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jflach - all messages by user

5/6/2010 1:18:31 PM
Entering Contest Competitions Guilty as charged. I can't help myself. As soon as I am presented with a new challenge I can't wait to sit down and see what words spill out of my head. With me, my best poems are often those that I compose within minutes while taking a shower or walking the dog or... For me, if I sit down and try to intelligently think it out, compose it, play around with it, perfect it, I get drivel. I go the first instinct, gut feel route. But, hey, that's just me. As a result, I find I am one of the first entries in the contests I enter. Some I think are pure genius and others I think are pure junk - but that is how I write. For me, the challenge is to come up with the theme. Having a theme presented to me takes that impediment away and off to the page I go. Sometimes I feel like my mind doesn't even know what my fingers are typing until it sees the words on the screen. Okay, so I am weird. And I am guilty of quickly entering the contests. And this has resulted in quantities I would not otherwise have achieved. But, and this is the crescendo, I am having a blast!!!!! Thanks to all.
edited by jflach on 5/6/2010
edited by jflach on 5/6/2010
5/6/2010 1:32:08 PM
Pet Peeve I am just curious if I am the only one who cringes when reading other's works and discovering errors in the usage of:
to, too, two
their, there, they're
a, an
and other common word usage errors?
Am I too uptight about this. Do people want these errors pointed out to them? I know I sometimes make these same mistakes (and others) out of haste and/or sloppiness, but I get the feeling some make these mistakes out of (sorry, can't come up with a better word) ignorance. Is this just me? Just wondering. Don't mean to be overly critical. Thanks for your responses.
5/6/2010 6:23:41 PM
Soup Mail Okay, maybe its real easy and I am just missing it, but... How do I create Soup Mail? Do you have to be a premium member? I have a Soup Mail Inbox (with no entries) but not an outbox. How do I send Soup Mail?
5/6/2010 8:14:00 PM
Soup Mail Thanks Daniel. How about that - it is real easy and I was just missing it.
5/7/2010 7:59:09 AM
The Inner Spy Okay Charlotte, let's give this a try in the spirit intended. First, my disclaimer, I am not a professional, I am not a teacher, I am not trained in poetry, literature or english. I am just a layman poet with a point of view that can be taken or left behind - you choose.
I think this poem is terrific. I only have two minor suggestions that, as I read it, I think helps with the meter. Both suggestions are in the first stanza.

In the second line, I might consider replacing the comma (,) with the word "yet" or "and". I think, if I counted right, that this results in the 1st and 3rd line having the same number of syllables and the 2nd and 4th line having the same number. The beat of the pause caused by the comma, I think is better served with a word.

In the fourth line, I would consider changing the words "That sets" to "Setting" - same beat; just easier to read - in my humble opinion.

So there you have it. Two minor suggestions for a well written poem. The rest of it read well to me. I hope that wasn't too painful. Good luck with your poetry. Joe
edited by jflach on 5/7/2010
5/19/2010 12:26:19 PM
Lavender Children Catie,
I would suggest you try to mimic the first stanza somewhat and come up with another "If I could..." verse.

In the first verse you say, "If I could paint a poem... // If a poem I could crouchet..."
Maybe in this verse you say, "If I could shine a poem...// If a poem I could ________"

It's like a word problem: paint is to crouchet as shine is to ?

Figure out what the ? is and build on that.

Just a suggestion.

5/19/2010 12:38:13 PM
Dreaming Micheal, great poem. Only two things that interrupt the flow as I read it, for what it's worth. The word "dressed" kind of hangs there for me. I am not sure what it adds. When I read it without that word it seems to flow better. My other suggestion is at the end. Instead of "Wishing for things that aren't there" I might suggest, "Wishing for things not there" For me, this flows better. But I know that when I write poems I often have a different flow in my mind then that of some readers so these may not work for you - and, I understand. Great job. Keep up the good work. Joe
edited by jflach on 5/19/2010
5/19/2010 1:42:39 PM
OVERSOUL MISUNDERSTOOD My two cents for what it is worth. By posting many poems in one day, you do not break any web site rules, but it does impact others in a few certain ways that could be construed as being rude and selfish. People like their poems seen and read by others. When someone posts a bunch of poems in one session it moves others' poems down this list and makes them harder to find and less likely to be read. No one is suggesting you are breaking rules, they are just asking for common courtesy. Their suggestion to you, I believe, was also meant as advice for you. If you, too, want your poems read and responded to, you would have a better chance of getting each poem looked at if you posted only one or two a day. Since you are already a Master Poet (self acclaimed) you may not care to have others' feedback - if you do, you might want to slow down the posts. Now, I understand some come here to simply archive their poetry on a web site for safe keeping and tend to download their entire portfolio as soon as they join. Maybe the web site should provide a means for doing that without cluttering up the New Poems page. No one is trying to be rude in suggesting you are posting too much, just trying to ensure their one poem a day does not get lost in your 50+ poems. Like I said, common courtesy. Try it some time. Joe
5/20/2010 6:00:16 PM
Hallo Spade, for what its worth, I absolutely loved your critique on the "Dreaming" poem. I think many poeple here do a TERRIFIC job of stringing together beautiful words with wonderful flow - but miss continuity of thought, idea or message. You took the time to try to understand the poem beyond simply judging the rhyme, meter and/or flow. Very insightful - in my humble opinion. I would welcome that kind of critique and insight - no holds barred approach to any of my poems. Welcome to the soup and dont let the defensive postures stop you from sharing your opinions. After all - the poem was posted in the High Critique thread. Joe
5/22/2010 10:07:15 AM
Two Tutus, Too Two Tutus, Too by Joe Flach

Two tutus, too
Laying on the ground
Ballet slippers strewn all around
One complete wall with mirrored glass
Chattering girls waiting dismissal of class.

A gaggle of Moms waiting patiently
Knitting and needlepoint surrounding me
The one lone island of masculinity
I am the rare father who won custody.

I smile at my ballerina and she smiles back at me
We’ve been on our own ever since she was three
I just love being her Daddy
And don’t mind the role of also playing Mommy.

We stay a little longer at the end of class
She shows me her pliets in the looking glass
She smiles at my reflection and says, “I love you”
We pack up her slippers and the
Two tutus, too.
edited by jflach on 5/22/2010
edited by jflach on 5/22/2010
5/24/2010 3:49:08 PM
Poem Titles This is just for what it is worth and simply one man's opinion. There are a ton of poems being posted on this site. I really do want to spend time commenting on people's poems but have sooooo many to choose from. I do try to comment on poetry from people who commented on mine - although I am not always able to keep up. And, I do like to comment on other poets just like many of you reached out to me when I was new.

The point is - Titles of your poems will either help intice me to read your poetry or cause me to skip right over them. What is it with Titles entered as long sentences and no caps? For me, and I stress, this may only be me...a real turn off. I am not likely to open those. Also, per another thread I posted here, I have some pet peeves regarding spelling. I am noticing a huge amount of postings with typos and spelling errors in the Titles. Probably not a good way to get people to read your poem if you can't even get your own title correct.

Like I said - just one man's opinion, for what it's worth.

5/24/2010 3:54:41 PM
Two Tutus, Too Frank, thanks so much for your kind words. I have read many of your poems and am honored by your comments regarding mine.

I am open to others who wish to critique and help improve on this write. Thanks.
5/24/2010 7:08:28 PM
Poem Titles I am not trying to pass judgement here. Certainly the types of poems I write are not liked by everyone here. And that is fine. Differences are a beautiful thing. One point I meant to stress, however, is that I do not have the time to read everything posted here and with the limited time I spend reading poems I am going to read poems posted by people who take the time to get the titles entered without making errors. I make mistakes, too - plenty. That's the great thing about "edit" - I can go back and fix them. Daniel, I would not want you to change your style to fit the norm. I am just saying, if you don't meet certain norms then don't be surprised if your art is not viewed by the masses. Good luck with your poems and creativity. I am not one to pass judgement - I have not achieved any acclaim whatsoever with my works, so who am I to pass judgement.
1/15/2011 3:45:17 PM
Storm in my head Dustin, although not quite written this way, you sort of have a couplet going here with paired rhymes until the last four lines of the poem. Seems to break pattern - maybe that's what you intend, but it felt a bit off to me. Your rhyme goes: time/mind - cheek/weak - fall/skull (a stretch here) - weather/better - pouring/boring - growing/raging - dry/why (although you don't break the line) - then four lines with no rhyme. Again, perhaps that's by design - perhaps once you start asking "what's happening to me", you intentionally go out of rhyme to signify an awakening of sorts, but, to me, it reads like you just couldn't figure a rhyming scheme to end with.

I too, am an untrained poet, so take my input for what it's worth, just another ametuer with an opinion. Good luck with your poetry. Keep at it!!!
1/15/2011 4:07:49 PM
Adam and Eve and Me Bob, although I don't think poems always need punctuation, especially at the end of lines, I think this one could benefit from some punctuation in places. For example: The line, "Life was a blast a beautiful song" - I think you either need to use a semi-colon - "Life was a blast; a beautiful song" or, in keeping with the no punctuation theme, break it into two lines - "Life was a blast (new line) A beautiful song".

A few other suggestions:

Second line - I might consider changing the end to: "I was a little too young". "...too little too young" does not flow too well - in my humble opinion.

The third line seems too short compared to lines 1 and 2. Maybe try: "It was before I knew the difference between right and wrong". With the pause in the next line, either by using the ";" or breaking the line in two, I think the flow is better.

I think line five improves by adding the word "older" after "grew". And I would add the word "do" at the end of line 6.

Line 8, maybe try replacing the word "is" with "grew deep" - that may be a bit more poetic.

Line 9 - try "Never-Never Land"

Line 10 - I think "Eves" should be possesive, "Eve's"

These are just some suggestions, for what they are worth. Good luck with your poetic endeavors and only make changes where you think they improve YOUR poem.

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