"In a Rose Garden" by Sir Lawrence Alma-Tadema‘Rosettes’ and Other Poetry by David Hollywood The Society January 10, 2019 Beauty, Poetry 34 Comments Rosettes When seasons pause in moments cast, By visions of each flower’s past, The rose amongst all florae kissed, Appears within my dreams of bliss, As natures’ love for splendours lesson, Unveils a shape, with scents of heaven. Garden landscapes dressed in green, Hold rustic treasured scenes, serene, In portraits of each viewed delight, That’s blessed by rosette’s beauties sight, Amid the pastoral grounds surround, Are settings where each root is bound. The rose that landscapes cultivate, Preserves what memories create. Sunlight Through These Autumn Leaves While living in exotic climes, My spirit leaps towards these rhymes, When seeing through this tree’s outline, The sun which shimmers thoughts sublime. And as the flicker sparkles bright, Between the glistening and the light, I hold my gaze upon such sight, Observed through rustling leaves in flight. Encircling’s of a mellow breeze, Enfolds my contemplations – eased! And sense wherein this place perceives, Unhurried thoughts I’m free to please. As nature makes reflections stray, Away from off this ground today, I feel the uplift takes my stay, Toward a lightness far away. David Hollywood co-Directed The Bahrain Writer’s Circle and founded and ‘The Colours of Life’ poetry festival in Bahrain , The Gulf, and latterly worked in Antigua, The West Indies upon a variety of poetry in performance events. He is the author of an eclectic collection of poems titled ‘Waiting Spaces’ plus co-author of ‘My Beautiful Bahrain’, ‘Poetic Bahrain’, ‘More of My Beautiful Bahrain’, ‘Lonely’ and a variety of further publications. He was the in-house poet for ‘Bahrain Confidential Magazine’ and is one of the most widely read poets in The Middle East. He is a literary critic for ‘Taj Mahal Review’ plus an essayist on the subject of poetry appreciation. There are plans for a new collection of poetry and essays to be released in 2018. David has additional responsibility for the teaching of Wine Appreciation Programmes and Themes which he developed for the hospitality industry, and currently lives in his home country of Ireland. Views expressed by individual poets and writers on this website and by commenters do not represent the views of the entire Society. The comments section on regular posts is meant to be a place for civil and fruitful discussion. Pseudonyms are discouraged. The individual poet or writer featured in a post has the ability to remove any or all comments by emailing submissions@ classicalpoets.org with the details and under the subject title “Remove Comment.” Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window) Related 34 Responses Joseph Tessitore January 10, 2019 David, I’ve read these three times. They are filled with beautiful imagery, but I wasn’t able to follow them. The first two verses of “Rosettes” are single sentences; each one six lines long. I’ve tried my best to figure out what “That’s blessed” (second verse; fourth line) is referring to, but I cannot. “Sunlight” is constructed in a similar manner. I don’t know if it’s my reading or your writing, but both poems were lost on me. Reply C.B. Anderson January 10, 2019 Joe, it’s not your fault. The syntax is twisted, and the meaning is therefore obscure. Misplaced commas in the first stanza leave the reader wondering what the subject is in the incomplete sentence that begins “Unveils” (line 6). In the second stanza we have a series of clauses that are not well connected to their antecedents (if there are any). Good punctuation (including the possessive apostrophe) can often make the idea clear, even if it takes a bit of study to figure it out. In German, which is full of cases & declensions, a complicated structure can usually be resolved to a definite meaning. In English, grammar is not quite as elaborately detailed, and we have to make do with syntax, punctuation and agreement (number) to figure out what the lines are supposed to mean. No matter howsoever beautiful, touching or evocative an image might be, if it is just dangling there without good connections to the rest of the poetic structure, then it’s pointless. Poetry is meant to be read, not deciphered. Reply David Hollywood January 11, 2019 Dear Joseph, Many thanks for taking the time and effort to consider my poems and I am pleased that at least the imagery has merit. I admit to not being a perfectionist in my attempts and would prefer not to be, albeit I am then left open to constructive criticism and for which I am again grateful. With regard to the use of ‘’That’s blessed” I might have used another description but even now I am happy with it and having asked for further opinion I am assured its meaning is obvious to most others and shall therefore let it remain. As for whether it is your reading or my writing that is at fault I don’t know because the world turns with its different perceptions, but I am content to assume the fault is mine and would thank you again for your response. Reply E. V. January 10, 2019 David, the imagery is beautiful and (I think) you have mastered the art of meter. However, I agree with Joe’s comments about the sentence structure, which feels awkward. Both of these poems have potential … Reply C.B. Anderson January 10, 2019 E. V., “Potential?” Maybe so. But shouldn’t a finished poem have entelechy? Reply David Hollywood January 11, 2019 Dear E.V. Thank you for your appreciations and concerns about structure and I am happy to be guided in my efforts. Reply David Paul Behrens January 10, 2019 Personally, I see nothing wrong with an entire poem being one long, complete sentence. I think these poems are just fine. Reply E. V. January 10, 2019 David, I read the poems again. You could be partially right in a sense that from a grammatical perspective, the poems are fine, but 2 3-line sentences or 3 2-line sentences would perhaps help the reader follow the densely-packed imagery. Like I said in my prior comment, the descriptions are beautiful and the meter is good; I think these poems have potential. Reply C.B. Anderson January 10, 2019 You are correct. There is nothing wrong (in principle) with a poem (or stanza) being a single sentence, but when it is merely a concatenation of fragments, communication is forsaken. These poems are not “just fine,” for otherwise Joe and I would not have found them turbid and nearly asemic. Reply David Paul Behrens January 11, 2019 Understood. David Hollywood January 11, 2019 Many thanks David Reply C.B. Anderson January 10, 2019 The second poem is even worse than the first: In the second line already, you are asking the reader to hear “towards” as “to WARDS” when the standard English pronunciation is “tords.” Even worse, in the second half of the stanza, we are expected to believe that the “sun … shimmers thoughts sublime.” Disregarding the bad rhymes, “shimmer” is an intransitive verb and, therefore, cannot have an object. The second stanza isn’t bad. The “unhurried thoughts” of the third stanza only make us wonder whether the author’s navel-contemplation time might have been better put to use in writing what he really meant to say. The third stanza is, unsurprisingly, obscure. May the author be free to please his unhurried thoughts, whatever the hell that means. The fourth stanza still manages to surprise the reader: If he consents to stay his pen From offerings to normal men, We’ll all be happy, if and when We never hear from him again. I’m sorry David, but this was a couple of the worst poems I have ever read on this site. I know that you can do better, because your ideas are not all that bad, but you need to integrate standard English protocols with your slipshod praxis. Reply David Paul Behrens January 11, 2019 To Joe, C.B. and E.V. : Perhaps I was in too much of a hurry when I first read these poems. With closer examination, I can see the nonsense you are alluding to. Reply David Hollywood January 11, 2019 Many thanks David. David Hollywood January 11, 2019 ? Dear David, After receiving such a combined beating, I should be delighted to receive details of where the corrections should be made. There seems to be plenty of criticism flying at me so it is as well to learn. David Hollywood January 11, 2019 Dear C.B, I sensed in advance that after our last contact you would be lurking in wait to pounce with your predicted, deliberate, construed and required criticisms, absurdity and which always combines with insult and therefore I am not surprised at what you have written. Having witnessed your neediness on so many occasions I cannot have regard or respect for your opinions and insults, and consequently I have no need to reply to you. Otherwise, and if the majority of members agree with you that I should retire from this society because I am not up to standard then I shall. I should be pleased to know. Good Luck to you C.B.! Reply James Sale January 11, 2019 No David, don’t retire from the SCP – you are making worthy contributions whatever value others do or do not place on your work. And everyone, we should remember, starts as a beginner; and we need to retain the beginner’s mindset in all we do. Focus on the positives of what you do and develop those. I have enjoyed your contributions over the years, and see no reason at all for anyone to abuse you. E. V. January 11, 2019 No! No! No! David, do NOT even consider retiring from SCP! You are a valuable member and we enjoy reading your works. The only reason I offered you my opinion is because I actually am on your side, David. I’d like to see you take your poem (with beautiful imagery and great meter) and turn it into a flawless poem. As for C. B., well … he can be harsh, but he’s tough with almost everyone. On this particular page, C. B. generously invested a lot of time (more than usual) in offering his critique. Many of us (myself definitely included) can learn from poets like C. B. , J. Salemi, and J. C. MacKenzie. Also, please re-read Joe Tessitore’s advice below. I totally agree with him and suspect most of our peers would agree that he expertly described the situation. In closing, I’d like to say that we poets do put a piece of our soul into our writing. Therefore, I believe that whenever possible, it is important to present an honest compliment along with the constructive criticism that is vital to growth and improvement. David Hollywood January 12, 2019 Dear James, As always I am uplifted, inspired and encouraged by your generosity of spirit and comment, and thank you. I am sure I will regain my sense of balance and normality and not least that will be due to the best sorts of people such as yourself. Thanking you again. David David Hollywood January 12, 2019 Dear E.V. Many thanks for your very kind considerations and I am more than appreciative of your concerns and efforts to reassure me that my poetry has a style of merit somewhere hidden within it, and consequently I am guided by you to revisit it and apply recommended changes in order to see where it can be improved and thank you again. With regard to C.B. I am impressed with the generosity of your defense of him and his talents, knowledge of his application, intentions and abilities and desires to see improvements in the written word, and in absolute fairness to his approach I can read very clearly his application and focus is upon improving the subject and structure according to his own perceptions, and how at times this can bring benefit to the final article and by extension the original artist, and for which I am indebted if it helps. My objections relate to what appears to be a determined and deliberate effort to apply insult towards me personally, and this is the second time I have been assaulted in such a manner and I cannot understand the motivations that apply. I puzzle as to why there is a presumption to step into my world and offend my credentials to such extent that his recommendation is I have to consider his following words: If he consents to stay his pen From offerings to normal men, We’ll all be happy, if and when We never hear from him again. Do I heed them, or do I simply ignore them? As C.B. seems to be a superstar (and it is important to state I am also an admirer of his poems, which I have personally found impressive and containing of great skill) within the SCP community I feel I have responsibility to take them seriously, and I believe this is not an unreasonable challenge, were it not for the question to myself as to whether he might find it offensive were he to be slurred in such a similar manner for not being an expert in an area of activity and enjoyment and for which he has an enthusiasm? Maybe it is me not being universal enough, or else not thick skinned sufficiently, and if that is the case then the fault is mine for being too sensitive, or lacking in understanding. However, I shall remain as I am. I am reassured by the fact that my poetry simply appears on the SCP site at all, because I know by being accepted I have at least attained some form of accomplished standard and for which I am grateful to receive exposure, and can only look upward from there. I have nothing but a sense of appreciation for the efforts and standards of the society and the personnel who otherwise make it possible for us all. C.B. Anderson January 12, 2019 David, you “have no need to reply to [me],” and yet you did. “Lurking in wait to pounce?” I can assure you that I never think of you at all; I was merely reacting to the posted poems. I’m sorry if I hurt your feelings, but better that than I give dishonest opinions. Don’t give up, just give normative coherent English expression a bit more attention. “Neediness?” Yes! I need to read well-constructed poems. David Hollywood January 11, 2019 Many thanks, and I am happy you detected merit. Reply Joseph Tessitore January 11, 2019 Dear David, The fact that your poetry reaches this page is a testamony to it – it has gotten past Evan, and for me, that speaks volumes. I do not believe that Evan posts anyone’s poetry to do him or her a favor. I am 68 years old, and it is still difficult for me to accept criticism. For someone like C.B. to spend so much time with you suggests to me that he sees great worth in you. Things do come through on this page. We have seen malice and, as James suggests above, we have seen abuse. I detect none of that here. There are people of good will with generous hearts who post on this page, and C.B. is clearly one of them. Leo once challenged a fellow-poet to grow a pair. He sensed great poetry in him, and felt cheated by the fact that he was not reading it. I could have gone further in my opening comment – I did not know what the subjects or the predicates of your sentences were. One concrete thing I can suggest; if you are going to write in this manner, do not capitalize your subsequent lines. I think it would have helped me a great deal if you hadn’t. In closing, I strongly recommend that you do not leave this page. There is clearly great poetry in you, and better poets than me sense it as well. Reply David Hollywood January 12, 2019 Dear Joseph, You have been very kind in your words of explanation and support, and I am very grateful that you have made this effort on my behalf. Also, I am very happy to receive your opinions of my poetry and recommendations as to where I can make improvements and look forward to ensuring I will make every effort to resist capitalised letters every time I commence a new line (bad habits probably due to not listening properly during my years of education, and now ingrained!). I would thank you and confirm such considerations revive my faith and enthusiasms. Best of regards. David Watt January 11, 2019 Hello David, I believe that Joe has summed up the situation extremely well. There is certainly merit in your poetry, including powerful imagery, and the stamp of individuality each poet brings to their own work. I am also of the opinion that criticism, although sometimes coming across as harsh, is given in good faith to spur improvement. We can learn much from the various techniques and combined knowledge of fellow SCP poets, and seek continual improvement. I wish to add my voice to those who have already urged you not to leave the SCP. For me, the challenge of the next poem always remains the focus in moving forward. Reply Joseph Tessitore January 12, 2019 “the challenge of the next poem always remains the focus in moving forward” – how very well-said for you, David, and for us all! Reply David Hollywood January 12, 2019 Dear David, Thank you sincerely for your comments and support. Criticism and constructive commentary are always necessary if we are to reach new levels of improvement and hopefully attempt to attain excellence at a future time. I also agree with Joseph and am happy to learn from the various comments received. Thank you again. Reply Mark Stone January 12, 2019 David, Hi. In my opinion, there is no reason for you to retire from publishing your poems on SCP. The two poems clearly indicate that you have abundant skill in meter, rhyme, imagery and literary devices (such as assonance and consonance). The only problem with them, in my view, is that the word choice, word order and punctuation make the story difficult to understand in places. But all of this is fixable with some editing. So instead of retiring from SCP, perhaps what you need is a good editor. I’ve written many poems over the years, but never submitted one for publication. I decided to start doing that this year. My editing process is going to be (1) ask my wife to review it (she is not a poetry fan, but is a smart analyst); (2) put the poem in a drawer and forget about it for a month; (3) take it out and edit as needed; (4) post it on the poetry workshop website that I follow and get comments from the other poets there (I used to take poems to the bi-monthly meetings of the local songwriter / poet group to get critiques, until the group disbanded); (5) make final edits, submit for publication and keep my fingers crossed. Finally, as a gesture in support of your staying with SCP, if in the future you ever have a draft poem that you want edited, and you send it to me, I will be happy, for what it’s worth, to send you my comments. I hope you choose to stick with us. Reply C.B. Anderson January 13, 2019 How very generous of you. I wish you luck. Reply David Hollywood January 25, 2019 Dear Mark, Your words and thoughts and offer are both uplifting and highly appreciated and I thank you for your considerations and kindness. From this and other comments received I am encouraged to remain with the SCP and look forward (hopefully) to seeing future efforts of mine similarly appear on the site. What has been stimulated in me is the need to overhaul what I have written, and consequently I am reviewing my presentations in response to what has been observed, recommended, criticised and suggested and therefore I hesitate to say when I shall submit further works for consideration, but am happy to embrace all that is good and well intentioned plus constructive among the various comments written above. If I hesitate to acknowledge or accept everything it shall be due to a fault in my subjectivity, but never a lack of appreciation for yours and others who have been so encouraging, and for which I offer many thanks. Wishing you the best. Reply Monty January 23, 2019 In the native english-speaking world, Dave, try to imagine what percentage of humans have had a poem(s) published by a serious and respected poetry site. Of course no one can know an ‘exact’ percentage, but one can confidently venture that it’s a minute one. Hence, the fact that your poems have appeared on these pages at all is, in itself, testament to your ability to write poetry. It isn’t (and doesn’t have to be) perfect poetry, but it’s still poetry; and as such, you must banish any thoughts of not wishing to post future work. Criticism exists: and the fact that you’re in that minute percentage should be reason alone to absorb criticism; and accept or ignore it as you wish. The above poems are both thoughtful pieces, containing some nice, image-laden sentiments: and although they’re certainly not above criticism (some of the diction requires a lot more thought: e.g. “That’s blessed” could/should be “All blessed”; “rosette’s beauties sight” is senseless; “Enfolds” should be ‘Enfold’; and lines such as: “Away from off this ground today”.. also many misplaced/superfluous commas.. and inconsistent rhyme-scheme), you’ll find that it’s rare to see a poem on these pages which IS completely above genuine criticism. The above comments of C.B. are, as always, direct: hard-hitting: seemingly-vindictive: and a tad below-the-belt (his use of ‘nearly asemic’, for example, was too strong; and his claim that “this was a couple of the worst poems I’ve ever read on this site” was surely just an off-the-cuff exaggeration; I’ve seen worse on here! Also, he could easily have worded his criticism more diplomatically, still maintaining the same effect; and I feel that he could be more conscious of the effect he may be having on others) . . so I’m not gonna try, like others, to tell you that he ‘means well’, ‘cos I’ve obviously got no way of knowing whether that’s true or not. But, as is normally the case underneath the scathing invective, every point he made was, as far as I could tell, valid and warranted; and he expertly identified and summed up the poem’s major flaws with encapsulating phrases such as “images dangling without good connections to the poetic structure”; “a concatenation of fragments”: that’s exactly how I see it. The diction and grammar (especially in the first poem) have rendered them disjointed. In any poem containing grammatical flaws/ambiguous diction, I feel it can sometimes be the case that the author’s error(s) wasn’t in the writing of the poem; but in not re-reading it thoroughly enough. One must re-read their work exhaustively, to the point of obsession: and then, when they feel that they’ve re-read it enough times . . put it out of sight for a few days; and then start the whole process again.. no matter how tortuous. Additionally, my own personal method is to imagine someone else reading it who’s reading-ability is vastly inferior to my own; and I try to re-read it in that perspective.. to try and see where such a reader might stumble. Off all the flaws (some fatal) that a poem can contain, the ones in the above poems are easily repairable; so take the criticism, and use it to your future advantage. You’re not the first to attract the wrath of C.B.; and you won’t be the last. Thus, you’ve got two choices; either take the worst of his comments personally . . or take the best of his comments positively. Reply David Hollywood January 25, 2019 Dear Monty, You are wonderfully generous and considerate to have taken the time to address your thoughts and I am obligated and grateful to you for these. As you clearly identified it is a privilege to be posted on this site and I acknowledge my indebtedness for such recognition and opportunity, and ally to this a somewhat selfish sense or feeling of personal elevation for being here at all. Therefore, and in total agreement with you I know that to appear is a sign something of merit has been recognised in my work, albeit it contains and needs improvements, and which I readily admit are a result of some lack of attentions or knowledge on my part, and stemming from which I am therefore happy to have the work criticised and/or examined by our fellow readers for comment and suggestions as to where improvements can be made. With regard to your own observations, promptings and constructive criticisms I am very thankful and have already incorporated some of your suggestions and shall take further time on them so that I might at the end have produced a better style of poem, and which others might find more acceptable. Similarly, this is true for all of the comments received (even those of C.B. where I believe they help), and if I don’t agree and choose to keep some oddities of expression and/or construction in my poem(s) then I know that will be respected, albeit not necessarily agreed with! This is also continuous and inclusive of all my poems and what has happened as a result of this last posting is that I am revisiting my earlier efforts to determine where I might include identifiable improvements within them as well. Stemming from such commentary I am ambitious that where necessary my poetry might improve and therefore I am glad of the criticisms. As for C.B. and his criticisms of my poetry I am fine, and I know I can learn from him as with everyone else’s comments. He has every right and entitlement to state what comes to mind in response to my posted words. However, I have written him off because he presumed to be hurtfully personal, but without having the entitlement. Thank you again Monty, and you are also right about further examining my poetry before saying with certainty that it is finished. I am thankful for all your advice and opinions. Best wishes. Reply Monty January 28, 2019 Well, in view of the nature of C.B.’s above comments, it’s understandable that you feel you should take them ‘personally’; hence you can’t be blamed for wanting to “write off” his future comments . . . which I feel is a shame, ‘cos I consider him to be one of the most valid and valued poetry-critics on these pages. His panoptical eye can seemingly detect the most slightest of flaws; and I’ve learnt a lot about poetry-structure from his previous comments on these pages. Further – and vitally – his criticisms never seem to be influenced by his own (if any) politics or religion (whereas some commenters on here allow their political/religious obsessions to pervade/dominate everything they say . . thus debilitating their criticisms). I say ‘shame’, ‘cos it IS a shame that such an expert critic can sometimes word his valid criticisms in such a way as to seem spitefully personal towards some individuals (the very fact that you considered leaving SCP is testament to that). If it seems, to the recipient of his comments, that the ‘spite’ obstructs ‘the point being made’, then that hinders the recipient’s capacity to absorb ‘the point being made’ . . which defeats the object of criticism. One hopes that C.B. never becomes any less tough, stringent or forthright in his perfectly-constructive criticisms . . but that he might, in future, consider the ‘personal’ impact of his wordings. Monty January 25, 2019 . Reply Leave a Reply Cancel Reply Your email address will not be published.CommentName* Email* Website Notify me of follow-up comments by email. Notify me of new posts by email. This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.