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jamesmarion - all messages by user

6/20/2010 8:29:39 PM
Well Hello Hi there.



Not too sure how friendly this forum is, but thought I'd say hi. I'd love to get comments and whatnot, on all my stuff.




jamesmarion.wordpress.com




Love love love,

James
6/20/2010 9:24:48 PM
Shattered Glass In general:
You want to use the least amount of words to say the most you possibly can. A good example would the use of "squeeze" and "grip" in the same line.
In general, especially when the syllabic count of each line doesn't matter, there is no excuse to contract. (It's)
Embrace the period. In a free form poem like this, it is not unusual for authors to forget about them completely. However, there are clear sentences in here; make them clearer.

Specifically:
"of which" muddied up the first line; consider rewriting it in a more concise way.
"Like" similes are often intrusive; in the second line, simply saying "a wine glass" would make friendship a more powerful metaphor.
"Over-indulge" is redundant. Also, wine does not need to be repeated, necessarily.
"Within" could be in, "slip up" should be hyphenated. However, given the verbose writing style, "slip-up" seems a little colloquial for this poem.
Learn the power of the semi-colon, especially for juxtaposition.
Watch your tense and word choice - "All that is left is broken glass" and "unable to piece back together" seem very strange together.
"Scarred" also messes with the perception of tense.
Watch your use of comma; it could be used far more effectively in many parts of this piece. For example, "Visible to any and all around you" implies the sentence "visual to all around you", which makes the sentence redundant; however, I believe what you intended to say is "Visual to any, and all around you", continuing onto the next line.
"Shard-pierced fingers" doesn't make sense in light of "mopping up the mess". What are you doing? Are you "sweeping" (line 7), "mopping" (line 9), or "cradling" (line 8)?
6/20/2010 9:44:28 PM
Pollux & Castor General:
You do a good job of rhyming with subtlety. Your syllable count, however, seems quite a bit forced. There are a number of times where it seems like you haphazardly dropped words simply to fit in some sort of rhythmic structure. A good example is "Let it be expectation of a fairy tale."

On that point, there are a good number of lines in this poem that seem like "things I think should be in poem regardless of if they make sense." Some examples: "a feast of green", "reigns with yellow colors", "Dragon deep blue".





Specific:


I like the first line.

Encountered what? The way it is written, especially with a period before and after, this line doesn't say anything. It could be written "Encounter two lonely wanderers on the way."

"Somewhere"? Gemini is an actual constellation, with an actual location in the sky; "somewhere" cannot apply.

Also, it is unclear what "for a play" means. For a performance of some kind? For a time of frivolity? Choose a different word; do not let rhyming inhibit your ability to express a story.

Again, "feast of green" seems like a strange description of grass; don't use strange descriptions just to make a poem seem 'artsy'.

"Reigns" is a word that means to POSSESS a power of authority, which a scent of flowers, I would assume, does not do; in addition, you say that the scent possesses a power with yellow, and then you say you taste (that color's) nectar. This whole section is a jumble of description, and although you likely have the right idea, don't be afraid to drop certain descriptions to flesh-out others.

"Dragon deep blue" - first, dragons aren't real. If this is a fairy tale, this can be excepted, but nothing else in the piece suggests that it is and, in general, it's best if it isn't. Second, it is not a generally accepted that Dragons are blue, and the way this line is written, you are describing something as a "Dragon-blue", like a Dragon-blue paint swatch. Also, "with the sparkling scale" - if you're literally talking about a dragon, does it have a single scale?

"Snake of red" is another attempt to MAKE something sound poetic - don't do that. If something is poetic, it is; don't force it. Also, lust is classically associated with the color blue, just so you know. Red is anger, both of which are deadly sins.

"Let it be expectation of a fairy tale" - what does this mean? A word is missing, whether it's for syllable count or not.




I like the idea of a poem written as a letter (or vice versa). However, with the exception of the "Pollux, Castor" at the ends of the poem, there is very little here that suggests a letter.




You may have thought to yourself while reading my critique, "well, he simply doesn't understand my style of writing", or, "he lacks an appreciation of poetic writing or structure", and I assure you this isn't the case. There is a huge difference between "poetry" and "stuff that seems like poetry".




Thank you,

James
6/20/2010 10:06:46 PM
Our Baby: By Rain [Bow] Aka The Lost Poet In General:
Whatever rhyme scheme is present, it is haphazard. There are occasionally a half-dozen lines of rhyme, followed by a few of no particular structure.

Without trying to be a particular stickler for grammar, in a poem dealing with such a serious matter as a miscarriage, the level of typo here is a shame. This is NOT a stream-of-consciousness poem, since it has a good deal of punctuation. There's no reason for there to be no capitalization, especially "I"s.

On the note of the seriousness of the piece, there is a good amount of childish language thrown in that undermines the seriousness of the piece. For example: "tummy", "scary dreams", "almost dead", "go potty", etc.

Spelling always must be correct, and Caps-Lock is never acceptable, for any respectable writer. "NIIIIIICK" should be written simply as "Nick!". If the intensity of the scene is there, the stress should be understood; if not, no amount of capitalization and stressed letters can fix it.




Specifically:

"Scary dreams" is a childish way of expressing nightmares. This is an area I would consider a huge literary opportunity; take advantage of descriptions of extreme feelings to use "grown-up words". I'll refer to moments like this as "word choice."

Word Choice - "tummy"

"Don't it dare be there, or gone" - it's unclear what this means. Does she want the baby to leave her, or does she not? I understand your craving for ambiguity here, but you as the author must know.

Why is "once" there, in line five?

"Prisoner of rape" - this is such an incredibly strong subject. More on this later.

"Darkened dreams, falling skies..." First, typos like "skys" are unacceptable in any work of merit. Second, "hell the devil survives" is clearly a stretch for the sake of rhyming and, in a poem where rhyme is occasionally absent, it doesn't make sense.

The same for "night" and "sight".

"He looks almost dead" - this isn't something you can throw out there haphazardly - this image is one of the most horrifying, bone-chilling ones that a parent can imagine. That should be clear.

"To the bathroom I soon do walk" - this is one of many areas that seems like "this seems like it should be in a poem." It may pass in a Shakespearean sonnet to mess with the structure of a sentence, but in a poem written plainly, like this one, it simply works to confuse a reader.

"Crimpson" is not a word.

Don't say "NIIIICK!!". Don't capitalize whole words for emphasis. Don't spell things incorrectly for emphasis. Don't use more than one punctuation at the end of a sentence.

"He hears my call, an urgent sound, races down..." This implies that the urgent sound raced down the hall. Clean up your sentence structure.

Word Choice - "Oh god, oh gosh."




For the rest, more typos ("magick"), sentence structure problems, and a lack of understanding of common grammar ("their" vs "they're") mars your piece.




Most importantly, this is a subject that you don't comprehend. That's very plain in your reading. You have described two things - rape, and the act of a miscarriage - that are inarguably the most horrific things that a woman can go through. To attempt this in the form of a poem is a dangerous and difficult feat for the most experienced of poets; to attempt it at your level is not dangerous, but bordering on insulting. Be careful when choosing a subject; just because something is packed with emotion doesn't mean it's easier to write about. On the contrary.




Thanks,

James
6/20/2010 10:14:35 PM
race Ignoring race is foolish. Race is always going to be there, and being blind of race is to say that not every race is worth remembering. To claim that you're blind to race is a lie.

There's a huge difference between racism and acknowledging race.
6/21/2010 7:47:43 AM
jail 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
6/21/2010 7:51:22 AM
Twenty Twenty seconds time

Is the time that it takes me

To update Facebook







Twenty minutes time

I could have written poems

Instead, arguments




In twenty days time

To Russia, China and back

But no, mostly naps




In twenty more months

I might go study abroad

I’m safer back home




It’s been twenty years

I thought by now I’d be rich

I’m working at it




Twenty more years gone

I thought I’d be married now

Go figure, I’m sick




They say twenty months

But two years if I’m lucky

Hardly long enough




Twenty day respite

Then awful physicians

Unfortunately




Twenty minutes pass

And I forget the last five

But I still take naps




Count back from twenty

I should update my status

My eyes are drowsy
6/21/2010 10:55:50 AM
Cold I will start by saying that the status quo for lyrics are far lower than that of classical poetry. A good song does not a good poem make, and vice versa. As much as I love "Pokerface", it probably wouldn't be a great poem. You seem to take advantage of this disparity in quality as much as you can.



General:

Given the fast that these are lyrics, in your own words, I can't help but notice the lack of rhyme in the verses. The chorus may be able to get away with it due to the repetition (more on that), but rhyme is of particular importance in a lyric. In the same vein, The rhythm of your piece is odd. The lines in the first verse, for example, have a 10-8-11-8-10-8 syllable count, which could I suppose be stuffed into a song, but the emphasis is inconsistent. Some lines are iambic where other are seemingly random. In poetry, specifically lyric, rhythm is of the utmost importance.




Specific:

The first line, "Stranded...war", is a mess of symbolism. It sounds very much like something that *should* be in a poem, but doesn't make much sense aside. If you find yourself tremendously attached to this imagery, whatever it may be, remember at least that "on" should be "at".

Since you have chosen not to rhyme consistently, "close" is a strangely pedestrian word to end the second line with. "Near" would make far more sense, despite the fact that it doesn't save the line from being cliche.

The imagery of "demons and angels" and "friends or my foes" is terribly overused. Try your best to come up with dichotomy that is unique and makes the reader think in a way he hasn't before.

Why is Fall capitalized? It seems as though you do it simply to draw attention to the word. There are a number of ways to do this, none of which include capitalization. If the poem carries the weight you want it to, "fall" should have power all on its own.

In your chorus, you seem to be saying that's it had grown cold. You must remember though, that since you're reusing that line, it's going to lose it's power quickly. In essence, what you have written is this: "Within me, I can't breathe. Memories are all that's left. In and out, I can't shout. My blood is turning to ice."

First, watch your grammar. It may seem a pedestrian comment, but remembering things such as "memories" being plural and therefore requiring "are" instead of "is" (in "that's") is important. In addition, never contract, especially when the syllabic count of the poem does not seem to matter.

Watch cliche. It is very easy to write what you *think* sounds poetic instead of what *is* poetry.

The way a poet separates their thoughts with punctuation is very important. You don't use any periods in your piece, instead using commas to clarify your thoughts. However, as one example of where this fails you, you have the full though "Now broken my faith was once whole." This is neither a correct sentence, or a sensible one. What are you trying to say? Consider it.

The different lines in this second verse seem to be entirely disconnected. "My faith was once whole, beseeching life, day turned to night as foretold." These seem like random lines of poetic-sounding description used to fill a space between two recitations of the chorus, and don't say much to the reader. Again, consider what you are trying to say.




Thanks,

James
6/21/2010 11:16:53 AM
Two Tutus, Too General:
What you have here is a great start of and idea for a poem. I embrace poetry that takes something simple and makes it into an intense, emotional experience.

Having said that, poetry is never perfect. There are areas in your poetry that could use work.

First is the rhythmic structure. The syllabic count in the piece is scattered, making it difficult for the reader to get through it smoothly. Emphasis in poems such as this are typically On-Off-On-Off or On-Off-Off-On Off-On-Off-Off-On. This would not be a hard correction to make on your part, since you have given yourself a very sturdy foundation. For example:




Two tutus too, Laying on the ground

On-Off-Off-On On-Off-Off-Off-On

This structure is extremely awkward to read smoothly. By adding a word and removing part of another, the rhythmic control of the line can be vastly improved. Consider:

Two tutus too, Here lay on the ground

On-Off-Off-On Off-On-Off-Off-On




Specific:

"One...glass" - this line should be rearranged. How it is written, you are indicating that the wall is complete (as most walls are), and that the is mirrored glass somewhere. Though your message is understandable, the structure of the sentence makes a reader think twice, which you never want to do in a poem with rhythm.

"Gaggle" - I understand any poets natural tendency towards descriptions and nouns that are unusual. However, "gaggle" and "waiting patiently" don't really seem to sit well together. A "gaggle" would characterize, to me, a group of mothers who were pecking nervously around the children waiting for them to finish.

"Knitting" and "needlepoint" surrounding the narrator, although a refreshing idea, doesn't make terrible sense under scrutiny. I would recommend you forgo the tendency to be mystical and simply address the women who are knitting and doing needlepoint.

"I just... playing Mommy." These two lines, though they do a decent job of bringing up the emotion that each should have, are a mess rhythmically. The first line is far shorter than anything in the rest of the piece, and it does not contrast with second well.

Just as a matter of style, it is not necessary to put "Two tutus, too" on a separate lines to emphasize that is is also the title of the poem. On the contrary, any reader even slightly attentive will notice the title immediately.
6/22/2010 7:02:49 AM
Twenty As haiku, I cannot change the lines as you have suggested. Consider reading a description of 'haiku'. The terseness and word real-estate are foundations of the form of poetry.
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