hit and run

[preface notes: of all i write, this one will be the form i feel most vulnerable about posting first draft notes for – but i’m “on the run” today & will stick to it & not duck this one nor bury it – of all my traffic today it’ll take the most time, but if i do it right it’ll be the one i feel the rest to have been building toward

i was going to do “hit and run” as a pantoum, but the more i thought of where i wanted to go with it, the more it felt like it wanted a sestina. except these days i’m not doing sestinas, instead have been experimenting with the 11-count version. as observed by the wikipedia article on the sestina, retrogradatio cruciata can be considered clean only for certain numbers, such as 3 and 5 (both of which are established recognized named forms) and of course 6 (the sestina). wikipedia notes that the method also works out for 9, 11, and 14. maggie had worked out all the numbers for which the method works out ok up past 100; and although it starts getting crazy anywhere past 26 (which is one of the workable numbers), her notebooks include drafts through 35, which she was working on when she left (yes, 35 stanzas of 35 lines each, all rotating via retrogradatio cruciata, plus an envoy) – anyway, so i’ve done some 9s enough to feel comfortable with them (i know they’ll never be classics, but they do ok by me, which is all i need) & a few days ago i tried my first 11 version, In Formal Response – so i’ll leave the pantoum possibility for maybe some other “on the run” activity later this evening and do “hit and run” on the 11-line 11-stanza version of retrogradatio cruciata

following advice maggie had for any numbers higher than 9, i’ll be doing the envoy as an 11-word sentence, with those 11 words then giving the 11 end words for the 11 lines of each of my 11 stanzas
Draft envoy sentence: “if love hit too much for you, run out on me” [sorry maggie, but you did…]

then by maggie’s assignment for the envoy (which would match the sestina envoy arrangement if the 11 words were divided 2 per line in the envoy) gives the following assignment for the key words –

A       on
B       if
C       run
D       hit
E       for/four
F       much
G       to/two/too
H       you
I       love
J       out
K       me

which yields the following lineup for endwords on the 11 stanzas –

1       on / if / run / hit / for / much / to / you / love / out / me
2       me / on / out / if / love / run / you / hit / to / for / much
3       much / me / for / on / to / out / hit / if / you / love / run
4       run / much / love / me / you / for / if / on / hit / to / out
5       out / run / to / much / hit / love / on / me / if / you / for
6       for / out / you / run / if / to / me / much / on / hit / love
7       love / for / hit / out / on / you / much / run / me / if / to
8       to / love / if / for / me / hit / run / out / much / on / you
9       you / to / on / love / much / if / out / for / run / me / hit
10      hit / you / me / to / run / on / for / love / out / much / if
11      if / hit / much / you / out / me / love / to / for / run / on

and i nod to that first pass through it, since the middle stanza does end with “love” which feels as it should feel, as it turns on that. also, since i’ll have the 5 before that covering her “hit” i nod to the middle of that 5 closing with “run” – and vice versa, the final 5 covering her “run” having “hit” close out the center stanza – i do like how this is feeling already…

normally i wouldn’t call even this a full “first draft” until i had at least sketched out more of the language (at least enough to give a feel for where i’m going) but in the interests of keeping today’s traffic purely “on the run” and because the “run – love -hit” balance connects well with where i know i’ll go with it (and because david will give up on me if i don’t cut this break short) i’ll close this pass out on that note, further development & revision to follow in the blog (as will all november traffic, with final drafts to be completed by yearend)


1 Response to “hit and run”

  1. 2010.11.29 at 7:28 am

    These notes are a precious resource – thank you.

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