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The shrinking lonely sestina
Posted by: PamAdams (192.168.128.---)
Date: April 20, 2006 05:38PM

I came across this one on the Wandering Minstrels site. Love that title!

pam

The Shrinking Lonesome Sestina

Somewhere in everyone's head something points toward home,
a dashboard's floating compass, turning all the time
to keep from turning. It doesn't matter how we come
to be wherever we are, someplace where nothing goes
the way it went once, where nothing holds fast
to where it belongs, or what you've risen or fallen to.

What the bubble always points to,
whether we notice it or not, is home.
It may be true that if you move fast
everything fades away, that given time
and noise enough, every memory goes
into the blackness, and if new ones come-

small, mole-like memories that come
to live in the furry dark-they, too,
curl up and die. But Carol goes
to high school now. John works at home
what days he can to spend some time
with Sue and the kids. He drives too fast.

Ellen won't eat her breakfast.
Your sister was going to come
but didn't have the time.
Some mornings at one or two
or three I want you home
a lot, but then it goes.

It all goes.
Hold on fast
to thoughts of home
when they come.
They're going to
less with time.

Time
goes
too
fast.
Come
home.

Forgive me that. One time it wasn't fast.
A myth goes that when the years come
then you will, too. Me, I'll still be home.

-- Miller Williams


Re: The shrinking lonely sestina
Posted by: IanB (192.168.128.---)
Date: April 20, 2006 07:23PM

Lovely, Pam.


Re: The shrinking lonely sestina
Posted by: JohnnySansCulo (192.168.128.---)
Date: April 20, 2006 10:44PM

The Little Wooden Boy

NEXT !


Re: The shrinking lonely sestina
Posted by: lg (Moderator)
Date: April 20, 2006 11:20PM

Pam, do you have the hard copy of the original handy? I think there is a typo here:

They're going to
less with time.


My guess is that Williams intended to have a word after "to".


Les

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 04/20/2006 11:21PM by lg.


Re: The shrinking lonely sestina
Posted by: Hugh Clary (192.168.128.---)
Date: April 21, 2006 11:47AM

Can't be, since it's a (shrinking) sestina. In other words, the thoughts of home are going to come less with the passing of time.

But hey, if the author can have breakfast and fast, and to with too and two, I wonder why time and thyme were omitted. Come and comb? Goes and gauze? Home and ? Dunno, but there just has to be some Scottish word that matches! No, not lochaim, don't be silly.

Cleverly constructed by Williams.


Re: The shrinking lonely sestina
Posted by: lg (Moderator)
Date: April 21, 2006 12:03PM

You're right, I'm sure Hugh. But, I was puzzled by the fact that his language usage was impeccably grammatical up to that point.


Les


Re: The shrinking lonely sestina
Posted by: JohnnySansCulo (192.168.128.---)
Date: April 21, 2006 12:42PM

It all goes.
Hold on fast
to thoughts of home
when they come.
They're going to (be)
less with time.

or
less(en) with time


THe hard copy would be the most reliable.......once a typo creeps into something on the net, you find it everywhere


Re: The shrinking lonely sestina
Posted by: JohnnySansCulo (192.168.128.---)
Date: April 21, 2006 12:44PM

this phenomenon existed even before the internet:

[www.snopes.com]


Re: The shrinking lonely sestina
Posted by: PamAdams (192.168.128.---)
Date: April 21, 2006 02:07PM

Les,

I copied it from Wondering Minstrels- any typos can be blamed on them.

[www.cs.rice.edu] />
pam


Re: The shrinking lonely sestina
Posted by: JohnnySansCulo (192.168.128.---)
Date: April 21, 2006 02:12PM

Yeah, but who knows where THEY got it from ?

Maybe They're going to
Les's house


Re: The shrinking lonely sestina
Posted by: lg (Moderator)
Date: April 21, 2006 02:25PM

Johnny, I think Hugh is right. Because of the number of words in the line, the copy is probably correct. Although, it could be "lessen", it just makes more sense with "be" there.

I checked with our local library, Stanislaus county, which has a copy of the book "The Making of a Poem" edited by Mark Strand. This copy on page 38 has the poem the same way it is on The Wondering Minstrels site. The poem is also included in Miller's book, "Some Jazz a While: Collected Poems". So if you have that book in your library, check out the poem and see if the copy is correct.

Les

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 04/21/2006 07:32PM by lg.


Re: The shrinking lonely sestina
Posted by: IanB (192.168.128.---)
Date: April 21, 2006 07:09PM

Can't be a word after 'to' in the same line, because of the line end requirements of his sestina. I read it as:

going to = turning into = becoming
less with time

The apparent pruning of the grammar helps portray the shrinking.

But I like Johnny's ingenious suggestion, that they may be going to Les's place. Now we do need to find the original hard copy, to check whether silverfish ate the original apostrophe and the bar at the base of the original L !

Incidentally, the Wondering Minstrels site is not free from the mischief of the typo gremlin, and even when pointed out, the occasional mistakes have not been corrected, or at least not promptly. That might be due to technical constraints; because the individuals running the site are very knowledgeable and sensitive and articulate about poetry.

Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 04/21/2006 07:54PM by IanB.


Re: The shrinking lonely sestina
Posted by: PamAdams (192.168.128.---)
Date: April 24, 2006 03:59PM

That might be due to technical constraints; because the individuals running the >site are very knowledgeable and sensitive and articulate about poetry.


It's those damned shreds and patches getting in the way.

pam




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