Further work on the 341 poem (Day 8/365)

A trip, vacation time, a deep desire
to get away from life. The car is flying
down the state. I’m on 341,
avoiding interstates. We’re free, begun
already, driving green and vacant roads
to gain the ocean, waves, the beach, the coast.

Shooting out of Perry onto shaded
road, pecan orchards on either side,
I see the square, staked sign appear.
– / -/ -/ -/ – here|clear|near
It’s almost past me, almost gone before
I’ve read it: Georgia’s High Tech Corridor.

4 thoughts on “Further work on the 341 poem (Day 8/365)

  1. Here’s where the high-altitude nature of what you (and Marc) oftern do gets the better of me. In response, I’ll just ask the question straight out:

    Are the -/’s just place holders, or some new age/world approach to poetry?

    I think it’s the former, but I never really know with you guys. And by the way, if it is the former, is it not still part of the work if you consider the dimension of time to be relevant to the creation of the poem? Are its early drafts as much a part of what it is as its finished form? Are they sort of a z-axis for the perceived 2 dimensional nature of the written word?

  2. Prosody refers to the organization of rhythm, sound, and accent in poetry. I always found the word confusing because it has “prose” in it, but there you are.

    Dale is working with stanzas composed of three couplets, the second and third of which are rhyming. The lines are all in iambic pentameter: an iamb is a unit of two beats, an unaccented and then an accented, the -/ being a way to designate that. daDUM. Pentameter means five to a line: -/-/-/-/-/. Most of Shakespeare’s dramatic verse is in iambic pentameter, as are his Sonnets.

    So if Dale is to stick to his prosodic plan, he’s got to fashion a line of iambic pentameter the last syllable of which MUST be the “ear” or “ere” or “eer” sound (“ere” and “eer” are debatable; how strict are we?). So far he has led the poem to not feel so rhythmed and rhymed, but I fear this gap will be the exception. Hm. Personally, I think it’s a great opportunity to use the phrase “the Grand Viser” and bring in a touch of exotic Orientalism.

    If you knew all of that and were just looking for an opportunity to apply the “high-altitude” brand, I do not mean to condescend. And you are a simple man of the people when you use “z-axis” in your discourse?

  3. Nothing “high altitude” here. Quite the reverse, in fact. Yes, the -/’s are placeholders: they’re marking the iambic pentameter, followed by possible rhymes for appear. It’s a good way to keep moving when you’re writing formal poetry; just put in blanks and write the next line that’s already appeared in your head. Come back to the blanks later.

    The only problem with this is that sometimes if you get too far ahead, then when you come back, what you put into the blank throws wrinkles into what you wrote before. Oh well.

    As for its being “part of the work” vis á vis time-wise-speaking: sure. That’s part of what I’m playing with here with this project, just putting up stuff I’ve done each day, and we all watch me either fumble my way to artistic success or crash and burn in slow stages.

  4. I am the very NaCl de la tierra.

    Seriously, I vaguely recall the iambic pentameter thing from high school English. I did not pay great attention, as I knew I was headed to a salty tech school.

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