Mike Snider's Formal Blog and Sonnetarium :
Poems, mostly metrical, and rants and raves on poetry and the po-biz.
Updated: 1/24/06; 10:26:09 PM.



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Monday, January 16, 2006

I mentioned I was also making an ottava rima version of my novel-in-verse. Here's a snippet, part of the same scene I posted in terza rima:

Rachel was showing Hank her new tattoo:
Emerald-scaled, diamond-clawed, and ruby-eyed,
A coiling dragon spitting flame into
Her hair, its sapphire bat wings stretching wide
Across her shoulders, ointment spread where new
Gold gleamed from the crack of her ass. "You satisfied?"
"You kidding? That day's the day I'm dead.
Come shake it with me." She blew a kiss and said,

"I can't sit down. Go give your ex a ring—
She's drunk enough by now—or pour some beer
On your right hand and have yourself a fling
With Rosie and her sisters. That mighty spear
Would hurt tonight—unless it's just a sting?"
The usual closing crowd gave her a cheer
As she redid her clothes. She bowed to her friends;
Hank mourned to his open hand, "See how it ends?

It's you and me again, and I'm afraid
If I buy you beer then I can't pay my cab.
We're out of luck and love till I get paid."
Just then a taxi honked. He turned to grab
His coat. "Three weeks since poor old Hank got laid."
The barkeep, Newt, spoke up: "How about that tab?"
"And how would I get home. Don't gut cute
With me." "This ain't no joke. I know your route.

It's not too far to walk, not sober. Come
Across with cash or learn to live that way."
Goddamit, Newt, I ain't no drunken bum!"

Right now it's not too much extra effort to maintain the two versions—big chunks are just drag and drop from one to the other. But I'm not taking advantage of the couplets in the ottava rima, and I think I ought to. That might cause considerable divergence in language, and it would certainly change the tone. I don't want to wait too long before trying that, since the amount of work involved (already enormous!) would just be overwhelming and I'd never do it. On the other hand, it's bad to get stuck in revision before finishing a version of the tale. I think I'll get a whole chapter done in both forms, then rewrite with "real" couplets and not just couplet rhymes in this version. That should be doable, and should help me make the more or less final decision.

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