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> Summer in Cincinnati [revised 11 Sep 2010], metered verse
heartsong7
post Jul 30 10, 13:34
Post #1


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2nd revision:

The soaring temperatures preceding solstice
evaporated spring again this year,
with heavy handed heat that saps your soul
and leaves it draped across the sweat-soaked sheets.

While thick, dank darkness drains into your dreams,
it stifles all desire and hampers sleep.
When morning finally comes, a languid mist,
negates all hope the spell’s inclined to lift.

When steamy midday shuttles in its sour
white-hazed air, it steals your breath and leaves
you feeling limp and listless. By twilight
you’re longing for a cooling breeze to brush
across your naked body like a leaf.



revision:
Summertime in Cincinnati...

Where temperatures preempt the summer solstice,
evaporating spring again this year,
with heavy handed heat that saps your soul
and leaves it draped across the sweat-soaked sheets.

While thick, dank darkness drains into your dreams,
it stifles all desire and hampers sleep.
Then morning, dripping in a moldy mist,
negates all hope the spell’s inclined to lift.

When steamy midday shuttles in its sour
white-hazed air it steals your breath and leaves
you lazy, limp and listless. By twilight
you’re longing for one brief cool breeze to brush
across your naked body like a leaf.





Original:
A Summer in Cincinnati Is...

Where, earlier than the solstice every year,
the summer is announcing its arrival;

where heavy handed heat will sap your soul
and leave it draped across the sweat-soaked sheets;

where thick, dank darkness drains into your dreams
to stifle all desire and hamper sleep.

where morning, dripping in a moldy mist,
negates all hope the spell’s inclined to lift;

where steamy midday shuttles in its sour
white-hazed air to steal your breath and leave
you lazy, limp and listless. By twilight
you’re longing for one brief cool breeze to brush
across your naked body like a leaf;

where sometimes sudden storms bring sweet relief.


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Alan
post Jul 30 10, 19:07
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Dear Susan,

Certainly a vivid (or torpid ?) description !

Somehow I feel you have asked a load of Qs : where, where, where, but by the way you end, I feel I am left answer-less.

I'm sure there is a way of re-phrasing which would solve this, that is, if you agree with me !

It might be as simple as :


there sometimes sudden storms bring sweet relief.

Love
Alan


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heartsong7
post Jul 30 10, 20:20
Post #3


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thanks for looking in on this, Alan
I guess I haven't made my intent clear. the use of "where" is not meant as a question but a description..
a summer in Cincinnati is where.....and so on.
Maybe I could clarify by making that my title?
Sue


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Guest_bombadil1247_*
post Aug 3 10, 13:41
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Hi, Sue,

I've looked at this a few times and must admit to a few misgivings. Blank verse to me always speaks of Milton's epics -i.e. it is the modern equivalent of the Classical period's Dactylic Hexameter. I'm not sure it works in short forms like the sonnet. That said, let's look at your poem.

QUOTE
A Summer in Cincinnati Is...

Where, earlier than the solstice every year,
the summer is announcing its arrival;


I have a couple of nits with this part; Summer appears in the title and then almost immediately in the body of the poem - perhaps use the longer 'Summertime' in either/or position? Then the sense of lines 1/2 threw a bit in that summer always arrives before the solstice, which marks mid-summer. Is there a way to suggest a 'bringing forward' of the solstice because Summers start earlier and last longer - though that would fail on logic since eventually it would be the only season. yinyang.gif

QUOTE
where heavy handed heat will sap your soul
and leave it draped across the sweat-soaked sheets;

where thick, dank darkness drains into your dreams
to stifle all desire and hamper sleep.

where morning, dripping in a moldy mist,
negates all hope the spell’s inclined to lift;


All these 'where' starts in a relatively short piece are distracting and seem 'lazy' if you'll pardon the expression. If you had used 'with heavy handed heat that saps your soul' and 'when morning...' it would have broken the dominance of 'where' (verb endings would have to be amended to agree of course). Might have gone with 'dispels all hope' and use 'curse' instead of 'spell'.

QUOTE
where steamy midday shuttles in its sour
white-hazed air to steal your breath and leave
you lazy, limp and listless. By twilight
you’re longing for one brief cool breeze to brush
across your naked body like a leaf;

where sometimes sudden storms bring sweet relief.


I like this last section and note that you use a rhyming couplet finish - perhaps that's why biggrin.gif

The overall layout of this sonnet is more akin to an FV offering, which may have been your intention, but I found it distracting - given the sonnet description.

I'm sorry I couldn't be more welcoming with this, Sue, perhaps if you'd used 'Cincinnatti is..' as your intro and described all four seasons it might work better. But remember these are just my opinions, yours to use or lose as you choose, it is your poem and the 'lazy feel' might have been deliberate to reflect the effects described,
Jim
 
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Guest_ohsteve_*
post Aug 3 10, 18:12
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Susan, Welcome back to MM and free verse if I have not said so before. This has been a very hot summer for the lower Ohio areas, you describe the days in Dayton, just as your Days in Cincy, They sure do drag on. I have missed most of this aggravation due to being sick and having to stay in with this wonderful thing called AC. I run at 68 F, shameless me. I just spent 4 days in hospital because of an early morning jaunt with my daughter to the bookstore, and by the time we got home I was so exhausted. I literally passed out. My wife called the paramedics and I woke up in hospital with IV drip and icepacks. Your piece has already recieved some good critique from Alan and Jim, I would keep a lot in mind on rewrite.

take care
Steve
 
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heartsong7
post Aug 3 10, 18:49
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Thanks for some great food for thought Jim.
Lots to think about.
I enjoy the use of blank verse in a sonnet form as a change. The goal is to include internal rhyme and enough enjambment that the lack of end rhymes will not distract. Others that I've read usually end in a rhymed couplet.
Perhaps, if I want to keep this intact, (which I do) I should refrain from tagging it as a sonnet and just call it "metered verse"
I'll be working on smoothing this out.
Sue

Hi Steve,
I sure appreciate that you took the time to read and offer your comments on this.
I hope you are feeling better. Stay cool.
Sue


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heartsong7
post Aug 3 10, 19:28
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revision posted. Suggestions most welcome.


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Guest_bombadil1247_*
post Aug 4 10, 05:56
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Hi, Sue,

excellent revision, perhaps Blank Verse is more versatile than I believed. magicwink1.png

I note that you have dropped the last line though, is that deliberate? I ask because it is such a lovely image of the longing, even if it does complete the couplet. If you want to avoid the end rhyme, perhaps you could accommodate it with different word order; eg

or the sweet relief of a sudden/summer storm.
Jim
 
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heartsong7
post Aug 5 10, 10:13
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Thanks for the revisit and encouraging words, Jim.
I did intend to leave off the last line... partly because I thought it felt a little tacked on for the sake of the form (sonnet) Leaving it off seems to fit the revised (non-sonnet) version.... however, I am still thinking on whether I want to re-include the rain showers.
Sue


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Michelle
post Aug 6 10, 10:00
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Hi Sue,

this sounds like the southeast. I hear they're experiencing a bad heat wave. Your images are excellent imo.

I'm not seeing a complete sentence in S1 - seems like fragments put together.

Other than that I have no other suggestion.

my best,

Michelle


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Cleo_Serapis
post Sep 10 10, 11:36
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Hi Sue,

I can certainly relate to the steaminess of summer heat!! I'm actually glad summer's almost over! grinning.gif

My only stumble in your revision is here:
white-hazed air it steals your breath and leaves - I count a missing beat here and a stumble with 'white-hazed air'. Perhaps a sub for this will smooth the flow? I'm thiking haze and air are redundant in this context, so perhaps just 'white-haze, it steals.. will allow you to add another 2 beats here.

Enjoyed the read!
~Cleo sun.gif


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heartsong7
post Sep 11 10, 07:33
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I'm sorry to be so long away. Lot's going on this summer, but I'm in a lull now and hope to have more time to read and share.
I'm posting another revision.
Thank you Michelle and Lori for your comments and suggestiions
Sue


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