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I APPRECIATE POETRY CRITIQUE > A poem I wrote

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message 1: by Kyle (new)

Kyle (I_am_Kyle) | 16 comments Hello,

I've been enjoying this group for a little while now and decided to put up a poem I wrote to be critiqued / commented upon.

Here you go:

I’m looking for something
like birds, hills or rain drops.
Something as patient as death
& as sudden as love, though maybe
not so fragile.

I’m looking for something
to take the calluses off my hands
because when I touch her now,
she becomes uncomfortable.

---- end.

There's no title yet. Should there be does anyone think?


message 2: by Ruth (last edited Oct 03, 2012 01:12PM) (new)

Ruth | 5061 comments I think it's a good start. Instead of being so general in the first two lines, how about giving us some specific images to see in our minds' eyes? What kind of bird? Where? What kind of hills? Where? Pouring rain or just a drizzle? That kind of stuff, but keep it brief so it doesn't take over the poem.

If we have all those specific images to grab onto, then we can easier accept the abstract comments in the next lines.

Second stanza-very good. Except "becomes" sounds a little formal. Why not "gets?" Even more effective would be to describe how the persona of the poem knows the woman is uncomfortable. What does she do? Does she shrink away? If you do that well, you won't need to tell us she's uncomfortable, because we will have already realized it.


message 3: by Kyle (new)

Kyle (I_am_Kyle) | 16 comments To Ruth:

Thank you for the quick comment.

I will take these suggestions and work on a second draft, to be posted hopefully within the week.


message 4: by Dan Simmons (last edited Oct 04, 2012 08:46AM) (new)

Dan Simmons | 25 comments I like this very much and think that Ruth's advice will help make this even better. I have an idea for the title. How about using the first line for the title and then not repeating it and mashing it all into one stanza? Also, I like the last line as is, but if you want an image (which is almost always the right way to go) how about this?

I’m Looking for Something

as patient as death
& as sudden as love, though maybe
not so fragile, something to take
the calluses off my hands.
Because, when I touch her now,
her skin turns blue.

Of course, this is just a suggestion that you are allowed to hate. :-)


message 5: by Kyle (last edited Nov 25, 2012 09:14PM) (new)

Kyle (I_am_Kyle) | 16 comments Hello again!

Thanks to everyone for their suggestions again.
Here is draft #2. Please tell me what you like and don't like about it. Help me get to draft #3! Also I am rather ambivalent about starting each line with a capital letter and would like feedback on that.

---

Calluses

He’s looking for something
Because he can’t help but stumble
In and out of the things she cares about;
The things he used to care about.

He sees rain drops from the day they met
When He beats her and they make him blink excessively.
He sees birds in the windowsill which he pretends
Are the cousins or brothers or children of birds he
Left far away when he was young

And because his contempt has left him with calluses
In the quiet moments he thinks about death
And verdant hillsides he’s never seen in real life,
Imagining how much life a hill could have.

In the distance there is distress and he waivers,
Let’s the dirt he cannot feel drop from the canyons
In his hands and clenching his fists begins to quiet things.

edit: it didn't come out perfectly when I copied / pasted from microsoft word. I changed things accordingly to reflect my intention of the 2nd draft.


message 6: by Melody (new)

Melody | 3 comments In the last stanza when you say Let's the dirt he cannot feel drop from the canyons. The let's is incorrect. It should say "lets the dirt he cannot feel drop from the canyons.


message 7: by Joan (new)

Joan Colby (joancolby) | 789 comments #6 is way too much telling. The mystery of the first version gets lost. I like the original one a lot--I'd simply make a tiny alteration, to wit:

Something
like birds, hills or rain drops.
Something as patient as death,
sudden as love, though
not so fragile.

something
to take the calluses off my hands
because when I touch her now,
she becomes uncomfortable.


message 8: by h. (new)

h. (goodreadscomh_Krake) | 928 comments Hi Kyle,

The first was so light, so engaging. The 2nd so heavy and weighted. Agree with Joan above. Just love "as patient as death." In fact, think version 1 is pretty much good to go.

Stick with your first draft and first thought. That's my advice.

Happy writing,
h.


message 9: by h. (new)

h. (goodreadscomh_Krake) | 928 comments Joan wrote: "#6 is way too much telling. The mystery of the first version gets lost. I like the original one a lot--I'd simply make a tiny alteration, to wit:

Something
like birds, hills or rain drops.
Somethi..."


Kyle,

I think Joan's suggestions honor your intent but make the poem cleaner.

I would only disagree with cutting the first "I'm looking for." Maybe make that the title as Dan suggest? Without that statement the entire point of the poem seems lost!

h.


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