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I APPRECIATE POETRY CRITIQUE > need coments and suggestions

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message 1: by Christine (new)

Christine | 21 comments Around the forest of winter green
Lies a place unforseen
Deep beneath the vanity of skin
Hides a wonderful place that lies within


I had enterd this poem a year ago in a contest and never really got any feed back on it. Could you please tell me what you think and maybe come up with a good title? Please feel free to sugest anything that could be added or different.


message 2: by Mayank (new)

Mayank (mAxbn) | 10 comments It's a quote..convert it into a poem and complete it. Its a good idea to work on nonetheless but it still leaves a lot unsaid.


message 3: by Christine (new)

Christine | 21 comments I'll give it a try. Thank you.


message 4: by Christine (new)

Christine | 21 comments ok so I added "turn around and you will see
a life that can beleive.
look deep beyond those beautiful eyes
look behind all those lies."
now I am stuck. I feel as I have writers block. any ideas?


message 5: by Doug (new)

Doug | 1210 comments Christine,

The original is very good but two flaws: Hides and lies the way they are used seem redundant and although a nice description of a place, it has no action or sufficient story. UNforseen is tricky because it means you do not know what you are writing of unless it already has happened. an example of a fix:

In a forest of winter green
hides a secret place I've been
deep beneath vanity of snow
is a wonderful place I go

I think you are worrying about rhyme too early on. it would help not to worry about the rhyme (if that is the style you want) or the format you decide to put it in until you write it or "feel" the "story" you want to tell us. Maybe it is not about a wood or snow at all, but a description of a person or even an inner self.

Those are my ideas that you asked for. Good luck on your next submissions.

Doug


message 6: by Christine (new)

Christine | 21 comments Doug I really like your advice. I am acutely trying to describe seeing into ones self. It is not what you see on the outside but what is on the inside. I have not tried other poetry that does not rhyme but maybe this is yhe poem to try it with. I will keep in mind what you have suggested and try to revise this in a better way. Thank you, it means a lot.


message 7: by Fern (new)

Fern (FernRL) Christine, it helps knowing where you are coming from to convey the idea you have. Thanks.

To have it flow more poetically it might be better having a consistent meter, etc. How about something like this?

Within the forest, winter green,
Hides a beauty never seen;
As deep beneath the polished skin
No one knows what lies within.

You could also add stanzas, even separate this one so that the first two lines begin the poem and the last two lines still end it.

Within the forest, winter green,
Hides a beauty never seen;
[Adding here some other view
That illustrates the vision, too.

...

Finally coming to the end
Saying just what you intend.]
As deep beneath the polished skin
No one knows what lies within.

Personally, I don't like very long poems, maybe just 2-6 stanzas, but the shorter they are, the harder they are to write, imo. :)

Make it your own, but polish it. That is why you posted it in the critique section, right? So, yes, best wishes to you as you develop this. It sounds like you have a great idea going for you.


message 8: by Christine (new)

Christine | 21 comments Thanks fern. That helps a lot and gives me an idea to form this correctly.


message 9: by Doug (new)

Doug | 1210 comments Christine wrote: "Doug I really like your advice. I am acutely trying to describe seeing into ones self. It is not what you see on the outside but what is on the inside. I have not tried other poetry that does not r..."

Christine,

You are welcome.

Doug


message 10: by Jenny (new)

Jenny (aldersoj40hotmailcom) | 59 comments One thing I do when I want to use rhyme is I sit down with a piece of paper and say, "Okay, first line says 'green.' What rhyme's with green?"

bean, mean, lean, seen, clean... etc., etc. Now this may look unpromising, but then think to yourself "what would be an unusual way of putting it? A way that not just anyone would put my idea?"

Within a woodland's winter green
Hides a lush world, fresh, cruel, clean
Beneath this skin's vanity
Lies a world wonderfully
Alive.

I don't know if this is what you want. Maybe you want something a little gentler than "Alive."

Personally, though, I think there is a more fundamental problem here that you need to address than just word choice (although that's what everyone's been focusing on).

You used rhyme, and of course rhyme can be appealing. However, unless you are using a form I am not familiar with, you are using rhyme without meter. There are two kinds of meter. First: for either you should have a certain number of syllables in each line. Next. Each line should use a stressed syllable either in the form where every second syllable can receive stress or every first of two beats can receive stress. You don't have to use any of it. I didn't in the first poem I published on this site. But if you do, you might want to start with Iambic and write a poem like this:

I longed for you since Saturday
like the day you left all too soon.

Not great, but you get the idea. Saturday has the syllable stressers on "Sat" and "day." (You can look it up in the dictionary.) To do this, you may have noticed, you need the same number of syllables on each line--or a form which specifies how many syllables on each line. A good number is eight. Still, you generally want to use meter before you use rhyme. The key is consistency.

I learned all of this in a creative writing class years ago. Anyway, I hope this is helpful.


message 11: by Richard (new)

Richard | 285 comments This is not intended as a comment on this poem. But this thread does bring up a idea that I have been thinking about.

I see many comments on here about rhyme being dead now, old fashioned, no longer used. But rhyme never actually disappeared from American poetry, even in the late 20th century and early 2st century. Donald Hall, Thom Gunn, Anthony Hecht, and many others continued to use rhyme (and meter) throughout their lives. Currently two of our best American poets, Kay Ryan and Frederick Seidel use rhyme a lot.

The last two poets are particularly interesting in that they use rhyme but not meter (which is not to say their poetry is without rhythm or cadence). Ryan usually uses internal rhyme, but Seidel uses mostly end rhyme, often playfully. I believe these two examples of modern meterless rhyming poets have given us something poets would do well to start playing with.


message 12: by Christine (new)

Christine | 21 comments Richard that is acutely a really good idea. I will have to look those up. thank you


message 13: by Christine (new)

Christine | 21 comments Here is what I put together.

Within the forest, winter green
Lies a place to be seen.
Look beyond all the lies
Deep into beautiful eyes.
Deep beneath the vanity of skin
No one knows what lies within.

I am sure there is more to be added but that is what I have so far. I would like to go into describeing ones soul wich may take me a while. So what do you think of this so far?


message 14: by Christine (new)

Christine | 21 comments Here is what I put together.

Within the forest, winter green
Lies a place to be seen.
Look beyond all the lies
Deep into beautiful eyes.
Deep beneath the vanity of skin
No one knows what lies within.

I am sure there is more to be added but that is what I have so far. I would like to go into describeing ones soul wich may take me a while. So what do you think of this so far?


message 15: by Doug (new)

Doug | 1210 comments Christine,

For me the rhyme can not come first or even on first edit unless it just appears by accident. I can not start writing until I know what the subject and direction I want to go is or I have general storyline. If I fixated on some rhymes that popped up in my work, then it would look like Doctor Seuss. That is perfectly okay if you have no particular thing to say until it appears. My friend does that and has beautiful poems. My rhymes are worked in after most editing is done, My thesaurus is getting dogeared. When fitting the rhymes I will rearrange lines and add or delete content and structure to make it feel natural. Some poems have to be unrhymed back to free form when I feel I'm stumped. Well, that is just my way and I hope it was useable info for you.

Doug


message 16: by Fern (new)

Fern (FernRL) Like Jenny said, using rhyme without meter is a problem.

You could view your poem in terms of meter (syllables, with the accents in all caps) like this:

a-ROUND the FOR-est of WIN-ter GREEN
LIES a PLACE UN-for-SEEN
DEEP be-NEATH the VAN-i-TY of SKIN
HIDES a WON-der-ful PLACE that LIES with-IN

The first line has 9 syllables with two unstressed syllables together, where most of the poem has the stressed and unstressed alternating.

The second line has only 6 syllables with two stressed syllables in a row.

The third line has 9 syllables, which could be a good repetition of the first line, and they alternate, unlike the first line, but that leaves the line with one more stressed syllable.

The fourth line has 10 syllables, but there are two unstressed syllables together.

It is the mixing up of the forms that makes the poem seem less than poetic and fail to flow.

Iambic is the natural form of most English phrases, so it is the simplest form to write in. (da-DUM!) The ENG-lish LAN-guage SOUNDS like THIS.

Once you get this form down, you can branch out with more complicated forms, and even break some rules occasionally if you do it for a good reason that still makes it flow as poetry.


message 17: by Fern (new)

Fern (FernRL) One other thing: the word "unforeseen" seems out of place; so, initially, I thought you might mean "unseen." Is that right? Usually future events are unforeseen unless a person is particularly psychic, but places are often unseen, simply because they are remote.


message 18: by Richard (new)

Richard | 285 comments Fern wrote: "Like Jenny said, using rhyme without meter is a problem.>

Not really - see the examples I mentioned: Kay Ryan and Frederick Seidel.



message 19: by Fern (new)

Fern (FernRL) Richard wrote: "Fern wrote: "Like Jenny said, using rhyme without meter is a problem.>

Not really - see the examples I mentioned: Kay Ryan and Frederick Seidel."


Ok. Not really a problem if you are very, very good at making free verse flow in an artistic way.


message 20: by Fern (new)

Fern (FernRL) Christine wrote: "Here is what I put together.

Within the forest, winter green
Lies a place to be seen.
Look beyond all the lies
Deep into beautiful eyes.
Deep beneath the vanity of skin
No one knows what lies with..."


I think that is much better, now, and yes, there is still room to add more that you have in mind.


message 21: by Doug (new)

Doug | 1210 comments Now you're on to it.


message 22: by epat (new)

epat (patriciablake) | 1 comments I get snagged because I never think of winter as green.


message 23: by Doug (new)

Doug | 1210 comments A conifer forest. The needles do change hue seasonally, therefore: winter green.

Doug


message 24: by Margaret (new)

Margaret Fieland | 43 comments Not a comment on your poem, but if you're stuck for a rhyme, try looking up a synonym in the thesaurus. Also, poems sound more natural when the syntax isn't forced -- eg, the word order is the same as the one we use in speaking. Staying away from filler words that are simply there to fill in the meter is also a good practice.

We search all around for some nifty, new words.
stand them nicely in line, or corral them in herds,
figure out which will place nice in a poem.
If they are naughty, be stern so you'll show them
that you are the boss of this terrible ditty.
It's down on the page, even if it's not pretty.

Margaret, alas, hopelessly addicted to rhyming.


message 25: by Christine (new)

Christine | 21 comments I know it has been two weeks since the last comment. I have added more to this poem and everyone has been very helpful. I am now once again stuck and could really use some help. This is what I have so far:

Around the forest, winter green
Lies a place to be seen
Deep beneath the vanity of skin
What one knows lies within
See the light
Shine so bright
No matter the greed, the hate
It's never too late
Come and see
What one can be
No matter how hideous
It's whats inside
The soul of ones self


That is all I have gotten so far and I am not even sure if it is good to stop there or add more. Just dont know what else to put. PLEASE HELP!


message 26: by Chris (new)

Chris Bodor (chrisbodor) | 61 comments I have been chewing on the idea of a poem that views the upcoming twelve months as a car ride. Here is what I put together. Any feedback will be appreciated. Bad title, forced rhyme, a confusing reference ... let me know. I can not do this alone.

January to December Journey
by Chris Bodor

January is like an open road
Resolutions made in this brand new year
Review mirror
Strait ahead may the driver steer
Stop smoking, maybe
More exercise, perhaps
Consult the calendar
Unfold the road maps
When driving through the neighborhood
Treat our neighbor the way we should
During our travel
On days well nothing goes well
Flat tire, wrong turn, fan belt slip
I will remember
Live is not a destination
It is all about the trip.


message 27: by Christine (new)

Christine | 21 comments Chris. The title should be changed to just Journey or road trip. If you want to write a poem about the months you need reference in there about the months. Keep working on it and it will get better.


message 28: by Jenny (new)

Jenny (aldersoj40hotmailcom) | 59 comments Chris. I have a suggestion. Let your poem sit a bit. Go out to the store and buy a notebook (I like mine expensive but if you buy one cheap it will have the same effect). Read a book. Spend one week relaxing (or devoted to your day job) save for one thing: whenever you have any idea for a poem at all, good, bad, indifferent, ordinary or strange, write it down. Then when the week is over, get out your notebook and find the idea you've formed that you like best and write a poem. I have tons of notebooks. If it wasn't for the fact I'm on a major project at the moment I would be working almost entirely out of them.


message 29: by Mel (new)

Mel Goldberg (goodreadscomgoodreadscommexmiel) | 3 comments Chris, the title should be shorter, like Journey. I think the metaphor of the road as a journey through the year is brilliant. However, you might try eliminating the last two lines, which now serve as a kind of explanation. Let the metaphor stand on its own.


message 30: by Margaret (new)

Margaret Fieland | 43 comments Christine wrote: "Chris. The title should be changed to just Journey or road trip. If you want to write a poem about the months you need reference in there about the months. Keep working on it and it will get better."

Jenny, great idea. I participated with some friends in a write a poem-a-day challenge in September (we posted on Facebook). One of the things I particularly noticed was how much more often I actually wrote the poems that flitted through my head -- jotted down the lines, the subjects, etc, and developed them. I find it all to easy to brush off ideas.


message 31: by Jim (last edited Dec 13, 2012 07:32AM) (new)

Jim Agustin (Jim_Pascual_Agustin) | 1414 comments In this case the attempt to rhyme is what blocks you from writing. Try giving that up for now and just write. See what comes up. Just avoid cliches - or make them turn on themselves. In other words, these are tools and not prisons.
Just my thoughts.


message 32: by Jenny (last edited Dec 13, 2012 06:22PM) (new)

Jenny (aldersoj40hotmailcom) | 59 comments Christine--looking at your poem again, "Around the forest, winter green..." I think you have gotten better. Of course, its possible that I just came to it in a different mood and it looked better in light of the day that I've been having--in which case I was probably too harsh before (I can be).

The main things necessary to write a good poem are time and practice.


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