Anyone dabble in poetry? Although I began writing a bit of verse last spring, I have rarely worked up the nerve to show the results to anyone. I guess I am wondering if anyone would be interested in a creative exchange of constructive criticism. Post your pieces if so! I'm too chicken to post the first one, even though I made the topic. Whoops. ;)
Thank you all so much for the great feedback! I really appreciate it. :) Forgive me for doing one lump reply, but my internet here is painfully slow.
I was afraid that "Diaspora" could possibly be interpreted as espousing racial purity and condemning mulitculturalism. This is completely unintentional, and I think that I may need to restructure a few things in order to fix this. I think that if I make the poem more self-inclusive I may be able to prevent this possibly racist tone. Thank you all for picking up on this possible antimiscegenational interpretation, and also for giving me the benefit of the doubt that it was unintentional. :)
I myself am the mongrel, a second- and third-generation mix of Irish, French Canadian, Italian, Portuguese, and Welsh immigrants. Like the majority of nineteenth century European immigrants, my family history and accompanying cultural traditions are largely obscured by a veil of immigrant poverty and hardship. The resultant American family--while perhaps a homogenized Caucasian in appearance--is completely devoid of any ties to the past or cultural heritage upon which to draw from. I realize that this is a common American experience, and perhaps I have overdramatized it.
I guess that sometimes around holidays, I feel the emptiness of a sparse American family unit and disconnect from any sort of larger ethnic community in general. I think that I wrote the poem around the time of some holiday...it was spring so it must have been Easter. The Catholic Church was my final remnant of any connection to the past, and a part of me still misses that sense of tradition surrounding the major church holidays. I do not miss the doctrine nor the dogma, of course, but there was something special about the rituals that was comforting; there was always the sense of continuity, that connection with the past and persistence to the future. I can still remember that feeling of security and community as a child sitting in Sunday Mass; the words never mattered, it was purely the feeling of belonging to something that had existed before me and would continue to exist after I was gone. And, of course, the collation of baked goods and chocolate afterwards. Ah, well...I am just romanticizing childhood memories.
Richard, I also see now that "bygone past" is redundant; something about that line had bothered me, and I think that you hit right on it. I also like the idea of incorporating another stanza in the middle.
S S Tragus, I agree that the flow of that "of" breaks up the flow of that line, and definitely need to reworded.
Carol, I am glad to hear that there is a sense of positivity in the final stanza. I cannot remember if I was feeling positive when I wrote it, but it makes me happy to see an optimistic note there now. :)
Again, I really do appreciate all the thoughtful comments!
When I wrote this, I disliked structured poetry (though, in retrospect, I think C.S. Lewis was largely right when he said that one has to know well the rules of poetry before s/he breaks them), so when assigned a sonnet in a poetry comp class, I tried to reinvent it as an ABCDCBA ABCDCBA to suggest, thematically, the to-and-fro motion of ocean waves.
Thoughts are welcome -- criticisms too, but try to be a little gentle. :-)
Beneath the blue-grey sky, upon the blue
Entombed, in ice, my dear-love ship remains
As I, alone, am tossed above the sea.
No bird, no fish in view to see my plight
For Neptune in his frigid heart must be
A vicious god, whose brutal mind complains
When forced to see what angered mortals do.
I faced the sea with rage, that much is true –
Alas! this icy cold must chill my veins!
My rage alone cannot afford to be
A martyr slain, beside my soul this night.
I faced the sea alone, that much I see –
And left adrift, with Neptune at his reins
I gasp, and scream, and bare my rage anew.
I really like it! I appreciate the deliberately constructed rhyme scheme; after studying EA Poe for the first time last semester, I became enamored of a mathematical, methodical approach to poetry (spurned on by reading "The Philosophy of Composition.") The rocking of ocean waves is very well simulated by the rhyme scheme; the subtle symmetry lifts the reader up before returning back down, much like the swell of the sea will raise and drop a drifting swimmer.
What are the rules of the sonnet form? Does it have to be in iambic pentameter? (I know that this piece is, I'm just asking in general; I haven't studied poetry much as my school doesn't offer any creative writing courses.)
Stupid phantom post! Actually, more like stupid work computer. Actually, more like stupid employee for being on internet forums on the clock... ;) (Hey, everyone needs a lunch break, who cares if I pass mine at the computer, right?)
Thanks, SS! I have really only begun to study poetry over the past year, and I am absolutely fascinated by the complexities heretofore unseen. I really like a lot of free verse, especially pieces that capture the gritty realism of a vivid image like Richard's Apologia Brachycera: Scavenger Plagiarist that he posted in a blog a few weeks ago.
However, I think my own attempts at free verse are completely terrible so I am consequently partial to a structured, metered form. I especially like the intentional rhythmic sensation of Joshua's "Shipwreck." Although quite different in structure and cadence, I am nonetheless reminded of Emily Dickinson's "Because I could not stop for death" (XXVII), the meter of which mimics the lolling trot of a carriage horse. (Although I suppose that this meter marks most of her poetry and is perhaps not intentionally specific to this poem; nonetheless, it suits the plot much like Joshua's meter mimics the rise and fall of an ocean swell.)
Hopefully, I will be transferring to the nearest state university next year. (I really hate to sound like an elitist, but two years in a community college has driven me mad; I am beyond frustrated at sitting in a classroom full of people who just don't give a shit about school, most of the teachers included.) I have already been scanning the course catalog, and found myself intellectually salivating over the range of creative writing and poetry courses offered.
I really like your idea of a password-protected group or forum in which to exchange pieces for criticism. Perhaps we could ask Morgan or one of the admins if we can create an invite-only group, or maybe there would be a way to designate one of these discussions to be passworded. Would this protect our posts from being visible via an internet search? I do not know, but I like your thinking! :) I guess I have not been around the world of writing long enough to really contemplate plagiarism; perhaps a combination of naivete and unconfidence leaves me currently free from this worry, but now I fear that I may someday regret being so loose with my work.
Larry, I don't think that anyone meant to ignore you. Personally, I have been recovering from a date with a bottle of Bushmill's on New Year's Eve; consequently, I have not been able to look at my computer screen for longer than five minutes until tonight. I'm sure people are just out celebrating and traveling on the holiday weekend. Sometimes discussions don't always get replied to immediately, but I can assure that no one was excluding you intentionally. :)
I like this one -- I had never seen a series of haiku that chained like this, the last word of the last quintuplet matching the last word of the next haiku's first quintuplet. And then the pattern broke, with the haiku beginning "facts and figures too"! It would be far more effective for me if the pattern continued until the end, especially as the last haiku/stanza is the same as the first. Link to it with a line ending "most", and you'll have me.
Love it! I really identify with the image of nestling oneself down in a cozy home constructed of wordbricks.
I love the initial structure of linking the last line of a stanza with the first line of the following one. While I do think that continuing the rhyme throughout could help the piece, part of me also likes it just the way it is. The line "fact and figures too" offers a discordance that to me differentiates these oblique "queries,...hypotheses, and...answers" against the melodic flow of the preceding literary words. Perhaps there is a subtle condemnation of being overly analytical of literature, and a reminder to sometimes simply appreciate the artistic value of composition. (Or something to that effect; I cannot seem to competently phrase any of my thoughts today!) But even if the break in the sixth stanza remains, I agree with Joshua that the rhyme structure needs to return in the end somehow .
A lot of older work. Unfortunately some of my work was permanently lost when one of my accounts on a website was hacked and cleared. :( But I hope that suffices! Please let me know what you think and I will take some time to give some feedback here when I'm less sleepy! <3
I've done a little of poem writing. Mostly just jutting down ideas and such. The following are a few drafts. I am currently studying right now so please dont be offended if I dont respond timely to any comments or suggestions.
Celestial Crimes, 2010
Tell me now what do you think,
Watching the waltz from up above?
Warring between fires, between flames,
Strife between family without blame.
My brothers are fighting in those wars,
Supporting that which their heart follows,
Can be found at fault, found with sorrows.
I ask for nothing but reconsideration,
Of your Sins of all Seven, All Ten,
Against Creation, Against Humanity.
No longer Twelve, but thousands without loyalty,
But to themselves who belong to kith and kin,
Not ancestors, dusted with decayed embroidery.
We are no longer Yours, we are our own.
We are ourselves, and theirs, and mine.
Present to me the contract, bearing all of our signs,
Else we are free, without pact, without claim,
We shall grow indefinitely, eligible for blame.
Enough souls to wander eternality,
Enough souls to find Your dormitory.
Are we disturbing Your heavenly sleep?
Don’t worry, for You shall not further peep.
You are weak, you move without a creak,
You shall soon our judgement meet.
Your grasp is failing, your palms sweaty,
With the blood of billions, all dear to you.
This sadness is not pretty,
nor beautiful but beyond black blue.
Cold white fire burning without air,
A heavenly soul perfect but needing repair,
Could not find solace in us or our minds.
Our perfection is finite, but not in binds.