For some reason at the beginning, I was expecting her to cast him away because the piece began to remind me of John Keat's ballad "La Belle Dame Sans Merci" www.bartleby.com/126/55.html which is about a knight who falls in love with but is finally abandoned by the woman he exalts.
As for answering the questions:
1. Did you enjoy the work? Not really. The idea was a bit clichéd for me; it very much resembles 12th-14th Century English Courtly Love poetry which has been overused and excessively parodied. While there are universal themes about the human condition that will be relevant for ages to come, I feel this fervid, platonic admiration of a silent, idolised woman is somewhat antiquated. I'm not sure if there is a specific target audience but I will mention this as a caution to you anyway: At best, a woman reading this may feel overwhelmed by the expectations of divinity for her sex; at worse, she will feel extremely insulted by the paralleling of her sex to "bounty", "basil"and Romantic objects which ignore her essentially human substance. I doubt your persona has hugely misogynistic sentiments and this does sound harsh but please be careful. Your persona may come across as being a typical figure of arrogant patriarchy as opposed to the modest lover(boy) I feel you are trying to convey. This work certainly has elegance though, evident in the richness of images and firm structure of the work.
2. I suppose this is somewhat answered in my first answer: yes, this is a bit exaggerated for me though considering that you seem to have adopted the Courtly Love mode, this is very natural. For some reason, I really like the line that goes "She was lonely but then again so are the stars", probably because it expresses Romantic sentiment which is missed in our cynical Postmodern world. It has a simplicity about it that is… Nice… ^_*
3. Well, the ending.... Yes, it is ambiguous. The broken cup tells me he could have died. If that is the case, his death is quite sudden. Did she trick him? Are they both even real? 0_0 Mind bender.
I am blown over by your beautiful imagery and am quite fond of the circular structure. While the ending is open, I personally am not TOO bothered by it. Judging from this poem and the last one I read from you, you seem to have an inclination towards Romantic poetry. I have to say that's not really my area but if you are, it's a good idea to read a lot of literature written during the Romantic Era. Off the top of my head, major poets would include John Keats, Lord Byron, William Wordsworth and Elizabeth Barret Browning while major novelists would be the Bronte sisters, Jane Eyre, Victor Hugo and Jane Austen. Austen is an interesting figure: while she writes during and in the style of the Romantic Era, she upholds preceding values from the Age of Enlightenment. For that reason she’s not an author I particularly like but definitely has some interesting, humorous characters and good comments about relationships. That’s just me though.
Hope this was helpful
I really enjoyed reading your piece
When I said ' her sex', what I meant was 'female kind'... Sorry, was I sounding rather dubious there? 0_0
In terms of arrogance, I was talking about the undertones. This is definitely just an opinion because, I will admit, this sounds a far-fetched: The expression of a woman as a Romantic object distanced and only known as a divinely beautiful figure may seem like typical male idealisation of females as opposed to acceptance of who they are-- equal humans to their fellow men (and I am sure someone reading this comment would like to disagree with me on that but I feel here is not the place to be holding Feminist debates, though I think I have inadvertently raised one). An interpretation like that certainly does take some wild brain but I think it is worth considering: how does the portrayal of females in literature reflect the attitudes regarding gender roles in their society?
From your questioning, I am quite sure you were not trying to be arrogant and personally, I think to accuse you of that is rather far-fetched. I am merely pointing out that as all works of literature are exposed to the innate ambiguity of language based on readers' interpretations influenced by socio-political connections and personal experiences, there are a multiplicity of ways in which to read your work, some of which may not be desirable:
One person may read this and think “oh, he is truly in awe of and respectful towards this woman, what is the crazy-dude InkedLance talking about, blabbering about perceptions of women and what not?”
But someone else may read this and think “oh my gosh! So the writer just thinks woman are these pretty little objects to be turned into angels?! Excuse me but women are people, not Romantic bits of art!” Being truthful, I would be a fence sitter on this matter but that’s not important right now. The fact is that your work has many connotations which may or may not have been considered.
About other authors, what’s wrong with being influenced by great writers? If you are influenced by enough of them, you’ll become a true original— Like Haruki Murakami (he’s my idol, by the way ^_*).
Did I really contradict myself with regards to the enjoyment of your work? That’s a little embarrassing. Okay, I didn’t really like the concept, the idea of this lovely lady being observed through all these lenses. It seems many people found it interesting and there is some charm about it ( I did say I thought the structure was nice) but I guess it just didn’t sit with me. You know, all the woman-business I’ve been raving on about… Though considering it with reference to other similar works of literature (namely those of the Courtly Love and Romantic movement) has made it a very interesting piece. The length of these comments just shows how interesting I find all this.
Your work has much worth, enough to stir my lazy brain. Yes, indeed my brain is quite lazy: I find over thinking and symbolism overrated though I like to think about over thinking which becomes over thinking (about over thinking) itself. I’m in knots now… Don’t worry, I’ll untie myself with some Houdini magic… Okay, just move on to the next paragraph.
Ah, thank you for accepting my words with grace, particularly that not all were positive. I know it is naturally hard to take critique but being able to as you have improve you as a writer which I can certainly see in you.