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Passions in Poetry

First Day of Chejudo

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Brad
Member Ascendant
since 08-20-99
Posts 5896
Jejudo, South Korea


0 posted 01-06-2001 07:18 PM       View Profile for Brad   Email Brad   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to Submit your Poem to Passions  View IP for Brad

The one palm tree hugging the snow
Was the first vision thrown to us
When electronic doors closed the terminal
Sound announcing this "tropical" island.
Then my eyes turned to fire and the snow melted;
I lasered a figure in volcanic rock:
Protruding lips, bulbous nose, bulging eyes --
A stone grandfather.
From the puddles of my second vision
Rose three old women in wetsuits.
They turned to the ocean, waded the waves,
And dived to search for their husbands.
Still one more vision: a narrow woman
Looking out the window, eyes brilliant
With the reflection of snow volcanoes --
The way she held a coffee cup
Made me know,
Know I had stepped on the island
To reverse the fate of one sea woman
Or would I be turned to stone?
© Copyright 2001 Brad - All Rights Reserved
warmhrt
Senior Member
since 12-18-1999
Posts 1566


1 posted 01-07-2001 11:49 AM       View Profile for warmhrt   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for warmhrt

Brad,

Sorry, but these images you create (very well, I might add) are too foreign for my very U.S. mind. I'm guessing that they are from Japan??? Or perhaps they are metaphoric...don't know, though, as this one is a bit too obscure for me and my feeble thinking processes. Nice imagery, though.

Kris

All change in history, all advance, comes from the nonconformist. If there had been no troublemakers, no dissenters, we would still be living in caves
Craig
Senior Member
since 06-10-99
Posts 882


2 posted 01-07-2001 08:15 PM       View Profile for Craig   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Craig

Cheju-do is a volcanic island south of Korea, I know that much, I understand it has polar flora as well as palm trees so I’m guessing that it’s prone to both snow and sun in equal measure.

The stone people references are a harder nut to crack, the grandfather description made me think of the Easter island statues so I wondered if Cheju had similar stone figures. The three girls looking for husbands in the sea seems a little too specific to be metaphoric, is there some local custom that this refers to perhaps? I know the island has Stone Age relics and that three men figure in the legends of the islands early history, is this a modern reflection of the islands past?

Or maybe what we have is a western man visiting the home of his girl/lover/wife and feeling a little out of place.

I think I’ve covered just about all possibilities, though I wouldn’t put money on that.   I need to do a little more research to check out the customs and history of the province, I hope the stone thing is a custom thing though, it would tie things up nicely.

Is the coffee cup important? I’d have expected tea - then I wondered if her holding coffee was an inference that she was comfortable with some western habits, which in turn was comforting to the narrator.

Thanks for the chance to read and reply


[This message has been edited by Craig (edited 01-07-2001).]
Craig
Senior Member
since 06-10-99
Posts 882


3 posted 01-07-2001 09:08 PM       View Profile for Craig   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Craig

Back again!

Isn’t the web a handy place for digging up facts.

Soapstone grandfathers are a tradition on Cheju, apparently they resemble stone Buddhas (Protruding lips, bulbous nose, bulging eyes). The island is also famous for diving girls, these women dive all day long to collect fish, seaweed, mussels and oysters.  Cheju Mok-Suk Won Is famous for the stone sculptures and there’s a place called Dragon Head Coast where legend says an emissary of the dragon king was struck by an arrow and fell into the sea and was turned to stone.

Now I understand the ‘what’ a little better I can concentrate on the ‘how’.

Is the ‘the’ really necessary in the first line? ‘A palm tree’ – or just ‘one palm tree' perhaps?
‘Thrown’ in the second line doesn’t seem right, I wondered whether simply ‘greeted us’ would work.

The rest seems to work well, though reading the legend about the seven nymphs of Chonjeyon who bathed the heaven’s emperor made me wonder whether the three women could be changed to seven to tie that story in. Or would it become too heavy with too many hidden references? From what I’ve learned about Cheju-do you could have filled half a book with images of the place, on reflection I think you got the balance just about right.


Thanks again for the chance to read and reply.


Yes, I admit your general rule. That every poet is a fool:
But I myself may serve to show it. That every fool is not a poet.



[This message has been edited by Craig (edited 01-07-2001).]
J.L. Humphres
Member
since 01-03-2000
Posts 202
Alabama


4 posted 01-08-2001 02:30 AM       View Profile for J.L. Humphres   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for J.L. Humphres

Brad,
   It appears that you haven't lost your taste for the puzzle since I've been absent. It also appears that there is now someone who will go as far to sort things out as you do to scramble them up.  
   Good poem and bravo to Craig for his Holmes-like interpretation.
                             J.L.H.

Jason
I...I have seen the best minds of my generation...
--Allen Ginsberg
mark woolard
Member
since 01-02-2001
Posts 148


5 posted 01-09-2001 04:23 PM       View Profile for mark woolard   Email mark woolard   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for mark woolard

i dug the poem, the discussion of the content of the poem, and the discussion of the discussion of the content of the poem.

i am now too afraid to submit anything else in this category.  )
Marq
Member
since 10-18-1999
Posts 231


6 posted 01-09-2001 07:14 PM       View Profile for Marq   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Marq

Brad,
I like this poem!  Well-written and captivating.  Good post!
Brad
Member Ascendant
since 08-20-99
Posts 5896
Jejudo, South Korea


7 posted 01-14-2001 08:43 PM       View Profile for Brad   Email Brad   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Brad

Thanks to all who replied,

Craig,
Wow!! Thanks for doing the work. The three was supposed to hint at Western mythology -- the three fates.

Jason,
good to see you back. For the record, I did check to see if Chejudo was on the internet just in case someone decided to do some research.

Marq,
Where's the grade!! I want my grade!!
Waiting for more Al Fumayle.  

Thanks,
Brad
White Wolf
Member
since 09-18-99
Posts 384
Somewhere in the vast wastelan


8 posted 01-15-2001 08:07 AM       View Profile for White Wolf   Email White Wolf   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for White Wolf

I am intriged by this piece.  The only thing I might suggest is eleminating some of the first words of some of the lines and maybe adding and -ing or an -ed if necesary.  This piece gets two thumbs up as is.  Very nice.


The White Wolf
Lerk
Junior Member
since 11-17-2000
Posts 49
Dayton, OH USA


9 posted 01-15-2001 11:05 AM       View Profile for Lerk   Email Lerk   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Lerk's Home Page   View IP for Lerk

Excellent poem...very minor tweaks
[ ] means you might consider deleting this word or passage, and
{ } means words or passages you might want to consider adding:

[The] one palm tree hugging [the] snow
Was the first vision thrown [to] us
When electronic doors closed the terminal
Sound announcing this "tropical" island.
[Then] my eyes turned to fire and the snow melted;
I lasered a figure in volcanic rock:
Protruding lips, bulbous nose, bulging eyes --
A stone grandfather.
From the puddles of my [second] vision
Rose three old women in wetsuits.
They turned to the ocean, waded {in deep} [the waves],
And {dove in search of husbands}[dived to search for their husbands].
Still one more vision: a narrow woman
Looking out the window, eyes brilliant
[With the reflection of] {reflecting}snow volcanoes --
The way she held a coffee cup
Made me know,
Know I had stepped on the island
To reverse the fate of one sea woman
[Or] would I [be] turn[ed] to stone?

---------

to end up with:


One palm tree hugging snow
Was the first vision thrown us
When electronic doors closed the terminal
Sound announcing this "tropical" island.
My eyes turned to fire and the snow melted;
I lasered a figure in volcanic rock:
Protruding lips, bulbous nose, bulging eyes --
A stone grandfather.
From the puddles of my vision
Rose three old women in wetsuits.
They turned to the ocean, waded in deep,
And dove in search of husbands.
Still one more vision: a narrow woman
Looking out the window, eyes brilliant
Reflecting snow volcanoes --
The way she held a coffee cup
Made me know,
Know I had stepped on the island
To reverse the fate of one sea woman
Would I turn to stone?
Brad
Member Ascendant
since 08-20-99
Posts 5896
Jejudo, South Korea


10 posted 01-18-2001 08:45 PM       View Profile for Brad   Email Brad   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Brad

Thanks, I appreciate the comments.

The dived versus dove point is particularly interesting. Both are correct and yet dove works better euphonically here.

Where I disagree is the dropping of so many functional words. The 'the' in the first line for example implies one and only one tree (palm trees are not indigenous to the island and wanted to emphasize the incongruity). One palm tree implies one among many -- not the image I want to portray here.

Another point is 'their' in the 'dived' line again. "Looking for their husbands" already implies a sense of possession, a sense that they have husbands or are fated to a particular person; drop that 'their' and I think it becomes too general.

On the other hand, it is true that often times functional words can be removed with no real effect in the meaning (just filler) so it's important to keep me on my toes.

Thanks,
Brad
Seoulair
Senior Member
since 03-27-2008
Posts 776
Seoul S.Korea


11 posted 04-24-2008 04:37 PM       View Profile for Seoulair   Email Seoulair   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Seoulair

Almost there. You hold your emotion way toooo tight in this kind of poem.

Better than other ones but still you tried to reason out your feelings.

enjoyed.
Balladeer
Administrator
Member Empyrean
since 06-05-99
Posts 26302
Ft. Lauderdale, Fl USA


12 posted 04-24-2008 07:12 PM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

Wow! Was I off! I thought when they dived to search for their husbands they had left them on the bottom for some reason....oops.
 
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