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Home » High Critique » jail

For poets who want unrestricted constructive criticism. This is NOT a vanity workshop. If you do not want your poem seriously critiqued, do not post here. Constructive criticism only. PLEASE Only Post One Poem a Day!!!
5/27/2010 9:57:41 AM

cameron holden
Posts: 2
Locked in a cell
Four walls and an iron gate
Inside here you have no mates
Every inmate has their own brand of hate
All you can do is just sit and wait
Locked up with people who committed murder and rape
For goodness sake
I wish i could just smash my way through that gate
And then run away
I ain't got a single reason to stay
Inside this dungeon 24 hours a day
I was wrongly convicted but someone has to pay
Stuck on death row i cant find the words to say
Aw well tomorrow is my last day
Goodbye is all i can say
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5/28/2010 12:14:34 PM

Catie Lindsey
Posts: 77
Gosh, Cameron, quite a perspective you took in this one.
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6/21/2010 7:47:43 AM

James Marion
Posts: 10
General:
The rhyme structure in your piece is haphazard, at best. At times, you go many lines rhyming on the same sound, and then fail to rhyme at all. In addition, the rhythm in the piece is unidentifiable, and when read the lack of 'natural tempo' is off-putting to the reader. Colloquialisms are thrown into the piece, and they serve to negate its dramatic effect.

Most importantly, consider your topic of choice. You have written about something that, to the narrator, would presumably be the most harrowing, horrific experience someone could go through. The tremendous emotion present int hat situation is not clear in what you have written, and until you have improved your writing structure and style, it isn't recommended that you write about such incredible heightened situations.




Specific:

Cell does not rhyme with anything. Although I never suggest rhyme over rhythm, neither is present here; why did you choose to have this weak line lead your poem?

Four walls and an iron gate - To the reader, right away, this implies five walls. Unless the narrator is in some strange pentagonal prison, reconsider the wording here.

"Locked up...murder and rape" - this line is a good example of the messy rhythm. This line is (in the scope of your piece) ridiculously long, and serves to disorient the reader.

About rhyming - ("inmate", "hate", "wait", "rape", "sake", "gate") Firstly, I don't understand the point of this rapid-rhyming structure. It doesn't serve to strengthen the emotion of your piece; on the contrary, it Seussifies it. In addition, "rape" and "sake" are, at BEST, off-rhymes. Putting them in the midst of clear-cut, simple rhymes is confounding.

"ain't" - I don't fully understand why you would use this; you don't have any sort of strict rhythm or syllabic structure, so why use a strange contraction to artificially shorten a line?

"Aw well" - although you likely meant "Ah, well", it seems exceedingly strange that someone who has been wrongly convicted of a crime, put on death row, and is about to be killed would be so cavalier about his sentence. The same goes for the last line.




Thanks,

James
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