Description: This is a poem that deals with many themes; division, nature and tradition being the main ones. I have used Edinburgh in Scotland as a microcosm for any city/society, for no particular reason other than it is a good setting for a poem.
Some things that will help to understand the poem:
Leith- the port of Edinburgh on the North Sea, but not considered part of the city
Embra- affectionate Scottish nickname for Edinburgh
Castle- Edinburgh Castle, in the South of the city
Wall- defensive walls that were the city limits until a few centuries ago, the New city is built outside the walls.
Any comments are appreciated.
Distant from the docks of Leith, Edinburgh
Looms large in the leaden Scottish sunrise.
The frigid waters of the North Sea rise
And lunge, a navy mamba striking out
At the naked shore. Ancient walls arch from
The basalt floor as if chiselled into
The landscape, stony sinews etching a
Line between Old and New. A castle rests;
His regal hue eclipses the beauty
of Embra and drapes her in a grey down.
Dawn grows to day and still the ebony
Ocean unveils her foaming jaws to the
Coast. Distant from the docks of Leith, Embra
Glows- a glass city swamped in an oil sea.
This is a nice poem. There are some especially gorgeous nuggets in imagery here eg: "stony sinews etching a Line between Old and New"; also the allegory you have here for the separation between old and new cannot but strike the reader in tis power that divisions demarcate many things including no less tradition and modernity. Like Hanuman noted, i too appreciate, although differently, the artful use of alliteration, eg Distant docks. Looms, large leaden. The nature (that ominous and treacherous enemy) as a mamba, while i like the tone of your metaphore, mb a more sea-like animal could have been found. castle and regal is lovely. I'm not sure about "Down./Dawn". Their two phonetics with eye rhymes twist the tongue a little. So you have to tell me what this "glass city swamped in an oil sea" refer to? I wanna know! *Jumps up and down like a spoiled brat*. Great right! :) Peace Raz
This is a smashin poem, so very rich and yet remaining quite vague in a lot of ways.
I've sat and looked over "Auld Reekie" myself and it is really a beautiful city.
I am at a loss as to how the castle "eclipses" the beauty of the city as to my mind it is the city's crowning glory and is quite awe inspiring to be in it's shadow. It may be that you are using it as a metaphor, which kind of escapes me on first impressions. Plus the New town is in both parts of the city (the new being built staright on top of the old in some instances but I won't quibble)
This was a lovely write, I am struggling to make some of the connections between the sea and the port of Leith, and further to the city. But the mood of your poem certainly matches the dour majesty the whole area has sometimes.
It's all very good for a poem to be nice and deep and abstract and conform to all the conventions of a 'good' poem. However, in my mind, poetry has to either leave the reader pondering the insight of the poem or the issues/themes raised therein. Or (preferrably and) the reader should be touched in some way by the poem-either by its passion or beauty or calm etc.
You succeed exceedingly well in contemplating the schism between mankind and nature. Yet you havent enforced any particular stance too strongly on me as the reader which I appreciate because you have allowed me to consider the themes and them derive my own meaning or make my own decisions about what you have to say in your piece.
This is another fine example of your sensitive intelligence and exquisite ability to use words to express yourself.
a few minor points i would have replaced "ocean unveils" with "ocean belches". Also, "ancient walls" is just tacky and politically incorrect when you could have described the walls as elderly or aging. In conclusion, spiffing
Thoughtfulness and detail prevails this masterpiece of art. You have carefully selected a setting of natural beauty, which has proven to be a strong foundation for this poem. Much admiration, on my part, in regards to the Scottish terminology, which you have so gently incorporated. This piece is much like a subliminal message, it is deceiving yet I am unsure if you have intentionally created the poem to facilitate this concept. Perhaps it is within my madness that I have failed to interpret correctly. Although, whilst viewing this piece, not only had I observed your words, but also the pictures in which were made by them (through your skilful use of imagery). “Frigid waters” – Naturally visible, tame and serene, just as any morning tide. An enthralling description as well as a semi-personification. “A navy mamba” –do excuse my ignorance, yet is this a metaphor for wave?? If so, I am most impressed! I admire the subtlety within this piece, as it transpires from a place of natural beauty to a modern day city. A classical piece, with a strong message. *Applauds * You have outdone yourself, yet again! -Romanticist.
Lovely... just lovely. I've wanted to live in the UK my whole life... and now I want to more! Oh... well. Anyway... I'm adding it to my favorites... because I just enjoyed it. Gave me a sense of completeness... and unity. Balance, as well. Extraordinary... wonderful job.
This is a good poem inasmuch as it is a careful construct, utilising many of the techniques of poetry such as alliteration and similes. Your poem is not a generic city, but based on the specific city you know well. We all gain strength and inspiration from our roots. When I first cam eto New Zealand I could not write about the country here because I was disassociated from my own roots. In your poem there are certain words which are too conventionally poetical (hue, drapes for example) and I think you have overdone the alliteration a tad. Good alliteration should be almost unobtrusive. I have the feel that the alliteration is driving the sense of your poem and not vice versa. Forgive my little niggles, that is all they are. Essentially I like and approve of your wholem poem.
I think these phrases should be replaced: "striking out," because it's used often and doesn't give a clear picture; "as if chiselled into The landscape," because I've heard many things compared to being chiseled, and "landscape" doesn't give a clear picture either; "stony sinews," because I doubt the stones actually look like sinews and I've heard it before; "etching a Line between," because it seemed wordy, and, again, I've heard it before; "eclipses the beauty of," for the same reasons; "the ebony Ocean unveils," because the succession of vowels starting the words bothered me. I really like this one, apart from that, mostly because it wasn't about teen angst, just a personified landscape. If the symbolism is important, I think Embra is something like the ideal world. That's the general impression I got: the sunrise evokes a vision of the primal nature of the world, setting Embra against the modern reality. You risked being preachy with the last line, it could bug some conservatives.
this is a truly incredible peice. i cant find words to explain what is so wonderful about this poem and i think its better that i cant. sometimes when something is so good you cant pin point or find words to describe it. it just is what it is and this case what it is, is excellant. great job