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.

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29 Responses

  1. Joseph Tessitore

    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

      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

      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
  2. E. V.

    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

      E. V., “Potential?” Maybe so. But shouldn’t a finished poem have entelechy?

      Reply
    • David Hollywood

      Dear E.V. Thank you for your appreciations and concerns about structure and I am happy to be guided in my efforts.

      Reply
    • E. V.

      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

      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
  3. C.B. Anderson

    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

      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

        ? 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

      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

        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.

        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

        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

        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

        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.

    • Joseph Tessitore

      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

        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.

  4. David Watt

    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

      “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

      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
  5. Mark Stone

    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

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