Reflections 1,2, 3,4

My haiku series of verse, ‘Reflections’, is available on Amazon books. Simply go Poetry, Haiku, or write RC Clermont. They are available in paperback and Kindle. Thank you for reading this post. More description below.

Reflections 1 create space image Reflections 2 create space imageReflections 3 cover draft Reflections 4 Impressions BookCoverPreview

Reflections 1 create space image

In Reflections, RC Clermont uses the ‘English’ 17-syllable haiku form.

In an age of too much information, Reflections deploys the 5-7-5 format to achieve brevity.

Traditionally, haiku focuses on themes such as nature and the seasons. In this collection of fifty 17 -sound haiku verses, RC Clermont has departed from this rule.

Reflections comments on themes such as family dysfunction, particularly the consequences of relations’ attempts to dominate their ‘blood’.

Other themes explored are: love and friendship, economic malaise and inequality, as well as the crass, crude, materialism of suburban England. Reflections also takes a swipe at capitalism,  the shallowness riches, and how  money does not make people more respectable.

Reflections also takes a more critical view of the green lawns and fairways of Middle England, and the bigotry and hypocrisy therein, as well as the hell that is the England football supporter.  The English abroad are also observed at their worst. Reflections also delivers a critique on the stark reality of global politics and so-called democracy.

Reflections is part of a series, and the first collection of poems is now available in traditional book format for the first time and is also available through Amazon.

Reflections 2 create space image

In Reflections 2, RC Clermont explores further themes visited in Reflections – the first anthology-such as family dysfunction economic malaise, the gross inequalities of the neo-liberal model and the post-Thatcher economic legacy in Britain which still exist today(Economics II).  The vulgar materialism of suburban England (Moonscape II) and consumption are exposed for the worthlessness they are (Wasteland II).

New themes explored include the destructive economic, geopolitical and social climate of modern America (Atlantic). Jerusalem critiques the darker side of Englishness, xenophobia and the sense of ‘entitlement’ to possess one’s own little piece of England.

Commuting reflects on topics that anyone who has ever commuted into a city to work, and wondered whether their way of life is worthwhile.Tangibility sees culture, art, literature and learning as a signs of a civilised, enlightened society, increasingly under threat from the forces of consumerism, global capitalism and religion.

Society II comments on the social vanity of the London rich. The Sporting Life II explores themes of bigotry and misguided assertions about sporting prowess. Once again, in Home and Abroad II, embarrassing Britons are targeted. The vanity and the lifestyles of the rich are re-visited in Images IIProverbs II explores attitudes to success.

Reflections 3 cover draft

In Reflections 3, RC Clermont draws these haiku verses not from the Elements, Nature, or the Seasons in the ‘traditional’way, but from modern life, how we are all living a lie. The themes follow those in Reflections 1 and 2, including: global capitalism, economic, inequality, neo-liberalism, suburban greed, materialism and pretension, the English obsession with home-ownership, the pressure to conform, the importance of culture, literature and art instead of consumerism, commuting to a job one hates for poor pay, the toxicity of family life, love and friendship, the myths of sporting prowess and the golf and tennis ‘culture’ of Middle England.

Reflections 4 Impressions BookCoverPreview

Reflections 4 is the fourth collection of haiku 5-7-5 verses in the Reflections series.

Reflections 4 fires  further acerbic shots in some themes already explored in Reflections 1, 2 and 3, as well as new subjects such as: vulgar displays of ‘new’ wealth (Wasteland III), economic malaise and inequality (Economics IV), the supremacy of the right in UK politics and its harsh socio-economic consequences (Politics) , the poison that exits within families, or various members therein (Blood IV), the importance of culture and the futility of conforming to  other people’s expectations rather than following one’s own path (Tangibility III), the lack of due process in an increasingly insecure world (Law and Justice),  the savagery of English holidaymakers abroad (Home and Abroad III), love, loss and friendship (Friends, Lovers and Other Relationships IV), the  life-and mind destroying daily ritual of commuting to work, especially by train from a far suburb into the Capital (Commuting III), the reality of sport for most people is the mediocrity  of being a pub-going spectator (The Sporting Life IV), the  myths and the fraud of the health and fitness industry (Health and Well-Being II), and the bigotry, fakery  and fraud that is religion (Religion and Spirituality).

Contains very strong language

Notes on Posted Notes: Solitude #1

solitude-1-plus-image

 

Notes on Posted Notes : Solitude #1

Introduction

As promised, I would like to post a study, some notes on scansion and self-comment on my stanzas titled ‘Solitude’. Originally I said I would provide a comment on Solitude #1 and #2, but as there is some detail in this post regarding #1, I hope to post separate comment on #2. This post, therefore, concerns Solitude #1. My earlier post explains the background.  I trust that followers of my poetry will find scansion fun, because poetry should be taken as a serious discipline, which will help a poet develop their craft. Feedback to this post will be welcome.

Evolution of the poem

For Solitude 1 I created a structural symmetry by having a nine-line single stanza consisting of 9 syllables each, thereby making an 81-syllable verse.  In this verse, there is no ‘set’ rhyme scheme that I am aware of which would follow a seminal type ‘established’ by a well-known poet. The rhyme scheme in Solitude #1 is: abbbaaacc. I had deliberately set out from the beginning to have an a, b or c end-rhyme scheme to provide myself with a challenge. The cc in lines 8 and 9 could be seen as a rhyming couplet which normally terminates the English Shakespearean sonnets. The stanza is not the seminal Spenserian 9-line verse (which themselves consist of eight iambic pentameters and one closing hexameter). The ‘beat’ of Solitude #1 ‘found’ its natural rhythm when I created the opening line.

Line One emerged from elision. After deciding that ‘singleness’ would be the end word of Line One, I attempted other word combinations till I found that ‘To elect a state of singleness’ had a natural word flow, a more natural beat, as well as elision. I then counted the syllables, and decided that the following lines should also be of nine syllables. At the early stage I did not know how many lines there would be; I simply went with the flow.

On reviewing and editing my nine-line stanza, I also feared that by paying too much attention to Spenser, I could lose the ‘flow’ of what I began in Line One. Spoken aloud, Line One sounds naturally like ‘Twoelect estateov singleness’, which, I would suggest, is how native English speakers would say it.  In Line 2, for instance, the schwa of neither enjoins with the word following: self, so that the speaker would say it as neitheself…. Note here that British English speakers would use the schwa, but American English speakers would probably roll the ‘r’ at the end of neither. Note also that British English speakers would put emphasis on the first syllable of neither, with the flat schwa for the second, making it a trochee, whereas American English speakers would have two long syllables due to the rolling of the ‘r’, making it a spondee (as well as pronouncing the ei as the Germanic ‘ie’, as in schiessen [shoot], whereas the English would say the ei as in reisen [travel]).

Line 1 begins with statement of fact, the opinion of the writer, which was quantified in lines two and three (neithernor) and having composed the second  line that finishes with ‘purdah’, I needed to find the third line (and eventually line 4) that end-rhymed with purdah; I found ‘pariah’ and ‘insular’; this, then was end rhyme b.  For lines 5, 6, and 7 I needed a different rhyme, a or c. As line 4 has said that ‘One has not turned cold and insular’, I asked myself ‘Who might say we writers are weird loners, and are cold and insular.’? Prudes, of course, I said to myself, after all solitary writers are non-conformist, and bourgeois prejudice paints us in a bad light, so ‘prudes’ it was. This was rhyme c.

For lines six and seven I decided to keep the same rhyme as line five, and found that the consonance of the long ‘s’ sound created more force, as this was a statement to counter-argue the ‘prudes’, ergo, ‘Wrongly viewed as loneliness/when truly a reserve of wholeness. I also deliberately chose the –ness suffix, as once I elected to use loneliness, what argument, I asked myself, could I use to counter the prudes? I found the word ‘oneness’, and after that searched for synonyms; ‘wholeness’ fitted naturally into the  rhyme and syllable format I was seeking to achieve. It also fitted contextually into the counterattack against the prudes.

Speaking of consonance, and near rhymes (or pararhyme) and internal rhymes, to which I shall return, lines 8 and 9 end with –ty because I wanted, firstly, to insert multi-syllabic words which created a rapid beat to strengthen my case for solitude, as well as a new ‘c’ rhyme that was neither flat like the schwas of lines 2, 3 and 4, and to follow the consonance of the later lines of the verse. I had earlier found the word ‘chilly’, but could not initially find a place for it. This adjective (the ‘y’ sound not the –ty) fitted the assonance already created by the ‘y’ sound in the internal rhymes of: ‘by’ (L5), ‘wrongly (L6), and truly (L7) . They say slay your adverbs and adjectives, but in poetry I think they have a place if one wants the assonance or consonance. The very last word, ‘indivisibility’ is also deliberate due to the strong vowel sounds (d, v,b,t) as well as having an internal consonance of its own, with the di/vi/ si/ bi/ li sounds, and also being consonant with and pararhyming with the suffix, –ty. ‘Unsociability’ also possesses the bi/ li/ty consonance to match ‘indivisibility’.

Now to the rhymes.

The end-rhymes are: ‘singleness/prudes/loneliness/wholeness, purdah/pariah/insular, and unsociability/indivisibility.

Internal rhymes:

by/wrongly/truly/chilly, with the assonance as stated earlier with Lines 8 and 9; turned/cold/believed/viewed/instead, where there is also an consonance with prudes;

one has/oneness, which are in turn consonant with the end-rhymes for Lines 1, 5,6, and 7;

an internal para-rhyme can be found in the vowel sounds  become/turned when spoken allowed by BrEng speakers.

 

I won’t explore the beat pattern of the stanza, as I went with the flow, and it ensued that the Spenser form wasn’t-and couldn’t be- used, there being 9 syllables in each line. This can be seen, for instance in L1, where, as close as I could get, depending on subtle emphasis, the beat pattern is not iambic at all, but the following [long syllables underlined]:

 

Anapaestic [to elect]/

 iamb [a state]/

iamb [of sing…]/

trochee […leness],

or perhaps spondee [leness],

or even iamb […leness ];

or dactyl [singleness].

If dactyl is the form for ‘singleness’, then ‘a state of’ as a word group does not fit any of the above beat patterns, as ‘a’ and ‘of’ are short sounds, and the ‘a’ in state is long (as in ‘pay’ or ‘stay’).

 

If you have managed to reach this far, thank you. Feedback will be welcome. The next self-analysis will cover Solitude #2.

 

© RC Clermont 2016