revising the diamond

Friday, September 17th, 2004

Over at Wanderlust Neha is struggling with the third stanza, which is cut and pasted thusly:

Drops of silver on soft white flesh
like sparking diamonds under a golden sun
rolling down twisty branches, weary of weight
carried through endless nights and endless days
Onto quivering hidden lips
waiting to sprout green once again.

I’m sort of partial to an “oval” diamond in line 2 because I can’t really see a “sparking diamond.” The first line would seem to set up the metaphor. Would leaving diamonds without an adjective be enough? I don’t know. Then I fix on the “golden sun.” I’d love to see the sun work a little harder. The “rolling” image is nice. The “weary of weight / carried through” seems long too. I’d suggest some wrestling with syntactical arrangement. I really enjoy the first stanza, but I wonder what would happen to the poem if the last line of stanza 1 were cut?

Great work.

Read the rest here.


2 responses to “revising the diamond”

  1. gibb says:

    You say, “I really enjoy the first stanza, but I wonder what would happen to the poem if the last line of stanza 1 were cut?”

    I’ve gone over Neha’s poem many times already, and did not catch that possibility. In other words, you are saying that the last line is redundancy:

    “Clouds that made the peacocks sing
    and spread their feathers in majestic dance.”

    And here I apply the readerly/writerly concept, that the first line would be enough information to fill in the second. But doesn’t that imply that the reader must have experienced the sight of a strutting peacock? I have, and at the second (last) line, I merely nodded in confirmation. But if one has not had the experience, what sort of image would they conjure up? Do peacocks sing alto or soprano?

    In other words, would the process limit literary efforts to being geared towards only higher levels of knowledge and experience?

  2. Neha says:

    They scream rather loudly, waking up the entire neighbourhood.

    Thanks for taking a look at this, Teach.