's stores and bumped them up on the brewery float. On the brewery float bumped dullthudding barrels rolled by grossbooted draymen out of Prince's stores.

author comment

my dad grew up with wood....his dad was afraid of stoves
pipes not screwed together...they would damper it down
burn slow..the gases and moisture would cling to the brick
chimneys....clay tiles built on outside of houses
if lucky....cresote fires to save on wood....
costs....those days many did not have wood lots
...stole coal from rail yards at night...
anyway the pipes would catch fire...
the intake of air would howl
so you would know
the pipes would glow..
they would throw on the oven mitts
tear the pipes from back of stove
because the fire was dangerous in
the build up in the pipes not the
smoke filling up the place from
the stoves...
race outside...
I have seen this..
we did a creosote burn in pipe
and fire departments would do
a burn years back..run a chain
down...fellow on top would rattle
chain about as the cresote like
popcorn expanded...
im talking old times...when milk
was made in town dairys

in my twenties i worked for a woodstove
store...air tights..catylitic converters
which burned secondary gases
run your stove hot for first half hour
instead of getting the fire going and
then clamping the air off..simmering it...
remember popping a chimney cap off
a hundred fifty thousand dollar home
eight inch chimney stainless steel
insulated..there was a mere two inch
opening in centre...rest was cresote
bubbled like rice crispie squares
waiting to burn up.....ran a chain down it
then wire brush by brush till it was
opened up and cleaned
..

I was in small town....tourist that
kept a steam ship operating since
1897...then it was paddlewheeler
post twenties to crash tons of tourist
resorts on big lakes in Muskoka
the ship...hit a reef in fifty eight
probably with intent to sink her
but just blew off propeller...the
Sagamo a two deck affair was
resturant...failing in seventies
and they torched that...
since rebuilt with metal...
tourism is big in that town
Gravenhurst...so on a new
dock post sixties....seventies
they rebuild the old steamship
as interest gained
her name skips my brain at
moment...
at night we would walk down
past her moored..no fences
her fires simmering
the smoke rising up in the
summer nights...blowing over
the town....I never smelled
coal smoke till then...
the sweetest aromatic
odor....the steam trains
were dirty..cinders ash
would rise from them
and sully the laundry if you
lived close to the tracks
then no air conditioning
so the open windows to
provide relief of air
would also allow the
smoke to pour in on curves
depending on wind and
tunnels in the west was
forbidden to open the
windows during the transit
but...
coal also burns hotter and
longer then wood
and the cinders...clinkers
which are left over from
the firing of it is tedious
dirty work in the huge
furnaces in the large homes
then....it was still better then
the wood.....
a more stable fire...
I have yet to smell peat fires
.
of course now everything is
natural gas
or bottled propane
cleaner....handier
in my youth we had
a large oil tank in our
basement...
the large truck would
fill the tank...the electrical
motor and coil which fired
the spark gap in it needed
the maintenance man to
come around now and
then...and the electrical
fan with the tin vents would
blow the air about..

my freinds run...my wealthy
enough...ones...wood..with
electric assist baseboards
and pellet stoves..compressed
sawdust...like rabbit pellets
drawn into an air fed chamber
to burn....the pellets go into
a hopper above the fire chamber

never had one in any of my residence
but sold them for a time
restored the old nickle plate turn of
the century wood stoves
for a spell...
split yellow birch in mid july in algonquin
park for summer camp ARROWHON PINES
its on the net...85' with a fifteen pound maul
and a wedge...while doing everything else
cut firewood also....piled firewood
was the chimney sweet...and installer of the
sold stoves...and chimney..hard hard work
hours and hours..
many cool people met though..beautiful
scenery and work locations...
but
coal...

such a sensory experience
..
great poem..

thank U!

Oh..Segwun...name of the
history Ontario steamship...
ive been on her..

mr Wolf!

Can I be excused and reply soon, I was trying to read your response while listening to LA Woman on low low, and also this simultaneously: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PLNsPhKlucY

Try it as an experiment! It's like your rolling, raucous stream of consciousness..and I want to do the reply justice.
I have promises to keep, but will be back.

Night Esk. I go to linger in the chambers of the sea.

LET us go then, you and I,
When the evening is spread out against the sky
Like a patient etherized upon a table;
Let us go, through certain half-deserted streets,
The muttering retreats 5
Of restless nights in one-night cheap hotels
And sawdust restaurants with oyster-shells:
Streets that follow like a tedious argument
Of insidious intent
To lead you to an overwhelming question…. 10
Oh, do not ask, “What is it?”
Let us go and make our visit.

In the room the women come and go
Talking of Michelangelo.

The yellow fog that rubs its back upon the window-panes, 15
The yellow smoke that rubs its muzzle on the window-panes
Licked its tongue into the corners of the evening,
Lingered upon the pools that stand in drains,
Let fall upon its back the soot that falls from chimneys,
Slipped by the terrace, made a sudden leap, 20
And seeing that it was a soft October night,
Curled once about the house, and fell asleep.

And indeed there will be time
For the yellow smoke that slides along the street,
Rubbing its back upon the window panes; 25
There will be time, there will be time
To prepare a face to meet the faces that you meet;
There will be time to murder and create,
And time for all the works and days of hands
That lift and drop a question on your plate; 30
Time for you and time for me,
And time yet for a hundred indecisions,
And for a hundred visions and revisions,
Before the taking of a toast and tea.

In the room the women come and go 35
Talking of Michelangelo.

And indeed there will be time
To wonder, “Do I dare?” and, “Do I dare?”
Time to turn back and descend the stair,
With a bald spot in the middle of my hair— 40
(They will say: “How his hair is growing thin!”)
My morning coat, my collar mounting firmly to the chin,
My necktie rich and modest, but asserted by a simple pin—
(They will say: “But how his arms and legs are thin!”)
Do I dare 45
Disturb the universe?
In a minute there is time
For decisions and revisions which a minute will reverse.

For I have known them all already, known them all:
Have known the evenings, mornings, afternoons, 50
I have measured out my life with coffee spoons;
I know the voices dying with a dying fall
Beneath the music from a farther room.
So how should I presume?

And I have known the eyes already, known them all— 55
The eyes that fix you in a formulated phrase,
And when I am formulated, sprawling on a pin,
When I am pinned and wriggling on the wall,
Then how should I begin
To spit out all the butt-ends of my days and ways? 60
And how should I presume?

And I have known the arms already, known them all—
Arms that are braceleted and white and bare
(But in the lamplight, downed with light brown hair!)
Is it perfume from a dress 65
That makes me so digress?
Arms that lie along a table, or wrap about a shawl.
And should I then presume?
And how should I begin?
. . . . . . . .
Shall I say, I have gone at dusk through narrow streets 70
And watched the smoke that rises from the pipes
Of lonely men in shirt-sleeves, leaning out of windows?…

I should have been a pair of ragged claws
Scuttling across the floors of silent seas.
. . . . . . . .
And the afternoon, the evening, sleeps so peacefully! 75
Smoothed by long fingers,
Asleep … tired … or it malingers,
Stretched on the floor, here beside you and me.
Should I, after tea and cakes and ices,
Have the strength to force the moment to its crisis? 80
But though I have wept and fasted, wept and prayed,
Though I have seen my head (grown slightly bald) brought in upon a platter,
I am no prophet—and here’s no great matter;
I have seen the moment of my greatness flicker,
And I have seen the eternal Footman hold my coat, and snicker, 85
And in short, I was afraid.

And would it have been worth it, after all,
After the cups, the marmalade, the tea,
Among the porcelain, among some talk of you and me,
Would it have been worth while, 90
To have bitten off the matter with a smile,
To have squeezed the universe into a ball
To roll it toward some overwhelming question,
To say: “I am Lazarus, come from the dead,
Come back to tell you all, I shall tell you all”— 95
If one, settling a pillow by her head,
Should say: “That is not what I meant at all;
That is not it, at all.”

And would it have been worth it, after all,
Would it have been worth while, 100
After the sunsets and the dooryards and the sprinkled streets,
After the novels, after the teacups, after the skirts that trail along the floor—
And this, and so much more?—
It is impossible to say just what I mean!
But as if a magic lantern threw the nerves in patterns on a screen: 105
Would it have been worth while
If one, settling a pillow or throwing off a shawl,
And turning toward the window, should say:
“That is not it at all,
That is not what I meant, at all.”
. . . . . . . .
110
No! I am not Prince Hamlet, nor was meant to be;
Am an attendant lord, one that will do
To swell a progress, start a scene or two,
Advise the prince; no doubt, an easy tool,
Deferential, glad to be of use, 115
Politic, cautious, and meticulous;
Full of high sentence, but a bit obtuse;
At times, indeed, almost ridiculous—
Almost, at times, the Fool.

I grow old … I grow old … 120
I shall wear the bottoms of my trousers rolled.

Shall I part my hair behind? Do I dare to eat a peach?
I shall wear white flannel trousers, and walk upon the beach.
I have heard the mermaids singing, each to each.

I do not think that they will sing to me. 125

I have seen them riding seaward on the waves
Combing the white hair of the waves blown back
When the wind blows the water white and black.

We have lingered in the chambers of the sea
By sea-girls wreathed with seaweed red and brown 130
Till human voices wake us, and we drown.

Chris Hall - Tasmania

Grossbooted draymen rolled barrels dullthudding out of Prince's stores and bumped them up on the brewery float. On the brewery float bumped dullthudding barrels rolled by grossbooted draymen out of Prince's stores.

author comment

Thanks for reminding me about these two. I owe it to them and myself to find some time and reread them. Will do!

Eumolpus
I'd rather learn from one bird how to sing
than teach ten thousand stars how not to dance
ee cummings

Thanks for reminding me about these two. I owe it to them and myself to find some time and reread them. Will do!

Eumolpus
I'd rather learn from one bird how to sing
than teach ten thousand stars how not to dance
ee cummings

trying to understand the thread...How did Prufrock get in there and why?
I do think it is one poem, of many, which must be read at least once a year. Like listening to Beethoven's 5th. At least once a year.

Eumolpus
I'd rather learn from one bird how to sing
than teach ten thousand stars how not to dance
ee cummings

I have a habit of conversing and posting stuff with Esker frequently, and sharing stuff -just a conversational thing, should use the messaging feature really (slaps back of hand) - yes Prufrock, either read or heard - particularly Elliott's original recording, or Hopkins', if you've heard that one:

http://www.poetryoutloud.org/poems-and-performance/listen-to-poetry (bottom of page)

Will close off now, and apart from actual updates to this piece, no more irrelevant posting, bad habit!
(Unless there is a resource that elucidates a point in the piece of course)

Thanks,

Chris.

Chris Hall - Tasmania

Grossbooted draymen rolled barrels dullthudding out of Prince's stores and bumped them up on the brewery float. On the brewery float bumped dullthudding barrels rolled by grossbooted draymen out of Prince's stores.

author comment
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