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Hailing Miriam (Free verse) by Ranger
Eight forty-three, it's Paris dreaming, Saint-Sulpice A city of gold behind linen sheet and beads And Miriam With a hint of morning in her eyes That tortoiseshell laugh She's a courtyard queen, a cafe light A Spanish dance - acoustic rhythm sweeping by Echo over stone; footfalls in Our Lady's Chamber With a pale flame and 'Hail Mary' Waiting for Miriam underneath the August sun To hear the tap on cobbled streets She loves to tango In the evening she'll whirl across the square To an open-air quartet A smile on her lips - ruby shine Three-inch heels As the sunset sets a flame on cross A hand extended like a lily reaching heavens Watching us all sail by Veiled Grail Hailing Mary Railing at the night to stay But Miriam finds herself under streetlights Lazy orbs of fire Reflections of the moon, its ferris spin She moves too soon But not gracelessly, beneath the arch where everything is new She thinks it's better with two A bench beside etched with scores of lovers She flies past hair a satin summer dress And beckons through the doorway The promise of incense Burning softly, hesitant sensation Where the light is gentle, there she will be Bathed in silk, blessed by musk She longs to be the crucifix To stop the innocence burning, yearning Pushing out the nails, trailing Hailing Mary Miriam The unforgiven, the beautiful Crying out for the passion As the darkness is failing, wailing Hailing Mary Lorelei no longer, reborn Hailing Mary

Down the ladder: (Come find me)

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Votes: (green: user, blue: anonymous)
10  .. 10
.. 80
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Arithmetic Mean: 7.6153846
Weighted score: 6.911999
Overall Rank: 215
Posted: January 28, 2006 4:13 AM PST; Last modified: January 28, 2006 4:13 AM PST
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[9] Dovina @ | 28-Jan-06/9:44 AM | Reply
A flurry of great lines, and then the ending. Who is Lorelei? A mystical, colorful, and sad read.
[n/a] Ranger @ > Dovina | 28-Jan-06/12:05 PM | Reply
Lorelei is in myth a mermaid (I can't remember the details of where, somewhere in Germany there's a 'singing' rock in the valley's river which gave birth to the legend). The story goes that she was betrayed by her lover and threw herself into the river and died, becoming the mermaid who would sing to lure sailors to their death. To be honest, I wasn't sure about including that line, but I liked the sound of it and I liked the contrast between the holiness of Mary and the less-than-holy nature of Lorelei. I'm glad you like this one though, in the last two years it's the only thing I've written that I really like!
[8] ecargo @ | 28-Jan-06/2:31 PM | Reply
Lots to like, Ranger. This may be the best thing you've posted. "Reflections of the moon, its ferris spin" is a terrific line.

Some of the rhymes are distracting--seem the sort of thing you'd do in a first draft and maybe kill later.

Re: Lorelei, maybe go with Lilith or some other biblical character instead (to play off Mary) or someone in a similar role in French myth/lit (since it's Paris)?

Great energy to this.

[8] amanda_dcosta @ | 29-Jan-06/3:49 AM | Reply
Quite a nice piece. As for tortoiseshell laugh, thats a new one for me.... insight needed.
[n/a] Ranger @ > amanda_dcosta | 29-Jan-06/4:00 AM | Reply
I wanted something rich and slightly exotic whilst not being overly cliched...just a bit of inventive improvisation, that's all.
[9] Niphredil @ | 29-Jan-06/11:30 AM | Reply
It reads beautifully. A little long perhaps, but each individual line is worth it.
[9] LilMsLadyPoet @ | 31-Jan-06/9:19 AM | Reply
This is a long read...but was worth the effort. You have a strange sense of rhyme and in rythm in this piece; it took a reread, to find a comfortable rythm to read it by.
"Lorelei no longer"...? where did that come from?
and it seems the passionate Miriam is reborn, in the end, hailing Mary....but I liked her as she was! I liked the contrast of the two: Mary and the Madonna the other the whore...both a part of who we are, as women. Miriam stands brilliantly as she is!
Would you have had Miriam save Mary from her chastity, by saving her from it...and thus freeing her to her passionate self? No? Then I wouldn't have had Mary saving Miriam. And leave Lorelei out of it.LOL...change that and I'll change my score to a 10...(whch I never give!)
[9] LilMsLadyPoet @ > LilMsLadyPoet | 31-Jan-06/9:22 AM | Reply can tell that I don't (and will never) read the scores or comments before I post my own! Sorry, I said alot of what was already posted.
[n/a] Ranger @ > LilMsLadyPoet | 31-Jan-06/9:32 AM | Reply
Ah, no worries - it's good to get everyone's reaction individually, if you say what other people say then I'm going to have to think more about it! With regards to the rhythm, it's a very confused poem...I'm not sure what happened with it, it just wrote itself in a way. Again, Lorelei - I think the reason she came to mind was because she was something that neither Mary nor Miriam is...they both have a certain holiness about them and are the sweet sides of femininity, Lorelei is the antithesis.
I think I will leave this one as it is for a time and return when I have cleared my mind...everything seems more crystal after a week or so.
Thank you for your advice though - to everyone who's commented!
[9] Adriaan @ | 6-Feb-06/12:34 PM | Reply
Hi Ranger,

I love your poem - it really paints a picture for me. I think it would read easier if you split it into stanzas. The natural points (to my eye) were after With a pale flame and 'Hail Mary'; As the sunset sets a flame on cross /*cross on flame?*/; But Miriam finds herself under streetlights; She thinks it's better with two; Bathed in silk, blessed by musk; Miriam; Hailing Mary.

I also thought that 'As the darkness is failing, wailing' would be better without the 'wailing'. Somehow the line 'She thinks it's better with two' doesn't work for me.


[9] Adriaan @ | 6-Feb-06/12:36 PM | Reply
I admit that I had to read the explanation of Lorelei to understand the reference, however once I had done so I understood... she is no longer luring men to their (little?) deaths.
[9] ALChemy @ | 9-Feb-06/7:13 AM | Reply
It moves along quite swiftly or maybe that's just how I chose to read it(I don't know) but when I read it at that pace I found it quite passionate.
[n/a] Ranger @ > ALChemy | 9-Feb-06/7:24 AM | Reply
Yes, I'm not good at writing slow poems; this all came to me in a hurry which is I think reflected in the way it turned out.
Thanks for having a read, everyones' comments are (as always) much appreciated!
[n/a] Ranger @ > Ranger | 9-Feb-06/7:25 AM | Reply
I have another one on its way sometime soon...but I just can't get it right...grr
[9] drnick @ | 9-Feb-06/12:21 PM | Reply
Wow, this is really good. I like the 7th line, a very good analogy. There's so much to like, very well written. The part of this poem that is really amazing is how the rythem reflected how I would imagine her dancing: light and skippy, but so very graceful and smooth.
[9] smoofle @ | 24-Feb-06/7:12 AM | Reply
You'll get a 10 from me when you change the Lorelei line, Craigus.
[9] terbenaw @ | 25-Feb-06/1:53 PM | Reply
I happen to enjoy this poem as is. Great flowing rhythm, excellent imagery. I do, however, agree with the others who have stated that replacing Lorelei with someone readers can relate to either Mary or the location of the poem. Excellent work though.
[10] nypoet22 @ | 9-Sep-06/5:15 AM | Reply
i wonder how many readers understand the historical significance here. this is very well thought out. my suggestion would be to have liner notes like eliot, explaining the references.
[n/a] Ranger @ > nypoet22 | 9-Sep-06/12:53 PM | Reply
Thank you :-) I don't think anyone's yet told me they picked up one the history (but I wrote it more than half an hour ago, so my memory isn't going to be that reliable a guide...) You got the Miriam/Mary bit?
[10] nypoet22 @ > Ranger | 24-Sep-06/8:10 PM | Reply
[n/a] Ranger @ > nypoet22 | 24-Sep-06/11:13 PM | Reply
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