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Passage (inspired by Christina Rossetti and some old traditions)

When storm clouds gather and all above
is chaos, remember the old adage:
a Winter flock of cooing doves
is worth one melancholy presage.

My footsteps fade, don’t suffer pain
nor long for swift reprieve;
A mellow breeze, soft drops of rain
may calm your heart, don’t ever grieve.

Perchance I shall return, our constant
love alive, before the sunlight sets;
I divine a voyage star distant,
in bright realms, beyond regrets.

Consent, if need, some tears your noon
to dull, should you still mourn for me;
Better by far to hum blithe tunes
and dance around our apple tree.

Review Request (Intensity): 
I appreciate moderate constructive criticism
Review Request (Direction): 
What did you think of my title?
What did you think of the rhythm or pattern or pacing?
How does this theme appeal to you?
Is the internal logic consistent?
Last few words: 
I wrote this poem a long time ago. I was learning about British traditions and some lines from Christina Rossetti's Remembrance. It was an assignment and I used "better by far" from Christina's sonnet. I decided to do mine in quartets. All suggestions are welcome.
Editing stage: 
Content level: 
Not Explicit Content

Comments

Another wow from me, your second stanza almost made me cry. Stunning words stunning written into a little bit of magic so very emotional.

Thank you...Teddy

Hello Teddy, I had trouble posting this poem, don't know why it kept disappearing. Anyway, it's OK now and I'm delighted with your comments. A bit of crying is good, "they" say, so I'm glad it touches you. Looking forward to participating a bit more, I have a wound on my leg, not too bad, long story. God bless and keep safe, Gracy

*
*
*
Know then thyself, presume not God to scan,
The proper study of Mankind is Man.
Plac’d on this isthmus of a middle state,
A being darkly wise, and rudely great….

An Essay On Man, III, Alexander Pope.

author comment

In places, the rhyming is off a tad (small matter), but the title drew me right in. I'm a BIG C. Rossetti fan who'll never forget her poetry that got me started on dabbling into it on my own. (" Remember me when I am gone away, Gone far away into the silent land; When you can no more hold me by the hand, Nor I half turn to go yet turning stay." Nice write. Jerry

Hello Jerry, yes, I'm also a fan of Christina's. I happen to have a pretty card that I bought in the shop of Yorkminster, in England. I find that it's a good exercise to take some modern or traditional poetry to learn some meter/metre and so on. If you can suggest how I can fix the meter, I shall be grateful. I'm slow at that.
All the best, Gracy

*
*
*
Know then thyself, presume not God to scan,
The proper study of Mankind is Man.
Plac’d on this isthmus of a middle state,
A being darkly wise, and rudely great….

An Essay On Man, III, Alexander Pope.

author comment

for me, whilst I'm gone, but rejoice when I shall return. Dance around that apple tree. I'm so glad that you managed to finally get this one posted. I like your title, the rhyme is good and the rhythm is made good by the breaking of the lines to help out the meter. Of course, I love the theme. ~ Geezer.
.

Honest critique and comments shouldn't hurt.
It's why we are here, to get better at our craft.

Hello Gee, I finally posted it, weird. I thought somebody had banned it for plagiarism!! Anyway, I'm hoping Jerry or somebody will help me to get the meter right. Of course I put apple tree instead of linden tree! Dance around the linden tree is an old fashioned custom, same as the Maypole.
I´m glad you like the title and the theme. All the best!

*
*
*
Know then thyself, presume not God to scan,
The proper study of Mankind is Man.
Plac’d on this isthmus of a middle state,
A being darkly wise, and rudely great….

An Essay On Man, III, Alexander Pope.

author comment

I was pleased to read this composition.
I think that your title (and dedication is fine).
A little to be desired in the rhythm etc. No worries though.
An excellent theme, think I.
The logic of the narrator achieves a constant flowing story.

Something to sleep on when your pillow beckons you and yearns for the comfort of your company:-

When storm clouds gather and all above
is chaos, recall the old adage:
One winter flock of cooing doves
is so worth endless bitter rage.

My footsteps fade, don't suffer pain
nor long for swiftly prompt reprieve
A mellow breeze, soft drop of rain
may calm your heart, don't ever grieve.

Perchance I may return, our constant
love alive, 'fore sunlight sets
I divine a soothing voyage, so distant,
in heavenly realms, beyond regrets.

Consent, if need, some tears your noon
to dull, should you still mourn for me:
Best, by far, to hum blithe tunes
and dance about our apple tree.

This critique, written with pleasure and (almost) in the shadow of the Minster, on the eve of the retirement of the Archbishop of York.

.......................................
Critique is a compliment
Kind regards, Alan
.......................................

Alan, thank you so much for the trouble you've taken to get the metre right. I shall certainly do the necessary changes, most of them, tomorrow.
BTW, an ancestor of mine was Archbishop of York and retired sometime in the 1990's. I believe. When I visited the Minster, I asked the Registrar, he showed a large Registry book and sure enough, there was the Archbishop Maclagan. So I went off to read the list engraved on enormous bronze plaques. He's there! I felt very emotional, for some reason. He resigned because he was too progressive for the Anglican Church of those times. Or so it's said.
My brother, who lives fairly near, had never thought of looking him up!
Again, thank you so much for all your trouble, best, Gracy

*
*
*
Know then thyself, presume not God to scan,
The proper study of Mankind is Man.
Plac’d on this isthmus of a middle state,
A being darkly wise, and rudely great….

An Essay On Man, III, Alexander Pope.

author comment

Archbishop William Dalrymple Maclagan is honoured at York Minster Gracy. He was Archbishop between 1891 & 1908. He is well known for the composition of 3 hymns:-

'The Saints of God Their Conflict Past'
'It is finished blessed Jesus'
&
'Psalms of Glory, Raiment Bright'.

I have a friend at the Minster who tells me that Archbishop Maclagan probably resigned through ill health. He died a couple of years later and was succeeded by Archbishop Lang.

Just in case you aren't aware Archbishop Maclagan lived from 1826 - 1910. So he achieved a fair age I am pleased to report.

Your connection to the Archbishop is of much interest to me and I thank you so much for telling me. Each time I visit this beautiful ancient cathedral in the centre of York (once the capital city of England) I shall think of you.

.......................................
Critique is a compliment
Kind regards, Alan
.......................................

Thanks SO much for telling me all that, Alan. Do you live near York? I have a family tree printed out, that was made by my niece, Alison Branch, who lives in Marlow. She's fascinated with ancestry and has completed the family trees of all the family, including on my mother's side. My mother was half Dutch, born in London as a baby, but soon the family came to Argentina.
I know about the hymns, they figure in the Hymnals of the Anglican Church. We have an Anglican Church in Buenos Aires, where I was christened and did my Confirmation.
My plan was to visit York again this year, but of course all is on hold. I walked that city with great pleasure, apart from the amazing Minster. We also saw some underground Viking constructions, in a tunnel, if I remember correctly. Very realistic, as there were people dressed in Viking costumes working at various tasks. It was also one of the highlights of our visit. I went with my late husband, Carlos, who took me to visit all the bookstores! We later had an open air lunch by the river (?) with my brother and his wife Susan.
Sorry for warbbling on so much. I didn't remember that Archbishop Maclagan lived to such a ripe old age. The family tree remained in Buenos Aires when I moved to Patagonia. I must claim it back.
Thank you again for all those details. Keep safe and all the best, Gracy (my real name is Sylvia Evelyn Maclagan).

*
*
*
Know then thyself, presume not God to scan,
The proper study of Mankind is Man.
Plac’d on this isthmus of a middle state,
A being darkly wise, and rudely great….

An Essay On Man, III, Alexander Pope.

author comment

Hi Alan, I have at last revised my poem, thanks to your suggestions. I've taken some and added different words of my own. In the first strophe, I used "presage" to rhyme with "adage". But I'm worried that "melancholy" ruins the metre.
"cooing" is accepted, Tx! Can't pinpoint each change, but I hope it's more or less OK. If you can, give it another read. All the best, Gracy

*
*
*
Know then thyself, presume not God to scan,
The proper study of Mankind is Man.
Plac’d on this isthmus of a middle state,
A being darkly wise, and rudely great….

An Essay On Man, III, Alexander Pope.

author comment

I am pleased to enjoy another read of your poem. I think your revision is very good and easier to read.
I agree entirely with you about 'melancholy'. Four syllables is, I think, one too many ~ a little over generous. If it were my write I would probably trim to 3 syllables. Lets say, as a example:-

'is worth one sad and ruth presage'.

Something like this makes for a nice 8 syllable line. What do you think?

I still think, though, that the penultimate lane would flow smoother with 'Best' instead of 'Better' ~ Best is bestest!
It's good to be with you today G.

.......................................
Critique is a compliment
Kind regards, Alan
.......................................

I suppose you wanted to write the above poem in iambic tetrameter (8 syllables, Iambic rhythm, with the second and fourth line rhyming)? The syllable count is off in your first verse, also you do not have matching rhymes in lines 2 and 4. Unfortunately, except for a bunch of near rhymes, there are only 2 or three that aren't even applicable to your verse. You might try this:
When storm clouds gather and all above
is chaos, remember the old ADAGE:
one Winter flock of doves
RENDERS bitter days LESS SAVAGE.

Check syllable count in verse 2
Ditto in verse 3
The major problem seemed to be with verse 1, and I think my suggestion may be of some merit. I hope this helps. Oh, one more thing: Oft it is the poem's perfection that leads to its imperfection. An occasional clinker is okay.
Jerry

Yes, Jerry, I've tweaked the poem, some with your suggestions and some with Alan's. I also made some changes of my own. I worry about the word "melancholy" in S1
Thanks so much. as ever, Gracy

*
*
*
Know then thyself, presume not God to scan,
The proper study of Mankind is Man.
Plac’d on this isthmus of a middle state,
A being darkly wise, and rudely great….

An Essay On Man, III, Alexander Pope.

author comment

Thank you so much, Jerry, for your remarkable pointers. I have a lot of work to do on this poem, because Gee has also made suggestions. Gotta sit down and do my homework.
Tired now, had a long walk under our first snowfall, with my daughter Diana. I have the right boots and snow gear, so it was fine. Lots of snow ahead, Winter started way too soon. We can walk within a six block radius.
All the best, Gracy

*
*
*
Know then thyself, presume not God to scan,
The proper study of Mankind is Man.
Plac’d on this isthmus of a middle state,
A being darkly wise, and rudely great….

An Essay On Man, III, Alexander Pope.

author comment

compose poetry
but don't cry reading it
let the reader weep
so does Ma'am
your lovely poetry achieve

Made me cry a bit
indeed
miraculous words you feed
we anyone would cherish

Wow, Lavender, did you cry? At least it reached you, so for that I'm glad. Thank you for the comments in verse. Cherish is lovely, kind lady, best, Gracy

*
*
*
Know then thyself, presume not God to scan,
The proper study of Mankind is Man.
Plac’d on this isthmus of a middle state,
A being darkly wise, and rudely great….

An Essay On Man, III, Alexander Pope.

author comment
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