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Prentiss Riddle

But what's the "it" in "reflects it whole"? (¿"La" qué?)

badgerbag

Oh -the "war".

qp

Yah, I think it has to be verb & object, mostly at least.

instead, peace/whiting-out (sort of a flat white expanse, blank? is the image I get for some reason) reflects it whole.

badgerbag

Here's what I ended up with and I'm not entirely happy with its clumsiness. The original is strange, deft, punchy, cryptic.
(author Enr1qqueta Arrvel0 L. - another odd leapy metaphysical poet. 1922-ish.)


A war lives

A war lives, unheralded. War
with saint and sign, with the order of day,
with parts, with messenger doves.

War throbbing inside whole lives.
I don't say in the veins; deeper inside.

No bang or ruddiness of fire
no smoke cloud gives naked warning.

Instead, the peace of whiting-out reflects it whole.

qp

oh, nice. I looked up the original -- I see what you mean -- but can't think of a way to make the last line as succinct + still... full? dense? as the spanish. hmp.

badgerbag

It's maddening - "chalk" just doesn't work... something about erasing or erasure would work but you don't get the sense of whiteness that's a substance instead of an absence or blank. Chalk, chalk, whiteout, er, something... arrrgh.

Of course exactly the right words and phrasing will occur to me one week after the thing gets published somewhere.

qp

yeah, I was clicking through bunches of things in the dictionary to see if I could find any synonyms of synonyms of synonyms for tiza that would click, and make me think of something, but no. Only one thing (several clicks distant) about shining sheets/foil of chalk (probably gypsum?) which then stuck the big white expanse/whiteness/blot/mirrorish thing in my head, but with no good way to say it in english. obviously.

Prentiss Riddle

I keep thinking of "lime" -- as in the white mineral used to treat cadavers in mass graves. Probably no connection (and I'm too rushed to look up what it is in Spanish) but there it is, another random association.

badgerbag

i know -- lots of other poems go into cal (i.e. quicklime) or, you know, there's these other things always referenced that you would not seen in an english poem - s4litre, n1itre, n4rd... "Index of weird poetic substances and their significance..."

qp

hmm, my obsol -- uh, antique! dictionary at home says tiza can also mean whiting, used in smithing to polish metals. further googling says whiting is also called "rottenstone"... "A soft decomposed limestone, used in powder form as a polishing material." huh.
which doesn't fit in the line, but makes sense with the polishing and reflecting and seeing. and weird poetic substances... heh...

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