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Author Topic: Switch  (Read 6871 times)
lucyblue
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« on: January 28, 2008, 04:24:55 PM »

Switch

It can’t be normal, what we do.  There’s blood,
There’s blood under the bites, and marks of bites,
And bites are kisses.  We’re outta our minds -
We hear our hands, scent shame, and we fight touch.
What’s tender chokes where we two meet, our tongues
aren’t tasters, plumpers up or forks - they’re spikes,
Our teeth chatter, we sweat cold oceans wide
on sheets made red, lick salt, lick metal cuts.

Violence doesn’t end the tale, you’d think
it would, but no - a twist.  For you we’re here,
We tease, you watch on edge, you fear to blink
in case you miss, violent us. It’s near
enough for normal you, escaping dust,
Our strangely spoiled and vivid burning lust.


This is, I do believe, a sonnet.

Jen
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Geoff_N
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« Reply #1 on: January 28, 2008, 05:32:08 PM »

For emotions that fierce, the feeling of beauty comes over very strong. I suppose there can be beauty in cold metal and blood - even though they are opposites in tactile experience.

I'm barking up the wrong tree, aren't I?

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lucyblue
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« Reply #2 on: January 28, 2008, 05:42:42 PM »

Geoff

Nope, your own tree is fine by me.

But it's a sonnet!  I wrote a sonnet, a proper one with iambic pentameter and everything.

Jen
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delph_ambi
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« Reply #3 on: January 28, 2008, 05:53:32 PM »

A good vampiric 'sort of' sonnet. ('sort of' because the iambic pentameter ain't right on several of the lines, but what the heck, you've got the right number of syllables and feet, they're just not very iambic) (oh, and the rhyme scheme's unusual. but again, what the heck) (and you've got a volta, but the last couplet doesn't really start where it should)

I'll stop quibbling! I like the poem. That's what matters.
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lucyblue
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« Reply #4 on: January 28, 2008, 07:44:41 PM »

Quibble do.

Which lines?

Jenny
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delph_ambi
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« Reply #5 on: January 29, 2008, 03:38:18 AM »

okay. An iamb is an unstressed/stressed foot. These are the lines that didn't fit for me. I'll underscore the feet that have their stresses the wrong way round and are therefore trochees. Of course you can play with the rhythm a bit - it would be boring if everything was absolutely iambic, but these particular ones were so determinedly trochaic that they stuck out for me and upset the rhythm, unless spoken with unnatural stresses. The word 'violence' for example - surely the stress is on the first syllable - VI-o-lence, not the second - vi-O-lence, which is what you need to make it iambic.

There’s blood under the bites, and marks of bites,
And bites are kisses.  We’re outta our minds -
Our teeth chatter, we sweat cold oceans wide
Violence doesn’t end the tale, you’d think
in case you miss, violent us. It’s near

 
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lucyblue
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« Reply #6 on: January 29, 2008, 05:44:11 AM »

How interesting.  I was definitely reading the stresses the other way round in the words you're pointing out. 

Please feel free to ignore this post if it's beginning to bore you, but it's the kind of nit picking that fascinates me.  So, if I say vi-O-lence (which I do), how do I know there are others who'd stress otherwise?

And the original intention was S&M not vampiric, so presuming if it went up on another kind of site folk would read it differently!  Which is also most interesting.

Jenny
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lucyblue
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« Reply #7 on: January 29, 2008, 05:50:14 AM »

Of course, I could look them up in the dictionary!  Agh, how simple.  Then the matter arises which words I'd need to look up if I don't know to begin with that the stresses are more commonly one way than another.  The plot thickens.
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delph_ambi
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« Reply #8 on: January 29, 2008, 07:40:34 AM »

I've re-read the poem, and reckon I'd have thought vampires wherever I'd read this one. Interesting that that wasn't your original intention. I don't think it matters.

Regarding the stresses, do you really say vi-O-lence and not VI-o-lence? I've never ever heard it like that. I know the English language has many different accents and words are often said completely differently depending on where you live, but that's still a new one on me. My own accent is South London, with a bit of Geordie thrown in because I've lived oop north for years. What's yours?

In the end, you have to go with your instincts on this sort of thing. Be true to your own voice. If your own accent is a bit out of kilter with 'standard' English (and whose isn't) then don't worry about it.
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Ed
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« Reply #9 on: January 29, 2008, 03:41:36 PM »

I hadn't thought about the way an accent could affect the way a poem reads, in terms of structure, like that. Like Delph says, though - go with your gut instinct. If it feels right for you then it will for a specific readership, too.

Delph - just had to say how great it is to have you here making intelligent comments about poetry. I've always felt guilty about the poetry section, because I don't feel like I've got anything worthwhile to say about poems smiley Thanks!
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delph_ambi
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« Reply #10 on: January 29, 2008, 05:21:13 PM »

My pleasure, Ed, but don't ever think you don't have useful things to say about poetry. Poems are simply stories with fewer words, and where the narrator is allowed more of a 'voice'. (I've just read that definition on another site and will spend a while trying to decide if I agree with it or not.)
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lucyblue
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« Reply #11 on: January 30, 2008, 07:17:41 AM »

I've re-read the poem, and reckon I'd have thought vampires wherever I'd read this one. Interesting that that wasn't your original intention. I don't think it matters.

Don't suppose it does matter really, but as you say, all very interesting.  I never think of vampires as violent.  Evil maybe, but I sort of regard them as morally neutral, like tigers.  Violence is something I've always viewed as a human trait.  Or tornado trait.

Regarding the stresses, do you really say vi-O-lence and not VI-o-lence? I've never ever heard it like that. I know the English language has many different accents and words are often said completely differently depending on where you live, but that's still a new one on me. My own accent is South London, with a bit of Geordie thrown in because I've lived oop north for years. What's yours?

Tyneside.  But I just think I say violence with the stress on the o because for some reason I think it's lazy to miss out the syllable!  Vilence.


You thinking of putting a work-in-progress up on this bit?  I like poems.
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delph_ambi
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« Reply #12 on: January 30, 2008, 10:00:35 AM »

You're right. I should put a WIP up. Trouble is, I'm frantically writing a novel at the moment, plus short stories for competitions, so the few poems I'm currently writing are of the 'quickies for flash contests' variety. As and when I write something that could use a bit of serious critique, I'll post it.

Tyneside, eh? I once wrote a Shakespearean sonnet version of the Lambton Worm, all in broad Geordie. I've lost it, luckily.
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chungle
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« Reply #13 on: January 26, 2009, 03:01:02 AM »

Where you are in the world most definitely affects syllabic stress (is that even a proper term?). In one part of the world you may pronounce it 'UNder', while in another part of the world you might find it pronounced it 'unDER'. While I read most of those words and found they could go both ways (bi-lingual? har har), delph read them and thought otherwise.

For me, I pronounce 'under' with stress on the latter syllable in some cases and emphasis on the former in others. I also pronounce 'violence' as 'vi-lence' with equal emphasis on both syllables most of the time.

If you replace 'outta' with 'out of', it becomes iambic, in my neck of the woods, as the stress is on the second syllable and it keeps with the rhythm of the piece as well.

Just my $0.02 on that topic, which I am admittedly awful with.

As for the rest of the poem, it gets better as it progresses. I think the first stanza, particularly the first four lines, could do with some fine tuning - perhaps a little less repetition of certain words. 'And bites are kisses' particularly strikes a sour chord with me. Perhaps 'These bites, our kisses' would work?

I really do admire the capture, however. Moments of passion are difficult to write well in such a short piece and I think with a little bit of work, you could have something fresh and unique here.
« Last Edit: January 26, 2009, 03:02:44 AM by chungle » Logged
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