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Forum Home » High Critique » critique please

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!!!
3/14/2019 5:15:39 AM

eckho scott
Posts: 3
Once again the fool got played
By one greater than she
When he used her heart against her
And once again the truth
Pierces through
Like the sharpest steel blade
As it causes her soul to bleed
The tears stream down her face
Her spirit broken like glass
Shattered Shards Surrounding
As she Spins in Solitude
What smile to hide her pain
What paint to mask her rage
This circus called love
Only Leers and Lies
Menacing Mysteries
Never was her passion felt
Never was she heard
The one entrusted to keep her
Only let her burn
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3/15/2019 2:30:32 PM

Jack Webster
Posts: 132
I must confess to feeling like a cat
peering at the shadows of fish.
I want to clap my paw through the surface,
and curious,
pull each out
of the trembling waves of light.

There are a lot of doors in your poem, but you don't open them. That's okay.

If you want to explore going deeper with the poem, here are some ideas.

Tears, streaming down a face, get used in poems ALOT. What the author is expressing is important enough that it deserves unique expression. I would remove this line for the moment, and only add it back in at the very end if you feel all other attempts at expression have failed to be more effective than it.

The line I connected the most with was "this circus called love". I would be interesting to take the environment of the circus and tell the same emotional story entirely in the environment of the circus.

The themes in your poem are grief, trust, betrayal, hiding rage, putting on a happy face, self-deprication, feeling like a fool, not having a voice/ not being heard, unfulfilled passion.

A circus offers so many characters to express these with. Also the contrast of the audience being there to enjoy the show, overlooking the suffering that is right in front of their faces because they want to believe everything is okay, believe the painted faces, believe the fake smiles. They don't want to look, or are too far away to see, into the eyes of the elephant that is powerful enough to bring down the whole tent but is who is chained with grief and despair. They cheer and applaud and give a reverant awe to the lion tamer that provokes and mocks the roar of those taken from the freedom if the grass and kept in cages. There are the trapeze artists whose lives depend on the one who will catch them and keep them safe.

Maybe using the circus as a metaphor would distract too much? May it gives more room? Sometimes if we give ourselves enough cover we can be brutally honest about things. Having a single extended metaphor would also help focus the energy of the poem.

Metaphors can be used in fundamentally in two different ways: to clarify, and to obscure. Sometimes obscuring what is literally going on can make room for a deeper insight into the dynamic of what's going on, so sometimes obscurity and clarity go hand in hand, other times obscurity stands alone.

It's not entirely clear what's going on in the poem. The intangible side is very present, but the only tangible aspect of the poem are surrealist details.

Even if it were something as simple as a woman putting on her makeup at the beginning of the day having a inner thoughts, there would be a tangible component, though it might run the risk of tiptoing into prose:

She leaned into the mirror
cleaning her mascara.
Thick red lipstick, she painted her lips
practicing
and repracticing the smile
that hid the pain.
Careful,
she cleaned the red from her teeth,
so no one could see her rage.
She blotted
everything bleeding
into the tissue,
a stain thrown into the bin with his key.

The poem just needs to be grounded someway. It doesn't need to drown with metaphors, just enough to know there's something there beneath the surface. How much beneath the surface you want to go is up to you.
edited by superlativedeleted on 3/15/2019
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