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'Shall I compare thee to a summer's day?': The Poetry Thread

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  • 'Shall I compare thee to a summer's day?': The Poetry Thread

    Since there's a book list, I thought perhaps a poetry list would also be welcome. Suggest your favourites here!

    Perhaps if this thread is popular enough we could also go for a bit of discussion?

    Well, I'll start. Bit of a fan of the romantics here, so I'd go for:
    -'Sonnet XVIII' - William Shakespeare
    http://rpo.library.utoronto.ca/poem/1852.html
    -'Ode On Melancholy' - John Keats
    http://www.bartleby.com/101/628.html
    -'I Wandered Lonely As A Cloud' - William Wordsworth
    http://www.poemhunter.com/poem/i-wan...ly-as-a-cloud/
    -'She Walks In Beauty' - Lord Byron
    http://bartelby.com/101/600.html

    And non-romantic, the two that come to mind are:
    -'Sailing To Byzantium' - W.B. Yeats, and
    http://www.online-literature.com/yeats/781
    -'The Waste Land' (but especially Part One: 'The Burial Of The Dead') - T.S. Eliot
    http://www.bartleby.com/201/1.html
    Last edited by The_Narrator; 31-08-07, 04:31 PM.

  • #2
    Sparked by the discussion in the Loo shag etc thread, here's a Blake poem I'm rather fond of - London

    http://www.readbookonline.net/readOnLine/2370/


    -- Robofrakkinawesome BANNER BY FRANCY --

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    • #3
      Ah, links, there's a good idea. *Above post edited*

      I really like the line "blood down palace-walls" from Blake's poem. Very thought inspiring. And good subject matter too; everyone knows the old saying, when you tire of London ...

      Perhaps we could also put some of our non-fan-fic related poetry in here too? (Just an excuse for me to boost my ego/be devastatingly humiliated, depending on your mercy levels.)

      Go on then, I'll start with a sonnet I just chucked together.

      It would take a millenium or more
      To describe the exact shade of your eyes -
      By then, that colour would have become folklore,
      Told to romance lovers amidst their sighs.
      That blueness is as open as the sky,
      Forever roaming, infinite, yet calm.
      They reflect the ocean, on which I'd lie,
      Waiting outstretched for your delicate palm.
      Even when in my loneliest hour,
      A flutter of eyelids is all it takes
      To save me from darkness, for their power
      Is enthralling beauty, and my heart breaks.
      If your eyes are the gateway to your soul,
      Let me embrace you, leap into that hole!

      Yuck yuck yuck. I need your immediate help. There are a few phrases I like, such as "Told to romance lovers" and ... actually, that's it. This was another stream-of consciouness-thingy, so some of the rhymes feel a bit forced. Actually, that's the impression I get of the whole thing. Writing in a strictly controlled form like a sonnet, whilst making it sound natural is very hard, and I think I've missed the mark here. There are some awful cliches ("darkness"? I thought I'd got over my teenage angst!?) But then writing about someone's eyes in a love poem is in itself an overblown statement, so perhaps being over-the-top in a Gatsby-esque way is a good thing, "making cliches sound like his own", I think Nick said, roughly paraphrased, so perhaps the last two lines are appropriate, the exclamation mark acknowledging the boldness of the hyperbole. But on the other hand, "ocean" and "sky"? Hardly original there. And there's a contradiction there, in that my "heart breaks" when I look into those eyes, but they are meant to be beautiful! Unless it's subtler - my heart breaks because nothing else is as beautiful? Because that spark of vitality and life will one day disappear? - but it's not really explored. Perhaps in another sonnet? Argh, I feel quite discomforted now. Suggestions for improvement please? I'll work on some too, and repost.
      Last edited by The_Narrator; 31-08-07, 05:29 PM.

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      • #4
        You Who Never Arrived by Rainer Maria Rilke... I first found this poem quoted in a Dawn/Riley fanfic, which was a lovely use of it. It makes me think of miscarriage, actually, unborn potential, the balance between becoming and not becoming, being, not being.

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by The_Narrator View Post

          Perhaps we could also put some of our non-fan-fic related poetry in here too? (Just an excuse for me to boost my ego/be devastatingly humiliated, depending on your mercy levels.)
          I'm not known for my mercy when it comes to poetry, I'm sorry. But I'll do my best...

          Go on then, I'll start with a sonnet I just chucked together.
          The fact that you bother to make it rhyme or use a form like a sonnet impresses me greatly. There's not enough of it about these days.

          It would take a millenium or more
          To describe the exact shade of your eyes -
          By then, that colour would have become folklore,
          Told to romance lovers amidst their sighs.
          I don't like the first line of this poem at all. It feels very cliched to me -- I'm sure I've begun a poem this way once or twice, and I think a lot of other have too. I'm not sure what to suggest, but I'd like something more immediate, a mention of the eyes at once perhaps?

          That blueness is as open as the sky,
          Forever roaming, infinite, yet calm.
          I really think "their" blueness would sound better here. The transition from the first sentence would work a lot better if you used "their" I think. I like the "as open as the sky" image a lot.

          They reflect the ocean, on which I'd lie,
          Waiting outstretched for your delicate palm.
          I think the imagery's a bit confusing here: are you lying in the colour of this person's eyes or are you lying on an actual ocean? And are they going to pick you up or do you want to hold their hand?

          Even when in my loneliest hour,
          A flutter of eyelids is all it takes
          To save me from darkness, for their power
          Is enthralling beauty, and my heart breaks.
          I like "eyelids" rather than eyelashes a lot. I like that their power is "enthralling beauty" but your heat break seems a little too cliched. I can cope with "loneliest hour" (a nice echo of Frost I think) and "darkness" I quite like, but breaking hearts is too far. Something else could break? Spirit, resolve, sense, reason?

          If your eyes are the gateway to your soul,
          Let me embrace you, leap into that hole!
          I really like "hole" rhyming with "soul". Original, I think, and rather evocative. I like the idea here, and the immediacy, but not so much the language. "Embrace you" just sounds too 18th century for me, but if that's the look you're going for, who am I too argue?

          I know I'm being very nit-pick-y but overall I do like your poem. Or at least, I think it shows a lot of potential. You're clearly thinking about what you're doing and I can't overemphasis how great I think that is.

          Yuck yuck yuck. I need your immediate help. There are a few phrases I like, such as "Told to romance lovers" and ... actually, that's it. This was another stream-of consciouness-thingy, so some of the rhymes feel a bit forced. Actually, that's the impression I get of the whole thing. Writing in a strictly controlled form like a sonnet, whilst making it sound natural is very hard, and I think I've missed the mark here.
          I don't think you've missed the mark exactly, it's just that it needs a little more work. I think it feels forced because there isn't much immediacy: it feels like you're setting the subject at a distance, which doesn't work so well for a poem of adoration, because the reader needs to feel <i>why</i> you're so enthralled. It might help if you described the eyes a bit more. You compare them to the ocean and the sky, which are perhaps the worst cliches for something blue, particularly because those things change shades all the time, and you could equally be comparing green eyes, grey eyes, dark eyes, light eyes to them, which leaves me with no concrete sense of what I'm supposed to be picturing, the imagery falls rather flat. I think a few more concrete details of what the eyes are like would help.

          There are some awful cliches ("darkness"? I thought I'd got over my teenage angst!?) But then writing about someone's eyes in a love poem is in itself an overblown statement, so perhaps being over-the-top in a Gatsby-esque way is a good thing, "making cliches sound like his own", I think Nick said, roughly paraphrased, so perhaps the last two lines are appropriate, the exclamation mark acknowledging the boldness of the hyperbole. But on the other hand, "ocean" and "sky"? Hardly original there.
          I love that you're thinking about what your write and are aware of where you fall down. I think cliches work when you use them in an original way -- but you aren't really doing that. As you said, we've all heard about eyes before, and we've all read the cliches about them, so it's hard for this to sound fresh. I do like the exclamation mark tho.

          And there's a contradiction there, in that my "heart breaks" when I look into those eyes, but they are meant to be beautiful! Unless it's subtler - my heart breaks because nothing else is as beautiful? Because that spark of vitality and life will one day disappear? - but it's not really explored. Perhaps in another sonnet? Argh, I feel quite discomforted now. Suggestions for improvement please? I'll work on some too, and repost.
          That's actually a very interesting idea. I'd like to know why your heart breaks. I'd also like to read some more about the person these eyes belong to and get some sense of her.

          Hope some of what I said made sense!
          "When people call people nerds, mostly what they are saying is, 'You like stuff', which is just not a good insult at all, like 'You are too enthusiastic about the miracle of human consciousness'."
          -John Green

          Comment


          • #6
            Been packing up me house all day so too pooped for poetry criticism, but I think Ros has probably done a better job than I could anyhow....bit of a novice when it comes to writing poetry in a particular form, though I do try every now and then. But I probably should learn more about forms (or relearn, since I did know all that stuff at university....but that was about ten years ago so, the knowledge is seeping away into the fabric of...wherever knowledge goes when it leaves the head. Anyway, so when I've got my form-head on, I'll come back and do some analysis, if you're still interested then

            On the topic of other people's poetry...

            Originally posted by The_Narrator View Post
            Ah, links, there's a good idea. *Above post edited*



            I really like the line "blood down palace-walls" from Blake's poem. Very thought inspiring. And good subject matter too; everyone knows the old saying, when you tire of London ...


            ?then piss off somewhere else, cos London doesn't give a shit about you, loser. Isn't that the phrase??



            I love Blake. To quote a watcher, "I wrote my thesis on [him]". Well, among other things, but he definitely had a featured role. There's something about the way his mind works that speaks to me more than most?he's the Alan Moore of his time. Or possibly the Bjork. I love me some visionary madness.



            Perhaps we could also put some of our non-fan-fic related poetry in here too?
            Hell yeah...I could do with an incentive to write some more, haven't in a good long while.


            -- Robofrakkinawesome BANNER BY FRANCY --

            Comment


            • #7
              I love me some visionary madness.
              That makes me want to read some Blake. The site you linked to didn't seem to work for me, but I'm sure I could rustle up a book from somewhere. I like visionary madness, too.

              Hell yeah...I could do with an incentive to write some more, haven't in a good long while.
              Do! I miss your poetry.

              One of mine in the spirit of posting. Bit gloomy, but what else is new. Please do criticize brutally if you feel like it

              And I Rot

              My hands are bathed in my blood
              and sweat and piss. Water turns to slime
              between my palms

              and my clothes reek. I think of the pattern of pale
              sunlight against a concrete building,
              almond blossom

              and pinkeens darting greenly
              through a still pool, but
              I press my hands between my sticky

              thighs and even memories of beauty
              evaporate. My skin is sour milk and blue mould
              nibbles the whorls of my mind.

              I can wash and smile
              but I know now that shame always
              turns its victims to filth.
              "When people call people nerds, mostly what they are saying is, 'You like stuff', which is just not a good insult at all, like 'You are too enthusiastic about the miracle of human consciousness'."
              -John Green

              Comment


              • #8
                I had a very shitty day yesterday, but seeing your post last night really cheered me up! So thank you for taking the time to comment, and in a helpful and constructive way too.

                Before I reply, I'd say that my biggest problem when writing poetry is finding that inspiration/perspiration balance. I hate, absolutely hate, when a poem feels false or forced in any way. I completely agree with Keats (yeah, he's a bit of an inspiration for me) when he said that "if Poetry comes not as naturally as the Leaves to a tree it had better not come at all". But then, if I were to write completely freely, writing exactly whatever thoughts hit me first, my poetry would just turn into a multi-mood, Joyce-esque rant lasting several volumes, and I'd produce one poem a year, waiting for inspiration, or the right metaphor, or the right phrase to hit me. But then, not editing is just laziness really, so ... *conflicted*.

                Well, here is Sonnet I, version 1.02 anyway.


                My thoughts halt! Your eyes invigorate me,
                Inspire me, drown out the dullness of sight.
                Twinkling stars, burning incandescently
                Out of that blackened canvas called Night.
                Their blueness is as open as the sky,
                Forever roaming, infinite, yet calm.
                I could float there forever serenely,
                Awakened only by clutching your palm.
                Even when in my loneliest hour,
                A flutter of eyelids is all it takes
                To save me from darkness, for their power
                Is enthralling beauty; yet my trance breaks.
                If your eyes are the gateway to your soul,
                Let me stare deeply, leap into that hole!


                Well, addressing what you said, I wasn't sure how formal a tone to use. A sonnet for me requires language as formal as its structure, but then I run the risk of making it too rigid and like you said, archaic. "Embrace" has thus been removed. I will leave the "my heart breaks" phrase though, although "heart" has been been changed, since the reasons for that breaking will be explored in another poem. Not sure if I like "stare deeply", it doesn't really have immediacy or passion. Like you said, it sounds like I'm writing from afar, which I tried to change with the immediate "My thoughts halt!" The "dullness of sight" is immediate, I feel, as though everything else seems to be dull whenever I see her eyes. But still not quite there, perhaps? "Floating serenely" in her eyes is much more romantic, but I think it sounds very objectifying, as though I like the feeling of looking into her eyes, rather than actually looking into them, which isn't the idea I want to bring across. But I'm not sure, I could just be paranoid/overanalaysing. *Rolls eyes* "Heart" has been replaced by "trance", describing the break of both the trance of looking into her eyes (as though realising and understanding the profound beauty in the eyes actually breaks my looking into them), and the trance I have deluding myself about life. My next poem would be about the loss of vitality and so on, and that would the be the 'trance'; that everything stays the same, whereas beauty is often like an apple, rosy-red and beautiful one day, rotting the next. The imagery has been generally un-murkied (I hope), by removing the ocean image, and expanding on the sky imagery. Waiting for the "delicate palm" meant for me that I was so captured in the beauty of her eyes that it actually took physical contact to awaken me. But "waiting" has been removed, as I certainly would not want to removed from the beauty of her eyes.

                I'd also like to read some more about the person these eyes belong to and get some sense of her.
                I could describe the kindness and beauty and intelligence of my muse to you all day ... and night ... and week ... but I'd rather write another poem about her instead! *Picks up biro, opens up Notepad ...* Though getting all shouting-from-rooftops-y does have its merits now and again. And as trite as it might sound, I really could look into her eyes all day. *Sighs*

                And I'm not sure if I'm receptive or poetically knowledgeable enough to be able to comment on your poem, but if you'll forgive me doing so, I'll give my two-pennyworth.

                I like the bluntness of "sweat and piss". It immediately enforces the tone of the poem, and is very natural in that, depressingly, blood and tissue and water is essentially all our bodies are made from. The "sunlight against a concrete building" is a very beautiful image for me, as though the dullness and unattractive greyness of the concrete can be ignored when the picture-esque sunlight is upon it, perhaps even turning the building into something beautiful itself. The suspension of "but" at the end of the line suggests something ugly is about to the ruin that image, and the following lines do just that. The descriptions of the skin remind me of cheese, slowly gaining "mould" and the colour and clammy texture of "sour milk", which I think is very well written, as generally, food imagery feels as natural and earthy as the descriptions of natural elements, such as the sunshine and the pool and so on, but it sounds disturbing, as it is a reminder of the decay of the body, the "Rot". I may be very wrong here, and apologies if I've misread this, but the last three lines suggest to me that something more than understanding the "shame" of how the body turns into "filth" has happened - perhaps rape? Hence the blood and sweat, the clothes that "reek", the alienation of the person from their own flesh, and the admission that they can "wash and smile, which sounds like someone trying to scrub the memories from their system, but never being able to, and always having to put on their smiling face. I really enjoyed reading this poem, as the imagery is very thought-provoking, the wording is precise and each individual word means something, and counts, and I like reading a poem with, as you called it, a "gloomy" tone, without it being cliched or unnecessarily angst ridden, just genuinely downheartened. The tone almost reminds me of some of Edgar Allen Poe's works, or Sylvia Plath even.

                Thanks again for discussion and posting!

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                • #9
                  Hmm not so much on the writing of poetry i'm afraid, but if we're talking favourites then I would have to plump for Kipling's 'If'. I simply can't read that without feeling inspired.
                  Last edited by tangent; 21-09-07, 12:01 PM.
                  JUST ENOUGH KILL

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by The_Narrator View Post
                    I had a very shitty day yesterday, but seeing your post last night really cheered me up! So thank you for taking the time to comment, and in a helpful and constructive way too.
                    I'm glad you weren't offended! And that I helped a bit I was pleased to find a poem I could get my claws in to: it's great to find some poetry with meat to it!

                    Before I reply, I'd say that my biggest problem when writing poetry is finding that inspiration/perspiration balance. I hate, absolutely hate, when a poem feels false or forced in any way. I completely agree with Keats (yeah, he's a bit of an inspiration for me) when he said that "if Poetry comes not as naturally as the Leaves to a tree it had better not come at all". But then, if I were to write completely freely, writing exactly whatever thoughts hit me first, my poetry would just turn into a multi-mood, Joyce-esque rant lasting several volumes, and I'd produce one poem a year, waiting for inspiration, or the right metaphor, or the right phrase to hit me. But then, not editing is just laziness really, so ... *conflicted*.
                    I strongly believing in editing, but I do know what you mean. An over-edited poem can sound awful. You can almost feel the strain of writing it as you read. However, I do think it takes <i>a lot</i> of editing to create a poem that feels that strained. Sometimes I'm guilty of that: I even vacillate over the commas! And sometimes poems come, as Plath said "white-hot", and don't need much editing at all. I do find it hard to tell sometimes, which ones sound better. When I draw, the drawings that come easily are always the best, but poems are different. Sometimes the ones that take much dithering cut closer to your intended meaning that the white-hot ones.

                    Perhaps you should try writing freely and then editing? That's often the way I work (I'm not saying it's the best way or anything!) and it sometimes helps. I write down many thoughts and images and gradually edit them, separate them, until I have something I might call a poem. That method does mean that sometimes the same images crop in more than one poem, but that doesn't always bother me.

                    Waiting for inspiration is the worst. Sometimes so much comes at once, and sometimes months go by. It's painful. I don't have an answer for that! Although I have a story about the poet Rilke who lived for a time with the sculptor Rodin. Sculptors are much more practical people than poets and when Rodin saw Rilke mooning around the house complaining that he had no inspiration, Rodin said, go to the Jardin des Plantes and look at something and write about that. So Rilke went and saw the panther pacing in the his cage in the Jardin and he wrote one of his most famous poems "The Panther" about it. He wrote a book called Neue Gedichte (New Poems), in which he decided to focus on objects rather than emotions. By writing about objects he did not need to wait for the "rare, random descent" of inspiration, and he was able to create inspiring poetry about objects first and then feelings.

                    I think that may be off the point, but I quite like Rodin's idea of just going out and looking at something and writing about that. It's more immediate than trying to come up with an idea out of nowhere and sometimes it helps create poetry.

                    Well, here is Sonnet I, version 1.02 anyway.
                    Well done you for giving it another go! So few people bother.

                    My thoughts halt! Your eyes invigorate me,
                    Inspire me, drown out the dullness of sight.
                    Great first line. I love a short, pithy sentence to draw me in. I like that you're talking about inspiration, too; poets that write about poetry often create the meatiest poems. The verbs are good too, draw the reader straight in.

                    Twinkling stars, burning incandescently
                    Out of that blackened canvas called Night.
                    This is the only bit of the poem that I don't really like. "Twinkling" and "incandescent" are just too used. I realise you need to rhyme with "invigorate me", but another word would not sound so tired. "Shimmering stars, smouldering brightly"? I don't know. It's hard to find new words for stars, I do know! I avoid them because I live in such a smoggy city, I never find out quite what they look like. "Charred canvas" might sound better than "blackened canvas", too, but then I'm tricky about canvases because I mess around with them a lot.

                    Their blueness is as open as the sky,
                    Forever roaming, infinite, yet calm.
                    I could float there forever serenely,
                    Awakened only by clutching your palm.
                    I like "infinite, yet calm" a lot. The editing of these lines works wonderfully, your imagery has improved a lot. I like the way you've still worked the word "palm" in but made the meaning much more concrete.

                    Even when in my loneliest hour,
                    A flutter of eyelids is all it takes
                    To save me from darkness, for their power
                    Is enthralling beauty; yet my trance breaks.
                    "Trance" is great! I like the word "trance" a lot, it feels fresh and is very evocative. I like "loneliest hour" too, I'm glad that you kept that, it has a very nice sound.

                    If your eyes are the gateway to your soul,
                    Let me stare deeply, leap into that hole!
                    I'm very pleased that you change "embrace". I think this works a lot better. Personally, I'd prefer the word "gaze", I think it had a more fluid sound, but that's entirely personal preference.

                    Well, addressing what you said, I wasn't sure how formal a tone to use. A sonnet for me requires language as formal as its structure, but then I run the risk of making it too rigid and like you said, archaic. "Embrace" has thus been removed. I will leave the "my heart breaks" phrase though, although "heart" has been been changed, since the reasons for that breaking will be explored in another poem. Not sure if I like "stare deeply", it doesn't really have immediacy or passion.
                    I've never really written a sonnet, so I'm not quite sure about the tone required. The only modern sonnets I've read are those by Patrick Kavanagh, and he doesn't really use formal language, but then he plays around with the formal structure a bit too. I really admire you for writing sonnets, although I'd really like to read a poem by you written with less formality. Just for comparison. Unless you don't believe in informal poems, which is fair enough.

                    "Stare deeply" isn't bad, I think. It does have immediacy, as we can picture what you're doing, and passion too, it shows the depth of your feelings because you are involved enough with the subject to want to stare deeply.

                    Like you said, it sounds like I'm writing from afar, which I tried to change with the immediate "My thoughts halt!" The "dullness of sight" is immediate, I feel, as though everything else seems to be dull whenever I see her eyes. But still not quite there, perhaps? "Floating serenely" in her eyes is much more romantic, but I think it sounds very objectifying, as though I like the feeling of looking into her eyes, rather than actually looking into them, which isn't the idea I want to bring across. But I'm not sure, I could just be paranoid/overanalaysing. *Rolls eyes*
                    "Dullness of sight" is definately getting there. I like the idea that nothing is inspiring outside of her eyes.


                    "Heart" has been replaced by "trance", describing the break of both the trance of looking into her eyes (as though realising and understanding the profound beauty in the eyes actually breaks my looking into them), and the trance I have deluding myself about life. My next poem would be about the loss of vitality and so on, and that would the be the 'trance'; that everything stays the same, whereas beauty is often like an apple, rosy-red and beautiful one day, rotting the next. The imagery has been generally un-murkied (I hope), by removing the ocean image, and expanding on the sky imagery. Waiting for the "delicate palm" meant for me that I was so captured in the beauty of her eyes that it actually took physical contact to awaken me. But "waiting" has been removed, as I certainly would not want to removed from the beauty of her eyes.
                    Removing the ocean image has improved the poem immensely. I think it's very hard to write about the ocean (and oh I have tried) without sounding cliched, and expanding on the sky image made the poem a lot more immediate and a lot easier to understand.

                    I'd definately like to read your poem about the decay of beauty. It's interesting to think of love in terms of decay and the loss of beauty is almost more fascinating than beauty itself. Sometimes I think that's why we're compelled to write or draw: to freeze beauty and vitality, to capture it forever, and yet all we're left with is something less than a photograph. At the same time, I think they're also beauty in decay, beauty in the loss of beauty. It can be a transition to something new.

                    (I'm probably not making sense here...)

                    I could describe the kindness and beauty and intelligence of my muse to you all day ... and night ... and week ... but I'd rather write another poem about her instead! *Picks up biro, opens up Notepad ...* Though getting all shouting-from-rooftops-y does have its merits now and again. And as trite as it might sound, I really could look into her eyes all day. *Sighs*
                    I think I was actually probing you to write another poem there. Please do! *pokes*

                    And I'm not sure if I'm receptive or poetically knowledgeable enough to be able to comment on your poem, but if you'll forgive me doing so, I'll give my two-pennyworth.
                    Oh this was some of the best feedback I've ever received! Honestly, I've never had such detailed, receptive and kind feedback before. Thank you so much for that.

                    I like the bluntness of "sweat and piss". It immediately enforces the tone of the poem, and is very natural in that, depressingly, blood and tissue and water is essentially all our bodies are made from. The "sunlight against a concrete building" is a very beautiful image for me, as though the dullness and unattractive greyness of the concrete can be ignored when the picture-esque sunlight is upon it, perhaps even turning the building into something beautiful itself. The suspension of "but" at the end of the line suggests something ugly is about to the ruin that image, and the following lines do just that. The descriptions of the skin remind me of cheese, slowly gaining "mould" and the colour and clammy texture of "sour milk", which I think is very well written, as generally, food imagery feels as natural and earthy as the descriptions of natural elements, such as the sunshine and the pool and so on, but it sounds disturbing, as it is a reminder of the decay of the body, the "Rot".
                    I'm so pleased you liked the food imagery, the ideas of rot. In a way, I was trying to compare the rot and ugliness of the body with the timelessness of nature. Also, I wanted to be quite gross and mould usually has that effect. I'm so pleased you understood the patterns of the imagery, tho, and that you thought they worked.

                    The sunlit building is a particular favourite of mine: it was a building I saw often and was always inspired by the beauty that sunlight could create on such a drab, squalid building. I love finding beauty in the ugliness of an urban setting.

                    I may be very wrong here, and apologies if I've misread this, but the last three lines suggest to me that something more than understanding the "shame" of how the body turns into "filth" has happened - perhaps rape? Hence the blood and sweat, the clothes that "reek", the alienation of the person from their own flesh, and the admission that they can "wash and smile, which sounds like someone trying to scrub the memories from their system, but never being able to, and always having to put on their smiling face.
                    Unfortunately, you're completely right. I wasn't really trying to write about rape when I began this poem, but as often happens to me the theme reared its ugly head not quite of my own volition, and I think you're very receptive and understanding to pick up on it in the way you did. Unless I wasn't being as subtle as I thought I was! The idea of alienation from one's own flesh was one I was trying to get across here, and I'm so pleased you thought it worked. The idea of the smile as a mask was an important image for me: that you can never quite escape, that some part of you is always filthy, but smiling is necessary and important.

                    I really enjoyed reading this poem, as the imagery is very thought-provoking, the wording is precise and each individual word means something, and counts, and I like reading a poem with, as you called it, a "gloomy" tone, without it being cliched or unnecessarily angst ridden, just genuinely downheartened. The tone almost reminds me of some of Edgar Allen Poe's works, or Sylvia Plath even.
                    O wow I'm delighted to be compared to Plath as she is an inspiration for me a lot of times. I steal her three-line stanza approach at any rate, although when I'm being pretentious I say I got it from Dante I'm so, so happy you enjoyed this poem and thought that the wording worked. So often I'm afraid that each word does not count in the way that it should, and I'm so pleased that here you thought it did. I've been unnecessarily angst-ridden through reams of poetry, so I'm also very glad the gloom worked.

                    Again, thank you, this is honestly some of the most thoughtful and kind feedback I've ever received. It really means a lot that you took the time to read and understand and that you even liked it!
                    "When people call people nerds, mostly what they are saying is, 'You like stuff', which is just not a good insult at all, like 'You are too enthusiastic about the miracle of human consciousness'."
                    -John Green

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Right, I'm feeling fresher this morning, so once more into the lit crit breech (which?gosh I'm rusty?is university really worth it if you forget ten years later? Something for the government to consider?):

                      Oh, and I'm loving the poem-response-reworking dynamic in here

                      Well, here is Sonnet I, version 1.02 anyway.


                      My thoughts halt! Your eyes invigorate me,
                      Inspire me, drown out the dullness of sight.
                      Twinkling stars, burning incandescently
                      Out of that blackened canvas called Night.
                      Their blueness is as open as the sky,
                      Forever roaming, infinite, yet calm.
                      I could float there forever serenely,
                      Awakened only by clutching your palm.
                      Even when in my loneliest hour,
                      A flutter of eyelids is all it takes
                      To save me from darkness, for their power
                      Is enthralling beauty; yet my trance breaks.
                      If your eyes are the gateway to your soul,
                      Let me stare deeply, leap into that hole!
                      Right, my immediate response to the issue of old fashioned language is that you need a reason for it. I think the sonnet form is flexible enough that it doesn't require archaic language to make it sonnetty. However, if that kind of diction feels right for you, perhaps you need to make more of it? You said this poem was about your muse? Perhaps make something of that?the idea that this person actually inspires an old fashioned dynamic (I know people still talk about muses, but it's definitely still got a classical/Shakespearean flavour to the word).

                      Or perhaps you could remain in the formal register, but lose some of the words that sound archaic, part of an older poetic vocab ? enthralling, incandescently, gateway (not sure about that one, but it feels a little not of the modern age), halt?the abstraction of "dullness of sight" sounds more Romantic than modern ? that habit of grand general statements that they had.

                      All that said (I usually go for the negative/constructive-criticical first because I am a bitch ), I thought this poem has some really exciting language. Ros quoted this bit already but? "Forever roaming, infinite, yet calm." gave me that special catch-in-the-stomach feeling. Reminds me a little of "Luxe, calme et volupte" from whichever addle-headed French chappie that was ? makes me feel like I'm in a boat in the middle of nowhere and the waves are bobbing me up and down. Sort of?safe yet completely vulnerable.

                      Also loved this one:

                      Let me stare deeply, leap into that hole
                      It's both romantic (in the non capitalised sense) and disturbing ? the idea of someone else's soul as a void, as something big enough to swallow you?though you want to be swallowed. An Alice in Wonderland in which Alice actually craves the hole.

                      Ok, that sounded dirty. Sorry!


                      -- Robofrakkinawesome BANNER BY FRANCY --

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        On Clyde Road

                        My pinks shoes don't shock the eye. Now
                        they are duller than the leaf mulch on the wide
                        footpath, and loose at the seams.
                        There's a certain beauty in broken things: in eggshells
                        as blue as mould, the brazen orange rust
                        through black paint
                        and the lost colour beneath the patterns of earth
                        on my pink shoes. The damp leaves squelch
                        as I walk for the last time on Clyde Road.

                        The soles on my pink shoes are as loose
                        as my loneliness is raw. The Georgian houses
                        whisper secrets of all their years of sorrow and glow
                        in the last breath of summer sunlight.
                        I hope that there is beauty in broken
                        things, in old bricks and the silence between words.
                        My pink shoes are torn and I am tired of sadness
                        and rot. The summer is dying in the air around me
                        but I intend to ripen.
                        "When people call people nerds, mostly what they are saying is, 'You like stuff', which is just not a good insult at all, like 'You are too enthusiastic about the miracle of human consciousness'."
                        -John Green

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          So, I've been thinking about God, and what exists, and meaning and all that lately...

                          I would like to believe in an interventionist God, so long as he was on my side

                          (apologies to Nick Cave)


                          I want to rapture in a change like death
                          An all-brain baptism to make me gasp
                          And shock my scientific abdomen
                          I want woolly things I don't believe in
                          To prowl out in the afternoon -
                          God and Magic, Love and Monsters
                          Clearly-lit as shoppers
                          Jostling through lunch-time in Boots

                          I want a sign to knock me down
                          Like Hollywood in lights
                          I'm sick of self-propulsion
                          I want a wall that writes
                          On itself, in big black letters:
                          "There are more things in heaven and earth
                          Than are dreamed of in your philosophy
                          You blind little Narnian dwarf."

                          Because I want my god to quote Shakespeare and Lewis
                          Because I want the narrative of the universe
                          To fit into the traces of my education
                          Like a clip-clop, sugar-eating pony
                          Because I want to know that I am right
                          And always was.

                          I don't want change at all, it seems
                          Just a certain, polished version
                          Of the same.


                          -- Robofrakkinawesome BANNER BY FRANCY --

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            It really means a lot that you took the time to read and understand and that you even liked it!
                            No problem. I'm glad that I was able to help out a bit. And it's bloody fantastic to be able to share my scribblings amongst people who can improve and appreciate them too!

                            You said this poem was about your muse? Perhaps make something of that?the idea that this person actually inspires an old fashioned dynamic (I know people still talk about muses, but it's definitely still got a classical/Shakespearean flavour to the word).
                            Sorry, *Dru voice* got lost in the moment.*/Dru voice* It was the first word that popped into my head, I'm afraid. As much as I wish I could say I was going for an old fashioned flavour, it was more me just using formal language. I should have clarified 'muse' with: 'Juliette: the most caring, intelligent, fascinating, beautiful and loyal person I have ever met, who inspires me, who excites me, who fully understands me, and who I am completely in love with.' But it's far less catchy, and takes ten times as long to type.

                            the idea of someone else's soul as a void, as something big enough to swallow you?though you want to be swallowed
                            Wow, that jogged my memory of the most overquoted philosophy nugget used in essays, 'When you stare into the Abyss, the Abyss stares back into you' - well, so says Nietzsche. But I'm not sure that it's so disturbing initially - it sounds romantic as you said - but on deeper reflection, I suppose the idea of a loss of memory/consciousness/being absorbed by someone else so entirely you lose yourself is quite a horrific idea really, especially since it's craved so desperately. Unless being aborbed into someone else's being could be good? Some kind of Nirvana like state? Oh well, this is generally unrelated to the poem, I just have a habit of typing out my thoughts and musings.

                            Sorry I don't really have anything other than replies to contribute atm, but more poems to come soon, once I finish actually writing them! I'd like to show you the other sonnet I was talking about, and since you requested so nicely, a free verse-ish one too. Thanks for the above two poems too; won't comment as yet, but I really like them on initial reading!

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Wolfie Gilmore
                              I want to rapture in a change like death
                              An all-brain baptism to make me gasp
                              And shock my scientific abdomen
                              Great beginning! There's nothing fuzzy here, no dispensable words, it draws me straight by the imagery and the theme.

                              I want woolly things I don't believe in
                              To prowl out in the afternoon -
                              Love, love, </i>love</i> this bit. It's so evocative and gives me such wonderful images. I like "woolly" and "prowl" together a lot - wolly making it fuzzy and unreal and "prowl" making it feral and alive.

                              God and Magic, Love and Monsters
                              Clearly-lit as shoppers
                              Jostling through lunch-time in Boots
                              Not very keen on "God and Magic, ..." myself, it seems unnecessary somehow and fuzzies the powerful image created earlier. Personally I don't like imagery that's not very concrete, and "Love and Monsters" seems to unclear when used in connexion with the brilliant image of Boots and shoppers. Maybe that's what you were going for, but I'd like a less grand statement here.

                              I want a sign to knock me down
                              Like Hollywood in lights
                              I'm sick of self-propulsion
                              I want a wall that writes
                              On itself, in big black letters:
                              "There are more things in heaven and earth
                              Than are dreamed of in your philosophy
                              You blind little Narnian dwarf."
                              I like this image! So irreverent and fun. I really like the reference to Narnia and the though "I'm sick of self-propulsion": it's a great way to see faith.

                              Because I want my god to quote Shakespeare and Lewis
                              Because I want the narrative of the universe
                              To fit into the traces of my education
                              Like a clip-clop, sugar-eating pony
                              Because I want to know that I am right
                              And always was.
                              I'd really cut the second "because". I love the clip-clop, sugar eating pony, but I'm not sure about the word "education"? When compared with the last two lines it doesn't work for me. "I want to know that I am right" doesn't quite fit with my concept of education: how about ideals? beliefs? knowledge? certainty?

                              Like Shakespeare and Lewis tho! I'd want my god to quote them too.

                              I don't want change at all, it seems
                              Just a certain, polished version
                              Of the same.
                              Great ending. Tugs the assuredness out from everything else you've said, changes the poem from fun ideas into something much more powerful. I love how eloquently you poked fun at religion and then also cast doubt on yourself. It's a very clever poem with some very striking images. I only had a few niggles really!

                              Originally posted by The_Narrator
                              Wow, that jogged my memory of the most overquoted philosophy nugget used in essays, 'When you stare into the Abyss, the Abyss stares back into you' - well, so says Nietzsche. But I'm not sure that it's so disturbing initially - it sounds romantic as you said - but on deeper reflection, I suppose the idea of a loss of memory/consciousness/being absorbed by someone else so entirely you lose yourself is quite a horrific idea really, especially since it's craved so desperately. Unless being aborbed into someone else's being could be good? Some kind of Nirvana like state? Oh well, this is generally unrelated to the poem, I just have a habit of typing out my thoughts and musings.
                              I like the abyss quote, reminds me of Doctor Who. Nietzsche says some fun things sometimes: I get this image of the Abyss with its eyes cold as dead stars and its voice so quiet the silence almost drowns it out, whispering not out about all the worst things but just about the things that are true

                              The idea of conciousness being absorbed into someone else sounds fairly creepy and I'm sure happens in many fantasy books. It's an interesting idea though: to become so obsessed with some one you loose your own personality and become someone who can only think of them, think like them.

                              Maybe like a Nirvana state, but one in which you have got lost in and have no chance of waking up, unless you stop caring about the person you have become absorbed in, but you are so absorbed in them to stop caring about them would be impossible.

                              I didn't see the line in your poem as being like that really. I thought of it as wanting to get as close to someone as you could but knowing it was never quite possible, which brought sadness, but is good as we have discovered if our thoughts about absorption stand up to any kind of argument.

                              Sorry I don't really have anything other than replies to contribute atm, but more poems to come soon, once I finish actually writing them! I'd like to show you the other sonnet I was talking about, and since you requested so nicely, a free verse-ish one too.
                              Will be very interested to read them!
                              "When people call people nerds, mostly what they are saying is, 'You like stuff', which is just not a good insult at all, like 'You are too enthusiastic about the miracle of human consciousness'."
                              -John Green

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                I can't sleep. Wrote this. Probably really bad, just wrote it out of frustration. Cathartic to do, but certainly doesn't produce good quality work.

                                'That ****ing stinks, you ****ing little shit. You on the shitter?'

                                God, how I HATE
                                That crudeness, that crassness!
                                It wears away at me,
                                Like a moth, lurking in the back of the cupboard,
                                Chewing dully at the fibres of my shirt.
                                Dog barking in the background,
                                Washing lying forgotten on the sticky lino floor,
                                I wonder how I could have been born
                                Into this household of misbreds and drunks.

                                How is it that I have to pretend
                                To be on the toilet
                                So I can write?
                                'You best not be ****ing writing.
                                Poems are for ****ing poofs.'

                                Stuffing the creased paper
                                Down my trousers,
                                To be treasured and examined under moonlight.

                                My mind is a fragile butterfly,
                                Eager to meet whatever it finds
                                But content to just drift on the wind's tender stream.

                                I have landed in a fly-trap.
                                I'm waiting to be ingested.
                                'Hurry up, you shithead!'

                                Sorry I haven't done a long analysis, but can I just say Rosamunde, that "lost colour beneath the patterns of earth on my pink shoes" and "the silence between words" are absolutely striking! Those images have been in my head all night! Even the words are beautiful, there's something musical in the phrasing, amplifying the beauty being described. Even considering "the beauty" is being seen in "broken things", the antithesis between the words and the chaos they describe is achingly beautiful, in a tragic way.

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  Originally posted by The_Narrator View Post
                                  I can't sleep. Wrote this. Probably really bad, just wrote it out of frustration. Cathartic to do, but certainly doesn't produce good quality work.
                                  Sometimes the best poems come from rage and frustration, I think!

                                  Great sense of rage you've got across here: I find myself hating the people you're writing about too, which shows how effective your language is!

                                  God, how I HATE
                                  That crudeness, that crassness!
                                  It wears away at me,
                                  Like a moth, lurking in the back of the cupboard,
                                  Chewing dully at the fibres of my shirt.
                                  Dog barking in the background,
                                  Washing lying forgotten on the sticky lino floor,
                                  I wonder how I could have been born
                                  Into this household of misbreds and drunks.
                                  Good beginning, I like the immediacy, the exclamation marks.

                                  I really like the "washing lying forgotten on the sticky lino floor", very evocative. Not sure about the dog barking: no real sense what kind of sound this is: is the dog barking plaintively and you pity it? is it yapping constantly and driving you mad?

                                  I like that the moth chews "dully". Makes things seem even more forlorn: the moth can't even be bothered to destroy your shirt properly!

                                  How is it that I have to pretend
                                  To be on the toilet
                                  So I can write?
                                  'You best not be ****ing writing.
                                  Poems are for ****ing poofs.'

                                  Stuffing the creased paper
                                  Down my trousers,
                                  To be treasured and examined under moonlight.
                                  Good image: you're suffering for your art! Like the italics, the way someone else's words are being forced on top of your own, gets across a sense of your cramped-ness, anger.

                                  Not sure about the word "examined". Makes me think of biology rather than poetry.

                                  My mind is a fragile butterfly,
                                  Eager to meet whatever it finds
                                  But content to just drift on the wind's tender stream.

                                  I have landed in a fly-trap.
                                  I'm waiting to be ingested.
                                  'Hurry up, you shithead!'
                                  Fragile butterfly? No, please, no. Butterflies do not make good images. They've been over-done, too often an image of beauty and fragility. "My mind is..." even another kind of insect would be good? An autumn wasp? Wasps are fragile in autumn, but then everyone except me hates wasps. But seriously, I really like this poem, but "fragile butterfly" just jars so.

                                  The "wind's tender stream" is quite nice, particularly when contrasted with the last verse. I like how that verse brings everything up short, we get a sense of the rush the writer's in, and how their thoughts are constantly jarred.

                                  Like this poem, overall, some good thoughts and images in there. It's nice to see that you're still writing thoughtfully and thinking about your words, but without using such stilted language as in your sonnet.

                                  Sorry I haven't done a long analysis, but can I just say Rosamunde, that "lost colour beneath the patterns of earth on my pink shoes" and "the silence between words" are absolutely striking! Those images have been in my head all night! Even the words are beautiful, there's something musical in the phrasing, amplifying the beauty being described. Even considering "the beauty" is being seen in "broken things", the antithesis between the words and the chaos they describe is achingly beautiful, in a tragic way.
                                  So glad you think the imagery and language worked! This is really lovely feedback
                                  "When people call people nerds, mostly what they are saying is, 'You like stuff', which is just not a good insult at all, like 'You are too enthusiastic about the miracle of human consciousness'."
                                  -John Green

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    Some day soon I'll comment on all the poems etc. from earlier posts, but atm I don't have the time However, I must say (referring to the first post) that Sonnet 18 is my favourite by Shakespeare.

                                    Now, my own favourite poet is W.H. Auden. You've probably heard of him (John Hannah recites him in Four Weddings and a Funeral). Two of my favourite poems by him (though there really are about 10 that I adore) are Funeral Blues (aka IX from Twelve Songs April 1936) and Johhny (aka X from Twelve Songs April 1937). Both can be found on this page:
                                    http://www.npr.org/programs/death/re...etry/aude.html
                                    The first is Funeral Blues and the second Johhny.

                                    Personally I find the line "Stop all the clocks, cut of the telephone" one of the most striking I've ever read. In a few words, so many emotions of sadness and (sudden) death are depicted.

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      Kew Gardens in October

                                      After Rilke

                                      The air was heavy with
                                      winter dankness
                                      but I stood in cold sunlight
                                      at the edge of an obscure path.
                                      The longing rose in me like a chord of a
                                      solemn song
                                      or a lost keen from a dark street
                                      in a foreign city.

                                      The shrubs hid the hothouses
                                      and the well-trodden paths. There was no
                                      welcoming bench or canopy of leaves.
                                      Just a stretch of cold grass and an old wall
                                      strangled by dying buddleias.
                                      The sunlight wrestled with the heavy air
                                      and when I breathed fog
                                      it set it gleaming.

                                      On bad days I try to draw that wall
                                      with its tangle of dead flowers
                                      and its long shadow.
                                      My throats still contracts
                                      as I think of that rebellious sunlight.
                                      I want winter damselflies and golden fish
                                      taken flight. I hope there is no end to longing;
                                      no end to October light.
                                      "When people call people nerds, mostly what they are saying is, 'You like stuff', which is just not a good insult at all, like 'You are too enthusiastic about the miracle of human consciousness'."
                                      -John Green

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        Okay then.Thought i would give this a pop cos it has that attractive/scares the hell out of me quality. So here's a very humble offering from a newb at this. Be gentle.

                                        I Dont Understand

                                        Planets whirl across the sphere
                                        A hundred million miles from here
                                        Forces crush and pull and sear
                                        And I don't understand

                                        Symbols formed up in a line
                                        Divided by the equals sign
                                        Describe a world no longer mine
                                        And I don't understand

                                        Money makes man's heart turn cold
                                        Peoples dreams both bought and sold
                                        Human life's worth less than gold
                                        And I don't understand

                                        War's inferno burns the land
                                        From city streets to desert sand
                                        Innocents die at freedom's hand
                                        And I don't understand

                                        But when I greet my infant niece
                                        My troubled heart finds its release
                                        In her pure smile I find my peace
                                        And then I understand
                                        Last edited by tangent; 21-09-07, 05:17 PM.
                                        JUST ENOUGH KILL

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