The curated aside of modern man…

There is a rhyme scheme here in this sonnet, but it isn’t a pattern & the counterpoint is a line early.
There is a tacit subtext between the words which rhyme, developing the function of the poem at a subtler level. These have been orchestrated, but they may have (& so i encourage) relations you interpret personally. For example, man, open & done; no doubt these words have alternate significance to all who read them next to each other & then again in the context of the poem— like manufacture & nature, again outside & within the context of the poem. You get the jist.

The curated aside of modern man
: invisible | even with eyes & gates wide open
by the prop of Internet & liberal media jizzing out
the Wi-Fi®. The target is to manufacture
mimicries— to imitate inviolable mechanisms from nature.
The old fella who helps us run the B&B brought
a wren with a broken wing to me— one hand clap!
He pleaded sad: “don’t let it die” | as if i were a vet.
i put it in a tall box (so it couldn’t escape) with water & oats.
When he went out i put it in a nearby hedge beneath a tree
—where nature is involved there’s constant threat.
He’s counting on me | i can’t snuff his hope
—so i’ll lie to him | i’ll tell him it must have miraculously
flew off. We shouldn’t interfere
—just look around & see what that’s done.

23 thoughts on “The curated aside of modern man…

  1. Very pointed and direct. I like this side of you. The italics add quite a bit to the narrative . . . creating an invisible dialogue tag. I took a good lesson from Will Self’s use of italics and tried it out on a new poem. I won’t be posting it here as I’m sending it to a poetry magazine that doesn’t accept anything that’s been published even on Twitter, Facebook, etc. I don’t expect they’ll accept it, but the challenge to write a new poem from scratch for presentation to a publisher has been a good exercise.

    Nice job with this one. The switch from the abstract to the narrative was a bit disappointing. I was expecting some more challenging stuff, but the direct storytelling was refreshing.

    1. Never expect anything from submitting, just do it & do it more. Everyone experiences rejection, nobody escapes that.

      The switch was sort of, not so much necessary, but part of the counterpoint in the sonnet, so it works on the level of a change in tone while developing the theme. It is abrupt, or as you point out more narrative driven, but then it is a turn on the theme of production & nurture, which to me have some similar expectations & requirements. You make something, then you have to keep it intact, that is something we should learn from nature in our disposable society. The abstract thus takes the form of a real example here.

    2. I am trying to remember which publisher (?) it was who said that when he edited an author’s manuscript for publication the first thing he did was to remove all the italics. I can’t.

      Some really classy poets use italics, by the way.

      1. I know some online submission forms remove the italics automatically. If the poetry stands on its own without embellishment, that’s good. But, I hate it when online publications strip the poems and present them in ugly fonts without input from the writer. In truth, before electronic submissions, manuscripts had to be in Courier, even with the different font choices of IBM Selectric. So, it makes sense that submission remain basic. But, back then writers were presented with the galleys before their work went to print.

        I think italics are meaningful. They express emphasis and at the same time make the poetry more appealing to draw the reader’s eye in. I read that somewhere.

  2. Daniel, I really like this. The ‘voice’ has planted his feet squarely in damned-do/damned-don’t territory with the wren. I was once on the editorial team* of a magazine and an anthology for modern sonnets. This one would have made the cut.

    *When I first typed that, it came out as “I was once on the editorial tram.” I rather liked that and wanted to keep it, so you’d have the image. A kind of eyeworm.

    1. Really wish you were still on these editorial teams, i could do with an insider whose on my side.
      Doing a lot of renovations on my sonnets. Been picking them apart. It is a wonderful form. There is something so satisfying about the way it lies so neat on the page.

      1. I think there’s been a misunderstanding, probably on my part…

        I meant in not allowing him to know the truth of what had happened to the bird and not losing whatever trust or belief he had in your care for the bird.

      2. I actually didn’t intend that association. But yes the old man’s hopes are curated. I didn’t intend that though as i never made the link to the guiding of hope as an art, whereas the ‘manufacture’ in the first movement of the sonnet can make use of a word like curate.
        Great reading though, you certainly aren’t wrong.

      3. Lesson in there for me…I often assume what I’m thinking is obvious and so don’t comment or add to a conversation. I enjoyed reading this and have it in the back of my mind to read your essay that music man Daniel recently replied to.

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