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Language and Truth

by The Walrus 

Posted: 17 March 2004
Word Count: 65

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Mealy meandering messages
Masking meaning
Enigmatic essences
Their conveyance
Couched in ambiguity
Florid and flowery
But inevitably
Lacking outright

But fundamentally

Of calculated quality
But ultimately
Lacking honesty,
Candour concealed
In monochrome image
Craving colour.

Give me strong.
Strong images.
Strong words.
And, yes
Strong actions
That belong
To what is real
What is honest
That speak.
That strut.

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Comments by other Members

Fearless at 08:57 on 18 March 2004  Report this post
A poem reminding me about the falseness of words from behind a ball mask or hiding place. Words mean nothing if not conveyed with expression, honesty, honour and presence. Another good lyric.


roovacrag at 10:36 on 18 March 2004  Report this post
Better title.
This is strong and the images are clear.
Liked the second stanza.
As always well written,you surprise me with your poetry,it's unique.
Well done Red.
aaaa Stan

The Walrus at 18:33 on 18 March 2004  Report this post
Fearless, Stan, thanks for your comments.

Not pleased with it though. Like the message, but can do better.

Will revisit.

Thanks again.

The Walrus

miffle at 11:18 on 19 March 2004  Report this post
Walrus, Enjoyed the poem. I agree with Alice - a better title ;-) Found an interesting contrast between the first 3 verses and the last in rhythm and strength - apt considering the way the ideas of the poem turn in the last verse.

Loved the first and last words: the contrast between the two and the progression from the one to the other. 'Mealy' - haven't heard this word for a long time; for some reason i'm thinking 'mealy-mouthed' but Heaven knows where that's come from? (and I don't mean that as a change to your poem ;-)) Oatmealy? I don't really know what it means, actually... (?). 'strut' - this is definitely a Walrus' word, signature tune - i.e. I would say your poems are 'strutty' if pushed for one word! Reminds me of your 'Burnt Sienna', in particular. 'Mealy' also sounds a bit sickly, 'peely-wally', stereotypically vegetarian (!) whereas 'strut' sounds stridant, verdant, hungry, healthy, definite carnivorous tendencies (!) ;-) As I said with one of Smith's poems (re. 'firmament' and 'fray') these would be my two carry-out words from the poem if I had to choose!

The first 3 poems also reminds me of ideas raised in Shakespeare's 'King Lear'. I.e the scene in which King Lear, intent on dividing up his kingdom between his 3 daughters, asks each daughter to find words to express their Love for him. Ludicrous, crack-pot 'contest' ! (But we do it all the time don't we!?) Regan and Goneril both pander to their father with eloquent flourishes of empty words - impressing the daft bugger no end! Cordelia, however, sees the contest for the farce it is and decides to play the rebel/ stay true to her heart. Her answer 'Nothing my Lord' sends the King into Chaos. Her answer, the genuine one. I.e. I think these are the kind of words that your poem is asking for...(?)

The other thing I noticed re. your first three verses was that there were hardly any nouns...(?) I.e. I think if you're asking for 'strong images' 'strong words' and 'words that strut' then I would be most likely to recommend a saunter around the Noun Stable (?). I.e What I'm trying to say is that I think the absence of nouns in the 'mealy' first 3 verses is highly-effective. Perhaps, however, consider more of a noun feel in the last (?). Make any sense (?).

Write on, Miffle


whoops meant 'first three verses'

The Walrus at 21:13 on 21 March 2004  Report this post
Miffle! Thank you so much for your, as ever, in-depth, well-considered and pertinent comments.

Can understand why you 'mealy' made you thought of mealy-mouthed. It is a cliche, which, like all, I try to avoid. Largely, it has to be said, unsuccessfully.

As for 'strut', yes, a very Walrus word. It is a small, unassuming word, but I am partial to it, because it has impact. 'Strutty', definitely. I would go even as far as to add 'strumpette'. Why not? And, yes, 'Burnt Sienna' certainly smacks of this line of thought too. Interesting pondering on 'signature' words and phrases. Like your 'firmament' and 'fray'.

As for your reference to King Lear, can only plead ignorance. Am a complete neanderthal when it comes to Shakespeare - dunno put it down to the ability or tolerance to appreciate dense language.

Re: your nouns comment, take your point. Probably the lack of them has something to do with fluidity, action, resolve. Nouns, I find somewhat stagnant sometimes, but there again, I could be choosing the wrong ones.

Thanks again!

The Walrus

Epona Love at 23:04 on 21 March 2004  Report this post
Enjoyed this poem, its language and meaning. I also love king Lear... so I can see that connection. The lines "Aesthetically pleasing but fundamentally flawed" really apeal to me, and your writting is very powerfull.
Loved it.


The Walrus at 07:35 on 22 March 2004  Report this post
Thanks Emma for your kind words.

The Walrus

Ticonderoga at 12:35 on 13 May 2004  Report this post

Superb! This is what it's all about; 'lean words, clean words', but, also, in your perfect image, words that 'strut'. Death to cliche and stale imagery! Splendid.

Love & Mercy,


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