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And when I am formulated, sprawling on a pin,
When I am pinned and wriggling on the wall,
Then how should I begin…

~ T.S. Eliot, "The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock

I am going through the keyless gate
to watch and wait,
to wander here and there among the proud,
among the white and old whose wisdom rots, repressed, untold:
the soporific royals wreathed in leaves of gold.
And to them I shall read aloud from the Book,
read of the sins their lips have took
and upon me they shall look and patiently reflect…

“I am lost in my own depth,” I will say
in a slight, impartial way
(for I lack violets and an antic prince’s love)
and they, floating through their channels deep
dare to drown me in my sleep and in their orisons remember
nothing.

So shall I be a queen bone and ash,
of crawling worms and sullied, melting flesh.
Kissed by death, I shall burn upon a pyre
knowing only distance and desire and, rising from the fire,
I shall step with soft, unfettered feet
toward where the two twin rivers meet
in that vast, fertile crescent land and
I will lay my milky hand upon his brow
whispering “hush now, hush now:”
I will suck his marrow deep, like nectar,
Till he is asleep and cut his hair
and bear his wrath while he is weak.
And having sung the song of sirens I’ll depart
to take up some different, dying art:
Like Lazarus I shall come when I am called
and go where the wildflowers grow,
to know as they know,
waking, watchful and unrested.

(and in thy orisons—)

I am she of the first orchard, gilt in innocence and
ribbed by curiosity: in name, an ending though I am
beginning as a child, clothed in air.
Loved, though imperfect now, in my disgrace:
I am not worthy of him whose face I imitate
or the bone stolen from the First.
I greet them all spread-eagle in a fall
on display for all to see and scrutinize,
to undo me and every flaw.
Something that I wrote after reading T.S. Eliot's "The Wasteland" and rereading "The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock." The style is therefore very Eliot-esque and the whole thing is very cryptic - I'M still trying to figure out what it all means.

The epigraph is also from "The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock" and it deals with much the same stuff that Prufrock does.
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Daily Deviation

Given 2008-11-28
Scrutiny by ~aillesdors is a beautiful, allusive and ambitious poem. I was thrilled to read it! ( Suggested by TheFavoritesProject and Featured by lovetodeviate )
:iconklickbang:
KlickBang Featured By Owner Jun 3, 2017
I understand it. Your references of women strong, and fragile. Who bring men down from the wall, disarm them before they submit. Dangerous and special is this poetry...
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:iconemmasloane:
EmmaSloane Featured By Owner Apr 5, 2011
Beautifully done!
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:iconaillesdors:
aillesdors Featured By Owner Apr 6, 2011
Why thank you :)
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:iconknaveofspades:
KnaveofSpades Featured By Owner Jan 1, 2010
This poem is among the greatest i have ever read. I haven't read any TS Eliot besides The Hollow Men, but The Hollow Men is my fav poem of all time. I really like your style of writing, and you did a great job of making Eliot-esque.
I like the content too. it's very deep which is a nice relief. too often i read poetry that seems to have no deeper point. i definitely don't get all of the references and some of the lines are confusing at first glance, but i'll reread it a few times and see what i can derive.
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:iconcatapult03:
catapult03 Featured By Owner Sep 13, 2009
I love this. Eliot is a good choice to be influenced by.
I actually wrote a poem based on "Rhapsody on a Windy Night"
[link]
Take a look?
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:iconyeatsgrave:
yeatsgrave Featured By Owner Jun 11, 2009   Writer
This is great. You have definitely internalized much of Eliot's rhythm. I also noticed Yeats in here. "I shall burn upon a pyre/knowing only distance and desire" and words like "sirens" and "nectar" are quite Romantic. And I like how you integrate all these poetry types together.

Your rhyme, I feel is just perfect really. It feels really natural, so I think you definitely got something from Eliot there. It's the kind of rhythm that makes the reader want to shut up and listen because it holds you. And oh, your alliteration! "watch and wait...wander here and there...white ...old... whose wisdom ... rots, repressed, untold" So awesome!

And I love "'I am lost in my own depth,' I will say/in a slight, impartial way". It's so relevant I think.

I really have no idea what orisons are.

There is something I don't like about "milky hand" But that is only me. But I almost would like to see the adjective taken out entirely. Although it may compliment more than its own line, I don't feel it is necessary. Like when you say "I will suck his marrow deep, like nectar" and even the fact that there are rivers ... all these liquids would be stronger without the milky thing. (yes, I notice weird weird things! and connect them in strange ways!) I'm sure nobody else is categorizing the liquids in this stanza and feeling some would be stronger felt without others though, so you're probably safe!

I like the last stanza, except that I have no clue who you're talking about. Which is fair enough in poetry. But I do like "beginning as a child, clothed in air" for some reason. And I like the ending, and its vulnerability.

And one thing I love about poetry, is figuring out what it means after you write it. Because of course you don't know what it means before you write it down! It's like that. The sounds come through you. Anyway, as always, excellent work. I don't know what else I could say about it. It's a pretty ambiguous poem. But like with Eliot, that's half the point.

:)
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:iconoctopus2727:
octopus2727 Featured By Owner May 3, 2009
This is very impressive. It's the first poem I have truly enjoyed in months. I love the cryptic tone and the timeless pacing. I can imagine it being read in a wood, with everything around hanging on every word.
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:iconoctopus2727:
octopus2727 Featured By Owner May 3, 2009
This is very impressive. It's the first poem I have truly enjoyed in months. I love the cryptic tone and the timeless pacing. I can imagine it being read in a wood, with everything around hanging on every word.
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:iconaillesdors:
aillesdors Featured By Owner May 4, 2009
Aw thanks! I'm really glad you enjoyed it! And thanks for the favorite too :)
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:iconbrassteeth:
brassteeth Featured By Owner Feb 2, 2009
Nice use of moods. The changes here are ripe and well structured, moving from irony to expressive and on to an emotional declaration, with "I am she.."
Wonderful use of words to, not overly done, but just wordy enough. This is writing.
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:iconaillesdors:
aillesdors Featured By Owner Feb 13, 2009
Oh, thank you. Mood is something I've really been trying to work on, so I'm thrilled that you picked up on it. Thank you so much for your insight!
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:iconeverydaysaint:
EverydaySaint Featured By Owner Dec 22, 2008  Hobbyist Writer
This was featured in, Literature Features: Edition One!
If you wish to see the news post, click this [link]

~ =SeptemberBreeze
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:iconyneis:
Yneis Featured By Owner Dec 16, 2008
I may have commented twice, but now thrice.
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:iconyneis:
Yneis Featured By Owner Dec 16, 2008
I was enchanted by this! The influence of Eliot and Prufrock is evident here, but despite my usual aversion to such romantic poems (preferring my obscure, modernistic poetry as you know) I couldn't tear myself from the gorgeous imagery and beautiful use of vocabulary here! One of your best my dear.
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:iconyneis:
Yneis Featured By Owner Dec 16, 2008
I was enchanted by this! The influence of Eliot and Prufrock is evident here, but despite my usual aversion to such romantic poems (preferring my obscure, modernistic poetry as you know) I couldn't tear myself from the gorgeous imagery and beautiful use of vocabulary here! One of you best my dear.
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:iconaillesdors:
aillesdors Featured By Owner Jan 26, 2009
Oh, thank you love. You fill me with joy. ^_^
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:iconyneis:
Yneis Featured By Owner Feb 2, 2009
Yay! It makes me happy to make you so. ^ ^
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:iconaillesdors:
aillesdors Featured By Owner Feb 2, 2009
Joy!
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:iconyneis:
Yneis Featured By Owner Feb 20, 2009
Is a wonderful thing.
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:icondimerization:
dimerization Featured By Owner Nov 30, 2008
Very Eliot-esque; the words and sounds of this poem alone are beautiful, the imagery adding another dimension. I like it a lot.
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:iconaillesdors:
aillesdors Featured By Owner Nov 30, 2008
Oh wow, thanks! I was trying to be conscious of the sound of the words as much as possible, since Eliot's so good about that too. I'm so glad it came across!!!
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:iconhakeberhut:
hakeberhut Featured By Owner Nov 28, 2008
beauty beauty beauty beauty beauty beauty
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:iconaillesdors:
aillesdors Featured By Owner Nov 29, 2008
Eeee thank you ^_^
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:iconhakeberhut:
hakeberhut Featured By Owner Dec 5, 2008
anytime.
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:iconhokuto:
hokuto Featured By Owner Nov 28, 2008
Absolutely gorgeous. :heart:
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:iconaillesdors:
aillesdors Featured By Owner Nov 29, 2008
Thank you!!!
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:iconthekingoffall:
TheKingofFall Featured By Owner Nov 28, 2008   Writer
Look at that, a good DD!
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:iconaillesdors:
aillesdors Featured By Owner Nov 28, 2008
Aww thanks! I'm so glad you think so!
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:iconsauriamami:
SauriaMami Featured By Owner Nov 28, 2008   Photographer
excellent work! glad to see some written work become a DD!!!
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:iconaillesdors:
aillesdors Featured By Owner Nov 28, 2008
Yay! Thank you! :-)
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:iconlesariannalost:
LesAriannalost Featured By Owner Nov 28, 2008
I love the metaphors that you've put in place here. But the way I see it, a poem can mean so much to the point that it doesn't mean anything at all. I think it's wonderful that you're so connected to literature and history, and other poets. But in my opinion, the first two stanzas could almost stand alone, and than the last two could be it's own poem as well, with a little editing of course. Personally I was a little confused by the next two stanzas, the first were pretty clear, but I thought the next two didn't mesh well with the rest of the poem. You've got a lot of beautiful metaphors here. I'm going to have read this a few more times before I can say more, but for now, bravo!!
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:iconaillesdors:
aillesdors Featured By Owner Nov 29, 2008
Thanks! Yeah, I kind of thought it felt a little disjointed when I was writing it, but it just sort of... has to be that way. I tried to change it, but it didn't want to change. The shifts in meter are strangely necessary. I'm still tweaking it and streamlining it and I might even add to it later. If it helps at all, the first stanza is there as setup and all the preceding ones focus on different women from literature, history etc. that I identify with and then concentrates on the flaws of those women (and consequently my own flaws). So the timbre's kind of supposed to change with every stanza. ... If I make any sense. But I agree - it does still feel a little disjointed, so I'm working on it, but in a rather subtle manner. :-)
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:iconlesariannalost:
LesAriannalost Featured By Owner Nov 30, 2008
Oh I see. Well, like I said, I probably need to read through it a little more. Than again, I've suffered through a long line of English teachers that have stressed the importance of discription. When really, all that truly matters is that you like what you write. But I did enjoy the beauty of this poem very much..
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:iconaillesdors:
aillesdors Featured By Owner Nov 30, 2008
Aww thanks. I think that one of the hardest jobs of the poet is the fact that they need to be able to appeal to people on many levels.
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:iconlesariannalost:
LesAriannalost Featured By Owner Nov 30, 2008
Well, and if you're trying to publish a poem you're really trying to appeal not so much to the people but to the person who will be reading it. That's it in nutshell. Most rejections are personal rather professional. But you have to keep plodding forward!! Keep at it.. and I think you've got the talent to be published if you haven't already.
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:iconaillesdors:
aillesdors Featured By Owner Nov 30, 2008
Thank you. I haven't really ever had the confidence to TRY to be published (except on dA and such) but maybe now I will. :-)
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:iconlesariannalost:
LesAriannalost Featured By Owner Nov 30, 2008
Oh you should really go for it. I mean, rejections are common place. But don't lose heart. I figure the more rejections a writer has the closer he is to becoming published!!!
I'm sure you'll knock them away!!
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:iconaillesdors:
aillesdors Featured By Owner Nov 30, 2008
Aww thanks! I'll keep you posted :-)
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(1 Reply)
:icongyrite:
gyrite Featured By Owner Nov 28, 2008
I like the bit of slight rhyming connection between "reflect" and "depth", which makes a little bridge between that stanza break.

"(for I lack violets and an antic prince’s love)" makes me smile. Oh self-consciousness.

"Loved, though imperfect now, in my disgrace:" is a nice tangle of a sentiment-- complicated social scene, heh.

I like the second and last stanzas best. The third stanza is easily interpreted and nicely done but almost too rich with references, and so it sends you spinning. I think you're right that the last stanza would be the most accessible.

“I am lost in my own depth,” I will say
in a slight, impartial way
(for I lack violets and an antic prince’s love)
and they, floating through their channels deep
dare to drown me in my sleep and in their orisons remember nothing.


is really the part of this I like the best. The slight dreamy bitterness of "and in their orisons remember nothing" rings nicely against the injunctive in Hamlet, to remember... It makes them lesser men, not philosophers at all, for burying you and leaving you out of their prayers.
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:iconaillesdors:
aillesdors Featured By Owner Nov 30, 2008
You nailed it! Yay! Thank you so much for taking the time to read into it so thoroughly - I really appreciate that!
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:iconmelancholycufflinks:
MelancholyCufflinks Featured By Owner Nov 28, 2008
"or the bone stolen from the First.
I greet them spread-eagle in a fall"

Sounds like a reference to "Forest of the Pygmies," but after reading the helpful explanation, never mind.
It's great though, really flows, not too fast and not too slow.
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:iconaillesdors:
aillesdors Featured By Owner Nov 29, 2008
Oooh! Oooh! What's that? I like reading new literature!
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:iconmelancholycufflinks:
MelancholyCufflinks Featured By Owner Nov 30, 2008
It's a novel by Isabel Allende, the last in a trilogy.
I think you would like them, they're quite interesting!
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:iconaillesdors:
aillesdors Featured By Owner Nov 30, 2008
Allende... I think other people have recommended works of hers to me before. I'll have to check it out. Thanks!
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:iconmelancholycufflinks:
MelancholyCufflinks Featured By Owner Nov 30, 2008
Ah well while you're at it, check out "Daughter of Fortune" by her.
It's also about growing and rearranging oneself, much like your poetry.
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:iconaillesdors:
aillesdors Featured By Owner Nov 30, 2008
Will do! :-) Thanks!
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:icony0urstalker:
y0urstalker Featured By Owner Nov 28, 2008
I'll sit here for hours and not think of something to say.

but I must say at least it's wonderful.
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:iconaillesdors:
aillesdors Featured By Owner Nov 29, 2008
Thanks! Just that means a lot :-)
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:icony0urstalker:
y0urstalker Featured By Owner Nov 29, 2008
without the faint mask of eloquence?
the silverest of tongues that keeps people from kicking my not so brass balls?

not that they could, me being asian and such

and not that I have much silver as you can see by this display

in any case, I agree with my aforementioned statement.
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:iconaillesdors:
aillesdors Featured By Owner Nov 30, 2008
Well it's certainly nice of you. You're only a stalker if you TREAT me like one, and so far I'm not quite as convinced of that.
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