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The Critique Crypt => General writing chat => Dark Poets => Topic started by: Woody on November 15, 2008, 06:55:41 PM

Title: .
Post by: Woody on November 15, 2008, 06:55:41 PM
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Title: .
Post by: Woody on November 15, 2008, 08:00:55 PM
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Title: Re: In my mind this is poetry, but is it? (C&C welcome)
Post by: Ed on November 16, 2008, 04:48:50 AM
TBH, I don't know, but the way I understand it is the only thing that separates poetry from prose is, in poetry, the writer decides on where they want the line breaks. So I'd say it is a poem - what I'd call a prose poem. I'm no expert, though. Delph or one of the others would be able to offer better feedback than me on stuff like this :afro:
Title: Re: In my mind this is poetry, but is it? (C&C welcome)
Post by: delph_ambi on November 16, 2008, 05:37:46 AM
Quick answer: this is poetic prose. It's elegantly written, but it is far too diffuse to be a poem. I have to go offline now, but should be back in a few days to elaborate on that statement if necessary.
Title: .
Post by: Woody on November 16, 2008, 10:46:00 AM
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Title: Re: In my mind this is poetry, but is it? (C&C welcome)
Post by: delph_ambi on November 17, 2008, 01:02:00 PM
Okay, I've gone through your poem and removed all the repetitions that diffuse the effect and in my view don't add anything much other than more words, beautiful though they may be. This is what is left:

The sun rises soon and I must leave.
Until later – farewell – tell no-one.
I’ll wait for you at dusk
looking to hold you in my arms,
my mouth upon your neck.

You’re confused, but this is no sin.
If I could die for you I would, but I cannot.
Go home now, and say your goodbyes.
Don’t worry.
There is no death, no pain.
Live extends infinitely.
I love the night — and so will you.

It's not exactly a poem, because it uses no poetic devices other than basic line breaks. It ignores rhythm, assonance, alliteration, and all the other bits and pieces that lend musicality to a piece of writing. It is, however, a poem of sorts. It uses the essence of your writing. It conveys the same message, but in a stronger (in my view) form, because it is much shorter and it packs a punch, rather than relying on clichés, abstractions and generalisations. If this were my poem, I would now look to add some concrete, specific imagery that would make this refer to one particular vampire and his victim, rather than a generic vampire, which is how it reads at the moment. Always avoid the generic in poetry. You have to be as specific as you possibly can in order to make the poem memorable. If it's not memorable, it hasn't worked.
Title: .
Post by: Woody on November 17, 2008, 01:27:40 PM
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Title: Re: In my mind this is poetry, but is it? (C&C welcome)
Post by: Ed on November 17, 2008, 01:37:14 PM
Interesting stuff, Delph. Thanks for that. I can never get my head around poetry that doesn't rhyme - if you're talking syllabic word counts and alternating rhymes, I can follow up to a point, but poetry is really not my thing. I wish it was.
Title: .
Post by: Woody on November 17, 2008, 06:22:14 PM
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Title: Re: A Letter From the Grim Reaper (for all those concerned) [C&C welcomed]
Post by: Caz on November 18, 2008, 02:28:52 PM
It's not a bad poem and to be honest pretty topical.

I like the last verse it works well but I have to say that the 'R U 1' and alike lets the piece down. I'm not a fan of text speak.

Anyways, as always feel free to ignore my thoughts.
Title: Re: A Letter From the Grim Reaper (for all those concerned) [C&C welcomed]
Post by: delph_ambi on November 18, 2008, 03:13:27 PM
I would say it's a letter, not a poem. As a letter, you can get away with the textspeak.

If you want it to be a poem, you'll need to cut, cut, cut, tighten, tighten, excise, delete, etc. You'll also have to forget about centering the text - that's purely for soppier greetings cards, so is entirely inappropriate.

You've achieved a certain rhythm in the writing, but it's the rhythm of song lyrics, not poetry, ie it's imposed rather than integral.

Good ideas in this one, particularly the ending, but I think it needs a major re-think if you want it to be poetry.
Title: .
Post by: Woody on November 19, 2008, 06:54:14 AM
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Title: Re: A Letter From the Grim Reaper (for all those concerned) [C&C welcomed]
Post by: delph_ambi on November 19, 2008, 07:18:47 AM
Poe's Raven doesn't have a single word that's not essential to the text. Samuel Taylor Coleridge's "The Rime of the Ancient Mariner" is much, much longer, but again, doesn't have a single excess word.

Your poem rambles around the same subject matter, only occasionally focusing in tightly. It needs to be more focused all the time. If you're going to repeat anything (using slightly different or the same words) it has to be done in such a way that it winds up the tension rather than diffusing it, which is what is happening at the moment.

Have you used the best possible words in the best possible order? Or have you used a lot of words that pretty much mean what you want them to say in more or less the right order with a bit of repetition to make sure the message gets through? If it's the latter, it needs cuts. If it's the former, you're already Poe or Coleridge so don't need any further advice  :cheesy:
Title: .
Post by: Woody on November 19, 2008, 01:55:21 PM
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Title: Re: A Night Crawler Called Ween
Post by: delph_ambi on November 19, 2008, 02:54:44 PM
The syntax MUST be right in poetry. It isn't here. In other words, sentences aren't sentences, so the reader trips up all the time.

To check for basic syntactical errors, format your poem as a paragraph and run it through the Word grammar-checker, or similar program. It won't pick up everything, but it'll give you a good idea as to whether you're writing in sentences or unfinished clauses and phrases. Then go through and correct the grammar. Once you're absolutely certain it's right, make sure the word order is natural; in other words, the way you would normally speak it in conversation. Once you've done that, with any luck all your forced end-line rhymes will have disappeared.

Writing rhyming poetry is a special skill. If you've not written much poetry, you're far better off working on basic poetic skills without the difficulty of strict rhyme schemes. Stick to free verse for the time being. Once you've mastered that, you can start playing around with meter, and only when you can do that effortlessly and with confidence should you attempt end line rhymes.

The exception to the rule is song lyrics, where if the music is good enough you can get away with blue murder in the writing.

 
Title: .
Post by: Woody on November 21, 2008, 04:37:37 PM
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Title: .
Post by: Woody on November 21, 2008, 05:26:20 PM
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Title: Re: My Last Party. (C&C welcomed)
Post by: delph_ambi on November 21, 2008, 05:33:18 PM
hehe - trouble is, you fix one thing and I'll find a load more!

Right. Contractions. "It's my party", not "it is my party". Always try to write as you would talk.

Capitals. Use at the start of sentences and for proper nouns, or omit completely. Don't use at the start of lines. This is archaic and breaks up the text too much. Only do it if you are deliberately using an old form.

'ing' words. Same rules as in prose; use these very sparingly or you end up with too much passivity and too little action which makes the poem drag.

I'll return to this piece with some more specific comments when I'm more awake...
Title: .
Post by: Woody on November 21, 2008, 05:41:37 PM
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Title: Re: My Last Party. (C&C welcomed)
Post by: Ed on November 22, 2008, 04:57:12 AM
That's the scary part about writing - once you really get into it and learn a few things, you begin to understand just how much you don't know. That's also one of the most interesting parts about it, too, I think. :smiley:
Title: Re: My Last Party. (C&C welcomed)
Post by: delph_ambi on November 22, 2008, 05:41:02 AM
Here's a line by line crit. The title is excellent, and the ideas in the poem are fine. It just needs more precision of thought.

It is my party, [use it’s rather than it is. Lose the comma. Line-breaks are commas anyway, so you rarely need additional punctuation]
and the lights are turned down low.
The heavy curtains are pulled,
[‘the lights are turned down low’ and ‘the heavy curtains are pulled’ are both passive constructions. Might be better to have somebody turning down the lights and pulling the curtains, though maybe in context the passivity is okay]
shutting out the cold. [an ‘ing’ word. ‘to shut out the cold’ works just as well as ‘shutting out the cold’ and is more active]
Everyone is here. [Everyone’s here]

The music is playing, [Make this more interesting by specifying a particular song or style. Also make it active, not passive, if possible. Show the effect of the music on the guests.]
and those that know me show, [get rid of the comma. It’s ungrammatical and unneeded]
their respect for my choice.
They've turned up.
And everyone else is here. [Who is ‘everyone else’? They can’t be those that know you, so who are they? There’s an interesting story here, but you gloss over it, and whilst in this is perfectly justified by the end of the poem, at this point the reader doesn’t know the nature of the gathering, so it doesn't make sense.]

Standing by the sofa, [passive]
which is a coffee coloured leather. [too many modifiers. You have the sofa. Then you have not one but THREE modifiers. Do you need any? I’d lose the line.]
Filled with my relatives, [If it’s the sofa that’s filled with relatives, then you need to lose the previous full stop for it to make sense. Sofas are filled with horsehair or foam rubber usually. You have great potential here for a sofa stuffed with relatives, but I don’t think that’s what you mean. Try to be precise in your wording.]
close… and from afar. [a bit corny. ‘from afar’ would be more interesting if it was ‘from Tennessee’ or some other random place]
Without a doubt, [these last two lines are in an unnatural order and feel stuck on]
everyone is here.

Talking amongst themselves, [passive and probably superfluous]
they chat about me,
happy in a way. [that’s telling not showing. Have them chuckling or animated or something. Not just ‘happy’]
I hear everything they say, [longwinded]
their comments please me. [vague and passive. Would be better to give a few examples of the comments]
Everybody's here! [this repetitive refrain is a good idea, but needs better handling so that it doesn’t keep looking stuck on]

The false smiles of some, [lose the comma]
cover a misery, [lose the comma]
brought about by the box, [box? No idea what this means at this point. It’s a problem because ‘box’ makes most people think ‘television’ rather than coffin. This requires careful handling. Use more mystery I think, rather than a word that could be a packing case. Even calling it ‘the thing in the front room’ would be better.]
weighs down on my shoulders. [Ungrammatical. "that weighs" would fix it]
But… the buffet's nearly gone and [where did it go? Chose your verbs with care and precision]
everyone's still here.

I stand next to my brother.
He shudders, while he talks to my wife. [good couple of lines. Active and interesting]
And I hear the things he says. [lose ‘and’]
His comments please me and, [what comments? You need examples to show, not tell]
everyone is here.

The lights turn down lower. [how? By magic? Someone must have turned them down. This is another story; another lost opportunity]
A dragging tugs me, pulls me away. [tautologous. You’ve said the same thing in three different ways]
This wake of mine is finished, [lose the comma. Introduction of the word ‘wake’ at this point is excellent. A real eyebrow raising moment for the reader.]
and I go. [lose the full stop]
Leaving everybody there.

I'm now gone,
from the world I knew,
happy in a way.
It's no longer dark, but light,
this lifts me and…
Everyone is here! [lose this entire last stanza. The reader gets the idea. Don’t lecture them]
Title: .
Post by: Woody on December 26, 2008, 07:30:42 PM
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Title: .
Post by: Woody on May 14, 2009, 06:16:17 PM
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Title: .
Post by: Woody on June 21, 2009, 11:14:48 PM
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Title: Re: Killing Myself to Live
Post by: evilthing69 on June 21, 2009, 11:20:35 PM
Believe you me, I understand... :buck:
Title: .
Post by: Woody on August 07, 2009, 06:30:11 PM
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Title: Re: a portrait in black (c&c welcomed)
Post by: Pharosian on August 07, 2009, 09:57:06 PM
It would help me a lot if I could figure out what the theirs, they, and them referred to. Unfortunately, it is not obvious.

In the first stanza, I think some shadows cast a veil, and if this poem were punctuated--which it desperately needs to be--I think a period would go after veil. In the third and fourth lines some raving tales make sparkles.

In the second stanza, without a verb, I'm at a loss to figure out what it means, and we encounter the first instance of the mysterious "their": mysterious because there is no plural in sight to which it might refer. It can't refer to the shadow of nobody, because "a shadow" is singular and demands the singular pronoun "its"...

In the third stanza, I'm wondering how solace could be observed in the first place. Beauty, yes; solace, not so much.

In the fourth stanza, we encounter another instance of "their," and it appears that "a bitter... shell of what may have been" is supposed to be a person, in which case, said person is now basking in his or her puke, not their puke. Let's get real, here, shall we? You know who you're writing this about, so man up and use the correct damn pronoun.

The fifth stanza contains three uses of the word "their," which grammatically seem to refer to pin points. This of course makes no sense at all. Again, use the appropriate pronoun and sort out the verb: pin points *are* lost, but the outside world *is* lost. You end line one with "world" and start line two with "are," which reads very badly. It seems like a word is missing here: "to their grasp reason..." Should that be, "to their grasp of reason"? The whole thing is difficult to parse.

The sixth stanza would make more sense if it stood on its own, but apparently, it continues a sentence begun in the previous sentence. Unfortunately, you weren't able to figure out what the subject of the previous sentence was, so your verb "make" is incorrect. It should be makes. Remember, strip away the prepositional phrases when you want to figure out the real movers and shakers of your sentence.

In the version below, I have made only the smallest changes to improve readability and clarity. Someone like delph would be required to address the larger structural and lyrical issues; I'm just the grammarian. My opinion of the piece overall is that while it's got a couple of nice lines (sparkles of vitriol), it's too general and too angsty. I particularly didn't like the "begat by recurrent incidents/ in [his] far and recent past" lines. It sounds so clinical and doesn't reveal anything.


bipolar shadows cast across a dim room
the obsessive-compulsive's veil;
ranting and raving contrary fib tales
make sparkles of vitriol in the gloom.

a shadow of nobody is rarely acknowledged,
is never more than his consonants and vowels.

life's mirror observed
shows nothing looking back
no grandeur nor beauty
to behold.

a bitter, shriveled disconsolate shell of
what may have been
now basks in his own puke.

far off pin points -- the outside world
is lost to his grasp of
reason; his anathema
begat by recurrent incidents
in his far and recent past

makes him alone and a long time blind
to inhabit a dimension that's dark and bleak
and comfortable
as he forsakes the problems of the self
because this is his twisted joy.
Title: Re: a portrait in black (c&c welcomed)
Post by: delph_ambi on August 08, 2009, 01:43:39 AM
I'll get back to this one. Having recently done a hatchet job on a story of yours, I'm reluctant to do the same to your poem straight away  :grin:


I will return...
Title: .
Post by: Woody on August 08, 2009, 09:15:56 AM
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Title: .
Post by: Woody on August 08, 2009, 09:23:14 AM
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Title: Re: a portrait in black (c&c welcomed)
Post by: delph_ambi on August 08, 2009, 10:26:33 AM
I'll be constructive -- promise! I think there are a number of poems on here I would like to crit. I'll make a start tomorrow afternoon, all things being equal.
Title: Re: a portrait in black (c&c welcomed)
Post by: Pharosian on August 08, 2009, 12:07:26 PM
Thanks Pharosian - just a quick a comment at the moment as I've got shed loads to do before I can come back to this
In the third stanza, I'm wondering how solace could be observed in the first place. Beauty, yes; solace, not so much.

Solace - something that gives comfort

I believe it is possible to seek solace from someone's eyes, some sign, and as it's a mirror they're seeking solace from their own eyes in the reflection but not finding it.

First, the line was "life's mirror observed" so I was (mistakenly, perhaps) thinking this was a metaphor for something on a grander scale than the mirror over the bathroom sink. I wasn't quite sure what "life's mirror" was, but it sounded good. I didn't take it as a literal silvered-glass mirror, yet at the same time, I wanted the possibility of what could be reflected back to mimic that of a "real" mirror. Apparently you meant a real-life small scale mirror, so maybe the term "life's mirror" is more confusing than enlightening.

Second, "they" is the third person plural pronoun used to refer to two or more persons or things previously referred to or easily identified. It is NOT a gender-neutral substitute for he or she, though it is now often used in this manner in deference to people who can't abide the former practice of using "he" to cover both genders.* I notice that you have edited your poem now and have chosen the female gender. That's terrific! But then in your answer above, why didn't you say, "...and as it's a mirror she's seeking solace from her own eyes in the reflection but not finding it"?

My suspicion is that the poem is really about you, and you're not female, so you're still conflicted about the pronoun. I could be way off base, though, and if I am, I apologize. Maybe it's just a bad habit.

The thing is, aside from all the grammar stuff, until you make it personal by bringing it down to one person, it doesn't have any power. As long as you keep your language couched in they and them and their, it's all distant. That alone is good enough reason to make this personal, to make it something that someone else can relate to. And as long as it's happening to some nebulous "them" over there, I don't think that's going to happen.

-----
* Non-fiction writers who want to stay on firm grammatical footing get around this problem by 1) alternating their usage of he and she in their writing, 2) using the phrase "he or she" instead of "he" or "they" or 3) construct sentences to avoid using a pronoun altogether (which can get awkward). A fourth, less commonly used way is to put a note in the Introduction of the book saying (essentially), "hey, I know what the PC issues are with using "he" but it's not meant to be sexist, so deal with it."
Title: .
Post by: Woody on August 08, 2009, 04:44:23 PM
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Title: .
Post by: Woody on August 08, 2009, 05:20:07 PM
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Title: Re: a portrait in black (c&c welcomed)
Post by: Pharosian on August 08, 2009, 10:23:15 PM
It's obvious by now that the substitution of "they" for the appropriate 3rd person singular pronoun is a pet peeve of mine.  ::)  I'm glad that you don't seem to have taken offense at my curmudgeonly comments...

OK, I just went back through several weeks' worth of Cafe Doom Flash Challenges, and I see that delph uses only the occasional comma but in the main eschews punctuation. At the same time, she uses about half the words per line as your example here, and there is absolutely no ambiguity. One doesn't really need the marks to understand her poems--the stanzas provide necessary breaks. So forget I said to use punctuation, and just cut, cut, cut.

Quote
And there definitely was a reason I was obtuse about the gender - that being comments I've received in writing forums about pieces I've submitted where my writing has wholly come down on the side of a fictional stereotypical bloke's perspective, but for one reason or another it has been taken as my real world view - which is very surprising and extremely disheartening for a writer of fiction.

Did the people in the online poetry forums actually advise you not to be specific about the subject's gender? Or was that your solution based on their criticism? I think I may know what they were getting at, having seen examples of stories in other critique groups that were written in such a way that they seemed more like retellings of actual incidents than fiction. Maybe the names were changed, but there's a "feel" to real incidents or the way they're related that differs from fiction, at least in the hands of a beginner. Maybe they took your poems in this light, and thought you were expressing your actual views? I'm not sure the cure for that is to obscure the gender, though. I wish I were able to articulate this better, or give an example, but I stand by what I said in a post above; that the reader has to be able to identify with the subject of the poem. This is best done "one-on-one," as emotions are experienced by us as individuals.
Title: Re: a portrait in black (c&c welcomed)
Post by: delph_ambi on August 09, 2009, 10:20:53 AM
Pharosian's already given you a fabulous crit of this poem, so I'll go and attack a different one.

Title: Re: Killing Myself to Live
Post by: delph_ambi on August 09, 2009, 10:38:23 AM
This is far too wordy for poetry. You need to extract the essence and ditch the rest. I'll make some line by line suggestions.

Quite often I sit in my study, [delete 'quite often', and possibly 'sit in my study' too]
thinking about my past that has been. [delete 'that has been' (tautology)]
Not a thing I have control over, [reword to simplify, eg 'something I can't control']
just my life before, [never use the word 'just' other than in dialogue. It's always superfluous.]
and its permeating stink.
And I wonder. I wonder why I suffer this trauma; [I like repetition in poetry, but if you're going to use it, make a feature of it by using two separate lines]
this thing that’s my life before. [superfluous line]
And these thoughts are forever present, [keep 'these thoughts' and delete the rest]
bugging me, taunting me, [bug me, taunt me]
pushing me to the brink. [push me to the brink. Except that this is such a cliché you might want to drop it completely]
Contemplating the uncontemplatable [good idea, but I'm not sure how easy it is to say 'uncontemplatable']
and I wonder why I think, [I'd start a new stanza here. Delete 'and']
the thoughts I ought not consider, [drop 'the'. Use 'shouldn't' rather than 'ought not'. More natural sounding.]
the thoughts of what should have been. [this line needs to be combined somehow with the previous one, I think]
I try so hard to reconcile my history [delete 'so hard']
with the things as they are. [too abstract. All this stuff about thoughts and history would work better with concrete examples]
And occasionally, I fail, [delete 'and'. Consider using 'sometimes' rather than 'occasionally' to help with the meter]
this warranted duty unto myself, [weirdly formal wording which doesn't match the style of the rest of the poem]
but it’s the way things are, it is, [very, very, very wordy. cut, cut, cut]
— the way life is as it is. [in two lines you've got: it's it is is as it is. Terribly short and staccato sounds.]

And when they’re foremost in my thoughts, [delete 'and'. Who or what are 'they'?]
still pushing me to the brink. [cliché]
I look at the bottle before me, [if you need to state the position of the bottle, use 'in front of me' not the archaic 'before me'. Never use archaic language in poetry unless you're writing a period piece deliberately]
after my mind has turned to drink. [the rhyme with 'brink' is crude and intrusive.]
And savour every moment, [use I rather than and]
when my mind has been comfortably numbed. [Shades of Pink Floyd, though to be fair, I've used the phrase myself]
It’s a release from my torment ['It's' is weak. 'release from my torment' is an archaic cliché]
and although the mantra has been drummed

— into me [I'm not convinced by this formatting. It's fussy and unnecessary]

— that I’m killing myself, [ditto. And ditch the commas. Line breaks ARE commas. You rarely need additional ones.]

the path is already laid.
There’s nothing I can do to get off it, [find a better phrase than 'to get off it']
there’s nothing I can pay, [the last three lines of this stanza don't make sense. Anything that has the reader going 'eh?' and reading it through several times needs revising]
for my history and my life before,
things started going my way.

Am I forever having to follow this deep and cataclysmic rift;
the borderline between the now and my past that is as it is?[oh good lord.'that is as it is'. Nope. Find a way of excising all these tiny little words that pile up on top of each other and confuse the meaning.]

For now, I know the answer,
as it is in my gift, [archaic expression]
to follow through with the only option I have,
and that is, [superfluous line]

— killing myself to live. [good ending]
Title: Re: The snake, the Duck and the St. Bernard (c&c welcomed)
Post by: delph_ambi on August 09, 2009, 10:42:30 AM
Great piece of flash fiction, but if you want to turn it into a poem, you'll need a sharp pair of scissors. I think it works so well as a flash, I'm going to refrain from making any poetic suggestions, as I think they'd spoil it. I'd simply reformat into normal paragraphs and leave it at that. Mind, you might like to change the word order now and again ('She knew not' needs to be 'She didn't know' etc).
Title: .
Post by: Woody on August 11, 2009, 07:34:49 PM
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Title: .
Post by: Woody on August 20, 2009, 05:46:35 PM
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Title: .
Post by: Woody on September 13, 2009, 05:27:01 PM
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Title: Re: Weird Dream
Post by: delph_ambi on September 14, 2009, 02:15:00 AM
First line's crying out to have the word order changed, ie:

I sat on a beige faux-leather seat

I have no idea why you had that one so topsy-turvy. You wouldn't say 'Upon a beige faux leather seat I sat' so don't write it.

The rest of the poem avoids such infelicities. There's much to like here. Much I'd change if it were my own poem, but of course it isn't, so I'm not sure how far you want me to go with a crit. If it's only in draft form at the moment, there's no point in me going through with a fine tooth comb, but I'll happily look at it again when you reckon you've got it into shape.

You'll need a better title, but I'm sure you know that. 'Headless scotties' would be more eye-catching!
Title: Re: Weird Dream
Post by: Pharosian on September 14, 2009, 08:49:23 AM
First and foremost this poem is the attempt at capturing a dream I had. ... Also any other crits are welcome.

Woody, I get that you tried to capture a dream here. They're slippery things, aren't they? A couple of my suggestions are for moving beyond that initial stage, because I think that while dreams can be an excellent starting point for art, they shouldn't be treated as sacred or immutable. This will have more appeal if you punch it up a bit and get rid of the uncertainties your dream left you with such as the "I think" for the car model and the vagueness of the weather report. I also made a couple of grammar comments.  ::)


Weird, Weird Dream
Upon a beige faux leather seat I sat     << What delph said...
in the car park at the back,
of the library in Hadleigh.

It was the remnants of an old Ford Escort,
I think.              << I'd get rid of this to make the description of the car definite
And all around were the scattered bodies
of greasy Scotties
– no head attached, just separate,
lying there.

A massive pole of thousand foot steel
melded to the ground, stood rampant in the sky;
attached to my seat.
And all around pedestrians walked by,
they didn’t see
the chair with me sat upon it,
terrified.

Then, within a blink, there was a whoosh
 as the chair and me began to rush   << change "began to rush" to "rushed" same as you would in prose
into the sky, along the pole’s shaft,
my lungs losing their air.

Being pushed back in the seat,
with gravity pulling at my legs and feet,
the ground beneath me shrunk away,  << past tense of "shrink" is "shrank"; subject of sentence is ground, so first two lines don't make sense *
becoming a model as I swayed
in the breeze around me.
And then we stopped.

Far below, through crushed up eyes,
I could see Matchbox cars
and people of no size
moving around in their minuscule world,
oblivious to my plight.

And without any introduction,
a man tapped on my shoulder,
and I began to shudder.          << change "began to shudder" to "shuddered" same as you would in prose
He had a map in hand and wanted me
to look over it as he hovered next to me.

I saw his arms, I saw his body
and his khaki jacket as he asked me
where he was, because,           << no comma after because and maybe not even before
he didn’t know.
–   He was lost.
Him!? I thought.

He pulled plastic maps from his jacket,
then paper ones attached by elastic
until there was one that matched
the view,
–   the Estuary behind us.

I helped him as much as I could
and once happy he disappeared,
leaving me with that paralysing fear,
my vertigo.

Then as quickly as he’d come,
appeared the pull chains of Hilary blinds,
those chains of beads that could close out light
and with nothing to do to change my plight,
I pulled at them.

Suddenly I was in descent,
stomach in mouth, with no relent
as wind rushed around my ears
with my fear,
increasing

Having ground, approaching fast,
and to the seat my hands firmly grasped,   << my hands firmly grasped to the seat
I closed my eyes tightly;                         << the semi-colon should be a comma
fearing the worst.

Then came to me a radio announcer,                   << A radio announcer came to me (or better, A radio announcer spoke)
speaking of weather and how things were better;  << In a 2nd draft, I'd change the vague "things were better" to a vivid image of marmalade skies or similar
followed by pips of seven o’clock.

The hit on the ground I’d thought I’d suffer
vanished as my eyelids fluttered.
Letting in the light of day
and the red digits of the display
on my alarm clock.

I sat upon the edge of my bed,                          << do you ever say "upon" in everyday usage? Change to "on"
still cognizant of the dread,
I’d felt in waking,
and wondered, for a while,
whether the dream had any meaning.

Seats and Scotties,
poles and sky,
people with maps
and the heights implied.
The reasons behind these images seemed,
nothing more than a weird, weird dream.
But was it?


* Let's look at this sentence all on one line, as though it were prose:

Being pushed back in the seat, with gravity pulling at my legs and feet, the ground beneath me shrunk away, becoming a model as I swayed in the breeze around me.

It's clear that your intention is that YOU are the subject here, being pushed and pulled, but the way the sentence is constructed, "you" only appear in some dependent clauses. The independent clause here (the one with the subject and verb) is "the ground beneath me [shrank] away." Clearly, it wasn't the ground "being pushed back in the seat." Your best bet to fix this is to insert yourself into the the independent clause: "I watched the ground beneath me..." or "I saw the ground..."

Being pushed back in the seat,
with gravity pulling at my legs and feet,
I saw the ground beneath me shrink away,
becoming a model as I swayed
in the breeze around me.
Title: .
Post by: Woody on September 15, 2009, 05:42:41 PM
posting here has proven unwise. ed will keep your stuff after he bans you. only he knows why.
Title: .
Post by: Woody on September 15, 2009, 06:08:42 PM
posting here has proven unwise. ed will keep your stuff after he bans you. only he knows why.
Title: .
Post by: Woody on September 22, 2009, 08:47:42 PM
posting here has proven unwise. ed will keep your stuff after he bans you. only he knows why.
Title: .
Post by: Woody on October 29, 2009, 05:17:48 PM
posting here has proven unwise. ed will keep your stuff after he bans you. only he knows why.
Title: .
Post by: Woody on January 04, 2010, 07:28:37 PM
posting here has proven unwise. ed will keep your stuff after he bans you. only he knows why.
Title: Re: a portrait in black (new version)
Post by: Sunny on February 14, 2010, 09:48:49 PM
WOW! Very deep and touching.... This is extremely well done. Kuddos
Title: .
Post by: Woody on February 16, 2010, 11:59:09 AM
posting here has proven unwise. ed will keep your stuff after he bans you. only he knows why.
Title: Re: a portrait in black (new version)
Post by: Hoodedpoet on February 27, 2010, 03:02:46 PM
Well written; interestingly, there seemed to be a double take. The subject is tragic, but you also seemed to be a little scathing of the fact that her illness makes her self-centred. Reminded me of a poem by Larkin, "Neurotics".
Title: .
Post by: Woody on March 08, 2010, 07:07:49 PM
posting here has proven unwise. ed will keep your stuff after he bans you. only he knows why.
Title: .
Post by: Woody on March 08, 2010, 07:18:50 PM
posting here has proven unwise. ed will keep your stuff after he bans you. only he knows why.
Title: .
Post by: Woody on March 13, 2010, 08:03:25 PM
posting here has proven unwise. ed will keep your stuff after he bans you. only he knows why.
Title: Re: The Rage
Post by: delph_ambi on March 14, 2010, 04:44:40 AM
Good piece of writing, but I feel it would benefit from being formatted as a paragraph rather than one sentence per line.
Title: Re: The Rage
Post by: omega1300 on March 17, 2010, 11:32:22 PM
a double reply - Delph!! I hardly know you  - and yet thank you for the feedback on previous posts elsewhere and the blood soaked trail of breadcrumbs here! I'm sure you'll regret it!  :afro:

Woody:

I really like this - I feel the passion and frustration in your words - I'll need to re-read to come up with any constructive criticism, but if I'll post if I think of anything.  Keep it up mate!  :cool:

Title: .
Post by: Woody on March 18, 2010, 02:43:26 PM
.
Title: .
Post by: Woody on April 17, 2010, 07:20:58 PM
posting here has proven unwise. ed will keep your stuff after he bans you. only he knows why.
Title: .
Post by: Woody on December 31, 2010, 06:32:18 PM
posting here has proven unwise. ed will keep your stuff after he bans you. only he knows why.
Title: .
Post by: Woody on December 31, 2010, 11:00:16 PM
posting here has proven unwise. ed will keep your stuff after he bans you. only he knows why.