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Author Topic: As I My Death Mask Don (C&C welcome)  (Read 2646 times)
chungle
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« on: January 25, 2009, 06:52:52 PM »

An homage to Vincent Price and Bela Lugosi style horror that I wrote ages ago.

As I My Death Mask Don

The quill scrawls thoughts I cannot bear.
Hopeless, though the choice is there.
Death must bloom; this is my garden.
My calling is one I cannot pardon.

She reaches to me with hands that wither,
her voice, so desperate, beckoning hither.
I gaze into her eyes as I diminish the fire;
the mirror, a pool of troubled ire.

Beautiful, this flower blighted.
Truculent, this wrong is righted.
Bitter is this dark transcendence.
Mercy at my soul's expense.

These words become my epitaph.
Manic becomes my endless laugh.
Remorseless as I my death mask don,
to flee, an accursed hellion.

- Chadwick TC Green
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delph_ambi
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« Reply #1 on: January 26, 2009, 03:41:46 AM »

Nice one, chungle. A few points:

Too many full sentences taking up full lines in the first stanza. Maybe end line 1 with a dash instead of full stop to fix this.

Stanza two, line 3, has too many syllables for comfort. Maybe use 'in' instead of 'into' to cut back a little and change 'as I' to 'to', ie, 'I gaze in her eyes to diminish the fire'.

Stanza three, line 1; if you pronounce 'flower' with two syllables you're okay here, but if you pronounce it more like 'flar', then I'd have an 'is' before 'blighted' to bring in another syllable. In fact, an 'is' might be helpful anyway so that the line matches the following one more closely. Last line could use a few more syllables, but I can't off the top of my head think of a way to incorporate them.

Stanza four is problematic. The first line reads naturally and is fine, but lines 2 and 3 have convoluted word order to accommodate the rhyme, which is of course a cardinal sin in rhyming poetry. Very hard to fix this without a complete re-write.

Overall, you've certainly achieved the required Gothic atmosphere. The poem would be stronger with a clearer storyline. You have the bare bones of a story, but it's too episodic; more like brief descriptions of different ideas. Might be worth taking individual stanzas and using them as starting points for more sophisticated writing.
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chungle
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« Reply #2 on: January 26, 2009, 04:05:18 AM »

Thanks delph. I always appreciate your feedback.

This was actually written to narrate an animation my friend was working on. Unfortunately he never did finish it, so I suppose the story is only half told. I'll take a shot at writing some more stanzas even though I wrote this early last year, if I recall correctly.

I do pronounce flower with two syllables.

Perhaps 'as I gaze in her eyes, I diminish the fire' would flow better?

As for lines 2 and 3 of the fourth stanza, would you mind going into more detail? I'm quite fond of lines 3 and 4, though I am always open to contrary opinion - without it, I would never learn anything.
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delph_ambi
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« Reply #3 on: January 26, 2009, 04:56:37 AM »

Yes, 'as I gaze in her eyes, I diminish the fire' works fine.

Regarding the last stanza: nobody would say 'manic becomes my endless laugh'. The would say, 'my endless laugh becomes manic'. Likewise, nobody would say, 'Remorseless as I my death mask don'. They'd say... err... gawd knows. It's hard to know to what the 'remorseless' refers as it's at the start of the sentence. The rest of that line should be 'as I don my death mask', of course. Once you turn those lines around, you lose the rhymes but gain the sense and natural flow. Hence the problem. You can't have both the rhymes and the natural speech patterns. You've sacrificed natural speech for the sake of an easy rhyme. That's a no no in poetry.
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chungle
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« Reply #4 on: January 26, 2009, 08:10:51 AM »

Yes, 'as I gaze in her eyes, I diminish the fire' works fine.

Regarding the last stanza: nobody would say 'manic becomes my endless laugh'. The would say, 'my endless laugh becomes manic'. Likewise, nobody would say, 'Remorseless as I my death mask don'. They'd say... err... gawd knows. It's hard to know to what the 'remorseless' refers as it's at the start of the sentence. The rest of that line should be 'as I don my death mask', of course. Once you turn those lines around, you lose the rhymes but gain the sense and natural flow. Hence the problem. You can't have both the rhymes and the natural speech patterns. You've sacrificed natural speech for the sake of an easy rhyme. That's a no no in poetry.

And here I thought 'Remorseless as I my death mask don' sounded bloody poetic all along. tongue I have to admit that these days, almost a year after this piece's creation, I would probably never write like this.

I'm actually thinking this is a poem I'll just live and learn from as opposed to attempting to salvage it. Without the animation it was intended to be spoken over, it really just doesn't work.
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