Poetry competition CLOSED 1st February 2020 2:31pm
WINNER
PoetsRevenge
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RUNNERS-UP: eswaller and Josh

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Archaic Fragment

slipalong
slipalong
Fire of Insight
United Kingdom
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The Cortage

Lie they now on a wheelbase stretched  
the box to hold all lifes pursuits
mourners and "my black tie where is it kept"
the shiny coffin resting their best suit
 
Memories that rise and teardrops fall
the wardrobe of discomfort  
the solomn line of cars that crawl
the elegy of all your triumph
 
The hearse so smart without a finger mark
a mobile phone bursts into life
the reply just whispered quiet
it goes to voice mail with a snick
 
The line with measured tread
passes soon from birth to grave
in joy and sorrow as you transit
how fast that time did flit

Reference ( The butterfly )
Written by slipalong
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Ahavati
Ahavati
Tyrant of Words
United States
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Less than 24 hours to enter!  The judging has already begun!

Thank you to all entrants who braved the classics this month!  

Ahavati
Ahavati
Tyrant of Words
United States
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A big thank you to all who paid tribute to this month's featured poets. As in previous months, these are very difficult to judge, and sometimes come down to a simple typo or grammatical error breaking a tie. This month was no different.

Call it emulation, we seek the essence of the classic author in the entrant's own style - not just replacing words of existing poems, but writing as though they were those classic authors ( regardless of form utilized ).

Our Classic Champions, as we like to refer to them, work HARD, and it shows in their writing. They study and deliver without any borderline plagiarism. They double-check spelling, grammar, form, guidelines, and put forth their heart into these comps.  

We recognize that effort and award accordingly, judging on a scale of 1-5 spelling, grammar, punctuation, form, and content - while the most important question we ask ourselves is this:  Did we feel like we were reading a classic poet?

All that being said, congratulations to the following winners!

Firstly, congratulations to the winners:

First Place: PoetsRevenge - Poem (Spring Emergence:  The Pear Tree)

Second Place: Elena – Afterthought

Third Place: Josh – Too-Soon

Fourth Place: Jade - As Winter Ends

Honorable Mention: buddakitty - pale kisses

PoetsRevenge - Poem (Spring Emergence:  The Pear Tree)

You never fail to disappoint in these comps, PR, despite who the poet is. You take the time to know them intimately, which is exactly why you hold a Classic Championship title. Poem, by Glück, has always fascinated me in its subtle metaphoric innuendos involving death.  The roses that will wilt, veins of words filling with in as blood likened to our thinning skin as we age,  and the blossoming pear tree.  

As is typical of Glück's thematic poetry, death weaves itself throughout. You've done a bang-up job of capturing that essence throughout the poem, but particularly the final couplet, which truly drives it home.

You truly nailed this challenge and deserve First Place. Congratulations.

Elena - Afterthought

Elena, your choice of inspiration poem was very ambitious, and reads as though the narrator has come face to face with a spiritual roadblock of serious magnitude manifesting everywhere, rather than just as writer's block ( or painter's block ). Creativity is a process we lose ourselves in, often with reckless abandon. Children don't second guess or discourage themselves like adults do with thoughts such as, "Life is pointless", and let it effect every avenue one could travel down.  

We see this as your personal interpretation of her poem without any specific negative belief(s) mentioned; you owned what you wrote rather than borrowing and rearranging what Glück penned. This was so impressive given the inspirational poem.  We felt did a great job this time around because you did not force your entry into a rhyming format. It was truly inspired as it was inspirational. For that, you truly deserve Second Place. Congratulations.

Josh – Too-Soon

Your poem is unique in that it comes to us in three parts, all emphasizing  futility which hearkens back to the inspiration poem by Glück. Drowning is an act of futility; we thrash about madly to no avail and must accept our fate without immediate answers as to why while time is not on our side.

We felt this to be very ambitious spin on The Drown Children told in three parts, each touching upon the concept of futility that the act of drowning can be - especially the first stanza, where time is not on anyone's side except for Death's. As one flails about underwater, death is inevitable within a span of minutes.

We believe this line could use a comma: "and a truer[,] bigger picture"; however, that did not prevent us from awarding you Third Place. Congratulations.

Jade – As Winter Ends

End of Winter is one of Glück most ambiguous works in regards to the narrator.  Some believe she is addressing a child. Glück had battled the loss of her older sister, and many of her works address death, or death of a child ( particularly a little girl ), so it’s feasible she could be reflecting on that loss.   Others believe it’s the voice of God speaking to her; however, the reference to the narrator’s grief questions that theory.  It’s even been speculated that it’s her deceased sister speaking.  It’s the very ambiguity that leaves the poem open to personal interpretation by each reader, thus allowing them to relate in through their own experiences.  

This is very poetic, as is your style, and filled with rich imagery.  Also, the form is pleasing and easy to read, as is also reflected in Glück work.  While the ambiguous nature of the narrator is in line with Glück poem, it’s a shame you explained it in one of your comments, "Btw, the piece is Winter as it acquiesces to the oncoming of Spring”, thus dictating interpretation for the reader.  

This tied you with Josh in Third Place; thus, we called in one of our trusted backup judges ( who wishes to remain anonymous ) to render the final decision.  

Buddha Kitty – Pale Kisses

The essence of The Drowned Children is loss, one of the most painful experienced by anyone with a child. Glück's cool detachment addressing the reader ( in regards to children “have no judgment. So it is natural that they should drown.” ) is like a blast of cold air across the face, numbing the shock and horror momentarily.  The imagery in her poem is evocative, particularly the woolen scarves slowly descending behind them.  The image that conjures provides that wake-up shock ensuing the cool detachment. But my favorite part is the voice calling, “come home, come home” is silenced and  “lost in the waters, blue and permanent.”  That is the essence, Loss - permanence.

Your poem reflects that perfectly.  While there will be new growth - it will never be the same as it was.  It is permanent as the dried bones of leaves in winter. However, we feel a portion of "The Drowned Children" is about playing it safe and not living rather than taking risks - and you might as well not leave the womb if that is the case. There is almost a sarcasm to that cold detachment in the first stanza hinting at this. For that we’re awarding you an Honorable Mention. Congratulations.

. . . . .

We have compiled detailed notes on each submission. If you wish to view them please message or email us, and we will be happy to forward them to you.

Thank you again to those who braved Glück. She was a prolific poet who deserves focus and recognition.

Please join us in our latest classic comps honoring Stevie Smith and Billy Collins at the links below:

https://deepundergroundpoetry.com/forum/competitions/read/11244/

https://deepundergroundpoetry.com/forum/competitions/read/11245/

JohnnyBlaze
JohnnyBlaze
Tyrant of Words
United States
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Congratulations all you wonderful writers who braved Glück this month!

eswaller
eswaller
Dangerous Mind
United States
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Joined 22nd Dec 2015
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Thank you for choosing me as runner up for this competition honoring Louise Glück. I did not really know much about her until entering this competition. Congratulations to PoetsRevenge for the win and to Josh for standing on the podium with me. Thanks to Ahavati and JohnnyBlaze for hosting. Looking forward to the next one.

Jade-Pandora
Jade-Pandora
jade tiger
Tyrant of Words
United States
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I am always honored when I’m able to breathe the rarified air of  the podium.  And finding out that Josh & I were tied for 3rd at the 11th hour had me tipsy.

Ahavati, I very much appreciate all the detail, providing a clearer perspective. I enjoyed doing the piece, and I needed to learn from both my entry’s strengths and weaknesses.

January’s duel CC tributes are further testaments of the quality  we, who brave the poets, have come to expect. The serious scribes, experienced and novice, will benefit from the experience no matter the final outcome.

And so with pride, I extend my heartfelt congratulations to PoetsRevenge for the win!  And to Elena (2nd) and Josh (3rd)— to share the podium’s spotlight!

Oooh, something new has been added... we have a spotlight now!

Josh
Josh
Joshua Bond
Tyrant of Words
Portugal
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Absolutely the right choice for PoetsRevenge to take the top-spot in this comp. Congratulations PR. Am happy to be named in the same breath as a runner-up  :))    am honoured.

PoetsRevenge
PoetsRevenge
Dangerous Mind
United States
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I'm so honored by the podium, which is like the shoulders of giants when it comes to honoring the classics; we can see furthur because they did..

Thanks so much to Johnny and Ahavati for hosting your classic comps, what a great concept they are to help us grow, its like fertilizer for plants

Congratulations to the runners up, Elena, Josh, Jade and Buddhakitty, your entries were truly heartfelt in the subjects of loss, relationships and death that Louse Gluck wrote so deeply in expression of.  It was a reflective month and a perfect one to inspire these subjects.  I look forward to the next classic comp, I'll see everyone there!

Ahavati
Ahavati
Tyrant of Words
United States
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Am I the only one NOT surprised by this?

‘She never stops making demands on herself’: how US poet Louise Glück won the Nobel

A writer of wisdom and grit, Glück sets a new course for each collection

Readers who follow American poetry closely noticed Louise Glück in the 1970s. The rest of the literary world mostly took her Nobel prize last week as a surprise. And no wonder. She is not particularly topical, nor internationally influential; like the sadder-but-wiser adults who populate her later work, she can seem to keep her own counsel, to withdraw. That attitude is not so much a limit as a condition for her success, over a lifetime of serious, often terse, introspective, unsettling, sometimes exhilarating work. Like all authors of her calibre she harbours contradictions. Read her 12 collections (and two chapbooks) of poetry for the first time, and they may seem almost all of a piece. Read them again, though, and the divisions pop out: she has said that she tries to change, to challenge herself, even to reverse direction with each new book, and if you go deep enough you can see how she’s right.

https://www.google.com/amp/s/amp.theguardian.com/books/2020/oct/15/she-never-stops-making-demands-on-herself-how-us-poet-louise-gluck-won-the-nobel

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