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Forums > > Poetry Workshops > > The Rewrite Workshop > > Any suggstions for imrovement or comments? thanks.
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Any suggstions for imrovement or comments? thanks.


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Pujakins
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 30 22:14:14 EDT 2010    Post subject: Any suggstions for imrovement or comments? thanks. Reply with quote

A Death In The Family

"When there's a death in the family a black hole appears in your family universe
But once the grief is spent, the black hole can become your window into the Eternal."
Elise Caswell

Physicists say a black hole is uncreated matter waiting to be shaped: E=MC2.
Time tells space how to curve, space tells time how to be.
Einstein opened our eyes a little, we are learning to open them more.
A spark ignites a fire. With the right conditions it burns on by itself.

We burn to know, or sink in the quagmire of unknowing.
There is no in between. Signposts there are aplenty when we see them:
The pole star shines at night for the navigator, the sun by day.

Ourselves to know, we look out through our windows
seeking in the reflection who we are.
But the only true knowing is within,
to discover it we must be quiet and listen.

Death opens us to life, restoring our attention,
diverting it from the littleness that would consume us whole.
Death impacts us, making us aware of all that lives still
as the shadow defines the light, as the edge defines the surface,
as our skin defines what is not-self from self, bodywise.

But we are also all-that-is: mind is the builder, the destroyer,
swinging about in a wild dance of ecstasy we do not comprehend.
Who or what is this that shapes our universe, that writes, directs, produces,
views the play? It is the self. Who lives, who dies, who is.

And in the universe that is my self I seek what's there to learn
that I may fill my role in that dance of creation.
Whole and part as in a hologram, I make my choices:
Move, speak, or keep still. I am the orchestra, conductor, audience.

The music plays; I rest within the chords,
conscious of attunement or disharmony, I guide adjustment, listening again.
At times I peer into the black hole turned window that was once my son
telling myself, "Be still and know that I am that I am."

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PostPosted: Sun Oct 31 0:28:36 EDT 2010    Post subject: Re: Any suggstions for imrovement or comments? thanks. Reply with quote

It's excellent writing, Tasha. It does get a bit too didactic for my taste, preaching to the reader, as it were. Of course the title, the quote and the last 2 lines bring it back to your personal experience, which is good (and please accept my fellow-feeling for your loss), but I would rather see the personal experience made more central in the poem and then drawn out into a reflection on the universal, if you see what I mean.

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PostPosted: Sun Oct 31 9:48:40 EDT 2010    Post subject: Re: Any suggstions for imrovement or comments? thanks. Reply with quote

Thank you, I was hoping you would comment. This poem was written 20 years ago, and I wrote differently then, less personally, perhaps I was less sure of myself and my writing then.

To begin with it was inspired by my friend's comment, which is quoted at the beginning. If you don't mind, and becauseit is always a bit more difficult to edit one's onw, would you mind being more specific. If I am impertinent to ask, let me know. Thanks and Best Love, Tasha

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PostPosted: Sun Oct 31 16:48:31 EDT 2010    Post subject: Re: Any suggstions for imrovement or comments? thanks. Reply with quote

Tasha, it's a general comment rather than a comment on any particular line or verse or phrase. But I might mention the frequent use of "we" and "us" as an indication that you are speaking in generalities about the human race and sort of lecturing the reader about your philosophical point of view. That is OK up to a point - I do it myself sometimes - but where it takes over the whole poem I find it a bit of a problem. Others may disagree, of course. I do still think it is fine writing.

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PostPosted: Mon Nov 1 9:35:09 EDT 2010    Post subject: Re: Any suggstions for imrovement or comments? thanks. Reply with quote

Tasha, I think Rory is spot on here. I think a rewrite is needed; one where we come to understandings or epiphanies from what you show us with feeling, metaphors, similes and other poetic tools.

Look forward to your rewrite.

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PostPosted: Mon Nov 1 21:07:53 EDT 2010    Post subject: Re: Any suggstions for imrovement or comments? thanks. Reply with quote

Thanks! to ou both! I like these suggestions and am eager to work on his poem. It has been an important one in my life and as I am making a collection to publish I want to polish my best and most cherished from a 20 year perspective. Thanks for all your elp, Warm REgards and Best Wishes, Tasha

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PostPosted: Tue Jan 18 14:40:41 EST 2011    Post subject: Re: Any suggstions for imrovement or comments? thanks. Reply with quote

I know you probably hate my overly technical comments on poems, so please ignore me at will--

"Physicists say a black hole is uncreated matter waiting to be shaped: E=MC2."

That's really not what they say a black hole is, nor does E = mc^2 apply to black holes more that to other bodies; gravity does though. Physicists are more apt to tell you a black hole is full of so much matter (already created) that the gravity creates an event horizon* from which not even light can escape. It is also gravity that tells spacetime how to curve.

Ok, that said--I find the subject matter quite compelling and interesting. Because I realize you're not writing a poem about science, I just suggest that if you decide to include bits of science that those bits are meaningful.

I think this is quite definetely worth a little revision, and would love to see the polished product!

* this is known as the Schwarzchild Radius. In order for a body to escape a field of gravity, a certain velocity is required, according to the field strength (determined by the mass and quadratic distance between the bodies). This relation involves a square root, and if the velocity required is greater than c, the speed of light, the value benath the radical becoms negative--producing an imaginary result. This is the dividing line where a body is just a body--or a black hole. I've oversimplified this considerably, but tried to retain the essence of what is occurring.
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 19 18:40:13 EST 2011    Post subject: Re: Any suggstions for imrovement or comments? thanks. Reply with quote

Hi, Whew! Well I was speaking metaphorically, as you know, and not as a scientist, and what I was thinking was that a so called black hole is filled with potential, as yet unrealized, as the death of my son eventually esulted in my devotion to poetry yet not just then. Your comments are honest andI appreciate them. I have not rushed to redo this poem as it is a bit close to the bone for me, even now, written quite soon after his death, though that was more than 20 years ago now, strange to think. About E=MC2,my understanding, after watching a program on Einstein was just what I stated: time tells space how to curve, space tells time how to be, now I might not have stated it correctly, yet I am under the impression that they (time and space) interact in a way that helps each define the other. Thanks for your comments, I appreciate your input. Warm Regards, Tsha

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PostPosted: Sat Jan 22 5:57:50 EST 2011    Post subject: Re: Any suggstions for imrovement or comments? thanks. Reply with quote

Well Tasha, your comment does help clarify and deepen this poem for me;
I am also sorry for your loss.

(yes, time and space do interact with each other, though, beyond saying that, i'm not convinced the world's best physicists know much more about it than anyone else--i'm a grad student in physics atm, flailing around in concepts I don't even pretend to fully understand...in fact, I'm almost sure I know nothing more about it all than I did when I was five years old, picking dandelions in the backyard on summer days, wondering why they 'floated' away when I blew on them. The only thing that is really clear, is that I was happier then.)

This is indeed a special poem.
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 22 6:15:40 EST 2011    Post subject: Re: Any suggstions for imrovement or comments? thanks. Reply with quote

Tasha, don't worry too much about getting the physics right. That's of no importance for poetry. Poetic licence is a wide thing. One thing I would say is that scientists might gain a better understanding of time and space if they considered how these constructs are affected by the radical subjectivity of the mind. From your poem I gather that you have insight into this.

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PostPosted: Tue Jan 25 21:48:08 EST 2011    Post subject: Re: Any suggstions for imrovement or comments? thanks. Reply with quote

Thanks, Dear One, I appreciate that you are able to understand more about this poem as a result of opening your heart to its truth--as opposed to analyzing it. I find it is so important to do that with poetry. It's easy to miss the spirit of the poem in the desire for perfect acccord with what is correct. I know I have been and sometimes still am guily of this myself. Love and Blessings, Tasha

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PostPosted: Sat Jan 29 17:09:15 EST 2011    Post subject: Re: Any suggstions for imrovement or comments? thanks. Reply with quote

The time came todo it and I have worked a bit with this poem, could my fellow poets speak now about the changes, please? Thanks! Tasha

A Death In The Family

"When there's a death in the family a black hole appears in your family universe
But once the grief is spent, the black hole can become your window into the Eternal." Elise Caswell

Physics says a black hole is uncreated matter awaiting shape.
Time tells space how to curve, space tells time how to b: E=MC2.

Myself to know, I look out my window to the eternal
seeking to know who I am. Yet the only true knowing is within;
to discover it I must be quiet and listen.

Death can open a mind to life, returning attention
from the smallness that otherwise muffles and cloaks.
As the shadow defines the light, the edge the surface,
the skin what is not-self from self, death can impact us,
can make us aware of all that lives still,

Yet it is said we are also all-that-is;
that mind is the builder, the sustainer, the destroyer,
swinging about in a wild dance of ecstasy.

Who or what shapes the universe,
writes, directs, produces, views the play?
In the universe that is my self I seek to learn
that I may know my place in that dance of creation.
Whole and part as in a hologram, I make my choices:
Move, speak, or keep still. I am the orchestra, conductor, audience.

The music plays; I rest within the chords,
conscious of attunement or disharmony, I guide adjustment, listening.
At times I peer into the black hole turned window that was once my son
and tell myself, "Be still and know that I am that I am."

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PostPosted: Sat Jan 29 20:26:20 EST 2011    Post subject: Re: Any suggstions for imrovement or comments? thanks. Reply with quote

I find this an improvement on what was already a very good poem. I would drop all references to physics, I find them an unnecessary distraction. I would therefore eliminate the first stanza and the refs to black holes and holograms. The second last line is a bit awkward and could be shortened and fixed up in the process of this.

The third last stanza puts me in mind of the Dance of Shiva in Hindu mysticism. If this is what you were thinking of, you might like to put "Shiva" in place of "the builder".

You are dealing well with your misfortunes in this piece. May you be well and happy.

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PostPosted: Mon Jan 31 21:26:55 EST 2011    Post subject: Re: Any suggstions for imrovement or comments? thanks. Reply with quote

Thank you for your kind words. I do prefer the references to physics as that is one of the messages of this poem. Briefly, "as above, so below" and we are all that is and the tiniest molecule in all that is. Remember I'm a mystic so this is my vision. i don't mind if it is a bit obscure, it might make folk think a bit, and that's not such a bad thing. Like my conundrums. Shiva is actually the destroyer of the triumvirate (sp?) Brahma, Vishnu, and Shiva, however, it is the dance of Shiva that is the endless energy of creation. Well, I could go on and on, however that's not the point. thanks for your kindness in reading and commenting. Warm regards and best wishes, Tasha

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PostPosted: Tue Feb 22 4:26:02 EST 2011    Post subject: Re: Any suggstions for imrovement or comments? thanks. Reply with quote

I see your metaphor and this is excellent!

Best wishes
ilan
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 23 16:18:11 EST 2011    Post subject: Re: Any suggstions for imrovement or comments? thanks. Reply with quote

Thank you for stopping by! I have since posted this poem in a slightly different, perhaps more succinct version in my poetry, perhaps if you ahve time you might check it out? Thanks! Warm REgards, TAsha

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PostPosted: Mon Sep 12 20:48:29 EDT 2011    Post subject: Re: Any suggstions for imrovement or comments? thanks. Reply with quote

Dear Friends and fellow Poets, May I beg your eyes one last time? Please let me know if you find this version moe coherent? Thanks! Love and gratitude, Tasha

A Death In The Family

"When there's a death in the family a black hole appears in your family universe
But once the grief is spent, the black hole can become your window into the Eternal." Elise Caswell

I ponder questions;
who or what shapes the universe,
writes, directs, produces, views the play?

Death can open the mind to life,
returning attention from the smallness that cloaks it.

Myself to know, I look out my window on the eternal
seeking to discover who I am.
The true knowing comes from within;
I must be quiet and listen.

As shadow defines light, edge surface,
what is not-self from self, death impacts us,
makes us aware of all that lives still.

There are those that say we are also All-That-Is;
mind is the builder, the sustainer, the destroyer,
whirling in a wild dance of ecstasy.

What is life, what is death,
What is the truth behind the dream?

In the universe that is my self
I seek to learn my place in that dance of creation.
As in a hologram, whole and part I move,
speak, or keep still.

I am play, director, audience, the action proceeds;
listening for harmony or dissonance
I guide adjustment as I learn.

At times I peer into the black hole turned window that was my son
and tell myself, "Be still and know that I am that I am."

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PostPosted: Tue Jan 10 20:17:06 EST 2012    Post subject: Re: Any suggstions for imrovement or comments? thanks. Reply with quote

Well I have worked on it again, because I am going to submit it with others from this series to the MA Cultural Council awawrds for poetry this year. If anyone happens to see and can suggest anything more I would be ever grateful. Thanks in advance, Tasha

A Death In The Family

"When there's a death in the family, a black hole appears in your family universe.
But once the grief is spent, the black hole can become your window into the Eternal." Elise Caswell


Physicists say a black hole is uncreated matter
waiting to be shaped. Time tells space how to curve,
space tells time how to be. With time we grow to understand and to accept.
A spark ignites a fire, under the right conditions it burns on by itself.

At first we burn to know, or sink in the quagmire of unknowing.
There is no in-between. There are guideposts when we see them:
the pole star shines at night, the sun by day.

Ourselves to know, we look through our windows
seeking in the reflection to understand.
Yet the only true knowing is within. To discover it
we must listen and be quiet.

Death opens us to life, restoring our attention,
diverting it from all the littleness that would consume us.
As the shadow defines the light, as the edge defines the surface,
as our skin defines what is not-self from self,
death impacts us, making us aware of all that lives still

We are also all that is: mind is the builder and the destroyer,
swinging about in a wild Shiva dance of ecstasy.
Who or what is this that shapes our universe, that writes, directs, produces
and then views the play? Only that self who lives, who dies, who is.

And in this universe that is my self I look to see what's there to learn
that I may to fill my role in that great dance known as creation.
Whole and part together, as in a hologram, I make my choices:
move, speak, or keep still. The music plays.
I am the orchestra, conductor, audience. Within the chords,
conscious of attunement or disharmony, I guide adjustment, listening again.

At times I peer into the black hole turned window that is my son
telling myself, "Be still and know that time reveals all.
Tasha Halpert

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PostPosted: Wed Jan 11 8:40:06 EST 2012    Post subject: Re: Any suggstions for imrovement or comments? thanks. Reply with quote

The atmosphere of this whole piece is exhilarating, the picture is clearly cut although with much of didactic tone like Rory pointed out but I think this piece an elegy, thus would have considered rhythmic flow, metaphoric lines and some profound meanings. Of course the effort would be exhaustive but it will surely blend with all these thoughtful lines.

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PostPosted: Wed Jan 11 20:23:48 EST 2012    Post subject: Re: Any suggstions for imrovement or comments? thanks. Reply with quote

Hello, and thanks for your response, as always, Dear One. Not sure just waht you mean? Can you give ma an example? Thanks in advance, Warmly, Tasha

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PostPosted: Thu Jan 12 7:22:41 EST 2012    Post subject: Re: Any suggstions for imrovement or comments? thanks. Reply with quote

I still enjoy this poem, and I still bristle a bit when I read 'physicists' say,
in connection to what they say about black holes. [edited out redundancy] I already stated some of the reasons it technically bothered me, and will only reiterate that I also realize this is being used metaphorically, rather than trying to present a 'textbook' presentation. I get that. It just seems to be trying to dance awfully closely with the technical to fully justify itself to either viewpoint. In short, my objection is not so much the metaphor itself but rather that it explicitly cites physicists (in general) to justify itself. Perhaps I think the poem might then work better framed entirely in the metaphoric, without any recourse to the technical aspect at all. I think the poem also does a lot more telling
that it does showing, and some of the concepts are relatively difficult
to swallow when they're just dropped in your lap. I wonder if I wouldn't
find more in the poem if its tone were more one of questioning and
exploration than telling.

Also: despite that rather lengthy paragraph this is but the teeniest of nits, and I'm not trying to make a big deal of it! The poem is beautiful as it is.

It occurs to me that first line that I so strongly object to (I can't help it) when deprived of its physicists actually makes a pretty striking metaphor to conclude the poem -

"Perhaps a black hole is just uncreated matter waiting to be shaped."

And

Time tells space how to curve,
and space tells time how to be.

(no suggestions on how to break your lines, just waxing lazy - would make a striking opening.)

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Told love the world was on fire


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 12 11:03:22 EST 2012    Post subject: Re: Any suggstions for imrovement or comments? thanks. Reply with quote

Tasha, I hope this doesn't offend you. It's not a rewrite or a critique.
I was reading your poem, and it made me sad. This is what came
out of me in response to it was sort of my own poem your poem
inspired. I didn't know where else to put it. It doesn't belong to me.

It is said by some that time
teaches space to curve, and space
in turn tells time to be.

And life's the self-sustaining flame
that twists around my being without
ever knowing why.

Or perhaps it's the case that space
shows time how it ought to bend
and time that does the knowing.

It could be this being is the flame
I carry toward the end, and my knowing's
just the path that guides the journey.

Or maybe it's none of these,
and my being builds both
time and space, and my knowing
shows them where to end.

What I know is that time leaves me to be for now.
I move, am still, sleep, and rise again.
I think of the shape of hands,
what eagles know. I rejoice
at flowers and the sun
that sustains all things.
I observe that Spring is,
and then is not.

I am. My son is the window I see through. I wait.

And a black hole is a mother's heart.

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Geoffrey Chaucer died in 1400 AD


Geoffrey Chaucer died in 1400 AD
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 12 12:48:55 EST 2012    Post subject: Re: Any suggstions for imrovement or comments? thanks. Reply with quote

Dear One, What a beautiful poem, I think absent the last two lines it is your poem, however, perhaps if not in your eyes then not. I was working more on my piece this morning and I do like your elimination of the physicists, I think that's a good idea. I must also tell you this is the lead poem in a whole series relating to my son's death. I am entering them into a Cultural Council competition for poets, hence the concerted effort. I also just put another poem from the collection up on my page, if you want to see more. However, for here, anyhow, tell me what you think now?


A Death In The Family: In Memoriam

"When there's a death in the family, a black hole appears in your family universe.
But once the grief is spent, the black hole can become your window into the Eternal." Elise Caswell


Some say a black hole is uncreated matter
waiting to be shaped: that time tells space how to curve,
and space tells time how to be. With time we grow to understand and to accept.

A spark ignites a fire, under the right conditions it burns on by itself.

At first we burn to know, or sink in the quagmire of unknowing.
There is no in-between. There are guideposts when we see them:
the pole star shines at night, the sun by day.

Ourselves to know, we look through our windows
seeking in the reflection to understand.
Yet the only true knowing is within. To discover it
we must listen and be quiet.

Death opens us to life, restoring our attention,
diverting it from all the littleness that would consume us.
As the shadow defines the light, as the edge defines the surface,
as our skin defines what is not-self from self,
death impacts us, making us aware of all that lives still

We are also all that is: mind is the builder and the destroyer,
swinging about in a wild Shiva dance of ecstasy.
Who or what is this that shapes our universe, that writes, directs, produces
and then views the play? Only that self who lives, who dies, who is.

And in this universe that is my self I look to see what's there to learn
that I may to fill my role in that great dance known as creation.
Whole and part together, as in a hologram, I make my choices:
move, speak, or keep still. The music plays.
I am the orchestra, conductor, audience. Within the chords,
conscious of attunement or disharmony, I guide adjustment, listening again.

At times I peer into the black hole turned window that is my son
telling myself, be still and know that clarity comes only with time.

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Pujakins
Geoffrey Chaucer died in 1400 AD


Geoffrey Chaucer died in 1400 AD
Blog Picks/September 2010Staff Picks/September 2011Staff Picks/October 2012Blog Picks/November 2012GP Curator


Joined: Jun 19, 2010
Posts: 1409
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Location: North Grafton MA

PostPosted: Thu Jan 12 12:58:59 EST 2012    Post subject: Re: Any suggstions for imrovement or comments? thanks. Reply with quote

Just added and subtracted again. Perhaps this is the final version? Thanks for your input.


"When there's a death in the family, a black hole appears in your family universe.
But once the grief is spent, the black hole can become your window into the Eternal." Elise Caswell


Some say a black hole is uncreated matter waiting to be shaped:
that time tells space how to curve and space tells time how to be.

A spark ignites a fire, under the right conditions it burns on by itself.

At first we burn to know, or sink in the quagmire of unknowing.
There is no in-between. There are guideposts when we see them:
the pole star shines at night, the sun by day.

Ourselves to know, we look through our windows
seeking in the reflection to understand.
Yet the only true knowing is within. To discover it
we must listen and be quiet.

Death opens us to life, restoring our attention,
diverting it from all the littleness that would consume us.
As the shadow defines the light, as the edge defines the surface,
as our skin defines what is not-self from self,
death impacts us, making us aware of all that lives still

We are also all that is: mind is the builder and the destroyer,
swinging about in a wild Shiva dance of ecstasy.
Who or what is this that shapes our universe, that writes, directs, produces
and then views the play? Only that self who lives, who dies, who is.

And in this universe that is my self I look to see what's there to learn
that I may to fill my role in that great dance known as creation.
Whole and part together, as in a hologram, I make my choices:
move, speak, or keep still. The music plays.
I am the orchestra, conductor, audience. Within the chords,
conscious of attunement or disharmony, I guide adjustment, listening again.

At times I peer into the black hole turned window that is my son
telling myself, be still and know that clarity comes with time.

_________________
Maintaining an attitude of gratitude is the the best way I know to have a rich, fulfilling life.
Karma: 4980.90

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electrictiger
Told love the world was on fire


Told love the world was on fire
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Joined: Sep 18, 2009
Posts: 2271
Credits: 334
Location: Birmingham, Alabama

PostPosted: Thu Jan 12 13:28:15 EST 2012    Post subject: Re: Any suggstions for imrovement or comments? thanks. Reply with quote

Let me read the new version! Sorry for the rambling earlier! Way too much caffeine. I do like this better.

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